Tranquility Voyage: leg 1 Fairhaven MA to Block Island RI

We finally left on Sunday morning, with SE winds picking up. The morning was warm as we passed the hurricane barrier leaving Fairhaven and New Bedford, our home for the past six months. At first we were a bit surprised of the light wind around the end of Buzzards Bay, but soon the wind speed increased up to 15-20 knots and we reached top speed, our knotmeter and GPS agreeing on 6,5 knots. We encountered some rain along the way but the wind never stopped to push us and we completed the 54 miles of the trip in 9 hours. It was dark at 5:30 pm when we finally docked in Champlin’s Marina, completely deserted in this cold time of the year.

© Kate Zidar
Hurrican Barrier © Kate Zidar

Along the trip we started to adapt to our new sailing home, feeling a bit sea sick and adjusting our gear to better performance. The tiller needed a special modification not to lose precious steering angle. We still have to know how the boat behaves, but so far we keep being astonished by Tranquility’s sailing performances: good tracking; easy sail controls and boat handling; almost no spray coming on deck even in 3-5 feet swell.

Roberto was a fundamental addition to our team. His expertise and energy are helping us a lot underway and at the dock where we keep improving the perfomances and habitability of the boat. It feels great to have a competent and personable crew member to share the joy and fatigue of sailing and he is also a great help in Kate’s italian learning process, as we frequently speak italian onboard.

Block Island ©Kate Zidar
Block Island ©Kate Zidar

The weather forecast forced us on a two day stop in Block Island. We spent Monday and part of today fixing things but also enjoying the exploration of the island, a place that sees very few visitors during winter time. We really like the pictoresque island and the locals seems very curious about these crazy people sailing during winter on a small boat. A community of 850 people live year long on the island and you know nothing passes as unseen in this place as we were spotted crossing the south cape pounding into the waves as later somebody reported to us.

Now we are waiting for a good weather window, probably happening later tonight when the wind will decrease and veer to NWN. We are hoping for a good passage to Cape May NJ, aproximately 200 miles away and with the option of closer refuges along the Jersey Shore. You can keep track of our progresses trough our Spot tracking page.

Boat project has begun

P1020896

In few hours I will finally lay hands on my boat again after 4 months. After purchasing Tranquillity, Kate and I went through a process of preparation that kept us apart and far away from the boat. For her it meant cutting the dock lines that kept her moored in NYC for a very long time. For me it was to wander the caribbean and harvest the necessary gold to start the restoration and equipment for Tranquillity. The rigor of New England’s winter contributed to postpone our project and the yard work. In some ways, we are still wimps.

We are brave however, when it comes to the decluttering process. We need to select and reduce our belongings to fit into a car first and then into a 29 ft sailboat. The task is not easy but I am lucky because Kate became a professional in this kind of operation and she is a great help. To reduce our belongings involves binning a lot of clothes and items, it means also merging departments and discarding surpluses. Sometimes I am terrified when I have to let go something, I feel like a real part of me is going away. Wait for an hour and this feeling disappears, and your pile of clothes and junk look more tidy, eventually fitting into a small place.

I am a very lazy guy and as many others I have this tendency to occupy all the available space, like a stuff Big Bang. Choosing a small boat means to seek discipline in this matter. There will be no space for the surplus, we will have to pick the essential and take care of what we have.

The decluttering process pointed out to me the importance of quality. While I was ironing my clothes I was amazed at how old but still beautiful is one of my shirts. That garment is probably more than 10yrs old and it has been with me in any place I traveled and went through third world washing machines, but it is sill pretty while other relatively new cheaper clothes show signs of wear. Quality is something to consider when purchasing equipment and even if we run on a small budget we should get few essential quality items.

Now we have no excuses, we finally moved ourselves and a well-sorted pile of things to the proximity of Tranquillity, in Fairhaven, MA. A kind friend, Keith, helped us to find a temporary nest in his parents’ house while we go through this project. For a long time Tranquillity will be not suitable for occupancy due to the restoration process and we will be shore-based in the place where Moby Dick took form, a place where the ocean is part of daily life and wrote important pages of history.