Monday, June 16, 2008

True Confessions

Vicki writes….
Reading this entry will be very therapeutic for those of you who are insanely jealous of our cruising lifestyle …there are plenty of times when it’s WORK with a healthy dose of STRESS. Yesterday is a good example.

Crossing from Connecticut to Block Island can be a bit like the open ocean and yesterday’s seas were 3-5 ft. – uncomfortable, not scary – nothing breaking over the bow. It seems that I’m getting my sea legs as I fought off sea sickness (with the help of wrist pressure bands, Quease-Ease aromatherapy inhaler, and a Rolaid). Forgot to try the gingersnaps -- opening the refrigerator probably wasn’t a good idea, anyway. Should have taken a magic pill, but didn’t think about it until too late. Nerves were further wracked by objects flying off surfaces and crashing to the floor – yes, we still have too much stuff not in drawers or secured – that will change.

We entered the Great Salt Pond which forms the center of Block Island and thought we’d catch a mooring ball since anchors have a reputation for dragging here. I wasn’t successful in maneuvering the boat close enough to the ball for Norm to get it, so I got a chance to snag my first mooring ball which I did on the third try – WooHoo! The celebration was short-lived when it became evident that the boat was too long for the mooring and would swing over other mooring balls potentially wrapping around our struts, props and whatever else is under there. We tried two other balls with the same result. In the process of grabbing the third ball, I LOST THE BOAT HOOK into the water – it was caught on the line of the mooring ball and as the boat traveled backwards and the ball stayed stationary, I was dragged up the railing of the forward deck unable to free the hook from the line -letting go of the hook before my arm was wrenched out of its socket. Fun. Trusty Norm came to the rescue using the spare boat hook to recover the one drifting. That was a 20-minute ordeal of Norm running back and forth around the boat, yelling maneuvering instructions to me since I couldn’t see the thing in the water. It sounds funny now and I’m actually getting a chuckle, but at the time it was not fun. It would have been very entertaining to watch, no doubt. Norm then snagged the third mooring ball and we realized, again, that we were too close to the other moorings. (On the bright side, we did get a lot of valuable practice getting mooring balls.)

Over to plan B - Let’s anchor. The anchorage was clearly marked and there were a number of boats there, but it wasn’t crowded. We cruised around that place twice looking for the right spot – found a couple possibilities and then decided to move on. We wanted to be close to shore where, reportedly, our type of anchor works best. It wasn’t clear how much water there was close to shore – that is, we could tell the depth under us, but weren’t sure of the depth closer in and whether we would hit bottom when the boat swung – and didn’t want to test it. Also, we were a bit leary because all other boats were anchored in the middle, not near shore. After what seemed like 45-minutes of debate about what to do, out we went to the middle and anchored successfully.

[Warning: The following contains self-confessional material that may be too emotionally gripping for some readers, but is included to portray our authentic cruising experience. Those of you who are in touch with your inner-Oprah will really dig it!]

All of this precipitated meltdown #2. It was of the “this is too hard” variety. (Not to worry - meltdowns are just a normal part of my process for coping with change –they last a few minutes and help me ‘get it out’ so I can ‘move on’ –ooh, I’m channeling Dr. Phil). Meltdown #1 (I might as well confess all) was of the “nothing’s going right” variety and happened after the crap-o-matic pooped out, the intercom broke (since fixed), trip-planning was harder than anticipated, and the cupcakes stuck in the pan yielding only cupcake tops (that was the tipping point). Yes, I’m getting another chuckle here, but I’m telling ya, at the time those cupcakes put me over the edge! Unfortunately, the meltdowns occurred on Norm’s birthday and Father’s Day. Poor Norm! If the holiday trend holds, the next meltdown will occur on our Anniversary, July 1. Stay tuned.

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