We made it to the boat!

When we last left off with this story, we had just bought a boat, sight unseen, on eBay. After a quick check of the boat, in person, we tucked her away for the winter since she was in Connecticut and we were in Florida. So begins our story today …

We had planned on heading to Connecticut in April to sail our boat to Florida, but Covid-19 had other plans. Fast forward to the end of May and we were finally on our way back up to Connecticut; even though there were a lot of marinas still closed at this time. We figured it would be the first week of June before we actually headed out of the marina. Places were planning on opening, so all would be fine; right?

The road from the Florida panhandle to Connecticut took us 2 days, through 10 states, with a stopover in our old stomping grounds of Roanoke, VA. We arrived at the marina fairly late in the evening, so we just grabbed the essentials for the night. Our sailboat was just as we had left it in March, for the most part. We wouldn’t be able to really survey anything until the light of day. That first night on the boat was rainy, but definitely not uncomfortable. We sat out in the cockpit, under the bimini, listening to the rain and the sounds around the marina. It was so peaceful, but dang was it still cold in Connecticut! Our thin Florida blood was NOT prepared for the 40 degree weather at night.

We woke up to a nice brisk morning at the marina. People milling about working on their boats and heading out for a day on Long Island Sound. Justin, the marina manager stopped by for a chat. Back in April, there had been some gale force winds in the marina. They literally tore our dinghy off our boat and into the water. Marina workers were able to retrieve our dinghy and secure it back to our boat. However, it had lost most of its’ air, so we were praying real hard that we would be able to re-inflate it and there wouldn’t be any holes. As luck would have it this time, we were able to salvage the dinghy.

Before we had left the boat back in March we had noticed there were leaks around the portholes and handrails. Once we returned to Florida, we knew we were going to put the boat on the hard and give some serious attention to the entire boat.

We did some quick fix sealing of the windows and handrails in an attempt to keep water from getting inside the boat while we were gone. The seals worked great; it may have not looked the best, but hey, it was a fix to get us where we were planning on going and most importantly, no more water dripping in the cabin.

Now that we knew everything was sealed up good we set about cleaning and bringing in food, supplies, safety equipment and gear onto the boat. I quickly realized, I brought way too much for a 32 foot boat. For a week, we cleaned inside and out, bought spare parts, checked lines and added an anchor.

One day as I (Heather) was scrubbing the deck, I heard someone yelling to me. The previous owner’s son stopped by in hopes of seeing the boat still docked. He said they had a bunch of stuff for us if we wanted to come get it all. We ended up with 2 chairs, 4 sails, spinnaker pole, whisker pole, extra line and blocks. Basically, we ended up filling our rental minivan completely full of more equipment. There was so much we weren’t sure if everything would fit on the boat with everything we already had stored!

I should mention that while we were getting everything ready to set sail, we were also waiting for a good weather window. The first part of June had 2 named storms already. This had made us more than a little nervous and antsy about getting started. But, it was time to leave the marina and Connecticut to begin the journey south…..

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