After a long berthing process, (too long according to some porch pirates) S/V Bentaña has slipped her cables, cast off her dock lines and headed out to see the world beyond the Tappan Zee. For months, people have asked when we were leaving to “Live Our Dream?” We generally answered, “When everything is ready, around the end of September.” As we worked to bring her up to the task of taking us off-shore, we realized everything was a tall order, and would be satisfied with being mostly ready.
October second was our first hard date, but Murphy’s Law, in the way of truly crappy weather and supplier problems held us up until Wednesday the sixth of October. We, Captain Judy, Mary “the ship’s cat” and yours truly left the Nyack Boat Club on a fair tide in the afternoon. We got as far as the George Washington Bridge where we anchored for our planned well deserved rest before the long passage down the Jersey Coast.
I am typing this on Friday the 8th at 1530hrs, and we have been under way since yesterday at 1100. You do the math. Glad it’s not in Roman Numerals! The skipper is at the wheel and we are motoring up Delaware Bay. It looks like what I imagined the mouth of the Amazon looks like. You can barely see the opposing shores. We had been sailing since we left Weehawken NJ for a fuel stop. A fair west wind carried us through upper and Lower New York Bay, down the Ambrose channel, along Sandy Hook and a “long reach along the beach,” as Tom Lawton put it.
The winds settled down at dark, and piped up again through the night when Judy and I took turns steering and sleeping. As morning broke we passed Wildwood NJ, with its skyline of roller coasters and a Ferris wheel. Off shore the fishing boats plied their nets, and small windblown song birds stopped by for a hitchhike. It seems like it took forever to round Cape May, which brings us to our next passage, through the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal.