Follow Joe and Leah aboard SENECA

The sail north… part 1

On July 1st I returned to Culebra, Puerto Rico by a couple of flights and a ferry.  I walked over to the local watering hole, The Dinghy Dock, had a couple of beers and hitched a dinghy ride from Lauren and Joe of RAGAMUFFIN out to SENECA.  It had been six weeks since I was last aboard. Longer than I had hoped, but at least i was there.  For four of those weeks I had nearly talked myself into leaving her down there another season.  That was something I really did not want to do, but money got tight and hurricane season was approaching.  It is always wonderful to step aboard after a long absence and especially to see everything in good shape.  I never really worry about theft because there is not much to steal (I actually did not even lock the padlock on the hatch), nor vandalism in the safe harbors I chose to leave her, but there is always was some doubt about the one anchor I had out holding well or another boat dragging into her.  

When I left I was already provisioned and ready to go except for my autohelm.  That part had arrived and was waiting for me. On thursday July 2nd  I installed the repaired unit in a few minutes and put my dinghy, BUBBLES, back in the water.  I rowed in to stock up on some supplies such as vegetables, rum, beer, water, and gas.  That afternoon all that was left was to move somewhere with nice calm clear water so I could scrape the bottom.  So I raised sail and pulled up the anchor (a chore!) and sailed out of the harbor and around to Culebrita where I grabbed a mooring ball.  Ihad my dram and went for a swim before going ashore to gather a few coconuts before sunset.  Then I cooked a nice dinner and a cold beer while listening to NPR.

The next day was nice and calm and I spent three hours srubbing the waterline and the entire hull.  There was a lot of growth, but I got her looking really good.  I went for a short motor around to recalibrate and test the autohelm, named Gilbert.  He seemed to be working well.  I rewired my running lights on the bow and checked everything I could think of. I sat in the cockpit and tried to put most things I would need within reaching distance of me.  I was actually ready to leave that afternoon, but it is bad luck to leave for a sea voyage on Friday so I would wait until morning.  I pulled Bubbles back on the bow, cooked a nice big dinner so I would have leftovers and made all my phone calls.  The weather looked and sounded good for the next few days and my idea was to head straight for Charleston and see how I was making out after a couple days always having the Bahamas a days sail away to the west.  I do not have a sat phone so I had no way to contact anyone.  I told my family that if the weather was good I would go as long as twelve days.  I figured I had ten before everyone started worrying. That night I had a some wine with dinner, a couple of cocktails as I made phone calls, then I turned the phone off and settled into my little 28 foot world for the next couple weeks.  I felt excited.  I was ready.


July 31, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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