Crew-finding Fiascoes

Last night’s full moon was glorious from the foredeck of Further.

Here it is, the last few days of June, and Further is still tied up to the marina in Annapolis. I had hoped she’d be bobbing at her mooring in the Merrimack River back home in Newburyport, Mass., in mid- to late-May, so I am now a month-plus behind schedule.

Some of the delay has been due to various projects that needed to be done on the boat. But by far the biggest impediment has been my inability to find any crew who can join me for the sail north. I tried reaching out to friends with sailing experience but no one’s schedule has allowed them to get away yet. One friend-of-a-friend who, I was under the impression, was unemployed and ready to go ASAP told me yesterday that he was ready to go…after July 10. That revelation sunk me into a deep funk that I’m hoping will lift a bit as I write this post and get things off my chest.

There’s an added tragedy to the saga as well: This week’s weather has been perfect for the offshore leg from Cape May, N.J., to Rhode Island. I’ve been watching the weather forecasts for a while now and had hoped to be headed north by yesterday or today, but obviously that’s not the case.

It’s now at the point where I am contemplating making the trip singlehandedly. Going solo is very do-able — plenty of people are sailing around the world by themselves right this moment — but not prudent, especially since I haven’t been offshore in a few years.

The full moon was even nice when walking back to Eastport over Spa Creek draw bridge after an ice cream cone in Annapolis.

But I am so jones-ing to sail on blue water, to see the ocean, to anchor in a spot where I can jump off Further into the water and not worry about the health implications, that I’m almost to that point.

One friend wisely counseled patience, pointing out that another couple of weeks is no big deal, and also pointing out that I enjoy Annapolis. All of that is true, but on the other hand, it’s time to GO. If I were sailing locally more often, that would be one thing, and several times recently the conditions have been perfect — except for the fact that the water level in my cove was so low that Further was stuck in the mud (this despite the assurances of locals that such conditions NEVER happen in the summer). So yeah. Time to go.

These are all first-world problems, I realize, and I apologize for my whining. I mean: I just finished reading a book by a woman who’d been diagnosed with stage IV cancer; my “problems” are not even problems; they’re scheduling challenges. So again: my apologies.

But if you have any interest in going for a sail, experienced or not, gimme a shout. We could do it one fell swoop: Annapolis to Newburyport would take about four and a half days. Or we could break it up: I’d like to head straight from Naptown to Block Island, stay there for a day or two, and then head home. Or if you’d like to join for one or more shorter legs we could even break it up a bit more: a day to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal; a day from there to Cape May; two days offshore to Block; a day from Block to somewhere on Cape Cod (or a side trip to Martha’s Vineyard?); a final day back to Newburyport. Whatever works best for you, I’m game. I would counsel that if you’ve never been offshore, you start out with something shorter and closer to land. Things can get monotonous when you’re out there for more than a few hours. Just sayin’.

And if it doesn’t work out and I don’t get home until mid-July, well, come along for a day sail out of Newburyport or maybe even a journey down to Maine. Seriously. I’d like to join a gathering up in Penobscot Bay the last weekend of July and would love to have company along for the trip.

Again, if you’re interested in any of this, drop me an email at the Gmail address listed on this site. Thanks!