A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 8/7/2022 – 8/14/2022
Hello! Have you seen our latest YouTube video? If not, you can watch it here. 🎥 ☺️
Last Sunday, we were invited to brunch with two other couples who own Lagoon 42s! We swapped stories of repair attempts gone wrong, daydreamed about various upgrades, and shared our route plans for the future. After brunch, the 6 of us grabbed a couple of drinks at the dive bar next door and got a group photo!
It’s always so fun getting together with other liveaboards, and if you guys are reading this- thank you for brunch! ❤️
Once we got back to the boat, we decided to run the generator (I know, shocking, considering we never run it). Our goal this year was to use it more often, and the cloud cover, lack of wind, and heat were the perfect excuse to give our batteries a good charge and run our AC. We ran it for several hours before the capacitor died- haha. Something breaks every time we use the damn thing. 🙄 Luckily, capacitors are an easy fix. We have several spares on board, so Ray was able to swap them out.
Monday morning, we got up bright and early, pulled up our anchor, and headed over to the fuel dock.
We haven’t fueled up since Cape Canaveral in May, so we were due for a top-off. While we were there, a radio call came into the marina about a catamaran with an electrical fire needing assistance. We saw the boat pull in ahead of the fuel dock and realized they were our former dock neighbors. The boat had smoke billowing around it, every boater’s worst nightmare. We called them on the radio and told them we could put the dinghy in the water if they needed us, but the marina staff and fire department were already on their way. We decided to hang out at the fuel dock until things were resolved to stay out of everyone’s way and make sure they were okay.
An hour or so later, the smoke stopped, and they were escorted by the fire department to a nearby boatyard. We shouted back and forth as they passed us: everyone on board was safe, and their inverter seemed to have started the fire. The details aren’t my story to tell, and I didn’t take any photos or videos simply because I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me if the roles were reversed. We’re hoping they have a swift and affordable repair!
We left the fuel dock soon after and headed out. I went down to check the bilges and noticed a small stream of water on our port side. I tasted it: not salty, so not an emergency. I let Ray know and took over at the helm while he investigated. At first, he thought our fresh water tanks were leaking, but luckily, it ended up being condensate from our salon air conditioner. The condensate pump was clogged, allowing it to overflow down into the bilge. Ray cleared the pump, and sure enough, the stream dried up.
We were having an absolute blast… until the wind died that afternoon.
We dropped the sails and started an engine. Without the breeze, the heat began to get to us. There were two slivers of shade on the boat: one at a corner of the helm and one on the starboard side. So, one of us stayed at the helm while the other sat starboard.
The lack of wind allowed a swarm of tiny gnats and biting flies to take up residence on Sabado. Since we were both dripping sweat, they stuck to our skin, leaving us flailing about and yelling curse words every time we felt a bite. 😅 Luckily, the bugs vanished just as we turned into our anchorage for the night.
You know how when you live on land, the ocean has such a strong, distinct smell? When you spend enough time on the water, you start to smell land when you get close enough. Immediately we were hit with the distinct smell of pine trees. The entire cove smelled like Christmas! 🌲
We dropped our anchor off the coast of a military base. It was a gorgeous evening! I did some yoga on the bow at sunset and felt extra grateful for the cool, steady breeze.
We left Wednesday morning at sunrise.
We’d been checking the weather forecast regularly and saw some nasty thunderstorms headed our way, so our goal was to get as far North as possible that day to dodge the worst of it. Unfortunately, this decision was not supported by the wind- we had to keep an engine on all day.
We pulled into our anchorage that evening and were immediately hit by a strong scent… I don’t know if the recent heat wave has amplified the smell of land, but this anchorage smelled like blackberry bushes! I was instantly reminded of picking wild blackberries with my mom growing up in Seattle, Washington. ☺️
We dropped our anchor, showered, and ate dinner. The wind began to pick up as the clouds rolled in. We opened up our hatches and cheered on the natural air conditioning.
The storm passed us in the middle of the night. We were woken up by heavy rain and 40kn winds, but no lightning, so mission accomplished! 👏🏼 The storm lasted under an hour, and our anchor held us firmly in place.
We decided to stay put the next day. All this sailing was an excellent excuse to let some of our usual chores fall through the cracks; we needed a catch-up day! Ray changed the engine oil and tidied up the outside of the boat, and I deep cleaned the inside and did some food prep.
The anchorage was quiet and calm, and the storm had brought some much-needed cooler, drier weather.
We left at sunrise the following day.
The first hour of our trip was rough- we had 25kn winds, but not at a sail-able angle, so we motored through the rough seas, dodging fish traps along the way.
Thankfully, things calmed down once we made it into the C&D Canal. It had shaped up to be a beautiful morning, with sunshine and a cool breeze. We went under 6 bridges and waved to the bicyclists on either side of the canal.
It became significantly less pleasant once we reached the chocolate brown Delaware Bay. We fought 3kn of current for the first couple of hours.
We had to keep hopping out of the channel to dodge uncharted moorings and what we think were dredging ships without AIS… all with the not-so picturesque background of a nuclear power plant. This is our second time crossing the Delaware Bay, so Ray and I recreated the photo he took the last time we did this:
We arrived in Lewes, Delaware, later that afternoon. Lewes is a tiny town (population <3,000) that we discovered back in 2020 after an unsafe anchorage left us searching for the next closest option. The anchorage is referred to as the National Harbor of Refuge because of the protection provided by its inner and outer breakwaters and icebreaker pier. It was a perfect spot for us at the time, and we quickly fell in love with the town. We’ve spoken fondly of Lewes ever since and made sure to add it to our route this year!
We anchored by the lighthouse, watched the sunset and fell asleep. We both woke up a couple hours later to a loud clicking noise. We shot up in bed and heard it again. Unidentifiable noises on a boat are not acceptable. Ray got up, grabbed a headlamp, and started poking around. We were struggling to tell if it was coming from Sabado or the water… Sometimes it was loud, sometimes quiet, almost like it was… moving? But it sounded mechanical, not organic. Ray opened up some panels on the boat and stuck his ear in thinking it was an air bubble in our plumbing, but it was just so difficult to tell where it was coming from. I was convinced the sound was moving, so I started googling: “ocean animals clicking noise?” “Delaware Bay loud clicking noise” “Lewes Delaware clicking in anchorage?” I couldn’t find anything. Ray came back to bed and started googling too. It turns out they were striped cusk eels! Here is a video where you can hear the sound for yourself.
Anyway, we decided to head to town the next morning. It was a rough dinghy ride to get to the inlet, but once we were in, it was beautiful! Flat calm and lined with private docks and tiny little boat houses (with their massive main houses just off the waterfront).
We tied up at a local restaurant’s dinghy dock and walked over to the farmers market to pick up a bit of local produce to carry us over until our next big provisioning run. I’m so disappointed in myself for not taking more photos of the town because it’s one of the most adorable places we’ve ever been, but my hands were full of farmers’ market peaches!😂🍑 Every street is perfectly landscaped with hydrangeas and some sort of pink blossoming trees, and every home looks like something straight out of a storybook. If you ever find yourself in Delaware, Lewes is a must-see!
We grabbed some lunch and headed back to the boat. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, enjoying the perfect weather, and planning our next move.
Today we’re heading to New York! 🗽
I hope you had a great week. ❤️