Friday, October 10, 2014

Planning passages

Jenn and I are sitting next to each other typing separate blog entries. You'll get 2 versions of our trip:
She made a face at me
I can't blame anyone for how touristy Provincetown, MA is. At the very tip of Cape Cod, with a beautiful harbor and countless miles of pure sand beaches in every direction, it is a spectacular vacation spot. In the winter, with howling wind and snow, I expect it would be a little less pleasant.
Aletheia is just out of frame to the left
We left Gloucester's inner harbor Thursday morning, after having my dad spend the night on the boat, which was great. We also had our awesome new friend Peter stay with us, and he joined us for the sail to P-town. He'll take the ferry back to Boston this afternoon, where his daughter and her boyfriend are coming in to visit him. Our first crew/passenger/visitor on the boat was great! It's a little different dynamic having someone else on board, when we've gotten used to being by ourselves, but it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately Peter felt rather ill from the waves (strong wind on that sail!) so he spent much of the time lounging in the cockpit not doing any work at all. Future guests won't be treated so lightly. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

We pulled behind the breakwater in the P-town harbor just as full dark fell, which was not as cool as we'd hoped. Being able to see when you park is always better. The strong wind that picked up just before sunset made it even more challenging, but Jenn is a rockstar anchorer, so we are safely hanging on the hook now.

Peter's friend's mom owns a condo on the beach here, so we got a shower! And internet! Life is good.
Not too shabby
I spend a lot of time looking at weather forecasts, and discussing with Jenn what our plans for the next few days will be. We do this at least once a day when moving is in the near future. My main sources of information are Windfinder and Passage Weather. Windfinder is great for coastal cruising, as they have reports and forecasts from buoys near where people go. Passage Weather is good for a larger picture, and when you're going to cover some larger distances.

Our current theory is to leave P-town Saturday evening, sail outside Cape Cod (as opposed to going inside, and through the canal) and get to Nantucket sometime in the middle of the day Sunday. The wind looks fairly convenient for an overnight sail for us. Not perfect, as we'll be starting out beating into the wind, but if we time it right the change in wind direction should actually help us out a little. If we leave too early we might arrive before dawn, which wouldn't be any fun, and the wind won't really be in the most convenient direction. If we leave too late, we'll have to spend more time doing the difficult upwind sailing to get up and around the tip of Cape Cod before doing the fun sailing south to Nantucket.

The weather also looks favorable for a Monday morning departure from Nantucket on a beam reach west through Long Island Sound. Wind over the beam (side) of the boat is great sailing, and the forecast is for south wind. Wind direction is said to be where it is coming FROM, while current direction is said to be where it is going TO. So a south wind and a north current go in the same direction. Why, I don't know, but that's the convention, so we use it.

With that good beam reach sailing, assuming we time the currents on the entry to Long Island Sound properly, I'm hoping to be able to reach NYC by Tuesday night, 36 hours of non-stop sailing later. By dawn Wednesday, the wind is forecast to be turning around with a passing storm. Sailing with the wind is much easier and more fun than sailing into it, so we'd like to be parked by then. If not, we'll keep sailing. Or maybe park somewhere else.

1 comment:

  1. Current direction..... that's why Blue Hill, Maine is "DOWN EAST" of Boston. Which is the only way I can remember that current is said to be where it's going to.