I've decided to aim for an Oct 20th departure, knowing full well that if I don't push myself now, I might not be prepared until December.
East Coast US charts are causing some difficulty for me now. While they are available free online, my limited knowledge of computers and software are preventing me from saving them permanently. Paper charts are still a must regardless, so I may just concentrate my efforts on figuring out the best (most frugal) way of getting my hands on hard copies.
The more I view the charts, the closer I get to deciding my route. Right now it seems to make good sense to make Gloucester, Massachusetts my first American port, where I will then motor through the Cape Cod Canal. I've become less stubborn in regards to using my engine. I intended to sail the entire way, but now it seems appealing to go down the Intercoastal Waterway for at least a brief period, for 2 reasons. One being the avoidance of Cape Hatteras, which can be treacherous this time of year, and the other being to visit a good friend and old shipmate from Eye of the Wind, Ben. We spent 8 months together, sailing from the Caribbean to Bermuda, the Azores, England, and finally to Denmark. I received a quick note from him today and it lifted my spirits and helped me out of a slump in my preparations, and now it looks like I may be spending some time in Norfolk, Virginia very soon!
In other news... a big thank-you is once again in order to the Picton Castle crew, as well as Walter F for rescuing my boat from the storm on Thursday. I had rather irresponsibly deserted her while bad weather approached in order to spend some time with a friend and tie up some loose ends in the city. I had left her dockside, in a very narrow berth, when I should have taken the time to move her out to her mooring. All's well that ends well, and it was just another reminder of why I love this town. Lunenburg seems to attract the best kind.