Monday 25 May, passage Cayman to Chesapeake day 11, Cape Lookout inlet:
We both sleep through the 8am alarm and don’t wake up till nearly 10am! Clearly our batteries were not yet fully recharged from our recent passage. It’s bright but cloudy today. Much less people on the beach on this Memorial Day public holiday. Today, instead, seems to be a boys fishing day. As far as we can see, small power boats are anchored 100m apart, fishing. Or are they just social distancing? No, don’t be silly Glen. There’s no need to do that in the US, apparently!
The fresh air of yesterday is VERY fresh today. It’s only 22degC. Feels like winter to us. What a contrast from Cayman’s excruciating temperatures just 1200nm and 1 week ago. We have breakfast in the cockpit with all the tent sides on, sealing us in. We can’t imagine life without this cockpit tent. It transforms the whole living space while also giving us that pilot house effect when sailing – especially pleasant at night.
I have to giggle as Oana comes up for breakfast. She has socks on, leggings, cardie and not exactly her normal stylish dress sense! I joke with her “I can’t take you out looking like that, you know”. Then 5 minutes later I follow her trend with socks and a sleeveless thermal. Still got my shorts on though!
Today we put the car back on the mainsheet track. It runs on a ball-race filled with 3/8” plastic balls. Getting these damn little beasts into their slot (one slot on each side) while the car in on the track is no simple task. It seem for every one ball we get into one side, 2 or 3 escape from the other side! I engage Oana to the task, with her small fingers (compared to my sausages) but we don’t fair much better. Several times we end up with all the balls rolling around on the deck again. We admit defeat, remove the car and start to think a bit more tactically.
After quite a ball-up 🙂 we do manage to install them all and quickly put the track end back on again before we have any more escapees. We don’t know just how many balls are supposed to be in there, but we have put in every ball we have, including a bunch of spares I had. It seems to run just fine. When we get good internet I’ll have to research if we have anywhere near the correct number in there.
So the mainsheet system is finally back together and looking good with it’s cleaned components and new Selden blocks. Just one clutch is missing, on the port side. But we will simply hold that end of the mainsheet on the winch or let a stop-knot jam in the turn-around deck sheave. Anyway, it will work just fine for the last leg to Herrington.
Talking of which, it looks like we may have a narrow window to get around the Hatteras if we depart tomorrow late afternoon, taking a gentle but building SE wind (beam reach) which will build to over 20kts once we get around it. This will then be a fast following wind up the Virgina coast to the Chesapeake entrance. And once in the Chesapeake it will provide a good wind up to Herrington. 300nm in all and a total of 1500nm since Cayman. Let’s see what tomorrow’s forecast brings.
Couple of other little jobs today: whipping twine markers on the pole guys so I can cleat them in the correct position before I launch the pole. And re-doing a whipping twine marker on the genoa halyard. And lastly, replacing the o-ring seal on the deck wash hose which failed yesterday. There is never a moment on a yacht when there is nothing to do!
Sunset is now at 8:10pm at this latitude. To “suddenly” gain this 1.5 hours of evening light is really wonderful. We can actually feel like we coming into the summer from the tropics. As the sun sets, we leave the cockpit and again get cozy in the saloon. The cinema will be starting earlier tonight.