Last week we were in New York, and now we are already past New Jersey and Delaware and are anchored in Tar Cove, Maryland. Crazy what you can do in a week on a boat! We definitely covered some miles this past week.
We left Port Washington, NY, this past Saturday morning and made it through the East River to the Hudson without incident. We entered the East River from Long Island Sound at 11:00 am, having timed it correctly as the current shifted to be with us instead of against us at 10:45 am, and we exited at the Hudson River at 12:45 pm, a trip of about 15 miles. The currents grabbed the boat a few times as we went through but nothing too difficult. We were surprised at how many waves we encountered and at times we were definitely rocking around. But it is now behind us and we think we did well in surviving the infamous East River!
It was actually a blustery, gray day with a hefty south wind as we exited the East River heading toward Sandy Hook. Of course we were headed right into the 15 – 18 knot wind and 3 – 5 foot waves and we felt like we were back on Lake Michigan with all the banging the boat did! We anchored at Atlantic Highlands for protection from the south winds and to get ready for an early start the next day.
We were concerned about the weather that was predicted for the New Jersey coast toward the middle of the week and wanted to get ahead of it. So we thought if we could get all the way to Cape May, or even down to Cape Henlopen, by Monday night it would be great. Then we could just head up the Delaware Bay on Tuesday and be done with the ocean weather stuff. We didn’t really know where Humberto was going but didn’t want to be around if it didn’t head out to sea – which it did.
We left Sunday morning at 6:15 am to head down the New Jersey Coast to Atlantic City. The wind certainly had died down overnight and actually had veered around to be 4 – 6 knots from the north – from behind us. The sea was the predicted 2 – 3’ swells from the SE so we were able to quarter them pretty well. We never did put out a sail as we were going faster than the wind was blowing from behind us.
To make a long story short (as if I could ever do that! J) we decided to not stop in Atlantic City as we were making good time. We decided instead to go all the way to Cape May, a distance of 113 nautical miles, and then on Monday make the turn and go up the Delaware Bay instead of waiting for Tuesday. The forecast was changing and they were now predicting 15 – 20 knot winds with gusts up to 30 knots Monday night and then into Tuesday around Cape May and up the Bay. Didn’t sound fun!
So we made did make it to Cape May at 10:00 pm Sunday evening, anchored in the dark, and left again at 6:00 am Monday morning. We knew the current was going to shift and head up the Delaware Bay around 7:00 am and we definitely wanted to ride that current all the way up. And we did! For the most part we were seeing SOG speeds of the mid-to high-8.0 knots and a lot of the time we were seeing 9.0 knots with the boost of the current. We averaged over 8.0 knots/hr for the entire trip of the 73 miles to Chesapeake City on the C&D Canal where we anchored for the night. Even at only 2200 RPM on the C&D Canal, again the current was going with us, we were motoring along at 8.5 – 8.7 knots/hr. Later that evening, in completing my log, we realized we had gone 186 miles in the past two days. It was good to make that many miles to get away from weather issues, but they were two long days.
We had dinner that evening at the Chesapeake City Tiki Hut restaurant with Billy and Mary Ellen of the boat Sea Escape. We ended up pacing ourselves with them almost the entire way up the Delaware Bay and he, too, was amazed at the great time we were able to make.
We stayed at Chesapeake City for three nights as we definitely felt we needed a break from traveling. We did a lot of walking and sight-seeing and had a great time going through the C&D Canal Museum right in the city. The C&D Canal was finished in 1829 and originally had four locks. They were later removed to make the transit easier and they currently have 15,000 boats that go through the canal every year. It’s a huge thorough fare for tankers going from Philadelphia to Baltimore. It saves ships from traveling about 300 miles by having to go all the way around via the ocean.
This morning, Thursday, Sept. 19, we left Chesapeake City, completed the rest of the canal and made it 41 miles to where we are anchored in Tar Cove on Rock Creek which is on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay. The wind was from behind us and flukey at only 5 – 11 knots, but we did put the headsail out numerous times (5 altogether) and when the wind was in the higher range it did help the speed. The current was definitely not in our favor today and while in the canal proper we were only doing 5.2 SOG while our boat speed was 7.5 knots/hr. It was better as we came down the top of the Chesapeake Bay and ended up being a delightful day out on the water. The seas were calm and with the temps in the low 70’s it was quite comfortable.
We will be arriving in Annapolis probably tomorrow already. The Annapolis Sailboat Show isn’t until Oct. 10 – 14 so we will hang around until then. We feel Annapolis is a great place to spend some time and we have a bunch of stuff we’d like to get accomplished. We’ve been on the go for quite a while now so it will be good to be still for a bit.
We’ll let you know how it goes!