28 September 2023
The last day’s sail!
It was a quiet night and the humans slept peacefully. They arose at 05:00 hrs and prepared for sea. Our BBF made each of them a thermos mug of tea and then they slipped in the dark through the rail bridge which opened for us out into the harbour. The sky was clear of all clouds and first light promised a fine day ahead.
There was little wind at this stage and the humans were wrapped up well for the cold.
Brec navigated well again we have to say and our BBF was the voice activated Autohelm!
As we came up to the Lighthouse at the entrance to the channel we were over taken by two fast US Navy Patrol Boats armed to the teeth clearly going out to escort a Submarine into Harbour.
Then suddenly it was there coming in at a fast rate. One Patrol boat put itself between us and the Sub and gave us a toot, but we were already turning onto our course for Bridgeport. Alan gave them a friendly wave and then they rushed off to protect the Sub.
The sun then rose out of the sea in a blaze of glory.
It was still very cold, but the moral of the crew and us Bears was great. We had not seen the sun since before the Hurricane Lee caused us such grief two weeks ago now.
Brec set the Genoa and we motor sailed initially at over 7 knots later it came down to just over 5 knots which we managed to maintain over the whole voyage.
Brec served breakfast to his autohelm and then we passed the beach at the end of his family Lane where so many memories for him lie.
Brec had made a larger version of this painting which is the centre piece of a Gallery exhibition in New London entitled,
Brec deep in memory of his boyhood spent on the Lane. We too have been privileged to go there and share in annual Family picnics and stroll on the beach.
As the sun warmed up the day the humans were able to shed clothing and throughly enjoyed the last sail of this great adventure.
The wind was light and as it turned the Genoa was poled out.
First one side and then the other. Brec served lunch and made a Hot Dog Sandwich for his helmsman which would sell easily in New York on one of the many Stands there. Brec said that the Hotdog Stands Salesmen were very enlightened as Buddhist Monks would go up to then and say, “Make me one with everything!”
More clothes were shed and soon we saw the entrance to Bridgeport. Brec admitted that this was one of the fastest passages from New London he had ever made.
The sun on the last voyage of the season for us bears was great too and soon the humans made up on OTTER’s home slip at the East End Yacht Club. We had sailed in eight days a total of 497 Nautical Miles from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Bridgeport, Connecticut in all weathers including a Gale! Brec then shared out the last can of beer and the men toasted their achievement. Our BBF was emotionally tearful, both happy and sad it was all over!
The men then packed their things to begin getting off the boat. Brec went to get his car, but the battery was flat. The alarm had gone off while we were away! Brec called AAA to come and start it this took a bit of time. Our BBF did what he could in Brec’s absence to pack and clean up. Then we too were off the boat and in the car back to Sandy in Milford.
Sandy had prepared a lovely meal of really thick lamb chops with fresh asparagus. An excellent red wine was drunk and ice cream was served after.
Brec unwound from his adrenaline rush by playing guitar softly.
Our BBF was a tired Teddy so went to bed early and slept the deep sleep of sailors home from the sea.