05 June 2022

Day 3 Cape Henlopen

John's Post

I expected some wind from the ocean today, but was a bit surprised to be woken before dawn by sudden 25 knot winds blowing over the sea wall. Of course, anything we'd left loose on deck last night started slapping and banging. Tightening the main and Mizzen halyards plus several other lines quieted the initial racket down, but an hour later the Aries servo rudder woke me again with its banging. So up on deck again to swing that up out of the water, and to secure it.

By that time, I was thoroughly awake, so I grabbed my book and a cup of coffee, and had a bit of Sunday morning quiet time before breakfast and chores.

First up was the most important: fixing the AIS, which had quit yesterday. AIS stands for Automatic Identification System, and it's like an aircraft transponder that sends the boats position, speed, direction, and other information to other boats nearby - up to around 30 miles. It also receives this information from other boats and displays the boats around you on what looks like a radar screen. It's an essential piece of safety gear on a modern boat, and ours had to work before departure.

I knew exactly what the problem was. Last fall, I'd had to cut the wire going up the mizzen mast to the AIS antenna, before taking the mast out of the boat for repairs. I'd spliced the wire back together with some connectors, but had my doubts about them. Luckily I'd bought a better set along and it was quick work to cut off the old connectors and put on the new ones. Problem solved. (Phew!)

Then it was time to tackle several small jobs that had to be done: install the preventers, which are lines that help control the main boom at sea; install the jacklines, which run up and down both sides of the deck. We clip in to them when going forward so we don't fall overboard; install new straps on the holding tank, and installed our Iridium Go! Sat phone so we can leave it permanently turned on at sea for texts and email.

And as a bonus, a couple of OCC friends happened to be in the same anchorage, so we had a nice visit with them.

The weather still looks good for a departure tomorrow afternoon, so my next post might be from the Atlantic Ocean. Fingers crossed!


  1. Best Wishes, Fair Winds !

  2. Fair winds and a safe trip to Europe

  3. ‘Til next time we meet! Just passing Atlantic City at 18:30 after a 10:00am departure from Cape Henlopen.

  4. Belated thanks to all. I could send blog posts via email on my sat phone, but could not read comments until now (after arriving in the Azores.) we appreciate everyone who followed along and left comments.


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