Posted by: tflana | October 15, 2014

The routine and mundane

New Mainsail on a beautiful day of sailing to Rock Hall, MD

New Mainsail on a beautiful day of sailing to Rock Hall, MD

Brian and I have been out here for 2 weeks now.  We sat down and talked about the issues we have had in our journey up to this point.  The conclusions that we both came too was that we have no routine on the boat like we used too.  Scout has been completely changed to us and we just have not gotten the swing of her yet.  With this said, we have come to the decision that rushing through things is what gets us into situations we would prefer not to be in!

When I started sailing on Scout with Brian, he was very particular about how the boat was put away when we finished a day’s sail.  Even the sail ties needed to be a certain way!  How do I know this? Because numerous times I would put the mainsail cover on to only see Brian go back and redo it to his liking.  What was my response?  Learn to do it the way Brian wanted it at the end of the day.  This then became a very simple routine and we always knew the next time we went to go sailing, Scout was all set.

Now with the new rigging, sails, and just about everything else different, we need to set up a routine before either setting sail or coming into port.  Numerous times in the past 2 weeks, we were in tough sailing conditions, and we put ourselves at risk by having to climb the mast to attach the halyard to the mainsail (should have been done before leaving port) or set a reef in the main when there was already 25 knot winds blowing.  We are usually so tired when we finally drop anchor, we both assume we will square the boat away in the morning.  Morning comes and we are trying to catch the wind, tide or currents and we realize we never fixed the problems from yesterday!

Another mistake we have made is determining our waypoints the night before a leg of our journey!  Our boat has a 5 foot draft and the shoals of the Chesapeake Bay are keeping us on our toes!  There are times where we are sailing in 30 feet of water to realize we are over a 6 foot shoal, heading to 3 feet!  Brian is very used to sailing Long Island Sound and the tide changes, but we are newbies in this body of water, we need to do our due diligence!  We got very lucky yesterday afternoon coming into Swan Creek trying to find an anchorage!  We took 2 hours tacking back in forth to enter the correct channel, avoiding shallow waters, but we missed one red buoy coming into the channel and yes, we went aground!  Luckily, it was a sandy, muddy bottom.  But before we knew it the depth sounder was at 4 1/2 feet and we went boom!  The good news is Brian kept his cool, quickly put our the jib, there was wind, we were on sand and not rocks, and after about 10 minutes, Scout was free!  The conclusion here:  Double and Triple check our waypoints and buoy system.  This is our home and we got so very lucky yesterday, and will it happen again?  Yes most likely but I would prefer not to see it happen!

Brian put it very well last night when he said in a way we have to find our way through our preparedness, and if we are not prepared, it will bite us in the rear!  The moral of this story is we need to slow down, prepare ourselves, follow our instincts and enjoy the ride more.

Phinneus double checking that we are secure on the mooring

Phinneus double checking that we are secure on the mooring


  1. Very glad you are safe & sound. You’ll (hopefully) learn from your mistakes. Don’t forget, this is just the very beginning of your adventure so it should get easier and easier. I can tell that Phinneus is adjusting….how’s Pickles doing? Keep us posted…. miss you bunches.

  2. So glad you made it through this! Just signed on to get your updates. Thought about you when Gonzalo was hitting and was hoping that you were tucked safely in a harbor. I’ll be keeping in touch. So jealous. This looks liie an amazing adventure. Pookie would be totally useless on a boat too! We took her on an elevator once and she freaked out…shook in terror for hours! thinking of you, Tara. Miss you at Garman’s office!

    Linda Colucci

    • Linda,
      I miss everyone at the animal hospital as well. I feel so very lucky to have this opportunity in my life and will enjoy every day! Give Pookie a kiss for me.

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