October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013  Day 152   Home From Down East Loop
Whitehouse Cove Marina
Poquoson, VA

A calm, sunny day on the Chesapeake was the perfect way to spend our last day coming home from the Down East Loop. We traveled 82 miles and thanks to a good current we made the trip in ten hours.  We were also greeted by three dolphins as they played near our boat this afternoon. 

Leaving our friends on The Zone,
at Spring Cove Marina in Solomons, MD
We also spotted the Pride of Baltimore under full sail.  We saw her on Long Island Sound a few weeks ago!  Following her was the Schooner Virginia!
The Pride of Baltimore

We arrived at Whitehouse Cove Marina in Poquoson at 5:45 and were greeted by Bill’s brother David.  We are back!  This has been an incredible journey and we will treasure the memories and the experience.
Our journey ends here at Whitehouse Cove Marina,
Poquoson, VA

We will spend the next three weeks regrouping, working on the boat, taking care of Dr. appointments, visiting friends and family, and planning our next journey in more detail.  We plan to leave in mid-November and head south for the winter.  Until then we will not publish a blog, but we will resume the blog when we get underway.

We end this with another favorite quote from Dr. Seuss…

“If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

October 20, 2013

October 20, 2013  Day 151   
Spring Cove Marina
Solomons, MD

It was good to stay in port today.  Bill rinsed off the boat and Joyce went to the grocery store.  Thanks to Ross for the transportation. We got more chores done including laundry, cleaned some windows, did chart plotting, and did more research on winter travel.

Ross and Laura joined us for docktails and we had a fun visit with them.  We hope to see them again on the waterways someday!

We had dinner on board and prepared for the final leg of our trip tomorrow. We have 82 miles to reach Poquoson, VA and that will officially complete our Down East Loop. We hope to be able to go all the way tomorrow – the forecast is good and that will make the 11 hour day a little easier.  It is still hard to believe that we are almost there!




October 19, 2013  Day 150   
Spring Cove Marina
Solomons, MD

We left our quiet and calm anchorage on the Rhode River at 8:15 and worked out way through the crab pots back into the Chesapeake Bay.  It was cloudy and we were met with a chop of 2+ seas much of the way. 

When we passed the Calvert Cliffs we picked up four foot waves that were very close together off the bow.  We watched other boats near us pitching up and down into the waves and we are sure they saw the same of us. 

We finally turned into the entrance of Solomons at 1:45 and appreciated the quiet water of Back Creek.  There are many marinas here and ours is one that is set far back in the creek.

Our friends Ross and Laura were here to meet us and along with the dock master, caught our lines.  We traveled with them on part of the Great Loop and had not seen them since May.  We visited with them on our sundeck for a while and reminisced on our travels.

We all went to out for dinner and enjoyed our meal at the Ruddy Duck. We will see them again tomorrow.

We watched college football until 11:00 and called it a night. Our travels the past week are catching up with us!






October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013  Day 149   
At anchor, Rhode River
Chesapeake Bay, MD

After an uncomfortable night at anchor (we did not have the protection we thought we would from the winds), we left our anchorage on the Bohemia just before 9:00, under a sunny sky!  There was a small craft warning out with wind gusts to 25 knots, so we were surprised that the bay stayed as good as it did with a 2 foot chop.  There were lots of sailboats enjoying the wind in their sails today!

We had to dodge crabpots today but definitely fewer than we found in the bay last spring on our way north!

We passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at 1:30, and as usual, saw a typical line up of cargo and container ships anchored nearby waiting their turn to go into Baltimore. 

Approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

One of the large ships anchored south of the bridge

Arriving at our anchorage
We arrived at our anchorage about 3:45 in the Rhode River which is south of Annapolis. It is a beautiful winding river with trees lining one side and homes lining the other side.  We were the first boat in the anchorage, but by sundown five or six more boats had joined us.
Moon rising off our stern

Sun setting off our bow
We cooked dinner on the grill and relaxed for the evening.  Tomorrow we will go to a marina on Solomon’s Island and spend the weekend. We look forward to seeing Looper friends, Laura and Ross on The Zone there!


October 17, 2013

October 17, 2013  Day 148   
At anchor, Bohemia River
North end of Chesapeake Bay

Leaving the Cape May Canal
and the ferry boats
Today was another long day of 9 ½ hours. We left Cape May at 0700 and entered the Cape May Canal which leads to the entrance of the Delaware Bay.  The large ferry boats were docked there waiting for their busy passages to Lewes, DE.  We were glad they were not ready to leave just yet.  We traveled under a cloudy sky much of the day, but the Delaware Bay was calm!  We will take a gray calm day!

We timed our departure to have the current with us on the Delaware Bay. We had it with us most of the way and when we lost it we watched our speed drop to 6 ½ knots!  We left the Delaware Bay and entered the C&D Canal hoping to stop at Chesapeake City. We called the dock master and learned the city docks were full so we continued on to an anchorage in the scenic Bohemia River which is the northern Chesapeake Bay.
Passing port to port on the C&D Canal

The sun came out! The trees are starting to turn
colors on the Bohemia River where we  are anchored.
Bill decided to take a dinghy ride further up the river to Hacks Point where his grandfather kept his boat when Bill was a child. Joyce had dinner in the oven when he returned.
Moon over the Bohemia
We spent time planning the next few days. We have many miles to cover and are watching the weather forecast for the weekend. Our destination tomorrow is an anchorage on the Rhode River, south of Annapolis.




October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013  Day 147   
Utsch’s Marina
Cape May, New Jersey

We left Atlantic City under a very cloudy sky and with swells from 3-4 feet. We knew immediately they were not as bad as yesterday because they were farther apart and there was less wind. We called this “manageable” and are glad we made the decision to leave.  We only had about five hours to travel and arrived in Cape May at 2:40. We went right to the fuel dock and then to our slip.  Other than going up to the office to pay, we did not get off the boat. Cape May is a beautiful town with charming, colorful Victorian homes. We have enjoyed being here on several other trips so did not venture out again this time.

Saying goodbye to Atlantic City
We had dinner on board and relaxed the rest of the evening. We are still feeling the effects of yesterday and we have another long day tomorrow. We need to leave at 7:00 to be able to enter the Delaware Bay and have the strong current with us. We plan to go as far as Chesapeake City, which is (in the direction we are going) at the end of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. 




October 15, 2013  Day 146   
Golden Nugget, Farley’s Marina
Atlantic City, New Jersey

Our day began as planned with an 0700 departure. The harbor was pretty calm for a change and the Lower Bay was also calm. Within an hour we reached Sandy Hook and began our turn south to follow the coastline off the Jersey shore.  

A beautiful sunrise on the Lower Bay
as we departed Staten Island
The waves were forecast for 3-4 feet with winds out of the east. We knew we would be taking them on our beam which is not good for our boat as it “rolls” side to side.  We had every bit of 3-4 feet waves for quite a while and were very uncomfortable.  Bill turned on the NOAA weather report about halfway and we then learned the waves were actually 4-5 feet – no surprise there.  We had things stowed very well, but books on shelves behind cupboard doors still came flying out in the salon!  Fortunately, nothing was broken!
Joyce had just reorganized all these books
 two days ago!
After 10 hours of this, Bill called Farley’s Marina at the Golden Nugget and checked on available space for us.  He decided we need a peaceful night and did not want to anchor, which meant listening to the generator.  So, at 5:15pm we arrived at the marina (there were about four or five boats arriving at the same time finding refuge at the end of the day.)  We also got changed and went to the Golden Nugget and chose one of many available restaurants to have dinner. 
Buoy coming ito Atlantic City

During dinner we discussed plans for Wednesday and decided to stay with the original decision and go to Cape May. It will be a five hour trip and should not be any worse than today. We will leave mid-morning as the waves are to improve during the day. We also have to make a fuel stop!

We came back to the boat after dinner and put away all the items on the floor and spent the rest of the evening watching TV and just relaxing. 
The Golden Nugget 

(Too tired to even write the blog so this is being written Wednesday morning.)




October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013  Day 145   
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

This is our ninth and final day on Staten Island.  The wind died down a little and the sun was shining. 

We did more boat chores today, including vacuuming, reorganizing some books, files, etc.; and we did more trip research. December is now planned.  We will be leaving the boat in Florida during the holidays and after making a couple of phone calls, we have made our decision on that.

The Yacht Club’s fleet captain came by today and visited with us for a while. We will definitely stop here again the next time we come this way!

We went out for pizza tonight (we are in New York, and most of the stores and restaurant here are Italian). Then we stopped at an Italian market on the way home to pick up a few provisions.

We will leave at sunrise tomorrow and travel about 11 hours (87 miles) to an anchorage in Atlantic City.  We have enjoyed being here but it is definitely time to move south!


October 13, 2013

October 13, 2013  Day 144   
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Just another short update on day eight here on Staten Island.  This was an incredibly windy day. We have been rocking all day at the dock.  We can’t imagine what it would be like on the open water. (Actually we can imagine and that is why we are here!)

We stayed on the boat and got more chores done.  Bill worked on making the new dinghy motor more secure which meant drilling holes in stainless steel. Joyce did more laundry, did more research on winter plans, and took advantage of having the new oven and did some baking.

We are still thinking we might be able to leave on Tuesday. The seas will not be great, but better, so we will make that decision tomorrow.

October 12, 2013

October 12, 2013  Day 143   
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Just another short update on day seven here on Staten Island.  This was a windy – but finally a sunny day that reached about 70 degrees.

As planned, John picked us up at 10:00 and drove us to the appliance store to pick up our new microwave/convection oven.  We were back on the boat within an hour with our new appliance in hand.  A couple of boaters helped lift the box onto the boat and we were able to get it carried into the galley ourselves.  We are thrilled to have it installed!

We went to the yacht club’s annual event which they call “closing day”. There were about 200 people there which we thought was a lot, but were told on “opening day” in May they have at least 400!  There was an abundance of food (hamburgers, hotdogs, many salads, Manhattan clam chowder, beans, etc.,) that was served at 1:00.  At 3:30 they brought out more food – chicken, pulled pork, vegetables, etc..  We had a good time meeting many of the club members.  It is a good group of friendly people. The clubhouse was built in the late 1800’s and has an interesting history. It apparently served as a brothel and as a speakeasy at one time but has been a respectable yacht club for many years!

We came back to our boat around 4:30 and continued to do some research on ideas for spending the winter.

We are now thinking we might be able to depart here on Tuesday – or Wednesday at the latest.  We will continue to watch the reports of wave heights and wind.


October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013  Day 142   

Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Just another short update on day six here on Staten Island.  This was another cloudy and windy day. (There is a pattern here!). 

Bill and Jerry took out our old microwave/convection oven (it weighs over 90 pounds) and got it off the boat.  That is progress.  We have identified the one we will purchase and John, a Gold Looper here at the club, will take us to get it tomorrow. He was also kind enough to let us have packages sent to his home and will bring those to us.

We continue to work on other small projects, laundry, organizing, and thinking about where we want to spend the winter.  But right now we are also thinking about next week and hope we can leave by Wednesday!

October 10, 2013

October 10, 2013  Day 141   
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Just a very quick update on day five here on Staten Island.  This was another cloudy and windy day with some light showers.  Bill spent the afternoon installing a new motor on the electroscan, part of the waste treatment system.  Joyce did laundry and read. She also made reservations for a marina in Hilton Head where we will spend a week in early December.

The dockmaster stopped by and invited us to join the yacht club members on Saturday for their annual barbecue to “end the season”.  We will be happy to go since we will still be here.

We had docktails with Jerry and Wendy on their boat and then came back and had a quick dinner.

The wave forecast continues to be daunting and we will continue to wait.  We might be able to go into the city before we leave! We had not planned on having to do some of the repairs or the need to find a replacement microwave/convection oven!


October 9, 2013

October 9, 2013  Day 140   
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Just a very quick update on day four here on Staten Island.  Today was cloudy and windy and the seas were rough on the ocean.

We had an unusual request today – a 70 foot boat needed to dock briefly to drop off passengers and camera equipment (they had been doing a fashion photo shoot) – and we were asked to move for a short time.  So we anchored out in the harbor nearby until they were finished and then we returned to our dock.  They generously reimbursed us for accommodating their request!

We spent time researching microwave-convection ovens, since ours stopped working yesterday. We will have to replace it this week.  What else can break?? The joys of owning an older boat…

Weather reports are not favorable for Sunday and so we will wait for early next week, hopefully.

October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013  Day 139   
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Day three here on Staten Island.  We did some cleaning in the morning then walked to an Italian market which happened to be next door to an Italian bakery – wow – those were both worth the walk!  We came back with chicken parmesan, great Italian bread, cheesecake and cookies. 

We stopped inside the yacht club bar and looked at the framed photos of the damage done by Super Storm Sandy. The surge caused the floating docks, with boats tied to them, to lift off the pilings and end up on the ground.  The damage was extensive.

Jerry and Wendy came over for docktails and we had a good time recalling our journey together and catching on news since then. 

We continue to watch the wave report and with 6-10 footers through Saturday, it is a no brainer.  We will be able to see Sunday’s forecast tomorrow and can only hope thing will improve. 


October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013  Day 138   (second posting today)
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

What a wise decision to stay put today!   We were rocking in the harbor with winds gusting to 30 mph and some heavy rain showers!  We were even under a tornado watch until 5pm.  We did not get off the boat.  We were still tired from our long day yesterday.  Bill worked on his new hobby, and began carving his 2nd bird, a curlew this time. 

Joyce did some laundry and took care of some communications and just relaxed.  John Calascibetta, a Gold Looper and member of this yacht club stopped by for a visit.  He was so very helpful and gave us info needed about getting into the city.  We plan to go up to the yacht club tomorrow to look at the pictures of Super Storm Sandy that devastated this club last year.  He described the damage and the extensive restoration that took place.  Their hard work allowed them to reopen this past June!

A look at the NOOA weather show Atlantic Ocean wave heights off the New Jersey coast will be from 3-8 feet on any given day and that will mean we are staying put until probably Sunday. That puts us behind our schedule and we will have to cancel/postpone some reservations, but we need to be safe.

We will use this time to relax, go into New York City, and get some boat chores done.

October 7, 2013  Day 138   DOWN EAST LOOP COMPLETED
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

On Sunday, October 6, we left our anchorage just before daylight and traveled in fog (1 mile visibility) much of the day and in seas 2-3 feet in the Long Island Sound!  Not the best of travel days, but we persevered. We only wish it had been clear for better photographs and to enjoy the NY skyline better!

Passing this beautiful sailboat in the fog
on Long Island Sound
We entered the East River at 1:15, passing under the Throgs Neck Bridge.  We passed the runway for LaGuardia with planes landing every two minutes. The strobe lights on the runway were visible in the light fog.  We passed Rikers Island but no one came out to greet us.  Soon we were going through Hell Gate. Timing here is critical because of the strong current. We went through at high tide and received quite a boost in speed, flying through there at 13+ knots!  The water was swirling around us!  We saw a small sailboat coming towards us and we still wonder 

We are flying at 13.8 knots!
if it made it, or did the captain turn around and wait? There was no way for him to fight that current.  We continued on the East River, passing the United Nations Building and went under the Brooklyn Bridge.  We could not see the World Trade Center because of the fog, even though we knew where it was!   We entered the New York harbor, and we were welcomed back by Lady Liberty in all her glory as we officially completed the Down East Loop.

Swirling water of Hell Gate
We maneuvered around several ferries and other boaters to work through the harbor and out into the Lower Bay. 

We had reservations at the Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island.  We arrived there at 4:15 and were greeted by three helpful club members to get us secure.  We chose this location because they discount to AGLCA members, it is a protected harbor, and we can get into New York City easily (bus, or combination of train and ferry).  Shortly after we arrived another boat arrived and docked in front of us.  Bill exclaimed, “You are not going to believe who this is!”   We were shocked to be standing face to face with Jerry and Linda Taylor.  They are the professional delivery captains and instructors who helped us bring our boat back to VA from SC when we first bought her.  We owe them so much for their training!  They are on their way south to deliver a boat to Virginia!
View of the United Nations from the East River
The World Trade Center is here in the fog!
The Lovely Lady
We walked to a nearby restaurant and had a very good seafood dinner to celebrate our completion of the Down East Loop.  We were exhausted but very happy! 

This trip has been an amazing journey and we have been thrilled at all the whales and other wildlife (seals, puffins, gannets, etc.,) we saw; we loved the small fishing villages and the big cities; the people have been incredibly friendly everywhere we have gone; the coastal scenery is varied (cliffs, beaches, rocks, trees) and beautiful.  We rose to the challenges of high tides, swift currents, fog (did we mention fog?), and lobster pots but we loved the trip so much, we would recommend it to all boaters!   

October 6, 2013

October 6, 2013  Day 137   DOWN EAST LOOP COMPLETED
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

Just a brief notice tonight. We are happy but exhausted and will post additional information and photos tomorrow.

What a day!  Ten hours and 87 miles resulted in completing the Down East Loop as we passed the Statue of Liberty in the New York Harbor.  We are thrilled to have completed this voyage!

October 5, 2013

October 5, 2013  Day 136
At anchor Joshua Cove
Guilford, Connecticut

We had good intentions of leaving early today! Carried Away had other ideas.  We had pulled in the water hose, taken the ladder off, and were ready to remove the power cord, etc…  Bill wanted to start the engines to warm them up first, but the starboard engine would not think about starting.  He ran a diagnostic on the engine battery and it was totally dead.  Plan B.  He called NAPA to see: 1) if they had the one we needed; and 2) if they could deliver it; and 3) if the driver could help carry it onto our boat and into the engine room.  Yes to all three!  He arrived in less than 15 minutes!!  One of the dock assistants came over and helped him carry it (they also removed the old one for us).  We were so grateful this worked out so quickly and we could make the next bridge opening at 11:40.  We also made a stop for fuel at a marina on the Mystic River.  

We had to wait briefly on the railroad bridge
on the Mystic River
We had hoped to travel 50 miles today but could only make 38 miles which took us to an anchorage in Joshua Cove, near Guilford, CT just before sunset.  We enjoyed traveling on Long Island Sound today.  The sun came out after an initial overcast sky and other than having a current against us for a while, we had an easy ride.  Since the boating season is nearing an end, there were not too many boats out today.

We enjoyed London broil, mashed potatoes, and carrots for dinner which Joyce cooked while we were underway.
Sharing the anchorage with just one sailboat

The sun was dropping behind a cloud bank
just after we arrived
We have a very long day of 87 miles tomorrow to reach Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island. It is important we get there because weather is moving in the following day.  We will probably stay at Great Kills for 3 days.  It will also give us an opportunity to go into New York and do some sightseeing!

Tomorrow we will actually complete the Down East Loop when we pass the Statue of Liberty!  This has been an amazing adventure.

We will still continue to keep our blog current as we work our way back to Virginia.