Day 1, Year 1: Leaving Boston
Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Weather: Winds Building, Gusts to 25 knots
Location: Quissett Harbor (Cape Cod), Massachusetts

We left Shipyard Quarters, the marina, where we have lived aboard Windbird for the past two years, at 5:05 AM today. This is the first day of our sailing adventure. Kevin and Claire, a young couple who live aboard “just down the street”, came to help us cast off. Taking that final line from Claire was tough. This was it. No more ties to land. We were finally on our way, leaving behind wonderful friends and family that we love very much. But there are horizons out there to be explored and the time had come for us to begin our new journey. If you are reading this, we hope you will enjoy sharing the journey with us.

Sunrise this morning was at 7:03 AM, so our first two hours coming out of the Boston Harbor were in the dark. We know the harbor well, but everything looks different before the first light of dawn. There were white spots in the water. What were they? Were they lobster buoys? Once they began to fly in front of us, I realized that they were seagulls that we were waking. Long Island, a favorite anchorage of ours, was all lit up. In daylight, you see no buildings as you pass, but in the dark, it looked very different. We finally made the turn and headed out of the harbor into the sea. There were red sails on the horizon which we all know means that sailors take warning. What would the day bring?

Day One turned out to be very interesting. As we headed out to sea, a little wren decided to hitch a ride. She stayed with us for quite a while and was the only wild life we saw for the rest of the day. Even when she tried to fly away, the winds turned her back. We were immediately sailing in 10-12 knot winds, and then 6-7 knot winds, and as we approached the Cape Cod Bay, the winds built to 12-17 knots with 20-25 knot gusts. This was the shake-down part of the cruise. Anything and everything in the boat that could move, did so. Things that I thought I had carefully tucked away were flying across the cabin. Nothing broke and no one was hurt, but it was obvious that we needed to find new homes for a few things. We started listening more carefully to the weather report and found that the night would bring 35 knot gusts. We started to wonder if we should find a safe haven for the night and continue our journey in the morning.

We went through the Cape Cod Canal with no problem and our confidence grew. We thought maybe the radio weather report was a little exaggerated. However, when we came out of the canal, the tide was with us but the winds were on our nose. We bobbed up and down and even more things shook loose in the cabin. Mark received our weather faxes for the day and they confirmed the high winds with gusts to 35 during the night. That made the decision. We headed for Quissett Harbor on the east side of Buzzards Bay, called our daughter Heather and her husband Jed, and had them come join us for dinner. We were a bit wind blown, but all was safe and we have had a great evening.

The winds are picking up as I sit here writing this log. It will still be windy out there tomorrow, but at least we will have the light of day to guide us. We hope to head straight for Cape May, New Jersey tomorrow and should arrive sometime late on Thursday or Friday. We’ll send another travel log once we arrive there. Stay tuned.

051018 Day 1 Boston to Norfolk, USA–Departing Shipyard Quarters