FL to CT Day 28
Cape May, NJ to New York, NY
Today it felt like we had just arrived and we were leaving again… very short stay in Utsch’s Marina… arrived 1815 and we departed at 0515. Plan for today is to go to New York… one long run while we have a nice weather window for the offshore New Jersey. The forecast for 5-10 knot S winds and 3 seas predominantly in a SE ocean swell with an 8 second period. Tomorrows forecast winds increasing to 10-15 knots with gusts to 25 knots… seas increasing to 4-5 feet… it’s today or wait 3-4 days for the next weather window.
I was expecting it to be much darker than it was as we left Cap May… the sun rising in the east was already illuminating the skyline with orange and red streaks of light… it was very pretty… actually one of the first nice sunrises we have seen on the entire trip north.
We had a flood current against us that was slowing us down a little as we exited the Cape May Inlet... making 6 knots instead of 7 knots for the RPM we were running. However, once we got a mile or so away from the inlet we started to pick up speed and were soon running at 7.2 knots… just a slight push of current running up the coastline.
The seas were as predicted 3 foot swell but the period was a little longer than 8 seconds… more like 10-12 seconds… there were some much larger 5-6 rough swells that came along every 4th or 5th wave. They were out of the SE so we were beam to them… made for a bit of a roll but they were so far apart that it was a pleasant rock you to sleep type ride… at least I thought so… Susan was not as thrilled about the rolling effect… it was very slow… first we would be heeling to port 10 degrees for 6 seconds or so and slowly we would roll back to starboard 10 degree heel for 6 seconds or so… there was virtually no wind so we had only the swells and no surface waves at all.
About one hour out from Cape May we made about a 15 degree turn to port which changed the ride to more of a waddle over the swells as we added some pitching to the rolling… still a very pleasant ride. We maintained this attitude for another 5 hours or so until we reached Atlantic City… where we made another 15 degree turn to port… this increased our pitching and reduced our rolling… just makes for little more work steering… our autopilot had totally stopped working and it was manual steering… rudder reference transducer was sending false readings to the course computer and would cause the autopilot to auto release every few seconds… gave up trying to use it.
We maintained this course for another 3 hours until we reached Barnegat Light Inlet where we made another 15 degree turn to port… changing the ride to more pitching and very little roll… at Barnegat Light we turned another 15 degree to port… we now had the seas directly on our stern… a following sea… not a bad ride but a pain in the butt when it comes to steering… we stayed on this course for the next 5 or so hours.
About half way through this leg the wind was starting to increase… had maybe a 15 knot wind now that was pushing up some surface waves… 2-3 surface on top of the swells… it was a very confused sea… the ride was not that bad but it was noticeably getting rougher.
We were about an hour south of Sandy Hook and the wind had picked up blowing 15-20 knots now and the surface waves were 3-4 on top of the swells… the swells seemed to have increased also but the seas was so confused that it was hard to tell for sure… at this point we made another 15 degree turn to port… did not seem to change the ride at all. One good thing was we been slowly increasing in speed as we got closer to New York… we were now running consistently over 8 knots… At the Sandy Hook Channel we were running over 8.5 knots and we made a 29 degree to port and were now heading toward New York Ambrose Ship Channel… our speed jumped to over 9 knots and close to 10 knots as we entered the ship channel heading toward the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and New York Harbor. It was still twilight out, however, it was very misty almost foggy and you could barely see the New York Skyline buildings… just some twinkling lights through mist.
Another hour to go under the bridge and through New York Harbor… We maintained speeds from 8.5 to 9.5 knots all the way up New York Harbor to the Statue of Liberty where we made our last turn to port in to the Liberty State park Channel that runs along the southern side of the Statue of Liberty. You pass by within a 1000 feet… she is fully illuminated and an awesome sight this close at night.
We reached our anchorage at approximately 2130 and were securely anchored at 2145 at N40°41.789’, W074°’03.918’. We traveled for 16.5 hours covering 131.6 nm averaging 7.98 knots.
Posted at 10:30 PM
FL to CT Day 27
Chesapeake City, MD to Cape May, NJ
We departed late morning to wait for a favorable current in the C&D Canal as well as the Delaware River and Delaware Bay. I had determined that we should leave around 1000… this would give us a boost out of the C&D Canal and we would reach the Delaware River at just before it changed to ebb and we would be able to ride the ebb tide down the Delaware River and Bay for 6 hours… the current would switch to flood before we got to Cape May but this timing would give us maximum cruising time with the current pushing us.
We actually ended up leaving slightly early at 0945 and had a good boost of current as planned out of the C&D Canal… making over 8 knots most of the way… only slowing slightly when we reached the intersection of the canal and the Delaware River. We met with a flood tide against us slowing us to 6.3 - 6.5 knots… we had about an hour before the tide would switch to ebb… so we ran slowly for just about an hour… we had just passed the nuclear plant on the river when we started to gain some speed from the current.
Normally I run an almost straight line from the nuclear plant to Cape May…. Running down the northern side of the Delaware Bay… this time I decided to run out to the ship channel and run down… it was good decision as we got much more boost as soon as we hit the deep narrow ship channel… we ran most of the way down at 9.3 - 9.5 knots… it was awesome… but the ship channel takes a dog leg to the starboard and we left the ship channel at this point and made a straight shot to Cape May and it slowed us down as soon as we hit the shallower water… not bad though… still over 8 knots.
The weather could not of been any better… the Delaware River and Bay were almost glass smooth… well not the whole way… about an hour out from Cape May the wind whipped up a little and we started to get some 1-2 chop… just an aggravation at the end of the day.
About a 1/4 mile out from Cape May we were experiencing full flood tide and slowed to 5.5 knots and this remained our speed all the way to Cape May and Utsch’s Marina. We had called to make reservations and arrived after they had closed at 1800.
This marina is a little tough to get into… a straight shot down there outside bulkhead and then a 90 degree turn to starboard through a very narrow entrance… and it does not get any wider past the entrance… the fairway is the same width. We had been given our slip assignment but had no idea where it was located other than near the fuel dock, so we moved slowly down the fairway looking for slip #14… about half way down the fairway we found it and it was maybe 20 feet wide… we’re 18 feet wide… felt like threading a needle getting in... But we made it with no problems.
We were securely docked at 1815 at Utsch’s Marina located at N38°57.051’, W074°’54.317’. We traveled for 8.5 hours covering 54.2 nm averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 6:59 PM
FL to CT Day 26
Galesville, MD to Chesapeake City, MD
We departed slightly later than the planned 0600… departing at 0630. “Sanctuary” did depart at 0600 and was out of sight by the time we got back out to where we could see the Chesapeake Bay again. Although I think this was more due to the weather conditions… heavy fog and according to the radar showers all around us. Winds were way down and forecast was for 1-2 seas. Not ideal conditions but just having lower winds and seas was great.
As we passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge you could not see the span… only the concrete supports were visible and they disappeared into the fog that was now hanging over the bay like a blanket. It was a very eerie sight.
We had not gone another 2 miles and the fog just vanished and it was blue skies and sunny… amazing… it did not last for long but it did remain partly cloudy with the sun shining most of the day.
Quite a bit more boat traffic out today… one of the boats that had been in the Great Bridge Lock with us passed and they hailed us on the VHF… we exchanged some small world chit-chat and where each of us was going as they slowly passed us… moving slightly faster than we were.
We were not as luck with current today as yesterday and had it against us most of the day… early morning we had a little help… but as the day went on the current switched as was against us… 5.6 lowest and 7.2 knots were the extremes I observed.
We arrived to Chesapeake City at just before 1500 and proceeded to the town dock located at N39°31.624’, W075°48.671’. We secured “Sails” to the dock in the last available space between the tour boat and another trawler. We were securely docked at 1500. We traveled for 8.5 hours covering 56.8 nm averaging 6.7 knots.
Posted at 5:45 PM