SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Sunday, 30 October 2011
Atlantic City, NJ
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 7
We had a very windy and rainy evening and night... 30 knots with gusts to 45 knots... so glad we were safe at a dock for the duration of the storm. Waking this morning it is bright and sunny but still very windy the forecast is for 20-25 knot winds this morning with 8-10 seas... late afternoon forecast is 10-15 knot winds and diminishing seas... so we are staying right where we are for today.

Monday's forecast looks good with 5-10 winds and 2-3 foot seas... our plan now is to head out early Monday morning on the outside in the Atlantic and get to at least Cape May and then decide if we continue on up Delaware Bay.


Trip totals to date:

Distance: 269.16 nautical miles
Hours: 44 hours 51 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.0 knots
Days not moving: 1
Posted at 9:18 AM
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Atlantic City, NJ to Atlantic City, NJ
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 6
We woke early morning to get an early start and discovered the winds had increased dramatically and it was raining… checking the weather we found an alert for a mid Atlantic winter storm approaching the area… high winds 30-35 knots with gusts to 45 knots… not a good day to travel… we needed to be some place secure… a dock would be preferable… Not knowing what was south of us for water depths or a safe dock, we decided to turn back and go to the dock we had been at in Atlantic City… actually we were still in Atlantic City so we were just changing locations… :)

We departed at 0745 hours and headed back north… we had the railroad bridge ahead which was no problem to get opened… but we had a rising tide and the Absecon Boulevard Bridge that was closed that we needed to get under… it was already blowing 25-30 knots and the current was raging against us so best we could do was 5 knots… cleared the railroad bridge no problems… one more to go and we had our fingers crossed that the tide had not risen enough so that we would be able to get under the bridge. We arrived and I slowed to crawl as Susan went on the top deck to check our clearance… she came back in and said we had it by a few inches… luck was with us today for the bridge.

We continued north and watched the winds increase to a steady 30 knots gusting to 35 knots… the winds were healing us over about 10 degrees and the current was really strong… making 2.5-3.0 knots at best… slow slow slower… finally we made it back to the basin where the city dock is located… what did we find but a large sailing vessel docked what appeared to be in the middle of the dock… as we got closer I could see that there was enough room for us to dock behind him… we would not be fully along side the floating dock but we would be on enough to safely secure the boat.

The only problem we had now was the winds were out of the NE now and that was causing them to blow us away from the dock as I approached… made several attempts to get close enough for Susan to snag a cleat with a line… but each and every time we got next to dock the wind would gust and the stern would swing away from the dock too far for Susan to grab a cleat… then we noticed a man out on the dock… he had come out from the restaurant to assist us… thankfully, with his assistance we were able to get a line on the dock… once a single line is on your home free from there… at least that is what I thought… the winds at 30 knots plus were making it difficult to get the remaining lines on… not difficult but it took some time to get things secured but we finally were securely docked at 0945 hours… added several extra lines for the high winds... Will wait out the storm here at a safe dock... :)



We traveled the today for 2 covering 5.53 nautical miles and averaging 4.14 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 269.16 nautical miles
Hours: 44 hours 51 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.0 knots


Posted at 10:49 AM
Friday, 28 October 2011
Atlantic City, NJ to Atlantic City, NJ
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 5
We departed from the docks at 1515 hours after hanging out at the Atlantic City docks most of the day waiting for low tide in order to get under the Absecon Boulevard Bridge. Low tide was at 1548 hours and it would take us about 30 minutes or so to make it to the bridge… wanted to hit it at dead low tide to be sure we had adequate clearance.

We arrived at the bridge and could see the sign boards that indicated the clearance… they were covered with barnacles but it appeared to read about 23 to 34 feet clearance… we approached slowly… Susan went out on the upper deck to check if we were going to clear… she came back down and said it looked fine… We passed under with a couple of feet clearance… ?

Now that the low bridge was behind us we planned to go south another couple of miles to an anchorage that was listed in Skipper Bob’s Cruising Guide… Ventnor City.. then we would leave from there at sunrise while we had a rising tide to continue south towards Cape May, NJ. We had several other bridges that we would have to get opened to make it to the anchorage… the first we came to was the NJDOT Beach Thorofare RR Bridge… according to the guides it was an unattended bridge that was operated by remote control… they had cameras to monitor things… hailed them and they opened up with no problems and we continued on… directly behind it was another bridge with 35 foot clearance… no problem getting under it.

Just ahead was the next bridge we needed to have opened… the Albany Avenue Bridge… I was just getting ready to hail it when Sails took a dive to the starboard… she does this when there is shallow water near by… I slowed down and Sails totally spun around 180 degrees… depth sounder was flashing “LAST 5.5”… I slowly turned Sails back around and checked our path to be sure we were in the channel… yep… dead center… I moved to try the starboard side of the channel and moved forward… grounded out… backed off and moved to the port side of the channel… grounded out… backed off… did not appear to be any path deep enough to continue on… I turned around and moved back to anchor and wait out the tide when the port engine alarm went off… overheating… shut it down and continued to position the boat to anchor… dropped the hook in 30 feet of water just 100 yards from where we were grounding out.

After we were anchored securely I went to the engine room to check the engines… In the grounding and backing off I found that I had sucked a lot of mud/muck into the sea strainers… I cleaned them both out and started the engines to check for water flow… starboard engine was fine... port engine was not pumping water… I checked the hose from the sea strainer to the engine raw water pump and it was clear no mud… only thing it could be was the raw water pump impeller… I removed the pump cover and sure enough the impeller was in pieces… I carry a couple of spares so I popped the old out and a new in it’s place... Started the engine and checked for water flow… took a little longer than I thought it would but it started flowing… ?

At this point it the tide had already switched and had come back in enough that we could of continued on but, it was getting dark and no need to continue on as where we were going to anchor was just a couple of miles ahead and where we were anchored would be fine for the night. So we are on the hook at N39° 21.641’, W074° 27.026’ safe and sound for the night… will continue on at sunrise.

We traveled the second leg of today for 1 hour and 15 minutes covering 5.2 nautical miles and averaging 4.14 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 263.63 nautical miles
Hours: 42 hours 51 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.15 knots
Posted at 8:46 PM
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