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

Our narrowest creek: Mattituck, NY

When we were waiting out the weather in Coecles Harbor we were thinking we would go straight to Port Jefferson which is about 48 nautical miles.  We haven’t made nearly as much progress heading south as we had hoped by this point, so we were feeling the need to get a move on.  However, when we were researching the timing of favorable currents down the East River in New York City, we realized that our next reasonable opportunity wouldn’t be until Thursday, October 4th.  Knowing that, there was no longer any need to rush.

Consulting our Waterway Guide, we discovered there was only one stop between Orient Point and Port Jefferson: Mattituck.  The village of Mattituck rests at the top of a two-mile long winding, narrow creek.  Based on the charts it didn’t look as if there would be enough depth for us, but a bit of internet research led to the discovery that it had been recently dredged.  It sounded cute, so we decided to break up the Port Jefferson trip into two shorter days by paying it a visit.  

Entering the Mattituck inlet from Long Island Sound, it quickly became clear that the guide wasn’t exaggerating when it described the creek as narrow.  Jeff went up to the bow to help ensure that we stayed in the middle of the “channel” and we poked along, decreasing the throttle whenever the depth sounder showed the water under the keel getting close to 4 feet.  I figured if we were going slowly and we ran aground, we might have a chance of getting out without having to call for a tow.  For anyone reading this who is thinking about paying Mattituck a visit, the lowest I saw about an hour before low tide was 3.7 feet below our keel.  Our keel is 4’ 4”, but we rounded it up to 5’ for the depth sounder.  Continue reading “Our narrowest creek: Mattituck, NY”

Coecles Harbor, NY

Coecles Harbor is a very pretty anchorage in Shelter Island, New York.  It’s popular enough that there is a 48 hour limit for anchoring between May 15 and September 15.  Fortunately it was after September 15th when we dropped the hook on Saturday, because the weather gods prevented us from moving on until Thursday morning.  

On Sunday we took the dinghy to Taylor Island which houses the Smith-Taylor Log Cabin.  The Adirondack-style log cabin was built in 1900 and expanded in 1937.  It’s open for tours by appointment only, so we settled for looking through the windows and exploring the small island that it’s located on.   Continue reading “Coecles Harbor, NY”

Run away!

We left Newport on Wednesday and enjoyed a great mostly downwind sail to Stonington.  The winds were honking at close to 20 knots, but since it was behind the beam we were able to enjoy the benefit of it without any of the angst.  Bob the windvane steered like a champ, although we are still fine tuning our technique so that we won’t vary from our set course quite so much.  Once we were settled in at Dodson’s (we decided to treat ourselves and enjoy unlimited hot water showers) we realized that we hadn’t tacked once the whole way.  It was great!

On Thursday we headed from Stonington to Old Saybrook, motoring our way up the Connecticut River for the first time.  We had picked North Cove as our destination because we needed to do a few boat chores the next day and it offered good protection for the predicted high winds that were coming.  

North Cove has been designated as a Harbor of Refuge, and the Army Corps of Engineers prohibits charging transients to use empty moorings.  Although the channel and cove had silted in considerably over the past few years, it was dredged this past winter and now has plenty of depth.  Given that it’s past mid-September we easily found a mooring and settled in for a few days with a Saturday departure planned to Port Jefferson.  

Friday night was a small craft advisory and the winds were howling.  At one point Jeff and I were both awake and said that we weren’t leaving if it was going to continue like that.  Eventually they calmed down though, so after checking the forecast and seeing 15 knots predicted with choppy waves, both decreasing throughout the day, we decided to go.  That was mistake number one.  We raised the mainsail while we were on the mooring and didn’t put a reef in, based on the forecast and how it felt in the cove.  That was mistake number two.  Cue the ominous music.

Continue reading “Run away!”

A visit with the Newport Harbormaster.

We had a great sail on Sunday from Bristol to Newport.  Although winds were 12-18 knots on the nose, we had already decided that we would tack tack tack until we got tired of it and then motor the rest of the way.

Working on roles that are less familiar for us, Jeff was at the helm the majority of the day while I handled the lines.  By the time we turned on the motor three hours later, Jeff was much more comfortable with our new chart plotter and I was pulling the iib lines like a pro as we quickly tacked.  I even managed to trim the sails so that Pegu Club was steering by herself.  This bodes well for future success with Bob, our Monitor windvane.

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Jeff was determined to get past the abandoned pier on this tack.
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He made it!  Part of an abandoned military base on the end of Prudence Island.

Anchoring near our original spot last week, we tucked in for the night and prepared to spend Monday running errands for most of the day.  With rain forecast for all day on Tuesday, we wanted to get everything done since we were planning to leave Newport on Wednesday.  By the way, conveniently there is a bus stop right in front of West Marine.  Something tells me corporate selected the site specifically for that reason!

As predicted, Tuesday proved to be windy and rainy with a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure.  Jeff was able to put our rain catcher (prototype version 1.0) to good use, quickly and easily collecting five gallons in the collapsible jug we bought the previous day at West Marine.  We’re definitely going to pick up a second jug.

While we were watching the rain catcher gather water, we noticed a boat dragging through the anchorage.  The owner was on board and he was having a conversation with the guy on the boat next to him, and he picked up his anchor and tried again farther away.  We pretty much forgot about it, spending the rest of the afternoon watching The Big Red One on our entertainment system (i.e. our laptop and Bose portable speaker), until we poked our heads out after the movie and saw that a change in the wind direction had now put the wandering boat about six feet directly in front of us with no sign of the owner.  Hmmm. Continue reading “A visit with the Newport Harbormaster.”

Relaxing in Bristol, RI.

On Tuesday we took advantage of a break in the weather to sail from Potters Cove to Bristol.  Bristol has a rather large anchorage that is quite exposed to the prevailing southwest winds, but with the forecast calling for light winds from the north for several days it seemed like a good time to visit.

The sun peeked out a bit on our pleasant four nm sail east across the bay.

IMG_0103We were feeling lazy so we went under headsail alone, beam reaching and broad reaching with winds ranging from 6-12 knots.  We had plenty of room to drop the hook and before we knew it we were settled in again.

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The view from Pegu Club in Bristol harbor.

Bristol is a cute town of about 22,000 people, and it has the oldest continuously celebrated Independence Day festivities in the United States.  The celebration starts on Flag Day on June 14th where they have outdoor concerts, soap box derby races, and many other festivities.  A former co-worker had told me about their July 4th parade which he said was unbelievable.   Continue reading “Relaxing in Bristol, RI.”