Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pre-Sandy Saturday Sail

Looking north toward Coney Island
We enjoyed a fine sail yesterday, Saturday, 12/27/2012, in the advent of Sandy’s arrival here in the New York City area.  Accompanied by Tony and Walter, two of our kayaking friends from the Sebago Canoe Club, we motored out of the dock around 10:15 AM and were under sail by 10:35. With a steady 10-12 mph wind, just a few tacks took us south through Jamaica Bay and under the Marine Parkway Bridge. Sailing west, two more tacks took us out past Breezy Point at the western end of the Rockaways and south through the channel into the open ocean. 
Once out of the channel, where there was a little chop, there were very few waves in the ocean.  The swells were maybe two feet with several seconds of separation.  We have encountered heavier weather and rougher water well within Bay on previous sails.  Even in the open ocean, it was hard to believe that there was a hurricane several hundred miles south.
Even though this was not our longest sail, it was our farthest south, and our first into the open Atlantic.  It was a sail I have wanted to take for several months but never had the time or the wind.  Saturday’s conditions were almost perfect.  All I could have asked for was warmer temps, a blue rather than an overcast sky, and sunshine.

With dropping temperatures and four chilled sailors on board, we sailed only about 7/10 of a mile from Breezy Point before heading back to our home marina.  Just a few tacks brought us back under the Marine Parkway Bridge and up to the entrance to Mill Basin.  With the wind in our favor, we sailed under the Belt Parkway Bridge over Mill Basin, a rarity, before starting the outboard and dropping sail.  We were back in our dock by 3:15 PM, concluding a five hour sail, all but less than thirty minutes of it under sail without power.

Back at the dock, sails reefed, flaked, and covered; we enjoyed a rum toast and a bottle of wine with crackers.  Before leaving the boat, I tied three extra lines, including one around the mast at one end and a telephone pole sized vertical poll at the other end.  I brought home my tool box and first aid kit as well as a few sentimental items and left the rest to nature.
Along with most of the other power and sail boats in our marina, we kept the boat in the dock when hurricane Irene passed through last year.   While I expect Irene to be bringing a higher storm surge, our marina is one of the most protected in Jamaica Bay, with several live-a-boards there permanently.

After dinner at nearby Nick’s Lobster, we stopped by the Sebago Canoe Club on our way home so that we could tie down our kayaks.  We are not concerned so much about the wind blowing the kayaks of the outdoor racks as we are worried about them floating away during the storm surge.  After tying down our kayaks, we filled the car with gas, saving the rest of our pre-Sandy preparations for the following day.

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