September 23, 2018
It had started as a faint spectre, barely perceptible if you really listened.
But more and more recently, it had moved into the foreground, becoming impossible to ignore.
The shifting colors of the leaves on the surrounding trees, from green to brilliant reds, oranges and yellows, had slowly been creeping further down the trees.
Evenings in the cockpit had been all but abandoned, not because of a lack of stunning sunsets or an excess of descending mosquitoes, but rather descending temperatures.
So far, we had only fired up the heater one night for an hour, but the discussions regarding not needing the heater were becoming far more frequent… a therapist might interpret this as denial.
An extra blanket was brought out for the bed.
Louder and louder the ticking grew…
We had decided that Harrington Harbor North… ground zero… where it had all first come together, made the most sense for our haulout. We knew, from experience now, it would provide access to just about everything we would need when it came to materials or services. It was the logical choice.
We were certain (often a risky perspective) that our time on the hard would be shorter than last year’s six weeks. One to two weeks seemed reasonable. However, we also had intimate experience with the potential can of worms being opened up nearly every time we set out to do something on the boat.
A few surprises followed by a few delays… always keeps things interesting.
Our biggest concern was making sure we got south of the Chesapeake earlier than we did last year.
By the time we left Annapolis on November 12, the cold had taken a firm grasp. It chased us all the way to Norfolk, where we found ourselves stranded for the week after Thanksgiving. Now, even if we left Harrington Harbor by November 1, it would be pushing it.
Which meant getting to Harrington Harbor by mid-October was imperative. If we counted on a relatively painless procedure with the haulout, we had no more than three weeks to reach Deale, MD.
The sound… growing louder… incessant and persistent.
… the worst possible sound for a sailor to hear.
Not wind… or waves… or creaking lines… but, rather…
… a ticking clock.