SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Viewing category: Jay
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Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 3
Figured I start placing a quick summary of the day at the beginning of each daily entry.

Start: 0600 hrs, Westbrook, CT (N41°16.425’, W072°28.146’)
Stop: 1830 hrs, New York, NY (N40°44.149’, W073°56.814’)
Distance traveled: 79.81nm (91.78 miles)

We departed from Brewers Pilot's Point Marina at 0600 hours and planned to go to City Island, NY with an ETA of 1600 hours if conditions allowed for us to average 6.5 knots. Current was to be in our favor in the later part of the trip. Once arriving at City Island, NY we would wait until we could transit Hell Gate on the East River in New York City with an ebb tide... currents through Hell Gate can be 5 knots and you do not want to have a 5 knot current on your bow when you only do 7 knots with no current. The tide was suppose to change from ebb to flood at 1735 hours so we would have to wait until almost midnight to leave City Island, NY in order to go through Hell Gate with an ebb tide.

Once out of Westbrook and back in to Long Island Sound we found the wind and sea conditions to better than the day before... winds 20 knots and seas were 2-3 feet... but they were very short making the ride uncomfortable... as the day progressed the winds picked up and were steady 25 knots with gusts over 30 knots... but the wind direction had changed slightly from W to NW and we hugged the southern shore of Connecticut to get as much protection from the wind as we could but it was still a very uncomfortable ride.

As we approached the Stamford, CT area the seas started to diminish as the southern shore of Connecticut started to provide more protection from the NW wind and our ride became much more pleasant and our speed picked up with a little boost from the current... making 7.5 knots.

With the smoother seas and the speed boost we arrived to the City Island area sooner than anticipated and we estimated that we had just enough time to proceed down the East River and through Hell Gate with the last hour of ebb tide... so we did not stop at City Island and proceeded on into the East River and through Hell Gate... since it was the last few minutes of the ebb tide we only got a little speed boost... we got up to 8.4 knots for a few minutes.

After passing through Hell Gate we would soon have the current against us so we decided to stop as soon as possible... we had seen an anchorage on Active Captain just south of Roosevelt Island on the East River... we turned east into Newtown Creek and proceed up about 3/4 of a mile to Whale Creek. This is a small park with space for several boats... appears to be an old ship dock... has large rubber fender system designed for ships... the area is well lighted and not too difficult to tie up to. The only problem I saw is that the fender system is in two layers one over the other... we arrived at dead low tide and the lower fenders are cover with barnacles and would only be visible at low tide... they could cause some damage to your boat if gone undetected.
Posted at 9:56 PM
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Space Heaters working great!
The space heaters that Susan's brother brought us have been on and running now for about 3 hours or so and are working GREAT! Interior temperature when we turned them on was 56 degrees and it is now a nice cozy 72 degrees in the salon.
Posted at 2:26 PM

Rhode Island to Florida - Day 2
We departed at 0630 hours from the Between the Bridges Marina on the Connecticut River final destination for the day undetermined... destination undetermined as during the evening of the 6th the AC/HEAT had decided it was just too cold in New England for it to provide any heat... the lines cooling the condensing units were freezing up and no water flow... and NO HEAT! Mark (my Brother-in-law) and I worked for several hours trying to defrost the units but it was pointless... every time we would defrost one... minutes after turning it back on it was again frozen up and no water flowing... we decided to let them thaw all night and try again in the morning. We had turned on the oven and had it's door open to use it as a space heater with the AC/HEAT running fans only to circulate the warm air escaping the oven. We set our alarms for 0500 hours and went to bed at midnight.

Seemed like I had just gone to bed and my alarm went off... 0500 hours... the make-shift oven space heater worked fairly well and kept the inside temps in the 50-60 degree range. We turned the AC/HEAT back on normal and let them run to see if the thawing process had worked... I took Beecha to land for her morning walk and by the time I got back I could see the units had already frozen up again... one AC/HEAT thru-hull outlet had water coming out of it... there are 5 thru-hull outlets for the AC/HEAT and all 5 should of had water escaping from them... The thawing process had not worked... the water temperature evidently was just too cold for the unit and we had a long way to go south before we would reach any warmer water... we needed another heat source besides the galley oven. Susan got on the phone and talked to her brother George who lives in CT... he volunteered to go to Home Depot for us and pick up a couple of space heaters and bring them to us at Westbrook, CT... Brewers Pilots Point Marina (N 41°16.425’, W 072°28.146’)... this was approximately an hour or so cruise from the mouth of the Connecticut River. We were all set... stop at Westbrook, pick up the space heaters and continue on our way south.

After waiting 15 minutes for the Old Lyme Railroad Bridge to open for us we headed south out of the Connecticut River and back into Long Island Sound... the winds were predicted to be 20-25 knots out of the west so we figured it would be rough. AS we exited the mouth of the Connecticut River and turned westward into Long Island Sound... the waves started and they were pretty big and with a very short period (space/time between wave peaks) and we were really pounding.. it was as bad or worse than the first day of our trip... we did have the current with us today which helped our cruising speed to stay above 6 knots but the current was against the wave direction... this is what was making the waves so short and steep today... very very nasty! Plus it was freezing cold adding one more pleasantry to the ride.

We made it to Westbrook Brewers Pilot's Point Marina in about an hour as anticipated and headed towards a slip north of the fuel dock where the current and wind would be in our favor for both docking and leaving the dock after picking up the space heaters George was bringing us from Home Depot. We spotted an appropriate slip and Susan and Mark donned their jackets, hats and gloves and proceeded to the foredeck to handle lines for docking. As soon as they went outside Mark contacted me on the VHF (we use VHF for communicating while docking) and said we had a hose bib free flowing water on the port side deck and that he would not be able to get lines on the dock and I would need to hold SAILS in position until they could stop the water. What had happened was that a plastic y-valve in port side hose bib had frozen and split open allowing water to spray in all directions on the port side deck, walls, ceiling, etc... they did manage to stop the water flow and get lines to dock and we were able to get safely docked at approximately 0900 hours. The port side deck was like a skating rink frozen over solid with ice from the water leaking... the ceiling above the deck had ice sickles hanging down and the side was a sheet of ice... it's amazing how quickly the water freezes. Now all we had to do was wait for George to arrive with the space heaters and we would be set to head back out into Long Island Sound.

While waiting for George to arrive mark went down to the laundry/engine room to check things and came back up seconds later stating we had a water line on the AC/HEAT freeze and break and was leaking water into the bilge... GREAT! this trip was really starting off in a bad way... I went below with Mark to see what he was talking about and saw the master stateroom's condensing unit weeping water from one of it's copper cooling coils... a blister and crack... plainly had frozen and burst... why I am not sure as the temperature in this area of the boat was well above freezing... the other two condensing units were fine... SHRUG! Anyway, shut the seawater valves to the leaking unit and stopped the leak and proceeded to remove the water it had expelled from the bilge. While doing this George arrived with two new 1500 watt space heaters... COOL!.... or should I say HOT!... LOL

At this point I took everything that was happening as a sign and I made the decision to stay put right where we were for the rest of the day... we are eager to get south to warmer weather and see our friends and family in Florida but another day here in CT will be good... the sea conditions are horrible, it's rough on SAILS as well as us... tomorrow will be a better day.

Posted at 2:23 PM
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