Two months later, we’ve passed mile zero.

I forgot to mention in the last post that on our way from Deltaville to Hampton, a yellow warbler came and joined us for a little while.  The winds were in the high teens and all of a sudden this cute little bird landed on our coaming next to where I was sitting.  We figured he was looking for a break from the wind.  He hopped off the coaming and onto my leg, and then onto my arm.  I don’t think he realized that I wasn’t a piece of furniture, and I stayed stock still.  

He flew inside the cabin, much to our dismay, but then a few minutes later he flew out and tried to land on the engine shift lever.  That didn’t give him enough grip, so he headed for the other coaming when – WHOOSH! – he got a bit too close to the wind and he blew away.  Poor little thing.  I wish I had my camera.  He was really quite cute.  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.  

We had a good trip to Connecticut, albeit a long drive.  Jeff received a six month reprieve from the cardiologist assuming nothing changes, and we had a great time visiting my aunt in Charlottesville and several friends in Connecticut.  I was a little concerned that after sleeping in a queen size bed, enjoying daily unlimited hot showers, and hanging out in something larger than our Pegu Club we might be reluctant to go back.  That didn’t happen though.  We missed her and the lifestyle that we are rapidly adjusting to, and were quite excited to be heading back on Tuesday.  After spending one additional day in the marina, we were off bright and early on Thursday to officially begin our journey down the ICW.   Continue reading “Two months later, we’ve passed mile zero.”

Solomons and south.

There wasn’t as much VHF chatter on our way from Annapolis to Solomons as there had been on our previous leg.  At one point on our way to Annapolis someone (presumably a fishing boat) was calling for a radio check and when no one responded he asked, “Am I all alone out here?”  “I can hear you.  You’re not alone” came a response.  After a few beats someone else came on and said in a solemn voice, “We’re all alone.”  That cracked us up. 

Anyway, after motor sailing for 45 nm from Annapolis, we were happy to drop the anchor in Solomons, MD.  Solomons is an extremely popular destination for Chesapeake boaters, but being late in October we didn’t get a real feel for it.  It’s kind of like being on Block Island after Labor Day compared to the height of summer.  A lot of places were closed for the season, but it was o.k. because we knew we would definitely be coming here again.  

One place that wasn’t closed was the Calvert Marine Museum.  The museum had several great exhibits, including many fossils, an outdoor habitat for river otters (so cute!), the Drum Point Light (which had been relocated from its original location), and indoor aquarium exhibits.   Continue reading “Solomons and south.”

October by the numbers.

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Below are the numbers for October, including what we spent.  This month we continued what may be the slowest cruise ever, going from Oyster Bay, NY to Hampton, VA.  The cash outflow was better than last month, but would have been less had it not been for the repairs necessitated by the unfortunate underwater dike incident in Delaware Bay.

Days under way: 11

Nautical miles covered: 455.26 nm

Gallons of diesel used: 35

Number of states: 5 (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia).

Nights at anchor: 20

Nights on a mooring: 7

Nights at a slip: 2

Nights in a camper (at Delaware City Marina): 2

Expenses:

Groceries: $415.65

Diesel/Gasoline: $151.79.  This includes a can of TruFuel (non-ethanol gas) for the dinghy which is $20 a can.  Moving into states that sell non-ethanol gasoline at the pumps will help a lot with this.

Propane/Denatured Alcohol: $24.81.  Two propane canisters for heat and the grill, and one gallon of denatured alcohol for the stove.

Health Care: $84.47

Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a
Garmin inReach subscription): $165.61

Mail Service: $10.60.  The UPS Store charges $5.00 to have mail delivered and held.

Laundry: $31.75

Ice: $9.00

Showers: $2.00

Netflix: $11.10

Shenny annual dues: $550.  We decided to maintain our membership for another year to keep our options open for returning to our slip in Groton next summer.

Boat stuff: $2,445.09.  The repairs and a power wash to Pegu Club’s bottom cost $2,188.36.  The rest is for a ditch bag, zincs, extra cotter pins, spare bolts for the windlass, a 5 gallon diesel jerry jug, disposable gloves, 2 hanging dehumidifier bags, and some hose to make oil changes easier.

Restaurants/Entertainment: $181.84

Uber/Bus: $16.00

New York Times subscription: $40.40 (gets billed every four weeks)

Marinas: $301.  This is for one night on a mooring in Port Washington, two nights at a slip in Delaware City, and four nights on a mooring in Annapolis.

Life Insurance: $220.75.

Random: $153.88 – this amount includes new v-berth sheets (the cotton ones always felt damp), a Kindle book and a real life book, a write on/wipe off board, a collapsible push cart for groceries, two Mega Millions tickets, AAA batteries, anti-skid for the galley cupboard, two DVD’s, and tips for marina staff.

Total: $4,815.74

September/October average: $5,452.41

Our first real taste of the Chesapeake.

Saying good riddance to Chesapeake City, we finished motoring down the canal and finally entered Chesapeake Bay.  We knew the next day was going to have howling winds so we wanted to stay someplace where we might have something to go see rather than being boat bound.  Initially we decided to go to Dark Head Creek up the Middle River where the Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum is located, but we changed course en route to save ourselves a long trip up the river (and back).  

Looking through our Waterway Guide and our Skipper Bob anchorage book while Jeff was at the helm, I found a promising looking spot with great protection in all directions up Worton Creek.  Keeping with our new, post-hitting-an-underwater-dike routine, I closely inspected the chart, reviewed the Notice to Mariners online, and looked through Active Captain.  In an abundance of caution I also called one of the three local marinas to make sure that I understood the entrance (the guy I spoke to couldn’t have been nicer).  O.k.  It was a go. 

Continue reading “Our first real taste of the Chesapeake.”

Chesapeake City. Will the “firsts” ever end?

The current and tide dictated an afternoon departure from Delaware City on Sunday so we decided to make it a short day and stop on the other end of the canal in Chesapeake City.  Applying our lessons learned from running into the dike, we carefully reviewed the chart for our intended route and also looked at Active Captain and the Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners.  Anything we weren’t sure of we looked up on Chart Number One, and we wrote reminders on a write on/wipe off board that we had purchased at Staples in Delaware City.  Although I was nervous leaving, all of the preparation made for an overall much less stressful trip.  It looks like we have a new evening routine from this point forward!

While the C&D is reportedly the third busiest canal in the world, we didn’t see any freighters as we motored along.  Not that we were disappointed about that given that they take up their half and the middle too. 

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Looks like a freshly painted bridge on the canal – nice shade of blue!

It was an uneventful afternoon and soon we found ourselves setting the anchor in Chesapeake City.  It was a pretty tiny anchorage with stone walls a bit too close for comfort on three sides of it, but we were quickly snuggled in.  I wanted to check out the C&D Canal Museum the next day, so we had decided to stay for two nights and leave on Tuesday.

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Continue reading “Chesapeake City. Will the “firsts” ever end?”

A few lovely days in a city we’d never heard of.

I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of person, so once it was obvious that Pegu Club’s damage wasn’t as bad as we had feared it was time to make the most of our layover in Delaware City.  Frankly, I had never even heard of Delaware City before I started researching our trip, but by the end of our visit we both agreed that it would be a nice place for an annual stop.

With a population of approximately 1,700, Delaware City was the eastern terminus for the original Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) canal before its expansion and relocation in 1927. It has a nice paved path that runs along the canal between Delaware City and Chesapeake City, a large historic district, a small bodega, and a few shops and restaurants.  Perhaps its greatest asset, however, are its friendly residents.  

Continue reading “A few lovely days in a city we’d never heard of.”

It was a rough couple of days.

We left Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey on Monday the 8th with a forecast calling for winds gusting into the high teens but dropping off later in the afternoon, and waves of about four feet decreasing with the wind.  Based on the forecast we decided to leave with a reef in the main and switch to the 85 jib.  It was the only thing that went right that day.

Leaving the relative protection of the anchorage the winds were gusting into the low 20’s and we were very glad that we were using the small jib.  We had read that it could be rough rounding the point of Sandy Hook but then things typically smoothed out, so we were prepared for it tp be sporty.  What we weren’t prepared for, however, was regular 6-8 foot waves on the bow.  Although we were wearing rain pants and our lighter foul weather jackets, we hadn’t thought to put on our rubber boots.  Within minutes we were soaked from head to toe. 

Pegu Club climbed up the waves and down the other side, but there were a few times she dropped off of the edge of the wave, plunging through the air before slamming down on the water with a thud.  I was definitely scared, but turning around wasn’t an option.  The waves were so close together we were concerned we might broach.  We had no choice but to keep plowing through. 

Continue reading “It was a rough couple of days.”

An “E” ticket ride down the East River.

Over the past few years we’ve read other people’s blogs and watched their YouTube videos recounting their trip down the East River.  We would look at each other and say, “Some day that will be us.”  We had even debated whether we really wanted to go non-stop to Cape May because we knew if we did we would miss the East River.  Mother Nature took care of that issue for us by dictating we go inside, so here we were.  The day had finally arrived.  It was time to go down the East River in New York City and head into New Jersey.  

Continue reading “An “E” ticket ride down the East River.”

Finally making some tracks!

We’ve been making some decent progress since leaving Coecles Harbor one week ago.  First we went to Mattituck, and then we stopped in Port Jefferson where we spent the afternoon doing a few boat projects.

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Almost full moon in the shrouds on the way to Port Jefferson.

 Our initial plan was simply to install the cockpit VHF microphone which we wanted to have available before going down the East River.  However, earlier that day while we were enroute I went down below and saw some water on the floor in the head.  Hmmm.  That’s not good.  A quick taste confirmed that it was saltwater.  That’s really not good.  We prefer to keep seawater on the outside of the boat.  

Continue reading “Finally making some tracks!”

September by the numbers.

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Below are the numbers for September, including what we spent.  To summarize where we went over the month, we cut the dock lines on Monday, September 3rd, heading first to Block Island and then to Narragansett Bay to see what Hurricane Florence was going to do.  After a few weeks a weather window to hop outside to Cape May still hadn’t appeared, so we decided to take the inside route instead down Long Island Sound.  By September 30th we had made it to Oyster Bay, NY.

Below are the numbers for September, including what we spent.

Days under way: 11

Nautical miles covered: 228

Gallons of diesel used: 9

Number of states: 3 (Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York)

Nights at anchor: 24

Nights on a mooring: 4

Expenses:

Groceries: $297.98

Diesel/Gasoline: $14.00

Health Care: $4,726.23 – this amount is a one-time Cobra payment providing health insurance coverage from October – December.  We will be signing up for Connecticut’s health exchange effective January 1st, so the cost will go down dramatically in the future.

Cell phone and internet (2 phones, one iPad data plan, iCloud storage, and a
Garmin inReach subscription): $110.99

Last pro-rated internet bill from the apartment: $9.99

Mail Service: $121.75 – this includes a $100 deposit to the UPS Store which they will draw from when we have mail forwarded to us.

Laundry: $26.00

Ice: $13.00

Showers: $9.50

Netflix: $11.10

Boat Insurance: $90 – this is a flat amount to account for the increase in our premium when we added a rider for the Bahamas and increased Pegu Club’s declared value.

Boat stuff: $318.19 – this amount is for 2 handheld VHF radios, supplies for our water catch, a 12v plug inverter to recharge the computer, carabiners and lines to make a dinghy hoist, ten oil diapers, a 5 gallon collapsible water jug, a chain hook, two velcro wraps, electric cable anti-chafe, two fuses, and a 9v battery for the multimeter.

Restaurants/Entertainment: $79.60

Uber/Bus: $30.83

New York Times subscription: $20.20

Marinas: $58.49

Auto Insurance: $51.36 – this is the difference between the refund for cancelling our policy when we sold our car and the premium for our non-owner policy which will keep us out of the high-risk pool should we purchase another car in the future.

Annual subscriptions: $82.79 – This is a one-time annual payment to upgrade our PredictWind app and a one month upgrade for our SailFlow app.

Random: $17.08 – this amount includes dominoes game, a tea kettle to replace the one that broke, and other miscellaneous amounts

Total: $6,089.08