September 24, 2016, Captain Will Rey, first mate Evan Duffy, and volunteer crew Rob Lewis and John Duffy started delivery from New York City, New York to Baltimore, Maryland. The crew was out on the bow stowing fenders and coiling lines while chatting about the sights and sounds of the harbor. A 200 foot 3 masted schooner was getting a full welcome from 2 NYC fireboats, water cannons going full blast. We waved goodbye to lady liberty and headed out the harbor with an ebbing tide and a 10 knot tail wind.
John Duffy, who is father to first mate Evan, joined the crew for the first time to help with the delivery. John is a rigger in Miami and helped us step the mast last year. We were excited to get his opinion on the state of the rig and get any tips on tuning. The Elder Duffy gave the boat 2 thumbs up.
Rob is a friend of ours that we met during the Conch Republic Cup a sailboat race from Key West to Cuba. He is a delivery captain with a long CV which includes being the happy clown in a circus, which made him a delight to be onboard.
Conditions were perfect for flying the Spinnaker, however we had it up for all of 10 minutes until the wind died. We had to start the engines to dodge the considerable commercial traffic of freighters, cruise ships and tugs.
The power down the New Jersey coast was smooth and quiet. The stars were out and we could just make out the milky way, which was surprising since we were so close to the city. Volunteer crew member Rob took over watch, accompanied by john for moral support. They shared each other’s watch until Evan took over for the grave-yard shift. The breeze picked up to 10 knots off the land which gave us a beautiful beam reach. Evan rolled out the genoa, trimmed up the main, and got the boat balanced nicely with 7-8 knots speed over ground.
September 25, 2016, Evan’s grave yard shift sailed into Capt. Will’s daybreak shift and started the day with a beautiful sunrise. We were just off the Cape may coast when the wind died away again. The mate checked the oils, fluid, and belts and gave the ok to start the engine. The Delaware bay was smooth with a nice flooding current pushing us towards the C&D canal. At 1300 mate went down to the engine compartment and found diesel in the bilge. Capt. Will was called down and found that one of the high pressure hoses from the injector pump was spitting out a diesel vapor. The hole was the size of a pinpoint and wasn’t leaking enough diesel to make the cylinder miss. The engine was shutdown, the diesel cleaned out, and plans were made for a repair.
Capt. Will quickly made a plan to pull into Delaware City just north of the C&D canal, where there was a Marina with a boatyard where we could make the repair. Capt. Will got them on the phone and spoke to the owner Tim (which is just awesome for the owner to answer the phone) who reserved our spot and referred us to a hydraulics shop where we could get our pinhole sealed.
Delaware City Marina is one of the most hospitable marinas on the east coast. Tim was there to meet us at the dock and catch lines. With a great crew helping our mate we docked without incident and began chatting up the hilarious and knowledgeable Tim. It’s a well-run facility with all the amenities.
September 26, 2016, eight bells were struck and the crew aboard Impossible Dream were up on deck in the brisk morning, coffee in hand enjoying the quite scenery of Delaware city waterfront. John, with his rigging background, discussed with Capt. Will the best way to repair the pinhole leak. They thought that instead of going to the hydraulics shop, where it was 50/50 on whether they could fix it or not, they would seal the leak themselves with some JB Cold Weld and a fiberglass wrap.
The most critical thing when working with fiberglass and any sort of epoxy or resin based hardener is to make sure you have a clean work station with zero risk of spill. Cleanliness is the name of the game so cardboard was cut up to put atop the worktable and gloves were drawn to start the job. John and Capt. Will mixed up some JB weld and pulled some strains of fiberglass lose to wrap the hose. A nice coating of JB was applied as a base and then the glass was wrapped tightly around the pinhole. A second coat of JB was put on before the second wrap so the glass will get a good kick and the application was set down in the sun to get heat on the mix. The complicated problem turned to an easy task with the right guys doing the work.
With time to spend while we waited for the mix to kick the crew worked on other tasks, enjoyed a nice lunch ashore, and chatted about who was going to win the presidential debate airing that night (Hillary). At the end of our banter the mix had hardened and was ready to be bolted on. Capt. Will installed the hose and the Impossible Dream was ship shape again. We stayed one more night to let the repair harden fully.
September 27, 2016, The crew awoke bright and early, eager to see if the repair had worked. At 0800 the starboard engine was fired up and the Capt. Will let out a haza letting the crew know all was well. The crew responded with a hip hip hurray! We said our goodbyes to Delaware City, and Tim, with a “see you next year”. We cast off with the tide at 08:30, coffee mugs in hand and found our way through the C&D Canal. It was smooth run to Baltimore, under power, as there was no wind for the whole ride. Yet again the Impossible was made possible with just a little ingenuity, effort, and most of all a great crew.
September 29, 2016, The repair to the injector line held and we arrived in Baltimore at 1800 on the 26th. We awoke to rain and temperatures in the high 50s, Winter Is Coming.
September 30th, 2016, The weather cold and dreary did nothing to quell the enthusiasm of the team at the Baltimore Downtown Sailing Center. This was the day of their big annual fundraiser the RCM&D Regatta. The event raised 80,000 dollars and has raised over $850,000 for local charities during its lifetime. First mate Evan Duffy lent a hand as a coach on one of the J22’s in the regatta.
The weather broke briefly in the late afternoon, just enough to take out artist in residence David McCauley and his family, Brother Chad his wife and the little ones Cameron and Lina. David’s lovely parents rounded out clan McCauley. Also along for our evening sail, First mate Evan’s Aunt Karen of the Last clan. the weather was damp and could but a warm glow settled in our little cabin as young and old celebrated family life. The Wind and the rain came back near sunset, “It’s like living in a cloud” remarked Captain Will.
October 1, 2016, The crew took the morning to see the Baltimore Museum of industry. McCauley, whose art is often text based took a particular interest in the fully operational, 1930’s vintage, Line O Type machine. nearly every printed word for 100 years was printed from type forged in a machine of this type.
1300 Hours We are pleasantly surprised when 3 gentlemen in wheel chairs and their families show up for our afternoon sail. These Baltimoreans are a hearty bunch! The group organized by the Downtown Sailing center and Kennedy Krieger Hospital. The weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of our guests who made their way to the bow and pointed their faces into the wind and rain as if it were Mediterranean Sun. It was a magical day to be sure.