Sunday, June 19, 2011

Settling In

Phil has been back for a week now and has been busy making life more liveable as we live on Changes at Grand River Yacht Club.  He's gone to the storage unit and gotten some important items out.  We now have the deck umbrella out and clamped down to the deck with new black walnut clamps that he made (can't find the ones we had last fall).  Phil has cleaned out the quarterberth and I'm not allowed to junk it up.  We have it cleared actually so that when my daughter, Katie, comes to live with us in July, she'll be able sleep there and not have to make her bed every day.

Other projects completed:
*The Bad Boy wifi antenna is working and we can connect to our yacht club new wifi hotspot.
*The dock boxes are organized.
*I have my work clothes in my closet organizer
*He wash the port side of Changes with white vinegar, boat soap & water to get the salt crust off the boat.  He'll have to do that on the Starboard side and boy! does it make a difference.  It's shiny once again - but also all the scratches from the trip stand out.  This was a huge job as he has had to wash it 3 times and rinse and he still has some 30 spots to go over again.
*We have the foredeck cover on and just in time for rain that came.  As it wasn't blowing, we were able to have the fore hatch open and air circulation
*The mast frame is down and put away for the next trip.
*I have cleaned the inside of the boat and wash and defrosted the freezer part.  Glad to have a clean refrigerator again.

While Phil has been at the boat, I've been working full-time.  I've got my first paycheck which is nice to be able to start paying off the credit card.

It hasn't been all work.  We enjoy visiting with fellow yacht club members that also live here.  We went out to sail today and decided with the NE winds 17kts and building that we would SAIL back to the docks.  We peaked at 6.38kts with just the jib #2 out.  Yesterday we visited with Phil's Sisters and brother-in law.  We had a very nice time seeing them again.

We are planning on sailing over the Erieau, Ontarion Canada for July 4 weekend and meet up with Ken and Jeanne Blythe on S/V Sail Away.  They'll drive up to meet us.  I wonder what Lisa and Scott are doing on S/V Messenger.  Maybe they can meet us too!  A Bahamas Trip Reunion!

Friday, June 10, 2011

He's Home

Friday, June 10
Port Albino to GRYC
Distance Traveled:  125.85nm
Miles to get Home:   2362.73 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  5052.70 nm

Phil and Colin left Port Abino yesterday at 515pm to sail through the night to get home today. It took them a while to get out, round Point Abino and get the main sail set so it was for the first 3 hours once they were on Lake Erie at a course of 248 degrees that the wind was on the nose at 9-11 kts. They were going up 1-3 ft wave slowing them to GPS speed 3.5 - 4.5 kts.  ETA was about 730pm on June 10.  It wasn't a lot of fun as the sailors can imagine.  Then about 10pm during Colin's watch, that the winds clocked to the NE so they were going downwind on a starboard tack. About 1am the wind shifted  so Phil jibed the main to port.  Colin took the 3am to 6am watch.  When Phil came back on watch the wind had increased to 13-15 knots and the boat speed was 6.25 - 6.75 kts.  ETA was now was 1:30pm at the entrance to Fairport Harbor.  After noon, Phil came on watch again with the same wind, but as it got closer to Fairport Harbor, the wind decreased to 6 kts.  They pulled in, took down the main in the harbor and pulled into the dock at 2pm with Welcome Home balloon on the end of the dock.  Wouldn't want him to forget which dock to pull into (as if he would).  Docking was a little difficult what with the water touching the docks and the current in the river, but Phil prevailed.

Phil put the fenders that he keeps permanently attached to the dock on and did a few other boat chores like connecting the electric line and look for some items that had moved in the winter time.  Of course he had to talk to a few people that are already here.

I greeted Phil about 5pm when I got home from work.  Suffice it to say that fellow dock members said to take it inside. :)

Phil and I did attend the Potluck and moved some of my clothes back on the boat.  There is a lot for us to do to make our home dock our home for the summer.  We are glad to be back, but also wishing we were in the Bahamas again too.  At this time we are planning on leaving again Fall 2012.

So I would like to get feedback from you, the readers of this blog.  Should I wrap it up with one more post and shut down this blog or continue writing about us getting ready for our next trip.  I'd like to hear from you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In Lake Erie - the Home Stretch

Wednesday, June 8
Wardells to Port Abino
Distance Traveled:  25.28 nm
Miles traveled to get home:  2236.88
Total Distance Traveled:  4926.87

Phil and Colin left Wardells this morning and were on the Niagara River to get to Black Rock Canal and one final lock.  On the Niagara River, they had a 2 knot negative current, so it was slow going.  I don't have the details of their sail but they arrive before 1pm at Port Abino and caught a mooring ball.

I have to say that Phil has heard a lot of negative comments about Wardell Marina, but he could say enough positive comments about his experience there.  I suggested that he post about his experience, he was that happy.

The plan is for them to leave Thursday (today) afternoon and sail all night until they get home tomorrow afternoon.  One day than I had hoped they would arrive.  Pray for safe travels with the rain that may come.  I asked if Phil was planning on coming to the potluck at GRYC and the answer is yes.  Hopefulle they'll be able to get back early enough that he can take a nap.

It's hard to believe that this trip is almost over.  It's been quite an adventure.  Expect 1-2 more posts and that will wrap this adventure up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

End of Erie Canal

Monday June 6
Lockport, NY
Top of Lock 30
Distance Traveled:  79.95 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  2193.6 nm
Total distance Traveled:  4883.53 nm

Phil and Colin left Baldwinsville at 535am.  After they were gone, Phil decided to call the police to let them know about the jerry jugs of diesel that were stolen.  Turns out that this has been a problem lately, so for anyone traveling with jerry jugs on deck, make sure that you buy a cable to tie them down and lock them.  They didn't take the jugs that Phil had altered the spout either.  Unfortunately, we didn't mark our name or Changes name on the jugs and maybe that would have helped also.  Sure hope the police do something to alleviate this problem.

By 230pm when I called, Changes was going 6 kts boat speed vs 5.1 kts GPS speed.  Phil fixed supper while they were underway of a pasta sauce mix, chicken, canned green beans, mushrooms and it was gone when they were all done.  They continued traveling until about 830pm when they made it to Lockport, which is past their goal of making it to Medina.

Tomorrow they will get to Buffalo and decide where to put up the mast for sailing on Lake Erie.

Tuesday, June 7
Tonanowanda, NY
Distance Traveled:  18 nm
Miles to get Home:  2211.6 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4901.53 nm

This morning the guys slept in and then waited until heavy rain stopped leaving about 840am as a cat came upto the lock and started going thru.  They quickly tossed off the line and went thru the 2 step locks together and then the cat continued on leaving them behind.  They made it Wardell's to have the mast raised at 1150am and now the mast is up and everything is tightened down.  They will remain at Wardells tonight and have to decide where they are going to stay for the next 2 days.  It looks like Friday morning will be the day they leave to sail from Buffalo (or Port Abino) to Grand River Yacht Club in one stretch as the winds will be clocking to the NE.

I for one can't wait for them to get home and welcome Changes back.

Time for me to go to Capps for Chicken Salad.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Upside of Lock 30

Sunday, June 5
Lock 30
Erie Canal, NY

Distance Traveled:  65.8 nm
Miles to get Home:  2113.65 nm
Total Distance:  4803.58 nm

Phil and Colin left lock 24at 535am.  Turns out the the other 3 boats that were also tied up left about 515am so they were way ahead.  They had about a 1 knot adverse current most of the day but got to their final location about 630pm

Phil had unhappy news for Louise and I this morning.  About 230am Phil heard some noise outside, but because of being woken out of sleep, didn't recognize it for what it was.  He went outside and didn't see anything, but this morning found out that 2 full jerry jugs of diesel had been stolen!  He didn't notify the Baldwinsville Police as didn't want to be detained, though I did encourage him to call them and let me know so they can keep a closer eye on the docking area at night in the future.  Who know if he did this.  He has plans when he is close to a hardware store, of buying a cable and locking up the remaining 2 jerry jugs.  The people had to get on the port side and walk over to the starboard side where they were tied up.  Can you believe this???  They left muddy footprints on the deck too.

Phil made supper of a pasts sauce mix with canned green beans, mushrooms and chicken added and warmed up.  They did NOT have leftovers.  Louise and I talked to them this evening updating them on the news here and the weather report.  Phil is glad to be on the way.

Tomorrow they are planning on leaving between 530am to 6am and going as far as they can for the day.  Phil hopes to be in Buffalo, NY by Wednesday.  We will keep a close eye on the weather to determine if he needs to raise the mast.  So far the wind ranges from WSW to SW 8-15 knots depending on the day, so I tend to think that he'll be raising the mast, but we'll see.  Both are working on getting home by next weekend which is great with me.

Today I went to the Sailors Breakfast at GRYC in the morning and those that weren't there missed a great breakfast.  This afternoon and evening I worked visiting a couple patients.  It's good to be seeing patients and helping people again.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Erie Canal is OPEN!

Friday, June 3
Passage to Baldwinsville, NY
Lock 24
Distance Traveled:  20.7 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  2047.85 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4737.78 nm

Phil decided to go thru Lock 23, which is a down lock and continue on the Lock 24.  He tied up to the wall before the lock, got out one of the folding bikes and rode to the up side of the lock.  Who should he find but S/V's Obsession, Dream Weaver and Tessa, who he had met earlier.  John and friends offered after going to supper at a nearby restaurant, to ride with Phil on Changes and help him get to the up side of the lock.  The lockmaster was kind to let these boats thru if they promised not to continue the 29 miles to Lock 25.  It's this section of the canal that has been plagued with high water and resulting strong current.  Before the end of the evening, Phil was tided up and connected to blessed electricity.   It's also great for him to be with friends as it's been getting pretty boring for him as it's now been 2 weeks that he's been on Changes alone.

We also heard that the last 2 locks , Lock 25 & 26 are now opening on Sunday morning, so now the entire Erie Canal will be open Sunday.  Of course can't guarantee for how long, but we both are glad that he'll be coming home.

Colin Mills has been gracious in saying that he'll come over on Saturday, just working on the plans now.  They have also been gracious in letting me stay next with them as I'll be working in Ashtabula and Mentor areas for the week.

Me - I worked a half day and then went to the first Friday Potluck of the summer.  It's great to see the friends.  Dan and Kathy Christian have Abbey Marie in the water and are now living on her.  I met our new dock mate, Andrew and saw some of our yacht club friends.  I am still finding that I am discombobulated.  Even though I have been with Virginia for this time, it's not fun essentially living out of the van.  I'm glad to be back at work and starting to make some money, but also wished that I was on Changes taking her back the rest of the way.  Just didn't work out this time.

Saturday, June 4
Baldwinsville, NY

Phil make it to the hardward store to get new hose nozzles before the 3-4 hours of light rain started coming down.  Colin and Louise are driving over today and made it there by 5pm.  I have moved over to their house later in the evening after working this morning and spending time after packing was done, knitting my Mom a pair of socks - green this time.  I have one of the heels turne and the heel flap done and working on the 2nd.  After this, the hardest part of the sock are finished. 

Phil and Colin are planning on leaving with the other boats at 530am tomorrow so they can get as far as possible.  For those interested - there are 35 locks on the Erie Canal not including the lock in Troy, NY to get to Waterford and the lock in Buffalo to get to the canal on the western end.  Phil hopes that they can get to the end in 4 days.  I don't know if he has decided yet where he will have the mast raised.  If he has decided he hasn't shared it with me yet.  The if he has good weather, which means light to moderated winds that are not from the W or SW, then he'll be able to get home by next weekend.  It will be so nice to be able to get things organized for living on the boat.

So what are we going to do this summer about accomodations?  We plan to live on Changes this summer and next summer and hope to be able to house sit for someone that is going west or south to warmer temps for the winter.  We could stay on the boat as late as October and back on (depending on the spring weather) in early May.  So keep us in mind if anyone is interested in that service.

Soon this trip will be completely over and we'll have to decide what to do next.  The options are many and at times overwhelming for me.  But I'm sure that it will work out in the end.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Phil in the Erie Canal afterall

Wednesday, June1
Brewerton, NY

I got a call from Phil saying that the winds were going to be too high  and on the nose from the west (15-20+) knots for them to go onto Lake Ontario.  He called Colin and said to hold coming over until he gives him a call.  The winds were so high yesterday, that one of the battens broke on the Farouck.  Good thing that he had one more extra one to put in and that's been put away until the winds die down.  Of course the locks aren't open and no mention on them opening.  He has met a couple that we met originally in Emerald Bay Marina at the Ice Cream Social and was able to have them sign a quilt square.

Thursday, June 2
Brewerton, NY

Today it was cold so Phil spent the day at the Library to keep warm and to be on their internet using their computers.  It's still windy today and hopefully will calm down tomorrow.  Still no word about the locks opening but with no rain lately and low chance to have it this weekend, then hopefully they will open on Monday.  Phil is really bored and ready to be home, as you can imagine.

Me, I'm back to work and will be putting in plenty of time next week.  I've been checking the blogs that I have on the side of my page and like to keep track of where people I've met are.  Mary from S/V White Seal has her last post of her year of sailing and it's wonderful like usual. I'm sure this is a trip she'll never forget.

Phil sent me some photos that I'm going to include.

Colin on the computer

Changes tied up at Sylvan Beach

Changes tied up at Brewerton, NY

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Phil going to move soon

Tuesday, May 31
Brewerton, NY

I just heard from Phil about upcoming plans for his return.  There is no update about them opening Locks 25 & 26 yet.  Colin is going to go back to the boat on Thursday and they are going to leave on Thursday afternoon.  If the above locks open by then, they will return via Erie Canal.  If not, then they'll go up the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario, raise the mast and then sail this weekend to the Welland Canal.  He'll need a third person if anyone wants to volunteer to help.  Send me an email at  and I'll call Phil or give me or Phil a call.   You could go up with Colin or meet them along the way.  If the weather cooperates on Lake Erie, they are considering doing an overnight from either Buffalo or Port Colbourne depending on which canal they use to Grand River as it's easy overnight trip. 

If everything goes well, then maybe Phil and Changes will be back 2 weekends from now.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Phil still in the Erie Canal

Wednesday, May 25
Lock 17 to Lock 20
Passage to Sylvan Beach
Distance Traveled:  21.95 nm
Miles to get home:  2007.00 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4696.93 nm

Phil and Colin Mills left about 630am to continue down the Erie Canal and made it to Sylvan Beach after being convinced to stay when they met up with John and Sherry on S/V Obsession and Jim and Judy on S/V Dream Weaver.  The current word in that the locks 23-26 aren't going to open until next Wednesday so Colin is going to leave tomorrow about noon after a friend drives his car there to go home and will come back later when the locks are open.

Since they have a few days of waiting Phil has started sanding the wood on the dinghy in preparing to apply Sickens varnish.  By the end of the day he had 1/3 sanded and have a burger at Eddie's Restaurant that we had visited on our way down in the fall.

Thursday May 26 to Saturday, May 28
Phil stay in Sylvan Beach continuing to work on the dinghy and meeting other sailors on boats.  He washed his laundry while it rained outside and made bread one day.  One of the people he met on the other boats knew someone with a car who visited West Marine and brought back oil.  Phil changed oil and so far we've accumulated 880 hrs on the engine on this trip.  He's changed the oil 6 times.  That probably doesn't sound like enought to you but the first time he used Royal Purple synthetic oil and accumulated 200 hrs before he changed the oil.  Since this he's been using Rotella T oil and has changed it every 150 hrs 4 times and at 100 hr the 6th time.  He's hoping that he can get home before he has to change the oil again.  Phil does not have internet service there so I've been giving him updates on weather and any mariner alerts from the NY State Canal System.    Effective May 26 locks 23 & 24 are open.   There isn't much in Brewerton, so he plans to stay put for now.  On May 27 we learned that the Oswego Canal will open May 29.  The winds are going to be from the S at 5-8 kts, perfect for crossing Oneida Lake, so Phil plans on leaving.  It's also still raining and tomorrow it's to be sunny.  Phil made some bread and gave a loaf to the guy who brought him the engine oil as he can't eat one loaf before it goes stale let alone a 2nd loaf.

Sunday, May 29
Passage to Brewerton, NY just before Lock 23
Distance Traveled:   20.15 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  2027.15
Total Distance Traveled:  4717.08 nm

Phil woke early and cast off the dock at 601am to cross Oneida Lake.  I called about 11am and he had 3 miles left to get to the east end of Oneida Lake.  I'm glad the weather has been as predicted so he's not having any problems single handing Changes, just as I expected.  Phil filled up the jerry jugs and the tank with diesel buying 27 gals at one time.  He also came across M/V Down Time, a couple that we met in the fall on the Erie Canal who are from Cleveland Hts.  They had a chance to chat before he left the marina and went back to tie up to the wall just before the RR bridge and before lock 23.  See Map.  Phil even took a sun shower on the boat.  It's been so sunny that the water was too hot.  He had filled up the sun shower when he last got water, so wasn't able to add cold water.  He survived though.

One story that he told me is that there are kids jumping off the RR bridge about 20'+ above the water with fathers watching.  A sheriff came to stop them and one of the fathers gave the sheriff attitude about this, making it into a much bigger deal than it had to be.

Monday, May 30
Memorial Day
Thank you Veterans and their families for your service and sacrifice for our country!!
Brewerton, NY

Phil is still staying put as lock 23 is a down lock and lock 24 is an up lock and more difficult to manage with only one person.  Phil and I have been discussing options for getting him and Changes home.  Phil plans to check the NY State Canal System web page as he now as a very slow internet connection and see if Lock 25 & 26 will open Wednesday.  If there isn't any information, then he'll call Lock 24 operator and ask about when the locks are going to open.  If not, he is considering going up the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario and then going the 200 mi to get to the Welland Canal that will get him to Lake Erie.  Please click on Welland Canal to go to a map published by the Canadian Canal Society. He'll need a third person to help get them thru the Welland Canal, but has someone in mind that he has to talk to yet.

M/V Ladyhawk is now directly behind Changes on the wall.  We met Dick and his wife in the Erie Canal on our way own in the fall so it's great for Phil to see them again.  Another story about the RR Bridge.  There has been several kids jumping off the bridge again - about 6 boys and 2 girls have been having a good time this afternoon for 5-6 hours.  It's hot there like it's hot here today.  When I called Phil around supper time the Sheriff had come to stop the jumping.  Hopefully there wasn't yelling like there was yesterday.
So what have I been doing this weekend?  I attended my niece, Margaret Malcow wedding to Joe Swetel this past Friday evening at Cleveland Zoo.  I had a great time and it was very nice visiting with the rest of my family. 

Just Married
Lorraine and Maggie

Sister Robin and niece Heather at Greenhouse
Saturday I spent the day visiting family at a friend's house.  Then Sunday I spent the day with my sister Robin, her husband Paul, and oldest daughter Heather at the Cleveland Art Museum.  Paul is an middle school art teacher so it was great to get his imput of the art there.

Today after walking in the Metroparks with Virginia, I went to GRYC for the flag raising ceremony.  It was good to see friends there and honor our Veterans in the club.

Late evening addendum to post:

I've had a few people asking me how many locks there are on the Erie Canal.  There are 35 plus one in Buffalo to get to the Erie Canal.  Phill said that he has about 190 miles or 47.5 mi a day since the canal is open to 10pm now to get through the Erie Canal.

He also gave me a follow up to the kids jumping off the RR bridge.  There was one group of kids jumping earlier today - didn't get caught by the Sheriff.  Then there is the group that he was talking about that the Sheriff caught.  After the Sheriff left, another group jump for a few jumps and then a man came a jumped off once and then left.  Sounds like to me that this RR bridge is the entertainment in this town.  BTW, Phil looked for a no trepassing or no jumping sign and didn't see one.  Tomorrow is to be another hot day so I bet more people will be jumping into the water.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Erie Canal Lock 20

Tuesday, May 24
Oriskany, NY Lock 20
Distance Traveled:  34.33nm
Miles traveled to get home:  1995.05nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4674.98 nm

Phil and Colin left this morning about 645am to get to the first lock about 715am.  Just before Lock 17, there was a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust.  The water coming out was warm so Phil took off the exhaust hose and inserted a coat hanger and got something loose so that water that had been a trickle now started coming out like it was suppose to.  Other than that, they have had an uneventful day.  They plan to get to Lock 23 tomorrow and then will have to wait until that section of the Erie Canal opens. 

This morning I started marking some of the 7400+ photos and copying them into a separate folder for making into a slide show of our trip.  I have gotten from Ohio down to Hampton, VA.  We are looking into buying some software that was recommended to us for doing this.  I would like to be able to post this video on You Tube and also make DVD's to hand out to friends.

This afternoon I went to the Fairport storage and found some of my work clothes.  There were a few boxes that had gotten went when some water leaked in, but it looks like the rest of things were ok as most of the items were put into tubs.  I'm looking forward to seeing friends at Capps tonight for chicken salad.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Changes stuck in Amsterdam, NY

Friday, May 20
Lock 11 Erie Canal
Amsterday, NY
Distance Traveled:  33.8 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  1933.22 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4613.15 nm

The first thing Phil did after I left was empty out the quarterberth and repack and organize it.  Then he put other things that were in the salon on my  half of the V-berth.  I'm sure Phil feels so much better having the salon area totally clear of objects.  I wonder if he took a photo?  So his first day, Thursday May 19 was kept busy and he ate his left overs from Russo's Grill (a must visit restaurant if you stop over at Lock 11) and other left overs for supper.
Back to Front, Teagan, Riley and Laura in sleep sacks ready for bed

L to R:  Riley, Teagan, Lauren Smith 3 mo 

Friday, May 20 while I was visiting the triplets and having a great time feeding and holding babies, Phil was back at the boat working on projects like sanding and varnishing the teak hand rails and polishing the stainless on the deck.  Bad news is that the Erie Canal between Lock 2 - 15 is closed due to high water from rain.  They have added 2 sections to the dam.  If I had left one more day and we had traveled on the Erie Canal one more day, then when Colin arrived they could have continued.  Drat!  There is a lot of debris that is collecting around Changes and the dinghy that Phil has been clearing periodically throughout the day.

Colin Mills arrived before supper and provided a perfect opportunity to once again (for Phil) to visit Russo's Grill.  Phil had the lasagna and we both can vouch that it's the best lasagna that we've had at a restaurant.  Friday evening and Saturday, for the guys was spent talking about everything that guys talk about.

Saturday, May 21 for me was spent driving home, having lunch with Phil and Terri and then arriving late afternoon at Virginia Hill's home (my sister-in-law) who has kindly offered me to stay until Phil gets back with Changes.  It's nice having someone to stay with instead of staying in a suite hotel.  But then I found that I had forgotten my bed pillow at the hotel room.  I call but Kamir had to wait until the cleaning person came back to ask him.  Seems like he didn't bring it to the front desk when he found it so I'll call back tomorrow.

Sunday, May 22

Phil and Colin are still at Lock 11 and the canal is still closed d/t high water but the current is starting to slow down and they taken off one of the sections on the dam, so that they are hopeful to be able to leave tomorrow.

I was on the computer and had a video call with Rob and Susan from S/V Mandate.  They live in Albany and are members of the Castleton Boat Club.  Turns out that we missed seeing them by one day.  They have a cabin close to Lock 11 so will drive up and visit Phil and Colin, which I know they will appreciate and they are getting stir crazy.  Phil and I spoke later in the day and they had a great time with Rob and Susan.  They have a cabin 11 miles away and the guys were able to get a shower, always a red letter day when living on the boat.  No news about whether the canal has opened or not yet.

I spent my day buying 3 pair of jeans a size large than I had last fall (drat that I gained weight instead of loosing this past winter),  visiting Kay Herdman and picking up a dress out of storage for Maggie's wedding, then I visited Tracy Chapin and picked up my Pfaff sewing machine and ended my day visiting Phil Waddle and Terri Pogozelski.  I am finding that I'm feeling more scattered brained.  I guess it's adjusting to being in the "real" world?  Driving was something to get used to and the price of gas is out of this world. 

Monday, May 23
Lock 17 Erie Canal
Distance Traveled:  27.5 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  1960.72 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4640.65 nm

I talked to Phil this morning and the power boater convinced the lock operator to let them go through so they just went thru Lock 12 about 15 min ago.  They plan on traveling until 430pm and to get at least past lock 15.  The current and debris is less than what we experienced traveling on Wednesday and the water has gone down a foot from what it was yesterday.  There wasn't any debris that collected around Changes and the dinghy this morning, so this is all good.

I called the motel I stayed in, and they found my pillow.  Now to determine if it's worth it to ask my brother to pick it up and get to Phil once he gets to Rochester area on the Erie Canal.

Today after updating the blog we'll go grocery shopping and I think I'll do some clothes.  I think that tomorrow I'll go to Fairport Harbor storage to see if the clothes that I'm looking for are there and get a few other items.

Here are a few photos that I haven't been able to post earlier.

lifting the dinghy off the foredeck into the water

Lighthouse at Esopus Creek

Statue of Liberty

Veteran Statue in Park behind Statue of Liberty

Following a boat with lots of diesel fumes

Phil with M/Y behind us in Lock on Erie Canal

S/V's Obsession, Dream Weaver and Oceanis 350 in locks

Sign at Lock 2 for payment for Erie Canal pass

Coming into lock #4 on Erie Canal

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Day on Erie Canal - Lorraine's Last Day

Wednesday, May 18
Waterford, NY to Amsterdam, NY
Lock #11

Distance Traveled:  33.8 nm
Miles traveled to get home:  1933.22
Total Distance Traveled:  4613.15nm

We woke this morning about 6am just before the alarm went off to gray skies.  It's cool, but I didn't check the temperature.  The first lock #E2 is to open at 710am so we started the engine at 702am and pulled away from the docks at 706am.  Then John from S/V Obsession yelled to us that the lock wouldn't open until 720am and a lot of water causing current was going to come first - right - we remember now.  So we moved away from the lock and waited until the lock opened at 721am.  We were joined for the day traveling on the Erie Canal with Obsession, Dream Weaver and a Oceanis 350 owned by a man from Montreal.  We quickly (well as quickly as you can go thru locks) went through the first 6 step locks and then I helmed the boat until Phil took over after Lock 7 at 1115am.  We've had rain on and off through the early afternoon and saw glimpses of the sun a couple times.  One time we even saw blue sky - or maybe I imagined it.  Late morning I posted on the Blog and then after fixing lunch of sandwiches and a fresh pear, I took the helm again. 

We have once again gotten our system down in the locks.  Phil is at the helm and I get the line wrapped around one of the pipe or cable for him at the stern and then move forward to catch one of the lines.  I can't find the extra latex gloves that we had from the fall trip, so I used the rubber latex gloves I wear when washing dishes.  Today we were mostly on the Mohawk River and at no place was the water skinny and less than 12 feet even at lock E6 and lock 7.  In fact it was deeper than when we came through in the fall and the dams have plenty of water flowing over them unlike how it was in the fall.  There is a lot of wood debris in the water.  One of the lock, we think it was lock 9, had logs and debris on both sides of the lock.  We had to go slowly through it and the logs were all around us.  It's been pretty chilly today and having some hot tea was welcomed.  By 430pm we went through Lock 11 - our destination and we tied up along with many other boats along the wall at Guy Park by 445pm.  I called Enterprise and lucky for me, there was a local guy that knew where I was to come pick me up.  Then Charlie took me to Enterprise and I was able to get a Ford Explorer at the price of $40/day -as I had made an online reservation through AAA.  That's great as I'll be able to take as much as I need to off the boat.  I stopped at Aldi's on the way back and with Phil on the phone, made selections so he will be provisioned for Colin's visit.  There was a JoAnn Fabric store on the corner of where I needed to turn, so I stopped by and picked out some new knitting needles so replace the bamboo ones that I have been using.  They are not slippery enough for this project.

Once I returned, we went to Russo Greill for supper, joining John and Sherry on S/V Obsession and Jim and Judy from Dream Weaver.  The guys each made their boats and they're docked in Sandusky at Sandusky Harbor Marina.  Sherry is an nurse and Judy is a retired teacher.  They have know each other for 21 years and are really great people.  I hope that they stop by Grand River Yacht Club on their way back home.

After supper, we went to a liquor store and then we all piled into the Ford Explorer and went to the Dollar Store.  After we returned we got items from under the V-berth and we started loading up the car.  Phil is thrilled to have my stuff off the boat - he doesn't know what to do with his feet under the table he has so much room. :)  Tomorrow I'll put my last minute things in the car, help him move Changes down the dock to where the electricity is and then leave.  My TomTom GPS says it will take 3hr 20 min to get to my hotel.  I'll take a shower and then go over to Glenn and Pat's home.

I have mixed feelings about leaving.  Coming down, the Erie Canal was one of the high lights of the trip and I won't be able to do it this time.  I was feeling sad about that but also looking forward to see Lauren, Riley and Teagan.  Tonight is my last night on the boat for this trip.  I'm glad it ended with a nice meal with great people.
Phil has agreed to continue the SPOT OK messages and I left him a list of questions that I was going to ask when I called so that hopefully, I can continue writing in the blog about the rest of the trip home.

I look forward to seeing friends and family once I get home and will look forward to Phil's return as soon as Locks 23 thru 26 open.  I check the NY State Canal web site and those areas are still closed due to high water.  Stop raining all ready!

New York

I'm sorry that it's taken so long for me to post.  I have been a knitting fiend so that I can finish the last of the 3 baby blankets to take with me when I visit Glenn and Pat in Rochester.

Thursday, May 12
Forked River to New York City
Distance Traveled:  63.29nm
Miles Traveled to get Home:  1751.60
Total Distance Traveled:  4431.53

This morning we  listened to the weather forecast - Winds N 10-15 decreasing to 5 kts and clocking to SE in the afternoon with 3-5 feet waves.  So we will leave a little bit later than our normal and give me time to prepare for the passage.  I made sandwiches, heated water for the thermos and we raised anchor at 748am.  It was cloudy to the East but sunny with clear skies to the West.  Hope that sun comes our way.  Wind is 5 kts from the North - 6 degrees.  We entered the inlet to the ocean and it's much better than yesterday - the wave are half as tall.  Great!  There are a couple fishing boats ahead of us - which there weren't yesterday so that's encouraging also.  By 812am we have exited the inlet and changed course to 60 degrees - the winds are 7-8 kts at 73 degree to port wind angle.  We let the head sail out and are going GPS 5.4 - 5.6 kts and boat 6 kts.    The wind started clocking sooner than we expected to the NE so we roll in the head sail.  I take my watch at 10am and by 1015am we let out the head sail out the size of #4 sail as the winds are 4-6 kts but at 85 - 90 degree wind angle to starboard.  It's hard to keep the sail full as we are going over the 4-6' swells.  The water has coarse wind ripples.  By noon on Phil's watch the wind clocks further to 120 degrees to SB.  I took a nap.  When it's my watch again, the wind is building to 15-17 kts by 330pm and we are getting into the lower NY Harbor.  The Ship Stena Poseidon  is at anchor and we pass on her stern.  Since Phil's noon watch, we have had a positive current along the shore which has helped up to make good time.  By 4pm we have GPS speed 6to 9 kts on waves and boat 6.6 kts.  We jibe the head sail to SB tack and go under the I-278 bridge.  There are many ships at anchor in NY Harbor and it's not too long that we round the corner and see the Statue of Liberty.    We continue motoring to the Statue of Liberty as we are anchoring behind her in the Park.  By 602am the anchor is set and I start making supper of Stroganoff pasta mix with canned beef and gravy, green beans and dehydrated mushrooms added.  After supper, I continue knitting the baby blanket and Phil reads.  We're in bed by 930pm as it's been a long day.

Friday, May 13
NYC to Pollipe Island, Hudson River, NY
Distance Traveled:  62.03 nm
Miles traveled to get home:  1813.63
Total Distance Traveled:  4493.56

I have the alarm set at 5am and we raise anchor at 520am going out the Channel by the Statue of Liberty.  The winds is from 310 degrees at 4 kts.  NYC Harbor is flat.  We passed Ellis Island at 543am and are in the Hudson River by 6am.  By 640am we pass our favorite (note the sarcasm here) Marina the W79 St. Boat Basin.  They have 14 boats on the mooring balls, but they have about twice that number of mooring balls open.  Their mooring field is so long that it took us 10 min to traverse it.  While on my watch we pass the Tappan Zee Bridge and Yonkers, NY.  Spring is here also - with the dogwood blooming and the newer leaves on the trees.  That's what has been great coming back north - following spring up the coast.  We get to see the Azaleas and dogwoods and the new green leaves from South Carolina up the coast to New York.  We had hoped to time our leaving to catch the incoming tide current, but guessed wrong - at 10am the GPS speed was 4.6 vs Boat of 5.8.  At 215pm the boat speed was 3.9 kt and boat was about 5.5.   We passed the Bear Mountain Bridge at 130pm and finally by 152pm the wind increased to 10-11kts so I rolled out the head sail so give us a little boost.

The mountains along this section of the Hudson River are beautiful and the water is deep - saw up to 110ft under the keel.  We haven't seen many boats of the river this trip and just a few tugs with barges.  We drop anchor at 408pm with 3' under the keel and as it's low tide now, we should be ok thru the night.

We get on the computer and have learned that the Erie Canal is opening at Waterford, NY tomorrow May 14.  Phil calls Colin Mills and leaves a message hoping that he'll be able to come out earlier than expected to help bring Changes back to Ohio.  I'm going to have to leave the boat early to visit my brother Glenn and his family (he's the one with the triplet girls) and then get home for my Neice's wedding May 25.  It's back to work for me on June 1. 

Saturday, May 14
Pollepi Island to Esopus Creek, NY
Distance Traveled:  36.70 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  1850.33 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4530.26 nm

We have about 69 nm to go to get to Castleton on Hudson, NY and the Castleton Boat Club where we will take the mast off the boat.  What with the current from the tides, Phil thinks that if we leave about 30 min later, we will catch the current from the tide so we woke at 530am am to a gray day!  Winds are 8kts from the SE and we have 4 feet of water under our keel . We raise anchor at 607am.  The anchor was really set because the bow really went down under the strain of the windlass pulling the anchor out of the mud.  Once we are in the Hudson River, we have to be careful to watch the debris.  There are floating logs and sticks and we hit 2 objects at 743am.  There are a few more power boats on the river today and more fisherman.  I remember the limestone crusher that we passed on our way south and before too long we are passing through Poughkeepsie, NY.   Unfortunately, we don't get the positive current that we were looking for, bu we plug away and by 1220pm we come to the lighthouse at Esopus Creek.  Down the channel we go at high tide and past the only marina.  We have a hard time getting the anchor to set.  I lower the anchor - add more and more chain - bounce across the bottom the anchor goes.  We try again, with the same result.  We give it one more try and this time Phil doesn't try to go in  reverse to "set" the anchor and we call it good enough at 1258pm.  Phil checks his log book and  he finds that last time we were here, that the anchor dragged the first time too.  We have decided that even though Skipper Bob states this is the best protected anchorage on the Hudson (I'm sure that part is true), that next trip south we are not going to come here.  There really  isn't a lot of room and we don't like having to worry about the anchor.  It's also deep water here - between 15-20 ft so we have to have out almost all the chain for the scope - but not a lot of room to swing.  There isn't much wind so we'll be fine tonight.

We decided not to go to shore - so I work on the baby blanket as I want to have 3 done when I visit my brother.  I make supper of dehydrated corn and carrots, sliced potatoes and warm up the already cooked chicken breasts.

Since we have been motoring all day, I don't have to worry about electricity, so I watch the movie "Dave" with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver and then add the captions to the photos I have recently imported to my laptop.  I am really missing some of the friends I made in the Bahamas and am not fun to live with for Phil.  I'm sad, tired of the grind and want some social interaction.  I guess it's part of coming back home and the weather doesn't help.    What has been a life saver with these cold temps is using the propane camper lantern with the mantels.  We have been able to use it and be very comfortable inside the boat.  I'm so glad that Phil bought it!

Sunday, May 15
Esopus Creek to Castleton Boat Club
Distance Traveled:  33.99 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  1884.32
Total Distance Traveled:  4564.25 nm

We start the engine at 610am and raise anchor at 614am with light rain falling.  By 626am we are out of the channel and in the Hudson River with winds 5.5 kts from 180 degrees and our course is 20 degrees magnetic.  GPS speed is 3.9 kts and boat is 5.75 kts.  We have not timed  our leaving correctly with the current, but we will plug away.  The clouds are really low and are covering the tops of the low mountains along the Hudson River.  By 8am our GPS speed is starting to increase so by 9am we make the GPS 5 kts mark.  We pass the Athens Lighthouse and Hudson City so by 1225pm we dock at Castleton Boat Club with drizzle falling.  On the computer radar - the rain was to have stopped but no one told the rain to stop coming down!  The Boat Club is having their annual Fish Derby - but we have warmed up spaghetti for lunch.  We will be staying here 2 nights waiting for Phil's friend Chet to come on Tuesday with the frame for our mast and assistance in stepping the mast.  I finish the last baby blanket and take advantage of the clubs free good wireless internet connection going to You Tube and watching how to knit the Continental Way.  I'll start a baby sweater and will use this new way to knit to practice.  I also check out the Knit Picks videos before I start.  How nice to be able to watch videos on the internet!  While I knit, Phil watches the videos on cars breaking the speed records at the Bonneville salt flats in Nevada (hope I have the right). 

It continues to rain/drizzle/ being gray for the rest of the day.  I make steak, baked sweet potatoes and carrots with peas for supper and having electricity, we are running our electric heater.  Isn't warmth wonderful??

Monday, May 15
Castleton Boat Club

Having no where to go, we sleep in until 745am this morning.  Now for most of you, that may not seems like sleeping in, but if you have been following my blog, then you know that it IS sleeping in compared with getting up at 5 to  530am every travel day.  I fix eggs and toast for breakfast.  I have finally made the perfect eggs over easy for Phil with yoke intact. 

Today is the day to get things ready for stepping the mast.  First we put the dinghy in the water at 945am.  Then the head sail is off the forestay at 952am and rolled up by 10am.  By 1003am the mail sail is uncovered and off the mast/boom by 10008am.  Rain has started at 1013am and we have the mail sail rolled up by 1013am.  We have become a well oiled team with the boat chores.

With that done, we stay inside the boat with the electric heater on and talk to Virginia about our plans for me coming home.  I am taking up her kind offer to stay with her until Phil gets back with Changes.  In between rain showers, I gather up the laundry and go to the Laundromat that is very close by.  Just across the high speed rail road tracks (the train comes by very regularly - at least twice a hour or more during rush hour)and right 20 feet.  I meet Judy on S/V Dream Weaver who is at the dock behind us. While I'm waiting for the clothes to wash and dry, I continue practicing Continental knitting.  I'm making good progress and if I can just get up some speed, I'll be faster than the "throw" method I've been using for years and years.  They are going to step their mast after S/V Obsession is done and then travel together to Waterford, NY today.  By 130pm the clothes are done and I'm back at Changes.  We have sandwiches for lunch.

Well I'm at the next step in the sweater and realize that I forgot to put in the 2nd buttonhole an inch ago in the sweater.  Darn - I have to rip out.  Well I'll try the method I watched on the video - not working so well but I am not giving up yet.   We move Changes about 530pm to the dock in front of the crane so that we're first in line to take care of our mast as instructed by the CBC attendant.  The current was pretty strong and BAM - the crane hits the top of the mast as we pull into the dock.  Nothing is broken and we tie up making sure the top of the mast is away from the crane.

We have cabbage, sliced potatoes and pork tenderloin tips for supper.  Also break out Beverly Love's applesauce that she gave us - delicious!  Thanks Beverly.

Once supper is done, I'm back to the ripping out and Phil is reading while the electric heater is once again running.  The rain is still coming down on and off.  I touch base with my sister-in-law Pat.  No she didn't know I was coming Thursday  but it's great.  The babies are doing well and keeping them busy.  I also touch base with Virginia and update here that it will be Saturday that I am back in Ohio.  Hard to believe that it's so soon!

Tuesday, May 16
Castleton Boat Club

Today is the big day to step the mast.  We woke at 615am without the alarm clock.  Today I'm cleaning inside the boat so that it's reasonable clean when Colin arrives on Friday.  The bath, sole and galley is cleaned well and I'm done by 930am.  While I was cleaning and before it started to rain, Phil goes to the local convenient store to get eggs, milk and bread.  Chet arrives at 940am - early but without Carol who is sick at home.  We hope that she feels better soon.  We get right to work and have the mast off and on the cradle tied down by 1137am.  Great time and we were lucky to not have it rain and no power boats passing by the upset things with their wake.  We walk to lunch as the rain starts coming down at the Village Inn and Bar.  A warm lunch is wonderful and conversation and visiting with Chet is just as great.  Talk of the Bahamas and the people that we met and are missing makes me a little teary.  We met such great people that we had a lot in common with.  Saying our good byes and thanks to Chet, back to the boat, we start the engine at 134pm and cast off from the dock at 138pm.  Phil takes the first watch and we have a 0.2kt positive current.  I heat up water for the thermos, Call Waterford Canal Center and they have room at the docks at this time (there are no reservations), then reserve a Enterprise rental car in Amsterday, NY.  Getting a hotel room at a reasonable price is more difficult.  I find out that 2 colleges are having graduation ceremonies this weekend.   Glenn's home is too crowded with baby things, so I finally get a hotel room close to the NY Thru Way in Henrietta, NY at Red Carpet Inn.  By 420pm we are coming up to Troy Lock.  Boy is there a lot of water coming over the dam.  Last fall there was barely any water coming over and there is plenty now.  We are through the lock at 445pm and coming into dock in Waterford at 523pm.  Joy oh Joy - S/V Messenger and Georgia E who we met in the Bahamas is there!!  We talked and decided to got to Ron & Pauls for dessert after separate suppers on the boat.  Then we went to visit s/V Dream Weaver whom we met at CBC.  We were invited aboard for cabbage, ham and potatoe soup.  - Yes we'd love some and Judy was glad that she didn't have to put it in the fridge.  They are leaving tomorrow for Amsterdam., NY.  There was lots of discussion amongst the boaters about whether to go our to wait it out in Waterford.  We have decided to continue with our plan of leaving tomorrow and now will have a couple other boats to travel with.

We had a great time having dessert with the Marr family from Messenger.  Phil and I had strawberry Rhubarb pie with ice cream.  It's so good to talk with them and we have committed to seeiing them again in the future as they live close to Port Dover in Canada.  They have even been to Grand River in the past so hope to be able to offer them guest dockage in the future.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stuck in New Jersey

Monday, May 9
Forked River, NJ

We are looking forward to spending the day with our friends Jim and Linda Evans, whom we met in Georgetown, Bahamas.  They said to arrive anytime, so we slept in but arrive there at their home in our dinghy at 850am.  I took a quick shower inside.  They have an outside shower and Jim was saying that he takes showers there NOW.  His he kidding!!  To me it's too cold to take outside. So Linda said it's ok to take inside which I did.  Then Linda and I walked around the neighborhood joining up some other neighborhood ladies that regularly walk.  It was good exercise much needed by me.  I notice that my legs definitely need more exercise that they just don't get on the boat.  While we were gon3, Phil and Jim got the diesel jerry jugs filled and also got propane.    Linda and I also went to Home Depot to look at tiles for me to use as a baking stone while Phil and Jim rode bikes and visited a neighbor that was working on the head on their engine in S/V Slow N EZ.  We left empty handed from Home Depot but then I got 2 new pair of over-the-glasses sunglasses at Walmart.  I finally lost my last pair so now I'm all set. 

After Linda and I returned, Phil went back to the boat and replaced one of the zincs on the engine under the stairs.  Unfortunately he found oil and water in the bilge under the engine.  The Oil fil cap had come off - why is the mystery.  When the Coast Guard had stopped us they checked in the engine compartment and all was clean at that time. So as you can imagine, it took Phil a while to get back.  The wind direction had also changed direction so Changes was up against a 55gal drum size No Wake Buoy, which scratched up her finish.  Taking in 10ft of anchor chain helped that situation. 

We had an very enjoyable time visiting until Jim and Linda had to go to a previous evening event.  Phil and I stayed at their house to watch TV - yes TV!  and have a pizza for supper.  We returned while it was still light outside.  It was nice to spend a day off the boat.

Tuesday, May 10
Forked River, NJ
Passsage across the Barneget Bay for Staging
Distance Traveled:  7.92 nm
Miles to get Home:  1688.31
Total Distance Traveled:  4356.01 nm

We have decided to visit with Jim and Linda earlier today and then go to the other side of  Barnegat Bay to stage leaving tomorrow morning to go north.  The wind is to increase later today and then die down again.  Being that we didn't have to travel, we again slept in.  It was also cold in the morning so it was difficult to get out of our warm bed under the quilts.  But we prevailed and arrive at the Evans home at 930am.  Phil filled the water jugs while Jim finished  a project and Linda and I talked. 

I had made some phone calls to local tile stores w/o finding the clay tiles I wanted, we decided to go to Home Depot and see what tile I can find for my baking stone.  I did buy a ceramic 8" x 12" stone for $1.22 including tax so will see how that works.  Then we went to Walmart for groceries, jeans for Phil and a propane mantel lantern to use inside the boat for heat and light.  (we will be sure to have good ventilation while using and not when we are sleeping)  That done we visited Harvest Buffet for a Chinese all you can eat meal.  The food was delicious and we all ate too much (especially me).  No cooking supper tonight for me!

We also stopped at a local quilting fabric store and I was able to find another 4 pieces of fabric to add to the Bahamian Quilt that I'm making for Katie and myself.  They have lots of Batik and nautical fabric available being so close to the ocean.

By 3pm we had said our goodbyes to our very gracious hosts.  We had a WONDERFUL time visiting, but reality raises it's head and time to move on.  We took the dingy back to Changes and managed to load everything onto the boat despite the 2 foot choppy waves.  By 320pm we had started to engine for what we thought would be an hour trip to anchor close to Barneget Lighthouse but which turned out to take 1 hour and 45 min.  We going against the tide and going upwind most of the trip limiting out speed to about 4 - 4.4kts and then up to 5kts when we got the head sail up.  Going thru the marks was a lot easier this time as Phil could follow out track from coming in.    We anchored at 530pm just east of the channel N39 45.38' W74 06.862'.   Then we took off the 8hp engine and put the dinghy on the foredeck in preparation for going out on the ocean tomorrow.  This was all done by 615pm.  Not bad timing.  I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the 2nd baby afghan and starting the 3rd while Phil red.

Wednesday, May 11
Barneget Bay to Barneget Bay - What??
Distance Traveled:  12.23 nm
Miles to get home:  Don't think it counts as we really didn't get anywhere
Total Distance Traveled:  4368.24

We woke this morning at 5am and Phil noticed immediately that we were aground.  The wind was blowing from the north and we had moved into the shallows.  We both got dressed in multiple layers and started the engine at 515am.  This time we had to move forwards to get off the shallow area instead of reverse.  But finally at 524am we were off and moving into the channel.  By 537pm I felt the swells that indicated we were in the channel. I looked out and saw lot of waves like a washing machine at the end of the Channel, but Phil didn't want to turn around to listen weather - so off we went into our adventure.  The waves were 6-8ft tall, so quickly I got into the cockpit to help lessen the almost immediate sea sickness.  The tide was going out and the waves were coming from the NE.  Phil thought that the steep waves would lessen as we got into deeper water so we continued.  At 551pm we changed course to 60 degrees on the compass so we are going upwind and continued plugging on.  We put out the head sail and have our course at 40 degree so that we can keep the head sail full to try to steady us.  At this point I'm very unhappy - as hadn't been able to prepare the salon for passage and also make ahead food for the weather like this.  We discussed turning around - didn't so continued for a while - the wind is increasing so at 627am we turn around and head back with the wind 14-15 kts at a 120 degree wind angle.  Now it's much better going downwind.  By 651am we are in the channel and what fun (NOT).  We are going down the steep rollers that may have been 10 ft high pushing us into the shallow area of the channel.  The boat was rolling back and forth 45 degrees as we go up and then down the waves that are coming towards our starboard quarter.  Phil did a great job at the helm and as soon as we were behind the breakwall  at 712am we were safe.  I had my life jacket on.  Going into the channel, we were now going against the tide and moving between 1.9 to 2.5 kts.  Do we want to do this again - NO.  By 740am we have anchored this time at the end of the channel in plenty of deep water.  Even so the winds are N 15 kts.

By this time it is colder in the cabin  (64F vs 66F) than it was when we woke up.  Though we have concerns about using the propane mantel lantern inside, we use it to heat us up having the head hatch open and also the companionway hatch open a few inches for good ventilation.  I make eggs and toast for breakfast then we spend the day knitting, reading, taking naps (me a long one from the Marezine I took).  I fix cracker crumb chicken, instant potatoes and fresh broccoli for lunch and we had cheese, crackers and fruit for supper.

Tomorrow the plan is to try again starting a little later in the morning.  We will go in the channel of the inlet and it the waves look like they did today, we will turn around.  All day today the Coast Guard on VHF radio Channel 16 was announching about how a fishing boat, The Atlantic Traveler, was capsized in Manasquan Inlet which occurred about the same time that we were on the Ocean and now the inlet is closed to boats until further notice.  I heard early in the day about a man in the water, so I hope that he was recovered.  This inlet was to have been our back up exit out of the ocean if we had continued on, so we are doubly glad that we returned.  I would say this is the worse waves and situation that we have encountered for this trip.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Chesapeake Bay to Cape May, NJ

Sunday, May 1
Passage Deltaville, VA to Solomons Island, MD
Distance Traveled:  59.74.nm
Miles to get Home: 1439.89nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4107.52nm

Today we are going to Solomons Island, MD to visit April Majni-Holko and get mail!  We raised anchor at 627am and brought up hugs gobs of mud on the anchor chain and the anchor.  Yuk!  There was so much mud I could hear the strain on the anchor windlass motor, but we finally got the anchor up.  The water was glassy with just some wind ripples.  As we left, I saw the M/V Side by Side, whom we had met in Hampton, VA.  It took us about 6 min to navigate through the channel, and we didn’t hit once.  Good for Phil!  By 8am the wind was from 210 degrees (SW) at 2 kts and 170 to port wind angle.  The water continued to be glassy so we were just motoring along.  By my watch, the wind started to clock and was now coming from 250 degrees and up to 5 kts.  By 9am we rolled out the head sail with winds up to 7 kts.  Motor sailing lasted until noon as the wind dropped again.  We tried the head sail again mid afternoon, but that lasted about 15 min as the wind just wasn’t strong enough to keep the sail full especially with the downwind wind angle. 

We received a call from Jim Evans from S/V Winsome.  It was good to hear from him and get information about where to anchor close to them in NJ. 

By 43pm we entered the channel into Solomons Island and were anchored by 452pm close to the dinghy dock for the Holiday Inn.  We’re close enough that Phil and I can paddle the dinghy to the dock instead of having to take the time to put the 8hp engine on.  We also saw M/V Side by Side in the same anchorage and call Bente on the cell phone.   We were invited to their boat for wine.  But first I finished making taco soup, which was good as it’s been a cool day.  We got to Side by Side by 745pm and had a great time catching up on our adventures.  They had spent the winter in Charleston, SC and are planning on spending the summer close to Washington DC on the Potomac.

Tuesday, May 2
Solomons Islands, MD

I spent the morning downloading updates for the computer, which I’ve neglected for a long time, but since we start a new month of data tomorrow, my as well use up the GB’s that we have today.  We had some more taco soup for lunch and then met April Majni-Hoko about 1pm.  First we visited her S/V Susanne.  Susanne is a Spray reproduction built of steel.  She was built by the previous owner who took good care of her, but couldn’t keep her any more.  Now Kevin and April are working on renovating the inside.  It’s 40’ long with a 14’ beam.  Boy can they have the guests on the stern deck!  What they’ve done looks great and we can’t wait to see it all finished.  They want to start cruising fall of 20112.  Then we went down to the Solomon Pier and had Orange Crushes, but these were the adult beverages.  Then we went to the grocery store, back to the boat to put them away and pick up our things, including the laundry.  April was kind enough to offer to let us use her washer and dryer while we had supper over at her house and I’m not one to say no to an offer like that!  We had a terrific supper and then got back to the boat about 11pm.  Way past our boater’s midnight but had a wonderful afternoon and evening.

Tuesday, May 3
To Annapolis, MD
Distance Traveled:  50.97 nm
Miles to get Home:  1490.86 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4158.49 nm

We got started at 631am as this was to be the last day the winds are from the south and we want to get as far north in the Chesapeake Bay as we can before the NW winds come.  When we started the winds were 8kts, 9degree wind angle from 200 degrees (SSW) with Blue skies.  It was warm feeling like it was in the upper 60’s with just a light dew.  As we passed Zahnisers, we saw S/V Bad Boy and Jubilee, who we had seen in Georgetown.  By 706am we had passed Drum Point and let the head sail out reefed as the wind was between 15-19 kts at 131 degree angle to starboard coming from 230 – 235 degrees..  By 828am when I came on watch, the wind was still 16-17 kts, about the same wind angle and Phil put the barberhaul on and no reefs.  The bay had a 1 ft chop with some white caps.  It was so calm, that Phil put the spinnaker pole on the jib about 11am. 

As we get close to Annapolis, we see 8 ships empty at anchor within a 1 nm area south of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Pretty amazing to see.  (insert photos)  We came into Annapolis Harbor on my watch and then Phil took the helm once we were close to the mooring balls.  We got some gas and water and then picked up mooring ball #8, which was close enough to the dinghy dock that we could paddle and not go through putting the 8hp engine on the dingy.  As the afternoon progressed, there were more boats that came in and picked up mooring balls.  Once was S/V Thistledown whom we met in Solomons Island and the other was S/V Horizon who we met at Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas.

We had left over clam, asparagus linguini and then later in the evening chatted with Grant Edwards.  We’re so out of it regarding what’s going on back home and forgot that it was Tuesdays at Capps Restaurant in Leroy.  We were tired, so went to bed at 930pm.

Wednesday, May 4

Early to bed and early to rise is the saying, and for us that was true.  We woke at 6am even though we weren’t traveling today, but as it was cold we stayed in bed for a while until we got up the nerve to get out in the cold.  The AT was 52 and our cabin temp was 66 with rain coming down.  Even though the winds were NW at 9kts, it was calm in the mooring field.  We didn’t do much in the morning.  I’ve been working diligently on finished up Phil’s socks so I can get on another project.  Sue Brannan called and let us know that her favorite singer, Brian Roberts from Key West, was here in Annapolis.  She was kind enough to check it out and told us that he was playing at the Rams Head Tavern and worth the walk to get there.  I made lobster salad from the last of the cooked Bahamian lobster tail for sandwiches and then we paddled to shore for showers and then walked to check out how far Rams Head Tavern was.  It turned out close enough for us to come back to later in the evening.  On our way back, we visited the Annapolis Museum and then watched the crew take up the square sail on the yard on the S/V Pride of Baltimore.  It was interesting to see 5 crew up high standing on a line folding the sail.  After we were back on the boat, I continued to knit while Phil read until it was time to leave again.

I'm in withdrawal - from not seeing the friends that we made on our trip.  I really miss talking to ladies that I have a lot in common with and realize that there won't be many at home either.  Cleveland isn't really the meca of people cruising to the Bahamas and the Bahamas are just so different than the States.  I've been feeling sad

615pm we are in the dingy paddling to shore and then walked to the tavern.  It was a little confusing at first at the Rams Head Tavern as Brian Roberts was to play on the patio, and we asked and at first sat on the patio, but the 10 min before he was to start – no Brian Roberts.  We asked our waiter and he’s in the Down Bar (the bar that is literally downstairs), so we go there and get the last table.  I say Hi to him before the start of the show and introduce myself letting him know that Sue and Jack from Marathon say Hi.  He recognized them and then we proceeded to listen to a great show.  He’s very personable, tells some stories and plays really good music and a loudness you can hear and still talk.  Amazing!  We had nachos and stayed until 9pm and then walked home and went to bed. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Annapolis – We stay another day

The alarm went off at 5am – no sleeping in here. Phil got up and got dressed, listened to the weather as we could hear the wind outside.  The forecast is worse than predicted so I stayed in bed and Phil joined me so that we could sleep in – and we did until 830am.  Really unheard of for us but the cabin temp was 57F.  It’s much warmer in bed.  Phil did get up to make coffee and the cabin temp went up to a whopping 62F.  At least it’s sunny outside and it will eventually warm up.

We didn’t do much for the day not even getting off the boat.  Phil put conductive grease on the connections for the depth sounder.  We’ve been having on and off periods where we get dashes or its not reading the correct depth.  Think it’s from corrosion from the salt water even though it’s in the locker behind the port settee cushions.  I continue to knit and Phil reads.  The Harbormaster comes up alongside us and we pay for another day.  I fix Oriental Pork and rice for supper and we go to bed at 930pm as we are leaving tomorrow to go north and see how far we can get.

Friday, May 6, 2011
Passage to Salem, NJ
Distance traveled:  66.93 nm
Miles to get Home:  1557.79 nm
Total Distance traveled:  4225.42 nm

We woke at 5am to cabin temp of 57F.  Making good time, Phil starts the engine at 537am and 2 min later we release the mooring ball.  There are still 6 ships at anchor.  By 653am we are north of the Chesapeake bridge with the winds from 235 degrees (SW) at 7 kts with 155 degree wind angle to port.  GPS is 6.6 Boat speed is 5.6 so it’s nice that we were able to time it to get a positive current.  It started waning by 11am and then started to pick up again around 1pm when we passed Harbor North Marine at the top of the bay the GPS speed was 7.3 and boat speed with 6.7.  By 130pm we passed the last marks for the Chesapeake Bay and the marks for the C&D canal started.  Winds are 15-17 kts with gusts to 21kts.  We had passed the Saffafras River, which is where Phil thought we would end up for the day, so we’re making good time. 

Skipper Bob says to make the bridge at Chesapeake City, MD 1 hour before high tide at Riddey Point (where the C&D canal ends at the Delaware River).  We are 50 min behind that mark so feel like we’re doing good.  We have been doing our typical 2 hours watches and so at 3pm Phil’s watch starts and the winds are 4 kt from variable direction anywhere from S to W but the winds had been variable too.  GPS speed is 4.9 Boat is 5.52.  By 415pm we exit the C&D Canal and enter the Delaware river.  Our new wind angle is 58 degrees to port, the waves are 2ft with   white caps and we’re taking spray into the cockpit.  So much for continuing out trip in the Delaware river and we can’t anchor behind the breakwall.  We decide to go into the Salem River about 1.5 nm south on the canal.  Shortly after we enter the channel at 505pm we get some protection from the waves and encounter a 3kts negative current as the tide is going out.  We go is an oxbow and anchor at 525pm with the current still going by.

About 6pm we hear some noises from the anchor chain.  Changes is sideways to the current and the anchor chain is tight against the hull scratching the paint.  Phil tries letting out more chain – no difference.  He starts the engine and tries going in reverse –nothing – then forward – the chain is tightening – STOP.  He does.  It looks like the anchor chain is wrapped around the keel.  Will have to wait it out and see if things resolve themselves when the tide changes.  About 930pm we hear the anchor chain move and fall away from the keel.  We can only hope that it doesn’t happen when the tide changes at night.

Supper is carrots and cabbage with ham slice warmed up on top with instant mashed potatoes.  At 1015pm it starts to rain but last only about 30 min.

Saturday, May 7
Passage to Cape May
Distance Traveled:  47.24 nm
Miles to get Home:  1605.03nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4272.73 nm

We woke at 5am to cabin temp of 61F and air temp of 54F.  It’s very wet outside from the rain and a heavy dew.  We start the engine at 556am but wait a few minutes to sync my watch to the satellite so I can have correct time.  The anchor chain is not wrapped around the keel so we have no problems raising the anchor at 605am.  We have the positive current with us this time and range from GPS 7 kts to boat 4.7 kts to a high of GPS 9 knts when we are in the Delaware River/Bay.  When I come on watch at 8am the GPS speed is 8.4 kts.  The wind is 8-9kts with 165 to starboard wind angle and the head sail has been out since 720am.  There is a slight chop and a few white caps but it’s sunny outside.  Gradually as the morning goes on the positive current decreases until it disappears about 1030am.  To be expected.  During my off watch while I was taking a nap, the seas turn into coming directly behind us causing the boat to roll side to side. It’s not easy to sleep on the port settee and keep yourself in without the lee cloth.  By 12 noon I’m on watch and the ETA to the Cape May canal entrance is 210pm.  Phil fixes lunch of cheese and crackers (usually I fix lunch) as I don’t want to be below with the side to side boat motion.  I’m not seasick, but don’t want to be either. The winds are 6-7 kts with wind angle 161 to starboard – winds are from 290 (NW).  We tried having the head sail out, but have to roll it in as it’s flapping too much.

We had some excitement for the day.  As we are getting close to the canal channel entrance we are boarded by the Coast Guard for a routine boat inspection. They pull up beside us and board while we’re underway and while I had slowed down per Phil’s request.  We pass with a couple of minor fixes – chain on mascerator pump handle and garbage placecard for what to do with the garbage.  By this time we had a strong current pushing us sideways so I had to really increase the engine rpms so that we wouldn’t be pushed in the red marker at the breakwall and make it into the channel.  Turns out that the Coast Guard are making many inspections as they board another boat immediately after they leave our boat.  By 213pm we pass under the first fixed bridge with the current still positive – GPS 6.7kts:Boat 4.9 kts, pass the RR bridge and then the last fixed bridge at 222pm.  By 237pm the anchor is set between the Coast Guard Station and the channel to the ocean in front of the Seamanshp Training Facility with 7.7 ft of water under our keel.  The winds are from 320degrees at 18 kts.  Eventually they calm down.  It also helps that the Coast Guard start working on Marker 7 and then 8 so the boats have to slow down so they don’t cause any way.  That reminds me.  As we were in the canal between the Delaware bay and the Cape May harbor, there were many, many power boats passing us – and not slowing down either.  Can sure tell it’s a weekend.

We have an early supper of warmed up oriental pork and rice with warmed up canned green beans.  I continue knitting the baby blanket in between being on the internet typing up the blog and downloading Apple software.  We also talk to friends on the phone.  I  have checked the NY State Canal Bardge alerts and the Erie Canal isn’t going to be opening until sometime the week of May 23.  We need to work up alternate plans.  Looks like I’m going to have to drive home in a rental car unless someone can drive my van to Castleton on Hudson by May 16 so that I have enough time to visit from Brother.  We make a couple phone calls and have some tentative plans in place but are still open to suggestions.

The weather looks good for the next few days.  N 5 kts for tomorrow.  We are going to Barneget Bay and visit our friends Jim and Linda Evans in Forked River, NJ to stay 2 nights and then leave Tuesday morning while the north winds are still light to go into the Hudson River.  Phil would like us to be able to take the NJ ICW north so we’ll be calling Boats US to see if the water will be deep enough for us or not.   We hope so as it will be protected and also a shorter distance.