I spent the night at Dune Buggy Blowouts, my name for the sandy beach I detoured to after yesterdays intense push to Summer Island. From a mile or two away, it looked very inviting. Upon landing, I found tire tracks everywhere. I thought I might just take a rest for an hour or so and continue sailing, but after taking inventory I decided to make camp and get a fresh start the next day. I was pretty sure Summer was just around the next point and could easily reach Stonington the next day if the steady south wind showed up as predicted.
The problem was finding a place to throw down a sleeping bag – there wasn’t 6 feet of flat sand that wasn’t covered with tracks. There were no motors whining at the moment so maybe they showed up at night. I found an little bowl overlooking the boat and the bay, windblown to be sure but free of tire sign. As I sat preparing dinner, the robot radio warned of rain, so I figured a tent would be in order. Yes the wind would kick it about a little, no big deal. Early evening found me well fed and inside the tent, practically paralyzed with fatigue. It was all I could do to take off my pants.
Around 11:30 pm I awoke to the stacatto slap of tent fabric, the wind had come up. I felt sand settling on my face as the tent was contorted and deformed in the blow. After lamely yearning for a lazy alternative, I resigned myself to retreat. Dressing and sorting out the explosion of gear around me, I moved everything about 50 feet away, behind a big dune. Just as I finished, zipped up the tent and lay down, it started to rain. Timing!
I was back up at 7:00 am and on the boat by 10:00 am. The wind was wrong for getting out of the bay, but I was able to pull in some cell reception and call Ritch Branstrom on the Stonington Penninsula, just around the corner and across the Big Bay Du Noc. Eventually I tacked out of the hole, turned the corner and glided over to Stonington on steady south winds. The sun even broke through as I rounded Stonington and spotted Escanaba.
I called Ritch all giddy at arriving with the sun still up and asked him how to spot his brother’s house, just two miles from the mouth of the bay. Oops! Ritch explained that mouth meant where the bay starts, still 18 miles more to go. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind coming to pick me up, I just wasn’t prepared to sail another 18 miles in twilight. I beached her Hello World limestone cliffs on private property (after getting permission from the owners) and proceeded to unpack the boat and stow the sails. Ritch, Anna and Ellery arrived in time to help me roll the boat up to the cliffs and we set off for their house in the Astrovan.