If my last blog entry could be considered "the Wizard of Oz" then the next installment along the Delaware River and into the Chesapeake Canal might be described as "The Good the Bad and the Ugly."
The Good: Dennis's navigation skills and 18 knot winds.
We had to consider some challenges, such as getting out of a tight twisty slip against strong currents and then either buck currents all day or sail at night. We opted for the day so we'd be better able to see any floating debris which has accumulated in the River after major flooding.
Anyway, back to the "good" part: Dennis plotted out about 12 hours of position points before we started, taking into consideration increasing current speeds through the trip. We ended up within minutes of where he predicted.
The Bad: Fighting strong current from about 10am to 10pm as high as 3.7 knots. Now if 3.7 knots doesn't sound like much consider that we typically cruise at 6 knots, then add in large waves opposing the wind.
And the Ugly, check out the photo. After several weeks of scenic vistas I guess we were due. The place in the photo is called "Artificial Island."
Another word for this leg is simply "interesting." Actually the whole journey has been so very interesting. It's a slice of life wherever we go meeting great people and continually challenging ourselves.
When we were in Cape May we learned about fishing tournaments. In mid August there is a tournament with nearly two million in prize money and fish weighing hundreds of pounds. (The minimum weight on the Blue Marlin is 400 lbs.) We talked to a fisherman Mark who told us that over the two day stretch the boats caught 557 fish including 85 White Marlin. There's a marker board in the harbor listing each species of fish and what the Cape May record is for it. There are also photos of fishermen and women holding up fish that dwarf the angler.
Now we're halfway through the canal. Tomorrow we enter the Chesapeake and sail with my brother and sister in law. And, we're just having fun!
09/26/2011, New Jersey
Somewhere under the rainbow, way out deep there's a place that you've heard of once in another blog - New Jersey.
We waved goodbye to Lady Liberty a couple of days ago and sailed along the Jersey Coast. Our good friends Dan and Joan had taken one look at the spartan fishing gear we had on board and gave us all new gear. Heartfelt thanks for the wonderful gifts!!
Anyway, we decided to try our luck and put two lines off the stern of the boat...and we caught a small tuna!! It was about a foot and a half long - picture to come. Joan - we caught it on the pink "Joanie rod" - you brought us luck, and Dan gave us a great lure. :)
Like a good sailor Dennis poured a bit of rum in it's gills for a quick and merciful death and cut up some great filets. Soon we realized we weren't the only ones after the tuna and we witness two pods of dolphins jumping high out of the water in pursuit of the tasty fish. Right near the boat!!
Then as we went further south we were serenaded by a pair of pelicans gliding right across our deck only a couple of yards above. Finally when we moored in Barnegat NJ a double rainbow came out just before a picture perfect sunset and fresh tuna on the grill - yumm. What a day!
Photos to come
09/25/2011, New Jersey
Well, it was a bit of a mixed day. While on the one hand, it was a calm, peaceful motor down from Barnegut Bay to Cape May, by way of Atlantic City, we experienced two groundings. One potentially serious one in Barnegut Inlet on our exit this am. The other was a "grounding lite" in Atlantic City. Both in sand, so no harm done. All's well now; we are safely in Cape May, got cleaned up and had a great dinner at the Lobster House. More tomorrow.
09/23/2011, Sandy Hook
Fabulous sail along Manhattan! Part of the East River was closed because the UN was in session so they diverted our boat and had to raise the bridge for us. Interesting to look over to the UN from the water and think that Abbas was likely only a few hundred yards from us possibly making history. It was amazing sailing past the UN and the tip of Manhattan, under the Brooklyn Bridge, past the Statue of Liberty, past Staten Island. Picked up friends, Allen and Phyllis in Manhattan and sailed to NJ. One of the best part of the trip yet. Looking forward to Allen's music tonight.
Photo Credit:Allen Anderson
09/14/2011, City Island
We can see Manhattan!!
A wild ride from Portsmouth NH, to Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard to Newport Rhode Island. The winds gusted to 30mph and the boat took it in stride - very smoothly. We arrived in Newport at the start of a 12-meter race with 6-8 of the old America's Cup boats, including Intrepid which won in 1967 and 1970 and Columbia the first 12-meter to win the Cup in 1958. What incredible crafts they are and we saw them under full sail in winds at 20 - 22mph. As we got our mooring the race had ended and the boats made a loop around the harbor and sailed right past Centime! So amazing and fun. We had a glass of Pusser's rum in their honor.