We left Atlantic Highlands Marina at 10:15 am in order to catch the flood tide all the way to NYC and through the East River, Hellsgate into Long Island Sound. We had another perfect day wind and sea wise and the tide helped us tremendously! The commercial traffic began at the Verrazano Bridge with two VERY large container ships leaving the city.
After passing through the Verrazano Bridge, we had spectacular vistas of Manhattan along with other commercial tankers, etc. many whom were anchored.
The Statue of Liberty stood out even from a long distance and we could not wait to get closer. Getting closer meant playing dodge ball with a host of tour boats and commercials as well. There is obvious security surrounding this national treasure. We could see very long lines on shore even from the boat as well!
After passing Going through the main harbor, we passed Governors Island by The Battery and turned up the East River (which is known for its strong currents). One must pass through the East River and into Long Island Sound on a rising flood tide. We saw essentially no commercial traffic from the opposite direction on the East River because even the big boys do not want to take it on the chin! We saw the new Freedom Tower from many vantage points. The view from the river was totally different and the city was beautiful!
We have never experienced anything quite like the tidal swirl and boil quite like Hellsgate! We were so thankful to have scheduled our run as we were told to because Bucket List normally riding 9 mph was sailing through at the same rpm at 15.5mph! There was a whirlpool like action and we quickly got it…no one going by the opposite way! I tried to catch a shot of the boil but it pales to what it really churns like!
We passed a prison ship opposite Rikers Island Prison, went under the 59th St Bridge, the Williamsburg, Throgsneck and Bronx Whitestone Bridges.
The architecture is fantastic from the water. Looking back from Long Island Sound we now saw the skyline in reverse! Never having seen any of this (except on a tour boat once!) we were blown away by its beauty and majesty of Lady Liberty!
The water in Long Island Sound was a familiar color and definitely saltier smelling! We drove to Milford CT around 7pm.- another 90 mile day! With my mother on our minds, we wanted to give ourselves a good advantage to be back in Groton near 3:00 if possible! The sound at Milford started off choppy with winds at 15 knots! The weather report did not show this change of wind direction as well as speed! As we approached the Connecticut River, the seas began to flatten more and looks like we will make our goal! Dear friends are planning to meet us to help with the lines, get a ride to the house and we will be ready to scurry to see my mother. It has been an incredible 31 days blessed with so much perfect weather! Bucket List performed beautifully and we look forward to summertime with her on Long Island Sound! We now see Fishers Island! Whoppee we are in familiar waters! We will have traveled 1,776 miles by boat…our bucket list by water! Welcome back!
We had a perfect day considering we were on the Atlantic off New Jersey. With roller waves, the seas were not choppy and the wind was under 10 knots. It could not have been expected to be any better. So we made the decision to try for Sandy Hook which is across the bay from New York City. In Atlantic City, we docked next to FlyingLion, a 55ft Fleming. They were stopping at Mannisquam,NJ but we wanted to try the longer day to get finish the Atlantic while the day was good. Exhausted but exhuberant, we first saw the NYC skyline at 4:00pm and rounded Sandy Hook to dock around 6:30.
Backing up a bit, during the ride from Atlantic City to Sandy Hook, we passed a tall ship schooner heading for the Philadelphia Tall Ships event being held this weekend. Beautiful under full sail! There were a few pleasure craft again, lobster boats and commercial boats far in the distance! Spelling each other off at least every two hours gave us each more stamina. My “panic mode” is decreasing and fortunately have a great captain! Smile…
We stayed at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. Passing around Sandy Hook, we were able to enjoy the majestic views of NYC soaking it in that we had actually come this far! Everything was perfect, wave action had flattened a bit and the sky was beautiful. After tying up to fixed docks with 6ft tides, we finally walked toward a restaurant on the dock and ate our first fried everything of the month. They were closed but said we could order something fried. The coleslaw was good! We had hoped to meet up with locals for local knowledge to maneuver the East River, when suddenly we ran into the Captain of the ferry to the city! His day was over but he graciously took time to check our assessments of tides, etc. The currents are at least 5 knots strong in parts so it is necessary to take everything into consideration when planning our departure. He said leaving our slip at 10:00 am would be great or a bit earlier. Earlier might be better as it always tends to take longer than anticipated to leave! We walked into town to find our first ice cream cone in a month…the town is adorable much like Mystic’s! We returned to the boat receiving a disturbing phone call that my Mom had been taken to the hospital. Now we are on a hurry up even faster mode but need to be dependent on the tides,etc. We are amazed at how much we feel “watched over” and again thank you all for your comments and time just to read this log. Please pray for my Mom. Her heart is broken over losing the love of her life just two months ago. Into their 72nd year of marriage, she has been such a great example to us both of love in the flesh. Will keep updates coming.
We left around 7:40AM and entered the Atlantic to 3-5 ft swells with 12-15 knot winds. We wanted to go farther, but figured that Atlantic City would be 46 miles- a great stretch…and that is what we did. We called the Marina associated with The Golden Nugget Casino and docked at 1:15pm. Very severe thunder storms were predicted from 5-7pm so we wanted to be in the dock prepared for that knowing the sea was already rough enough and pop ups can happen earlier!
Along the way there was hardly any traffic- a coast guard boat sped past, a Lobster boat and a few pleasure craft. We are not certain what that structure is but thought it was a searching rig. There was a parasailer in the distance off the New Jersey coast but mainly we were alone!
After catching up with needed boat work, we caught a jitney into the boardwalk area, as we had never been there! For $2.25 you can go all over the area and catch another for the same price back. So now we can say we saw the boardwalk! It was sad to see so many run down areas, but they are working on bringing things around.
No gambling here!
Our desire to head in early was partly because of no where else to go further up the coast and horrible predictions for a bad thunderstorm evening. It was the best thing to do, as we stopped to people watch before dinner at the lounge outside the Marina at the Golden Nugget. For entertainment, we caught the show of Jerry Blavat, a 60’s disc jockey who was prominent on American Bandstand! Of course, being so close to Philly,etc. there were some GREAT dancers from our era! It is the BEST music too!
Then right before 7pm , he ended the show and everyone scattered! We lucked out getting “dinner Seats” at the bar grabbing the primo table as people were leaving. We were high up in the Chart House restaurant over looking the Marina so we could watch Bucket List during the storm! (We just heard that we lost power at our house as a tree limb broke on the power line with live wires on the street! It has been rectified but neighbors lost power too! Sorry…).
We are off today , Wed, for as far as we can go as we have a perfect day with perfect seas! The Atlantic is our friend this morning! Enjoy your day! Will post later when get lucky with cell coverage again!
We had heard that Delaware Bay was tough if the tide was against you and the wind. We decided to leave later to maximize both and made it to Cape May around 5:15. Our stop last night at Greenwich Marina New Jersey was the worst! I already mentioned the green flies…seriously, there were hundreds swarming as we docked and drove the 3.5 mile river into the marina. A straight run from the canal to cape may would be preferable IF the day is good and tides too!
The entire canvas was covered…but they bite! Worse than Georgia! But on with the great day…
And the trip down the Delaware River was amazingly calm again! Light winds and we caught the tide. Passed some commercial craft but mainly just enjoyed the calm and anticipation of Cape May.
The entrance to Cape May seems very much like the entrance to Block Island! Tiny inlet to a large area. Huge ferry boats berthe at the entrance and the canal seems like the others we have passed before…yet now the vegetation is definitely Northern!
We decided to stay at Utsch’s Marina which was close off the canal giving us a good start tomorrow if we decide to go outside New Jersey.
The entrance to the marina is a narrow gate in the sea wall…fortunately for us an easy in as everything was so calm! It must be intimidating in winds blowing 20! We gassed up, added water and readied Bucket List for the ending days of this journey.
We will end with another sweet experience tonight. We wanted to get to West Marine by six as we had a few things needed for tomorrow’s trip. They said they would wait until we came as they were only 1/4 mile away. We donned our sneakers and began walking when we saw a guy leaving in a pickup truck. We asked if he was heading in that direction…he was and insisted on driving us and waiting to drive us back! He gave great suggestions for dinner at The Take out to the fancy restaurant The Lobster House, established in 1920! It was fantastic.
As it turned out, Bill had surveyed for the Army Corp for the New Jersey coastline…and offered great suggestions for our way tomorrow. We hope we can return this precious favor he did for us sometime for him and his family! It is great when a special act of kindness comes your way! Thank you Bill!
We left Calvert marina at the Solomons after meeting a wonderful boat called Ocean spirit. We exchanged contact information and I’m sure we will be keeping in touch. They are taking on a lifestyle change of full-time boaters and are from Oklahoma. I thought it was quite interesting. She also is keeping a blog and we keep remarking how similar our blogs are with the same places in the same pictures!
As we approached Annapolis after the Solomons, the water was extremely flat, beautifully grayish blue and the sky was also greyish blue. Along the way we passed beautiful homes, large ships again and definitely kept seeing what we thought was a large sting ray. At one point we saw the tip of the large log in the water. There was a Mayday Mayday call, and we listened as the rescue was put into place. Fortunately for the boaters they finally discover the problem and said that they were okay. It must’ve been a very distressing time.EditEditEditEdit
We passed the famous Annapolis lighthouse, along with four or five large ships that were anchored waiting to head into port. We then went under the Annapolis Baybridge which we have been to buy car many times. It looks totally different from the water! Because the water was so calm and thunder storms were not predicted until overnight, we decided to max our hours and head for the furthest place we could safely go – that being Worton Creek in Maryland. Here we met a fellow Grand Banks folks and hit off a great time of conversation. An older couple from Great Britain but have been cruising in the States for years! They gave us good advise for the Cape May are. They came for a send off visit which was sweet! We caught the tides perfectly and made it through C&D Canal beautifully.
This seemed like the easiest part of the trip so far! Had little commercial traffic, very calm and a beautiful day to be there. Those pesky gnats reappeared though and the most annoying cigarette boat screamed past us with the larges tug and barge ever passing on our port! Would have loved to read that captains mind! We chuckled later when we saw the show off cig boat stalled with engine problems! The 8 girls in the back looked cincerned!!!EditEditEdit
We passed under those great bridges and finished the canal at 4:00. Going into the Delaware Bay we had stronger breeze but we’re with the tide taking us down at 12+knots easily! We wanted to stick with it but decided we could not make Cape May until 9pm so this would be foolish. With not much out there for anchorage or marinas, we felt lucky when we located Greenwich Marina on the New Jersey side. The green flies regatta was called up to welcome us…an horrific experience! In the process of putting lines and fenders out, a fender was not locked well enough and we lost it! We turned back to find her- did but was in too shallow area so just hope another appears floating by at another place!
NEVER come to Greenwich Marina at 6:30pm! I tried to catch the essence on camera but was too concerned to keep slapping them away! The current was wicked and the docks floating but wearing out- all in all not our favorite spot! Chef Boy R Dee came over at nine but we were exhausted so ended the evening as quickly as possible! Will show more word pictures with photos of the days again. We have had poor connections the last three days so uploading has been a challenge!
We trust Fathers Day was memorable for you all…DCS received calls from all three and we both sent love memories to our Dads. They both would have loved following us along! Thank you for so many of you keeping up with us and commenting any way letting us know you are there! It is so special knowing you are out there too!
You must know thatI have to double check the calendar that I am posting the correct date! Blush! Also we have very little idea of local or national news within the last three weeks at least..,being a news junkie- this is amazing for me!
Our extra time at Rebel Marina was needed to replace an alternator and O rings for the air filter and the turbo on the port engine as well. After three nights and two full days at dock, we were ready to get on with the schedule…so the goal was set to leave by 6:30am and try for The Solomons which would be 100 miles. At 6pm, we tied up at Calvert Marina on the Solomons! And we were fine! Celebrated by splitting a Maryland crab cake dinner at the cool restaurant near the dock! 100 miles at 9 miles an hour is huge! I tell my kids to think of us as riding a bicycle from Florida!
The day was wonderful, but discussed aborting our plan if the seas got any more rough or we saw thunderheads. The seas flattened and no thunderheads…my Mom is praying for us…smile!
Along the way, remind you, we travelled through shipping lanes, thus we saw some ships! Our 42 feet is like a toy boat next to these big guys. Hope you enjoy the photos and we will be off tomorrow to get another push forward. It is actually OK having the schedule we have. Being able to enjoy each port a day or two would be great too…but that is not “in the cards” for us this trip, and we are ok with it as each day is full of new scenery and adventure!
WE arrived at Rebel Marina, Hampton Roads VA, a very friendly place, Tuesday late afternoon, the 16th. The ride through the ICW to Norfolk was beautiful again but vegetation changes definitely noticed…thicker foliage. We made the bridges schedules with faster speed and clock watching! The closer we got to Portsmouth VA below Norfolk, we saw more pleasure craft trying to meet their schedules as well. We went through our last lock , this time handing our lines instead of taking theirs.
Norfolk was an amazing array of cargo ships, naval ships and huge tugs. I filled my camera allotment twice, but will show more of them during this blog. We had to remain from the 16-18 th at Rebel in order to fix an alternator issue and then hunt down an O ring using the complimentary marina car WITH NO AIR CONDITIONING! We were in 92plus through highways with windows wide open! A real culture shock after three weeks of laid back heat or not but on water!
Hopefully we can begin our Chesapeake journey tomorrow and aim towards the Solomans.
We have met different boaters from other times checking radio calls together so it was fun to meet face to face here! Australians and Scottish alike make for great dinner or 5:00 mates! Hope we meet again in our home waters!
We arrived at Coinjock NC by 4:00 this afternoon. No storms which was amazing because we are in the heat wave of 98 degrees right now! We are almost in Virginia! Will be at Norfolk tomorrow. We passed through CALM waters again into canal type driving. Then crossed over the largest body of water Albermele Sound. I liken it all to Block Islan…wink wink… But the trip today was like a perfect day heading to Block for sure. The heat is oppressive so we drink lots of water and change off piloting to break each other! While in the sound, off in the distance, we spotted a coast guard helicopter hovering over a boat. We saw them rescue what we thought was two people from the water…wish we could find out the story. It was a distance away but could see the activity with our trusty binoculars. Off to a cool restaurant now … Everyone on the dock is there! The owners must pray for heat waves!
We left Oriental Marina at noon today, a later start than desired as Duncan had to clean the strainers. Last night at 2AM the air conditioning stopped in the aft cabin. He came back to bed at 4AM after removing and cleaning the strainer, but he got the air back on! He decided that all needed attention for preventative care which was a great idea.
The sky was beautiful and the water was flat which made for 2/3rds of a totally enjoyable day. When we got to Pamlico Sound , a body of water similar in size to Block Island Sound, the winds picked up and a ferocious thunder storm hit us. Now we know what the red in radar is! The winds were 50+ and seas total white caps and rough! We have never experienced such a strong storm on the water!
Fortunately the marina was close enough to make it before the second storm passed and the black skies making our tie up scary never hit us directly again! This time the storm went around us.
Needing a good break, we walked a block to the only restaurant opened in town! The couple at the table next to us happened to be on the boat docked behind us at the marina! Having weathered these storms together, we joined tables and had great conversations! Looks like they have much knowledge of the Chesapeake coming up…so we will call for local knowledge as needed!
Bucket List proved to be very dependable during our time passing through today. Gives us much confidence that she is seaworthy and safe!
As we pulled out of Oriental at noon a large sailboat pulled in. They had spent the winter in the Bahamas and needed to be in Maine for a fathers’ Memorial Service in July. We will make it back a week before them…guess 6 degrees of separation follows us all the days! My dad would have loved this trip and we remark a lot how much fun it would have been to call him along the way. Sometimes I wonder if he is peaking through those holes in the clouds giving us a needed thumbs up!
This was not a great photographed day, but do have a few for a better word picture!