I’m almost ready to head south! Unless the weather drastically changes, my plan is to leave Pemaquid Harbor on Tuesday, October 30th. The forecast calls for 20-25 knots from the northwest, so I should be able to make it to the Cape Cod Canal in about 24 hours. Without stopping, I’ll head straight down to Cape May and then up the Delaware and down the Chesapeake. I have no heat on board, so the incentive to make miles before I run out of clean long-johns is higher than usual.
This past week, I’ve been provisioning my boat, filling my tanks, and doing some last minute modifications. I switched out my old 7-foot length of anchor chain for 50 feet of new chain, plus about 70 feet of rode. I know that having anchor chain means more weight forward, but I also like to sleep at night when I’m on the hook, so I decided it was worth it.
Last week, my dad and I went for a sail and tested out my new Monitor windvane. It was sustained 25 knot winds gusting to 30, and not only did Gecko handle the wind beautifully, but the windvane worked better than I ever would have expected. All those hours of cursing the stupid thing while I tried to install it melted away when I saw it handling gusts and lifts with nothing but a grim steely glint.
Tomorrow I’m going to buy all my perishables, get my affairs in order (do laundry), and look over my charts one last time. I’m looking forward to that feeling that comes right after raising the sails; when all the hurrying and planning of the past weeks melts into the immediate “now” of being underway.