Friday, May 31, 2019

Statue of Liberty

Finally, we wake up to a clear and sunny morning. We planned to leave late morning to catch the flood current up the Hudson and possibly anchor just north of the George Washington Bridge. After breakfast on the boat we walk over to the other dock to visit with some of the Loopers and pay our bill. Skua leaves at 11:20 and we headed out 15 minutes later. All of us plan to make a sail close to the Statue of Liberty for pictures. Skua is heading to Boston and will be taking the East River to the Long Island Sound and grabbing a free mooring at Port Washington. We catch up the them at the Statue of Liberty and take pictures of each other with the Statue in the background. 

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

One brave or foolish fisherman

Skua in the Big Apple



Fast Ferry, Slow Ferry

It is somewhat rolly even behind the Statue of Liberty, but we decide to anchor there with a few of the Loopers, for the night. I assume it will calm down by evening. Loopers, “Nomadic Spirit” Steve and Janice are anchored there also, but the rocking is too much for them and they move to a much more protected anchorage that does not have a clear view of the city. It does calm down, but we still need the restraining bars on the stove for pots and pans to cook dinner. We enjoy watching the City light up as we head into night.


The Lady's backside

Twilight time

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Staten Island

We decide not to go back to NYC and work on some things on the boat. The weather is still depressingly ugly. Dark, windy and overcast. 

Denise stops by and tells us Martin went out fishing with some members of the club. They are allowed to keep one bass per person, although they caught quite a few. 


Martin on the left with his fishing buddies

My project for this morning is defrosting the refrigerator. It has been awhile, I can barely get the door of the freezer open. Later Denise stops by again with some fish for us.

We have one major impediment to us returning home. The Champlain Canal Locks are closed, or should I say they have not opened yet for the season. They have had a lot of rain in Northern New England and the high water is keeping them from opening the locks. We have a bunch of friends ahead of us waiting and I see no reason to rush up the Hudson to wait. Once our mast is down we will be charged for a 55 foot vessel not a 36 foot for dockage.

We walk to Frank & Sals a fabulous Italian deli and do some shopping.

Later we head to the Great Kills Yacht Club bar for happy hour. There is a group of Loopers that are on the other dock that we were not aware of and they have also been here a couple days. An interesting group of people. We have a good time visiting with them. Loopers are people who are traveling the Great Loop; east coast through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi, Gulf Coast and Florida. Of course it starts pouring again.


Looper get together

Coles for Dinner


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Staten Island Ferry

This morning it is windy, with low dark clouds, very ugly morning. The boat is rather clean from last nights exfoliation of rain and hail stones. We decide to go into Manhattan after breakfast. John gives us a ride to the train station so we can get a train to the Staten Island Ferry dock. 

Waiting for our train

We pay for the ride after we get off the train and purchase a MTA card. The Staten Island Ferry is free. I was going to brag to Martin how I remember paying a nickel to take the Staten Island Ferry as a kid. Can’t think of anything that has gotten cheaper in 50 years.


Ellis Island from the Staten Island Ferry


I want to see the Highline on the West side. It is an elevated train platform that was used to move manufacturing goods out of mid-town and transport materials and farm products back in. The train was elevated in the 1930’s because the street level train was killing too many people, even though it moved slowly. Now it is an elevated green way through the city. It is pretty cool.

The High Line

More High Line


From there we walk over to Times Square. I haven’t been there in 50 years. I have to say its much improved, but I can wait another 50 years to return. 

We were going to take the Express bus back to Great Kills, but they stop taking cash (quarters) a couple weeks ago. We were planning on getting rid of our laundry quarters. I did not think we had enough money left on our MTA card, so we take the subway back downtown to take the Staten Island ferry back. I nod off and Linda misses the station and we get a ride to Queens. We hop of the train and ride back to down town. As we walk to the Ferry Terminal the sky is getting very dark. 

It starts raining as the ferry is crossing back to Staten Island. We find the 78c bus to Great Kills and are surprised that we get a free transfer from the subway ride. You get an automatic transfer if your last ride was less than two hours ago. It pours for the 45 minute ride back. We hope it stops before we get off, it doesn’t. We have our light rain jackets, but could now use our foul weather jackets. We get rather wet walking to Coles Dock Side for dinner. We have a slow dinner hoping the rain and lightning will stop before we leave.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Staten Island

Red sky in morning sailors take . . 

We get up at 5:00 am and are gone around 5:30. The sky is mostly clear, but the forecast is for clouds and rain. If we don't leave today we may be stuck here for 3 days or more of bad weather.

Leaving Atlantic City

We are motor-sailing with just the head sail. With 10 knots of wind we are making very good speed. By mid-morning I put up the full enclosure and it starts raining around 10:30 AM. Also, as forecast, the winds pick up out of the south in the afternoon to 20 to 25 knots. The autopilot does not handle the following seas very well, so I am hand steering the boat. The waves build up throughout the afternoon and we start surfing down some of the bigger ones. Looking forward to rounding Sandy Hook and getting off the ocean and onto Raritan Bay. 

Our friends Martin and Denise have been anchored in Great Kills Harbor for a couple days and we decide to head there instead of Atlantic Highlands. Although farther away we can sail there faster than motoring south into the wind to Atlantic Highlands. As we approach Great Kills I call the Great Kill Yacht Club to see if they have any transient space available. They do, so we head into their dock. John Calascibetta is the club host and he arranges to have a club member Jim at the dock to assist us. They sky is getting darker and the weather radar is showing an approaching thunderstorm coming from the west. Very happy we are on a dock. I send Martin a text telling him we wimped out and are on the dock. He calls be back and asks if there are any more spots available. John tells me what slip is available and Linda and I help them dock. After dinner on the boat we go over to Skua to visit. Martin and Denise have been to NYC twice. Martin already knows a bunch of club members, they have a bar at the club and the drinks are rather inexpensive, beer on tap $2.00. It starts raining and we head back to our boat. We have a very impressive light show. I disconnect the boat from dock power incase some other boat gets hit. By 10:00 PM we have a down pour with hail. As the lightning gets closer we put all our computers and loose electronics in the oven and microwave. As Faraday cages they will be safe if we get hit by lightning.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Atlantic City

Atlantic City

We have a relatively short day to Atlantic City, actually just north of the Atlantic City Inlet in Brigatine. A very narrow creek leads to our very protected anchorage for the night, with a full view of Atlantic City. Being a rather cool day we have the parts of the vinyl enclosure up on the windward side.


Drive on Beach

Channel to the anchorage

Being Memorial Day there is quite a crowd on the drive-on beach near our anchorage. We find a number of boats in the anchorage, but most of them will be gone by this evening. We launch the dinghy and motor over to Atlantic City to refill two of our diesel rail cans at the Golden Nugget Marina. Then we head over to Gardeners Basin where we waited out 3 days of fog 5 years ago on our return north on our first trip to the Bahamas. Back Bay Ales which we liked is very full so we pass on it and head back to the boat for dinner. Tomorrow we have a long day over 90 miles, so we go to bed early so we can leave at sunrise.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cape May

We leave at 6:30 in a slight fog with about 1 knot of current on our nose. By 8:00 we pop out on the Delaware and immediately get a 1.5 knot boost down stream. Nice easy, boring day motor-sailing down the Delaware. 

Down the Delaware

Much more propulsion from the engine than the wind. Very calm day for the Delaware. When wind and current opposes each other it can get rather rough.

Empty tanker passing us

Ship John Lighthouse


Cape May Ferry

The current turns against us for the last hour or two, but we arrive at Cape May around 3:00 pm and anchor in front of the Coast Guard Station.

Soon after sunset we start getting tornado and thunderstorm warnings. One thunderstorm passes just to our north and another passes just to our south although we still get some heavy wind and rain.

That's close enough

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Summit North Marina

We leave at 7:30 and motor-sail most of the day. Had hoped to go through the C&D canal and anchor behind Reedy Island to catch the ebb tide for a boost down the Delaware. We have been catching a current in our favor through the Canal, but high south wind and threat of thunderstorm did not make Reedy Island look like a good choice this time. We stop mid-canal at Summit North Marina that is in a bend in the old river that was part of the old canal. It is just a dead end creek without any current. Unfortunately in the morning the current will be against us for 90 minutes or so until we get in the Delaware and then we will catch the boost down the Delaware. 

Horizontal Highway, car carrier in Baltimore

Buttonwood a mobile home summer park on the upper Cheaspeake

Fuel barge with pusher tug

Towing shipping containers on barge

We have been by this marina many times. They have a huge number of docks and more than half of them are empty. 


Summit North Marina

They do have a boatyard where the haul boats. Walking through the boat I would guess nearly half the boats will never get back in the water. Lots of decrepit boats that have been sitting here for years.



Friday, May 24, 2019

Baltimore Aquarium

Walking to the Marina Office

We plan to spend the day at the National Aquarium, we were last here 5 years ago in June, it is much more crowded this time. The Friday before Memorial Day must be student trip day. It was loud and crowded until early afternoon. 

On the way to the National Aquarium

Mid-afternoon we head back to the boat. Linda does laundry and I get the boat pumped out. I also do an engine check. I find a loose nut under the engine. I found one a couple days ago and assumed it was one I previously dropped and the engine vibrations made it slide down in the tray under the engine. A second loose nut, I better do a more thorough check. I find both nuts were from two of the four bolts connecting the prop shaft flange to the transmission flange. The remaining two nuts were starting to loosen. Normally you should use thread locker on these nuts, but I thought I might have to do another engine alignment once we were on our way last Fall so I did not, to make it easier to remove. Obviously too easy, after 600 or so engine hours they were doing a self-removal. Certainly shows the value of daily engine checks.

Transient dock all to ourselves

We head to dinner to the water front Gordon Biersch Brewery and split the Chicken Schnitzel, excellent meal.

Thursday, May 23, 2019


We catch the 7:00 AM opening of the Spa Creek bridge. It is surprisingly rough once we get out on the Bay.

Heading to Baltimore

We have one short period wave break broad side on our starboard side and slop water into our cockpit. Never had that happen before. As we turn downwind, heading north, we are making good speed on just our headsail. 

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Once we get an hour or so north the wind start to slow down and we are back to motor-sailing.

Fort McHenry


Entering the Inner Harbor

We arrive at our Marina in the inner harbor at 11:00 AM. After lunch on the boat we take a Uber to the Museum of Industry, recommended by some locals. It was interesting, but too many things had no labels, signs or video, explaining what they were or how they were used. For a young person or non-engineer some of it must be like walking through someones attic.

We decide to walk back to our boat, keeping our eye on the weather radar for an approaching thunderstorm. We duck into a mall on the water front just ahead of a quick down pour. The shower was quick and we continued on to the “Fleming” a steak place that had a great happy hour last time we were here, 5 years ago. The bar area use to be full, right after they opened at 5:00 PM. This time we are the only ones there. Their Happy Hour is not as happy as it use to be.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Annapolis, Airshow 2


I make pancakes for breakfast for the three of us this morning. Sabrina leaves around 10:00am. Before she leaves we figure out how to pair her phone to her car radio so Google Maps will tell her the directions. After lunch, on the boat, I head back into Annapolis by myself to the Naval Academy to watch the air show close up. Many of the acrobatics are done directly over the Academy, so the best viewing is there. So many boats anchored and rafted up in from the of the Academy you can’t see much open water. 

A small section of the spectator fleet

Linda and I head to Rams Head to split another Shrimp & Grits dinner. 


Linda leaving Rams Head

Then back to the boat to get ready to leave early tomorrow morning for Baltimore. We watch the final episode of Game of Thrones, been afraid of the spoiler alert articles I have been trying to avoid.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Annapolis, Airshow

We head over to the Eastport Yacht Club to use their showers, they have reciprocity for members of other yacht clubs. Then we head to Leeward Market for breakfast. Normally we walk over to Eastport but today we use Sabrina’s car. 

Leeward Market

I drop Linda and Sabrina off in downtown Annapolis and park her car by one of the many dinghy docks near our boat in Spa Creek. Once a mile or so out of downtown Annapolis there are no parking restrictions. I ride the dinghy back to downtown and meet up with them to watch the Blue Angels practice airshow. Basically it is the same show they will do tomorrow.

Spectators at Downtown docks

After the show ends we walk over to Eastport to “The Boatyard” for an early dinner.