Onward’s Cruise Journal 2009
Cruise in New England

September 2009

1-3 Sep 2009; Greenwich Cove

  • With several days of sunny weather ahead, I decided to tackle the job of sewing repairs to Onward’s genoa sail and enclosure. In both cases, UV had weakened some of the threads and it was time to re-sew. I took the genoa down and brought it ashore where EGYC kindly let me sew on the deck during the hours when no members were around. I then set up my sewing machine in Onward’s cockpit and did the remainder of the work on the enclosure. This was made difficult by a 6-in zipper that was stuck and required many hours to free. But I got it done and also made a can as bag for the rear enclosure panels so these are now nicely stowed in the bottom of the stbd stern locker.
  • I got a call from my sister inviting me to go out to dinner at the restaurant where my nephew works -- we had a great time, and it was a nice way to say farewell after a summer of visits in RI.

4 Sep 2009; Greenwich Cove to Vineyard Haven, Marthas Vineyard
  • Canvas repair work done, it was time to move on. I topped up the water tanks and port fuel tank, then departed EGYC at 0945 on a beautiful sunny but cool day. Light winds from the NNE as Onward sailed down Narragansett Bay turned lighter and on the nose once I rounded Beavertail and passed Sakonet. The tide in Vienyard Sound finally changed in my favor and I put into Vineyard Haven to anchor off the shore of W Chop a few minutes after sunset. And what a spectacular sunset it was full of all shades of purple with red tinges. It reminded me of the “purple hours” as Laura and Kurlen dubbed them last summer in Maine. With that thought, Laura called and we had a long chat.

5 Sep 2009; Vineyard Haven to Nantucket
  • Onward spent a quite night save the ferry wakes. An early breakfast preceded an early departure for Nantucket. Winds were again almost zero. As Onward moved through the entrance channel into Nantucket harbor, Batuta was on the way out and I got to wave to Maher. We later talked on the phone and he told me he had made a quick trip for the last sail of the season and now was on the way back to RI. We agreed we would both try to coordinate better next season.
  • I anchored Onward near first point in the area where I’ve anchored the last 2 years. There is now a big state mooring to avoid. It was a picture-perfect day. Being at anchor there brought back many good memories of my past visits. I really have enjoyed my visits tot Nantucket. Last year’s visit got cut short by the threat of Tropical Storm Hanna. Here’s hoping for no repeat this year so I will be able to spend more than one day with Nancy and Ed when they arrive.
  • In early evening I got a call from Kelly Gregg who was back in Lake Tashmoo. Drat, another missed opportunity to spend good time with friends.

6-20 Sep 2009 Nantucket
  • At 0200 the winds picked up to >20 kts and I decided to check out how my Raymarine A65 chartplotter works as a remote display in my stateroom. I set it up on the small table next to the bed. Its internal GPS was able find the satellites and get a fix. I could then watch how Onward behaved as the winds picked up and the tides changed. Neat!
  • I poked my head out after making a cup of morning coffee only to see one of the small cruise ships apparently having problems rounding first point. It seemed to get hung up on that new large mooring; then it turned around went back to the harbor entrance, and then ran the point at higher speed before anchoring just beyond. Interesting...
  • Monday, 7 Sep: I went ashore for a walk and some food shopping -- a nice thing about the harbor here is having a food market in walking distance of the dinghy pier. I returned to Onward with fresh vegetables and made a beef-vegtable stew - Delish!
  • Wednesday, 9 Sep: I took the dinghy ashore and took an early morning walking tour of the architecture of Main St. I then met Ed & Nancy as they arrived by ferry; this is the second year in a row so it is now a new tradition. I rode out with them to their house and helped unpack. We then bought some mussels and fish and cooked a nice dinner.
  • Friday 11 Sep: Nancy, Ed and I went on a walking tour on great writers associated with Nantucket.
  • Sunday 13 Sep; I went ashore for a long walk and then attended a new book lecture on parenting adult children. I bought a copy of the book: Don’t Bite Your Tounge. I took the last trip of the season on the harbor launch back to Onward.
  • Tuesday 15Sep: I went ashore to mail some books to Laura and had a light lunch before taking a long walk out to Brant Point and beyond. I met Nancy, Ed and their friends Mary and Mark for dinner at the Company of the Cauldron - great.
  • Wednesday 16Sep: After spending the night at Nancy & Ed’s, we went out to breakfast and I got to consult with Ed on how to mount the Nantucket puzzle I bought him to do while here. I returned to Onward to find another windy day in the anchorage. I adjusted the max voltage set point for the AirX wind generator up a bit and now I am getting more power from it. Apparently the voltage output from the solar panels on sunny days was causing the AirX controller to think the batteries were fully charged and it was then shutting it down.
  • Thursday 17 Sep: Ed picked me up at the town pier in the SUV he’d rented for a jaunt to Great Point after we picked up Nancy, their guest Elaine, and a picnic basked for cocktail hour on the beach. In spite of the clouds that moved in, we saw a beautiful sunset. We capped off the night with a light dinner in the bar at the Wawinet Inn - great!
  • Friday 18 Sep; I took a long walk on the beach with Nancy while Ed was biking. Nancy stopped by the new airport terminal on the way back to town where we had breakfast and inspected the new building. I also got to do a new Dad-thing: learning to shop for baby clothes. I found a nice genderless “onesie” - the first purchase for my first grandchild-in-progress. The winds built from the W as I took the dinghy out to Onward; they reached > 33 kts and continued to blow ~25 kts all night. The good news was the wind generator topped off the batteries to the extent I had so much power I used the inverter to run the water heater - a first! I rounded off the evening by making a chichen-kielbasa-vegatable stew -- Delish!
  • Saturday 19 Sep; I spent the day getting Onward prepared for the cruise down the coast to the Chesapeake. It is always amazing how much stuff gets unstowed while sitting at anchor for a few days. By the late afternoon the winds subsided to the point where it was possible to have a dry dinghy ride in. Mark & Mary picked me up at the town pier and we went out to Ed and Nancy’s for the traditional lobster feast of blue fish pate, steamers, lobster, corn, and pasta. I had urged Nancy to get 2-lb lobsters to make the work of eating them worthwhile - then I felt badly that there was so much food! I went back aboard Onward so I would be ready to leave early in the morning; it was a very calm night.

20 Sep 2009 Nantucket to Newport
  • I departed Nantucket about 0615 with calm winds and seas. I had hoped to make it to Block Island but the current was against me too long so I put into Newport just before sunset. I was expecting an empty harbor - but it was chock full. Apparently this was the boat show weekend and the NYYC had a big race program. To make things interesting, as I approached the anchorage, a boat under sail ahead and going the same direction off my port bow decided to make a sharp right turn in front of me. It turns out he had his engine on and decided to turn into the wind to take his sails down - I had to do a sharp 360 to starboard to miss him and the anchored boats. It was a quiet night in the Anchorage

21 Sep 2009 Newport to Orient Harbor, LI
  • I departed Newport just before sunrise and headed S. I had not picked a destination but decided to wait to the RI-CT border to see how winds and tides were. I decided to push on to Gardiner Bay on the NW tip of Long Island and chose Orient Harbor as a nice protected place to spend the night. I got there early enough in the afternoon to take a turn S around the Greenport and Shelter Island harbor before returning N to anchor in Orient Harbor. This would be a nice area to spend a week or more exploring in the future.

22 Sep 2009 Orient Harbor to Manhasset Bay
  • Onward was underway at 0530 in order to make it to Manhasset Bay before dark. After passing through Plum Gut, the current change in my favor and I was able to motorsail most of the day arriving just before sunset. I picked up one of the free Port Washington town moorings and grabbed a quick shower before taking the water taxi in to meet Mike Yorke for dinner. We again visited the great Irish pub, Fin McCool’s where Mike and I had comfort food: shepherd’s pie. Mike alerted me to the potential problems with security zones in the East River due to the UN session. I checked and found I needed to get through the E side of Roosevelt I between 0700 and 0930.

23 Sep 2009 Manhasset Bay to Atlantic Highlands
  • Onward was underway at 0630 and I got to listen to much confusion on Ch16 as the USCG tried to explain their security zones. They need to learn plain english here - the staff answering the questions didn’t understand their own statements. In any case I had to get a lift of the Roosevelt I bridge to pass. The bridge tender asked me to check once more to see if I could go down the W side as the bridge is being refurbished and he wanted to avoid opening if possible. I tried to get the USCG to let me go through the W side with a sludge tanker that was being escorted - but I guess I’m too much of a threat even with my active security clearances. I arrived at Atlantic Highlands in early afternoon and took on diesel in the port tank then anchored.

24 Sep 2009 Atlantic Highlands to Atlantic City
  • Anchor up and underway at 0515 in the dark. There wasn’t any ship traffic and the trip down the coast was uneventful with very light winds and seas - a good way to make this segment of the trip. I anchored at Atlantic City about an hour before sunset. I declared cocktail hour and began to read a new book. I was engrossed and hadn’t realized the sun had set until I couldn’t read. I then got up to put things away and go below to turn on the anchor light. It was at this time that I met the second most rude harbor patrol officer on the East Coast (the most rude was up at West I in Buzzard’s Bay). Somehow he had come alongside without me hearing him and he yells to put on the masthead light in a nasty voice. Now remember the anchorage here is lit up like day due to the hotels on shore - go figure.

25 Sep 2009 Atlantic City to Cape May
  • Happiness is a jar full of pepper biscotti! Last night I baked the biscotti after having mixed the dough yesterday morning. I’ve changed around the baking scheme and I think I now have it where it makes good crunchy biscotti without the problem of getting them to dark. Delish!
  • The wind picked up to 15-20 from the NW as predicted so I was able to sail S under genoa alone. Quiet! Nice! The entrance into Cape May was a bit exciting with the ~6’ swells on the beam but all went well and I anchored just off the USCG derelict pier with 6 other cruisers.
  • On the way down, a quartering wave caused me to grab for the hand-hold at the stern of the cockpit console - and it snapped off! Two 3/8” SS studs fractured - apparently weakened by repeated stress and a little corrosion. I did a quick temporary repair by screwing two 6” x 3/8” bolts into the 3/4” thick fiberglass of the console using the existing stud holes. I then used to fasten the hand-hold to the bolts. This is a temporary fix to prevent me from accidentally grabbing the autopilot head unit that is mounted beneath the hand-hold as grabbing that area is now instinctive when I’m navigating. I plan to have 1/2” studs installed on the hand-hold when I get to MD.

26 Sep 09 Cape May to Bohemia R
  • The wind blew in the 20s all night but slowly clocked to the E and dropped to the mid-teens by morning so I decided to head up the Delaware. The 0630 exit from the inlet was not as exciting as the entrance - good! After turning to the N to pick my way through the outer shoals off Cape May, I put up the genoa and took advantage of the 13-20 kt SE winds. After getting through the shoals, the heading was good for a broad reach and I was able to sail for most of the day at > 7 kts following the beginning of the flood. In the upper bay the winds dropped and moved astern so I motorsailed under genoa alone to the C&D where I caught the beginning of the W ebb. I anchored in the Bohemia R at 1800. A hot shower came next - great!
  • I caught up to Ron & Ingred on High Priority at Cape May. For a while it didn’t look like they would be able to get out of their slip in the morning due to the tide. But, they managed it and made up good time so they anchored nearby at 1900. My plans for a social evening were squelched by the arrival of a band of heavy rain squalls and the fact that I was exhausted after getting up at 0445.
  • I made reservation for Onward at the Anchorage Marina in Baltimore - it is almost like coming home now as the staff know me. It is a great location - particularly for the two wedding receptions I am to attend along with Laura & Kurlen and Joseph & Amie - a social whirl.

27 Sep 09 Bohemia R to Baltimore
  • I gave myself a lazy morning after all the early departures on the trip down. Unfortunately I didn’t put my watch on so I lost track of the time. Ron and Ingred came over to talk over a cup of coffee and in the course of answering their question about how long it would take me to get to Baltimore I discovered it was already after noon! I needed to leave immediately to get to the marina before dark so we had to cut our chat short once I’d made suggestions of good places to visit on the upper Bay. The wind was on the nose for the entire trip - shifting as I changed course. It picked up to 25 kts as I approached the marina but fell off just as I was ready to pull in. Onward’s new home is Slip B21 at the Anchorage Marina. I’ve been here enough that the staff and many liveaboards know me - almost like being home.

28 Sep - ? Oct Baltimore
  • Monday. Time to start getting organized to get all my “to do’s” completed before I start S. Two notes of joy: the LectraSan won’t turn on - after working perfectly in NE; after declaring cocktail hour I find that all 3 of my SodaClub carbonator CO2 bottles are empty! Bummer.
  • Tuesday. I decided to put all my Catalina 470 friends on a google map so I would be more aware of where folks were when I went sailing by. I was surprised at how positively other owners responded. Besides doing this was a nice break from trying to troubleshoot the LectraSan problem.
  • Wednesday.