04 - Puerto Rico to Maine

The home stretch...

Had a very nice 1-night stayover on Cape Cod with Nana's mother visiting and Ralf, Bibi, Martin and kids joining us on Saturday. Slipped our lines at 1700 yesterday afternoon to make it through the Cape Cod Canal on a favorable tide (Ralf stayed with us, every one else left again). So far it's been a mix of motoring and light wind sailing with fog moving in after midnight which is very slowly dissipating now (1100 local - picture above shows Ralf helming through another foggy patch).

This could be the last time...

Mick Jagger comes to mind... just realized that yesterday (19JUN) evening and this night (0200 local right now) was probably the last time I took a star sight before this trip comes to an end in Maine (last night sailing outside the sight of land - the picture above shows Nicky taking his own "sights" earlier in the day...). We're east of Long Island with about 70 nm to go to the Cape Cod Canal. After the lightning storm the night before (no reference to Lennon/McCartney intended) this night has been absolutely beautiful with clear starry skies.

160 nm to go...

.. to the Cape Cod Canal, where we will make a stop to pick up Ralf (the "other Ralf" - Boeck this time) who will join us for the last short leg to Peaks Island, Maine (also, Nana's mother will make a short visit up from New York to see her grand son). After beating to windward during our first night out of the Chesapeake Bay we had to motor part of yesterday in very light winds.

Sailing again

Slipped our mooring in Portsmouth/VA this morning, waved good-bye yet again to Arearea and sailed out of the Chesapeake Bay at 1300 local time. Now (0145 local time on 18JUN) we're beating to windward under a full moon on our way to Cape Cod, the last planned stop before Maine. All is well aboard, stay tuned...

ICW, Mile 0...

We worked our way up to the end of the ICW (for vessels traveling northbound - I guess officially it's the beginning at mile 0) today and are now moored in Portsmouth, Virginia. Originally, the ICW wasn't very high on our list of things to do but we really enjoyed the little interlude, especially since we got to travel in tandem with Arearea again. We found two very nice anchorages along the way where we could just drop the hook, raft the two boots together, and have the kids traverse freely across - just like the good old days in the Balearics... (see picture above).

Intracoastal Waterway & Arearea Re-union

We covered our first stretch of the ICW today, from Beaufort to Belhaven - 70 miles down, 135 to go to Norfolk. This morning we had made radio contact with our friends from Arearea. More than a month after seeing them last in Puerto Rico we now have caught up with them again here in Belhaven and had a very nice re-union tonight - Nicky could hardly contain his excitement about seeing his buddy Dante again (the picture above shows him with Arearea's crew in Belhaven)! We now plan to move in tandem up to Norfolk.

Carolina on our mind...

We kept our options open until this morning 0630h (30 nm south of Beaufort) but then the latest weather forecast made us pull into Beaufort rather than continuing around Cape Hatteras (we would likely have encountered 15+ kn NE winds just north of the Cape, blowing against a still fast running Gulf Stream- apparently something you don't sail into for pleasure). So here we are, tied to the Town Dock at beautiful Beaufort - a very worthwhile place to visit with an interesting history.

Sailing again!

Slipped our mooring in Fort Pierce at high tide around noon today and had some very nice sailing so far...reached the Gulf Stream conveyor belt early last night with a few hours of 10 kn speed over ground... wind is dying now, so we're back to 6...7 kn SOG. Current position (0500 local time) is 29-25.6N 079-47.9W... all is well aboard.

Launch!

Yes, we are indeed still in Florida, but we will leave tomorrow (so we think at least...). The injection pump for the engine was put back in place by Eric at 1900h tonight and everything looks like a "go" for a midday (high tide) departure tomorrow (Friday, 06JUN).

Engine Update

Just a quick update... Eric, the long awaited mechanic, was here on Monday (yes, he did indeed come out on Memorial Day!) and took off our diesel injection pump. Even with the pump and its counterparts in the engine in full view, we could not come up with any diagnosis that would explain all the different phenomena/strange engine behaviors we experienced on our way here. What seemed particularly puzzling was that our prime suspect, the control rack that the stop solenoid engages with, was not stuck but moved rather freely after we had full access to it.

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