Curlew's Log

18 September 2018 | Bohemia River and Baltimore, Anchorage Marina
16 September 2018 | Bohemia River
14 September 2018 | Sandy Hook anchorage
13 September 2018
04 September 2018
02 September 2018
01 September 2018
31 August 2018
31 August 2018 | Bristol, RI
30 August 2018
28 August 2018
26 August 2018
25 August 2018
24 August 2018
23 August 2018 | Potts Harbor
22 August 2018 | Boothbay Harbor
15 August 2018
11 August 2018
10 August 2018
08 August 2018

Fall trip

14 October 2017
10/2 Back on board. Flushed both watertanks and Clorox-shocked forward tank.
10/3 Motored across the Bay to Swan Creek in windless but beautiful sunny Indian summer weather. The outboard showed its usual troubles again. After sitting idle for a few weeks it was difficult to pull the start cord. Once it started it ran fine.
10/4 Stayed at anchor in Swan Creek
10/5 Sailed to Annapolis and anchored among the large fleet of boats at anchor. Full sail with main, yankee and staysail.
10/6 Visited the Annapolis boatshow. Drinks on S/V Corsair.
10/7 Took the dinghy up Back Creek to have a propane bottle refilled at the hardware store. Later motored to Weems Creek and anchored.
10/8 Stayed on board at anchor in Weems Creek.
10/9 Heavy rain all day; remnants of hurricane Nate. Sunny later. Took Uber to Annapolis to watch the break up of the boatshow. Used to be much more fun. Very warm and humid.
10/10 Stayed on board at anchor in Weems Creek.
10/11 Sailed to Galesville on the West River. Full sail with main, yankee and staysail.
10/12 Very windy, overcast and much cooler. Occasional rain and drizzle. Motored to the Rhode River and anchored.
10/13 Sailed to Rock Creek. Full sail with main, yankee and staysail.
10/14 Filled diesel tank at the Maryland Yacht Club, then motored back to the Anchorage Marina.

Back in Baltimore

13 September 2017 | Baltimore, MD
Tuesday 9/12: I had determined that the flood starts at around 0730. I did not want to go through the inside route around the cape at or before low tide, so leaving at 0900 gave me 1 ½ hour of rising tide. I followed the same route that Kirk and I took on the way north. This time the least depth that I saw was 17.5 ft. between the 9 and 8 ft. soundings east of the Cape May lighthouse (with a rising tide at 2ft above chart datum). Comparing the soundings on this raster chart with the vector charts on my Garmin and the B&G Vulcan (Navionics) I noticed significant differences. The Garmin and the Navionics seem to agree which each other, but not with the NOAA raster chart. Do they use different sources?

I had a favorable current all the way to the C&D canal and kept it until I dropped anchor in the Bohemia River at 1910. A sunny day, but again no wind.

Wednesday 9/13: I was foggy, with drizzle and no wind. I motored to Baltimore and entered my slip at the Anchorage Marina at 1450.

Leaving Manhasset Bay for Cape May

11 September 2017 | Cape May, NJ
Sunday 9/10: I have done this trip through the East River and New York Bay a number of times:. Roughly it takes one hour from the mooring in Manhasset Bay to the Throg's Neck Bridge, then one hour to Hell Gate, one and a half to the Verrazano Bridge and The Narrows and one hour to Sandy Hook. To get a favorable tide, timing is everything. The ebb starts to run at Hell Gate around 1330. As the current here can easily run at 5 knots you don't want to have the flood against you. To get there at slack tide means a departure from Manhasset Bay at 1130. I would still have the current against me at Throg's Neck, but it should be minimal.

Leaving Manhattan behind

In the morning I took the dinghy on deck and deflated it. I did not want it inflated on the foredeck because it obstructs my view and with all the traffic around Manhattan I needed all-round visibility. I droped the mooring at 1130, about the same time as a two other sailboats: a Tayana 37 and a 50 ft Swedish Amel. I passed Throg's Neck at 1220, Hell Gate at 1330, The Narrows at 1510 and Sandy Hook at 1615. There was zero wind. Nothing. Nada. Just an oily swell from the east. I hoisted the mainsail just to reduce the rolling. A pod of dolphins greeted us when we entered the Atlantic. At 1920 I turned on the running and steaming lights, only to discover that the steaming light was not working. Probably a burnt out light bulb. I turned on the all-round white anchor light instead. Not exactly in accordance with the regulations, but I was not going to climb in the mast to replace a light bulb. At 2310 I was off Barnegat inlet.

Monday 9/11: Unlike last year, when a whole fleet left south after tropical storm Hermine had passed, I saw only a few boats on this trip. On the AIS I could see that the Tayana was still nearby, but the Amel was way ahead of us. At 0925 I entered the Cape May inlet and anchored off the Coast Guard station. Half of the anchorage was taken by dredging equipment, but there was still enough space to anchor. The wind, if any, during this entire trip was below 10 knots and dead astern. All motoring. I climbed up the mast (steps) and removed the burnt out lightbulb from the steaming light. It's a 15W festoon bulb and I didn't have a spare on board. I also noticed that the bulbs for the deck and spreader lights were in poor shape. They are regular halogen 2-pin MR16 bulbs that you buy at the hardware store. I will have to replace those when I'm back in Baltimore. And might as well buy LED bulbs. I inflated the dinghy and went to the Lobster House for oysters and beer and then walked across the bridge to West Marine to buy a replacement bulb for the steaming light. Then to Lucky Bones for pizza. Finally back on board and up the mast again to put the new bulb in the steaming light.

Cape May anchorage

Port Washington

09 September 2017 | Port Washington, NY
Friday 9/8: A day of cleaning, food shopping and engine maintenance. Beer, oysters and dinner at Louie's.

Saturday 9/9: In the morning I listened to Chris Parker on the SSB to see if he had any more info about weather to be expected on my trip to Cape May, beyond what I had already gleaned from NOAA and the GRIB files on All the predictions for the next several days were for light air from the N to the NE. Had it not been for all the hurricane activity I would have stayed in Port Washington until more wind from the right direction was forecast. Tomorrow seemed a good day to leave for the return trip to Baltimore.
Later we took the dinghy to the fuel dock and filed three jugs with diesel (very expensive). Together with what was still in the tank this should easily last me until Baltimore, even if I have to motor all the way. In the afternoon I took Frederique ashore and to an Uber that will take her to JFK for her flight back to Amsterdam. It was great to have her on board these last two weeks.

Manhasset Bay

07 September 2017 | Oyster Bay, NY
Today was another short sail to Port Washington on Manhasset Bay. On leaving Oyster Bay we took several pictures of the many beautiful boats on moorings here. And then there was the grand club house of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.

Pictures of various boats in Oyster Bay

Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club

Although the wind was from the SW, and thus on the nose, it was a beautiful day and there was a nice breeze so we tacked and tacked and sailed all the way to Manhasset Bay. Frederique got her work out at the winches.

We picked up one of the free town moorings at 1620.

A happy and lazy skipper (photo FS)

Oyster Bay and the Saggamore Yacht CLub

06 September 2017 | Oyster Bay, NY
It was only a short trip from our anchorage in Port Jefferson to Oyster Bay. I had not been here before and thought we could anchor somewhere but after reading the pilots and comments on Active Captain I decided to call the Saggamore Yacht Club to see if they had a transient mooring for us. Often these clubs are restricted to members and members of yacht clubs with reciprocity. When I called they did not ask if I was a member of such a club and said that they had a mooring for us. It was a day with rain and thunder in the morning and occasional rain later. The wind was fluky initially, but later filled in from the north. We motored and sailed on and off. We picked up our mooring at 1450. Fortunately we were warned about the stakes near (and sometimes in) the channels that marked clam beds. Later we took the dinghy ashore to pay our mooring fee and see if they would let us in the bar. We were immediately greeted by a group of members outside the building, invited in for drinks and we had a lively discussion at the bar. One of the members arranged that we could eat in the dining room. It was all very pleasant and informal. We had a nice table overlooking the lawn with the flag mast. At sunset everybody rose when the gun was fired and the flag lowered. A wonderful tradition.

Saggamore Yacht Club flag mast (photo FS)

To Port Jefferson

05 September 2017 | Port Jefferson, NY
We were originally planning on staying in Fisher Island for a day and to explore ashore. I had not been here before. But there was a nasty swell rolling into the anchorage that woke me up at 0200 and I had to brace myself in my bed for the rest of the night. In the morning we quickly agreed to get out of here ASAP! So we left after breakfast and motor-sailed for a while. The hurricane season had started with a few hurricanes forming already in the Atlantic Basin, and I wanted to get close to Port Washington, just in case one should come our way. After an hour or so an Island Packet 48 (?) crossed our wake under full sail. This skipper knew how to sail his boat! All sails were trimmed properly and she was going at full hull speed!

Island Packet Django under sail (FS photo)

Under these circumstances any cruising sailor becomes a racer. We unfurled the yankee and shut off the engine. We were pointing higher than the IP, but he was a little faster. Also because of his longer water line, I suppose. But this boat was sailed well!. After a while we unfurled our staysail. He was ahead but far below us. He seemed to have run out of wind there and finally turned north towards Old Saybrook. When the wind became light we turned on the engine again, but around 1300 it picked up again to 15 to 18 knot from the SSW and then to 20 knots. I put in a reef. At 1900 we dropped anchor at my usual spot in Port Jefferson (i.e. in the creek to the west just inside the harbor entrance).

To Fishers Island (Labor Day)

04 September 2017 | Fishers Island, NY
We left early in the morning and motor sailed the 60+ miles to an anchorage at Fishers Island. On the way we heard a report to the Coast Guard of a missing buoy, the R"2" south of Watch Hill. As this was one of the buoys on our course (it was even an actual waypoint on my route) we paid close attention when we approached Watch Hill. The buoy was right on station. So maybe I misheard the coordinates. At 1845 we anchored in the West Harbor of Fishers Island.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

03 September 2017 | New Bedford, MA
It was a windy day with occasional heavy rain. Instead of taking the dinghy we hailed the water taxi to take us ashore. It was a perfect day to visit a museum. And the New Bedford Whaling Museum is well worth a visit. And now we know that the whale we saw two days ago was a Finback whale (the 2nd largest whale).

Frederique had been practicing various knots on Curlew and the museum had just the right exhibit for her:

(Photo FS)

The museum has a fully rigged half-scale model of one of the last sailing whalers.

The whaling ship "Lagoda"

Leaving Maine

02 September 2017 | New Bedford, MA
Friday 9/1: We deflated the dinghy, secured everything on deck and below and rigged the rudder of the Hydrovane. I don't use that unit much anymore, as the B&G autopilot does such a terrific job, but it is good to have a back-up. We were leaving for the Cape Cod/Buzzards Bay area and it was going to be a windy trip. The wind was forecast to be a gusty 15 to 25 knots from the WNW. It was a cool 55 degrees when we left at 0900 as we put in the first and second reefs and unfurled only the staysail while still in the Bay. We may not have needed that second reef, but it is easier to shake it out when outside than having to put in an extra reef. While under sail I let the engine run for an extra hour to charge the batteries. At first the wind was 15 to 20 knots and gusty. Later it increased to 20 to 25 knots sustained (true wind speed) with gusts into the low 30s. I was glad that I had put in that second reef! Although the wind and the wind-driven waves came from the WNW, a swell system rolled in from the east, and a secondary swell from the north-east, which resulted in a very confused sea state. Every time these three systems met a towering crest appeared, some of which blew quite a bit of spray into the cockpit. We were making tremendous progress though. Boat speed was consistently over 8 knots for quite a while. Great sailing! If it stayed like this we would be at the mouth of the Cape Cod Canal long before the tide turned in our favor. I had determined that slack tide at the mouth of the CC Canal was at 0738 the next morning and we should not get there before that. Around midnight the wind was down to below 20 knots but I left the second reef in and only the staysail up. We had to slow down; otherwise we would be too early at the canal entrance. It was so cold below decks that I turned on the heater. We did three hour watches and it was nice to go below in a heated cabin. In the late afternoon a massive whale surfaced not much further than a boat-length away from us, blew air a few times and disappeared again.

Saturday 9/2: At around 0200 the wind was down to NNW at 10/15 knots. I like to keep Curlew sailing properly so I shook out the second reef and unfurled the yankee. The wind stayed like that for the next several hours. But around 0530, near Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod Bay, I furled the yankee and the staysail to slow us down for an arrival at the entrance to the CC Canal at slack tide.
We took the sails down just outside the canal and motored through with the early ebb pushing us in the right direction. Once through the canal we entered Buzzards Bay with little or no wind. We motored the rest of the way to New Bedford where I had reserved a mooring. After we went through the storm barrier I hailed the marina on the VHF to get a mooring assignment. We were told to pick up mooring # 5. When we arrived at the mooring field we started looking for # 5 among the unoccupied moorings but (again) could not find it. It appeared that there was another boat on #5. So we picked up # 8 instead.

A breezy day at sea

(FS photo)

Boothbay Harbor

31 August 2017 | Boothbay Harbor, ME
Wednesday 8/30: We dropped the mooring in Port Clyde at 0800 and motored (again) to Boothbay Harbor. We stopped at the fuel dock to fill up with diesel and water and then moved to my favorite mooring no. 6. I had called Jack before to arrange for a diver. Not only did I ask him to clean the offending toilet intake through-hull, but also to check the other ones, clean the hull of any hard growth that I had been unable to clean when still in the Chesapeake Bay and to check the zincs. Murray showed up that afternoon and did a great job. He cleaned the hull, all through hulls and replaced the cone zinc on the folding prop. After he left I pumped the toilet and saw with delight that it flushed as designed. Frederique was happy too!

Thursday 8/31: A busy day with laundry (4 loads! I had not done laundry since I left Boothbay Harbor almost 4 weeks ago) and shopping at Hannaford's. Frederique rented a bike for a few hours and after we were done at Hannaford's we biked around Spruce Point. We finished the day with a memorable lobster dinner at the Whale's Tale.

Port Clyde

29 August 2017 | Port Clyde, ME
Another sunny day but no wind. This is becoming monotonous. Overcast later.
We motored down Penobscot Bay through the Muscle Ridge Channel to Port Clyde. I had been to PC before, by bicycle from Tenants Harbor, but never by boat. So this was somewhat of a first. The mooring field (there is really no good place to anchor here) is controlled by the Port Clyde General Store. When I called ahead we were assigned mooring ball no. 15. Upon arrival we searched and searched but could not find no. 15. We were not the only one: another boat was circling around and asked us if we had seen no. 12. We had and pointed them to their mooring. In the end we picked up another empty mooring (no. 19) and called the store. No problem. When we later took the dinghy ashore we looked at a few other moorings, but still could not find no. 15. Not that the moorings were marked clearly: most of the numbers had faded almost to the illegible.

During this trip I discovered that the new Samsung tablet was the cause of the deviation in the main compass. Problem solved! I moved the Samsung to a location under the dodger, away from the compass. Not as convenient as at the pedestal, but also less vulnerable.

Later we went ashore and walked around "town". Enjoyed a beer on the deck of the General Store.

Vessel Name: Curlew
Vessel Make/Model: Cabo Rico 42 cutter
Hailing Port: Baltimore, MD
Crew: Thierry Danz
About: Hometown: Philadelphia, PA - Members SSCA, Cruising Association (London, UK)
CURLEW is a Cabo Rico 42, built in 2003. LOA 46' 10" 14.25 m LOD 42' 6" 12.95 m Beam 12' 8" 3.85 m Draft 5' 10" 1.80 m Displ 32,000 lbs. 14,500 k Mast height 58' 17.7 m Sail area (100%) 931 ft2 86.5 m2 Sail area (total) [...]
Curlew's Photos - Main
48 Photos
Created 8 September 2016
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A picture gallery of our trip south in the winter of 2008 and 2009.
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Pictures taken by the factury during Curlew's construction.
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A picture gallery of our trip south in the winter of 2008 and 2009.
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These are Thierry's previous boats (and his dad's and his grand-dad's)
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