We arrived here at Dutch Harbor in Narragansett Bay after a delightful 24 hour sail. It would be tempting to say we arrived “without incident” but that wouldn’t be true, we had plenty of fun and entertaining incidents in just 24 hours on the water.
We motored out of Sandy Hook Bay in variable and contrary winds, but once we were on the ocean, a sea breeze built up from the south and we sailed along all day at a good speed in nearly flat seas. Sunny and warm, but out on the water it was not stiflingly hot like
many places we could see on land. Afternoon thunderstorms built up over Long Island, for our visual pleasure, but steered clear of our course. Over night we were treated to a continuous lightening show, but again we never saw bad wind or rain where we were.
Sometimes the entertainment came from our fellow humans in the form of traffic on the marine radio. On fellow had taken his jetski from Montauk to Block Island in the morning, a distance of about 12 miles. In the morning, it was an easy trip. Block Island would have been easily visible from Montauk. Not the brightest knife in the drawer, this guy had no compass, and no gps with him. Late in the afternoon, a light fog settled in. He leaves Block Island, and once he realizes he can not see Montauk OR Block Island and he NO IDEA which way to go. Lucky for his life, and for our entertainment, he has a radio. He calls the Coast Guard, “How do I get home?”
They explain he needs to go west, “toward the setting sun”. The Coast Guard realizes from their radio fixes he is actually driving in circles. Finally, they have him follow a cargo ship he can see that is headed in the direction he needs to go. The cargo ship slows down so he can keep up. They finally give up on trying to talk him home. When the cargo ship passes a buoy, they tell him to stay right next to the buoy, we’re sending a boat to pick up up. Darwin is not always right, sometimes the unfit DO survive!
In a less comic, and potentially more tragic scene, early this morning a call comes in to the Coast Guard, “I have lost a diver!” A young guy was free diving and spear fishing with his friends. In the fog they lost track of him in the fog and currents. A very tense 15 minutes was spent on the radio with the CG getting them the information they needed to start a search. Suddenly, the boat skipper says, “I have to turn off the radio, I can hear him!” A few minutes later, everybody was safe, very scared, but safe.
Here in Dutch Harbor, we are on a mooring, not in a marina. More services than if we anchored, and more money, but much nicer. A beautiful breeze. We have both taken naps to recover from our overnight excursion, and new we are ready to call the water taxi to take us to shore and explore! It’s picture postcard pretty!