We have ignition!
All the preliminary work on the primary engine stacked the odds in our favor and she kicked over on the first try, proving the old adage once more; “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”
Our trusty old workhorse of a chart plotter (Raymarine C-120 ) has been updated with the latest firmware and the latest Navionics Charts and I’ve replaced our expired flares with a new handy dandy, Weems & Plath Electronic Flare!
Ok, so I didn’t replace them, I kept all my old expired flares as backup to this new fangled gadget! Coast Guard approved, but I still don’t trust it!
I installed a new Standard Horizon Matrix GX2200 VHF marine radio with AIS. Like my radar, this handy dandy collision avoidance system allows me to see other vessels around us, but it also provides all sorts of nifty info including their names and an automatic means of hailing specific vessels – very cool!
The various systems now in reasonably good working order, it was time to start looking at charts. We spent the better part of a day laying out the course for our first leg and since then, I’ve been monitoring the weather forecasts and plotting out various route options based on the three different weather models.
It was getting close. We coordinated with Herrington Harbour marina, and scheduled our departure. Were we ready? Is anyone ever truly ready? We were soon going to find out!
Today is the day. We got up at the break of dawn; adrenaline coursed through our bodies as we prepared to slip the lines!
The weather looked good… I went below and secured everything while Maria/Ada started getting the lines ready. As I shot back up the companionway to fire up the engine, I looked up and made a mental note of the wind direction and relative force; we didn’t want to get swept away as we exited the slip… timing would be critical! Rocinante was swaying to and fro as we readied the lines, she too was anxious… it has been a long time since she’s been free of these lines that bind her… too long.
I secured the help of a fellow sailor, Nick to help out; Nick is a seasoned sailor who has sailed around the world, his experience would truly come in handy as we left our slip behind for the first time in yrs. He expertly handled the lines as I put the engine in reverse. I felt the vibrations through the soles of my feet as the prop grabbed water and we slowly started to gain momentum. Rocinante was free! Well, not quite yet… the winds kicked up a bit and I compensated by throwing the helm hard to starboard. From the port sidedeck, Nick kept an eye on the pilings, constantly keeping me apprised of the current position of our bow relative to them. The wind kicked up again, but we cleared the last piling by a few inches. The first hurdle cleared, I wanted nothing more than to straighten out and start moving forward, but I resisted the temptation and continued letting Rocinante slide back, back, back waiting for just the right point in time… I slipped the engine into neutral and then forward. It was almost imperceptible, but our backward progress slowed, then it stopped and soon, we were moving forward. Forward to our new destination!
What awaited us there? New people, new vistas a whole new area to explore. But; would we be welcome? What about all the new friends we made, would we ever see them again? We’ll certainly miss watching Nick stroll down “C” dock every morning with his two dogs. How about Rich & Lynda who’s morning walk took them past Rocinante just about every day? And Mark & Linda, we never got to say goodbye… what would they think when they showed up and Rocinante was gone?
Lots of unanswered questions, but such is the life of the cruising sailor…
It wasn’t long before we caught sight of a kind soul standing on the dock waiting for us to come in. We had never seen this man before, but there he was, ready to lend a hand with the lines.
Just like that, we knew we were kindred spirits and we’d quickly adapt to our new surroundings.
Yep, while we would certainly miss C16 and our friends on “C” dock, B27 would be a great place to call home!
Oh, did I forget to mention that we simply had to switch slips? Whoops, my bad!
Till next time,
Carlos & Maria