SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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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
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Reedville,VA to Galesville,MD
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 25
We had a very long day of travel today and would have the current on our nose all day… not a tremendous current but enough to slow us down quite a bit. We departed early at 0700 hours and headed out into the Chesapeake Bay. Forecast was for 10-15 knot S winds with 2-3 waves…. Increasing to 15-20 with gusts to 25 in the morning with a chance of thunderstorms. Again we assumed NOAA was wrong and they were… the first couple of hours we had the high winds and 3-4 waves and it started raining… soon as the rain hit the winds dropped to 5 knots and the seas went almost flat calm. The rest of the day we had rain off and on but the wind never came back… we had an almost flat calm cruise all day. It was gray and gloomy out but the calm seas were an unexpected treat. Especially, since we were crossing the mouth of the Potomac River. We have had some real horrible trips across this section of the bay. This time is was great!

We had several ships pass us heading south… those ships are huge and they are moving really fast for such a large vessel and some big wake! There was actually quite a few power boats heading north… all moving as a fast pace… much faster than our 6 knots.

We arrived to the Channel going into Galesville and were met head with a nice surprise. There were maybe 30 sailboats exiting the harbor all under sail with their mains and spinnakers up… so many different colors… it was quite beautiful even with the gray and gloomy skies.

We pulled up to the Galesville City Dock at approximately 1820 hours and tied across the T-head… the T-head is about 25-30 feet long… so we hang out a little both ways… LOL It’s a nice stop for the night. Our approximate location for the evening was N38°50.548, W076°32.342’.

We traveled for 11 hours and 20 minutes covering 74.43 nautical miles averaging 6.57 knots.
Posted at 7:33 PM
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