Category Archives: Cruising

Shakedown – Part 5 – Can We Go Cruising, Finally?

Almost, but not quite, cruising.

After successfully but not entirely sorting out the generator, dinghy and electronics, we were ready to roll out of Bellingham.  Two items remained:  calibrating our new electronics bits, and picking up some extensions for the dinghy mounts so the hatch to the upper deck would clear the dinghy tube. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 5 – Can We Go Cruising, Finally?

Shakedown – Part 4 – Generators, Autopilots, Dinghies and Bellingham

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Squalicom Marina, Bellingham.

We didn’t really want to spend three days in Bellingham, but we are realistic about shaking down a brand new boat and understand that a certain amount of delay and cruising interruption is normal.  This is actually our second interruption, as we already spent three days in Anacortes for the same reasons: our dinghy and our generator. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 4 – Generators, Autopilots, Dinghies and Bellingham

Shakedown – Part 3 – Feisty Weather

After our excellent evening in Friday Harbor on Tuesday and the freshest salmon we have ever enjoyed, we had to get to Bellingham on Wednesday.  Our new dinghy, which would replace our dearly-departed 10-year-old dinghy, would be delivered on Thursday and all the associated bits-and-pieces would be installed.  More on that later.  For now, we had to get the boat the thirty miles or so in some snotty weather.  A good opportunity to see how she handled.  Shakedown, Part 3. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 3 – Feisty Weather

Shakedown – Part 2 – SALMON!

We arrived in Friday Harbor on Tuesday after a beautiful run down Haro Strait and in through Cattle Pass.  Sunshine and a fair current always improve the mood, and we loved it.

The one thing we missed that day was an open invitation to go fishing with our new water-rat friends from LaConner, Scott and Ellen, on Scott’s Skagit Orca.  Scott is an accomplished outdoorsman and fisherman and had already shared some fresh catch with us a week earlier. Sigh.  We can’t have everything. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 2 – SALMON!

Shakedown – Part 1

 Anacortes

Esmeralde’s shakedown started with our maiden voyage from LaConner to Anacortes, where we spent three nights at Cap Sante Marina.

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A stormy day in Anacortes.

The first day in Anacortes we sat out gale to storm force winds which blew a solid 40 knots and gusted to 60 much of the afternoon.  It was a hang-on-tight day.  The boat show, scheduled to start in Anacortes that day at the marina, was pretty much shut down. Continue reading Shakedown – Part 1

The Maiden Voyage

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Bruce savors the moment.

On Saturday, April 1st we officially took delivery of our new boat.  (April Fool’s, anyone?  We hope not.). We moved aboard that afternoon.  It was kind of a heady moment, something that we had anticipated for roughly a year.  And now it was real.  Unbelievably, the sun magically came out from behind the clouds.  We took a bottle to the flybridge to try to relax and let it all soak in.  The next morning the sun came out also.  Good omens of times to come. Continue reading The Maiden Voyage

A Pivotal Moment

It’s been a difficult week for me.  I struggle between: I’m so lucky and I can’t believe it’s over.

I’ve been “a sailor” since I was born.  At some point when I was a toddler my mother accidentally dropped me into Narraganset Bay as my parents tried to hand me over from one moving boat to another moving boat.  I have no idea why they were doing this, but I ended up in the drink, and like a good Mom, my mother jumped in after me and saved the day (I was, of course, wearing a lifejacket).

Silly story, but it underscores the point that I’ve been sailing for my entire life.  It’s part of who I am.

But now I’m not.  I was, just last week, but not any more.  It’s weird.  It’s unsettling.  I’m trying to adjust to the new normal.   Yesterday was an especially difficult day as a delivery crew got aboard our Sabre 386 Esmeralde at our slip at New England Boatworks, and after a startlingly brief orientation, sailed her away to her new temporary home in Yarmouth, Maine.  Bruce and I went to Fort Weatherill State Park, a few steps from our home, and watched her sail out of Narragansett Bay with someone else at her helm for the very first time.  It was a painful moment. Continue reading A Pivotal Moment