Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tourists in Baltimore - Part 1

[Kyle]On my first “weekend”, which was painfully short, we managed to get a lot in.

We started with a long, meandering walk to the inner harbor, taking pictures and stopping at various points of interest along the way. Our first real attraction was the restored Seven-foot Knoll lighthouse. It has been removed from its spot in the bay, replaced by a boring pole, and now resides on a pier in the main tourist area.

The Relocated Seven-Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Although it seemed very spacious, living conditions were reputedly fairly difficult. Summers must have been pretty pleasant, but the winters sounded cold and horrible. Lighthouse keepers were often the only ones available to rescue foundering ships in miserable, dangerous conditions. Another serious problem they had was ice in the winter when the bay froze over. It took several instances of trial and error for the engineers to figure out how to keep ice from sweeping away the lighthouse’s legs and carrying them off.

A music Garden and a homophone sidewalk amuse us for a while

We couldn’t take the heat any more, so we dove into a movie theater and paid $24 for a couple hours’ air conditioning. The movie – The World’s End – was a bit strange, but entertaining enough. As I said, the main point was the air conditioning.

We followed that up with an intimate dinner in Little Italy. The place had really good ratings on Urban Spoon, but we found it pretty average. The great thing was that it was a bit early for dinner, so we had the whole six-table dining room to ourselves. It was nice to have time to talk over a couple of glasses of Chianti.

The Italian clearly didn't do it for Kyle - we needed both a pub and a slice of pizza before finally retiring back to Begonia

We managed to get out a little earlier the next day for more aggressive tourist-ing. We bought two tickets, each good for four different historic boats, and tried our best to get them all in in one day. We made it through three.

Lighthship Chesapeake

The first was the Chesapeake Lightship. They had a smaller one of these – the Portsmouth – in Portsmouth, VA, where we lived for several years, but the interior has always been closed for restoration. I’ve always been curious why so much ship was necessary for a light and a foghorn. I’m still not sure I know. Since lightships are ships, they still have all of the normal ship’s machinery to maintain in addition to the light. They need Engineers for the engines and generators, a Captain, a Navigator, a Radio Operator, etc. Most of the time, they are anchored, so it seems like there is a lot of time with nothing to do but wait out the watches. I realize we have done this a lot aboard Begonia at times, but was always in the context of a voyage. To me, that makes all of the difference. Being anchored out of sight of land for weeks while going absolutely nowhere would have me climbing the walls. It’s actually even worse than that. While other boats generally were expected to flee from bad weather, lightships were expected to stay on station because that’s when they were needed the most. The only possible saving grace that I could see to being assigned to duty aboard one is that you’re only 20 miles or so from port, so when your stint aboard is over, you’re home in three hours or so, instead of being potentially stuck somewhere more remote. {Maryanne: Life aboard must have been pretty scary actually. As substantial as these boats are, one (the Lightship Nantucket) was ripped in two as the British 'Olympic' (yes, sister ship to the Titanic) didn't notice it and rammed right through the thing, killing several of the lightship crew - Newsreel}

From the Chesapeake, we went next door to the Torsk, a WWII submarine that has seen quite a bit of action in its over 10,000 dives. It was immediately apparent that I was too tall for this boat. There were a million things for me to bang my head on and the hatches were a little small to climb through. Submarines are completely utilitarian on the inside and every bit of machinery is exposed. Space is also at a premium, so everything is put where it will fit. I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel sleeping in the bunk between torpedoes in the room where they are being repaired on the central table by the other watch.

The Torsk and the Constellation

From there, we went a little further back in time to tour the Constellation, a mid 19th Century tall ship. The Constellation was last commissioned tall ship when steam was the big thing. It was mainly used for training but saw active service off the coast of Africa with a commission to intercept illegal slave ships. As with the Constitution in Boston, we were really impressed with the spaciousness and luxury of the Captain’s quarters, particularly in contrast to living conditions of the ordinary sailors and soldiers aboard. The highlight of the tour was a hands-on demonstration of the process of readying a cannon for firing, which included hauling the thing around with block and tackle. I got to play a loader – the guy who puts the shell in the cannon as well as well as helping the primer clean and prime the barrel. Maryanne and I also got a turn as the only two people turning the big capstan. We were like a couple of mules walking around the drum in a circle. Even though Maryanne had plenty of experience cranking up Footprint’s anchor on our manual windlass, I couldn’t convince them to give her a chance at pulling up one of Constellation’s anchors off of the pier.

Fun aboard the Constellation

It was getting late in the day, so the fourth ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Taney, would have to wait for another day. We had a quick check of a couple of critical points on my commute and then went for dinner at one of my favorite places at the Inner Harbor: California Burrito. I enjoy food in burrito form as a rule, but his place distinguishes itself with the "Wall of Fire" – a rack with 75 very hot sauces. Since becoming a Phaal Curry Monster at the Brick Lane Curry House, I of course have nothing to prove, but it is good to keep my hand in, so to speak.

Memories of the Brick Lane Curry House 'Phaal curry challenge' and more recently, the much appreciated 'Wall of Fire' options at California Burrito. Free extra - sometimes words alone are not (entertaining) enough!

And on To Baltimore!

[Kyle]Our next couple of legs from Bodkin Creek weren’t anything special, just a distance we had to pass really. There was no wind to speak of, so after the first five-minute attempt to sail, we motored both days for the short distance from Bodkin to Stony Creek, and then from there to Baltimore. In between, we slept in, read to each other a lot until it was too hot, and then went for a refreshing swim before starting the whole dinner-and-drinks-in-the-cockpit-for-sunset routine. Perfect relaxing, do-nothing much type days.

Bodkin Creak, Where we did very little and loved it!

Once we made it into our slip in Baltimore, I had to immediately make up for all of the time I had off getting us there, so I had no real time to even look around before it was time to get back to work {Maryanne: Although we did squeeze in a trip to a local bar for lunch to save time... that was the excuse}. I'd explore more once I returned for my first “weekend”.

[Maryanne]Baltimore is to be 'home' for a month, and we are at a dock, in an actual marina. Being at a dock brings some additional luxuries in our lives (no need to dinghy ashore, ready power, water, showers, hot water!!!), and neighbours. I was looking forward to it. Arriving at a new town means orienting yourself with where everything is. Additionally, I had a GIANT backlog of boat jobs and maintenance that I'd put off during our stay in Bristol (in favor of fun and entertainment, not realizing that it would of course catch up with me). Of course this work is much easier from the dock too - a trip to the hardware store for any missing items is easy, power tools can be powered/charged; so maybe it was OK that these tasks were delayed, I'd be able to finish them twice as fast! Our short journey south from Rhode Island though has left us in warmer climates (the kind where you don't feel like working much) - Doh!

We are staying in Fells Point, a beautiful historic district of Baltimore and full of pubs, restaurants, cobbled-streets, artisan bakers, ice cream makers and the like (i.e. plenty of distractions). There is a farmers' market every Saturday. A little further afield (and via a pleasant water front stroll) there are good size grocery stores, a West Marine (boat supply chain store), and an Ace Hardware store - everything this gal could need.

There are parks, and historic ships, an aquarium, and even an imminent Grand Prix to race through the down town streets. Plenty of distractions to keep me from working.

Farmers' Market and a beautiful park nearby

I decided to start with the easy stuff: laundry and grocery shopping. Laundry was easy (machines at the marina), and with a slightly out of the way walk, I could get to the grocery store via Patterson Park. After a quick trip to the local farmers' market, I decided to check out the park as a potential running/jogging location (so I could call my detour work, I'm quite happy to lie to myself in such ways).

Down-town sights: the dolphin fountain (outside the Aquarium), and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse (now safely ashore as a tourist attraction)

Next day I decide to actually jog (rather than simply planning to jog) and headed in the opposite direction; anti-clockwise around the harbor. I got an reasonable start (leaving about 8:30 in the morning), and walked/jogged stopping often to snap pictures or read signs (all in the name of research). Eventually I made it to Federal Hill, and was distracted by the bling beyond of the American Visionary Arts Museum, promptly adding this to the 'must see in Baltimore' list (see, my jog really was research).

If the AVAM is this interesting on the outside, I can't wait to see inside!

As I headed back, I realized that the tourist information office was open, and I should pick up some maps and guides. I asked for any self-guided walking tours and was advised that there was one (it cost $4), but if I took the official guided tour, for just $7, I would get the book for free. I hadn't planned to do any official tours without Kyle, but well, it seemed like a great deal, so off I went. The tour included an unscheduled stop at a delightful Little Italy pastry shop (Yummm), and ended right outside yet another historic landmark that begged for a tourist to view it (so I obliged and had a personal tour of the Carroll House (the home of the longest-lived (and last surviving) signatory of the Declaration of Independence). There were additional distractions I daren't list (I believe Kyle actually reads this stuff). I did eventually make it back to the boat around 3pm (so much for a quick jog!).

Pastries and courtyards, this place is yelling out to relax and enjoy!

With the boat sufficiently stocked, and cleaned, and Baltimore researched I was ready for Kyle to return so I could be his tour guide (poor lad, he has to suffer me dragging him about the place).

Yep, I think we will like our new home

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fun in Bodkin Creek (after a frustrating sail)

[Kyle]We left Veazey Cove on the Bohemia River right at sunrise, nicely coinciding with a favorable tide shift. The wind was practically nothing, but it was from behind, so we set up the spinnaker for the day’s sail down the northern part of the bay.

Setting off at sunrise, the ospreys are on most of the navigation markers in the Bay so far

For the next six hours, we fought a constant battle with the shifty winds and a temperamental spinnaker sail. It was the most frustrating day of sailing we have had in a long while. What an emotional roller coaster ride. We’d get the thing up and pulling and life just couldn’t be better. We had a big, pretty sail up, we were going fast and the weather was perfect.

Thirty seconds later, the sail would collapse and make a suicidal dive into the water, where the bottom would submerge and start streaming past and sometimes under the boat. We would then have to go forward, pull it out of the water and slowly try to coax the wet sail to fill again. After three or four minutes of this, everything would be looking great and we’d be happy. I would walk back to the helm and by the time I got there, the whole process started all over again. I must admit, after a few hours of this, my frustration went from mild annoyance to getting a bit stompy. There just wasn't really enough wind, but I refused to give in. Maryanne managed to avoid making it worse by becoming sweeter and more understanding with time. {Maryanne was laughing her ass off at Kyle's frustration, but he clearly wasn't seeing the funny side of it, so Maryanne was trying hard not to do so in front of him}. She knew I just needed to yell at the sail, so she made a very deliberate effort not roll her eyes in front of me, nor to yell back at me in response, which I’m sure she really wanted to do. She is such a good wife!

When the wind was just right, Kyle was very happy, but most of the time the sail needs constant attention or refuses to assist at all - Much to Kyle's frustration

For hours, all I wanted was a chance to sit still and rest for thirty seconds. I didn’t get it. The worst moments came when we were converging on another sailboat coming in from our left. With the spinnaker pulling, we were much faster and would pass ahead. When it collapsed, we would slow down and be on a collision course. In the zero to three-knot winds, we couldn’t get the thing to stay filled reliably enough to be sure we would clear. To make matters worse, the other boat had the right of way. The spinnaker in the light wind was really sensitive to course changes and we could only turn five degrees or so either way before it would collapse into a huge mess, so we really didn’t want to turn if we could avoid it.

With the variable speed of both boats, it wasn’t apparent that we were enough of a collision hazard to need to make a course change until we were a couple of boat lengths away on his starboard side. Just then, the spinnaker filled and we pulled ahead. At that point, we had a couple of less than desirable choices: I could stay at the helm, prepared to make a big turn when the spinnaker inevitably failed us, leaving Maryanne up there to fend for herself when it all went to hell, or I could help her babysit the thing at the bows so it stays mostly filled, and let the autopilot do the steering.

Eventually, it looked like latter would have the best chance of success, so we chose that option. Since our average speed was only twenty or thirty feet per minute faster, it took us a long time to finally pass a boat length ahead. It was a real nail-biter, though, because we couldn’t simultaneously look at the boat behind and the sail ahead. If we weren’t staring up at the sail, it inevitably started to collapse and the other boat would start gaining. It was really hard, then to look away at the sail and hope we were picking up enough speed to be pulling ahead again.

While all of this was happening, Maryanne was able to have a conversation about the whole thing with the other skipper in normal tones. He seemed much less concerned about it than we felt. I suppose that was because, although technically we had to do all of the maneuvering to avoid him while he stood on, which we were desperately trying to do, he still could maneuver and knew exactly where we were, so there was no danger we would actually hit.

Shortly after that mess, the wind finally shifted enough that we were in normal mainsail and jib range and the spinnaker was finally stowed. We picked up speed, and finally had enough time to sit down and have a whole snack.

Maryanne was just getting ready to read to me for a bit when a Mayday came over the radio. Apparently, a 27-foot powerboat had an explosion and burst into flames at the fuel dock at the Baltimore Yacht Club (which is not actually in Baltimore itself, but nearby). It had either burned through its lines or been deliberately cast off to separate it from the pumps and was adrift in the harbor, heading for other boats. A towboat responded, followed quickly by the marine police and a fireboat. The owner and two occupants were blown overboard by the explosion. He suffered burns over 50% of his body, the other two had minor burns.

The Coast Guard radio communication seemed a little lacking, and appeared to offer no actual assistance or coordination effort. The most irritating question was, ”Do you have a GPS position for the vessel in distress, over?” They asked this several times, often stepping on communications between boats fighting the actual fire. The initial call and several subsequent ones identified the location as the Baltimore Yacht Club fuel dock. For goodness sake, look it up!

Once things died down from that, Maryanne was checking her Facebook page, and found out that a couple of people who we knew from the Gemini users groups, Chuck and Mary Ritenour, were on their way to the same anchorage we planned to use that evening. A few email exchanges later, we were invited to raft up for the night and then go to dinner at a nearby restaurant with some people from their yacht club (Yacht Club of Cape Saint Claire).

Entering Bodkin Creek: More ospreys and plenty of other sailors

We passed on actually rafting up, since our fenders were buried deep and we planned to stay at the anchorage for a couple of nights, but joined them for the 'taxi' ride to the restaurant and for dinner at a local place called the Cheshire Crab. The restaurant has a free launch that came out to pick us up and drop us off, so we didn’t even have to deploy the dinghies.

Waiting for the water taxi to take us to meet Mary and Chuck and other members of Yacht Club of Cape Saint Claire

The group turned out to be most of the people from the yacht club. The ones who didn’t sail there drove in. We ended up with about twenty people, all sitting on a long picnic bench made from a bunch of pushed-together little ones. The food was average and took a long time to arrive, but the company was good and the setting along the river was perfect. I picture one guy in the back suddenly having to make forty dishes at once. At least the rest of the clientele’s orders were staggered. The wait gave us plenty of time to chat, which is why we were really there. We were going to stay all night anyway, so that spared us the uncomfortable “when are you leaving” part after the bill came.

There was good live music to boot, and a couple of the tipsier members even got up and danced. In all, it was a great, unexpected evening.

Actually dressing up for a Saturday night out with live music!

In the morning, we emerged to find the whole raftup was gone. It seemed that just as quickly as it emerged, the whole get-together vanished like a mirage, and we were left to enjoy the peaceful river on our own while they headed

Passage to the Chesapeake: Part II

[Kyle]In Block Island, we pulled up anchor in the pre-dawn darkness about an hour after the wind began shifting from southwest to northwest. Knowing we would need some protection from wind, rain and spray at sea, we had installed the forward half of our cockpit enclosure. From the helm position, reflections of the lights ashore as well as hundreds of anchor lights reflecting off of the clear vinyl windows made it hard to tell what was ahead and what was behind. The added glare from the instrument lights on the panel made it pretty impossible to see where I was going. I focused on spotting big things with the radar while Maryanne piloted Begonia out of the harbor from the bow by using a bright flashlight to spot hazards and then radioing me turning instructions via walkie-talkie. It was a real edge-of-our-seats departure as we were both worried that a critical instruction would be missed or misunderstood.

It was a relief to simultaneously make it out of the crowded harbor and start seeing the world filling with pre-dawn twilight. We raised sail with a reef in each, shut down the engines and Begonia shot southwestwards into seas left sloppy by the previous day’s blow. Although the wind was from directly abeam, our forward motion moved it ahead until we were almost close-hauled, keeping the cockpit comfortably in the lee of our half-enclosure.

We were going beautifully fast, but were a little close to the wave train direction for the sailing to be comfortable. Begonia was rolling pretty wildly, with every twentieth or so being just big enough to knock something over or require quick bracing to keep from being thrown off the seat. Every now and then, a wave would break just at deck height, exploding into spray and sending a flume of water backwards. The biggest one of these broke right over the top of the cabin as Begonia was rolled into it by the previous wave. The wave was probably only eight feet high, but it sent a stream of water back that submarined under the snaps at the bottom of the cockpit enclosure and soaked me from below with up-going sea water. Then I got rained on by all of the water that hit the inside of the canvas above me. I was glad I had been wearing raingear.

As we sailed off of the shallow Montauk Shoal and into the deeper water south of Long Island, the sailing smoothed out somewhat. It was still rough enough that we cancelled Maryanne’s plan of cooking lunch. It was hard enough to hold on in the galley, much less cook. I certainly didn’t want to do dishes. We settled for peanut butter sandwiches.

By dinner, things had settled down enough that Maryanne was able to make us a delicious chicken curry from a recipe she made up on the spot using what she had available. So far, there had been no hint of seasickness so I gobbled it up greedily.

We had another spell of really rough conditions for an hour or so before the wind shifted to the west for a few hours, and then shifted back. The waves being pushed ahead of the wind arrived from directly ahead, making for a confusing mess when added to the existing beam seas. I went off watch just then, but had a terrible time trying to sleep between the violent motion and the alarming noises.

It was a few hours before the motion suddenly eased into a gentle rocking and I fell fast asleep. An hour later, Maryanne woke me up for my watch. Ugh. The downside to being on a boat with only two occupants is that you can’t just say, “I need more sleep. Come back in an hour.” Maryanne needs the chance to sleep just as much as I do and the only way she can get it is if I’m awake, so I got up. The bummer was that it was still too rough for the first couple of hours to be trying to make coffee and then balance and time the sips right in the hope of not spilling it all over myself. {Maryanne: Not too rough, I did manage to turn last night's left-over curry into a Caribbean style roti for breakfast}

The good news was that, in spite of it being just a little rough, we had been moving fast since putting up the sails the day before. It wasn’t until the wind started decreasing twenty miles before the Delaware Bay entrance that our knotmeter finally dropped below nine. I was thrilled since the next couple of days were forecast to have very light winds. I had expected to go fast for the first half or two-thirds of the way and then spend another whole day crawling the rest of the way in light winds. What had been planned as a two or even three-day passage had taken one. In our first twenty-four hours, we sailed 221.8NM. Footprint’s record was 186NM while crossing the North Sea in close to ideal conditions. Since conditions have to be sustained and favorable, 200NM days are pretty rare in cruising boats. We generally plan 100-120 to allow for periods of light wind. I’m hoping that someday they become commonplace enough for us to become blasé about it, but for now I’m still excited about breaking the elusive (and arbitrary) 200NM day again.

Morning came just as we made the turn northwest bound into the Delaware Bay. I went off watch for a couple of hours while Maryanne dodged shipping in the channel. Since I wasn’t sure we would be arriving in daylight, I planned to hug the main shipping channel in order to avoid crab pot floats on a more direct route through the shallows. This turned out to be a completely unnecessary precaution. Crabbing here must have a strictly regulated season. When I came through the previous September on the way to New York, it was hard to find a 21-foot space between floats through which to sail Begonia. In spite of my best efforts, I still picked up a few. The busy heavy shipping lane was the only safe refuge. This day, there wasn’t a pot float in sight anywhere the whole way up the bay. {Maryanne: Crabs actually migrate around the bay and between different habitats, and the crabbers know it... no need to put lines or pots out where the crabs aren't!}

The current began flooding up the bay just as we arrived. The currents in Delaware Bay are very strong and we needed to maintain our speed to be able to make it the whole length before we would be essentially stopped by the outgoing tide. We motor-sailed in the dying wind until the sails were no longer providing any help. The rest of the day was a long, boring motor up the middle of the brown bay in flat seas.

Wind had died, but there was the odd passing ship or Osprey nest to distract us before sunset

About five miles before the eastern entrance to the C&D Canal, the sun set, the current reversed and we slowed way down as we fought through the last stretch in the dying light. We entered the canal just as it got dark. There is a bit of a lag between Chesapeake and Delaware tides, so the current in the canal was still in our favor until we got to the other side. Maryanne distracted herself with making us California Rolls for dinner (and I surprised myself by enjoying them so much, requesting seconds, and then thirds... Yummy).

By midnight we were through the canal and really looking forward to a proper sleep. We had intended to keep going another fifteen miles or so to a favorite anchoring spot of ours farther down the bay, but a nearby cove in the Bohemia River meant we could be asleep with the checklist done before we would even get to the other one.

The Bohemia is very shallow. Since Prydwen, the Tartan 30 in which we’ve done most of our Chesapeake sailing, had a fairly deep draft, the Bohemia never made it onto our short list of favorite anchorages. Even in Begonia, there were a couple of times when I winced at the depth sounder as the shallow alarm went off. Most of the river is .6m (2’) shallower than the charted depth. The tide was dead low, though, so we shouldn’t have a problem getting out. The anchorage itself is a bit exposed for rough weather, but on a calm day it was just perfect.

At noon, we finally emerged from bed to have a look at where we were for the first time in daylight. It was beautiful. The large bay was ringed by homes we could never afford and lots of big trees. Sailboats were out with their sails up, going nowhere. The powerboats were out towing skiers and generally having fun. It made it a bit wakey, but it was still a lot smoother than a weekday in Weehawken.

A nice anchorage at Veazey Bay in the Bohemia River, Maryland

Friday, August 16, 2013

Passage to the Chesapeake, Part I

[Kyle]We left Bristol way too early in the morning. I had not had nearly enough sleep, but I knew we had a long day ahead of us and we would need every minute of daylight we could get.

Our first planned stop was at Block Island. The planned distance was only 32 nautical miles, but the wind was against us, so I knew we would have to tack the whole way. The currents were against us for the first part of the day so we had to get moving and keep moving.

Apart from the fact that our progress was painfully slow in the down river direction, it was a beautiful day for sailing. It was warm and sunny and we had long enough between tacks to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Even though it’s not ideal, a tacking day is good for working out the kinks of our coordination and refining our routine.

Since it was early at the start, most of our company was fishermen. We tacked through a large group of clammers. They were using rakes on poles so much longer than their boats that they towed them behind. When the rakes were on the bottom, the men dug through the mud by working the t-handle on the other end in a manner that was somewhere between suggestive and obscene. I know they’re hard working men doing real, honest work but, c’mon. Get a room! We tried not to blush as we went by. They seemed to enjoy goading us.

It was afternoon, a full tide cycle, before we finally passed under the Newport bridge amid hundreds of other sailboats. The now favorable current drastically reduced our tack per mile ratio and we were out in the open waters of Rhode Island Sound in short order.

Without land in the way, we now were able to make hour-long tacks. We went out to where land was just a sliver on the horizon and then tacked when we figured we would be able to lay a direct course to the northern tip of Block Island. It worked for a few minutes, and then the wind gradually bent us back toward Newport. We tacked again and it started to die off.

It was getting late in the day and we were running out of time for this. We started one engine and then the other to add speed. Pretty soon, the wind was gone completely. It was smooth enough that we were able to stow the sails neatly as we raced to make it before sunset.

Sunrise at Bristol, Sunset (and no wind) approaching Block Island

We didn’t quite make it. We got to the harbor entrance early enough to be able to spot any errant pot floats, (we snagged one earlier), but it was dark by the time we actually made it into the harbor, and our spotlight was put to good use.

Salt Pond was wall-to-wall boats. We idled around the anchorage forever before we finally settled on a spot that was a little close to our comfort to set the anchor. We put out plenty of scope (chain to depth ratio), backed down between boats to make sure we were holding and then pulled up as much chain as we dared to give everyone enough room to swing. The wind was light. So we weren’t too worried about our home breaking free. In the end, we had travelled through 76 nautical miles of water to get here.

Since we’re on all chain, we swing less in light winds than rope rode boats. On a wind shift, we noticed the stern of the boat behind us was only half a boat length away. We hoped he wouldn’t make us move. We were very tired, it was very late and we needed to go to bed.

By morning, way before I had enough sleep, I could hear it: Aldo’s was calling. I emerged to find fog so thick that I could only see the boat nearest us. Through the fog came the call, “Andiamo!” The last time we were here, the guy called out “An-dia-MO!” (let’s go) This guy sounded like he was yelling “Paaasta Bowl!”, until he was right next to us. It was actually, “AAAA-ndiam-OOOO!” Perhaps the different guys all have a different way of saying it. It seems like the most Italian way to do it would be, “andi-AAAA-M-O!”

Aldo's bakery delivery service - Yummy (they do lunch, which includes a raw bar, later in the day too!)

Anyway, we didn’t have to make breakfast. We got two very sticky sticky buns, two yogurt parfaits and a big cup of rough coffee. We tried our best to come to life, but we were too tired. We managed only to get the dinghy into lifeboat mode before we were back in bed.

We emerged in the afternoon to finish the last of tidying up from our passage and simultaneously preparing for the next one. We got an unexpected bit of entertainment when we noticed the Coast Guard going over to the biggest mega yacht in the harbor. They were anchored well into the nearby no anchoring zone, which had been designated to protect shellfish beds. They had been in the middle of the harbor in deep water when we arrived the night before. After much observation, we surmised that they must have dragged anchor and reset it there to keep from running aground. They were swinging freely, so they weren’t stranded, but they were also staying put, so it seemed their props might have been damaged.

This giant boat (and its toys) did (we assume) drag anchor and find itself in a no anchorage area - luckily all before sunset

After a while, we noticed another large yacht near their old location being given a lot of attention. They attempted to set a spare anchor while being backed down by a towing service. It was unsuccessful, so they were towed off. We assume there must have been some damage by the bigger boat as they dragged through, perhaps fouling their props on the smaller boat’s chain (yes, we totally decided to make up our own story to fit the events we happened to witness).

It rained heavily most of the day, which made it easier to stay in and not feel guilty about not making the long trip from our anchorage way in the back to shore. In truth, the wind forecast required that we get another super-early start for the three-day ocean crossing. Going ashore would be pushing it and we knew we would need our rest.