May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012  Day 19                                  Total miles to date:  490.64

Carried Away departing Manasquan
under the Railroad Bascule Bridge
What a difference a day makes on the ocean. We left Manasquan at 10:30 with quest and Moor $tuff and headed back offshore. We had a light rain for most of the trip but only 3 ft. seas – a welcome ride after yesterday!  We headed north and arrived at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor at 3pm. It is just around the large bend at Sandy Hook.  Quest and Moor $tuff joined us for appetizers and planned our course for the next few days.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

May 29, 2012  Day 18                                  Total miles to date:  454.34

What a day on the ocean!  We left Atlantic City at 7:00am with Quest and Moor $tuff heading to Hoffman’s Marina in Manasquan, NJ.  The waves weren’t bad to start with but within 2 or 3 hours we were in 5-7 ft. swells. This made for an uncomfortable ride.  I thought everything was well stowed and secured, but a wooden item fell on the glass cooktop stove and shattered it.  So now we have to replace the stove! 
We did have a few fun moments when we spotted a whale!  We saw the big splash about a mile off our bow and eventually ran parallel to us. He flipped over a few times and we could only get photos of his fin sticking up!  Nevertheless we were happy to see him. 

We entered the Manasquan Inlet at 2:30 and docked at Hoffman’s Marina which is right next to the railroad bascule bridge. The bridge stays open except when a train is coming – which was frequent!  This area has an incredibly strong current!

We were all exhausted after our bronco ride on the ocean and decided to pool our resources and have a spaghetti dinner on Quest.  It was good to finally relax and make plans for the next day.

Railroad Bascule Bridge
Hoffman's Maina Manasquan, NJ

May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012  Day 17                                  Total miles to date:  391.94

A new adventure today (Memorial Day) as we traveled in the ocean for the first time going from Cape May to Atlantic City.  We stayed about 4 miles offshore. We experienced three to four ft. swells that rocked and rolled us, but it was not too bad!  The autopilot did the work and we just monitored it. There were very few boats out there!  
Carried Away docked at the
Golden Nugget Hotel

Revel is the newest and tallest hotel

Carl & Ricki (Quest) and Skip & Barb (Moor $tuff)
at the Golden Nugget
When we arrived in Atlantic City we took a “jitney” to the Boardwalk and spent over two hours walking around.  We have been here a few years ago so it was nice to revisit.  We did see the magnificent new hotel, the Revel, which just opened this weekend. We met Carl and Ricki (Quest) and Skip and Barb (Moor $tuff) for dinner at a restaurant in the Golden Nugget and had a fun evening. We left a few dollars in the casino afterwards and then called it an early night. We will travel together offshore tomorrow as we make the 60 mile trip to Manasquan, NJ.

May 27, 2012  Day 16                                                              Total miles to date: 348.44

Today was spent at the marina in Cape May getting a few things done.  Joyce, Ricki (Quest) and Barb (Moor $tuff) did grocery shopping.  We pooled our resources with Barb and Skip for dinner and cooked steaks on our grill.  We had a nice visit with them and are happy to get to know them better.

May 27, 2012

May 26, 2012  Day 15                                                              Total miles to date: 348.44

A very early morning! Up at 5am for our 6am departure for Cape May.  As 
planned, Tim our trusted dock

Our Dockmaster Tim

master was there to help us cast off. We had to do this in sequence with Gold Leaf to be able to turn the boats around in the narrow canal. Thank you to Tim for his help!!

Delaware City Marina on the old canal

Following Gold Leaf our of Delaware Bay
into Cape May Canal

Lighthouse on the Delaware Bay
Gold Leaf was first out. We followed them into the Delaware River to discover heavy fog. For over an hour we had visibility of no more than 300 yards.  Thanks to our new radar, AIS, and Bill’s good skills, we did fine. We passed Gold Leaf and took the lead through the fog.  We were going with the current for at least half the trip so we were able to be at 10 knots at 1350 RPM.  About an hour before our destination Gold Leaf took the lead and we entered the Cape May Canal at 12:10.  The canal is narrow and very busy, especially on Memorial Day weekend! The ferry boats that go back and forth from Cape May to Lewes, DE are docked here just inside the entrance to the canal.  Gold Leaf ducked into their marina and we continued on to Utsch’s Marina, arriving at 12:50.  We are docked right next to Quest! It was good to see them again! Skip and Barbara, on Moor Stuff whom we met at the AGLCA Rendezvous, are also here and we enjoyed talking with them after their long bike ride. 

The beach at Cape May
We took a taxi into the downtown area and wandered through several shops, had ice cream sundaes at the local soda fountain inside a “dime store”, and walked along Beach Avenue so we could see the ocean. We did not buy the required “tags” that allow you to actually walk on the beach.  We were not wearing the right shoes for that anyway!  Cape May is known for its lovely Victorian architecture with many homes painted in beautiful pastels with gabled roofs, and gingerbread trim. Many of these have been converted into Bed and Breakfasts – a good thing with all the tourists that come here! Cape May has a light house that can be toured and climbed, several marinas, parasailing adventures, whale and dolphin watching boat tours, a trolley car ride through the historic district, horse drawn carts, and of course the beach on the Atlantic Ocean, etc. – something for everyone!  We had a quick dinner, watched a movie, and called it an early night. We were very tired after our 7 hour trip and our walk through Cape May on a hot sunny day!
We liked this B&B but they were full!
Utsch's Marina - our home for two days!
Our plans to stay here are flexible. We may depart Monday or Tuesday heading to Atlantic City. We have to take the ocean route (“go out”) as Carried Away has about a 4.5' draft. Boats with a shallower draft can take the inside route through New Jersey – it is shallow and narrow, and we do not want to take the chance on damaging our props.  We are not sure of ocean wave height yet, so that will be a determining factor for our departure. We hope all of you are having a Happy Memorial Day and remembering all those who are no longer with us. 

May 26, 2012

May 25, 2012  Day 14                                                              Total miles to date: 287.64

Today was a beautiful day on the water.  We left Georgetown at 6:40am under an overcast sky, but within an hour the sun was peeking out!  When we were halfway up the Sassafras River we were surprised to discover two deer swimming across the river, which was fairly wide at that point.

We reached the Chesapeake Bay at 8:00 and had a very smooth ride. We also had the current with us so we were flying along at over 9 knots at 1300 RPM.  We entered the Elk River at 8:30, and by 9:15 dropped anchor at Hollywood Beach and took the dinghy to shore.  This is the small riverfront/beach community where Bill’s family spent their summers. When Bill was four, his Dad built a small summer house and they kept it until we were married in 1970. We walked down a few of the streets and talked to some of the local residents.  It was nice for him to reminisce. We have been back occasionally over the past few years, but never by boat!

We were on our way again at 11:00 and arrived in Chesapeake City and the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal by 11:35. We had hoped Schaefers Restaurant would be reopened since it is under new management and the renovation is almost complete. But knowing in advance they were not quite ready, we kept going up the canal. We passed two or three tugs with barges and lots of “go-fast” boats who don’t slow down for anyone!  

We arrived in Delaware City at 1:15 and were greeted by a very friendly and helpful staff. The Delaware City Marina has about 300 ft of floating dock wall space along the old Canal Wall – a very well kept place.  Delaware City dates back to the early 1820’s and many of the homes and buildings proudly reflect that.  We took a short walk into town and browsed through a few shops before returning to the boat.  We went back out for dinner at Kathy’s Crab House then took another walk through town. There is a nice park area in front of the Delaware River so we sat there for a while before returning to the boat.

We met Loopers Carl and Glenda on Gold Leaf, from Iowa who are docked next to us.  They are heading to Cape May along with us and they joined us on our boat to discuss the trip. Dockmaster Tim suggested we depart at 6am Saturday to have the current with us, so we called it an early evening.

May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012  Day 13  “Not all those who wander are lost.”  JRR Tolkien, “The Fellowship of the Rings

Our third day in Georgetown was productive and we feel good about being able to move on tomorrow.  Bill changed the oil in both engines and replaced an oil change pump impeller. I finished all laundry and did lots of “organizing”! Later this afternoon we put fuel in all three tanks to save time in the morning.  Diesel fuel is a decent price here, $3.92 a gallon for a minimum of 100 gallons. Not to worry, we added 223 gallons!  We enjoyed a late dinner on board and relaxed for the evening.

We also made a call to our marina in Cape May, NJ to extend our stay there until Wednesday. We will arrive there on Saturday and would rather stay there over Memorial Weekend than venture into Atlantic City during the holiday.  We have visited Cape May three times by car and love the atmosphere of the Victorian homes, the seafood restaurants, the lighthouse, and quaint shops.  Carl and Ricki on Quest are there also and we will try to catch up with them.

May 23, 2012

May 23, 2012  Day 12

This was our second day at the marina in Georgetown.  We woke to a very overcast day but the sun eventually came out. After doing work around the boat we took a nice dinghy ride further up the Sassafras River in the afternoon.  We celebrated our 42nd anniversary with dinner at the Kitty Knight House, an inn and restaurant housed in a home dating back to the late 1700’s. During the War of 1812, Miss Kitty Knight convinced the British Army not to burn her house.
Celebrating our 42nd anniversary at the Kitty Knight House
The Kitty Knight House at Georgetown, MD

May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012  Day 11                                  Total miles to date: 243.14

We left our quiet anchorage at 12:30 today and made the four mile journey down the Sassafras River to the marina at Georgetown Yacht Basin.  We have decided to spend three nights here (the third night is free).  Bill did more boat chores after our arrival. Joyce went grocery shopping in nearby Galena.  The marina provides transportation but charges $15.00 roundtrip.

We went for a nice long walk before dinner.  There are several marinas in this yacht basin and the views are lovely.  We have been here by car several times and it is a favorite destination.

May 21, 2012  Day 10

When at anchor we try to focus on boat chores. Today was spent working on various cleaning projects! We had Back Creek to ourselves and the storm that was predicted never appeared.  Tomorrow we will take the short trip to Georgetown and stay at the Georgetown Yacht Basin marina.

May 20, 2012  Day 9

When we left the marina at Rock Hall around 0730, we saw the Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of an 1812 era topsail schooner, anchored.  She was commissioned in 1988 as a memorial to the original Pride of Baltimore which was sunk in a storm in 1986 off Puerto Rico. The Pride of Baltimore is a Goodwill Ambassador and has sailed to over 40 countries in the world. We headed north on the bay to the Sassafras River and anchored on Back Creek. The waves on the bay ranged from 1-3 ft with a north wind and changed from the east as we entered the river.  This was only a five hour trip so we had a leisurely lunch after dropping the hook.  Ken and Pat, Loopers on 20 BUCK$, who are also anchored here came over by dinghy for a visit.  After dinner which we cooked on the grill, Bill took the dinghy out and came back for me having found Loopers Tom and Linda on Raydiance also anchored here. All six of us visited on their boat and enjoyed Linda’s freshly made brownies. It was nice to meet them and we hope to see them again along the way. We plan to stay here 2 nights and wait for some weather issues to subside.

May 19, 2012

May 19, 2012  Day 8

We left our anchorage at 0650 and headed back into the bay constantly dodging numerous crab pots until we got closer to the channel.  The bay was choppy with 2’ ft waves but Carried Away handled them well.  We passed cargo and container ships anchored south of the Bay Bridge waiting their turn to proceed up the bay to their berths in Baltimore.  Another container ship was coming behind us at twice our speed and we changed our course quickly giving him plenty of room. Today’s destination, Rock Hall, MD was only a four hour journey.  We stayed at North Point Marina, a family owned marina with a friendly staff. This location gave us a perfect view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from our boat. We decided to walk into town and a very nice local resident stopped to pick us up and gave us a ride.  Rock Hall is a small community but a big boating destination with several marinas and restaurants.  We did manage to visit the requisite t-shirt shop, drug store, grocery store and a West Marine.  Of course then we had to make the 20 minute walk back to the boat carrying packages.  Bill even managed to wash the boat after we returned! We had dinner on board and charted our course for the next day.

May 18, 2012  Day 7

When we pulled anchor at St. Leonards Creek and got underway, the starboard engine gauge was running at a high temperature. We decided to return to Zahnisers in Solomons on one engine and have it checked. Fortunately they were able to see us immediately and found a loose wire.  We have been impressed with their staff!  We were on our way again by 11:00 am headed up the Chesapeake Bay to the South River.  We chose a nice anchorage on Aberdeen Creek around 5:00. We had a quick dinner and relaxed for the rest of the evening. 

May 16-17, 2012  Days 5 & 6

We left Solomons Island after lunch and took a short ride up the Patuxent River and into St. Leonards Creek to experience a very nice afternoon and our first night at anchor.  What a peaceful anchorage!  A view of large homes on manicured lawns with private docks along the shoreline, and a beautiful night sky were ours to enjoy.  We had planned to leave the next morning but with a small craft advisory on the Chesapeake Bay, we decided to enjoy this anchorage one more night! 

May 15, 2012  Day 4

We stayed in port, did boat chores, took a short dinghy ride until we ran out of gas (Bill rowed us back to the boat), and then enjoyed having Ricki and Carl (on Quest) onboard for dinner.  Ricki brought an excellent appetizer and part of the main course. We had a great evening!

May 14, 2012  Day 3

We departed Doziers and headed to Solomons Island, MD with Quest and Next Endeavor.  Some engine adjustments were necessary en route so we caught up with them at the marina an hour later. (Joyce drove and dodged the crab pots while Bill secured himself in the engine room!) We stayed at Zahniser’s Yachting Center, a very nice marina with helpful staff.  We all walked to a local restaurant for a “had to have” crab cake dinner (we are on the Bay after all!)

May 13, 2012  Day 2  

Dinner at Cocomos
Doziers provided a lovely breakfast for all of us followed by a presentation of points of interest on the Chesapeake Bay.  We then took their loaner car to buy provisions for the boat.  We joined Rick & Roll, Quest, Erika Lin, and Next Endeavor for a lively dinner at Cocomo’s (appropriate not to cook on Mothers’ Day!).  The restaurant picked us up and took us back to our marina after dinner. Phone calls from our children made this a complete Mothers’ Day.

Carl & Ricki on Quest
Rick & Betsy on Rick & Roll

Our Farewell Party

May 12, 2012  Day 1  “Congratulations!  Today is your day.  You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”…“And will you succeed?  Yes! You will indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)” Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

 Ready to depart on the Loop from Yorktown, VA
We were so fortunate to have almost 50 friends join us for a fabulous farewell party at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown, VA.  Following lunch and tours of our boat we departed with their good wishes.  We left Yorktown and headed for Doziers Regatta Point Yachting Center in Deltaville, VA on the Rappahannock River off the Chesapeake Bay.  Many other Loopers were already there and we joined them for a cookout.  This completed our first day on the Great Loop!

May 7-11, 2012


Following a 10 day trip to see our children and grandchildren in Texas and Colorado, we returned to Carried Away on the East River and made the five hour journey to Waterside Marina in Norfolk, VA for the Spring Rendezvous to join many other couples who are on the Loop, or who have completed the Loop, or are yet planning to do the Loop. The Chesapeake Bay was kicking her up heels that day and we rocked and rolled our way across, happy to arrive at our destination. We spent the next four days at the AGLCA Rendezvous, attending seminars, social events, and meeting many Loopers.  It was a wonderful experience filled with helpful information and making new friends. We left Waterside and made the six hour trip to Yorktown on Friday, May 11.