Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Chip Ahoy's 2007 Misery Island Overnighter

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It was a perfect weather forecast for an overnight out to Misery Island:  Sunny and in the mid-80s for Tuesday with winds SW at 10-15 knots, waves one foot or less.  More of the same was predicted for Wednesday but warmer, into the 90s, and unseasonably warm into early Thursday when a cold front was supposed to move in with rain and thunderstorms.  My plan was to sail out, borrow a mooring in the cove for the night, then come home the next day:  A simple overnighter.  Chip Ahoy was waiting on its mooring ready to go, I thought -- until the Honda outboard wouldn't start.  (Sep. 25. 2007)

A couple hours later, after getting the motor to run (with a little help from Ryan Marine Services), sailing out to Misery Island with the SW breeze behind me, it was mostly wing-to-wing all the way, making 3.5 to 4 knots.  Instead of taking my planned "new" and longer route outside Eagle Island, with the late started I decided to head straight up the North Shore coast directly to the cove in hope of still finding an empty mooring.

On arrival in Misery Island Cove, I found the moorings less than half occupied, but still busy.  I easily found one for the night and was soon tied up to it.

Most of the traffic, it turned out, were folks out just for the beautiful end-of-season day.  By sunset most had pulled out, a few more leaving as the evening went on and the partying subsided.

Having forgotten to pack my sandwiches, I cooked an easy dinner -- heated a can of Campbell's Chunky Soup from the "food pantry" -- in the cockpit under a rising full moon.  I then retired to the cabin for the evening to read my the oil lamp.  I enjoyed a good night's sleep aboard my very gently rocking boat, cribboards open and hardly needing the sleeping bag (though I did close the forward hatch before retiring).

Up before dawn as usual, I got the "cowboy coffee" heating in the percolator, prepared the evening before, ready to just fire up the stove and add flame.  The sun coming up at 6:30 over the Atlantic between the tip of Misery Island and House Island beyond was quite impressive.  (Sep. 26, 2007)

With the coffee brewing, I dug out my journal/log and began catching up with yesterday's events in the solitude.  Only three other boats remained moored in the cove:  Two powerboats further in and a 36-foot or so sailboat which arrived later and moored outside of Chip Ahoy.  The only sounds were the waves gently lapping against the nearby kelp-covered rocks and the seagulls.

As the sun rose higher and morning arrived I realized I was in no rush to go anywhere.  I enjoyed the coffee, kept writing in the journal/log, and simply appreciated being where I was with no immediate need to hurry on.

The height of relaxation:  A quiet morning aboard in a quiet and calm cove rocking gently with no need to move.

My closest neighbors were the seagulls hoping for a handout and a couple of herons that kept coming by and landing in the trees for a look around.  I dropped the mooring just before noon for an uneventful sail back to Marblehead and my mooring.
Sailing back almost directly into the SW breeze -- almost non-existent at first until I got out of the lee of the island, then picked up to 15 knots or better before I reached Salem Harbor.  This made quite a bit of tacking necessary.  Eventually I furled the headsail, then started the motor (yahoo, it started again!) outside Salem Harbor for the rest of the trip back in to Chip Ahoy's mooring.  It was a nice (and rare) little overnight getaway in late September!

For Chip Ahoy's complete log of its 2007 Misery Island overnighter
click here


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