Monday & Tuesday (Sept 23 & 24)
We left our mooring at the 79 street Marina around 10:00 AM, after putting up the dinghy and outboard during slack tide. Motored down to Liberty Marina on the New Jersey side to fuel up before our overnight sail to Cape May. Liberty does not cater to fueling dinky sail boats. The large diameter nozzle at the fuel dock is intended for quickly filling large yachts, not 25 gallon fuel tanks. I had to first fill one of our five gallon cans then siphon it into our fuel tank. Apparently, a common practice at Liberty.
Listening on channel 16 there was talk about the East River begin shutdown to river traffic for a hour or so. Not long after, we saw why. The Prez helicopter was fly north from the DC direction, with a Ospray escort, heading to the UN. After the drop off, the Ospray came back out over the ocean at full speed with the rotors tilted down banking over Long Island.
Heading south we had a northwest wind 15-20 knots, so we made good progress with just the jib.
Off Sandy Hook the wind slacked off and we went with full sail. Around sunset the wind slowed and we motored sailed with just the jib. Later in the evening after dark the wind picked backup and I throttled the engine back to near idle and we were sailing 6-7 knots on the jib, 2-3 foot seas.
Linda tried to sleep from 9-12, but had a hard time falling a sleep. She finally got to sleep so I didn't want to wake her up, she came up around 1:00 AM. By that time we could see the distance lights of Atlantic City. Except from that distance you can't tell what you are looking at. We must have had the lit up buildings visible for almost 6 hours going down the coast. I came up around 3:00 PM and we both stayed in the cockpit for the remainder of the trip. It was interesting listening to some of the VHF channel 16 conversations among other boats doing the over night sail south. One sailboat had multiple conversations with a trawler. The fellow in the sailboat said he was envious that the trawler owner must be sitting in his pajamas in a warm pilot house. He said, yes he was warm, but only his wife was wearing pajamas.
Linda warmed up breakfast around 7:00 AM and we dropped anchor in Cape May around 9:30 AM, next to the Coast Guard Station. A lot of boats at anchor that looked like they had anchored a couple hours ahead of us and were getting some much needed sleep. Luna was there, later found out that they arrived around dawn, had to slow down to arrive in daylight. We set the alarm to get up at 3:00 PM. Had a relaxing evening and went to bed early.
Coast Guard training, Hey can't you guys see there are
people trying to sleep over here ?
Wednesday (Sept 25)
We left by 7:00AM leaving via the Cape May Canal to catch the incoming tide up the Delaware Bay.
"Sea Angel" Catalina 34 from Minnesota, nervous about going under the Cape May Bridge.
It was fairly rough starting out, but after a couple hours moving up the Bay the water started to calm down. With good wind, current in our favor we moved up the Bay at 7-8 knots. We followed the incoming tide all the way up to the C&O canal.
The stream column from the Salem Nuclear power plant was our guide all the way up the bay from Cape May.
Just before the C&O canal we again saw the Prez Helicopters, but heading back towards DC. He didn't wave this time either.
Once we turned into the C&O canal our speed switch from 7.5 to 5.5 knots, the free ride was over. But we had another surprise as the tide started to quickly ebb and we were back on another current aided speed boost. Gee, down hill in both directions, what a deal.
We were mulling over staying on the free town dock at the town of Chesapeake at the, but really wanted to go further into the Bay. The decision was made for us as three very large 50 foot plus boats had the dock tied up. We anchored in the Bohemia River, not far from the main channel. Here it is mostly fresh water, so I hosed the boat down to get off the salt spray. We had a “deep” spot 8-9 feet deep, have to get use to that.
Thursday (Sept 26)
In the morning I did appreciate the wash down pump that the previous owner had installed. Lots of mud. This boat had spent its summers at Rock Hall, so it was fairly well set up to deal with the Chesapeake. When we woke up I found as series of crab buoys laid out in front of our bow. Well at least the crabber did not wake us when he dropped them in earlier. We got under way around 7:00, with the goal of making it to the Rhode River for the Seven Seas Association GAM, which starts on Friday, ending Sunday.
Now I was trying to avoid having to see if the other item that the PO had added really worked, Spurs. No, nothing to do with horseback riding for you non-sailors. Spurs are a series of cutting blades in front of the prop that are suppose to cut any crab or lobster pot lines that try to wrap themselves around your prop. I reconditioned them this spring, before launching the boat, not having any use for them the last four years on Lake Champlain.
Fortunately, I did not have to test them, but I did have some near hits. More than once I saw a crab buoy pass by the helm within a few feet of the boat, oops !
Thomas Point Lighthouse, south of Annapolis
We made it to the anchorage on the Rhode River in front of Camp Letts around 3:00 PM. I was able to attend the dinghy raft up for a discussion of cruising in the Bahamas.
Friday (Sept 27)
Registration and a couple sessions started in the afternoon, but Linda and I got up and went in at 9:00 AM and volunteered to help with the set up.
Saturday (Sept 28)
Again we headed in early, not for volunteering, but for the showers. Ah . . . endless hotwater, I was surprised I got out of there before lunchtime. Various sessions were held all day. Linda and I split to attend some different talks. Lots of good information. Had breakfast, lunch and dinner ashore.
Met a lot of people who are heading south. I had counted over 90 boats in the anchorage. I assume we will be crossing paths many times with a lot of these folks.
Sunday (Sept 29)
They had a nautical flea market in the morning. Tried hard not to add any junk to our boat. Did buy another solar shower as our old one seems to have sprung a leak. Headed back to the boat early afternoon. Finally after two weeks we did not have anything that we had to be doing, could finally just putter and/or veg-out. Finally got that afternoon siesta. Later, we headed over to a local marina, that we refueled at on Thursday, to help empty out the remaining end of season ice cream from their freezer. Cheap birthday celebration for our birthdays which are a few days apart. One of us remembered them both and the other forgot them both, guess who, again oops. Starting to sound like the governor of Texas.
Monday (Sept 30)
First day in two weeks with no alarm, got up when we felt like. The anchorage is emptying out. We are staying for another day to work on a couple little projects and to relax. Then we head over to St. Micheals for a couple days.