-E.B. White

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Crossing our Wake - Finally!

Saturday, the 9th of June at 14:30 we crossed our Great Loop wake.  It has only taken us 11 years, 37 days and 4 and half hours.  Six thousand engine hours and 40,000 estimated miles.  In May of 2001 our beloved Broulee was off loaded at Elizabeth Seaport, New Jersey. After a 30 day trip from Hong Kong aboard a container ship, we were there to meet her and start our incredible journey of the last 11 years.  She was one of  three Kadey-Krogens that never came across the pond to be commissioned in the US, but purchased in Hong Kong.  Ours was previously owned by an Australian, a pilot for Cathay Pacific and spent her first couple of years moored at Discovery Bay in Hong Kong.  She was named Broulee (pronounced Browlee) after his favorite surfing island in New South Wales, Broulee Island which is Australian Aborigine for Island In the Sea.  After his retirement he moved the boat to Subic Bay in the Philippines, where in December 2000, we found her on the internet, for sale.  We flew to the Philippines in January of 2001 for an inspection, survey and sea trial - it was a no brainer, we fell in love with her immediately.  We then flew to Hong Kong in February 2001 to meet the shipping company and arrange for transfer of documentation.  It has been an amazing 11 years of travel aboard her.  It was fun coming into New York Harbor Saturday, and remembering how hard our hearts were pounding when we first started the engine (the terminal allowed us to tie to the seawall after splashing her) and then trying to figure out what to do next, looking up to see a big freighter coming towards us needing to dock where we were and having to shove off before we felt ready to go. What great memories of  bringing Broulee home to Minnesota, the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes, the many trips down and back to St. Paul on the Mississippi, the first trip to Florida, Tennessee River to Chattanooga, the trip to New Orleans, the Abacos, the Exumas, the Caribbean to Trinadad, the Chesapeake in 2003 and surviving Hurricane Isabel. It has been a fantastic ride, so far, and are looking forward to the next adventures!
Beautiful morning leaving Barnegat anchorage Saturday morning

A challenge, again for us, getting out of the Barnegat inlet - it's very narrow to start, and then this guy has to have his floppers out and throwing off a huge wake.

West Bank Light and Horn between Sandy Hook and the Verrazano Bridge

Light rain as we approached the Verrazano Bridge.

No sooner had we crossed under the bridge, the onslaught of traffic started (New York City in the background).

Hazy city skyline.

Sharing the waterway with all of these guys.

and then there she was - with schooner America gliding past her.

Nice having our own boat to get up close and personal with the lady. Ya baby, this is what its all about

Our anchorage for the evening - we've got your back!

Playing around in the anchorage Sunday morning.  We woke to another hazy overcast day - it looks like its not going to be a good picture taking kind of day.

Ellis Island on a nice quiet Sunday morning.

The famous 50 foot Colgate clock.

Construction continues on One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower).

and, of course, the Empire State Building with the Chrysler Building off in the distance.

Looking for a golf driving range in New York City?  It's near the Chelsea Pier.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.  The space shuttle Enterprise has just joined the museum.  The British Airlines Concorde, just to the left of Intrepid is also part of the museum.

 Broulee heading for the George Washington Bridge.  Just a heads up, the Hudson is tidal all the way to Albany and the current is aggressive.  We timed our ride up to catch the 2 mile per hour current.

The Palisades on the Hudson River.

Our destination of this leg of the trip is Half Moon Bay, Croton-on-the-Hudson.  Rick's sister, Sandra, lives 20 minutes away so we will spend time with family, clean up the boat, pack our bags and on Thursday head to Minnesota for a grandkid fix, water skiing and weeding of the gardens.

Entering the Marina at Half Moon Bay, Croton-on-the-Hudson.

On a side note - Marina fees in this part of the country are astronomical and evidently they don't discount for a monthly rate.  Our first call to Half Moon Bay they quoted us $3,600 for a month.  FOR A MONTH!  Shame on us for not doing our homework. We started a frantic search for a cheaper place to leave the boat for a month.  Seems we are here at peak season and found a place on Long Island Sound in CT that only wanted $7,000  Haverstraw Marina across the river from Half  Moon Bay had a deal at $1,200 - still way more than what we wanted to pay, but after $7,000 it was starting to sound good.  Steve, the manager, at Half Moon Bay, which is our preferred marina, was willing to negotiate, so we are here. Sticker shock remember we have not been in this area for 11 years - and back then we were still working  - makes a difference.  Maybe it's better to not know just how much this grand adventure will end up costing us.
Stay tuned!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

So this cruising thing - some days are good and some days are not so good.

 The rest of the run up the Chesapeake was great - anchoring at the end of the day just short of the C & D Canal (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) at Piney Creek Cove on the Elk River. The next day we were up early for the 14 mile trip thru the canal that connects the Chesapeake to the Delaware River and then eventually into the wide expanse of Delaware Bay.  Delaware River and Bay are one of the busiest commercial ports on the east coast and there is a steady stream of ships and tug-and-barge units running up and down, which means lots of big wakes to look out for.  There are few havens available and in bad weather the bay can be downright nasty.  Our destination was Cape May, New Jersey at the southern tip of the bay - everything was good until around 2:00 in the afternoon - we had two more hours to go.  The wind picked up and that combined with strong current made for a miserable two hour ride - somedays it would be nice to have a go-fast boat.  The Cape May canal was a welcome sight!

 Some of the sights on the Chesapeake Bay

 A car hauler.

Schooner A.J. Meerwald - New Jerseys Official Tall Ship

Your turn to get dinner.

Now some things on Delaware Bay

The John Shoal Horn

This was a strange sight for us -  we are more familiar with the Mississippi barge and tow.  The tug out front is connected by cables to the barge and then a tug is in back pushing.  This barge was carrying 250 plus tractor trailers - amazing.

Miah Maull Horn

Things got ugly shortly after this - so no pics.  Poor Izzy - now she starts trembling and panting as soon as  she hears the engine start. Also, when I opened a cabinet to prepare dinner - a bottle of olive oil jumped out and landed on the Ceran cooktop - the bottle won, the cooktop lost. I forgot the number one rule, be careful when you are opening the compartment after you land because items may have moved during flight.

Nothing is moving tomorrow!

A couple of glasses of wine and a protected anchorage at Cape May and all is good, again.

Yesterday, passing Atlantic City.  Shortly after this we saw whales - could not find my camera - damn!

I am having the Captain explain our experience with the Barnegat Inlet - I couldn't even watch.

As fate would have it - our timing was off entering the Barnegat Inlet which sits northwest/southeast- and southeasterly seas around 2 to 4 feet with a southeasterly wind of 10-15 knots were pushing directly against an aggressively out going tide. Discretion would probably have said hang outside for an hour or two while the tide goes slack, but the wind and swells were already rather dicey, so tough it up and head in. The wind waves and sea swells meeting the 3-4 knots rushing ebb tide produced some turbulent 6-8 foot waves and, should we say a harrowing in-bound ride? Hell, it was ugly! And at 3 knots headway speed it was lasting longer than appreciated! And, of course, are you kidding me! A sportfish heads in from behind. Could we make this more challenging? Well, nothings broken so pickup the scattered from the shelves later. Once inside the waters calmed quickly and comfort started to return. Hey, its 5 o'clock. Drop the anchor, pour us a drink!

Barnegat Lighthouse

    Found a nice quiet anchorage next to the fleet.

Like I say, some days are good, some not so good.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Plugging along.

After leaving Norfolk, I mentioned before, it was a pretty bumpy ride.  We made it as far as Back River and decided we couldn't take it anymore.  Izzy does not do well in rough seas and neither do I, and you know it's bad if the Captain says he can't take it anymore.  

Sunset at Back River anchorage - still a little rolly - so we deployed one of the at anchor flopper stoppers - we all slept good.
Leaving Back River - early Sunday morning - the river was filled with many of these duck blinds.  Our destination today is Solomons, Maryland and hoping the weather guys are not lying again today.  A blow is forecasted for the next two days so we are looking for a good hidey-hole.

Point No Point Lighthouse

Nice sailing day on the Patuxent River

The bay was kind to us - weather people got it right, finally. We did 85 miles today -  Broulee anchored at Solomons Island.  We rapidly got the dinghy down and headed our wobbly legs to land. Solomons Island is at the mouth of the Patuxent River and is one of the most popular cruising stops in the Chesapeake Bay.  The cruising guide says, a must see is the Calvert Marine Museum - so that's just what we did.

Now some photos for your viewing pleasure.

Drum Point Lighthouse

The Drum  Point Lighthouse- one of the few remaining cottage style, screwpile lighthouses.  

The dinning room.

  The Bedroom.

The kitchen.

On the second floor was the bell ringer machine and another bedroom.

3rd floor was the lens - incredible.

On to the museum.

Ok, so this is their big draw - the Ultimate Shark dating from the Miocene Spoch period (dating from 10 to 20 million years ago).

I tried to see it - but just couldn't  - I think I see the neck but, as my friends and family know - I need a picture drawn.

    and prehestoric bird fossils on display.

Again, their big display the Ultima Shark - a replica of the giant extinct Miocene white shark, whose skeleton gaping jaws make the great whites of today look like dogfish.

"Jimmy" a male blue crab

and this cute little seahorse

Oh, my gosh - comb jellyfish straight out of Star Wars - their vertebrae light up in the dark.

Cool -  old boat motors - there were at least 20 dating back to the early years..

and boats built on in southern Maryland - Cruis Along

This is a 1956 version - also represented in an I Love Lucy espisode. 

How cool - a sundog.  Good day!

and morning walk - cool car.

Sunrise leaving Solomons

Leaving a beautiful anchorage. Always hoping for a good day on the bay.