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Flying south with a new toy


When the Merino wool long johns are been hauled out from the bottom of the cupboard its time to head south. Balancing avoiding the hurricane season with warmer weather requires a bit of research and some luck- but I felt it was time to follow those geese and fly south..

The plan is to head south slowly to Hampton in the Chesapeake and then 1300 mile dart for Antigua at the beginning of November.

I had thought that retracing my steps back down the east coast may be boring and a little less of an adventure. After three weeks of heading south, it has been a whole new set of experiences.

Nicola ( new crew), an experienced sailor, quickly got to grips with Saorsas idiosyncrasies and it was so good to be back out in the Ocean again feeling Saorsa gliding through the sea. We popped into Marblehead - a yachting mecca in the summer and very close to Gosport where they still talk about the “perfect storm” of when 13 yacht crews were lost heading for Antigua ( the route we will be sailing in less than a months time!). This was compounded by my mother watching “Adrift” on Netflicks and ringing me straight afterwards to tell me I cannot do the Pacific! – umm… It was accompanied by the rockest night on a mooring in Marblehead harbour – we needed Lee cloths!.

Undaunted by this negativity, we headed out around Cape Cod and down to Nantucket and were lucky enough to have flat seas and gentle breezes facilitating great whale watching – 1 =x Wright whale and 4 humpbacks – awesome.

On the way north Cuttyhunk had been shrouded in fog, and we hadn’t seen much of the island, this , combined with reading that there was fresh fish available on the dock we decided to drop by.

The island was deserted apart from three lovely locals on the wharf who were a joy to speak to, – but we were out of season and there were no fish sales today!. Nina (one of the locals) decided to take us under her wing, piled us into her four wheel drive golf buggy and took us to her beautiful house overlooking the harbour. Nina sent us off with a bag full of fish she had caught in Alaska and some lovely herbs from her garden. It was not until we got back to the boat we discovered the bag was a treasure trove of beautiful fish. THANK YOU Nina such generosity: Halibut, Cod, Rockfish and Salmon - were just fantastic. I truely hope some day to you come to New Zealand and I can replay your kind generosity.

The next treat was an awesome downwind sail down Long Island Sound -a great day to try out my new toy – Flying the Saorsa flag ….. a memorable day as we held the kite for four hours of delightful down wind sailing.

New York City was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions. The museum for 9/11 found me fighting back the tears – hat off to the orchasrator of the museum, with its own app guiding you through the exhibits it provided an extraordinary insight into this tragic event. In the evening we Then we went to see “Hamilton,” and if anyone had told me I was going to see a “rap” musical about American history I don’t think I would have gone, but it was an edge of the seat musical with a visual feast that had me gripped.

Emma and Brent had kindly bought me a historic “foodie” tour of Greenwich village and Nicola and I were treated to local 12 food tastings at old NY family run place– bagles, pizza, falafel, dumplings, cupcakes and much more – yummie. THANK YOU - Emma and Brent.

In NY we picked up a new crew member Cheryl, a lovely lady from Vermont who sails with her lovely husband Richard. They have their own beautiful boat in Maine but have not yet had the courage to venture south together. Cheryl spent her childhood in a wheelchair, and now, despite a neurological issue which causes messages from her brain to be transmitted 15 slower than normal to her limbs she manages to get around on two walking poles. Getting around the NY underground when you have to use a lift was real eyeopener from me – its a night mare for folk like Cheryl. It just does not facilitate disabled folk and it should. As for Saorsa getting around the boat is challenging for her, but boy oh boy she just makes it happen and with a smile. It was a real pleasure to have Cheryl on board and take her on her first off shore passage. We just flew down the New Jersey coast and to see her at the helm powering through the waves as the sun set was pure enjoyment.

Next stop the Annoplis boat show....

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