Saturday, December 24, 2011

Voyage 2 -1 Days 1 and 2 of our second voyage south

Judy,  October 8, 2011
As I sit here in the cockpit on the midnight to 4 am watch, Otto the autopilot has the helm and I raise my eyes every minute or so to scan 360 degrees since Otto can’t see.  The ¾ moon is about an hour away from setting and it is 0240 (2:40 am).  Having a working autopilot is WONDERFUL and much less tiring than hand steering all the time.  It is a bit chilly and the wind is from the west at about 7 kts.  We are headed south down the NJ coast. 
We are motoring, but will set sail when Steph comes up at 0400. 

The Queen Mary 2 and our Queen Mary too!

Imagine if you will, weeks of preparation, stresses, disappointments, delays and frustrations……and then sailing through NY Harbor with the Queen Mary 2 and with our own little Queen Mary the Sailing Kitty in the cockpit with us!!  As we prepared to depart our anchorage between Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty I asked Steph to go below to tell Mary we were going to motor out of the anchorage and then go sailing.  He did and then went forward to hoist the anchor.  I looked to the left, and there was Mary on the bench in the cockpit.  Steph had not brought her up and I didn’t, so all we can figure is that she climbed the companionway ladder and onto the cooler and then onto the bench!!!!!  We were totally flabbergasted, because she has never been able to do that before and now she is weaker during her recovery from cancer.  She is one AMAZING kitty.  J
When we came home from last year’s voyage, we had a lot of land based stresses, so we decided to move out of the house we have rented for 15 years and onto Bentaña to travel wherever the wind takes us.  That decided, we slowly began to divest ourselves of a lifetime of possessions.  It is amazing how much one collects over the years and how many things we think we can’t live without when we get them. 
So, what do you do when you are going to move out of your house and into a much smaller, moving place?
1. get a mail forwarding service
2. changes of address to all of your family, friends, financial institutions, insurance, etc
3. sort all your belongings and decide which to keep and pay storage for indefinitely and which to let go of
4. plan how to dispose of them by selling, donating, giving away, or tossing
5. decide what to take on the boat (and then cut it in half)
6. take stuff to storage
7. have a mega moving sale
8. call for pickup of donated items
9. take loads and loads of stuff out to the curb and put out “Curb Alerts” on Craigslist
10. make and go to doctors’ appointments
… say nothing of getting the boat ready!

Judy, written six weeks later, 11/25/11
We decided to have a Mega Moving Sale which lasted for four days.  In order to get prepared for it we had to go through boxes of stuff we had not seen since we moved to Rockland County 15 years ago.  It was entertaining to go through different periods of our lives and remember folks from the past and experiences that we had, however it was also extremely time consuming and time was definitely in short supply.  We rented a MiBox to store the things we wanted to keep and that would go in the truck that we would rent to go to the storage facility near my parents’ house in Lakeville, NY.  Prices there were about $275 per MONTH less expensive than in Rockland County!
We had only one car, since mine (Judy’s) had a rotted frame and was un-drivable.  Thanks to a couple of wonderful friends at the boat club, I was able to get some financial satisfaction from GM and then I sold it to a former Saturn mechanic who would be able to repair it himself.  Steph and I were both working two jobs at different times, at West Marine and driving the launch at the boat club, so we had to plan our schedules very carefully to make sure we had transportation covered.
Judy,  written December 4, 2011
Wait, this is the boat mattress!  What is it doing in the house??
I want to go to the boat........
For the Mega Moving Sale in September, we ran out of time to get everything out, so things kept coming out in fits and starts, and I am sure some things left that we wanted to keep and LOTS of stuff remained that we decided we no longer needed, since some boxes never saw the light of day!.  Luckily, we had four days of decent weather and a lot of our stuff left to go to new homes.  (Last year we had a lawn sale for one day and had 5 inches of rain…..).  We had lined up a few different non profits that take donations so People to People, Hi Tor Animal Shelter and the Viet Nam Vets were recipients of lots of our leftovers.
New salon cabinet and file drawer
All three of us were anxious to get on the boat, as it was very stressful living in a house that was totally discombobulated for several weeks. Unfortunately, the boat was also discombobulated due to the cabinet remodeling that was being done by Gary Tennenbaum  and the work that was being done in various other parts of the boat by Dave Otterbien.  It would not have been safe to bring Mary aboard with all the dust and debris around.  When we finally did move onto the boat, we heaved a collective sigh of relief and all slept like babies. Mary purred all night long. 

New aft cabin cabinet

Eureka!  We struck oil!!
We had hoped to leave at the end of September, but time ran out.  At the boat club it was, “When are you leaving” and then it turned into, “Are you still here??” so we figured we should leave whether we were ready or not.  ;-) The last morning was spent doing last minute errands and returning the rental car and waiting for a special delivery from West Marine (Thanks, Tom!).  I got back to the boat and reminded Steph that we still needed to change the oil.  Unfortunately, I told him to remove one of the hoses of the oil extractor while it still was full of oil and he got a dirty motor oil shower……which as we know now, was a portent of things to come……
Let's get this show on the road!
Cast off those dock lines!
We departed the dock at Nyack Boat Club at 1330 hrs (1:30 pm) on October 6, 2011, one and a half hours earlier than we had left the previous year!  We were motoring due to very light winds.  All of a sudden the bilge alarm went off and we had a bilge full of water!  Steph was figuring out where it was coming from and discovered that a hose from the hot water heater to the sink had split and the bilge was full of 40 gallons of water (a whole tank of fresh water, and half of what was on board.)  Due to the placement of the hose, yours truly had to replace the hose as I was the only one with hands small enough to get in there.  The slider doors for under the sink had not been on as I was still stowing things and boxes of tools, towels and clothing got wet ….another portent of things to come!
Oh well, another crisis resolved and we continued on our way.  We stopped at Liberty Landing Marina to refill the water tanks and to get fuel, then we anchored out between Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty for a bouncy night.  We spent the next day sorting, drying  and stowing things and departed the anchorage at 5 pm, which will bring you to the top of this post!

Ahhh, this is the life!

New Liberty Tower
under construction

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