12 Foot Waves and Delaware Dolphins

It has been quite an exciting couple of days. Bad weather and choppy seas have followed us down the coast. Matt has been considering abandoning the trip and joining the pirate crew we came across in Delaware. Stay in touch to find out what happens!

We found it humorous that the farther south we traveled, the colder the weather grew. I can’t deny that it has made the trip exciting. After staying another night in New York City, we decided to brave the stormy seas yet again. With Bobby Godfrey, a new crew member, we thought it would be easier to sail through the night.

After navigating through miles of ferry traffic and bustling New York City commuters in the harbor, we set our sails for the North Atlantic Ocean. This would turn into one of the most exciting nights of the trip so far. Exciting may be one of the more positive applicable adjectives.

It became apparent early in the evening that the weather was not going to be calm. The wind slowly built up strength, and the waves were also increasing in size. We had the wind with us, however, so we were at least moving at high speeds and not being beat down by the chop.

As we put distance between ourselves and land, things began to get interesting. The boat was rocking back and forth like a seesaw as we powered through massive waves of sea and foam. Below deck, Bobby missed a grab rail and was thrown across the cabin, breaking a table with the impact. Bruised up and battered, he retired for the night. Matt, fighting a bout of sea sickness, also had to call it quits.

We reefed the sail to prevent too much damage or loss of control due to the 30-mph gusts that would become a recurring theme on this night sail. I stood at the helm for more hours than I like to count. It was pitch black and the waves would build up to twelve feet coming in intervals of 60 seconds. Trying to keep my mind off the fact that I was scared for my life, I continued to steer and sing any song that came to my head as loud as I could. It must have been a pretty ridiculous sight: three crew members below deck nursing injuries, a fourth at the helm sing “Amazing Grace” at the top of his lungs, sailing through the pitch black riding the tops of twelve foot furies.

It was 10 a.m. when I finally had the chance to let someone else take the helm. We had safely arrived at the inlet for the Delaware River by Cape May. After successfully avoiding some of the dangerous currents at the inlet, we set our sails for a small marina a few miles away: Lewes Marina in Lewes, Delaware. During our trek across the bay area, many dolphins surfaced next to the boat. I like to think they represented good luck and a sign that the weather will be for us after we sit out this next day of storms.

The marina was one of the nicest and safest harbors I have ever seen, nestled behind Cape Henlopen. I can’t believe we have already reached areas where people speak in southern drawls. I can’t believe this trip is actually happening to begin with. We commissioned our small portable dinghy, and Bobby, Matt, and I took it on a successful maiden voyage up the Lewes River.

We are staying the night in Lewes, Delaware, working on repairs and attempting to dry off some of our things from the last few days of turbulence.



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