Into the Ditch

Big waves and a damaged bulkhead aboard our buddy boat Jasaru made us reconsider our plan to sail on down the coast of Florida from Frenandino to St. Augustine. So it worked out well that we’d anchored near an inlet to the ICW (Intracostal Waterway or “The Ditch” as some sailors like to call it), a boring but calm alternative to the open ocean. Our caravan of three pushed on under motor, carefully navigating the often shallow and poorly charted waters. That brand new depth alarm saved our bacon more than a couple of times during the trip. Having spent the last few days anchored between two stinky...

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Out of the Darkness

As a natural born chicken, overcoming fear has been my single greatest challenge in this new life of ours. When facing a new experience, my imagination automatically goes into overdrive, hell bent on convincing me that whatever it is, it will surely kill me. So, imagine the full-on war waging in my brain as we made the (calculated/informed/rational/people-do-this-all-the-time) decision to take to the sea for days on end.I’m happy to say, it was so worth it. Having completed the 30 hour sail from Hampton, VA to Cape Lookout, NC, we were feeling more confident about spending multiple nights at sea. Sleeping in shifts, cooking...

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Learning by Doing

Packs of dolphins sprang out of the water as we rounded the point into the scenic anchorage in Cape Lookout, NC. It was the perfect ending to a 30 hour sail that marked a few big firsts for us. The decision to “bust our cherry” (as Justin so eloquently put it) for overnight sailing was not one taken lightly. Brian and I  knew that eventually we’d have to overcome our fear of this unknown experience, and as we weighed our options for getting to Florida – either motor down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) for the next couple weeks or...

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Transformation

Hauling out three weeks ago, we’d braced ourselves for a painful and boring stretch on the hard. Instead, we stumbled into a routine of work and play with comrades in the boatyard who taught us many new things and inspired us to be better and more self-sufficient sailors. Brian, myself, and our boat are forever changed from this experience. During our final days in Deltaville, we’ve thrilled to see the fruits of our labor as we wrapped up projects one by one. With Counselor Justin here to school us, we largely got over our fear of messing up our boat,...

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Finding Momentum

As the days roll along here in Deltaville, we’re finally in the groove with our projects and feeing the momentum towards relaunching. The necessary parts started arriving a few days back, and we can’t move quickly enough to get everything replaced, set up, and working. Today we ripped the tape off to reveal our brand new navy boot stripe and WOW – huge difference. Once we paint the bottom and polish the hull, I’ll do a full reveal. She is almost unrecognizable! Having friends nearby has kept morale high. Brittanny and Kjell, old friends from Northern Spy in Manhattan where I was...

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Life on the Hard

“We’ll wrap up the work in a week, tops”, Brian’s words, as we watched our boat be hauled out from the water and placed atop supports in the Deltaville Boatyard. Tucked in with a hundred other vessels, Nightingale Tune and crew has entered boat purgatory. Six days into our stay, we’ve discovered that just setting projects in motion takes much longer than you’d think. We’ve accomplished three things so far: spending money on tools and materials to do projects, cleaning sludge out of our suddenly stinky bilge, and sanding off the red boot stripe that circles our boat just...

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Alternator Plans

Three nights ago, as we sat at anchor in San Domingo Creek shouting over the roar of the engine (our regular battery charging routine), Brian looked down at the instrument gauges and noticed that both the alternator (converts engine-generated power into battery power) and the tachometer (displays RPMs on the propeller) readings were at 0. For over an hour, we’d been running the motor, generating nothing but diesel fumes. The battery gauge confirmed it – voltage was low. We looked at each other and made the this is bad face.  No electricity means no starter – not ideal when you’re 30...

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Painfully Adorable St. Michaels, MD

We’ve been running our engine several hours per day in order to charge the ancient, decrepit batteries that power our boat’s systems, lights, and portable electronics. This  routine of horrible noise and vibration has been the blight on an otherwise fantastic first week out, and we’re looking forward to our arrival in Deltaville, VA, where we’ll be installing new batteries and enough solar panels to cover all of our needs. With that mission pressing us onward, we said goodbye to new friends in Weems Creek yesterday and sailed over to St. Michaels, 36 miles across the bay. Once we’d...

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