Riverton, New Jersey and Annapolis, Maryland

June 23-July 10

Time Keeps on Slippin’ Into the Future…

We’ve been back in the water for 10 days now.  Last Thursday, we rushed down from Riverton to be there for the splash.  We had to go back in the water, because Bay Shore wanted to do a sea trial for the new engine on Friday!  Oh Joy!  Oh Rapture! Oh Modified Bliss?  Oops, they had forgotten to hook up the Fire Boy (safety thing) and didn’t have two parts they needed.  Sigh.  At least we are home, although our home is totally torn up, all the furniture being pulled out of the salon for better engine access.  The ottoman that slides under the table usually is currently on the galley counter, for example.  This makes cooking virtually impossible, which has pros and cons.  Today, we were innocently wiring up a new solar panel, and while mapping out the wire run, Jeff found a couple of seriously aging hoses that drain our cockpit down below the waterline through seacocks.  This is a serious issue, because you do not want any kind of leak, but the worst kind of leak is below the water line.  So, solar project delayed.  Jeff rode home on his bike from the hardware store with 5 ft of 3 inch wire reinforced hose pipe sticking out to either side.  I wanted to carry a wide load sign behind him, but instead I got to carry 50 feet of heavy gauge cable for the solar install.  Fun times.

It’s very hot here, it seems that everyone is leaving to sail north and we will be the only ones left in Annapolis.  At least that will make it easier to get into Preserve, our new favorite restaurant.

Slow progress in the boat yard is not the only way time has been slipping away from us.  On June 30th, the World ARC people decided that due to the very unstable COVID situation, and with many of the critical countries on on circumnavigation totally closed to cruisers, they had to cancel the 2022 World ARC Rally.  We support their decision, which they made after individual consultation with all 40 boats that where signed up.  We had agreed amongst ourselves that we would not set out unless we were sure we could get into French Polynesia and Australia.  Australia is essential from a safety perspective, because it is the best place to go to be safe from cyclone season.  So not an unexpected decision, but it was still pretty devastating to have it be so official.  Now, best case we circumnavigate starting in January 2023.  Sailing is really trying to teach me patience, and I still won’t learn! 

What will we do instead?  Well, assuming we ever get out of the boat yard, we plan to go immediately back to Oyster Bay.  We will sail straight thru and can be there in less than 48 hours.  There we will catch up with friends, and pick up some critical stuff that went to our FL mail service, including new passports!  Then it’s up to Haversham, RI for a week in August, and up all the way to Maine depending on how much time we have left before it turns cold.  By November 1st, we have to be in Norfolk for the start of the Caribbean 1500.  It’s a 1,500 mile rally from Norfolk down the the Virgin Islands.  Usually it’s to Tortola, but I think it will be St Thomas this year.  Then it’s the winter season in the Caribbean.  We will slowly work our way south all the way to Grenada by the middle of May, so we can keep the boat out of hurricane zone while we come north for our daughter’s college graduation.  Then we will go back and spend the rest of hurricane season enjoying Grenada.  We have a bunch of friends there right now, and they are loving it.  The diving is supposed to be great!  So that’s our plan.

I put off writing this blog post, because I kept thinking I’d  be reporting sailing north, and also I needed time to get emotionally prepared to report the official cancellation of the ARC.   Everybody says you can’t have a schedule while sailing, but all these delays are getting ridiculous!  I shouldn’t complain, because we’ve been having a nice time, visiting with friends over good meals, biking, paddle boarding, and enjoying beautiful Annapolis.  However, I did not plan to spend my retirement living in a boat yard, so I will complain!  I’ve probably just taunted Neptune… uh oh.

Next time I blog, it will be because we’ve left Annapolis.  I really hope that’s really soon!

PS – I almost forgot.  While Jeff gets the boat ready for sea, I’ve been working on getting myself seaworthy.  I chopped off 2 ft of thick hair that was clogging up all our drains.  It’s a pixie cut now, and I just rub it with a towel to dry it.  I don’t even really need a brush!  Also, I must be a good sailor now, because I have a tattoo.  I got a small black swallow to commemorate 5,000 nautical miles sailed.  Jeff and I added it up, and it’s actually quite a bit more, but not 10k yet, so the second swallow will have to wait.  Claire was horrified.  She couldn’t believe I got a tattoo before she did!