Where we at

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Betterton->Cape May->Atlantic City->Staten Island

Good thing we broke this into 4 days because we kept  busy!

Betterton -> Cape May

Once we sent the "we're leaving now" text to our buddy boat, they too thought getting the journey done in 4 days was a good idea. They left Baltimore around 5 pm and jammed over to our anchorage. We rafted together and enjoyed the quiet night.

Bright an early the next day (around 6 am) they shoved off, heading to Delaware City for fuel. We took advantage of the large and calm bay to calibrate some of our instruments, something we do every couple of years. This is done by starting a program, then following their instructions; things like "move in a complete circle", or "point north", or "do a figure 8." Once done, we headed to the Delaware.

Heading up the Chesapeake went pretty quick since we caught a bit of tide. Once we left the canal that connects the two bays we had current against us and slammed to a crawl. But the day was nice, and the water calm, so we enjoyed the ride. Excellent trip.

We dropped the hook in Cape May at the same anchorage we used last year, Sunset Lake. It's not perfect -- tricky to get into, and lots of local boaters/jet skiers zipping around (quite a thing given it was a holiday weekend), but after dark it was ideal.

Cape May -> Atlantic City

The fog lifted just in time to see the AC skyline.
This would be the shortest day of our NYC run, only 5 hours. It was slowed, however, by a dense fog in the morning. We originally planned to head out at 6 am, but gave it an hour in hopes of it clearing. It didn't. So we all turned on our fog horns, fired up the radar, and slowly made our way back to the ocean. That bit was tricky -- despite the fog it was Saturday, and, by gum, fishermen are gonna fish! Highwind was ahead of us, and gave us updates as they progressed. "Two boats at marker 471," for example. There was also a bridge that we needed to get under that wasn't particularly wide or tall. Both vessels managed to get onto the Atlantic, and while still foggy, it wasn't nearly as intense. 

After a couple of hours the fog lifted. It was clear when we arrived in Atlantic City.

Crews in AC (starting at the bottom left and 
wrapping around the bar): Russ, Hannah, David,
me, Debbie, and Steve
Russ and I had been there a number of times but we always anchored there. The crew of Highwind typically stayed in a marina behind the Golden Nugget, one run by a state park. We decided to make it a thing -- stay at the marina and do a nice dinner together to celebrate being back on the water. Turned out another Endeavour crew from the vessel Gypsies Palace joined us in the marina. We noticed a number of people walking our dock, checking out these strange boats they'd never seen before and, heck, there were 3 of them!

Hannah made reservation at Nobu, a Japanese restaurant. The server there gave us the run down on what they had, then offered us a personalized chef's choice, based on our preferences. We snagged that! No thinking, just bring us food! It was mind-blowingly good. I give that place 2 thumbs up.

Atlantic City -> Staten Island

Clear dawn broke in AC. LET'S GO!
The predictions for the day were fog, all day long. Good water, but terrible visibility. However, when Russ and I got up at 5 am, it was crystal clear. We almost pounded on Highwind's door at that time and shouted "Let's Go!" But the clear skies held until we cast our lines at 6 am, and for the next 5 hours, making this the best run up the coast we've ever had. 

About half way up the coast the fog caught up with us. Not terribly difficult to manage, but whenever we crossed some inlet the traffic increased (holiday boaters wanting to do some offshore fishing, zipping in and out of the inlet). Many of those vessels do NOT have AIS so the only way to see them amidst the fog is to carefully watch the radar. And hope they too are watching to see us.

Fog isn't too hard to navigate if you have the right tools: AIS, Radar, and a fog horn. Which we do. But you still need to be more vigilante than on a clear day. For example, we might see small boats on radar, but we won't see a log in the water until we're right on it. Both of us remain in the helm in fog (sometimes Russ is on the bow so he can hear better, too). This way the pilot can concentrate on the chart plotter and other displays to see traffic while the other helps watch for anything dead ahead. It's not hard, but it's fatiguing, especially after several hours.

The view for about 4 hours.
We rounded the corner of Sandy Hook when we were hailed by a ship. They saw our AIS so they knew we were headed their way and that we needed to stay out clear. We opted to stay out of the channel to give them all the space. Even being just 150 feet from them we barely saw them (movie below).

As we continued into the harbor the fog cleared. By the time we grabbed a ball in Great Kills, we could see well.

Gypises Palace, Highwind, and we are all here. We all celebrated a tiring but uneventful day with a dinner at Cole's Dockside. 

And, we're just a bus ride away from NYC. 🍻

Russ slowed down the vid, but you can see what we saw.
We HEARD him, tho!

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Baltimore to Betterton, anchor

Technically we ended up on the Sassafras River, but the nearest town is Betterton. The plan had been to leave early, early, early tomorrow, then take 3 long and grueling days to get to NYC. For whatever reason, I really hated that plan this morning. 

We needed to fuel up -- a stop that notoriously takes and hour to do -- and to get to a cheaper fuel pump was another hour or so out of our way. So, what if we made today be fuel day, making it a shorter run while getting our "boating chops" back. We'd boat to Bowley's for fuel then got a few hours up the

Flat, flat, flat!

Chesapeake to an anchorage. That way we'd get both docking AND anchoring reflexes greased and ready to go.

Problem was, Russ was still waiting for a package, which was needed to complete a small project before we go.

I tapped my fingers for much of the morning. But by noon-ish we were ready to run. So we did.

The water couldn't have been better, almost glasslike. A little breezy at the dock, but nothing difficult. We headed up and over to the Sassafrass and solidly dropped the hook around 7:15.

I thought this was clever. The orange vessel brought
the larger boat to the dock to get fueled. You can see
a notch where the towed boat fits and is secured.
The engine is the round portal where the pilot is standing, and
he turns the entire engine (red railing) to make maneuvers.

Yay for us! We're underway!

The Dali. This is the vessel that collapsed the bridge. You can see
the damage on its bow. The very last thing that had to be done to open
the channel was free her, which they did with explosives.
Almost immediately, the channel was free for anyone to pass.