Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Captain’s Log

June 27 2009

As I type this log we are motor sailing up the Jersey coast. We expect to spend tonight in Great Kills Harbour by Staten Island in the Lower Bay of New York Harbour. It is a clear sunny day with what little breeze there is pretty much on the nose. We’re running just a little east of our rhum line so that we can carry our jib. The ocean is relatively calm, but undulating as oceans do . It is a feeling I always enjoy.

Yesterday was full of surprises. But I’m ahead of myself. We left Solomons Island and Banshee on Monday morning. The wind , the current and the waves were all out of the north bang on our bow and we got beat up pretty bad. Our best speed forward was 4 kts and when the bigger waves slammed our bow we stalled at 2.5 kts. Wisely we put in at the first available harbour which was Harrington Harbour South in Herring Bay, about 3 hours south of Anapolis.

This is probably the nicest marina we’ve ever stayed at, complete with several beaches and picnic areas, swimming pool, tiki bars and restaurant, manicured lawns and flower gardens. Several years ago when we helped Larry and Kathy bring Sinn Fein north they stayed at Harrington North but brought us to this restaurant for a meal. The laundry facility was good and so putting in at noon allowed us the luxury of doing laundry , having a walk about, a relaxing happy hour and a good night’s sleep.

We were off again Tuesday morning shortly after six and made such good progress that Maxine continually updated our destination. We spent Tuesday night in Chesapeake City which took us out of the Bay and poised to enter the C & D canal at first light Wednesday morning. Skipper Bob (our guidebook and Bible) advised leaving one hour before high tide at Reedy Point which would have meant a noon departure and the impossibility of transiting the Delaware in daylight (this is to catch the currents in the Delaware River on a favourable basis. So against the best advice we left sharp at 6 am with a “damn the torpedoes’ attitude. Amazingly the currents still worked in our favour for about 2 3rds of the day . We were at our dock at Uuch`s Marina in Cape May fully fuelled at 18:00. Maxine however was too whipped to do anything. It was my turn to cook (read plastic card buys restaurant food) but not only did I have to cook, but I also had to fetch and deliver. The pizza I procured turned out to be excellent.

With the weather still on our side but threatening afternoon T storms for the next few days we decided to keep moving early each morning. So Thursday we moved north to Atlantic City and put in at noon at a dock ($1.50 foot can you believe). We toured Trump City, had a nice meal out and early to bed. Ditto Friday and we put into Barnaget Inlet around 13:00 Friday (yesterday). Well there is much debate about transiting this inlet at ANY TIME. We chose to do it on an ebbing tide with 3 to 5 foot rollers coming in from the ocean. The ebbing tide creates a rip with the waves and simply put one damned confused sea. The buoys marking the channel aren`t charted since they are moved regularly to deal with the shifting shoals. And, we were greeted in mid channel by 30+ cigar boats in a poker challenge race coming out the channel all at once at speeds that must have been 60+ mph. Holy shit !! And to add insult to injury with the ebbing tide they had the legal right of way over our upstream bound vessel. Every one of these 30 odd boats passed us in rapid succession within several boat length`s of us on both sides of us simultaneously. The noise sounded like being on the run way at Pearson International. The wake added to the already excited sea state in the narrow channel. Well, thinking back it was a one of a kind experience. (We really missed Niki here since she would have videographed this nightmare and possibly come up with award winning footage !! ). Again we took a dock because the forecast was for severe T storms and high winds. The forecast was right. It came about 20:00 hours and never have I seen such a black sky. Our dock cost $3.00 a ft (can you imagine !!) but when the wind hit I didn`t begrudge a single cent. And the swimming pool and showers were wonderful in the afternoon. And the early arrival allowed me to change fuel fitters, oil, and all that good stuff that keeps our Yanmar humming.

As I type this I have heard two reports from N Y sector US Coast Guard. One, expect 150 swimmers swimming across N Y harbour today plus 50 odd sailboats in a race plus a whole bunch of Kayaks traversing the harbour. Well after yesterdays cigar boat poker run, these slow moving obstacles should be a piece of cake. Two, there has just been a sighting in Long Island Sound of a pod of dolphins numbering over a hundred moving through the Sound. Wouldn’t that be something to see.

June 29 2009

We did take a mooring at the Richmond County Yacht club Saturday about 16:00 and were content to have our happy hour and supper on board. We had a relaxing night, turned in early and at 6:00 Sunday morning slipped our mooring. Up the Hudson from New York Harbour’s lower bay through the narrows, past the Stature of Liberty, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers. We left New York behind and finally settled for the evening 12 hours later at Newburgh. At Staniel Cay, Exumas, we saw a large yacht named “Le Grande Bleu”. She was so “Grand” she had a full size patio on her stern and both a sailboat and power boat on her mid decks. Both were likely in the 60’ range. We sailed past Le Grande Bleu in N Y Harbour.

Today we travelled to Catskills where we will dismast in the morning and become a power boat again. Tonight we have stripped sails and rigging and are ready to pop the stick fist thing tomorrow We will head to Troy Wednesday morning and enter the Erie Barge Canal for the trip home to Lake Erie.

June 30 2009

We moved into the crane dock at 8:00 this morning. The mast is down and ready for transport to Anchor Marine on Grand Island and we have the boat scrubbed, fuelled and ready to move first thing tomorrow. We will complete our transit of the Hudson and enter Lock # 1 Wednesday afternoon.. Larry McAulay will meet us in Waterford N Y to help us through the locks of the Erie canal. The tripm is close to over.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Captains Log

Solomons Island, Maryland
June 20 2009

We have completed our first week on our own without Niki. It has takensome getting used to only 2 persons on board. We can only carp at eachother (LOL as Niki would say). We miss her but she is busy back homemaking school arrangements and catching up with family and friends.

We didn’t leave Hampton Roads last Sunday as planned. We got lazy (plusBay was fogged in) and stayed till Monday. Plan was to work up the westside of the Bay and perhaps stop at Deltaville, a relatively short day ofmaybe 40 knots. By noon Maxine didn’t think it was respectable to quit inthe early afternoon so we consulted the charts, and changed course forTangiers Island on the east side of the Bay. We got in a little after18:00 hours (another 70 Kt day) and tied up at Parks Marina, the onlyplace there and necessary since strong currents make anchoring unwise. Milton Parks took our lines and immediately offered us a golf cart tour ofthe island. “It’s part of the package” he said. His sign reads “Briefstays $5., Overnight, boats to 30’ $25., boats over 30’ $30. Plus $5. Forshore power. This is extremely reasonable. The washrooms and showerswere quite respectable, the docks in excellent condition and Milton’sconversation excellent!. There are only a few cars on the Island, mostlygolf carts and motor bikes. The habitable part comprises only a fewhundred acres, the rest being canals and marsh, although they have a nicebeach. Population is about 600 and life is slow paced, based on fishingfor the economy and a strong Christian ethic for morals and lifestyle. Wewanted to stay Tuesday and see the museum and walk about more. Wednesdayand Thursday the wind was blowing stink so we ended up staying tillFriday. Friday, I didn’t even check the weather, I just knew we had toslip our lines and move on no matter the weather.

Tuesday the troller Barbara arrived with Ken and Barb, (For all you dollfans this is the second “Ken and Barb” couple we have encounteredcruising). We met them in the Bahamas and again at Hampton Roads. Theyare returning home to New Jersey and are a delightful couple. They coaxedus to join them on Wednesday to visit the dock and buy soft shelled crabsfrom a local fisherman. Barb showed Max how to clean and cook them. Whata wonderful meal!! Between chatting with ‘Barbara’, chatting up MiltParks, reading and loafing the week went quickly. Parks Marina andTangiers Island are a definite ‘must do’ for anyone in the Chesapeake.

Friday the wind was northwest 15+ and that’s where we headed. Naturally. We crossed the Bay and moved north to Solomons Island. We went back to theHoliday Inn Marina since it was very close to a gourmet food store and aWest Marine store. And the Happy Hour is cheap and serves great snacks. We had planned to move today (Saturday) but decided again to slow down. We got some cleaning done on the boat, inside and out, and about 13:00hours Banshee arrived and docked right next to us. We met Jan and Bob onBanshee right here last fall and travelled with them a bit. We stayed intouch over the winter by email since they wintered in Florida. It’s greatto renew acquaintances. Home for Banshee is Tighman Is. so she is but 30kts from home.

June 21 2009

We finished our chores, got cleaned up and spent the afternoon chattingwith Bob and Jan, catching up on our respective journeys (both waterwayand life). We had happy hour with them, dinner with them, andconversation after on Banshee. Suddenly it was past midnight. Ascruisers, midnight only exists as a middle of the night timeline when youget up to check the anchor or the head. Bedtime is always hours sooner. Bob and Jan are one of the couples we took to immediately and hooking upafter 6 months seemed more like it was only last week since we saw them.

The realization is starting to set in that in a few short weeks thisodyssey will end and we may never again see some of our many new friends. We have decided to stay here with Banshee another day. Perhaps we’ll movenorth again tomorrow.


Day 281

Captain’s Log

June 14 2009

Niki is gone !! They say when the rats jump overboard the ship issinking. Well relax. Niki isn’t a rat and the ship’s not sinking. Besides she didn’t jump overboard. She stepped gracefully from the boatto the dock, a well seasoned (and tanned) sailor. She’s back in St.Thomas to have a long overdue adjustment from her orthodontist on thosebraces. She has been in pain for some time now since the usual 6 – 8 weekadjustments haven’t happened since Christmas.

Like all other things for ship captains (and housewives) I get to pick upany unfinished tasks which in this case is her Blog. I’m not much of ablogger. More a factual reporter of events (slanted perhaps toward myperspective). So I won’t be giving you a daily play by play but I willendeavour to keep you abreast of our whereabouts and wellbeing till wecomplete the voyage.

We arrived at Hampton Roads Public Piers across from Norfolk VA onThursday. Saturday we rented a car and drove to I95 to meet up with Kathyand Larry MacAulay and Maria. Niki is driving home to St. Thomas withthem. They have opted to leave their boat in Florida and return for moresailing in the fall.

We planned to leave early this morning to head up the Bay but the Bay wastotally fogged in. By the time it clears it makes for a very late startso we decided to relax one more day.

As we move around we are continually bumping into boats we’ve seen before.Last night a dinghy stopped by our dock to say hi. They are from theHudson River in a trawler and we last saw them in Georgetown, the Bahamas.

On the trip down I expressed wonderment at the number and size of riversin America. So at fort Pierce I thought i would start listing the riverswe travel on. Although the odd one is called a creek it is a river by anystandard we might have in Canada. These are only the rivers we actuallytravelled in the past month and do not include ditches that are simplylabelled on the chart as ‘Intra coastal waterway’. For the most part theyare wide and long but often shallow. I have also omitted the vast‘sounds’ we cross. These are bodies of water that lie between mainlandAmerica and the barrier islands, reefs and sand dunes that separate thesound from the north Atlantic Ocean. Here’s the list as far north asNorfolk/Hampton Roads.

Indian River
Halifax R
Matanza R
Tolomato R
St John’s R
Sisters Creek
Sawpit Creek
Nassau R
South Amelia R
Amelia R
St Mary’s R
Cumberland R
Jekyll Creek
MacKay R
Frederica R
Altamaha R
Little Mud R
Darien R
North R
Old Teakette Creek
Front R
Sapelo R
South Newport R
Johnson Creek
North Newport R
Bear R
Ogeechee R
Burnside R
Skidaway R
Wilmington R
Savannah R
Wright R
New R
Ramshorn Creek
Skull Creek
Chechesseer R
Beaufort R
Coosaw R
Rock Creek
Ashepoo R
South Edisto R
North Creek
Dawho R
North Edisto R
Stono R
Cooper R
Ashley R
Harbor R
Winyaw R
Waccawmaw R
Little R
Cape Fear R
New River
Newport R
Core Creek
Adams Creek
Neuse R
Pamlico R
Goose R
Pungo R
Alligator R
Pasquotank R
North R
North Landing R
Elizabeth R
Hampton R

And the sounds
Cumberland, St. Andrews, Jekyll, St. Simons, Buttermilk, Doboy, Sapelo,St. Catharines, Calibogue, Port Royal, Myrtle Grove, Masonboro, Topsail,Bogue, Albemarle, Currituck,


Wayne Kentner

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 280

It was so nice to wake up on my own rather than waking up to the roar of the engine or any of the ways Grama attempts to wake me up in the mornings. Once up and outa bed i had a ton of things to do. I cleaned out my berth and organized and we went out for lunch and we relaxed =]. It was such a busy day.


Day 279

I feel bad that lately all I seem to be able to do is navigate for a while and then sleep some more...but my mouth has been really bugging me... Grama and Papa made it from our anchorage, through 5 bridges and a lock to Hampton Roads. It was a long day from around 6am to about 6pm so we decided Papa was cooking dinner. He went out and came back with pizza.


Day 278

Again we had an early start leaving around 6am and heading north. We pressed as far north as we could...well i guess I should say ‘they’ meaning Grama and Papa... As the light started to fade we anchored south of Buck Island. We are now only 57.8 miles from the top of the ICW at Norfolk VA. We hope to make it to Hampton Roads tomorrow but it’ll be another long day.


Day 277

We left this morning at the crack of dawn, moving out the creek and trying not to run over any crab pots. Again i slept most of the day...the Tylenol 3s make me soo tired and I’ve had trouble sleeping at night =[. Grama and Papa piloted up through narrow sections of the path and up the alligator river past Belhaven to Dowry Creek and its Marina. Here they have a pool, nice showers and nice people, and it’s not very far to Belhaven. Grama and Papa went with the couple docked next to us and headed to town for groceries. I stayed on the boat trying to update the blog but internet wasn’t strong enough and I only got a few posts done before a storm hit and I lost the internet connection.


Day 276

We didn’t have as early a start as we had planned but were underway before 7:30. It didn’t take us long before we were passing Oriental. We decided to keep going until we were too tired to go any further but then Papa got worried panning for the next few days. We decided to pull in early into Broad Creek...now there were a few navigational errors that I would be embarrassed to go into detail about but it took a little bit longer to get in and settled. All in all it was a nice night. A quiet anchorage and I got to just crawl into bed. It was nice.


Day 275

Today was painfully long and for most of the day I tried to sleep and lay down because my mouth was so sore I had migraines and felt like crap. We made it to Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro. Here the people are friendly and they charge $0.75/foot which is ridiculously cheap considering they provide a courtesy car, showers and hydro..wait no its called electric in the states. If you say hydro they look at you as if your speaking Chinese. Grama and Papa took the car and went grocery shopping and then the marina drove them out to a restaurant for supper.


Day 274

This morning we departed Barefoot Landing. We headed up the ICW in hopes of making it to South Port NC. We made good time and just before we were in South Port we made a quick decision that since the timing with the tides were right we’d carry on up the Cape Fear River. We made it to Masonboro and luckily called ahead to a marina and were given directions into a slip. By the time we got there everyone had gone home. They had a cheap laundry mat and Grama and I...even though we felt dead and wanted to go to bed...went up to do several loads of laundry. As soon as the office opens tomorrow we’re going to pay for the night on the dock and head out for another day of travel.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 273

This morning we started cleaning up the boat....and that turned into hard manual labour and we scrubbed the boat clean. After we were done we decided not to move for the day and to have fun. Grama and Papa went shopping and since my braces have been bugging me and really starting to pain today i stayed onboard and watched tv, tried to chat to friends online and read. We went out to supper and Grams and I went shopping afterwards. Grama got a new wardrobe! Lmao.


Day 272

We had a good run Barefoot Landing. It was another long day but we were in and docked before suppertime. Grama decided that Papa was cooking tonight so he went off in search of a place to eat. When he came back he informed us that we were to cook supper and we needed to be done eating by 7 lol. He got us tickets to the Alabama Theater and their show called ‘One’. When we asked him what it was he told us that it was a 3 hour event...ok but what’s it about? He didn’t know lol it was going to be a surprise.

At 7 we headed up to the theatre. It was a good show with a variety of different acts but my favourite was the comedian. He had everyone in the audience laughing so hard that we were all almost crying. After the show I headed back to the boat to try and get internet while Grama and Papa went for a walk. When they got back to the boat they were both holding a few shopping bags lol.


Day 271

This morning was beautiful. We were in a quiet secluded anchorage and I missed the morning swims we had off the back end in the Bahamas. Today’s section of the ICW was very shallow and narrow and we had to constantly be on our toes. Unfortunately we had the current against us for the whole day and everyone was a little crabby. We saw the normal amounts of dolphins, pelicans, turtles, and for the first time on this trip we saw alligators. We planned to go as far as Georgetown SC but when we looked at the tides for tomorrow we thought we would carry on for another hour or two. We called two marinas and inquired about a third due to the lack of good anchorages but no one could accomidate us so we reverted back to the original plan and are in Georgetown for the night. At the moment Grama and Papa have gone over to a shrimp boat to get some fresh shrimp for the night and we plan to start tomorrow at first light in hopes of having the tide with us for part of the day.


Day 270

We left early this morning and headed north. We planned to make it to Charleston and thought it would be a long day. Luckily we had the current with us for most of the day. When we arrived at the Wappoo Creek Bridge we needed to anchor for an hour to wait for an opening. In that time I cooked supper while Papa and Grama debated whether or not to move on and try and make the next bridge whos restricted hours would make tomorrows travels difficult.
We decided to try for it and attempt to make the 8pm bridge. The current was flowing in our favour and when we rolled out the jib we flew across the Inlet at about 9 knots. We made the bridge with time to spare and kept pressing on until we reached Dewy Creek. By the time we made it into the anchorage the sun had set and the last little bit of light was fading quickly. We sat in the cockpit enjoying taking a break after a long day. Then we heard several splashes and dolphins exhaling. We could hardly see them because the moon hadn’t risen yet but for a good hour they played around the boat.


Day 269

We got an early start and flew up the ICW. We had the current with us for most of the day and made great time. A few parts of the ICW had uncharted shoaling and for the first time on this trip I was at the helm when the boat went aground. I backed her off easily but quickly handed over the helm to Papa lol. We attempted to navigated the cut 3 more time and went aground each time. Luckily a local tug came by and agreed to lead us through. The tug went aground twice and ended up dredging an 8’ ditch by forcing his way through.

We made it to Beaufort, SC (thats Be-Ewww-Fort not Bo-Fort). When we were here before we stayed on the dock at Gail and Meindert Wolff’s home on Ladies Island and they invited us to stay there again when we were on our way home. So we docked out on their floating dock and were disappointed that they were not home but left a note for them. It was a nice quiet night and we did practically nothing.


Day 268

It was sooo nice to have a lazy lay day where we didn’t have to do anything! At 8:30 we got the courtesy car and headed to a Wallmart. By 11 Papa had his hair cut and Grama and I had bought all the food we had ever had a craving for when we were down south and we headed back to the marina.

In the afternoon Papa and Grama went back to Savannah to tour around and I did absolutely nothing! Lol. It was a good day =].