Monday, September 28, 2009

New York to Chesapeake City, Maryland

We went through the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and found lots of very large vessels in the travel lanes to and from New York until we moved over to travel down the New Jersey coast.
We had a rather uneventful trip down to Manasquan Inlet but had heard that some threatening weather was on the way and figured that the wisest choice was to continue down the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway. We went right past the expensive fuel docks in Manasquan and Brielle and went through the Point Pleasant Canal.
We started through Barnegat Bay heading for a safe anchorage for the night, but realized that we had misread the cruising guide and ended up detouring down to the anchorage near Barnegat Inlet for the night.
The sunrise the next morning was well worth the extra time and distance!
With bad weather still forecast, we elected to stay inside and head for Brigantine anchorage across from Atlantic City the long way. We went past a rather large "ooops" along the way in the rather thin water.
Although it was quite breezy, the passage was fairly quiet, albeit lumpy in some areas. We got to the anchorage with no real problems.
The Eagle 40 that came in behind us didn't fare quite so well and had to call on Tow Boat US to pull him off the sandbar.
The forecast was still pretty poor, but a trawler named Shangri La, who we had spoken to the night before, convinced us that the last weather window to get up Delaware Bay for the next few days MIGHT be the next day, so we pulled the anchor and followed them up the inside toward Cape May, going by the Trump Towers on our way through.
Instead of going on to the usually lumpy anchorage in Cape May, we stopped at Sunset Lake for the night where they were having a street festival and fireworks later at night.
We left bright and early the next day despite a somewhat questionable forecast, knowing we would be stuck in southern New Jersey (yuck!) for another 3 or 4 days at least if we didn't move. Delaware Bay was misty, windy, and rather miserable for most of the way, but we never had any real problems during the long passage. We DID put the pedal to the metal and used a lot of fuel to get to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal as quickly as we could. We stopped at a fuel dock in the canal to replace the many gallons we had expended in our successful effort to beat the bad weather.
Our timing was perfect since we pulled into Chesapeake City just as another boat was pulling off the free dock. We pulled in quickly and ran up to the Tap Room Pub for the skipper's traditional crab feast. Then the Admiral went shopping while the skipper walked to the canal museum.
A couple of the coal fired pumps which were used to keep the original canal full of water are still there.
Sesame is happily on the free dock (electricity is $15) for a couple of days while the weather clears on the upper Chesapeake and we can wend our way toward Annapolis. (Shangri La, who left around 4:00 AM to try to beat the weather, called to report that they were being beaten up pretty badly down by the Bay Bridge. We are quite happy that we stayed put!)
After moving for six straight days, we are happy to have a couple of lay days to relax and renew. The skipper is relieved that the "delivery" part of the trip is done and that the "cruising" mode can now commence.
(Sesame is in the center of the picture.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Old Saybrook, CT to New York City

We departed the Connecticut River around 8:00 AM on September 22, bound for waters to the west and south. Our original intention was to meet Jon and Annie and their new Grand Banks trawler in Port Jefferson along the way, but Jon called on the cell phone to invite us to stay at a private dock near his house in Huntington where he would take us on the grand tour and feed us dinner as well. 'Twas an offer too good to be refused, so we came in past the Huntington Light House,
and pulled into the dock with Jon acting as an able dockhand. It was a fortuitous stop because we had blown off a freshwater hose on the way and had dumped all 80 gallons of fresh water into the bilge.
We filled the tanks and left the boat to dry out. Jon and Annie took us on the grand tour of both Huntington and the Lady Ann.
And treated us to a nice restaurant dinner and some homemade cake back at the house.
The next morning we left bright and early for a trip through New York City only to discover that the entire East River was closed until 3:00 PM to protect the United Nations from terrorists like us while a bunch of high mucky mucks were there.
So we went through the Throgs Neck Bridge and dropped the hook along the shore in the middle of nowhere to read and have a leisurely lunch before venturing further.
We were still a little early getting through Hell Gate and the Coast Guard dutifully kept us and a few other potential terrrorists from going any further until it was safe.
We were finally allowed through, on the other side of Roosevelt Island, and things were back to normal. Tour boats were touring, sludge boats were sludging, and the river was its normal busy and lumpy place.
We were bound for the anchorage at Liberty Park, behind the Statue of Liberty. We gave way to a Staten Island ferry along the way.
And waved at Judy's cousins who live in a condo in Jersey City as we went by.
A couple of gaff-riggers were out for a sail.
We left Lady Liberty to starboard and headed into the Jersey shore to the anchorage.
There is an attractive modern building complex at the head of the harbor which we had seen under construction two years before. We have no idea what it is.
The next morning we slithered out through the mist past Liberty bound for New Jersey.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Off Again

After a full winter in Connecticut, we decided that we'd head back down the Intracoastal Waterway again this year. The canvas has been restitched, the carpet has been replaced with a teak and holly cabin sole, a hot and cold fresh water shower has been added in the cockpit, a new anchor and windlass are in place, and various other changes have been made to make things more comfortable and convenient. We plan to depart on September 22 to head west up Long Island Sound (first stop at Port Jefferson on Long Island?) and eventually end up in Abaco (65 or so miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Florida) sometime in December. As usual, we will have no fixed schedule so that we will not be tempted to move in lousy weather. It also gives us a chance to stop and smell the roses along the way. We will add to this blog from time-to-time when we have a decent internet connection.
For a general idea of what this trip entails, see the summary of our 2007-2008 cruise in the September 15, 2008 entry.