Friday, June 15, 2012
A new sailing season, a new adventure
We have been a bit silent on this blog recently, but we have a very good reason. We have uprooted our lives in Prince Edward Island and are moving to Kingston, Ontario. In April, I was offered a new job in Kingston starting in May and couldn't say no. Of course, there are two things I could not move without, Jay and My Obsession. Ironically, we had always planned to make the trip up the St. Lawrence this summer and then over the next few years follow the Eerie Canal and move the boat south. Now, we are sailing the boat to Kingston where we will live aboard for the summer. The past two months have been a flurry of activity getting the boat ready, cleaning out the house so it can be rented to vactioners over the summer, finishing up consulting contracts, starting a new job from afar and making plans for The Turret Bell and Jay's business. Getting the boat ready always has its little challenges every year. This is our first year with My Obsession as Lia and Bob took care of everything rigging the boat for the season last year. I am happy to report we didn't face anything too major. Jay did have a challenge with getting the water heater reconnected. He missed closing the valve he had opened to drain the heater in the fall and had to pump out several of gallons of water from the bilge. A few weeks later, a clamp let go and we had to again pump hot water out of the bilge. The upside is, I am happy to say we have a very clean bilge now. It only took 5 days and visits to 12 different stores to find a replacement bulb for the reading light over the chart table and thanks to my Dad we identified someone nearby who could weld a replacement bracket for the small solar panel that powers 4 small cabin lights. Jay also took his first trip to the top of the mast. Unfortunately he left the camera on deck so he has no cool photos of the boat from on high. I do have one of his bottom side as he is aloft though. It isn't the most flattering photo of him, so I won't post it. Now most people don't move to a new job by sailing their boat over 900 nautical miles, but that is what we are doing. A friend is driving our car up and we are sailing the boat up. After weeks of packing, planning, provisioning and prepping (and a few tears of goodbye with family and friends), we finally cast off the docklines yesterday morning at 10am bound for Kingston. Our friend, Owen, is along for the first few days of the trip as additional crew. The morning was warm and sunny with only a light breeze. We had planned to round the eastern tip of PEI and beeline across the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the Gaspe. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't favourable, so we decided to follow the Strait instead. It added distance, but as we hadn't really had enough time for a shakedown cruise, we knew this route was prudent as the south of PEI offers many more possible anchorages. We ended up motoring most of the day as the wind was either too light or on our nose. We travelled through the night, the three of us taking turns on watch. The seas were fairly calm and the night was cloudy, but peaceful. We spent a lot of the night motorsailing, averaging about 6.5 knots. I pulled the night watch crossing under the Confederation Bridge. It looked amazing all lit up at night. I also pulled the early morning shift and got to watch the sun come up over PEI as we passed the iconic West Point Lighthouse. Jay was on watch at 7am, just after me. Within a half hour, the wind and waves increased substantially. I bounced around in the bunk as I tried to sleep as the boat was pitching and rolling. The seas built to about 2 metres. Bashing into 25 knots of wind, it soon became apparent we were making no progress at all. Jay decided to alter course and head for Richibucto to wait out the weather. At 11am this morning, we pulled into Richibucto, having covered 146 nautical miles, with less than two hours under sail alone - a disapointment for sure as we all love being under sail. So, we spent the better part of the day in port. It gave me a great opportunity to work. Tomorrow, if the weather is better we will resume our journey.
Posted by Michelle