The Newport to Bermuda race is under way, but before it started, the boat that Brad is racing on had to get from Annapolis to Newport. That was my part.
First, a little bottom cleaning before departure on a very rainy day. I was still at work while this was going on, so I wasn't missing standing in the rain, that was still to come. Our ETD was late afternoon last Thursday and the weather was, well, "Maine". Rain, rain and more rain, but it was warm.
One of my crew mates, Wally, who was supposed to be the tactician for the race but unfortunately took ill early Saturday during the delivery. He's OK, and in fact I really was bummed that I didn't get to chat with him more on our staggered shifts - he's a wealth of knowledge and a fine gentleman. In the background, the long ago inactive radio towers that are now nav aids and markers that you are in Annapolis.
Headed north, first under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and up the bay to the C&D canal. It was nice to have a little reprieve in the rain, which at times during the last loading of food and bags, was torrential. Nothing like a wet boat inside and out.
My first ever selfie, photobombed by a cargo ship!
Bob, Schematic's owner and skipper, showing off his Bug-A-Salt gun/toy. We were barely a few sips into our evening beers, and a half hour off the dock when this silliness started. When there's no wind, flies somehow manage to take over any boat that isn't moving fast. Needless to say, we used a lot of salt.
It wasn't long after the beer and guns episode that I headed off to bed to start the watch cycle; Peter and I alternating driving in 4 hours shifts. Bob and Wally (navigating and entertaining us) the same but staggered to overlap us by two hours. So, my night watch was always midnight to 0400. Peter woke me up for my first watch (Wally on until 0200) and I was welcomed on deck with a fine mist and the entrance to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. It's a far shorter trip to go north in the bay and then back down the Delaware Bay than to go down the entirety of the Chesapeake, which would add a full extra day or two.
Bob took this photo about midway through the canal of my favorite bridge, with the singularly unique name of "Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge". But it's the most stunning design and made even more so by the weather that night.
Good morning Delaware Bay, living up to your monotonous, unadventurous usual self (except when it isn't). This was mid way through my 0800-1200 watch Friday. It's nice to have radar and AIS functioning as they're supposed to when the fog is just not lifting. The sun eventually did come out a little before Peter took over at noon.
Fourteen Foot Bank lighthouse looked like it always seems to when I've passed by, floating in an ethereal blue.
And it's morning again, Saturday, this time off the coast of New Jersery, and not much happened Friday afternoon, except for me sleeping off-watch to get into the 4 hour groove. Bob and I were enjoying some lovely fog, again. This trip was as if it was taking place entirely in Maine due to the weather. While in the fog, we heard some lovely chatter over the VHF between an irate fishing captain and another sailboat also headed north from Annapolis, which was having difficulty with it's radar.
From top to bottom: looking SW into the late afternoon sun; opposite view looking NE; looking forward; looking back. A beautiful Saturday once the fog was burned off around noon and we even got in some actual sailing and were able to turn the motor off!
The Newport Bridge, which was my nav aid from Block Island on a perfectly clear, breezy night, early Sunday morning. The best sail of the trip, with 15 knots out of the NW and only the jib up doing 7 knots. Just me on deck while the rest slept for a few hours until we arrived. These are the moments that making sailing a dream. In the video, the blinking light to the right is the Castle Hill Light, the starting line for the Newport-Bermuda race.
As Brad would say, and he did, a well earned "barley sandwich" after a successful delivery. We docked about 0430 and everyone crashed for about 3 hours and woke up to a brilliantly perfect day. The view is across Narragansett Bay toward Newport from Jamestown.
Schematic on her mooring while we headed off to Newport and the New York Yacht Club so Bob could check in for the upcoming race. We took the very efficient water taxi and got to see the sights of the harbor.
Gorgeous classic boats abound in Newport!
With lunch, of course.
12 metres still rocking it out after all these years. Love these beauties!
Columbia, the 1958 winner of the America's Cup. The first year these boats were made and the first ever 12 metre to win the cup. A boat I have had the pleasure of sailing.
The Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world, and we got to see her arrive in Newport as part of her historic restoration and 38th Voyage. Brad watched the live broadcast of the launching last July and is an avid supporter the Mystic Seaport Museum, which everyone who cares for or loves boats and history, should put on their to-do list.
Bob captured this lovely sunset over Long Island for our last evening at sea. A fitting end to this log entry that I really enjoyed writing as I relived each photo and moment along the way.