Saturday, August 31, 2013

Made it to Baltimore - Details to follow

Birds on watch stands; real color of water. At home, if it were this shallow we'd be sketchy about anchoring from rock and tide concerns. Here, we might as well be in 100' of water if we have 12...Chesapeake mustache being applied as we move into the Bay.

Anchored at 8:50 PM off the Governor Thomas Veasey Farm in Veasey Cove on the Bohemia River. The Farm is for sale. 400 acres. Original farmhouse dating back to the 1700's. No subdivision allowed. $3.5 Million. As the broker's ad says: It's not just real estate, it's a lifestyle.

Though we arrived and anchored in the dark, it was a good decision to press on through the C&D Canal. The anchorage at Reedy Point on the East side of the C&D had four boats in it as we passed, but looked uncomfortable. Literally, stuck in the Bay. 

Anchoring at night.

We started the C&D at 6.4 knots but within half and hour we were doing 8 and then 9.4 as the current shifted in our favor.

C&D Canal

Overall it was a great day that just flew by. I twice checked to be sure the clocks weren't broken since I couldn't believe how fast the day went. Delaware Bay dead flat. The current was favorable. And we had enough wind to motorsail a good part if the way.

Our first Chesapeake bay sunset.

It's now hard to leave Veasey Cove for Baltimore. It's a pretty spot. 

Veasey Cove in the morning.

But the call of the Patapsco has been heard.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Block Island to Cape May

With a 3:00 PM departure from Block Island on Wednesday, we arrived and anchored at Cape May on Thursday at 7:30 PM. Beating the sunset by at least two minutes. A total of 28.5 hours. Not bad considering we had wind from all directions at unusable speeds and lumpy, lumpy seas the whole way (mostly from behind, thankfully). We did some 8.5 knot surfing for awhile and from Atlantic City to Cape May, with mainsail, staysail and iron genny all going, we did the last bit at a good 8 knot clip. Nothing like 5 to 10 foot New Jersey shore waves to give you a boost.

What we saw? Porpoises in the phosphorescent nighttime sea. A sea turtle (species not known). An irate old sailor complaining to the Coast Guard about a container ship in his way (it wouldn't be New Jersey if someone wasn't bitchin'). Plenty of clouds and fog and threatening weather. But no rain. No problems. And no pictures.

The jelly fish in our sea strainer (picture included) came from Rhode Island Sound.

One neat thing (after the initial panic) occurred at 0500 on Thursday as Tess replaced me on watch. A yellow light came on at the cockpit control panel, followed by a loud alarm buzzer. It seems that our new FilterBoss Fuel System works. And, wonder of wonders, it was properly installed. I quickly (and confidently) switched  a lever from Filter No. 1 to Filter No. 2. The buzzer stopped. The yellow light disappeared. The engine did not stop. We did not get soaked with diesel fuel trying to change filters in a confused sea before day break. Nice!

And, for you technical types. Filter No. 1 was used to "polish" our 18 month old fuel prior to our June launch and never changed afterwards. Thus it's likely premature failure. I changed it this morning at Cape May Literally a two minute job (or at least it will be the second time).  Nice!

Otherwise, and luckily, as all you passage makers know, it was pretty boring. Tedious work. Glad to see the coast again at Atlantic City. Frustrated that our destination was still five hours away at that point.

We made it. Now headed up Delaware Bay in a dead calm. Hot. And 30 plus miles to the C&D Canal. But the tides with us.  All's well.

Miah Maull Shoal Light on Delaware Bay (Banana Storage System still working - though we had a bee visitation earlier today).

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

An Auspicious Day

Yesterday was truly an auspicious day.  Thus, we try to re-start our Blog for our travels South.

We arrived at Block Island around 5:00 PM and after a bit of work and chores took the Launch onto shore for a short walk.  Instead of turning left toward Town as we and most others have done, we turned right.  And around the bend is an old cemetery climbing the hill.  As we approached, a large healthy buck bounded out of the brush and up the hill ahead of us, stopping at the crest before disappearing on the other side.  After a nice hike up the hill and around the cemetery - many Captains lie here, Dodges, Allans, Willises and other true Yankee stock - we headed back down toward the Docks.  No sooner had we reached the bottom than another large healthy buck bounded through a driveway gate not 10 paces ahead of us and turned toward us racing back up the cemetery hill.  Again, stopping to look back at us (very majestic) and over the other side.  Wow!  Amazing!  Not being in a place where a Trader Joe's sells Two Buck Chuck Wine, we decided to tip the launch driver an extra Two Bucks.

We did see the old (very old) Narragansett Inn before taking the Launch back to the boat.  Left some outgoing mail with them and felt we had a great visit to Block.

Our plan to head out at 0600 this morning for the 210 nm trip to Cape May (30 to 35 hours) was thwarted at 0300 when I decided to recalculate our fuel usage since leaving Quahog Bay and decided that worst case (absolutely worst case) was that we had 24 hours worth of fuel.  Since we are Cruisers and not necessarily Sailors, and we don't expect more than 5 or 10 knots of wind for the next two days, we decided we could not shove off without refueling.  At 0830 we were at Payne's Fuel Dock fully topped off.  Fuel and Water.  A fat and happy Island Packet built for comfort on the open ocean.

The Plan now is to leave between 3:00 and 6:00 this afternoon arriving Cape May 35 hours plus or minus later.  Since this should give us a morning arrival, it also leaves open the options of just heading up Delaware Bay without a stop or stopping off to anchor and rest at Lewes, Delaware inside the mouth of Delaware Bay.  We hope these options will provide less stress than trying to hit a night time anchorage at Cape May.

So, with an August 23 start from Harpswell, we have made anchorage at Pepperell Cove, a mooring at Situate (MA) Harbor north of the Cape Cod Canal, two nights on a mooring at West Island, Fairhaven, MA in Buzzards Bay (including dinner with Paul & Debbie Casey at their West Island Cottage), and now Great Salt Pond on Block Island.  We will make Baltimore.  We plan on the Florida Keys.  We hope for Florida's West Coast.  And we continue to negotiate a possible Bahamian return.  Check in often for updates.
Adjusting a Gilguy before entering the Cape Cod Canal.  Note the new Banana Storage System.