Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bahama 2016 Trip Stats

This data comes from my accountant wife

Trip engine hours   783

Gallons of diesel    413.72 ($1082.93)
Gallons of gas          36.95 ($142.94)

Total days               276

Days at anchor       114
Days at Marinas       89 (18 @ Nassau)
Free Wall or Dock    29
Mooring                   34
Overnight sail            4
On Hard                     5
Aground                     1

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Malletts Bay, Home

Red Sky in morning, sailors take warning
We have a cool, windy and rainy morning traveling to Malletts Bay Boat Club. For the first time this year I have my foul weather jacket on, welcome to Vermont ! 


We tied up to the dock and in the rain I row out and install our pick-up buoy on our mooring. 

Home at Malletts Bay Boat Club

By the time we tie up to our mooring the sun is out for the rest of the day. 

Kathy gives us a ride home. This time we have our house keys with us. Our last return, we did not have our house keys and had to break in. We had assumed our house sitter would of left the keys with our neighbor, instead of leaving them in the house and locking the door before she let.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lake Champlain Yacht Club

Today is rather cool and cloudy, but we make good time motoring down the lake. We are hoping to make it to Malletts Bay this evening. 

Burlington, Vermont, Green Mtns in the background
As we approach Burlington the wind picks up to 15-20 knots from the northwest. I feel we are bouncing around too much and don't feel comfortable with our mast on stands on our deck. We turn and head down Shelburne Bay to the LCYC (Lake Champlain Yacht Club) and use the vacant mooring of Keith Kennedy, Kathy's partner. Kathy and I take the launch in to get some ice so I can make her and Linda, Pina Colada's. Later that evening Keith comes by to visit and to pick up Kathy.
"Antares" at LCYC, we last saw them in the Bahamas a couple months ago

Monday, June 20, 2016

Chipmans Point, Vermont, Lake Champlain

Monday we leave early and see very few boats. We pass a couple sailboats with their masts down heading south, I assume to Maine for the summer. Today we breeze through all the locks. They are ready for us when we arrive, no waiting. The lock doors close before we even grab the ropes on the wall.

Chipman's Point

By one o'clock we lock down on to Lake Champlain at Whitehall. From here we have 3 hours of motoring to Chipman's Point Marina, where we will stay for the night and pick up our friend Kathy Manning who is going to ride up the lake with us. When we arrive at 4:00 PM Kathy is waiting for us. Again it is quite warm so I plug in the AC to cool the boat down. We all spend the next couple hours sitting on the deck in front of the Chipmans Point office which is an old stone warehouse from the 1820's, Beautiful spot to relax. 


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fort Edwards

The General Electric Hudson River PCB dredging project ended last fall and for the first time in 7 years there are no longer any barrages and tug boats on this section of the Hudson. They had priority and sometimes made it slow going for recreational boaters. Unfortunately for us, this being a Sunday there are lots of recreational boaters using the locks. Normally on a week day the lock operators call ahead to the next lock and it is waiting at our arrival. We don't even have to make an opening request on the radio. Not to day, with the extra activity we do a lot of waiting at most locks.

When we arrive at Fort Edwards there is only one other boat on the town wall, so we are able to connect to the free power posts. The first thing I do is turn on the Air Conditioning. We have dinner at the “Ye Old Diner”. Being Fathers day and a Sunday it is not very busy. In fact we are the only ones there for the first ½ hour. This is a very funky local eatery. Most dinners are under $10. We have a good meal and walk to Stewards for ice cream and get scoops for 50 cents for Fathers Day.

Almost full moon at Fort Edwards, town wall

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Waterford, NY

We leave at 10:00 AM and stop at the Riverview Marina on Catskill Creek to pump out our holding tank and to fuel up. I am a little peeved they don't respond to my radio call. After we leave there, it dawns on me, Oh yeh ! The mast is down and the antenna is disconnected. We get out the hand held VHF radio. We have 40 miles to go the Waterford, the start of the Erie Canal.
View south of the Catskill Mtns.

Tappenzee beam fabrication site
We reach the Tapenzee beam fabrication site and there are lots of nearly completed beams waiting to be transported down river. 
Port of Albany

Federal Lock
At Troy we go through the first lock, the “Federal Lock”. This lock is run by the Federal Government because it is on tidal waters. All the other locks, Lake Champlain Canal and the Eire Canal are run by New York state. 

We get into Waterford late in the afternoon. There is free docks here with water and power. By the time we arrive all the dock spaces are taken, but we can tie up to the wall on a built in ladder. Otherwise the wall is too high to climb from our boat or even tie up. There are two other sailboats with their mast down heading out the Erie Canal, the rest are trawlers.
Waterford, 1st lock of the Erie Canal
Waterford is interesting because sections of the original, unused, hand dug canal and lock walls still exist. The Champlain Canal from the 1820's was hand dug from here to Lake Champlain. Around 1915 the Champlain canal was enlarged by a series of locks and dams on the Hudson, so now the Champlain Canal system uses the Hudson River north to Fort Edwards. From Fort Edwards to Lake Champlain the canal was excavated, some places following existing streams.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hop-o-Nose, Catskills, Day 1

Waiting to take mast down
Mast cradle in storage

Mast down day, what a PIA. A necessary inconvenience of leaving the lake. Our mast cradle parts are still stored away in the Hop-o-Nose shed with our return date June 2016 written on the wood pieces. 2014 is crossed out from our last trip.

Mast coming down
By late afternoon we are nearly done. A few more things need to be tied down, but they can wait until tomorrow morning. We will not leave until around 10:00AM, to catch the tide up the river in our favor. Again we head to the Creekside for another dinner, Being Friday night it is even more crowded.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hop-o-Nose, Catskills

This morning we leave early around 6:00 AM to catch the current flooding up the Hudson which should be in our favor for a good part of the day. It is cloudy and overcast with occasional sprinkles of rain.

Bear Mtn Bridge
Hudson narrows at Storm King
 Not sure if we will be able to make it to Hop-o-Nose Marina on Catskill Creek. The current will be turning against us later in the afternoon. We pass one of our favorite stops on the Hudson, Mariners Resturant, across the river from Poughkeepsie and are surprised to see that it is closed. We stopped here going and returning on our last trip. Free docking overnight with dinner. The real attraction here is the “Walk over the Hudson” a walkway on a former railroad bridge high over the Hudson River. Highly recommend it if you are near Poughkeepsie.

At one point I yell to Linda down below, telling her that the Tappenzee bridge is passing us. She immediately corrects me saying you mean we are passing the Tappenzee bridge, forgetting that we passed the old bridge yesterday. Huge beams for the new Tappenzee bridge are being fabricated just south of Albany and are barged down to the site of the new bridge currently under construction. These large special barges carry two of the huge blue beams at a time down to the new bridge site.
New Tappenzee bridge going south
It turns out we don't loose too much speed when the current turns against us so I call the marina to check on space and schedule taking down our mast the next day. I talk with Sean, the owner who does not remember our name. I tell him I'm the “sock guy” and then he knows exactly who we are. On one of our previous visits he named me the “Sock guy” because I put socks over all our disconnected turn buckles so we don't loose any hardware and/or ding the deck. Apparently I'm the only one that does this among his hundreds of mast raising/lowering customers each year.

We reach Hop-o-Nose around 6:30 PM, a 70 mile day. Once we get the boat squared away we head to the Creekside Restaurant at the Marina for dinner. Sean may run the marina, but his real cash cow is the Creekside Restaurant where he is the cook. We always look forward to eating there and this time of year it is always full.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Verrazano-Narrows Bridge before sunrise

We have a nice sunrise and very little commercial traffic leaving or entering New York Harbor.

Sunrise and Linda

With fast moving container ships and tankers you have to look all around. They can sneak up behind you if you don't turn around occasionally. Fortunately with AIS on our radio it is pretty easy keeping track of all commercial traffic. I don't even bother turning on the radar to track ships.
Lower Manhattan
Manhattan Pyramid

Lower Manhattan waters are rather choppy due to all the water taxis running around. Once we reach mid-town it starts to calm down. Our passage up the Hudson is rather slow, because the current is ebbing against us for most of the day. None the less it is a nice warm enjoyable sunny day. 

As soon as we reach the George Washington bridge Linda calls BoatUS our insurance company. We are now officially on “fresh” water and our insurance rates go down now that we are off the US Atlantic coast.

We drop anchor at Harverstraw Bay where we anchored last September on our way south.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Overnight to NYC

Sunset on the New Jersey coast

Still small craft warnings, but forecast is to blow out of the south and west, in our favor with wind speed dropping towards the evening. We leave around 11:00 AM to time arriving south of New York Harbor just after sunrise. 


An uneventful trip, calm seas for the most part, minor swells. A few other sailboats doing the overnight trip north to NYC. The moon does not set until 2:00 AM so it is not totally dark for most of the overnight. With sunrise at 5:30AM sky’s start to lighten at 4:00 AM.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cape May

Still small craft warnings today, except the wind will be on our nose going north, so we stay put another day. “King Baby” fuels up; 9,000 Gallons, “Will that be cash or credit” Ha Ha. We take 10 gallons. “King Baby” leaves and two smaller 125 foot yachts come in. One of them “Bolero” from Miami, we have seen many times in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. They are heading to Maine, it is privately owned. 

We finally reduce our fly population to zero. Took all day to get all get the remaining hold outs. We spend some time in downtown Cape May, lots of nice old cottages and homes.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cape May

We are up at 5:30 AM, sunrise and leave by 6:00. We start with a fair amount of wind and good speed and shortly there after pick up more speed from the ebbing tide. We top out at 9.7 knots (11.5 mph). We get to Cape May by 1PM, a 55 mile run. There are Small Craft Warnings so even though it is Sunday there are no fishing boats out. I don't know why, but it seems like every house fly in new Jersey came to greet us. We are constantly swatting flies and not really lowering the population. Miles from land, what the hell are all these house flies doing out here !

We even have a pretty good chop on the Cape May Canal because the wind is blowing directly down the length of the canal. We head into the South Jersey Marina. I don't care for the dock location because we have the wind pressing us against the dock and we are in a corner where we can not back out.

View from our table at the Lobster House
We later head over to the Lobster House for dinner. Being Sunday they have a good crowd. While we are there a 150 foot yacht “King Baby” comes down the narrow channel and all the diners are watching and taking pictures. 
King Baby docking

I am temped to point and say that is our boat over there to the other diners knowning they can barely see our boat past the Mega-yacht.
I google “King Baby” and quickly find out it is a charter boat, only $150,000 a week. Well, they tie up on the opposite side of our dock. All evening a parade of tourists walk by our boat to check out the Mega-yacht.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Reedy Island, Delaware River.

We leave Spa Creek after finishing a few chores from yesterday catching the 8:00AM draw bridge. Stopped for fuel, pump out and water. 

Spa Creek Bridge
Fuel Dock, Annapolis

As we head north the wind picks up from the south and we motor-sail at a good pace. 

Wind behind us
I had planned on anchoring at Chesapeake City at the south end of the C&O canal, but decided that since we were making such good time we would continue through to the Delaware and anchor at Reedy Island. 

Current pushing us

The temperatures are around 90 degrees and Reedy Island is exposed to the wind which will be nice on a warm night. The other reason to continue to the Delaware is to catch the ebb tide in the morning and get a good speed boost down the Delaware.

Blue Bridge, Pipe Line Bridge and Rail Road Bridge over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal

Tonight has to be the warmest evening we have had in the last nine months, including the Bahamas. Interestingly our friend Genie back in Vermont emailed me that it was only 57 degrees in Burlington, Vermont.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Annapolis, Spa Creek, Day 1

We spend most of the morning working on various boat maintenance projects. One, our windlass has been having clutch slippage problems for quite a few months. I finally decide to dissemble it, but it will not come apart. I start searching the boat for a gear puller that I am certain I have on the boat. Can not find it so I spray on some WD-40 and will try to get it apart this afternoon. I also remove our engine blower motor that has stopped working. I can get it to work, but it is pretty much worn out. So, after I complete a couple other projects we go for a hike to Fawsetts Marine, local competitor to Worst Marine and buy a new blower. We also take our near empty propane can to True Value Hardware to be refilled. When we get back to the boat the windlass comes apart with a minor amount of tapping with a hammer. A couple months of our front deck getting constantly sprayed with salt water has gotten salt into one of the bearing surfaces gumming things up so the clutch could not be properly tightened. I also install the new blower. So much for a day of relaxing. 

Rams Head

We rush off around 6:00PM to Rams Head, so not to miss Happy Hour which ends at 7:00 PM. Being a Friday, with nice weather, the place is fairly full. Tonight is wings night, free wings and $3.00 beers on tap. I have my favorite Oak Barrel Stout. We split a Shrimp, sausage and grits dinner. Then after a walk we stop for ice cream on the way back to the boat.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Annapolis, Spa Creek

We are going to try to make a long run to Annapolis, 80 miles. Will be on a close reach with lots of waves if we can believe the forecast.

Most of the day the wind direction constantly varies 30 degrees or so and the wind speed varies from 13 to 24 mph, which makes it hard for the auto pilot to work well. I end up hand steering at least half the day. 

With the wind and motor-sailing we make pretty good time. We go through the draw bridge to Spa Creek at Annapolis at 8:00 PM. Love having all this day light we did not have in the Fall. Then some days we left before sunrise and anchored around sunset and were lucky to go 45-50 miles.

We are too late for Happy hour at the Rams Head, so we have dinner on the boat in Spa Creek. Spa Creek is about the prettiest urban anchorage on the whole east coast. Gorgeous homes on the creek and lots of boats. Most streets that dead end on the creek have dinghy docks for public use.

Picking up mooring at Spa Creek at sunset

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Smith Creek, Potomac, Day1

After looking at the wind forecast for the day I decide to stay at Smith Creek another night. The wind is suppose to pick up to 20-30 knots out of the north later in the day, the direction we are heading. We are nice and calm in our little creek and Linda thinks I'm nuts. I am having my doubts about the forecast being correct, but I stick to my original decision. After getting a bunch of chores done, defrosting the refrigerator, etc. we take the dinghy down the creek to Courtney's a local fish restaurant.

Courtney's resturant
Once we get into the lower creek we are running into white caps and it takes a lot of effort to keep us dry. Now my decision is looking pretty smart. We tie up to an adjacent dock to the restaurant and throw out a stern anchor so the dinghy does not bounce against the dock. Courtney's Restaurant is my kind of funky establishment. Run by a husband and wife in their 70's. It is at the end of a road on the water, not a place you just happen upon. We both get the fried oysters, very good. 

When we leave Courtney's it is even rougher. We both get wet heading back, but Linda gets the worse of it and changes her wet clothes when we get back to the boat. Later in the afternoon I see a sailboat coming up the creek with a messed up and torn head sail. Linda said they went out an hour ago when I was down below reading and/or snoozing and the head sail was furled just fine when they headed out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Smith Creek, Potomac

Long day of motoring down the Potomac. We catch the tide and current in our favor and get a good speed boost most of the day. Much of the day the river is like glass.

Calm morning on the Potomac

At one point there is a call on the VHF radio channel 16 to a sailboat approaching the RT301 Bridge. Only activity on the radio all morning. I have no idea where RT301 is. My charts only shown bridges and there names. A few minutes later the same call comes again, so I go look at the Chesapeake map that we keep on the wall in the boat and sure enough the bridge we are going under has RT301 passing over it. I now answer that radio call and find out we are talking with the Range coordinator for the Navy who advises us on where to pass going down the Potomac to avoid being a target in their test range. Late in the afternoon the wind picks up behind us and we put our head sail which more than compensates for the current which is now against us. A thunderstorm slips by to our south and it starts to get a little rough. We go to Smith Creek and drop anchor in a very calm and protected creek.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mattawoman Creek, Potomac

Manana at Mt. Vermon

Up and out by 8:00 AM. We stop again at the James Creek Marina for a pumpout, but find they don't open until 9:00 AM. I fill our water tanks while we wait for opening time. Two hours later we are anchored down stream at Mt. Vernon. 

We dinghy ashore. This is the one day they don't have a tour boat landing here, which I thought was a good thing. Unfortunately to buy tickets we have to walk to the other side of Mt Vernon to purchase them. After a few missed directions and about two hours of viewing exhibits and museums we finally make it to the entrance to pay for admission. Kind of go now pay later, for us. After touring the main house and some of the out buildings we went back to the theater at the entrance to see the movie that most people see first. No one there but us, this late in the day, so we get a private showing in the huge theater. We get back out to the boat and Linda realizes she left her Bahama hat in the theater. So back we go to the entrance theater, but doors are locked at this time. The cleaning personnel let us in and we find her hat at the counter tagged and ready to be sent to Lost and Found. So now we head backwards through the exit and have to explain that our ride is sitting out in the Potomac, not in the parking lot.

We motor for 3 hours and arrive back at Mattawoman Creek just after sunset.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Capital Yacht Club, Washington DC, Day 4

Sabrina is leaving this morning so I fetch her car, from the parking garage, while she and Linda goes to the Safeway for grocery shopping. I pick them up at the Safeway. Sabrina drives us back to the Yacht Club and takes off for a 3-1/2 hour drive home to Phillippi, West Virginia. After putting everything away on the boat Linda and I head to the Air and Space Museum so I can see the other half that I missed.

Air and Space
US Botanical Garden

Then we head to the National Gallery of Art. We have a very nice, calm Sunday Buffet lunch. Hardly a child in sight unlike the noisy, huge MacDonalds at the Air and Space Museum. Then we hit our last stop, the US Botanical Garden, before we walk back to the boat.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Capital Yacht Club, Washington DC, Day 3

We have a leisurely breakfast on the boat and then walk to the Mall and to the Washington Monument. Crowds are too big to even think about going up the monument. We walk onto the Reflecting Pool, by the National WWII Memorial and to the Lincoln Memorial. As we walk towards the Lincoln Memorial we keep passing people holding up signs trying to engage passerby's on their view of their religion. Many others are standing around preaching to the crowds walking by and ignoring them. Looking further we see quite a large crowd of people around the west half of the Reflecting pool. Oh great we are going to a holy roller convention ! Well it turns out to be the Reason Rally 2016 “the biggest gathering of nonreligious people in history” supporting public policy based on scientific evidence, not religious beliefs, separation of church and state.
The Reason Rally 2016 at the Reflecting pool
So of course this brings out the religious kooks who are going to show these people the errors of their ways. I stop at many entertaining discussions with small groups with opposing views which are for the most part civil. I find it highly amusing. I keep thinking of a line that was recently heard on the VHF radio towards a rather ignorant boater, “You are just a special kind of stupid”. 

After we go to the Lincoln Memorial we walk to the Vietnam Memorial, our main goal for the day.

For lunch we head back to the Pavilion Cafe. Then we go to the Natural History Museum to catch an I-Max movie on the National Parks.

Down by the Wharf near the Yacht Club we kept passing an outdoor rib place where they smoke them right there. Well, this time we stop and by some to bring back to the boat for dinner.
Sabrina and Linda, Ribs on the Potomac

Friday, June 3, 2016

Capital Yacht Club, Washington DC, Day 2

In the morning we go to the Air and Space Museum. I guess I'm too slow, Linda and Sabrina are finished by noontime and I am not even half way through. I figure I will see the rest later. The roads on both sides of the mall are lined up with buses. I guess this is class trip season, kids everywhere. Most museums have pretty good lines to enter for scanning people and backpacks. We were here two years ago in October and there were no lines or crowds.

Sculpture Garden
Albino Squirrel at the Pavilion Cafe

 We head over to the Pavilion Cafe at the NGA Sculpture Garden where we stopped yesterday for something to drink and noticed the interesting lunch menu. Actually, they have every lunch item on view in a glass case, better than a picture. The Cafe has glass walls so it is a nice air conditioned place for lunch and people watching.

We spend the afternoon in the American History Museum, but can barely do it justice in that amount of time.

American History Museum, Dodge Caravan
I guess we are officially old, when something we bought new is now in a museum.