Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Electrifying Montauk

We're not big on crowds. A sailing friend of ours keeps his boat on Lake Montauk and told us of how quiet it is even on Labor Day weekend. Visiting another sailing friend and avoiding the crowds over a holiday weekend...perfect.

We took the local bus out to Montauk Light, known as "The End". We're getting used to riding public transportation and meeting all kinds of people. This girl heads back to Switzerland after working here for the summer. The bus driver was an endless fountain of information...endless :)

Some fellow long term cruisers snapped a picture of us in front of the light.

Hurricane Sandy went ashore over 150 miles away in New Jersey. But the storm surge was around 30' high, well over the rock berm at the base of the lighthouse!

We left around noon on Labor Day to catch the slack tide at Plum Gut into Long island Sound. The currents can run quite swift there with potential to make things rather unpleasant. On the way out of Lake Montauk, just after we cleared the channel, a big squall popped up out of nowhere. Wind went from 10 knots to 30 knots with driving rain in about 2 minutes! I slowed down to about 3 knots and then POP! We sustained a lightening strike. The wind display instrument went dark and the chart plotter lost GPS signal. Uh Oh! Chris shut off the power to the instruments and then restarted. Luckily the chart plotter GPS came back on line but the wind display was toast. Blank screen and a buzzing sound isn't good. Chris took the helm, still in the squall, and I started a survey below. Sometimes a lightening strike can blow a hole in the hull! So I opened every floor hatch to search for any signs of water. Nothing there and no other problems apparent, so I went back topside just in time to see that the speed I had set was not fast enough in the strong winds to keep us moving away from a very large floating buoy! THROTTLE UP! We missed by about 20'. The squall moved on quick enough and the rest of the day was uneventful. But we're now faced with replacing the wind instrument, we have no way of telling wind speed or direction. A new one will cost over $1000! Plus I'll need to install a new sensor atop the mast and run a new wire down the mast. Oh joy!

We're pressing on to Annapolis, I have work there again this year. We're staying in a marina right across from downtown from mid September to mid October. Replacing the wind instrument will be added to the list of To Do's while there.