Number 1

7-13 November 2003

Dear Friends and Supporters,


Though hard to believe, even for us, the Golden Dawn actually set sail for the Dominican Republic on Friday, the 7th of November. There was frost on the decks that morning but the cabin was filled with roses (courtesy of the Bennie and Linda Carlos family) and other flowers (from Brett and Ben Hansen, our older sons who are remaining in Saugerties, NY, for the moment at least). We flew signal flags spelling Z_I_O_N to dress up the occasion.

The day was bright (and brisk and cold). We sailed south on the Hudson River. The Supplee family came down to the West Point docks and waved us good-bye. We dressed the flags L_D_S_4_Z_I_O_N.

While swinging around to anchor at Arden Point, just south and across the river from West Point Military Academy, we made a soft landing on a sand bank with one of the two hulls. Jon (the Bosun's Mate) suggested we simply carry the anchor out in the dinghy and let the tide do its thing, which is exactly what we did. We were floating free and sprite in the morning.

Saturday brought us through the Palisades and New York Harbor. We managed to sail for a couple of hours, otherwise motored with the wind right on the nose. We stopped for lunch in New York City. The City of New York hosted us at the 79th Street Boat Basin. Kip and Jon ate pizza while Arden shopped for "supplies" at Zabar's. We over nighted virtually under the west end of the Verranzano Narrows Bridge and watched the lunar eclipse.

Sunday and Monday and Tuesday passed motoring south off the New Jersey shore, wind still coming straight at us. Anchored in Manasqaun Inlet and Little Egg Inlet. Tuesday we experienced some problems with the port engine and went in at Great Egg Inlet where we tied up in Seaview Harbor Marine. I caught a lift from one of the marina staff to an auto parts store to buy fuel line and bicycled back to the boat on Arden's folding bike (about five miles). Wednesday morning I replaced a cracked fuel line, which seemed to fix the problem.

As things go, a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I think) warning was up for Thursday promising 40 to 50 mph winds, and we really wanted to be in Cape May Harbor to weather it out, so despite the rain and somewhat high seas, we motored south once more into contrary winds. The ride was rough and the engine continued to act up, but I managed to keep it going by spending hours down in the port engine compartment fooling around with it.

We made Cape May late Wednesday afternoon: disaster with the anchor windlass while anchoring, so the whole family played "Let's Repair the Windlass" for an hour (we won), generator overheated and shut itself down, Kip played "Let's clean out the raw water strainer for the generator" for two hours (generator still blowing a bit of white smoke, book says may be a faulty thermostat, will have to see). Anchored up with lots of anchor rode (the chain and rope attached to the anchor) in anticipation of high winds before morning.

As I write this we are dancing in Cape May Harbor with 30 knot winds (gusting over 40 mph) whistling through the rigging above. Highest wind gust so far, as of 1000 hrs has been 47 knots. A 50 foot steel sailboat anchored just north of us dragged anchor at about 0800 hrs and came within 25 yards of bashing us. The captain (who was single-handing) managed to get his engines going, and repeatedly scampering like a monkey between the bow and cockpit, he got his three anchors up and the boat under power (at the last minute, about 50 feet upwind from us, before smashing us) and sailed across the harbor to anchor on the windward side. Another sail boat, the AHORA (which was our neighbor last week for a night in Kingston), was seen being towed across the harbor by Seatow. We are grateful for the heavy CQR anchor of the Golden Dawn! (and the inspiration to put out all 150 feet of anchor rode last night.) As this is being sent (2100 hours, Thursday) winds have been 35-45 knots continuously for the last 20 hours, with the highest gust recorded aboard the Golden Dawn at 63 knots (72 mph).

We stagger about but not with strong drink. Its constant motion day and night and when I went ashore to shower I found myself swaying in the shower. But we sleep like babies in a cradle from sundown to sunup.

There was cold weather the first couple of days and we tried to keep warm with flower pots over the gas burners in the main cabin. Lighting the oil lamp also gave some nice warmth and light. Everyone is fighting some kind of infection which we brought with us via Jon. The 30 degree nights and mornings probably didn't help.

Today the power of God is manifesting in mighty gales and I think of Lehi's family during the tempest. Thankfully we are in a safe harbor with good anchor and Kip is not tied to the mast (yet). Riding out the storm takes on literal meaning here. One does not defy such power.

We had little birds sail with us on two occasions. They seemed to be resting and were not interested in the crumbs we offered. Cute passengers to pass the time with.

There has been some serious target practice off the stern and even Mom is into blamming away at bobbing cans and boxes. That's when I am not dancing in the galley trying to prepare edible chow for us all. Now that the frozen food is used up we are enjoying - peanut butter and fruit! I stashed lots of food under seats and in hidy places so we wont starve. Whether I can cook it is another question.

It seems a long way to the Dominican Republic. I keep telling myself: and all these things shall give thee experience. Faith is strengthened by doing things that require faith. This is one of them.

JON: Hi everybody!


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