A change of view

Physically and mentally, so it seems.  I’ve looked around and do not see him or her, but that’s so typical of the angel watching over you to remain just past the edge of your peripheral vision.

The weekend before last started out pleasantly enough with warm, sunny weather and a much anticipated visit from Martin and Laurie Bradburn, Lily’s parents. They arrived Saturday afternoon for a taste of catamaran life. We made sure to give them the (almost) full treatment, complete with a dinghy ride from the dock to the mooring. In lieu of sailing we simply sped down river, aided by a 3kt current, complements of recent rainfall.  Hamburg Cove was passed by in favor of a swing past the Essex Yacht Clubs and CT River Museum, ending up anchored off Nott Island with a view of Essex harbor. Muscle memory proved itself alive as we executed all operations without a hitch. I always worry about my role at the bow when we anchor. Russ tried to tell me that anchor raising was my job too, but I knew better and shoved him outside to deal with that and push a few branches out of the way too.  An entire forest has come down river over the past couple of weeks.

Martin enjoys our spacious bow

Martin enjoys our spacious bow

The return trip was much slower as we battled the current that hasn’t seen “incoming” in many days. We stopped at the fuel dock to allow our guests, who possess excellent taste in wine and music, an easy disembarkation (yes, it is a word), plus this would help complete their experience. Oh and we only hit one log on the way home.  By this time I had no interest in dealing with the mooring pickup in the dark, so we spent the night at the dock.  Sunday was Father’s Day and Russ wanted to spend time in Hamburg Cove which meant we’d be off the dock before anyone would be needing it. A bit of dock time meant a chance to plug in for a battery fill-up and to top off the water tanks.

Once again we sped south and after a successful first snag of a mooring – see? the muscle memory keeps workin’ – I fixed pancakes for breakfast- healthy ones- Multi-grain Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Pancakes. – Oh the chips are just the mini ones. Russ took the kayak for a spin while I held down the fort with silent prayers that the mooring’s owner did not arrive to kick us off. Too late we’d noticed the name on the ball read, “Dock 6”, meaning we’d increased the risk of meeting an owner.  The boats poured in but our luck held and we stayed ‘til about 3pm when the clouds began to roll in. Wow, two outings in two days and the first ones (not counting trips to the fuel dock) since we arrived back on May 1.  The physical change of scenery was long overdue, but not quite yet complete- as we were to discover.

How do I describe the white-knuckle, breath-holding event that topped off our Sunday- during cocktail hour no less??  A short video is called for- sorry don’t have one. A few photos might help- no don’t have those either. Some who read this will know the feeling, others will get a sense, and some I’m sure will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Ever wonder if a particular decision was a good one, especially if it involves choosing between two options with pros and cons; neither one right nor wrong. Our mooring has two pennants so that we can be attached at both bow cleats. After the marina attached the second pennant (early May) Russ went out and added seizing wire around the shackles for insurance.

So, we arrived back to our floating ball, congratulating ourselves on a fun and successful weekend.  Happy Hour arrives but about 10 minutes into it we aren’t feeling all that happy. Russ happens (Captain’s sixth sense?) to look out toward the stern, then says, “I think something’s wrong.” I jump up and by golly if we aren’t about a foot away from the mooring/dock behind us. Not much wind at the moment, the current is going out but not as swiftly as recently and I KNOW that the mooring/dock thing behind us is NOT moving toward us. Guess that leaves one possibility; we are moving toward it!  I start the port engine, send Russ to the bow to see if we are still attached (but we know we are) and we are. I start the starboard engine as it’s become clear we need to move outta here and Russ takes the helm to bring us forward and toward the channel. I release the pennant eyes from the bow cleats, and watch as the ball, pennants, floats with whips all gather for a festival between the hulls. Not wanting to get any lines tangled in the props, the engines remain in neutral while we float away from them with some remaining forward momentum. I give the all-clear and we leave the mooring ball in the channel, now a temporary hazard to navigation, while we go pick up another mooring ball. Damn, if that wasn’t a revolting development. Happy that this happened in daylight, at a quiet time, not much wind… AND we were aboard, didn’t hardly have time to be royally pissed off. Happy Hour re-commences while we ponder where the mooring and/or chain failed. Russ surmised that the shackle that connects the chain to the cement block came undone which meant the mooring would have enough weight to remain where we moved it after casting us loose in search of a different view.

Monday morning our wayward mooring was dragged in like a runaway pet, too ashamed to bark at the door.

Naughty mooring soon to be hauled in to sit in the corner!

Naughty mooring soon to be hauled in to sit in the corner!

The view from our stern of the mooring/docks before we were set free.

The view from our stern of the mooring/docks before we were set free.

The next day we got a second pennant on our new home, complete with marina provided seizing wire and the assurance that all moorings would be pulled this year and inspected.  They were likely due anyway. Our new home sits just opposite the dock where we spent the past two summers; maybe Ms. Ortolan needed to be closer the familiar surroundings and all that dancing around with the wind and current lately was a way to break free. We still think our decision to be on a mooring this summer was a good one; maybe we chose the wrong one is all.

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