Friday, 13 May 2016

Norfolk, Virginia to NEW YORK!

Arrived back at the boat after a great trip home.  So good to see family and friends that we haven't seen in almost a year.  Spent some time with both our girls and saw Sarah and Louie's new home for the first time since they moved in, in January. 

I arrived back to the boat on Monday April 25th at about 11:30am.  Unpacked and went for a walk to the grocery store to replenish.  We were going to leave the following day but we would be entering the Chesapeake Bay which is a pretty big body of water and they were calling for high winds.  We stayed put on Tuesday and head out early Wednesday morning.  It was a beautiful calm morning.  There were many military ships around the Marina where we stayed.  We thought we were being escorted by Military police.
As we head out further on to the Chesapeake Bay the military police turned away from us.  Maybe they were escorting us??

Another one of those balloons that no one knows where they end up.....some in the ocean....some in the Chesapeake Bay.

We have about 180 miles until we are at the top of the Chesapeake.  We will take 4 days to get to the top.

Day 1, Wednesday started out to be a beautiful day.  Sunny, warm, no wind.  It was a short and T-shirt day.  I think this was the day they had snow at home.  As the day progressed we could feel the temperature dropping and the winds picking up.  This usually means a cold front....argh!

Arrived at our anchorage and woke to a cool damp day.
We travelled about 60 miles to our next anchorage.  As we approached we could see many sail boats that appeared to be blocking the entrance to the anchorage.  A sailboat under sail always has the right of way so it was up to us to stay out of their way.  Any error would be our fault.
We managed to make it through safely thanks to my very skilled Captain!

When we left the next morning there were 2 fighter jets that appeared to be landing and then taking off.  They did many circles ascending and descending.  We figured they must have been practicing or in training. 
Passing under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which happens to be 22,789 feet.
Today is Friday.  It was a little misty and there were a ton of boats on Chesapeake Bay.  Most of the boats were fishing boats so we thought maybe some kind of fishing season opened but maybe people always fish here.  Since there were so many boats and visibility wasn't great we were making use of the radar.  All the dots on the screen are boats. There were many.
We passed one fishing boat closely and noticed all of the lines in the water.  At home you are only allowed to have one fishing rod in the water per person.  The laws are a little different here. 
Today is Saturday April 30th and we have reached the top of the Chesapeake Bay.  There is a canal called the Chesapeake, Delaware Canal that connects the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware Canal.  Many freighters pass through here and look like they may take out a bridge or two but there is lots of room. 
We anchored in a small bay just outside the Chesapeake Inn.  You can tell that the weather here is close to the temperatures at home.  This restaurant has a patio.  It is about 55 degrees here and people are sitting outside.  Thought that was a Canadian thing!
Had a great nights sleep and had the anchor up at 7am.  Today we have a long day of about 70 miles.  We have 13 more miles of the Chesapeake/Delaware Canal and then about 57 miles to Cape May Harbour where we will anchor, just on the other side of the Delaware. 

Today has been our worst travel day since we started this adventure.  There are 4 things, as boaters, we don't like:  wind, waves, rain and cold temperatures.  We had all 4. The only thing we laughed about today was this picture.
 We checked the weather, as we always do before heading out.  The Delaware has an opening to the ocean so it can be nasty.  The weather source we were using said the waves should be no more that 1.6 feet.  We can take that! 

Something you must consider when travelling waters with current is, the wind, the waves and the current.  You would think if the current is going in the same direction as the wind that the waves would be bigger....not so.  If the current is going in the opposite direction of the wind the waves are much bigger.  If you have a 2 knot current in the same direction of a 10 knot wind, the waves are not as big a factor as if you have a 2 knot current in the opposing direction of a 10 knot wind.  We had about 45 minutes of opposing currents and big waves.  We knew the tide was about to change so we turned in closer to shore where the ride was much more comfortable. 

Dexter doesn't like the waves so he hides underneath the helm amongst all the wires that control our electronics.  He hasn't taken us out yet.
The waves calmed and then it started to pour and pour....we could hardly even see it rained so hard.   We are 15 miles off shore when these shots was taken...might as well be 50 miles.   Dexter and I just wanted a fireplace.

Now we are 2 miles off shore and can see even less....might as well be 50.  My feet are cold and wet.

Approaching our anchorage where there are many boats.  We didn't see many boats travelling today so we were sure many of these boats didn't move today.  Good call.  It was a miserable day but at the end of the day we are safe and sound, warm and dry.
  The beer and wine always tastes so much better after a day like today. 
We are about 150 miles South of New York City.  There are 2 ways do 115 of those miles.  You can go outside, up the Atlantic Coast in the ocean, or you can go inside.  There are draw backs to both.  Inside, you don't have to watch weather as closely but the intercostal waterway was beat up pretty badly from hurricane Sandy and it hasn't been fully repaired.  There are parts that have shoaled and become very shallow that haven't been dredged yet.  Our friends on American Pie went this route in March and ran aground 3 times.  Outside, you have to watch the weather closely because you are in the open ocean.  We had our VHF radio on as we were preparing to leave.  There were many other boats also planning to leave.  The waves were supposed to be 3 to 4 feet which is more than we like BUT......the time between the waves was 9 seconds.  The timing between the waves is crucial.  If the waves are 3 seconds apart you go up the wave and crash down the other side then do that again in 2 - 3 seconds.  It's a very uncomfortable ride, something we wouldn't do....on purpose.  A 3 foot wave that is 9 seconds apart is more like a 3 foot roller.  There is no crashing you just ride the rolls.  Once we got out to the ocean we were very comfortable riding the 3 - 4 foot waves.  There was no chop on top, just a roll, so there was no crashing.  

Oh.....remember earlier I said there are 4 things, as boaters we don't like......well there are 5.  The 5th.....FOG!   The visibility was less than 1/4 mile, however, there was very little wind, no rain, no crashing waves and it was a little warmer than the previous day.  You can see by this picture how thick the fog was and how smooth the seas look.  Although the rollers were 3- 4 feet. 
We were followed almost all the way to our next anchorage by these little sparrows.  They continued to hitch a ride. 

Dexter spotted one and was very curious. 
A few even managed to get inside the bridge flying up the ladder.  It was pretty funny.  We had to keep Dexter's attention away from the bird because if he noticed it he would kill it. 

We opened the front windows until the birds flew out. 

The didn't seem to fear us.  We heard other boaters on their radios talking about them and they said they were feeding them.

Our anchorage was in Atlantic City.  Just as we approached the anchorage the fog lifted. 
As quickly as it lifted you could see it rolling in off the ocean again.

This is a shot of a sailboat anchored next to us. 
This is the same shot just 10 minutes later.  You can no longer see the brige that is probably a 1/2 mile away.   

Today is Thursday May 5th.  We arrived at this anchorage in Atlantic City on Monday May 2nd.  We have been waiting out the weather before we proceed further North.

  We have been talking to another Looper, Shannon and Larry from "Emma Jean".  We will do the next 35 miles inland but it is shallow in parts.  .  If it's windy, the wind can push you aground because the channel is very narrow.  We could travel further North today (Thursday) but the weather is not conducive to crossing the open ocean to New York until Sunday or Monday.  We have everything we need at this anchorage.  It is well sheltered, it's a short dinghy ride to groceries, dollar store, marine store, liquor store so best to stay put at an anchorage you know, rather than move ahead and wait at an anchorage you don't know.  If you don't like adventure, this trip is not for you.   There is a new adventure at every turn.

Today is 50 degrees, cloudy and very windy.  While we were at the dollar store we bought ourselves a toque for the dinghy ride back to the boat.  I'm pretty sure it's warmer at home right now than it is here.  Our girls think that's a little funny.  Karma is a bitch for all of the phone calls made home bragging about 80 degrees and sunshine while they were shovelling snow.....sorry girls!

One more day in Atlantic City and then we will go inland to Barnegat Light where we will wait out the wind to go the rest of the way to New York City. There are now 9 boats waiting out weather at this anchorage......always new friends to meet.

 Today is cold and damp, says Accuweather.

Steve is making his most yummy chili for dinner tonight.  It will not only warm the boat while it's simmering but warm us to the bone as we enjoy.  Can't wait for dinner.

Today is Saturday May 7th, we are moving today to Barnegat Light where we will wait until Sunday or Monday to move to New York City.
  The intercostal waterway here looks huge but the channel is actually very narrow.  If you go outside the channel you can run aground.  We have heard many calls on the radio for Sea Tow in the short time we have been here so we are being very cautious. 

Travelling up the Jersey Shore.  You can see the ocean, where there are beautiful beaches through the other side of the ICW.

It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining when we arrived at our anchorage.....

.....and then the fog socked us in again just as the sun started to set.  It made for a couple of beautiful pictures I was able to send to our friends on Emma Jean and Carinda.  Funny how fog can be so ugly when you are travelling yet so  beautiful when you are safe at anchor.

The following morning a couple of boats that we were anchored with in Atlantic City came in and anchored with us for the evening.  Grace and Dream Catcher.

Today is Mother's Day.  I miss our family so much on these special days.  My girls were sure to call and make sure that their Dad made my day special.  He didn't need a reminder.  It started with the smell of bacon and coffee as I was still in bed.  After breakfast we took Dexter for a long walk on a nearby beach.  THEN....we discovered a fish market right beside our anchorage!  I was so excited.  We took the dinghy in with 2 other Looper boats.  We bought fresh oysters and I got a lesson on how to shuck them.  We also bought a couple of sword fish steaks.  Dinner is going to be yummy tonight.

After going for cocktails on Carinda we came back to the boat and had oysters with tequila.  The saltiness of the oysters and then the tequila chaser makes this a perfect combination.  After a little rest we ate our swordfish steaks.  They were delish!! 

Today is Monday May 9th.  We had planned on heading out to the ocean to New York City today but the winds do not allow.  We decided to go inland to an anchorage that will leave us approximately 35 miles from New York. 

Up early the next the morning and out to the ocean to New York!!  Approaching New York...

We anchored just South of New York City and will travel up the Hudson River tomorrow. 

Today is Wednesday May 11th....HAPPY BIRTHDAY COLLEEN!!! 

Leaving our anchorage and coming up on New York.  You can see the smog on the horizon.

We are excited to be going through New York but at the same time leave behind  a huge leg of this journey.  We entered salt water at Mobile Bay, Alabama on October 26th and the salt will slowly dissipate as we head up the Hudson River.   It's kind of a sad day as we leave the ocean for the last time.  We had dolphins jumping in front of our boat as if they were saying a fond farewell, it's been a blast!

Even Dexter was amazed at the view!

The Staten Island Ferry Terminal

I remember, as a kid, holding hands with my friends and walking down the sidewalk singing...."we don't stop for nobody"....which being grammatically correct means you stop for everybody but that's not what we meant.  That song comes to mind when we see the Staten Island Ferry crossing the New York get out of the way!

The Brooklyn Bridge off in the distance.

The new single monument that replaces the twin towers.  There seems to be a hole where the missing tower should go.

.......and the Statue of Liberty!!!  Beautiful lady that she is!
Today was an emotional day.  A huge leg of this journey is over.  We talked about all the good times, all the memories, the friends we have met the laughs we have had.....the good weather the bad weather.   Stop....I'm talking like it's over...we still have the last leg of this amazing journey to complete.  We will head up the Hudson River, across the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario, Trent Severn Waterway...."One Bay at a Time."

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