Trip Report – Abacos to Chesapeake to Nantucket – May and June 2014

-Hi!  We still live, and sail, in case you were worried!  I have loads and loads of excuses for not keeping you, dear readers, up to date – not using my laptop often (and loathing trying to write blog entries on an iPad) and the fact that it’s so much easier to post a quick update and/or photo to the Facebook page on a daily/weekly basis being the two huge ones.  But I realize that not all of you bother with Facebook but still want to know what we’ve been up to, and as we once again travel south, I promise to keep you up to date with the latest on a more regular basis.  When we last left you, it was early May and we were leaving Eleuthera…so here’s part 1 of what we’ve been up to since then.

We spent about 10 days in the Abacos, or, more specifically, Elbow Cay and Marsh Harbour.  I’m not going to write much here about either, as we hope to spend much more time in the area once we get back to the Bahamas in December.  However, I can tell you that it was pretty refreshing for us to find the food and shopping to be more in line with the US – a treat after 3 months in the remote Exumas!

From Marsh Harbour, we picked up our two crew and headed out into the big wide ocean for our 700 mile straight shot to Norfolk, VA.  How was the passage?  It had its ups and downs – we realized that while a 5 day passage isn’t our preference, it’s way better than 5 weeks of the ICW, and after the 3rd day or so, the “oh shit we’re trapped at sea” thing begins to wear off, and you start to enjoy the peace of the sea.   However, we had one crew down for the first half the trip with seasickness, and we didn’t remember to tell everyone that no TP goes down the heads, so we were without a working toilet for 4 1/2 days.  We learned some really important lessons about trip preparation that I’m sure we’ll share in future posts.

Getting back to the US was glorious, mostly for the conveniences we were without in the Bahamas.  Free water!  Sushi!  McDonalds!  Cheap beer!  So we spent a week in Norfolk reacclimating to these wonders, then headed up to Annapolis.

We ended up on the docks at Pier 7 for the whole month of June…again!  Although this time, the bulk of the work was done in a week (replacing the inverter/charger – Pete from Lunbar Marine to the rescue again – and either hoses or toilets in two of the heads), unfortunately, it took us weeks to get someone out to look at our engines.   Finally we got Larry Cress from CressTech Power Systems out to check out Elsie and Bessie, and he got our dead fuel lift pump replaced in a day or so.  We’ll be seeing him again in a few weeks when he gets into the real maintenance of the “girls”.

After the month on the docks, combined with our offshore experience from the Bahamas, Brian and I decided we were ready to finally tackle an overnight sail on our own.  We did two daylong hops from Annapolis to Lewes, DE first to shake off the dust (and got our asses kicked in the Delaware Bay).  From Lewes, we pointed ourselves towards Block Island, in the hopes we would get there in 36 hours or so.  Unfortunately, while we had great winds for the first 12 hours, they died on us off of Long Island, and so between worrying about coming into a likely crowded BI harbor in the dark, and the ominous threat of Hurricane Arthur (which was heading right for Nantucket), we decided to push on and head straight on home.  After pea soup fog in a busy Vineyard Sound, we pulled into Nantucket after 52 hours at sea, tired and stressed, but so very proud of our accomplishment. And, of course, headed straight for land for some much needed showers and beer!

Next up – how we spent our “summer vacation” on Nantucket (it involves a lot of Miller High Life, doggies and kitties, and a distinct absence of cigarettes).

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