Wednesday, September 21, 2022

New cooktop!!!

Out with the old.
Anyone know what we can do with this?

Projects and chores! After being out and about for 4 months (since our last stop in Baltimore) it's time to fix some stuff and do some upgrades.

In with the new induction cooktop!
Russ's first task was to clean to the exterior of the boat (we're not very diligent about that), then install the new induction cooktop. 

...and what the transition looked like.

Meanwhile, I'm doing some sewing. The screen we use in the front of the helm broke, so it got some rework done. Then I'm putting together some things for Hannah and David's boat. I enjoy sewing projects, but it's trickier to get set up when you're on the move. Being in a port has many advantages. Pics to post of that once I get going. First, I must wait for Amazon...


Saturday, September 17, 2022

Bohemia Bay to Baltimore, marina

Not a long day ahead, nor a bad weather day, but the tides would help quicken the run. So we left early, just as the sun came up, out of Bohemia Bay and headed to Baltimore.

The ride was perfect. The only wake (which was substantial) was from a working tug that sped passed us at 12 knots or so. Tossed stuff everywhere. Otherwise, we had no incidents.

Baltimore!
We're back in our favorite marina, Anchorage. We paid for a month (because that's way cheaper than 3 weeks), but we really don't have a set "we're off" date. Lots of little projects lie ahead while here, not the least of which is cleaning the boat! Been a rugged, but awesome, summer.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Cape May to Bohemia Bay, anchor

The trick to this trip is to 1) do it in nice weather and 2) try to get incoming tide. Typically we only get 1 of those to pick from but today, we got both.

Out around 6:45 am we brought up the anchor and took the slow ride up the channel in Cape May. That helped stall us a bit so we timed getting onto the Delaware Bay around 7:30, which was low tide. Winds were a bit stronger than predicted, and coming from the north west, so the first hour was a little lumpy. Nothing like the run from Sandy Hook to Great Kills, but enough we were twisting a our direction a bit, trying to get a smoother ride.

Gorgeous sunset in Cape May...
That only lasted about an hour. Once we reached the narrower part of the bay, the wind had less fetch. It also died down. The last half of the Delaware felt smoother than Jean Luc Picard's head.

Somewhere around Chesapeake City on the CnD canal the hoopla started. Boaters were out everywhere enjoying the sunny and warm Friday afternoon. We ducked and dodged jet skiers, fast racers, and sail boats all the way to Bohemia Bay. There, we took on some fuel (just enough to get us down to Top Rack in Norfolk) and then threw out the anchor.

... and Bohemia Bay.
Long but lovely day.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Atlantic City to Cape May, anchor

The winds shifted to the north but that would work fine with our direction today. This will be the last "must be on the Atlantic" voyage, from here to Florida -- with the exception of the occasional inlet whose shoals force you to just touch the ocean (I'm lookin' at you, St. Andrews Sound!).

We left the anchorage just before dawn. That is one of our favorite anchorages, though it's a bit dicey to get in and out of. Lots of shoals, and a narrow, narrow channel. Once you're through it, it's a great place to see the shiny Atlantic City lights.

I don't know why but the BEST sunsets are in
Atlantic City.
As predicted the waves were light in the beginning and grew as he headed south, but always on our stern. The ride was smooth. Once we rounded the point around Wildwood, it got even better.

Not a long day, just over 4 hours. The biggest frustration was setting the anchor. It took us four or five tries. The mud here was really soft, so the high-powered setting we do still dragged a bit. We did it one more time, let out enough rode, then shrugged. No major weather is expected, so it should be dandy.

Eerie morning sunrise
Big run up the Delaware is planned for tomorrow. 

Staten Island to Atlantic City, anchor

We almost talked ourselves out of going today after the events of last night. We normally turn in around 9 pm and that's when we were securing inQuest to a mooring ball. Tough to "wind down" after that ride.

We got up around 5:30 and, while the wind remained up (SOOOOOooooo glad we decided to return to Great Kills) it was coming from the west. In theory, as we ran down the Jersey shore, we'd be "in the lee". So we went.

Farewell New York
The winds were on our stern at first as we headed to the Atlantic, which we don't mind. By the time we got to our turn the waves were 3 - 4 feet. But as soon as we got behind New Jersey, everything calmed. I'm thrilled to tell you it stayed that way the entire trip. Our weather equipment read winds anywhere from 10 to 22 knots, but the water stayed wonderful. 

Compare these waters to the "New York" pic.
Before and after the turn south.
That was a welcomed relief. Last time we made this run when we headed to Maine it was a terrible day. This one goes in the books as "a great day."

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Staten Island -> Sandy Hook -> Staten Island, ball

Long post for a short day. 

We'd just decided to leave the yacht club tomorrow (Wednesday) and make the run to Atlantic City. That meant spending a nice night on the island. I was looking forward to a nice dinner. Just as we went to take quick naps Russ got the notice that the new stove tops arrived.

(Quick side note: David of Highwind ordered a new induction stove top and asked if we wanted one too, and we definitely did. They came from the UK, and Hannah arranged for them to be delivered to a co-worker in Brooklyn. David and Hannah, however, put Highwind on a ball and left to go to Seattle for a week, so we agreed to arrange pick up when they showed up.)

We were on the t-head, but got "kicked out"!
Russ took transit to Brooklyn, then Uber X the stove tops and himself back. While in that process, however, the marina called. The boat that was supposed to come in Thursday was coming in early -- so guess who had to leave tonight? As soon as Russ and I got the stove tops on the boat we started engines and headed out to Sandy Hook to anchor.

We arrived around 5 pm. Since the winds were coming from the west it was a little lumpy. I made some dinner, we ate, and ... it got worse. And worse. Just as the sun and sunk below the horizon we watched as 3 to 4 footers hit us on the nose. None of the weather apps predicted the wind would be so bad, and yet.

On anchor, as the sun was setting. Not. Happy.
We left shortly after this was taken.

Right around 8 pm we gave up. Well, I gave up. We headed back to Great Kills. We followed the "bread crumbs" on our Aquamaps, and grabbed a ball for the night. That meant, we ran in the dark, found a ball in the dark, and got secured in the dark.  Moreover, with the winds so high, we were taking it on the nose up the channel, then on the beam when we turned, and it was rough. Thankfully, short.

The sky lounge was pretty trashed 
by the time we reached Great Kills.
Sometimes boating is doing scary things for the "first time", hoping it's also the last.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Port Washington to Staten Island, marina

This is the first time we've been in a marina since Boston.

Planning the trip here was a little tricky. Ideally, you want to be near the Throgs Neck bridge near slack tide. That meant waiting until 11 am or so before leaving. And the longer you wait on a Sunday, the more personal crafts (PCs) are out and about the make your trip hard.

We left about a quarter to 10. It was still crazy.

Just passin' through this time.
It's not enough to keep an eye out for ferries and tour boats that zip by at 23 knots. Turn out, they really aren't a problem. It's the PCs. The wake these guys throw are always huge, and since you're in a fairly narrow channel, they bounce right back off the sides. That made the water extremely choppy and confused, with sliding tables and falling computers. 

Lady Liberty in the distance, in the rain.
Once through all that, however, the water was amazing. We arrived a little early, even. When we did the loop we stopped at Great Kills Yacht Club, so it's been years since we were here. 

We are staging for the run down the coast, so we'll be here a couple of days. Hurricane Earl is still sending sizable surf to the Jersey shore. Besides, I'm looking forward to a trip to the Italian Market.


The trip through Hell Gate in NYC.


Friday, September 9, 2022

Port Jefferson to Port Washington, ball

This is feeling like a "dead presidents" tour.

Given the windy weather of the past few days all the weather apps said to wait until the afternoon to travel. I personally would have stayed another day, since that looked amazing. But we decided to just "poke our noses out" and take a look. We don't hesitate to turn around if we're not enjoying the ride -- done it a couple of times. However, we timed it poorly with the ferries. 

Wonderful sky, sunny and warm,
but lousy waters.
We left at the top of the hour. The ferry departs Port Jeff at about 2 minutes after that. We were already in the channel leaving when it came closing in on us. So, we got out of the way and waited for the PT Barnum to pass. We followed him into the bay. Side note: At the breakwall it's clearly marked as a 5 mph zone. The ferries, who make huge wakes, get to the wall already moving around 10 knots or more. One of the reasons we didn't like this place before was we were constantly being waked by these guys.

Once out in the bay we were immediately slammed with 4 foot beam seas. I was radically unhappy. However, just as the PT Barnum was heading out the Grand Park ferry was coming in. To stay out of everyone's way we headed a bit west, which is not the way we wanted to travel but it got the water on our nose mostly. We planned to turn behind the incoming ferry and come back as soon as we could.

Highwind left early. Had it even rougher, from what I 
understand. They, too, had to deal with the ferry.

The waves were nor-east, so heading more west
made them easier to deal with. Once we cleared
the land, it got a little smoother.
Then something really weird happened. PT Barnum started to turn around. These are not small vessels, so this had us totally befuddled as it lumbered sideways then back towards us. Then PT Barnum started moving in circles, all the while we're being tossed about like a salad trying to figure out how to get back to port. Additionally, the incoming Grand Park slowed its pace down as well. 

Finally PT Barnum called the coast guard. They had spotted a capsized sailing cat, and since they were the first ones to find it, they needed to stay around until the coast guard showed up.

If the water had been nicer we would have helped. But no people were seen in the water or nearby so it was assumed that the weather had blown the hobie cat off its mooring or anchor or slip. 

Most of the dots on this screen are marking
sunken wrecks. Long Island Sound can be unkind.
We turned to head back when the water, we noticed, stopped being so cranky. More swells, less chop.

So we headed on. It got worse then better than worse throughout the first 2 hours, then got increasingly better. By the time we got into Port Washington it was less than a foot.

Highwind on a moor nearby, sunset.




Monday, September 5, 2022

Greenport to Port Jeff, ball

Even though we arrived in Greenport early we didn't go into town. The water was packed with boaters so we (being the curmudgeons we are) assumed the town would be too. Russ worked on various projects while I played games and wrote.

We left early in the morning, headed for Mattituck. We didn't get to stop there on the way out, and while the town isn't large, there's a train station. Weather is coming and we probably won't travel over the next few days, so I thought I'd take a train back to Greenport and see the town when it wasn't insane. 

Finally! Justice! There are 2 boats in this pic, an 
Azimuth and the local authorities. The Azimuth
was zipping around the bay dragging kids on 
an inflatable raft. He was waking everyone, us
included. We felt vindicated when this happened.

Not the prettiest day but, oh, so flat!
But the water was so amazing. Additionally, the Harbor Host of Long Island was generous enough to accept packages for us. He was okay with meeting us in Mattituck but Port Jeff was closer. And the water was sooooooo amazing!

So we put in a longer day and pressed onto Port Jefferson.

The Masala Dosa was 2 feet long.
And delicious.
We were here on the way out, on anchor. It's a major ferry port, and the ferries come rocketing into the bay, so all I recall was getting waked pretty seriously. So this time we grabbed a ball, which is close to the ferry station. They ain't rocketing near us, so it's just dandy.

Also we never got into town due to weather. We explored a little this afternoon, stopping by the brewery and eating at an Indian place. In conclusion, it's a much better stop than it was the first time. It should be fun to be here for a few days.

There's a train here too but it isn't easy to get to Greenport. In fact there's a whole bunch of trains on this island -- most of which are focused on getting passengers to Penn Station.



Sunday, September 4, 2022

Fishers Island to Greenport, anchor


Write ups for Fishers Island made it sound like it was one of the prettiest anchorages ever. We might be jaded after a couple of months in Maine but we wouldn't list it in the top 10 even. Big houses, mowed lawns, and golf courses don't really do it for us. The wakes weren't much of an issue, but there was quite a bit due to the holiday. All in all we wouldn't recommend it and we were happy to get an early start in the morning.

Starting to be up before the dawn again.
Greenport is just tucked in behind the northern fork of Long Island. It's in another large bay with lots of places to explore, like Sag Harbor. We thought about staying here for a couple of days but a number of issues are conspiring against that, including packages we need to pick up. We're adding it to the list of "things to see" next time we're back this way.

Much like yesterday, lots of boats out and about this morning. And bozos. This one we got recorded. He was stopped and fishing, so we swung really wide, even getting out of the channel to give him space. For whatever reason he decided it was time to leave. He more or less headed right for us. At speed. We came to nearly a stop, then had to deal with his flippin' wake. (Russ cut the clip before my swearing at him could be heard.)

Russ titled this piece "Maybe he sped up when we honked."

Holidays are a bother as a cruiser.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Newport to Fishers Island, anchor

We really like Newport but the weather to too dang good not to take advantage of. So, early in the morning, we dropped our ball and headed out.

While moving toward the Atlantic we had some beam. Once we rounded the point the ride was smooth. 

It became apparent that it was a holiday weekend, with many, many boaters out to enjoy their time off and good water. At one point we came across a motorized kayak that just nonchalantly made his way across the water -- right in front of us. His kayak was a dark green and he was dressed in khakis, both of which made him extremely hard to see until we were upon him. I pointed him out, and we thought, "Surely he sees us" but he made zero effort to avoid us or change course. We had to come to a full and complete stop in order to avoid him. He slowly putted his way, from our left to our right, while looking at his phone and not us. He gave a small wave without a care in the world. (Can you see my eyes roll?)

Sunset on Fishers Island
I mentioned the direction because we were on his right, and like automobile rules, that meant we had the right of way. If he were a regular kayaker, paddling his way across, then he'd have the right of way. But we both were powered, he was smaller than us, he was more maneuverable than us... whatever. Of late we've really come to dislike holiday boaters. 

Dropping the hook took 2 tries, but anchoring is like that sometimes. Fishers Island has one of the top 100 gold courses in the world. We don't golf, so that means nothing to us. But if you stop by and have clubs, this may be of note.

Early morning departure from Newport.
It's a pretty packed mooring field.



Friday, September 2, 2022

Battleship Cove to Newport, ball

Lovely weather ahead, albeit on what promises to be a busy, busy weekend. Labor Day. We're planning to take advantage of nice water, but that means getting ready to leave Narragansett Bay. A bummer, really, since there is still a whole lot of exploring to be done here. That will give us something to look forward to.

No drama of any kind getting here. We had a tougher time finding the ball they wanted us to be on. It was number 275... just to give you the kind of volume of moors they have here in Newport. Eventually the launch boat came out and showed us the way.

Moors in Newport. This is just 1 direction, 
since we're in the middle of the field.

Geese and goslings at Fall River.

August. This starts before we went to Bangor.
I'm frustrated Nebo won't let me pick our 
route color -- green is way too hard to see.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Pirate Cove to Battleship Cove, ball

Subtitled: From "argh!" to "whoa!"

Still heading north we took another 1 hour trip from the ever-so-shallow Pirate Cove to another maritime museum, this one dedicated to battleships. The trip leaving the Pirate area was tricky. To get out you head east... into the sun. So not only was the water 5 feet beneath the keel (so you really want to stay in what channel there is), not only were we squeaking through that crazy-narrow bridge to get out, but we did it while totally blinded. 

This is an RT vid of us going through the bridge
last night. Reversed, the sun was in our eyes.
Once just inside you can hear the engines rev a bit.
That was to ensure we get out quickly and with control.

USS "Big Mamie" as you come into the 
mooring field. Just off her bow you can see
Highwind in the distance finding a ball.
Yes, we could have left later that day, but we had a small schedule deadline. Both David and Hannah worked around 10:30 in the morning, and the museum opened at 9. The plan was to get there around 8:30, drop the dinghies and run through the various ships we could see. And run we did!

Waiting for the museum to open
To get into the little bay you go right around the USS Massachusetts ("Big Mamie"), a battleship. Being that close to one definitely gives you that "whoa!" feeling.

Of the 4 ships that are here sadly 2 were closed for repairs. But that left a destroyer, the USS Joseph P Kennedy, and the submarine, The Lionfish. That was what I really wanted to see. You get to walk through the interior of the submarine from stern to bow, having to squeeze through a number of tiny doorways as you go, and marvel that there were bunks just above the missiles. Apparently the crew complement was around 30. Felt incredibly cramped, and there was only the 4 of us.

Russ playing Han Solo on the gunship

From the destroyer we can see our tiny boats.
The Lionfish is on the left.

The view off our bow. USS Massachusetts.

Highwind, USS "Joey P" beyond them.

One question we could not get answered was "Why here?" Seems like an odd place to park battleships -- they didn't build them here. However, the mooring field here has space for a number of boats and close to a decent town. Definitely worth a stop if you can. There's a brewery close by, too. Always a plus.