Join Date: May 2003
Location: East Norwich
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My wife and I were in it right outside of the Glen Cove Mansion. I just came from swimming and was down below taking a quick shower. When I came up on deck, my wife had pulled up the anchor and we were off. We could see by the clouds that something was coming, but in no way were we expecting that. I was putting shorts on and decided to put my bathing suit on because I knew I would be getting wet. Years ago, we hit severe weather on our way to Bermuda (on another boat) but this was VERY different. The clouds came over quickly and the thick rain pelted me as I took the helm, it actually hurt. I couldn't keep my eyes open to see much of anything so I put on sunglasses. I told Kate that we needed to wear our life jackets, secure the hatches and to put the hatchboards in. Moments before this happened, she had put the mainsail cover on because she intended to motor back to the marina. The seas were building and the wind kicked up to what felt like 50mph easily. I had to wear her "Jackie Kennedy, bug-eyed" sunglasses just to see what was going on. A few weeks earlier, my gps failed and I hadn't replaced it to this point, so other than the compass, I really had no idea where we were. I could only see a few yards out on either side and only a little past the bow pulpit..everything was just white. I thought for sure that the headsail was going to unfurl or simply shred right off. The depth sounder stopped working and the boat was heeling steadily with 'bare poles' while waves were crashing into us broadside. I tried to turn the boat to weather and head further out into the sound but I couldn't, the wind completely prevented it. I knew there were rocks closer towards shore and that we would surely hit them if we continued on this path. With the motor still floored, I turned to let the wind and current push us from behind for momentum and then turned hard to port, fortunately that did the trick and enabled us to keep the wind on the bow and go up and over the waves. We pounded up and down the waves and stayed securely in the cockpit. The whole experience seemed interminable and I was told that it lasted all of 8-10 minutes. That was the longest 8-10 minutes I've had in a long time. We listened to the maydays in the background and saw beached boats on both Tappen and Bar beach. Needless to say, we were thrilled to be back at the marina when we eventually got there.
My wife will never read a sailing forum so I'm not saying this is for anyone other than myself (and the people reading), but she was a 'rock star' out there. She followed directions to a T, remained calm and did what needed to be done. When I told her she could wait it out down below, she didn't consider it for a moment. I'm a lucky guy to have such a great partner and damn grateful for her.
The next day, she signed up to take a boating safety course and we took a trip to West Marine for a better life jacket for her and my new GPS is on the way.
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Last edited by mlong9876; 07-30-2010 at 12:39 AM.