August 23. It was a crappy night for sleeping. We were lying to the tidal flow with a moderate breeze coming straight at the stern. That drives little wavelets up under the overhang and makes for a noisy, restless night.
This morning we did discover that the anchor windlass is somehow connected to the wind switch. Because as soon as we pulled the anchor this morning the breeze that had been tormenting me all night just magically stopped. It just can’t be coincidence.
So we headed off diagonally across Long Island Sound bound for Port Jefferson. After about 2 hours of motoring the wind had built to about 6 knots. I’ve been spoiled by the last 2 days of great sailing so I was going to will it to happen again. I pulled out the entire genoa and shut off the engine. The wind stayed between 4 and 8 knots but luckily we were also riding the flood tide for about a knot. Christy looked at me, rolled her eyes and went back to her book as we ghosted across the Sound at close to 4 knots.
While we were motoring our ETA for Port Jefferson was about 1330 hours. As the day went by I watched that balloon to 1730 hours. After 4 hours of drifting, err, sailing along I restarted the engine and ended up dropping the hook in Port Jeff at 1500 hours. It was slow as hell but it wasn’t really that bad a day and we thought we might have seen the sun. We were not really sure, it coulda been, from what we remember of it.
We read about a place in town that serves great seafood, cheap. So we hopped in the dinghy and went in search of the “Seafood Grail” First we had to land and tie up the dinghy. The guidebook says the Danford Marina will let you tie up at their dock while you go into town. We find it, tie up and a guy at the counter says “that’ll be 7 bucks”. I pay the 7 and secretly plan to have one less beer with dinner and skimp on the tip.
Well, the jokes on me. There is no waitress as its self serve. Think about a Burger King that only serves seafood, with no English spoken behind the counter, more flying insects than you could kill and toss in some filth. Bon Appetite. Actually, we both had Grouper sandwiches and they were really good it’s just that the place had the atmosphere of the cafeteria at Riker’s Island. It’s really hard to screw up outside, waterfront dining but they managed to do so.
Then Christy and I went for a little walk around town and ended up at the dock master’s office. We went inside to ask if there was a town dock where we could tie up our dinghy for free. The girl behind the counter could not comprehend what a dinghy was. I’m explaining “ya know, the little boat you take from the big boat to the dock”. I mean for Christ’s sake, she works on the waterfront, at the dockmasters office and she is unfamiliar with the term “dinghy”. I asked her a few times all the while getting the “deer in the headlights” look. Finally she blurts out “I don’t know what that word means”. No wonder the Son of Sam killed New Yorkers. I started getting a little twitchy……