A few weekends ago I was going out to meet my friends Laura and Cory at Duck Island Roads, a small island near Clinton, CT. The plan for me was to leave Friday afternoon, travel about 4 hours and then anchor for the night, continuing on Saturday morning.
Well, the normal weather pattern for the Long Island Sound is for storms to pass north or south following the coast of Connecticut or Long Island. Guess what? Not this night. There were severe thunderstorms north and as I travelled I noticed that they were travelling not from the southwest to the northeast but from the northwest to the southeast!
Pelican is a sturdy vessel, but her owner can sometimes be a little lax putting things away. Even in the Sound waves can become rather large and short. Still when things start flying is not the time to start putting them away.
Anyway, with the radar on, I watched the storm center catch up to me and then inexplicably match my speed. With winds steady at 30 knots and gusting higher the seas built to 4-5 feet on the beam quickly. Then came the rain. I've not seen rain like that in a long, long time. Within seconds it beat the seas flat. Amazing cloud-to-cloud lightning, too.
I called Laura and Cory who had decided to pull into New Haven's Morris Cove and wait for me. They suggested I try a bit of sail so I did! Just the staysail. With that alone and the wind on the beam I was going 7.5 knots! Woohoo! Really, a very wet woohoo at that.
Other than being noisy, Pelican was behaving in a most reassuring manner. It means to me that I made the right choice in her. More on that in another post, though.
Eventually the storms cleared as I entered New Haven and tied up to my friends. It was a late but deserved cocktail hour, for sure.
Although it was nervous-making, it was not fearful in any way, shape, or means. What is scary right now is knowing there's a deadline for my cruise to the Caribbean. And that's the next adventure I'm going to have!
See you out there on the water!