Sunday, 12 October 2014

Even though it was a bit wistful to leave New York after three fantastic months there, we were excited to set off, and Henrik was especially excited to go sailing again. On a sunny Sunday morning we left New York and sailed with the current out into the heavy traffic south of Manhattan and past the Statue of Liberty, where we both had to pinch our arms, imagine sitting on your own boat below the Statue of Liberty!

We had decided to sail the first 24 hours and hopefully get to Cape May before the weather would get too bad, and from Cape May we could get into the Delaware Bay and more protected waters. I had been a bit tired of the fact that we had to sail overnight on the season’s first sail, but I couldn't do anything about the weather, and we both wanted to get to Annapolis for the boat show. Unfortunately, we didn't reach Cape May before the weather turned bad, and for 8 hours we struggled against the wind and the waves that gradually got bigger. At one point one of the hinges on the front hatch fell off, and even though the window was open just a few millimetres and the dinghy was on top of it, water seemed to find its way in, so all our bedding and everything I had placed there were soaked!

I got a minor breakdown over it, and I think Henrik wondered if this sailing life was for me at all! Meanwhile, we doubted if we even dared enter the anchorage at Cape May, since the waves were heading right towards the entrance, and it was getting dark. But at the prospect of having a rough night at sea, we gave it a try as we were just still in daylight, and luckily, the waters were calm once we were inside the channel, and we just managed to anchor before it got dark.

The damage in the front cabin turned out to be limited, so I recovered, even though I thought the first sail of the season had been a little unkind to us!

At Cape May there’s a channel that leads to the Delaware Bay, so you don't have to go out into the Atlantic again. There are two fixed bridges though, but Henrik had worked out that we would just be able to go under them. All sailors always gets very nervous, when they sail under a bridge, even though there might be 20 metres above their mast to the bridge, but this time Henrik doubted it so much that he panicked just as we got to the bridge and put the boat in reverse. Of some unknown reason he then left the tiller, so we were on our way into the pillar. At this time we were luckily so close to the bridge that we could see that we could go under it, so with a cold sweat on his forehead and a beating heart, Henrik decided that we would never go under a bridge lower than 55 feet! (Our mast is 49,2 ft/15m)

Luckily, the rest of the trip went without much drama, and Thursday afternoon we made it to Annapolis, where we are now ready to explore the American’s preferred and biggest boat show!

Signe Storr Freelance Journalist and Friend of Boatshed