Saturday, May 31, 2008

CGA's Lighthouse List (Baltimore to Atlantic City)

Lighthouses seen and photographed in order from Baltimore, MD to Atlantic City, NJ
May 2008

1. Lehigh Light, Baltimore Harbor
2. Fort Carroll Light, Carroll Island – B’more
3. Patapsco River Light, North Point – B’more
4. Craighill Light, Chesapeake Bay
5. Craighill Range Light
6. Pooles Island Bar Light (mist veiled in photo)
7. Aberdeen Proving Ground
8-13? Boundary securing APG above
14. Concord Light, Havre de Grace, Susquehanna River Maryland
15. Fish Battery Light House – outside Havre de Grace
16. Chesapeake City Light – west end of C&D canal
17. Ship John Shoal Light, Delaware Bay
18. Elbow of Cross Ledge Light, Blake Channel Delaware Bay
19. Miah Maull Shoal Light, Delaware Bay
20. Fourteen Foot Bank Light, Delaware Bay
21. Brandywine Shoal, Delaware Bay
22. Cape May Light, Cape May New Jersey – Atlantic Ocean
23. Old Atlantic City Light, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Atlantic City, New Jersey (Friday, May 30, 2008). Left Cape May unexpectedly after reviewing weather updates. Went to bed last night planning on ‘cooling our heels’ while some weather made its way through, but awoke to beautiful conditions for great sailing! What an idea! So, after fast on-shore showers we cast off and out of a very pleasant time at Utsch’s Marina. After photos of Tim French’s old stomping grounds at the Cape May Coast Guard Station we headed into the sweet smelling Atlantic. Less than an hour out, sails were up and we were in the zone – finally, we’re doing what life’s meant for us! More dolphin sightings off to starboard, and a few basking sharks very near. We mostly sailed all day, with a few short bouts of motoring. Average speed was between 4-5 knots, wind behind us all the way.

Liberty Clipper (a not so pretty tall masted schooner out of Boston) passed us on their motor sail into Atlantic City and received a few choice words from Capt Tony as they clogged the entry to AC with their dingy riding in the narrow channel beside their boat. No harm, no foul; we held our distance and slipped in to a transient slip at Kammerman’s Marina for the night. We look out across the creek to the Coast Guard Station and Trump Marina (now blasting a Friday night rock and roll party; those damn kids!). Front page news in all the South Jersey papers this morning was an announced sale of the Trump Marina to some Margaritaville franchise. Not only will the prices jump (we are $2.00 a foot at Kammerman’s versus Trump’s $4.50 last year), but that parrot music will be playing constantly. Ugh!!

Tomorrow we bid adieu to CGA. She’s been a loving and watchful figurehead all our lives – it’s always wonderful to have her on board and make memories anew with us here. We expect the “bad” weather to pass during the day and diminish at over night Saturday. We are relying on which has great wind and wave predictions over a multi-day period. We’ll know on Sunday how accurate they are.

Thursday, May 29. 2008

Cape May, New Jersey (Thursday, May 29, 2008). Left Cohansey River with CGA at the wheel. Not only did she execute the anchor raising, but she managed to figure out which way to go in the river and made three S-curves without running aground. In her words “I was scared to death in the beginning, but then relaxed”. This is not steering for the faint of heart in the Cohansey! In the Delaware we passed a Navy ship with all hands dressed out for “posting their colors” at 0830. Delaware Bay was flat and calm, no wind, no chop and not the Delaware Bay we usually expect. Saw lots of large tankers and military ships heading to counter-attack at Aberdeen Proving Ground, or so we suppose.

Off Cape May (“in the Atlantic” as CGA notes) we were in the shoals filled with dolphins “playing in the water”. (Capt Tony is curious how they play on land, but he doesn’t understand the difference between working dolphins and dolphins at play). We motored all day, sadly, but the wind picked up pretty strong once Capt Tony cut into the narrowest marina inlet we’ve ever seen. He docked Endurance “like parking a school bus in a space for a VW bug” – calm as a cucumber and looking as if he’d gone in and out of that miniscule slip a thousand times. Impressed even XO! After tying up, crew abandoned Capt and ship to go to town for a walk. Town is full of old Victorian homes with beautiful gardens in bloom, big wrap around porches and idyllic yards with trees for big ol’ tire swings. A precious little spot. We shopped a little in the town square, quaint little town with a brick pedestrian-only walkway. We stopped for a little iced coffee, again later for a 2 for 1 ice cream cone special, and met up with Capt Tony at the Lobster House beside the marina for a delicious dinner. Johnnie Walker and New Jersey clams on the half shell! Though we may be paying again for the latter.

We staggered back to the boat like seasoned sailors on shore leave, played a few rounds of “golf” and retired to our respective berths for the night…(at which point CGA wrote most of today’s entry, XO went immediately to sleep, and Capt Tony read for about 4 minutes – it was probably 9:45 after all).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cohansey River, New Jersey (Wednesday, May 28, 2008). At anchor in Havre de Grace yesterday evening, small Lightning sail boats raced in the harbor as we ate dinner. Three lovely Spinnakers flew past in full glory on two different heats. Nice dinner time entertainment if you can get it. Two hour deluge started at 9:00 last night in Havre de Grace. The kind of thunderstorm, lightning and driving rain that makes you wish you had a concrete foundation under you. Held fast in the Susquehanna with 150 feet of chain rode. It was Lake Placid at 11:00; but at 2:00 a.m. the wind whipped up again into the high 20s and the howling coupled with the raging river current meant we were up often to confirm we hadn’t moved. Charter Guest Audrey (CGA from hereon) slept in the screened cockpit with Capt Tony until the rain had fully soaked her feet. Slippery underfoot, she reluctantly went to bed to avoid actual sleep until the winds kicked in and rocked her back into la-la land. We now believe she WAS dropped on her head as a baby!

Started out at 8:00 for an uneventful but pretty transit of the C&D Canal. Clear and bright all day with variable and shifting winds. Passing Turkey Point Lighthouse with good wind but motoring by necessity to cross to the channel, a few more photos and review of the Lighthouse log. We counted Osprey nests on the markers (Osprey perches to Syl) – babies in most of them, one or two downy heads popping up to call for food or greet returning parents. We were passed by a McHale’s Navy-esque boat in the C&D and were safely shepherded through most of it under the piloting of CGA while Capt attended to office duties and XO (Executive Officer) prepared lunch. Although CGA claims she has a long history of safely transporting hundreds of children and adults through all kinds of weather and on all roads, she suspects bridges move with current, and engineers really aren’t all that accurate in determining vertical heights. She was relieved from duty when lunch arrived and Capt confirmed rum rations had not been depleted. Came upon the Conrail Lift Bridge as it was coming down and on hailing the Bridge Operator he lifted it a bit, claiming it was at 80 feet. I immediately wrote in a time-dated log entry that I had asked for 65, he confirmed he had 80 and then instructed me to proceed. Just wanted the insurance evidence to be clear if we all drowned. We didn’t.

While underway, herons, egrets, terns and osprey graced overhead and immediately on shore along side us. Beautiful traveling day. We tried like heck to sail once in the Delaware Bay, but the wind dropped to near nothing, and ETA to Cohansey went from 6:30 to midnight in less than 2 nautical miles. Capt made executive decision to drop sails and restart the motor…sadly, we lost the previously gained 2 nm in that maneuver, but ETA was vastly improved. Cohansey River by 5:30 after a mere hour of sailing down the Delaware Bay before the wind died completely. The Cohansey seems flooded and deeper than we have seen it. Anchored after the third bend in 35 feet. Already turned around with the tide by 7:00. Wind now is whipping, water will begin to ebb down to the mudflats, and CGA will begin instruction on Golf (Capt wants all shoes removed before resuming sailing – we don’t think he was really listening).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Havre de Grace, Maryland (Tuesday, May 27, 2008). Though NOAA claimed a Small Craft Advisory and showers and thunderstorms all day, none of that came to pass. In fact, what came to pass and thankfully not too close, were explosions out of Aberdeen Proving Grounds…home of the near-by US Army weapons museum. As we watched the Army security boats protecting the borders, we’d hear shots, weapons of unknown destruction booming, and an occasional “oh crap” from the security boats…an unsettling passageway. ‘In fact, virtually no wind made for a quick motor across a glassy Chesapeake Bay. Audrey and Tony found small ‘skunk-like’ marked birds floating past—identification remains elusive at this point, but we hope to make some determinations before the end of this trip. Lighthouses have been photographed and catalogued, but none have been either hit or climbed as yet. Arrived at Havre de Grace at 1300, fueled up at Tidewater Marina for a princely $5.29 per gallon for diesel, then anchored in the mouth of the Susquehanna River where it nips at the Chesapeake.

Had a nice walk along the City Promenade, which is one of the nicest parks we’ve seen. Beautiful boardwalk area protecting the delicate interstitial zone, we saw gaggles of all sorts of geese, small nesting birds, and a no-exaggeration, 35 pound snapping turtle nestled in the cool mud. We walked around Concond Point Lighthouse, went to a few pretty park areas, and ate ice cream. We were also lucky enough to get to the Decoy Museum at 4:10; just shy of their 4:30 close. This allowed us a quick look-see for a small donation thus saving the entrance fee for support of OPEC.

Dinner aboard and a quick start tomorrow is the plan.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Baltimore (Monday, May 26, 2008). Arrived in Baltimore on Sunday to ready ENDURANCE for our trip North. The weekend was well spent thanks to doctoral students Ellen Exner and John McKay; married on Saturday at Harvard’s Memorial Church with an afternoon reception at the Harvard Faculty Club in Harvard Yard. One of the most memorable of life experiences for those of us who are not Cabots, Lodges or Saltonstalls. Like a graduation at West Point (thank you Shon Williams), it is a reminder of both achievement and opportunity, if I may, in America (meaning, of course, the U.S., and not being so presumptuous as to exclude the other countries of North, South and Central America, where, unfortunately, opportunity is not so broadly available, but achievement is to be celebrated perhaps even more in light of the obstacles imposed by the West; meaning, in this instance, specifically the U.S. and other Western – meaning European – “powers”). But, getting back to Baltimore, …

Our first charter guest arrives at 1235. Audrey Hediger spent three days with us in the Piscataqua Triangle (Little Harbor, Gosport Harbor, York Harbor) last year. She has now signed on for the transit to Cape May. The plan is to leave Baltimore on Tuesday and overnight in Havre de Grace at the mouth of the Susquehanna River. This is, they tell us, the duck decoy capitol of the United States. Can’t wait to see the decoy museum.
From Havre de Grace we plan to take the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal which moves us from the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware Bay. An overnight anchored in the Cohassey River will put us in Cape May on Thursday night. As they say, better to plan than to not even know you are lost.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Track us on

Though we haven't left Baltimore yet, we have signed up with and will be installing their satellite transponder before leaving Baltimore on May 28. We have added a link at the right of this page to iboattrack's list of Cruising Boats. Once we are "on line" you'll be able to track us there. We are told, all the way to Newfoundland.

We are developing a list of folks to notify as these pages are updated. If you or anyone you know should be added, please let us know. In the meantime, we are anxious to get started.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Starting the Log

This is the start-up posting for the Log of s/v ENDURANCE. As we start our 2008 Summer Cruising Season, we hope that this blog will help you track our progress and ports of call. We have an aggressive schedule planned; taking us from Baltimore, Maryland to Fortune Bay, Newfoundland via St. Pierre, France off the Newfoundland coast. But as they say, sailing is less about making plans, than changing plans.