At noon on Sunday we put Lauren and Ben ashore at the Belfast Town Dock after a lovely week with them. They pushed us off for a rollicking 26 hour sail of 162 miles from Belfast, Maine to Scituate, Massachusetts. We had had a lovely holiday with family and now the horse was racing for the barn.
At this time of year the weather windows can be few and far between.. If we had not left Sunday to take advantage of a front bringing in strong northwesterly winds, we would have had to wait out at least five more days of southwesterlies, the direction in which we must sail. We had full sail up as we left Bellfast as the front pushed in and pushed out the rain of the morning. Within an hour it was gusting to 30 knots from behind us and we double reefed the main and reefed the genoa. By late afternoon we had cleared the Maine outer islands and most of the lobster pots and were able to turn southwest and take the wind on the beam. We had every sail combination during the night: from double reefed main, no jib, no main at all, reefed jib and then full jib alone. And by early morn we were motoring with not enough wind to fill the sails. Most of the time though we were racing along averaging 6.5 knots with strong, but manageable winds.
We steered until dark and then let the autopilot take over. It was a gorgeous night with no moon and lots of stars. We always see shooting stars, but I have never before seen a fallen star burst in a red explosion and then disappear in the middle of the sky. With the wind on the beam and being able to sit under our wonderful dodger and behind our glass window frame, it was not even too cold. Although, I was wearing many, many layers to keep me warm.
We are once again on an mooring provided by E-Z Rider in Scituate, MA. Sid is fixing the hinges on the galley porthole, which took a hit with one big wave and broke sometime during the passage south. We have done a little more laundry (never pass up a washing machine) and shopping, showered at the Harbor Master’s Office and are ready to get going again as soon as we can. It is dangerous to make predictions, but we are hoping to be able to make a 48 hour plus passage from Buzzards Bay to Cape May by the weekend and be home in the Chesapeake Bay by next week. We shall see whether the weather actually allows that to happen.