Day 1, Year 7: A New Year
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Warm, Temp Still in the Upper 50’s
Latitude: 41.38.821 N
Longitude: 070.38.162 W
Location: Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina, N Falmouth, Massachusetts
It’s the beginning of a new year for Windbird. Year 6 has ended and now we are into Year 7. This will be the ‘Year of Living Aboard’ rather than a traveling year. Windbird’s years follow the cruising season calendar, so our move to Fiddler’s Cove yesterday signaled the end of the season for us. Year 6 started when we arrived in South Africa last October. We traveled more than 8,500 miles from South Africa to Woods Hole during the year and saw some incredible things along the way. This next year will focus on grandchildren rather than travel adventures, but grandchildren are pretty incredible as well. And living aboard during the winter should provide some pretty interesting writing material, so I hope you will follow along with us.
Mark started his morning with a walk to the office to find out how to log into the free wireless internet provided here. When he returned, we went about the morning’s big task of taking Windbird out of the slip, turning her around, and bringing her back in again, stern first. Our slip points almost northeast and it is from that direction that we will be getting our winter storms. John, who I think is the yard manager here, suggested yesterday that we turn the boat around to point into the wind, but he suggested that we do it near high tide which was this morning. He, along with two other helpers, came to assist us. If you are a sailor who reads Cruising World, Fatty Goodlander’s article this month is about Med Mooring and it gets right to the issues of backing up a sailboat-in Fatty’s very humorous way. Sailboats just don’t back the way you need them to go. They have a mind of their own and you never know exactly where you’ll end up. We pulled and out, turned to the left, then started backing up. We were right on course for the slip when all of a sudden we turned and our stern was headed toward shore, sideways to the dock. We went forward and came way too close to a fishing boat across the way. At that point Mark told me to try and throw lines to the guys on the dock and have them pull us in. I successfully threw one line, but I knew I could never throw the other one as far as needed. So Mark came out and did it. It all worked because we had three guys from the marina on the dock ready to catch those lines. . The office and yard folks here are incredibly friendly and helpful. In fact, I can’t think of a marina we have ever been in where the people are so helpful. That, plus the beauty around us, gives this location a high rating from us at this point. After the successful turn around of Windbird, Mark hooked up the hose and gave the boat another thorough rinse down. We are very pleased that the AwlCare we applied to the hull is still doing its job. Water beads show that we don’t need to apply another coat before winter. I know we are both happy about that. I cleaned the dinghy and scrubbed the covers of the cockpit cushions. And then we hoisted our signal flags up the back stay in the hopes that the flapping flags will keep the birds away. So Windbird is squeaky clean outside and hopefully the birds will stay away so we can keep her this way.
It was another lovely, warm November day, so I couldn’t resist bringing the boys here for the afternoon. They put on their life jackets and we all scrambled into the dinghy for an explore. Actually, I just put a super long line on the dinghy and we floated about and then pulled ourselves back to the dock with the rope. Sam had a small net and he used it to paddle us about a bit. I was quite impressed with his ability to use a net as a paddle. He quickly figured out how to use it to make us go in different directions. While Sam was doing this, Jonah and I were floating a small mooring ball and just enjoying the sunshine. When it was time for naps, Mark had to take the car in to have new tires put on the front. This was supposed to happen when we had the tie rod replaced, but they could only get one tire at the time and it was not the right kind. The motor for the driver side window also stopped working a few days ago and the garage had a used one that they installed this afternoon. The work on the window motor took all afternoon, so Mark didn’t get home until after 5:30 pm. Jed came and picked up the boys and Mark and I are spending a quiet evening on the boat. We did drive to the little store that is about a mile away. It is the oldest business in the area, dating back to 1840. It has been renovated to look as it did when it was built and I can see that we will be making many stops there over the winter. So at the end of our first full day of living here in Fiddler’s Cove in North Falmouth, and at the beginning of a new year of the cruising life, we are very pleased.