Heading south to the beep of the alarm

The past few days have had a similar shaped format. Alarm, 6.03am. I have this strange habit, (according to Dave), of never setting the alarm with a 5 or a 0 at the end. There maybe some bizarre and batty psychological reasoning behind this. But I have thought it through and this is my bamboozling logic.

If you always set the alarm with a 5 or a 0 at the end, you are cheating yourself out of a few extra delicious minutes in bed. Alarm goes off at 6.03. That means there’s two full minutes till 5 past or seven full minutes till 10 past. I actually get out of bed when the clock has a 5 or 0 at the end. By having another number, I can squeeze an extra modicum of time in bed before starting the day. 

I know, I know. It may seem like cranky thinking with Swiss cheese sized holes in its logic but it works for me and for an easy life, Dave seems to trundle along with it too.

In brief précis, the alarm clock got us from just north of New York to Beaufort, North Carolina. In that time we’ve had our first and hopefully last snow storm of the year, a transit through New York for the second time, a day in Norfolk where we had a look round a retired warship and a pre opening show round of the annual toy train extravaganza in Belhaven. 

We also helped out and towed a couple of stranded boats (not at the same time you understand) on the Intra coastal waterway, one which had run aground and another with transmission problems. The ‘pay it forward’ phenomenon I really like as a concept and I’d never heard of it expressed in such a way until, spending time in the states. Help someone out, could be a random stranger, and as ‘payment’, ask them to do the same for someone else in the future. So a ripple of kindness spreads out and a more caring society is created. 

Sounds good to me. 

We are back at Bock Marine, not to re enact the massive boat works we completed last winter. But to call in and see some friends, reprovision up, tick off a few small running repairs and improvements, and wait for a window to head to the Bahamas. Only a year late…..if we get there!



Wednesday morning at school was PE. I remember being irritated by other members of the class who took ages getting changed, thus shortening the length of the lesson. Some of us, aka ME, thought PE or Games were the best lessons of the week. Stop fussing and get changed.

This Wednesday morning off Provincetown, Cape Cod was PE for the aquatic and bird life. The ocean was thrashing. We saw loads of dolphins leaping, birds diving and blows from whales. Certainly more active than the majority of the girls in the Wednesday morning PE class at Haydon Bridge. Motivated by a substantial breakfast, there must have been a feast of food down there to create all the activity.

We’d seen a Right Whale about 100 feet off the boat coming in in the rain and fog the previous evening. Don’t know how big it was, but we thought what we saw above the water line was about 10m so maybe it was 13m to 14m in total. As long as the boat. Don’t want to hit one of these babies. Not good for us or the whale.

It was a great welcome to the USA, after our long wait to escape Shelburne, Canada now behind us across the Gulf of Maine. It had been quite a wait. A blow of 50 knots had came through. The sea were ugly. We hid in the commercial harbour tied to a fishing boat then the following day, four boats nudged out to turn right for the two day passage to the US. The nights were long, dark and chilly.

A warm welcome from a super friendly Borders Officer in Onset, Massachusetts helped us quickly forget the passage and the rollercoaster ride down the Cape Cod Canal with standing waves and cross currents.

We had an amusing conversation with the border official comparing similarities of ‘The Donald’, Doctor Seuss and Monty Python. Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans and spam, Sam-I-am, Sam-I-am, Sam-I-am Green eggs and ham, and Bad, Bad, Bad, Mad, Mad, Mad people. Doctor Seuss and Monty Python delivering more credibility and sensibleness than the US president….some would say! 😀

So to today. Newcastle have just beaten Bournemouth. Well done Rafa’s boys. Little run of two victories. It’s blowing a steady force 6 to 7 here in Port Washington, near New York. Hope the anchor holds firm. We’re not quite on constant anchor watch but we are pretty vigilant as to what’s going on. The forecast suggests another 4 hours of strong winds before they ease. Our friends on Muktuk, another cruising boat, have dragged so they’ve headed off to find somewhere more sheltered to anchor. It’s never straightforward being boat based.

In the meantime as we can’t get off the boat, my socks will have to be recycled as a laundrette trip is out of the question. Sure Dave won’t be too offended. Baking is tricky as we are out of eggs and it seems everything I wish to cook requires eggs. Dave is spannering.

I did suggest going into a marina then we could get off the boat and crack on with the chores….laundry, gas refill, food shopping, phone card, revisiting civilisation etc. It wasn’t the money that seemed to bother Dave. It was loosing credibility amongst others who liveaboard. Marinas are places to be avoided. We’re still here at anchor.