Yup, that’s right. We never made it to Guilford last night. We were well on our way, almost halfway there (about 20 miles / 4 hours along) when all of a sudden, our engine died. Wait, Mindy, I thought you said you were SAILING there. Yeah, well, when trying to plan a sailing trip, don’t forget to factor in an absence of wind.
No worries, we thought we could motor-sail on up the coast, covering about 5 nautical miles an hour, and have no troubles. Our engine, 20+ years old, had different plans. Right around 1:30PM, when the wind picked up slightly and we were doing 7 nmph, thinking the world was grand and I started heading into the cabin to make sandwiches, the engine hiccuped. It was just a brief little “sput sput” and then it kept motoring. Yet I knew. When you’re as prone to disaster as I am, you learn to hear and understand these tiny little changes in “the norm” and know that it’s an omen for disaster. I was frozen, waiting to hear it again. It didn’t come. As soon as I relaxed, all sound stopped. Silence. The engine had stopped.
Luckily, disasters always come prepared. I made Chris buy a little jumper robot to bring on the boat should JUST such an event occur. Instead of using it right away, we turned around and headed back to Stamford. Chris thought that it was a combo of the engine overheating and our batteries dying that killed our little sailing adventure, so he wanted to plain sail as long as possible and just use the engine for when we needed to dock.
FYI – there’s this charming little lighthouse in Darien, CT on a stone breakwall that looks absolutely lovely. I know this because we sat on the boat and stared at it for an hour after the wind died, 5 nautical miles from home. Stupid lighthouse. Chris said, no, we are actually moving. Which we were – I did time a lobster buoey take a full minute to float past our boat. At this point, Chris shrugged his shoulders and decided it was time. Our little, yellow, jumper robot came out of his box like a ray of sunshine and we crossed our fingers and held our breath. Please jump the battery. Please jump the battery. Please jump the battery. When we hit the ignition and starter button after 5 minutes, the engine coughed and sputtered to life like an emphazemic old man, and our little Wall-E of a jumper robot beamed with pride.
But wait! There’s more! Per my principle that disasters don’t travel well, here’s a list of if it could go wrong, it did go wrong:
-My blackberry died on the way to the boat, so I charged it, just so it could die again on the boat. FYI – my phone now only works when it is plugged into an outlet (very useful…) and I can’t get a new one until August 29th. Please don’t expect any responsiveness on my part until then.
-I placed my phone next to my husband’s, and now his cell phone will occasionally stop working and say: “SIM card error.” Disasters are contagious
-Even though we bought a fancy GPS thingy, my husband didn’t turn it on while leaving Stamford and asked me to take the tiller as he went to boot it up. BAM! Apparently we sailed right over some wreckage that made a great scraping sound as we grazed it with the keel. After my husband turned on the GPS, which I’m surprised he could manage while laughing hysterically at my shock and rage, he choked out through his laughter: “Look! I can show you what you hit on the GPS!” Very funny.
-Tried to buy vodka at 8:30AM in Connecticut. Apparently you can’t do that. In NYC, we honor our alcoholics and sell them alcohol at anytime!
-Need to remember to dock down the carpet in the cabin so that when the boat is heeling at an angle and you step on the rug, you don’t slide on it and land on your butt the way that I ALWAYS do.
-Figured out how to flush the boat toilet… that doesn’t sound like a disaster, but it’s not fun, people.
-Basically bruised most of my body by whacking into blocks, winches, etc. on the boat
Good news is that Bisou Basil made the trip, survived the trip, and somehow grew to twice his size from thriving on ocean air. I plan to prune him a little tonight for a nice buffalo caprese salad.