A NAUTICAL ROAD TRIP – BY ELLIN CURLEY

Tom and I are going on a nautical road trip with our friend Deb. We all live in southern CT. She bought a boat that is moored in Eastern MA. So we agreed to drive with her, in a car, to the boat and then drive the boat, on the water, back to the home marina in Stratford, CT. That trip would be 128 nautical miles, at about 12 miles per hour, if the seas are calm. We plan to make the journey in two days.

DAY 1

We meet in the parking lot at our marina. Deb has rented a van and packed it with everything she’ll need for the boat, which is basically a small house. Bathroom stuff, bedding, cleaning stuff, tools, food, etc. The kitchen also has to have dishes, glasses, silverware, serving pieces, pots, pans, Tupperware, Saran wrap and baggies, you get the idea.

The drive up is uneventful. When we get our first view of Deb’s new boat, I swear to God, a rainbow appears in the sky! Good omen! Lots of unloading and unpacking. We go out to dinner and get to bed early.

DAY 2

 Deb returns the car and does some more unpacking.  Tom relaxes and hangs with the dogs while we wait to head out again.

The 6 ½ hour drive is smooth. But it is cold and raining off and on. We’re bundled up in three layers of clothing, including hoodies and jackets. I’m also wrapped in a blanket all day – in June!

We go through the scenic Cape Cod Canal and I take photos of bridges. Mostly in the rain.

When we tie up at our marina for the night, Deb and Tom troubleshoot some of the problems they found on the boat. Something called an inverter, the shower pump, the kitchen drain, the windshield wipers. (Yes, this boat has windshield wipers!)

We marinate our lamb chops and try to start the grill. Guess what? There’s no gas for the grill, the stove or the oven. All that works is the microwave. So we warm up some beef stew and nuke some potatoes. We’re roughing it. In a floating condo.

We go to bed to the sound of strange noises from the water pump every three minutes.

DAY 3

We wake up to no water. Not a big deal, just fill the water tanks. But why are we out of water? We didn’t use up ½ gallon of water overnight. Welcome to owning a boat.

Microwave the eggs and bacon and head out. There’s a six and a half hour drive ahead of us. But we are looking forward to seeing our friends at the other end who are ready to greet us with pizza and champagne to christen the boat.

Cold and rainy again.  Deb and Tom drive the boat and I stay inside most of the day trying to stay warm. But it’s hard to stay warm because the heat inside the boat isn’t working.

Major miscalculation! The trip home is 36 miles longer than we expected. So the total trip is actually 164 miles and today’s travel time is up to 10 ½ hours! So much for the welcome home party. We approach our marina in the dark. We’re navigating by all three of us sticking our heads out of the windows and looking for marker buoys. Still raining. Dancing to oldies rock and roll.

We really know how to have fun!

We arrive at our marina at 9:45 PM and dock the boat in the pouring rain. Unload quickly and drop Deb off at her house. Tom and I find a diner that’s open and get a late, light dinner. Home by midnight. Greeted effusively by ecstatic dogs.

Great adventure but it’s good to be home!

Happy Deb and her new boat!

19 thoughts on “A NAUTICAL ROAD TRIP – BY ELLIN CURLEY

  1. Marilyn Armstrong June 12, 2017 / 12:46 am

    I’m still laughing. We actually were on a cruise like this. We got stopped by a storm, then by a passing raft full of immigrants from Cuba — who refused a ride on the ship because they were determined to float into Florida. Then someone died and someone else got critically ill, so there was a helicopter and we finally missed our final stop in the Bahamas because we’d lost all that time. In between, the elevators stopped working etc. But the food kept coming. That’s the thing on cruises. The more things go wrong, the more they feed you.

    It’s probably more fun on a personal ship, but you don’t get fed 24/7 😀

    Like

    • Ellin Curley June 12, 2017 / 2:00 pm

      Wow! That sounds like the cruise from Hell Marilyn! We’ve had pretty rough seas that make for a very unpleasant and precarious journey on our little boat. But we check forecasts religiously and try not to go out when the weather is iffy. We are not brave and intrepid sailors!

      Like

      • Marilyn Armstrong June 12, 2017 / 2:12 pm

        We thought it was rather interesting. Garry & I are laid back travelers. If no one is shooting at us and the toilet works, we’re good 🙂

        Like

    • Ellin Curley June 12, 2017 / 2:01 pm

      We have had more dramatic – and traumatic boat trips. This one was really about comaraderie and friendship. And on that level, it was a resounding success!

      Liked by 1 person

      • AlexisChateauPR June 12, 2017 / 7:00 pm

        I’ve never taken a boat trip for more than a few hours, so just being able to do that would have been pretty awesome. Haha.

        Like

        • Ellin Curley June 13, 2017 / 7:34 pm

          A long boat trip can be relaxing, except for the driver. You’re basically in a moving house. You can go to the bathroom, read, get something to eat, take a nap, etc. When it’s your turn to drive, it’s like driving a car – you’re stuck in the driver’s seat until someone relieves you.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. slmret June 12, 2017 / 1:00 am

    Hopefully the story doesn’t end there — and the boat provides hours of enjoyment in CT.

    Like

    • Ellin Curley June 12, 2017 / 2:05 pm

      Deb plans to spend her retirement on this boat traveling all over – from Bermuda and the islands in the south, to Canada in the north. And the great loop going up and down the inter coastal canals on the east and over to the Mississippi in the West. She is a fearless and adventurous sailor. She will get so much joy form her boat, it will be a pleasure to see.

      Liked by 1 person

      • slmret June 12, 2017 / 2:40 pm

        That sounds like a wonderfully adventurous life — I hope she can accomplish all that!

        Like

        • Ellin Curley June 13, 2017 / 7:37 pm

          There is one thing that stands between Deb and her dream of living and traveling on the boat. She just got divorced and on a boat this size, it’s really better, as well as more pleasant, to have a first mate to help you out. So she has to find someone, with her love of boaats and traveling, to go with her when the time comes down the road.

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          • slmret June 13, 2017 / 9:44 pm

            On the West Coast, boaters join yacht clubs and meet each other quite easily A first mate would be helpful, and make it more enjoyable!

            Like

  3. swo8 June 12, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    We had a boat once and were quite happy to see the end of it. It can be fun and can be a real pain, all at the same time.
    Leslie

    Like

    • Ellin Curley June 12, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      You are a true boater. You understand that it is a love/hate relationship with the boat, the water and the weather. Things go wrong on the boat all the time. Money gets poured into it on a regular basis. Plans get screwed up constantly because of the weather or boat problems, or both. But when everything comes together and you get a few perfect days on the water, boaters consider the scales totally tipped in boating’s favor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • swo8 June 12, 2017 / 2:49 pm

        That about sizes it all up, Ellin….chuckle.
        Leslie

        Like

  4. Garry Armstrong June 12, 2017 / 12:53 pm

    What an adventurous trip, Ellin. Too bad you didn’t have Capt. Queeg aboard. Who ate the stawberries?

    Like

    • Ellin Curley June 12, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      We didn’t have strawberries or Capt. Queeg. But we did have two captains – both Deb and Tom are captains on their own boats. They both know a lot about boats and boating. It was fun to watch them trouble shoot each problem as it came up. They are both so knowledgeable, they managed to figure everything out pretty quickly.

      Like

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