Thursday, 10 November 2011

NYC bound

Cape Cod Bay has released us at last. We made a slow but steady run across it late Sunday, over still, moonlit seas. After the hostile treatment we received from the ocean last week, we were relieved to be treading it under very little wind. We had to motor most of the night, but the steady pace got us into the Cape Cod Canal just as the tide turned and we didn't need to fight the current getting through it. Once on the other side, in Buzzards Bay, the winds picked up. They came right on the nose so we were beating into it, plowing through 4 foot waves, but enjoyed every bit of it nonetheless. 
So did Rodeo. She carried herself so gracefully. Every time we collided with a wave, she stirred up a fizzing white foam below. Like a lace train, it flowed around and away from the boat in a quiet whisper. Until we bashed into the next wave, and my tranquil musings got drowned out by the hollow pounding of the hull against the water and the hiss of spray. The only one of the crew members that was uneasy during this passage was our cat Pickle. She pops up on top of the v-berth mattress and crawls under the duvet, where she bounces up and down as if on a trampoline, every time the seas get rough. It's the worst place to be when the boat is pounding the waves like that, but I can't seem to explain that to her. She feels safe there so I leave her be. Poor thing, she puts up with so much. 
Tacking back and forth to get the most out of our wind, we were able to sail all the way into New Bedford, where we were scheduled to clear customs. They couldn't clear us in Provincetown, where we first made landfall in the midst of the epic storm, so the officer we've been keeping in touch with came out to the boat in New Bedford instead. She was extremely nice, filled out all of the paperwork necessary and was on her way within 15 minutes. She gave us a cruising license, so that we don't have to check in and out of every port in the US. It will be one less thing to worry about. 
We got ourselves ready to pull out of the transient slip and into the deep by 6 the next morning, just to be met by more strong, opposing winds and seas rougher than the day before. We hadn't expected that. The forecast underestimated the wind force, and we saw that it was only going to get worse. After little over an hour of putting up with the abuse, we turned back inland to wait on anchor for a gentler passage. There we treated ourselves to one of the yellow curry preserves I canned before leaving Halifax, and tucked in for a quick sleep before leaving the anchorage at 3 AM. We were finally New York bound, under a bright moon, on a beautiful, serene night. 

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