More Stamford then NYC and NJ coast
20 October 2010 | Cape May, NJ
Sylvia - Raining
14 October, 2010
We worked on the boat in the afternoon and then Jeannette brought Brendan down to see Eos. It wasn't what he expected since he is used to Jeanette's boss's very large motor cruiser. Eos was pretty small to him in comparison but at least now he has been on both kinds of boats.
We went back to Norwalk with Jeanette and Brendan and then took the whole family out for dinner. Louis drove us to a fine little family owned Italian restaurant that he has been going to since he was a little one. It had great food, service and ambience. Then after dropping the boys off at their dad's they took us back to Stamford. It was raining and we were more than glad that we now had a card to get into the marina. It would have been a long miserable walk in the cold rain.
15 October, 2010
The weather is still not good for the next passage and the tide needs to be later for our NYC run. Rosa II, our slip mate went out for a sail so we decided that was a good time to take Eos over to the fuel and pump out dock and get her all ready to take off on Monday.
Jeanette picked us up shortly after 1300. We stopped at a local neighborhood diner for lunch (what fun to take in the local's places) and then we did a Walgreen's run for some prescriptions. It certainly is nice to be able to get things filled wherever there is one.
She then took us to Stew Leonard's - a local dairy store and much more. It is almost like an indoor market and the variety and quality of the bakery, dairy, and produce goods was something to write about. And we could get our propane tank filled while we wandered through the store. What more could one ask. I didn't plan on buying anything but by the time we left I had my carrying basket full and had over flowed into Jeanette's. I should have known to bring my canvas bags along. She had told me what a fun place it is.
While we were doing this running around she drove us past some marvelous homes and estates - mostly in New Canaan. There is obviously a great deal of money there. New Canaan is where Louis has his architectural firm. We saw one of his projects and then later I got on his web site and saw more of them. He is a very talented architect and has had some interesting projects.
It was a vegetarian pasta and salad supper at their home later. After dinner we called Andy, Jeanette's brother, who lives in Texas. He sounded so good and we were very glad she thought of it. Then we watched a presentation that Louis had put together of slide and videos from their recent trip to Italy with Louis' aunt and uncle. They were in Italy the whole time and spent part of it with relatives in the towns where Louis' father and siblings were born and raised. The perspective they got was so much more than the normal tourist gets. It was Jeanette's first trip to Europe and she is ready to go back right now. They plan to go again when Adam graduates in a couple of years and take the both boys with them on that trip. While all of this was going on we were doing several loads of laundry. It was certainly nice to do laundry like normal people - no toting everything to a Laundromat.
16 October, 2010
Louis and Jeanette came down to the marina in the morning so he could see this boat the rest of the family were talking about. He was interested in how things work and Bill was more than willing to explain things to him. That gave Jeanette and I a chance to just sit and talk. They left around noon so Louis could do some work at his office and Jeanette could get to Brendan's soccer game and then do her own domestic stuff. It was sad to tell them good-bye. They were such gracious hosts and we so enjoyed spending time with them. We all agreed that we would have to find a way to get together again with Andy as part of the mix if possible.
The weather was windy and cold but the owner of Rosa II wanted one last sail before the boat was moved south to the Chesapeake so Captain Joe got to go out for the afternoon. It is a fine old traditional boat but a wet one so they were all pretty well soaked by the end of the day. Capt. Joe had things to do to get the boat ready for their passage and really didn't want to spend the time going out but the owner is paying his wages so off they went.
The rest of our day was more reading or boat work. I also did a lot more research on places on down the coast. Planning is a forever thing with this life style I have discovered.
17 October, 2010
We spent the day getting Eos ready for the passage tomorrow and then later in the afternoon we rode to the super market with Captain Joe and one of his crew, Paul. Paul was the very first captain of Rosa II over 50 years ago. He and another fellow have signed up to help Capt. Joe take her down to the Chesapeake. Joe is hoping for some wind to help them along so they won't have to stop for fuel.
It was put the groceries away, eat, check the weather and route again and then an early night before an early start tomorrow.
18 October, 2010
We heard Rosa II take off about 0430. We got up and were cast off by 0510 but we were slow getting out because I mistakenly turned off the chart plotter and it was dark and we couldn't see the buoys and the channel. We went gently aground BEFORE a pile of rocks and then since the tide was coming in we very quickly were free again. Then it was use the spot light to find the buoys until we got out and then rebooted the Furuno. In retrospect, we should have just gone up to the green buoy that we could see and stood off there and waited while the chart plotter was shut down and rebooted. The current wasn't that bad and we could have maintained our position. Another lesson learned without dire consequences.
Our timing was perfect for the passage through Hell's Gate and the trip down the East River. It was a wonderful trip. At one point we came around a bend in the river and there ahead of us were the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and in the distance the Statue of Liberty. What a thrilling sight. I hadn't seen her since 1968 when I returned from Europe the first time and Bill had never seen her before. We caught up with Rosa II between the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. But then we rapidly left them behind. At 1030 we were a mile past the last bridge - the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge - and heading out into the Atlantic.
The wind came up and we had a grand afternoon of sailing - NO motor. Captain Joe got his wish for wind so they may make it without having to stop for fuel. We had the main and the jib up and were actually giving some of the power away as we sailed along at 7 knots. The problem was that we didn't want to get to Cape May before sunrise or any later than mid-tide and so the slower sail than we could have had. The wind finally died on us at 1800 and we were back to motoring.
19 October, 2010
Bill did most of the night watch and told me how beautiful Atlantic City looked in the distance. It was around midnight then and I was sacked out. The wind had returned out of the NW at around 15 mph so we were rolling along quite nicely but slowly. There were rain showers all around and we could see the lightening on the shore. But luckily Bill was only sprinkled on briefly and I never had to get wet. The thunderstorm winds were a little stronger whenever we sailed under a bank of their clouds but we never did have any thunderstorms or lightening develop overhead. The seas had been building but weren't really any problem until we turned west to make the 13 nm run into Cape May. Then they were on the beam and it was a rolly couple of hours.
We entered the Cape May breakwaters and blessed calm at 0815 and motored up the channel to the South Jersey Marina. Chris, the manager and dock master, had told us that we should come in when it was at least mid-tide. The channel is well dredged up to the Coast Guard Cutter's berth and the marina basin is well dredged but in between the dredging isn't what the marina would like it to be. We had timed things well and had no problem getting to their basin. So at 0845 we securely tied up at their very long fuel dock and were ready for some sleep.
After some wonderful shut-eye we got up and really looked around. While we were asleep a 59' aluminum sailboat from Guernsey, England with its German owners had docked ahead of us. They have 8' of draft and said they hadn't thought about cruising the US East Coast when they had her built. So they like us are having to find the places where they have enough water under her keel.
Bill and I wandered over to the Lucky Bones restaurant and had very tasty cups of black bean soup followed by fish and chips. Of course, after filling our stomachs we were again tired so it was back to the boat. We chatted with a very nice couple in a power boat across the fuel dock from us. They were off to the Chesapeake but gave us some good input on places along the coast. They had nothing but good things to say about Brunswick, GA where Bill and Judy Rohde had left Jubilee. We will have to be looking into whether we can get a month's berth there after the first of the year maybe.
The weather would be alright for a passage tomorrow we expect but we are tired after the over-nighter and have no reason that we have to push ourselves tomorrow.
20 October 2010
We got a good night of sleep and woke up to a grey, cloudy day. The weather forecasts for Thursday and Friday are not good so of the 5 boats who were on the fuel dock all but us shoved off sometime today in spite of the constant rain. They were mostly heading for Delaware Bay and then into the Chesapeake. We on the other hand are heading outside and want a little better weather than what we have today and definitely better than what we had coming in and what is forecast for the next couple of days.
We got a call from Changing Lanes and they are in Deltaville, Va and she will be hauled and stored on the hard tomorrow. They will then go to Ontario to visit two of their daughters and families and then back to Newfoundland to work but most importantly to see the new grandson who was born while we were all in St. Peter's, Cape Breton.
Louise and Jean-Denis are currently in Annapolis while Fire Crest and Artful Dodger are in or near Chesapeake City. David who is single handing lost his auto-pilot over a week ago and has been hand steering all of this time. He finally wore himself down and was sick so he and Patrick and Karen didn't continue on with Changing Lanes. Hopefully, David will recover soon and can get his auto-pilot fixed or replaced. Wayne and Patie on Mirthin made it to the US coast but have had lousy weather and the last we heard were in Rockland, ME in the Trident Marina which is quite well protected. Last Thur night and all day Friday the huge hurricane-like system blew in there registering 55 knots sustained with 66 knot gusts showing on Mirthin's knotmeter. The motion of the boat was so uncomfortable on Friday morning they got off and took a hotel room.
Staying has given me a chance to do some research and some calling to marinas. It looks as if we can easily get into the Virginia Beach Fishing Center at the Rudlee Inlet. They have some slips before the fixed bridge and the 60' power boat that berths there during the summer recently left for further south. So they are sure they can accommodate us when we finally get away from here. It is only an overnighter to there and means that we don't have to go all the way into Portsmouth/Norfolk, VA. And it shortens our passage to Beaufort, NC by 55 nm. So that is now the plan - get out of here around 0900, hopefully, on Saturday and arrive in Virginia Beach around the same time Sunday morning. Then recoup from the overnighter and look for the weather window to go the 215 nm (about 33 hours at 6.5 knots) to Beaufort, NC. After that there are only day trips to get on down to Florida with the longest about 11 hours at that speed which is what we always figure for and then adjust as we go along.
(My apologies to all for the long entry but it has been several days and this is our means of documenting our trip for ourselves as well as any who might be interested.)