The weather forecast for yesterday was
just too good to not take advantage of, so I was aboard Chip Ahoy at 10
am and underway soon after. I'd hoped to sail up to Gloucester for the
weekend, but when I called Brown's Marina I was informed it was the
city's huge St. Peter's Festival Weekend and nothing -- no slips,
moorings, anything -- was available; everything was reserved much in
I considered Rockport
as the next-best destination, but decided instead to just get out and do
some sailing, not make a big thing of trying to make last minute
arrangements, end the day out at the Misery Island cove, spend the night
aboard and come back on Saturday. With the deadline for my article for
MainBrace magazine looming next week, I thought getting away from the
office and out on the boat would help inspire. I loaded my laptop bag
and was off on my getaway. Just this decision provided my topic:
"Preparing for a Cruise." It's good I did, as I soon found out I still
wasn't! (Jun. 25, 2010)
It was a glorious day to be out sailing; sunny, in the
high-80s, no threat of showers and thunderstorms, moderate winds out of
the east and a virtually flat ocean. When you can get out sailing on a
Friday, by definition it's a glorious day -- but I had comp time
coming and it was a perfect time to take a day off.
In the late afternoon, after rounding
the outside of Misery Island, I
pulled into its sheltered cove -- already crowding for the weekend, I
wasn't alone playing hooky -- and grabbed an empty private
mooring alongside Fame, a replica of the 1812 privateer. Apparently it
conducts a children's seafaring class and stopped over in the cove.
The Beverly harbormaster's boat passed through and I was
advised to grab a city mooring instead, when one opened up. I eventually
did, much more inside and close to the beach, and that's where I spent
the night. I was immediately welcomed by a family of Canada geese -- as
was every newcomer, I observed. Quickly the cove filled up with boats; I
was lucky to have grabbed a free municipal mooring.
I unpacked and set up the laptop -- and discovered the
5-Mile-WiFi system didn't work at all. When I reinstalled Windows XP
over the winter I failed to install the WiFi software, grrr. But it's
good I found out now, before my upcoming extended cruise. I also
discovered that -- despite having a marine electrical pro over to my house to check the
mast wiring, connections, and lights while Chip Ahoy was sitting on its trailer -- the
mast top anchor light and the deck light at the spreaders do not work. I'll need to get
that checked out and fixed next week by the boatyard. This experience is
sure giving me material to write about for my upcoming magazine article!
The moon rose full over the island while I was working on
my article down in the cabin, cloistered against the mosquito swarm. I came out to the cockpit and took dozens
of photos on the gently rocking boat; in every one, the motion precluded
a perfect result, oh well. I expected as much.
awoke once during the night, at about 2:30 am, to check the situation as
Good that I did, as the depth gauge (the red light in the moonrise
photo, left) read five feet of water beneath --
and the keel was still down. I cranked it up then returned to my bunk and
In the morning I moved
Chip Ahoy to a mooring further outside the cove (so I could use my "all
purpose bucket" without offending any of the moored neighbors), made a
couple cups of coffee before heading home, and watched two outriggers
row by, the helmsmen breaking the early morning silence calling out
commands to switch oaring sides.
The trip home under just the main sail was uneventful; the wind, what little there
was, was coming from the southwest, pretty much from my destination.
Just outside Salem Harbor two and a half hours later, I spotted Malacass and John Graichen heading
out, turned Chip Ahoy about and started the outboard, and caught up with
him. He and his buddy on a nearby C25 were on their way to Rockport for
the night. Wouldn't it have been neat to be there to greet them -- had I
chosen that option yesterday instead of Misery Island for the night!
(Jun. 26, 2010)