Day 3, Year 1: Passage from Cape Cod to Delaware Bay—Transmission Troubles
Date and Time: Thursday, October 20, 2005, 1900 EDT
Weather: Sunny Morning, Partly Cloudy Afternoon, Cloudy Evening
Location: Offshore New Jersey

We left Quissett Harbor on Cape Cod at 7:00 am this morning and will continue sailing through the night. We are currently just off Montauk on the tip of Long Island in New York. Judy is getting ready to tuck in for her first 2 hour sleep of the night. Judy will then go on watch at 9:30 pm and hope to make it until 12:30 am when Mark will take over. We continue the 2-3 hour watches through the night. But now back to the beginning of the day . . .

When we left Quissett at day break this morning, the air and water temperature were both the same-62.4 degrees. The day warmed to 70 degrees, but the water temperature has remained the same. The waning moon was high in the sky this morning and didn’t set until mid-day. The sunny morning turned into a partly cloudy afternoon and daylight ended with a very strange dark sky evening. Albeit, there were some red sails in the dark clouds. As we sailed out of Buzzard’s Bay this morning, we realized that we were saying goodbye to New England for now. We took pictures of the Knob where our daughter, Heather, and her now husband, Jed, were engaged. As we passed Woods Hole, Hadley Harbor, Naushon Island, Quicks Hole, Cuttyhunk, and finally the Buzzard’s Bay light, we looked back and took our last pictures of home. For the next couple of years, home will be wherever we are, but our hearts will always be with our friends and family.

The winds today have fluctuated all over the place. The winds were 12-18 knots as we headed south. We started with a double reefed main, but had the head sail all the way out. The winds built to 18-24 knots by the time were half way to the Buzzard’s Bay light, so we double reefed both the main and the head sail. But by the time we reached the Buzzard’s Bay light, the winds were back down to 12-18, so we took out the reefs and sloshed along with a north wind at our backs. By 1:20 this afternoon we were in sight of Block Island and the winds dropped to 3-10 knots. We started the motor and then the fun began. After a half hour or so of running the motor, there was a burning smell. After much searching, Mark discovered some smoke coming from a particular cap on the transmission casing. He had just filled the transmission fluid yesterday, but what he discovered was a separate compartment that was completely dry. We made calls and added the right transmission fluid, but we think we might have damaged the transmission to a point that it might go at any time. Therefore, the 15 winds tonight are very welcomed. We are heading south at a speed of 7-8 knots. The winds are supposed to die down during the night, but then build again tomorrow. When the winds die, we will make a decision as to whether we will risk starting the engine. At that time, we will have to make a decision about where to enter the Chesapeake Bay since we cannot count on having the transmission.

Going into our first overnight of the voyage, the transmission troubles are not what we had hoped for, but we will figure it out. Hope tomorrow brings fair winds and no engine troubles!

Note added on Friday morning, October 21: Since we didn’t get a chance to post this yesterday, we thought we should give you a transmission update. During the night, the winds did go down to 3 knots and we made the decision to try the transmission. So far, success! The knocking sound we heard yesterday is no longer there. We are hoping the transmission fluid we added has taken care of the problem and that we caught it in time to prevent major damage. We will continue as planned and enter the Delaware Bay just south of Cape May, New Jersey, either tonight or early in the morning. We will take the boat to Annapolis and have the transmission checked there. The log for today will be posted this evening.

051020 Day 3 Boston to Norfolk, USA–Leaving Buzzards Bay