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Sequel On The ICW: When A Buoy Becomes A Man (BLOG/VIDEO)

We love a good mooring, especially when they offer a (thought sleep-depraved) lesseon in humility. Behold, dear readers, the tale of John versus the mooring ball.

Today was a long day. Which was surprising, as we just ran east along Long Island Sound. Simple – but not so. And yet, it was an awesome day!

Day 17 – Oyster Bay, NY to Sag Harbor, NY, 76 miles. 4 hours 15 min

Let me just marvel on that for a moment.


Amy and I have been on Sequel for twenty nights – living on this little triangle of floating space for twenty two days. Shouldn’t we be freaking out by now? Straining at the perimeter of this relatively small space for our own individual spaces? If Sequel was a strip of land paced off at forty feet by thirteen and a half, perhaps. But our footprint is so much larger than the cubic feet of water we occupy at any one time. I suppose our space is more defined by the spread of our wake as we travel through this experience. Without waxing too poetic, I suppose our footprint is infinite and therefore that’s why we are so happy within it.

Right – well, the wind has been screaming around Sequel all afternoon. We’re in Sag Harbor at a mooring, with a crescent moon shining over us and the glow of at least twenty megayachts shining along the docks a quarter mile away. We’ve double run the mooring lines with this wind, and are happily living within the security of Sequel (with one of us tucked into bed and the other one writing this blog – eh hem, Amy…). But that reminds me of last night – and of the title of this post.

When a buoy becomes a man, aka – the haunting of John…

Last night – at Oyster Bay – was another wicked windy one. And another night at a mooring (we do love a good mooring!). We had climbed into bed, with the slapping and gurgling and bouncing and jinking that I love so much while free floating at a mooring. My eyes were closed and the blissful peace of sleep descending on me like a blanket. Ah…

TAP tap tap TAP!!!!!!!!!


TAP TAP TAP!!!!!!!!

Damn it all to hell. The buoy that’s tied to the large pennant lines run from the mooring – the buoy that makes picking up a mooring so much easier – was floating beside the bow of Sequel, it’s long fiberglass rod politely knocking on the hull for attention. Ugh.

I crawl out of bed, slide open the door from the stateroom, stumble through the saloon and up the companionway steps. Slide open the hatch and fold open the door. Stagger across the helm deck, unzip the door to the cockpit and creep around the side deck and work my way up to the bow.

Damn buoy.

I drag it up onto the deck. Problem solved. I work my way back through the Get Smart maze of obstacles and back into bed, feeling a little proud of myself. Eyes closed I drift off…


The buoy is dragged off the bow (just beyond my resting head) and into the water – hitting every noisemaking protrusion on a fairly protrusion-laden bow.


I look at my phone – 11:00pm. Sleep John, sleep.


AAARGH!!!! (!!!)

Up I get – back through the sleep-deprived obstacle course and out to the bow. I’ll teach it – I’ll let out more line and get it away from the side of our hull. Hah!

Back to bed. Ahhh…




The stupid thing was now ringing our anchor (a rather nice 35-lb. CQR anchor on 25 feet of chain and 400 feet of rode, but I digress). UP, OUT, CURSE, MORE SCOPE LET OUT, BED!




Holy crap! I’m up – laughing. Crying. Swearing. Contemplating just casting the entire cursed thing off and letting Sequel drift into the world at her whim.

But I also knew what I had to do – what I always needed to do. I had to set up the mooring lines properly, which we didn’t do from the get go because someone previously had tied the two large pennants together with the pickup line and we didn’t fix the issue when we picked up the mooring. When I resolved it – it was now just after 3:00 in the morning – and crawled back into bed, I smiled. The buoy knew it needed to be fully on our deck and it wouldn’t rest until it got there.

It won, and it got a good night’s rest, as did I, eventually…

You can read more from John here