A Salty Hop South

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 10/13/2022 – 10/23/2022

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Last Sunday, we took Sabado over to the fuel dock to top off our tanks (water and diesel). We hopped back onto our mooring ball, checked the weather forecast, and planned our departure.

Monday was the coldest day we’d had in a while. It rained all day, so we stayed inside and did some computer work.

Tuesday morning, we left Newport. We had anticipated motoring most of the day, but the seas were supposed to be relatively flat, with low wind speeds. We were tired of paying the daily rate to stay in Newport and were itching to leave, so we were willing to power through if it meant a change of scenery. A few hours into the trip proved the forecast entirely wrong. The waves were twice the height with a quarter of the forecasted period, and the wind quickly picked up to 25-30kn right on our nose. 🙄

I sat at the helm most of the morning, acclimating to avoid getting seasick. I rarely feel ill when we sail, but motoring sometimes gets me! Once I was feeling stable, I headed inside and heard an unsettling noise: water splashing inside the boat. I ran towards the sound and let out a string of curse words… The hatch above the desk in the owner’s hull had been closed but not latched shut, so when a wave came over the side, about 2 gallons of salt water poured in. I was scrambling to clean it ASAP, but here is a photo of the (washed and dried) hatch area so you can get a feel for what a lousy location this was to get wet:

I grabbed a couple of towels and started sopping it up. There was minimal water on the shelves (thankfully, that’s where we keep a lot of our electronic accessories!). Still, everything in the desk compartment was sitting in a puddle of water. Luckily most of it was just pens/markers/tape, but there was also a good amount of receipts and paperwork.

I dried everything off and went over the area with fresh water several times to ensure I got rid of the salt. Ray checked the other hatches, and we quickly realized that most of them were leaking. Nothing quite like the unlatched one, but enough to have a couple of salty spots elsewhere. I cleaned in shifts because nothing triggers seasickness like being down below in bad conditions. I had to take a few stare-at-the-horizon breaks, but I got the job done! 😂 

When it was clear the wind wasn’t going to shift in our favor anytime soon, we decided to cut our trip short and pull into a calm nearby anchorage. 

Once we set our anchor, it was a race to get things fixed before sunset. Ray worked on the leaking hatches, and I went through our soggy papers. 

We decided to stay on anchor Wednesday and Thursday. The spot we had pulled into was empty and virtually undeveloped- just how we like it! We’ve been spending a lot of time in bigger cities lately, so this was a breath of fresh air. We spent our days reminiscing about our favorite past empty anchorages and sipping gin and tonics.

Friday morning, we left before sunrise. We motored to Port Washington and watched the sunset behind New York City as we arrived. 

By the time we pulled into the mooring field, it was pitch black. We followed our tracks from our trip here in August. I stood on the bow with a headlamp, and Ray slowly steered us up to a ball. We tied up, had no problems, high-fived, and headed to bed.

Saturday morning, we took the dinghy to the town dock.

I’m not sure what was happening; maybe it’s spawning season? But we dinghied through thousands of fish! 

These photos don’t even do it justice. The entire area had little yellow fins poking through the surface of the water; it almost looked like floating kelp from afar. The massive schools of fish were slowly swimming around in circles. I assumed the seagulls would go crazy, but they were nowhere to be found! We spoke to some locals who were watching from the dock, but they didn’t seem to know what was going on either. 😂🤷🏼‍♀️

We walked around town for a bit, then headed to a nearby laundromat to wash all the salty towels I had used. We checked out a couple of shops while the wash was going and grabbed lunch at a nearby burrito place during the dry cycle. 

We headed home, did a few chores, and watched a spectacular sunset. 

Just as the sun was setting, we heard a loud alarm… like, an air raid alarm… we turned on the radio to see if something was going on that we should know about but heard nothing. A few minutes later, we heard two loud blasts, like the sound a cannon would make, then nothing for the rest of the night! We were a little spooked, but figured it was just some sort of test. I can’t find anything about it in the news this morning, which I guess is a good sign. 

Anyway, we made some popcorn and watched a movie, an ideal Saturday night on Sabado. ⛵️ 

Today looks grey and gloomy, so we’ll likely hang around the boat and finish some projects. ☁️

I hope you had a great week! ❤️

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