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Old 03-09-2008, 18:05   #1
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skipgundlach's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
Posts: 1,773
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Day 9 - Maine Passage

This originally appeared on 8-6-08 in my yahoogroup log (link below) after sailmailing to my son. If you'd like real-time notes on our adventures, you can join the mailing list by clicking the link and following the prompts.

Day 9 - Maine Passage

Hello from an anchorage (more below on the subject) off Little
Diamond Island in Portland Harbor, 43*40'N, 70*12'W , later to go
to the mooring offered us by our friend - another angel - Roger
Long, at 43* 38.457'N 70* 13.307', near Simonton Bay in South Portland, ME. We may move, but for the next couple of days, that's where we are.

Roger's legitimately famous, in addition to being a good buddy we
met on the internet, and then, in person, a year ago. He's a
marine architect who designs workboats. He's been several times
to the wreck of the Titanic, and has proposed a widely accepted
new theory of why the boat went down as she did. He also writes
for various seafaring publications, usually about sailing. If
you watch History or Discover (I forget which) you've seen him a
few times in the series on the Titanic.

We left you after a surprising only-a-week at sea, slowly moving
our way toward our destination under lumpy but not choppy seas,
with, of all things, a slight West wind (NOAA??? Is this the
West wind you'd been claiming for the last couple of days???),
which actually helped us along in the direction we wanted to go
instead of the in-your-face blasts we've had for the last
longer-than-we'd-have-liked. That slight (2-5 knots) wind
persisted all night, and the passage was uneventful.

After all the tacking we did, with the wind forecast to die, and
rain incipient, and all the other things which we'd just as soon
not just sit through for the next several days, we made the
difficult decision to motorsail the remainder of our trip. I set
the throttle to a setting which would put us into the Portland
Access Control/separation scheme channels area about dawn, and
settled down to another night.

I've somehow induced a pain related to my left shoulder, mostly
in my back and top of my shoulder between it and my neck, which
makes lying down uncomfortable at best. I can't find a
comfortable postion to put my arm to avoid shooting pains in that
area, so I didn't sleep much yesterday afternoon despite my best
efforts. Fortunately, however, I wasn't sleepy after dinner, so
stood the first watch while Lydia slept.

On the subject of sleep, those of you who are still with us will
recall our regime out here. Those coming off watch go immediately
to bed; those fetching someone, if that's how it worked/works out
makes a pot of coffee for the previously sleeping oncoming watch.

We have no watch schedule, per se. We sleep until we're either
wakened by the other who needs relief, or until we wake up out of
"exhaustion" from sleeping (can't sleep any more). That has
meant that we've nearly always been very fresh. The couple of
times I've had to bolt from bed have always found me very quickly
functional, and neither tired nor, as has been the case sometimes
in the past on our cruising history, even exhausted. That makes
for a much more pleasant voyage, not to mention an improvement in
judgment. Back to the watch change...

Now that we're in Maine waters, it's officially colder, and Lydia
was feeling the cold, so the warm bunk was very welcoming to her.
My first - and only, as it turned out - "close encounter" was a
fishing boat which I saw very plainly, but for some reason didn't
come up on the radar. He was on a closing course, and ignoring
my hails. I let out the sheets to slow the boat down, and he
passed within a few hundred feet in front of me. Apparently a
lobsterman heading somewhere, rather than fishing, I didn't find
any lines to trip over.

The moon rose and fell in quick succession, and as has become the
norm, the sunset was not only lengthy but spectacular. The
clouds here are very close to the ground. It's sort of like
we've reached the top of the world, and nothing's very high,
because it's already at the top :{))

Like the kids' song, Merrily we rolled along, rolled along, O'er
the deep blue sea, toward Portland. The seas were now
long-period waves, and not really that much of them, either, so
aside from the flopping of the sail in its prevented position
just barely out to starboard, which, of course, jerked the boat
every time (but was much better than a long-period roll, allowing
lots of momentum for both sail and boom before being abruptly
brought to a halt by the sheet!), all was tranquil. Only a few
targets presented themselves to radar, and no sightings were
within miles of us.

I made a pot of coffee about 1:30 AM - but not for me. Lydia
would need it... Not because I was sleepy, but because I'd need
to be sharp to help with the "eyes" part when we got in, I woke
Lydia so I could get a few hours of sleep. I took the first full
shower in a few days and despite my having successfully fended
off Morpheus to that time, fell asleep quickly and deeply at 2
AM. The pain meds I took as I made the pot of coffee may have
helped... :{))

Thus, it was with not only some difficulty, but despair (I was
enjoying being asleep, soundly, for the first time in quite a
while), that I pried myself out of bed when Lydia came to fetch.
She'd gotten both cold and tired, and wanted a quick nap before
she helped out with the spare-set-of-eyes bit, so came to wake me
at 6. I made a pot of coffee and got acclimated to our
situation, which was that we'd passed the entry to the traffic
separation scheme (in high traffic areas, there's a separation
zone, and one-way traffic on either side of it) on the way into

I'd plotted a course which would take us slightly to the West of
the zone, hoping to make it easier on ourselves and the presumed
traffic, to be out of the channel. However, there's no traffic
to be seen, coming OR going, and I could have just as well done a
rhumb line to the first turning point inside. Far off to my port
side, I can see a fishing boat in the distance, confirmed to be
that by the huge cloud of seagulls off the aft :{)) Otherwise,
there's no traffic to be seen, or heard, either, as we monitor
VHF radio for any clue to traffic with which we'd have a concern.

However, at 7:51 AM, I had my first-ever engine shutdown.
Symptoms were that no fuel was getting to the engine, as the fuel
polisher, to date this trip never engaged, never managed to stop
its "chatter" as it tried to fill the pump with fuel. However,
the vacuum level on the Racor system didn't look to be out of
order consistent with all-is-well.

Much to my surprise, however, pulling the plug on the fuel tank
revealed that we were, in fact, out of fuel. Obviously our
memory of having fueled just before we put the boat on the ground
was faulty, because there certainly wasn't 100 gallons (nor any,
for that matter!) of fuel in the bilge.

No big deal - we're a sailboat, right? We'll just sail in.
Meanwhile, Roger had said in prior sailmail conversations that
he'd been watching our progress closely, and that most likely,
he'd meet us. I figured he meant at the mooring, once we'd
gotten there.

Nope, he meant that - as always, he needs only the slightest
provocation to take out Strider, his massively refit Endeavour
32 - he'd sail out and meet us, escorting us in. So, about an
hour after we'd run dry, the hail comes from Roger, about 15
minutes away. He'd been motoring, as the wind was directly on
his nose, and after some pleasantries, he led us to an anchorage,
saw us safely on the hook, and departed to find fuel for us.
Like I said above - one of our many angels...

So, we threw out the hook, stowed the main, and went back to bed
at his suggestion. We weren't exhausted, but we can certainly
use the rest. However, he's speedy gonzalez reincarnated, as he
was in his sailboat, yet returned with two jugs of fuel in jig
time. Once it lets up raining long enough to put in without
worrying about water in the fuel, we'll put those in and bleed
the engine.

Fortunately, that occurred pretty quickly (rain stopping) and
bleeding was uneventful - my remote starter button that I'd
stashed 3+years ago but never used yet paid for itself today, and
the nutcracking was straightforward - it runs like a top. Bonus
is that we now have our dipstick marked with 5 and 10 gallons; it
came with the boat and didn't start before about 25. If things
ever get desperate, we'll know for sure how much fuel we have
when we approach the bottom.

So, despite the original plan, as it's so much better here than
on the mooring - Roger checked on the way back, we're here for
now. We're just chilling (hm. Poor choice of words?),and
planning a hot black bean soup with kielbasa to help keep us

This will be the last of this series both for The Flying Pig Log
and family direct mails. We'll pick it up again as we move on,
but local events will be covered in Lydia's logs in the


Love from Skip, Lydia and Portia

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at !
Follow us at TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig
and/or Flying Pig Log | Google Groups

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power
to make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts."
(Richard Bach, in The Reluctant Messiah)
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