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davidpm 08-17-2011 11:46 PM

Sailing in Long Island Sound (Time to give it up)
Left for an afternoon sail, very low expectations. No wind the flags were not even moving. Prepped dinghy and rowed to boat still no wind. Easy row no waves. Prepped boat, engine started first click, still no wind. Drop mooring, motor to entrance buoy kill engine. Just a whisper of wind seem to be making 2 knots over ground against current, flat water no clouds. I'm getting hopeful, maybe just maybe.
No major chop combined with wind from 0 to 3 knots changing direction 90 degrees every 15 minutes as usual.

Now it gets really bizarre. The wind picks up to 7 knots and with the 150 I'm doing a solid 4 knots over ground towards an Island about 5 miles away. I've wanted to sail around that Island for the last 5 years but either the wind, current, sailing companions, tide, schedule or weather interfered.
The wind didn't die. The wind didn't veer 40 degrees the wrong direction. The tide didn't suddenly force the boat away from the island which usually happens.

Now it gets good. I've given up on the Island years ago but know I'm getting close so I figure I need to check the chart. Just as I thought, I have to head for a buoy a quarter mile off the Island to miss some rocks. But can you believe it all I have to do fall off. It's the rocks not the open water that is upwind. I close on the buoy and have the luxury of taking it to either port or starboard. There is water both sides and I'm on a close reach so I can go either way. I leave it to port just to give the rocks extra room.

So far everything has worked out perfectly but now I have to turn to port to start circumnavigating the island. I make the turn and yes there are rocks but surprise. Again for the SECOND time all I have to do is fall off a little and I can parallel the rocks with plenty of room.

All good things have to end and the chart show a shallow spot a few hundred feet ahead. But wait, I've cleared the Island and I take a 90 degree port turn and I'm dead downwind. I get a perfect close view of the island and some pictures. Now after a perfect sail out I figure I'll have to motor home but wait. I check my chart and my wing and wing course is perfect. Even with no whisker pole the 150 is staying filled and I'm still making 4 plus knots over ground. Surely the current will drag me down current from the mark and I'll have to motor or claw my way back.

It don't happen. I aim direct for the mark all the way back and am able to maintain wing on wing the whole way.

Now there is a Hobie race underway right by my mark. That will have to mess things up. No they are using a private mark a few hundred feet away so I get to see the whole fleet round the mark then they are out of my way and I head to my mark still watching the race.

I pick up the mooring with reasonable aplomb. And by the time I get the boat put back together there is a little swell running but it is running onshore. About three strokes with the oars and I'm back.
And I didn't even swamp the dinghy in the swell at the beach.

I've spent hundreds of hours on the Sound for years and I can not remember a trip where the weather, wind, waves, boat and tide all did exactly what I wanted for four hours straight.
It was darn right spooky.
I'm afraid to go to sleep tonight. Assuming that good and evil are balanced by nature I've created a life sucking vacuum that could consume my whole street.
If this post goes through and the computer doesn't lock up I'm doomed.

davidpm 08-17-2011 11:51 PM


CalebD 08-18-2011 01:04 AM

We also had an equally successful night aboard our 'Odalisque' in our Weds. night races up the Hudson at Nyack. I doubt we got over 7-9 knots of wind but we managed to get in a race and we will likely finish first in corrected time for our division, again.
Glad to hear you made it around Faulkner Island. It sure is great when wind, waves, tide and current help you around the course you intend to sail.
I saw the orange moon rise over the east. It was lovely and we won.
My best.

davidpm 08-18-2011 07:04 AM

Hey you won. Good show.

Ajax_MD 08-18-2011 07:07 AM

David- buy a lottery ticket, quick!

dylanwinter1 08-18-2011 07:10 AM

I really enjoyed that
the web is a great place - there you are chasing around a spreadsheet - you have a cup of coffee, check out sailnet while drinking it and there you are for a few moments sailing around an island you have never seen with a happy man you have never met

good on you


Minnewaska 08-18-2011 07:20 AM

We have a winner!! We're going to have to start a new game.

Congrats. Was it Fisher's Island? I'm trying to picture what is close to Madison and/or 5nm off shore.

tempest 08-18-2011 07:24 AM

I was waiting for the..." And then I woke up"

davidpm 08-18-2011 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by Minnewaska (Post 763846)
We have a winner!! We're going to have to start a new game.

Congrats. Was it Fisher's Island? I'm trying to picture what is close to Madison and/or 5nm off shore.

Faulkners' and it is really 3.5nm but with going around it all it is further of course.

HPLou 08-18-2011 09:28 AM

A great sail for sure and thanks for sharing. The sailing gods present their gifts to us when we least expect it. Congratulations on an unforgettable sail.

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