Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Chip Ahoy's 2007 Scituate Mini-Cruise

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


This evening I went out to sleep aboard Chip Ahoy so I could get an early start in the morning down to Scituate.  Down there and back, about an eight-hour sail each way, is usually my "shakedown" cruise in preparation for the main event, but with my broken collar bone and shoulder damage, and late launch, I've put off my plan to sail up to Chebeague Island off Portland, Maine until next season.  Scituate would be my "mini-cruise" this year belatedly.  The photo on the left was sunset on my mooring.  (Aug. 26. 2007)

It was a most relaxing evening aboard, the first time I've slept on Chip Ahoy this season.  The Weems & Plath gimbaled oil lamp not only provided ambiance but permitted me to write in my journal and read a novel into the late evening out on the mooring without using up battery power.  Unfortunately, the only way I got a good photo (left) was with the camera's flash.

I was slow getting off the mooring and on my way the day of departure; not until 8:30 am.  Just outside Salem Sound, a mile or two off Marblehead heading toward the Boston Harbor shipping channel, the man-eating house flies arrived.  Out came my always aboard can of Raid and I quickly closed up the boat tight.  (Fortunately, when I added the louvered teak vent to the cribboard, I added a screen!)  They hung around at war with me until the breeze picked up.  (Aug. 27, 2007)

NOAA weather radio had called for "seas one foot or less" all day, but as I got further along the seas increased.  Passing between two large freighters at anchor just before and alongside the shipping channel the wind too kept increasing.  The 5-10 knots predicted by NOAA became 15-20 as the afternoon progressed.

At one point, I reefed the main sail and shortened the roller-furled genoa for a while.  Later in the afternoon the wind died down so I shook out the reef and unfurled more genoa.  The sea kept rolling in at about three feet the whole way to Scituate, where I surfed Chip Ahoy through its breakwater and into the calm harbor beyond.

Chip Ahoy at its Scituate Harbor slip, with a full moon rising.  (Aug. 27, 2007)

On my return from Scituate NOAA weather radio called for wind from the S at 5-10 knots, seas one foot or less.  The ocean was almost flat when I cleared the breakwater in Scituate and headed out for the sea buoy, but slowly built over the morning.  When I passed Boston (barely visible on the horizon in the photo on the left, a good 10 miles away) pretty much running with the wind heading northeast, the following seas had built to almost two foot rollers.  (Aug. 29, 2007)

Before crossing the Boston Harbor shipping channel I had to slow and let a large freighter steaming out of Boston pass heading out to sea.

By mid-afternoon the near-following seas had built to more like three feet, the wind from the SE turned more ESE and increased to about 15 knots.  As the afternoon progressed, the wind and seas remained steady, and Chip Ahoy sailed at 4-5 knots before it all the way.  (More photos follow.)

I arrived back at my Marblehead mooring at 4:15 pm.

For Chip Ahoy's complete log of its 2007 mini-cruise, click here


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