TL;DR: Iíve been stuck in NYC
for months with ever-dwindling supplies resulting in a deteriorating mental state. I need advice on how to get my boat
and myself south to VA before winter and need advice on how to do so.
Hello all, I could really use some advice. I recently bought a Pearson
Coaster 30 in NYC
with the ultimate goal of living aboard
in the Norfolk, VA area. The original plan when I moved out here was to take the two weeks on the hard
I was granted to make sure it was seaworthy
then set sail for Norfolk. I was launched at the end of that two weeks with no problems and towed through the mooring
field to a spot they figured I could anchor
near a couple other people that lived aboard as well. The intent was to set sail around Long Island
and put New York
to my rudder
immediately, making my way south along the coast to the Chesapeake Bay
and go to Norfolk where I would anchor
until I could find a marina to dock
at and continue the process of refitting the boat
as I saw fit.
In a few words, things didnít work
out as planned. Many more words follow.
I had met and befriended several people involved in the yacht club that sold me the boat, one offered me the opportunity to exchange some work
for sailing lessons
, a chance which I, of course, leapt at. Being a new sailor I knew I was inexperienced and could definitely use the learning
That went well, I already had a little experience sailing small craft, so applying that to a larger vessel was fairly intuitive, and I took to it pretty quickly. Iíve had a couple other lessons since which included sailing in some pretty heavy wind
and surf. Being in the Long Island Sound
, I know it wouldnít be like sailing on the ocean, but still good experience to get under my belt.
I ended up crewing
for the same guy moving a large 64í motor
, not sail, boat from Brooklyn
to Staten Island, where I was able to glean some temporary employment
for the owner of that boat working on it for him, grinding, painting, and other such tasks.
So by that point I had already ended up staying in NYC two weeks longer than I planned. Florence went through shortly thereafter and I thought it would be prudent to wait that out as well, but honestly it ended up being a disappointment after the havoc I heard it had wrought down south, in fact I slept through it.
Now through all this I have been staying at anchor, 150 to 200 yards offshore
with only a kayak
to take me ashore. My supplies that I had brought with me were beginning to dwindle, so with what looked like a weather
window opening for me to get south, I bid farewell to those few I befriended and began my final preparations to leave.
As I was preparing myself and the boat, I was contacted again by my friends and advised against attempting the voyage for reasons mostly relating to my inexperience. At first I was reticent to follow their advice, but ultimately succumbed, feeling very defeated.
Depression has always been an issue for me, so having had my hopes so high to get my life down south started get dashed on the rocks after already being delayed by a month, sent me in a downward spiral. Since being here Iíve been unable to obtain the medications I was prescribed for it where I had come from. If my plans had played out as envisioned, it wouldnít have been a huge deal, though now it has become an increasingly urgent matter. I had these things figured out for when I arrived in Norfolk, but had no plan for here in NYC.
Resigned to waiting longer, I tried to elicit a little more work with those I had already worked with, as I needed to replenish my stores. I had little success, but was able to provision myself for a little longer.
My situation now, as it stands, is essentially the same as it was. Work has been sparse and inconsistent. My supplies are being depleted. My mental health
is deteriorating further without access to treatment. Kayaking to shore is tiresome, and even once I get ashore, I need to walk four miles to get to a store or for work. The weather
is getting colder, bringing concerns of exposure-related problems, like hypothermia if I get wet on my trip to shore, into a very real possibility.
I feel like Iím at the end of my rope
and need to get south as soon as possible because wintering here is not an option. Iíve been convinced that voyaging south on my own is too dangerous, but at this point Iím about ready to risk it anyway. Iíve even considered abandoning my boat to try and hitchhike to VA or even taking it to deep water
and sinking it, though I am loathe to do either because I love my boat, Iíve put a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into it, and additionally I AM environmentally conscious and would hate myself if I helped contribute to mankindís seemingly continuous destruction of the oceans. Other more seriously dangerous options have been considered due to my mental state.
Ultimately I really love living on my boat, I love my boat, and I have had a great time sailing it so far, so I know itís possible to do this. If Iíve gone through this much already, I can certainly handle things once I get to VA, however I need to get myself and my boat there quickly for my own well being. I could really use some advice from you all. Thank you for reading and I look forward to reading your replies.