Storm King and Breakneck
by Vermont Rice
Ceres has just passed through the North Gate of the Hudson Highlands, between the mountains Storm King and Breakneck, through the area the Dutch called the “Warragut,” or “Weather Hole. A final resting place for a lot of ships, but we sailed through it today during a near total calm without the least anxiety.
This same weather that has been so kind to us in terms of markets — the beautiful days just go on and on — is not so great for sailing towards the south. Day after day we have the wind right on the nose. This has made for less sailing than I had hoped. This being the first time out, our schedule was laid in pretty far in advance. Schedules and sailing vessels are really a poor match and we’ve done the best we can to balance between being on time so that our land-based partners can plan for our arrival and maximizing sail. Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to develop a more flexible schedule that will have fewer distance imperatives built into it. But for the time being we have the schedule we have and the weather we have, and all together we have a lot to be thankful for as the voyage has gone quite well so far.
We have just departed Beacon where we had a great market and delivered a huge batch of pre-orders. Beacon could really use a better pier so we can dock closer to the land (anyone on the Beacon City Concil reading this? Maybe dredge out and repair the old ferry landing?) but we managed despite a 300 foot walk between our market setup and the boat. Which is tough when you have 160 products! But as I said it was a terrific market, followed by some beer and Chinese food eaten in the Galley. The boat was reloaded just after dark,m with little to do the following morning, so the coffee was made and Ceres was underway well before sunrise today.
Our market in Newburgh on Saturday was not quite so successful. Not nearly as many farmers were in attendance, mostly a mix of flea market type activity and various organizations passing out leaflets. Riverside Marina was a great host, though. The funniest, though also the most alarming aspect of the visit was when I sent First Mate Jordan to go buy us some bagels. We’re downstate now, so bagels ought to be everywhere, right? Not like Vermont. But despite his iphone nav system–actually partly because of it–Jordan got one bum steer after another, walking six miles into some pretty sketchy neighborhoods. One teenager was having some sort of an argument in a house Jordan walked past, and ran down the steps, shouting, “No, I ain’t gonna do it! It ain’t worth it. The guy is too big!”
Lucky thing we feed Jordan well, or else maybe he might not have been too big. And he might have been worth it. Whatever “it” is. And hey, maybe it was some other big guy who was being discussed, anyway…. Whatever the case, Jordan didn’t stick around to find out, and so we didn’t lose our first mate in Newburgh. But it does serve to remind us that not all the risks in this mission are in the form of shoals and squalls. There’s plenty of potential for sailors to get in trouble ashore, too. Which just goes to show, there really is nothing new under the sun.