This is our first real trip on our new sailboat. We planned on hugging the shoreline and making the decision to take the outside or inside route once we were close to Presqu’ile. Our final destination is to anchor in Half Moon Bay, just south of Waupoos. This route is 85.5 nautical miles and we estimated it would take us close to 14 hours.
The trip could have shortened by going directly to waypoint 3, but this was our first time and we were nervous about this route. We didn’t like the idea of being out in the open for so long with no islands to hide behind if the waves and wind started to pick up.
We left on time! (almost)
We got up early (early for us) for our long journey to Waupoos.
Almost met our goal of leaving at 6am, we left the harbour at 6:15am, which is really good for us.
It was calm and the sun was just starting to come out, it was beautiful. But it meant we were motoring until the wind picked up.
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Scared to sail
After 30 mins, we unfurled the genoa for the first time, wind started to pick up and was rising to 10-15 knots coming from the NE. Waves also starting to build up a bit. We chickened out and didn’t raise our main. Still not used to the weight, stress and potential power behind the lines on this bigger boat. The winches on our last boat were a convenience but you could still muscle the lines. With this boat you can just hear the tension on the lines and there is no way you could tighten the genoa without a winch. Lori was on deck while we were in irons with the genoa sheets flapping about. One gently wacked her on the shin. It hurt! I was also extremely careful of the loose genoa lines while under sail, I can only imagine the pain it would cause if you were sitting on them and the line slipped off the winch. They deserve a lot of respect and we were being very cautious.
Did you check the weather?
Yes, we did. But the Coast Guard seems to have their own weather channel. We started getting reports from New York that there were small craft advisories because of the waves. Fortunately the winds were coming more from the north so this was pushing all the big waves south. We took down the BBQ and reinforced the dinghy ties, then decided to pull the genoa in and start up the engine to motor directly into the wind to save some time.
Visitor in the distance
We didn’t see too many other boats on the lake this morning. We did, however see this in the distance.
I used the binoculars to get a closer look.
Made it to Presqui’le
It took us just over four hours (arrived around 10:30am), but we made it. I think we can improve this time next time. We stopped for a while playing with the jib and didn’t exactly take the most direct route. As you can see from our track, we were also more cautious than our planned route, we kept closer to Presqui’le before making the decision that it was nice enough to take the outside route.
Sailing for the first time (with both sails!)
Our destination could now be approached directly without having to tack into the wind so we made the decision to put both sails up for the first time. We were nervous, but waves were minimal and wind speed was down to 9 knots.
Pulling the sail up was tedious and frustrating. Our lazy jacks are setup wrong, we haven’t had time to fix them and we need more line to set them up correctly. So the sail batons were catching in the lazy jack lines. Then the main halyard had swing partway around the mast and hooked around some unused pulleys on the side of the mast. Our process to raise the sail involved us raising it a bit until it would get caught in something, we would curse, then lower the sail, try to untangle things, then raise the sail a bit more, then it would get caught again and the same process would be repeated. All the time we also were using the line clutches by trial and error, none of them were labeled yet. We caught the batons, we caught the pulleys on the mast, we caught the lazy jacks, we snagged the second reef and then we snagged the first reef. Finally the main was at the top of the mast! We then pulled out the genoa and slowly turned away from the wind and watched the sails billow out and the boat slightly leaned away. A few minutes later the motor was off and there was silence… beautiful silence. And we were moving under sail for the first time! Apparent wind was 9.5 knots at 60 degrees, and boat speed was between 5.7 and 7.5 knots! At this point we were just using the basics to shape the sail, there’s a lot of things we still need to learn to do this better!
All that frustration was worth it, it was beautiful!
Winds picking up
As we came around False Duck Island, the winds were picking up to 17-20 knots. The boat handled it beautifully, we wanted to bring the main to the first reef, but still not really sure how to properly use the quick reefing system. And still didn’t even know what lines were going through the clutches. We were getting concerned, it was getting late and we wanted to be in the anchorage before the sun went down! On the positive side, we were flying through the water and hit a max of 7.86 knots (STW) during this run!
The wind was coming directly from where we were trying to anchor, Half Moon Bay. We tried a wide tack and then decided we didn’t have time so we pulled the sails in and motored directly into the wind.
You can see from the track above, we went off the planned route to use our sails a bit more.
Our first anchor
Timing was perfect, we approached the anchorage just as the sun was setting. We arrived before 9pm and we were a few minutes past our 14 hour estimate. It was a long day, we learned a lot and starting to feel more confident in our boat. And in the end we were treated to a beautiful night with the anchorage to ourselves. It was worth it!
Setting the anchor was uneventful. Lori quickly dropped it off the front and just used the 50 foot of chain, it held us tightly all night.
It was a long day, we were wiped. I think it’s going to get easier but we spent a lot of time adjusting and learning while worrying about the weather reports being broadcasted. But we are feeling way more confident about setting up the boat, it’s starting to feel a bit smaller and more manageable now.
For dinner, we had fresh salmon that Evan gave to us earlier along with asparagus and carrots roasted on the bbq. Carrots cooked to slightly burnt candied goodness and the salmon was amazing. Everything tastes better on the boat!
I downloaded a new app on my phone, Anchor Lite (Android), and remembered to set it when we dropped the anchor. But the alarm kept going off every couple hours throughout the night even though it reported us being only 9.5m away from anchor.
I think it was temporary loss of GPS signal. Turned off the option to alarm if GPS signal is lost. But the alarm still went off a few more times but now it would only beep once and then shut itself off. Need to find a better anchor alarm.