Sailing MS Aura

The adventures of Linda, Al and Jasmine on Aura

27 September 2023 | Cape May
26 September 2023 | Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, New Jersey
25 September 2023 | Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, New Jersey
24 September 2023 | Atlantic City
23 September 2023 | Atlantic City, NJ
22 September 2023 | Atlantic City, NJ
21 September 2023 | Golden Nugget Farley State Marina, Atlantic City, NJ
20 September 2023 | Golden Nugget Farley State Marina. Atlantic City, New Jersey
19 September 2023 | Atlantic Highlands to Atlantic City, New Jersey
18 September 2023 | Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
17 September 2023 | Croton-on-Hudson to Atlantic Highlands
16 September 2023 | Half Moon Bay Marina, Croton-on-Hudson
15 September 2023 | Poughkeepsie to Croton-on-Hudson
14 September 2023 | Catskill to Poughkeepsie
13 September 2023 | Catskills
12 September 2023 | Catskills
11 September 2023 | Catskills
10 September 2023 | Hop-O-Nose
09 September 2023 | Hop-O-Nose

Winds have slowed and the sun is shining!

27 September 2023 | Cape May
Linda McOrmond | Sunny, cool less wind
Unbelievable, a sunny start to the day. Still cold 61 at 7:30 a.m. but at least there is no wind and sun! Did I mention sun? I missed the sun! I made breakfast, toasted bagels and we ate the shrimp chowder for a breakfast. An odd choice but actually quite good. The shrimp chowder was ok but the potatoes were not cooked, I could not find any shrimp but a warm breakfast soup. I took a photo of the ingredients and will try making various seafood chowders myself. It seems I am doing better than the professionals! A great feeling.

We will see if we can get fresh scallops for dinner tonight and I will cook them with bacon and seasonings.

Al is working on boat projects and I am cleaning up from breakfast and cleaned the stainless steel tubing (lifelines) and started cleaning up all the excess epoxy on the port side toe rail. I have already finished the starboard side. I also added chafe protection to the blocks and cleaned up the scuffs on the gel coat. Al tried to deal with George Brown and sent emails and to a few people there and also to our bank contact. I will clean the outside of the boat probably tomorrow as we have fresh water at dock but at least I got the stainless done. I will coat the stainless so it doesn’t rust as quickly. Salt water is so much extra work.

We then headed over the Sea Gear to check out the rain jackets. It is cold and lots of rain. I’m ok but Al really needs one. We then walked over 2 miles each way to and from Washington Square in downtown Cape May. Lots of boutiques and restaurants. They even had a store that sold dog ice cream! Well we had to get some for Jasmine - bacon flavoured. She enjoyed it but Al tasted it and said it was gross. Al confirmed there are white caps in the harbour and cape so we are here for a bit longer. The winds have picked up again but only 15 knots!

The Irish pub let us have Jasmine on the patio so we shared a plate of fish and chips. We went to the liquor store, which was expensive, and then the grocery store and then headed back to the boat to drop everything off. I stayed with Jasmine and Al headed over to Sea Gear to get a coat and our oil filters. He went to the fish market and got scallops and a smoked whitefish spread. I wrapped the scallops in bacon and added old bay seasoning and air fried them. I also bought bread that you just bake (delicious) and we had a salad. My scallops were way better and we bought everything (with extras for the next day for under $40.

The washrooms here are amazing. They have a separate bath house where you have your own bathroom (toilet, large shower with a sit down part). Big, beautiful and wonderful. Yes as cruisers you rate marinas by their washrooms. I will or Al will probably do our laundry tomorrow as it will be dingy rides from now on to get to a laundry facility so best to get most done. Of course we have more volume now as we are wearing heavier clothes.

Well here comes the wind!

26 September 2023 | Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, New Jersey
Linda McOrmond | Windy, cool and drizzly
Very windy all night and morning. Gusts up to 40 knots. The good thing is we are really stable at dock and we all slept well, in fact, slept in!

Lazy morning with lots of layers of clothes on as it is 63 outside. I am having a hard time dealing with Fahrenheit again, but it is long sleeve, long pants and jacket weather. No rain at least.

Went out to walk Jasmine and discovered our stanchion was rubbing on one of the pillings, no damage but lots of bits of wood on deck. We adjusted our fenders and added ones turned on their sides near the two pillings.

We had breakfast at the Lobster House which we shared. Huge portions here. Then we walked to Sea Gear (the retail store) and West Marine.

I was breaking in my new shoes. Well baby toe ok but big toes hurt but they will work in soon. Sea Gear was interesting but a zippered hoodie was a bit rich for me also I wanted to see what West Marine had. The store manager at West Marine was friendly and talkative. A bit too much as we didn’t get to look at much. No clothes or shoes at West Marine! Oh well we got a rod holder for our Magma bbq. We left the one we had on Cambio (our previous boat). Aura came with a bbq (rectangular one) and I struggled with which one to bring but settled on the kettle style magma. My thoughts were we can use the magma as a one burner stove as well. Also I have all the accessories so we will have to sell our other one when we return.

It was a windy walk and the winds are gusting to 30 knots today. We ran into someone we met at Catskills who is here as well waiting out the next set of storms. So many storms. Hoping we are getting them all out of the way for the year.

Back to the boat to work on the blogs, tidy up and wait for a call from RBC. Dealing with banking issues can be difficult while traveling.

Al took Jasmine to a walk to the Sea Gear (commercial one) while I continued to affix loose items and clean up the ice tea spills. I get a break today from cooking at least, breakfast at Lobster House and dinner at Lucky Bones. We had hot beverages and biscotti for lunch/snack. The weather is very windy and glad we are tucked into this marina. Gusts are up to 40 knots. Last time we headed down we got no storms. I had no idea it would be this bad. We seem to keep getting stuck in places due to weather. At least Cape May is a better place for us to be but marinas are getting expensive. I am looking forward to anchoring (free).

We were researching a new dingy as Harry, our current dingy bought in 2007, is loosing air quickly. I tried to get more time out of him by painting it but looks like that is not going to work. We love our dingy but would appreciate a step/storage box in the bow. We are looking at another AB and see they are an exhibitor at the Annapolis boat show and hope to get a boat show deal. It is getting harder (with age) to get on and off and especially with Jasmine. We will wait until the boat show as we are not using our dingy in marinas.

We checked the weather and perhaps we can leave Friday?!

We had, well I had, a great dinner at Lucky Bones. I had the crab and shrimp cake on a bun with fries (delicious). Al had the scallops (ok not much flavour) and polenta and beans. He was not a fan of the polenta. He said it tasted like fake mushy mashed potatoes. Polenta is boiled cornmeal, which can also be made from other grains. I shared my fries (well gave him most) as I felt sorry for him. I suggested tomorrow we should get scallops at the fish market I would make them in the air fryer. It was great to not cook today but apparently my cooking is better. Although it was nice to be on land that wasn’t moving for a while.

A night of me watching stand up paddle board videos (makes sense when it is cold and windy) and Al checking weather. Ok he is more practical but I had more fun!

It is certainly more windy than predicted and our mast is howling in the wind. We are hoping tomorrow is a better day.

I am looking forward to heading into downtown Cape May and checking out the commercial Sea Gear. Al said they had a big clearance section, and because it is so cold, I need more warm weather gear. Also most of Al’s coats are covered in epoxy, etc. and we didn’t think we would need warm weather gear. We were wrong.

We finally left Atlantic City!

25 September 2023 | Utsch’s Marina, Cape May, New Jersey
Linda McOrmond | Big swells, rainy, foggy and dull
We left Golden Nugget Farley State Marina at first light and we had no issues getting off the dock. Leaving this early gave us the benefit of the tides to give us an additional push. Both Avante V and Satori (huge motor yachts) left ahead of us. Avante V was heading to Chesapeake City and Satori, was having issues so Satori, was heading straight for Fort Lauderdale to get repairs. Interesting perspective, we think Cape May is far.

Poor Al didn’t sleep much the night before (anxiety I imagine) so I did most of the helming. We put up the main to steady us. We both noticed that the engine (Betsy) is much smoother and we are getting at least 7 knots motor sailing on just the main. It was very foggy so we left our navigation lights on all day. There are not many boats out in this but this was our best weather window. As this is the best day this week, although not great, we went for it! There were still huge swells from Ophelia but the winds were not too high, around 20 knots.

I think the other half of our bagel breakfast will not be eaten. It was really rolly and things were flying all over the boat. Coffee everywhere. We also had some ice tea launch out of a cupboard and I now understand pin sized holes in cans. Next plan powdered iced tea from now on and limited canned beverages, especially sweet ones. This is good as it will save space for important beverages (beer and wine) ha ha!

I called Utsch’s Marina to confirm we were coming today instead of tomorrow and we will top up on diesel. Jacob (the diesel mechanic) said keep the tanks full, as with a displacement hull more weight is better. Also cleaner fuel. We needed more than expected: 130 US gallons, over $600! Then off to our slip. It seems every set up seems to be different. They have pillings with short posts to tie to no cleats. Good to keep your brain active, I guess.

After docking we had our docktails (Al root beer, me beer), then took Jasmine for a walk and headed into the office to check in. Wayne, who I first booked with, gave us a welcome package. It had local blueberry wine (actually very good), homemade soap, maps, information and biscotti — a nice touch indeed. We then went for a long walk with Jasmine. Poor Al was so seasick the last time he was here, he didn’t remember the town. This is a first, when I have a better memory of where things are. Al has an amazing sense of direction and memory for places. I could get lost getting from our yacht club home!

We checked out the Wawa, the closest convenience store to see what it had. Actually I did as Al stayed outside with Jasmine. Back to the boat to clean up and drop off Jasmine and review our welcome package. Then off to the closest Sea Gear as I need shoes. Before we left I got orthotics which would only fit in one pair of shoes, which are wearing badly (lots of walking) and pinching my baby toe on my right foot. Well I think I love New Jersey, I found a a pair of XtraTuf that would accommodate my orthotics. They were $90 on sale for $70, but no size 9.5 in blue. Happy days, they have a pair that has a stain for only $25! I paid for them only to find out no sales tax on clothes and shoes in New Jersey. I think shopping is happening. I know Delaware has no sales tax as well so shopping for Linda. Everything I read is you don’t need many warm clothes. Wrong! It’s cold!

I got my information email package from Women Who Sail, the booth, I am volunteering at during the boat show. I’m excited! I get a discount and have access to all the parties. On the Friday there is a get together which is amazing as I am working Friday afternoon. I will buy a shirt in the morning to wear at the booth. I already have their burgee but may buy another one. I am hoping I will meet lots of other women sailors, especially ones who are heading to Bahamas, so we will have lots more friends. You can never have enough! With the Caribbean 1500 you were part of the group, and until we headed north in 2008, we met people we knew or knew of, everywhere we sailed. This adds so much more fun, resources and safety to cruising.

For those who don’t know me well, I love to socialize and not a huge fan of sailing but love traveling and the adventures.

We headed over to the Lobster House to see about their fish market. Way better option for dinner and a lot more affordable. We got crab cakes (mostly crab), two small fresh tuna steaks and shrimp chowder. I pulled out the foodi and seared the crab cakes in butter, then baked, while coating the tuna steaks in Montreal steak spice and old bay, then seared them. Delicious! Of course way too much so the shrimp chowder will be another day. I paired it with the blueberry wine, which was quite good actually. We tried the shrimp chowder and it was ok, but the crab cakes and tuna were amazing. See photo!

We both did some surfing of the internet and then I headed to bed early, tired as it was a long exhausting day.
Vessel Name: Aura
Vessel Make/Model: Cheoy Lee 43 Motorsailer
Hailing Port: Whitby, Ontario, Canada WYC - Whitby Yacht Club
Crew: Al and Linda
About: Al - the captain, boat restorer, project manager, dreamer Linda - the cook, cleaner, sewer, decorator and worrier
Extra: Will we finish?