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Saturday, 12 May 2012
Atlantic City,NJ to New York,NY
Florida to Rhode Island- Day 28
We had a nice dinner at the restaurant we were docked at… Scales was the name of it… the chef and owner both came out after we docked and welcomed us saying “Welcome back… nice to see you guys again.” They remembered us from last fall when we were heading south and stayed at their dock for three days waiting out weather. It was nice that they remembered us. They also invited us back next time we pass through the area.

We departed fairly early at approximately 0710 hours. As we were leaving the inlet we ran along side a couple of tug rigs. There was a dredge working the Absecon Inlet and they were part of the work crew. After we got a few miles out in the Atlantic we heard them broadcasting on the VHF that they were closing the inlet until 1100 or 1200 as they were going to be laying a dredge pipe across the inlet and no boat traffic would be able to pass in or out until they were done. We made it out just in time… luck was with us.

We had the current with us heading out the inlet making 8 plus knots until we headed north outside the inlet then we slowed to about 7.2 – 7.8 knots… and we averaged that speed most of the day… we were hugging the coastline to stay in the calmest waters. The west wind forecast was for 5-10 knots and we had that most of the day. The seas were 1-2 feet and actually were an ocean swell coming from the southeast. The ride was smooth the entire day.

We encountered another dredging operation offshore from Surf City, NJ… had to alter our course offshore to pass through between the two jack stations… they actually hailed us on the VHF to let us know where it was safe to cross. Normally, you hail these guys and have a hard time getting any response.

The biggest issue we had today was the small recreational fishing boats. They were everywhere and always right in our path. I guess it was because we were hugging the coastline that we had to deal with so many of them. I actually got in a yelling battle with one of them. We’re 60 tons and I’m sure look fairly big to these small boats… the bait fish were working all over and one time there was a huge patch of bait working right in front of us. One of these small boats sees the bait working and comes zipping over and stops right in front of us… not more than 150 ahead of us and starts waving at us to move to port around him… they were casting into the bait. I had no choice but to move to port but this just does not happen instantly… after I saw I was clearing him as he did not move I went out the pilothouse door and yelled some appropriate phrases at him and we then exchanged a few more choice words and jesters. I just don’t understand how anyone in a 20 foot boat would pull in front of us and stop… LOL

We had planned to try and make it all the way to City Island, NY today but we just did not have the current with us strong enough to get the needed speed boost to make it in a timely manner. When we were maybe 15 miles from New York we started slowing way down… had a strong current on our nose and soon were doing 6 knots and in the Narrows going under the Verrazano Bridge we were doing less than 5 knots. With the current the way it was we would not do well in the East River and Hell Gate, so we opted to try a new spot we had never anchored before… The Liberty Island State Park Basin behind the Statue of Liberty. It was listed in all of our cruising guides and had good reviews so we gave it a try. It was almost dead low tide and there were a few shallow spots going in… never less than 7 feet but entering a new area and you see 7 feet when the chart says it should be 13 feet you get a little anxious but once in the basin itself there is plenty of water 10 to 15 feet. There were 4 other boats anchored already… Two sailboats, a trawler and a SeaRay / Carver type cruiser. The smaller sailboat was unoccupied and appeared like a derelict boat. The other three had people on board. Supposedly, a ferry runs in and out of the basin from 1000 to 1800 hours and you have to leave space for him to get in and out… the sailboats, the trawler and us are well out of the way on the north side of the basin… the other Searay/Carver type cruiser is on the south side of the basin and I am willing to bet he is going to be in the way of the ferry… maybe he is leaving early???

We anchored at approximately 2010 hours in 14 feet of water at approximately N40°41.737’, W074°03.767’. We traveled for 12 hours covering 89.99 nautical miles averaging 7.5 knots.

I took Beecha to the boat ramp docks at the west end of basin… the floating docks did not have an access ramp to the fixed dock so they were unusable. The fixed docks did have built-in slat ladders that I was able to use to get Beecha to land. After she did her business we headed over in the dinghy to check out the ferry landing docks. On the south side was a very nice floating dock… we’ll give it a try in the morning when we walk Beecha.

We will sleep in tomorrow morning as we have to wait for the correct current to head up the East River and Hell Gate to Long Island Sound… we need to be at the Battery at approximately 1100 hours… two hours after low tide at the battery heading north gives you a favorable current all the way through the East River, Hell Gate and Long Island Sound. Not sure where we will stop tomorrow night… just heading north or actually northeast.
Posted at 10:00 PM
Friday, 11 May 2012
Greenwich,NJ to Atlantic City,NJ
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 27
We departed from Hancock’s Harbor Marina at approximately 0640 hours and headed out of the Cohansey River with destination planned as either Cape May if wind and seas were bad or Atlantic City if we had a good weather forecast. Coming in last night we had a tremendous current on our bow… this morning as expected the current was on our stern giving us a tremendous boost... hitting over 10 knots several times but over 9 knots the entire river… all 3.5 miles of it. After we go into Delaware Bay we maintained a good boost making 8 knots most of the way to Cape May… but all good things come to an end… current switched to flood a few miles from Cape May Canal and we slowed to 6.0-6.5 knots across the canal and past Cape May.

We saw a fairly good forecast from NOAA… 10-15 knots with 2-3 seas… the big plus was it was a NW to W wind… so we opted to continue on to Atlantic City. With the westerly winds we cruised close to the NJ coastline and the waves were minimal… we saw the 2-3 most of the trip and at times 3-4 waves but the ride was real comfortable.

Very little boat traffic today… entering the Cape May Canal we held back in Delaware Bay while one of the ferries came out… Delaware Bay had a lot of large ship traffic but they were all in the shipping channel and we were well to the north of them outside the channel. Once in the Atlantic we did see several fishing trawlers and one cruiser from Maine passed us… we were in 3-4 waves at the moment he was passing and he hailed to see if we wanted him to slow down… and soon as he did he laughed and said I guess in this slop it really doesn’t matter… we both had a good chuckle… When we got to Atlantic City we saw him anchored just outside the basin.

The forecast is for 5-10 knot winds tomorrow and again out of the west so we are hoping for another good day in the Atlantic.

We docked at approximately 1715 hours at our favorite dock and dine spot near the Atlantic City Aquarium. Our approximate location for the evening N39°22.570’, W074°25.278’.

We traveled for 11 hours and 35 minutes covering 74.43 nautical miles averaging 7.03 knots.
Posted at 5:55 PM
Thursday, 10 May 2012
Galesville,MD to Greenwich,NJ
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 26
We Departed from Galesville at 0700 hours and planned to go to Chesapeake City, MD… about a 7 hour cruise. The weather forecast was for 10-15 knot NW winds with gusts to 25 knots and 2-3 seas. Of course as always NOAA was incorrect and we soon had 20-25 knot winds with gusts to over 30 knots. Seas were not too bad but were more like 3-4 than 2-3 seas. We did have the current with us luckily or we would not of made any speed at all. The larger waves keeps SAILS from reaching true cruising speed… we made about 6.7 – 7.1 knots until we reached calmer waters around Worton Creek. At this point the current with the narrower waterway and channel pushed us up to just over 8 knots. We hit the C&D Canal and soon we were doing 9 knots… WooHoo!!!

We arrived at Chesapeake City at approximately 1430 hours and found the city docks to be full. Well not really full but the two boats that were docked were not utilizing the dock space efficiently. There would have been space for us if one had docked at the end of the docks instead of 15 feet in and they had not left 30 feet between them… and the inner boat had 20-30 feet in front of him to the local excursion boat… we hovered for a few minutes hoping to catch one of the boats owners to see if they would scrunch up and give us space… but no one was aboard either boat.

We did have a good current with us so we exiting from the harbor and continued east across the C&D Canal not sure where we would go at this point. We scanned the cruising guides for possibilities… there were some options after you exit from the C&D Canal to the north at Delaware City but they did not seem that great. Directly across from the end of the Canal was the Salem River. We had anchored in there before and our notes were nothing special… ok in a pinch… and south of the Canal was an anchorage behind Reedy Island. Or we could go to a place we have gone several times… The Cohansey River which was still about 4 hours away.

We were soon out of the Canal and heading south on the Delaware River… we ruled out the Salem River and as we approached the Reedy Island anchorage… well it just did not look very Beecha friendly… have to have place to take Beecha to land. We had a good boost of current on our stern still so we opted to continue on to the Cohansey River.

The winds were still like they had been earlier in the day… 20-25 knots out of the NW with gusts to over 30 knots… so the Delaware River was a little rough… not as bad as the Chesapeake Bay was… maybe it was having a following sea made it seem smoother. When we turned beam to the wind to turn into the Cohansey River we were quickly reminded of just how windy it was… plus we had the ebbing current also on our beam now… made for an interesting entry into the River. Soon we were in the lee and inside… now we had the current directly on our nose… must have been 2+ knots… we slowed to about 4.5 to 5 knots… the river looked like it was boiling from the current… huge up swells of turbulence. And on the bends in the river it was over 60 feet deep… and it is only maybe 100 yards wide... very interesting.

We were not sure where we would dock once we got town… first place we came to had a lot of space on a long floating dock… looked good to me so we pulled in to Hancock’s harbor Marina. Three guys came out from a 42’ Grand Banks and assisted Susan with the lines. We could not find anyone around at the marina… talking with the guys from the Grand Banks who had arrived a couple of hours earlier also had not been able to contact anyone at the marina. The docks are ok… they have 120 volt 15amp service… no 30 or 50 amp… and there was water. We docked at approximately 1910 hours with our approximate location for the evening N39°22.797’, W075°21.273’.

We traveled for 12 hours and 10 minutes covering 90.79 nautical miles averaging 7.46 knots.
Posted at 8:11 PM
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