A Glimpse into Life on Passage

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 9/272020 – 10/4/2020

Last Sunday we went to shore bright and early to haul all our belongings to the laundromat. On our way back to the boat, we noticed a familiar boat had dropped anchor next to us- our friends on S/V Vela! We first met Kara and Erin in the hurricane hole we stayed in for Isaias back in July, and have shared a few beers in a few towns thereafter. They’re heading South just like us, so we bump into each other periodically! We had them over to catch up and complain about the cold, and made plans to hangout again later this week. It’s always nice to have a familiar boat in the anchorage. 

We spent that Monday in the marina lounge taking full advantage of their WiFi to tinker around with our website. We want to get more serious about documenting our adventures and updating the website was the easiest way to start! What do you guys think of it so far? 

On Tuesday, a repairman came and fixed our generator!! We’re thrilled it’s working, but we’re not super confident in it in terms of longevity, so we’re still contemplating upgrading our solar and potentially ditching the generator entirely before leaving the states… We’ll see!

Other than that, we spent the week exploring Newport, Rhode Island, which is adorable.

The whole city looks like a movie set! We had a great time walking, shopping, and eating our way through town. 

We ended up deciding to stay in Newport longer than we had originally planned, so we were dangerously close to running out of water and didn’t want to waste a filter making a full tank in the dirty anchorage, so to hold us over until we could get water at the fuel dock, we decided to take a tiny break from boat life- we booked a hotel for a night, took hot (and long) showers, and treated ourselves to a fancy dinner with wine pairings in a COVID-friendly plastic cubicle. 

It was nice to live the easy life for a night, but we went back to Sabado first thing in the morning because at the end of the day, that’s home. 

It really hit us this week just how tired we were of being this far North. The leaves were changing color and our toes were always cold, so it was time for us to go. After receiving some custom weather routing from Chris Parker, we decided that on Friday we’d make a long haul trip and sail all the way to Charleston! 

Here’s the day by day breakdown of life on passage-

Day 1 (Friday)

We had our last meal on shore with Jamie, picked up a couple extra bags of coffee beans, and spent the rest of the day route planning/double checking the weather/getting the boat ready to move. 

We left Newport at 4:00pm. We had light but sufficient wind, so we had the main up and periodically brought out the jib when we could! 

After sunset we decided to schedule our watch shifts purely based off of how we were feeling, so when I felt like I could sleep, Ray took the helm, and vice versa. We ended up switching off about every 3-4hrs throughout the night, and tracked Jamie on AIS + checked in with him every hour on the radio so he could sleep in shifts when he needed to, since he’s currently single handed sailing alongside us. 

There were tons of fishing boats out that night with huge spotlights, and they have the right of way, so it wasn’t the most relaxing night. Luckily though, the moon was bright so it was easy to maneuver without second guessing yourself. 

Day 2 (Saturday)

Things started off cold and hard. Adjusting to sleeping in shifts is tough, so I didn’t feel too great and it was so freaking cold. I was in full foulies and still shivering. Definitely not my favorite morning.

Luckily though, the sun came out and things warmed up. The day ended up being quite eventful, actually. We caught a tuna (he was too tiny for us to keep though),

had a little stowaway join us (we named him Tweety, fed him goldfish and gave him some fresh water. He stayed with us for the entire day, he even got inside the galley at one point!),

flipped off some lobster traps because they deserve it (still dealing with some PTSD from sailing Maine I guess),

pulled a bunch of mylar balloons out of the ocean (please stop buying those),

and we even thought we found a giant floating bag of money (it ended up being a float from a dock, but this is a perfect example of why we always have someone at the helm- autopilot can’t dodge this stuff!)

Overall, a pretty exciting day! I made shepards pie for dinner and then bundled up for another cold night of dodging fishing boats.

Day 3 (Sunday)

I slept from 1am to 4am, and woke up to a change in weather reports. The latest showed some less than desirable conditions ahead for us, so we’ve decided to anchor in Cape May for the day to wait it out.

We dropped anchor at about 9am, and aren’t planning on leaving the boat, just showering and sleeping all day, so we can head out again first thing tomorrow! 

We have 3-4 more days ahead of us, so tune in next week to hear how the rest of our passage goes!

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. I hope you know how much I enjoy your updates! I so look forward to reading about all your adventures. Enjoy and stay safe… I do worry

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