We are back in New York! We arrived in Port Washington this afternoon and are now tied up to their free mooring balls for a couple of nights. As I look back in my log I see we have gone 1,100 miles since being here last. That is a lot of miles, but also so many things we have seen and done. Amazing!
In the last post I talked about returning to a mooring ball in downtown Boston this past Friday and Saturday nights. We weren’t sure what Dorian was going to do so decided to play it safe. We arrived no problem on Friday afternoon, and because it was supposed to be quite windy and rainy that evening into the next day Sharon decided she and Max would stay in the comfort and quiet of Kristi’s apartment for at least Friday night. It was a good thing she did, as it was a windy and rolly night onboard Friday night. The wind only got up to the high-teens, because of the protection of the harbor, but the boat rolled around because of the confused seas. There are also boats and ferries running around all over the place and that only adds to the rolling. Thankfully it started to calm down Saturday afternoon and ended up being a calm evening.
On Sunday we threw off the mooring lines and headed toward Cape Cod Canal. It was a calm day and we anchored in Warren Cove just south of Plymouth for the night. The waves were pretty calm during the day but there was a definite swell coming from the SE that ended up being very annoying during the night. We deployed a swell bridle again during the evening, which helped dramatically, but because the current was switching and I was afraid of the bridle line getting tangled up with our rudder or prop, we pulled it in about 10 pm. That meant we rocked a fair amount during the night and didn’t sleep all that well, but that’s how boat life goes sometimes!
We made it through the Cape Cod Canal Monday morning and were able to motor sail all the way to the end of the Elizabeth Islands to an anchorage area in Cuttyhunk, MA. The trip through the Cape Cod Canal was incredible as we were treated to a 4 knot current with us allowing us to reach an all-time high SOG (Speed Over Ground) of 11.5 knots/hr for our boat! Boat speed was only 7.6 knots/hr., so the current really pushed us along!
After a delightful, and very calm!, night in Cuttyhunk we headed west again into Rhode Island Sound. We reached the Chocomount Cove anchorage area, on the north side of Fisher Island, after a 50 mile day. The wind was supposed to be light out of the east and it proved to be true with of 5 – 7 knots from behind. We knew the wind would be different the next day in switching to a SW wind with a SW swell, but had no idea what implications that would have until we were in it.
We did leave Fisher Island at 7:00 am and pointed our bow toward Port Jefferson, a trip of 57 miles. It ended up being a very uncomfortable day as the wind had switched and the sea state was very confused, although mostly out of the SW – the very direction we wanted to go! It actually felt very much like sailing on choppy Lake Michigan waters with the bow crashing like crazy over larger waves. The wind was also very gusty at times and when we would pass areas that were unprotected from land the sea state was even more crazy. In addition, the current changed to be against us shortly after 10:00 am, so our SOG was only around 6.0 knots/hr for most of the trip. Sheesh! But we just buckled down and put in our time to arrive in Port Jefferson at 4:00 pm.
After a good night of sleep we left Port Jefferson this morning in a slight drizzle and made the 35 miles here to Port Jefferson. As predicted, the wind shifted to once again come from the east, with an accompanying shift in the waves to be from behind us. The wind was in the 11 – 14 knot/hr. range and not nearly as gusty so we put out the headsail for most of the trip. The current was also in our favor most of this trip and we were easily able to hold 8.0 knots/hr. Much better than the day before!
After the initial morning sprinkles when we left the rain moved out and it even became sunny for a while, although we knew the afternoon was supposed to be rainy. Within 15 minutes after tying onto a mooring ball here in Port Washington the rain started so our timing was great. In Port Washington they have special yellow mooring balls for transients and the first two nights are always free. Great!
We will stay here until Saturday morning when we will navigate our way through the East River of New York and anchor in the Sandy Hook area. The current shifts in the East River to be in our favor heading west after 9:45 am, so we will wait until then to go. It went well the first time through so we hope it is as uneventful this time as well.
Our overall goal is to head down the coast of New Jersey on Sunday or Monday as the weather is supposed to be good. It will take us two days to get to the bottom of the Delaware Bay before heading up it and we really want to have good weather to make that coastal passage. We’ll let you know how it goes!
I want to make a quick update on the discovery I made last week that I have been monitoring. I have to say I don’t really know if it was that big of a discovery or as major of a fix as I would have liked it to be, but it still was very good. We have struggled quite often with water in our bilge (some people say it is a boat and you just get water in the bilge!). At times there is a fair amount (a gallon or so?) and at times there is only a little, if any. I have tasted it repeatedly to determine if it is fresh (meaning coming from within the boat – not as bad) or salt water (meaning coming from outside of the boat – not good) and 90% of the time it always tasted fresh. But at other times it tasted salty. Drove me nuts!
I was under the engine cover last week and happened to look down at one of the house batteries that is there and noticed there was water surrounding the battery. About 2 – 3” of water! I don’t know that it hurt the battery but I don’t think it’s a good idea to have that much water around the battery with its electrical terminals. In scratching my head and wondering what was going on my eye was drawn to a pretty persistent drip on the aft tank water hose. Come to find out, that hose, coming from our aft water tank, was up against a sharper edge of our motor mount and there was a groove cut right through the plastic hose from the vibration of the motor. My hunch it has taken quite a while for that groove to be worn in there and water has been probably leaking from there for quite some time – maybe the whole trip!?
In this past week I have monitored whether the water into the bilge has stopped, and I have to say it has lessened dramatically – probably even more than that. It has not totally stopped water from collecting in the bilge, but I think it has been huge to find the water hose leak.
I know it sounds crazy but when we are in tough waters with the boat pitching around a lot like we have been the past bunch of days we seem to get a small amount of water collecting in the bilge. I have looked and looked and looked and looked, but even after over a year of being on the go I cannot find out where it could be coming from. I talked way back when with the head service technician from Beneteau who says it is sort of a design failure in the aft end of the boat they are aware of and that it won’t get worse, but I still don’t like having water in the bilge. Oh well. But still drives me nuts! I would have liked that the hose repair I did fixed the water issue, but God still wants to work on keeping me humble!