One of the reasons Chuck used to convince me to live on the sailboat was the ability to travel and comforts of home with you. A sailboat, he had said, was really just a fancy RV. No longer would we have to live out of suitcases or rely on fast food joints and food courts for meals. We’d never have to worry about forgetting a phone charger or a toothbrush or some random product for my hair. Being someone who did my best to at least pretend I was somewhat of a sophisticate, I resented the comparison to an RV. But the rest of his points were quite enticing. So when he brought up the idea of taking a trip to New York City in early October, I agreed wholeheartedly.
Now, my sights had been trained squarely on all the fun things we would get to see in the city. I had pretty much forgotten about the part where we actually have to sail to New York City. But the adventure is part of the fun, right?
We left Virginia in the middle of the night, since the winds and current had been in our favor. Chuck had talked a couple of his friends into coming with us, one who had considerable experience racing sailboats (and was more than happy to let everyone know) and his roommate who had been on a boat once or twice. We thought we’d be in good shape with four people, but almost immediately after leaving I got seasick and was not much use as a deckhand. I didn’t start feeling better until right before we stopped at Chincoteague to wait out a cold front, just in time to see us nearly take out their boardwalk.
What was supposed to have been a gentle easing into their marina was more like a tank ramming into the pier. Thankfully there was minimal damage to the boat (and the pier; that would have been interesting to explain!) We later discovered that the engine had gotten stuck in forward, something about a pin coming off, easily fixed after a nice dinner and some wine at Bill’s Seafood Restaurant.
When we left the next day I’d been feeling better, and even had a donut for breakfast, joking that breaking my diet wouldn’t matter because I’d just puke it up anyway (oh, how I would come to regret saying that.) It was a bit of a rough sail during the day but not terrible, and as the sun set things got a little bumpier. And bumpier. Winds forecast for 20-25 knots turned into more like 40.
I would spend that night more seasick than I’d ever been, clinging to the bottom of the boat for dear life with a trash bag nearby. (Indeed, my calorie intake for the day ended up being zero. Dieting – 1, me – an emphatic zero.) Meanwhile, the dinghy had almost come loose in the sea swells, and the guys had to brave waves crashing over the boat to secure it back on. (Chris, the friend with not much sailing experience, had been tasked with steering the boat while Chuck and Speed Racer were fixing the dinghy. He would later tell us “I just remembered hearing that this sailboat could roll over 135 degrees without capsizing, so as long as we didn’t hit 135 we were good! Right? Right??”)
Well, obviously we survived, and I spent the next day sipping on ginger ale and trying to replenish nutrients with ritz crackers. Thankfully the next day was easy sailing past New Jersey. And as we made our way under the Verrazano Narrows bridge and into the bay at 3 in the morning, we were greeted with a sight for the sore eyes of weary storm-ridden sailors.
To be continued… but for now, here’s some more pictures.