Onward’s Cruise Journal 2010
Cruise to New England

July 2010

1Jul 2010; Atlantic City to Atlantic Highlands

  • Onward and Beckoning departed Atlantic City at 0600 with winds NW at ~10. Between the adverse winds and foul bottom, Beckoning left Onward behind. The trip up the coast was easy except for the adverse winds. I anchored nearby Beckoning behind the breakwater at Atlantic Highlands for the night.

2 Jul 10; Atlantic Highlands to Manhasset Bay
  • We departed at 0615 and had a great ride up the East River and a swift transit of Hell Gate. In Manhasset Bay, Beckoning picked up an MBYC mooring and Onward anchored nearby. We were greeted by Mike Yorke. I picked up Jim's crew, Dave, in my dinghy and went into the MBYC and thence for a walk around town.
  • Mike arranged for a great dinner at MBYC in the evening for us and some of his friends who had crewed aboard Beckoning on a return from the BVI. A great time was had by all!

3-5 Jul 10; Manhasset Bay to Oyster Bay
3 July
  • Mike Yorke volunteered to take us about to run errands. I visited West Marine to get some VHF antenna cable and connectors so I can connect the VHF antenna on the mast to the Raymarine 215 spare VHF that I mount in the cockpit. I also picked up a few miscellaneous food items I needed.
  • On returning to Onward, I spent a few hours cleaning the ICW mustache off the hull. Just as I was about to take a shower, Certa Cito and Beckoning called to say they were dropping their moorings so I quickly got Onward underway. Winds were NW at < 10 kts so it was a motor trip to Oyster Bay. Along the way I whipped up a batch of pizza dough. We departed MBYC at about 1430 and arrived at Oyster Bay about 1700. We anchored just off M Point on Center I in a spot where Mike knew we would get a good view of the fireworks tomorrow night.
  • Certa Cito hosted all or cocktail hour where Maureen proceeded to put out one of her 10-course "little snacks"! After a couple of rounds, we transferred to Onward to round out the evening with pizza followed by strawberries and blueberries with whipped cream and chocolate liquor.
4 July
  • About 1100, I took Dave in the dinghy into town where we tied up at the town marina dinghy pier. We then took a taxi out to Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's home - now managed by the US Park Service. We got to tour the first floor of the house. Teddy's North Room which has dark, multi-toned paneled ceilings and walls is stunning. I could really get to like that room! The local horsemen's association put on a reenactment of the Rough Riders calvary training. Neat!
  • An actor who specializes in one-man shows about Teddy gave a speech from the porch - just as Teddy did in his day. A great way to spend a July 4th afternoon.
  • When I returned to Onward, I discovered that Jim had dived and taken videos of my hull. He found the prop shaft and prop to be clean and zincs in good condition. He took a video that showed the entire hull is now covered in barnacles. The bottom paint has totally failed and I will have to have it redone. BAAAH!
  • The evening festivities were held aboard Beckoning. A cocktail hour was followed by a potluck barbecue. This was topped off with a desert cake in he form of Uncle Sam's top hat supplied by Maureen which was delicious even if it had sagged a bit in the heat.
  • The fireworks show was put on by Charlie Dolan, owner of Cable Vision among other things, for his wife. It was the most spectacular show I can remember seeing as it went on for 20 min during which they fired 4 to 6 rockets per second! They had bursts that I had never seen before. Spectacular!
5 July
  • Early in the morning, I heard Jim working on Beckoning's outboard motor so I went over to kibitz. He had replaced a cracked fuel hose connection to the carburetor only to find the engine would no longer run. I told him it sounded like a dirty carburetor and told him I'd show him how to clean it - sharing what I'd learned from when Ed Burke had done mine and my subsequent efforts with Onwards outboards (Nissan and Yamaha). We spent the next couple of hours disassembling the carburetor - nothing easy there - and then cleaning it. It was the dirtiest and gummiest carb I'd yet seen on an outboard. Getting it back together because of the complex idle/choke mechanism was another joy but we got it done. After a bit of low and high speed jet adjusting, it ran fairly well.
  • Menange and Certa Cito departed for homeports on the Sound and Beckoning departed for a social engagement in Norwalk. It was too late to bother moving Onward E so I relaxed. A swim and attempt to clean the waterline verified what Jim's video had shown me - a thick mat of algae and 1/4" to 1/2" barnacles covers the whole bottom! I will have to have Onward hauled and a complete bottom job done. BAAAH!

6 Jul 10; Oyster Bay to Orient Point
  • Another clear and very hot day with winds < 10 kts. Onward departed Oyster Bay at 0700 to move E on Long Island Sound for an overnight anchorage at Orient Point. I arrived at Orient Point at 1800 just as the local fuel piers were closing. I anchored out and spent a quiet and very warm night. The fan I finally got around to installing with the help of Ron Draper on the trip up the ICW made it bearable in my stateroom

7 Jul 10; Orient Point to Greenwich Bay
  • It was really hot and humid at sunrise. I moved Onward to Deering Harbor Marina on Shelter Island to take on diesel. It was $0.30 / gal cheaper than at the Brewers Marina - they really jack up prices. The haze was so thick that I ran the radar on leaving Orient harbor. I passed the USCG cutter Ida Lewis and called them on VHF 13 to say thanks for the great job they do in maintaining marks. For a while it looked like fog was going to close in and the temperature cooled. When the wind came up at 15 kts from the NE I was able to motorsail at hull speed for a while - then it died off for the rest of the trip. I decided to press on to Greenwich Bay and anchor off Godard Park for the night. In my past visits I'd often considered anchoring there so I thought I'd give it a try. I've arranged for a mooring at EGYC starting tomorrow.

8-19 Jul 10; Greenwich Cove, RI
8 Jul 10 Thursday
  • I had a lazy morning following a quiet night anchored off of Goddard Park. It was pleasant and I may do this again in the future. I brought Onward into an EGYC T-head and gave it a thorough wash down to get off all the salt I'd picked up on the trip from Baltimore. I then picked up mooring C70 to start my visit home. EGYC has become like a second home to me as I know most of the staff now.
9 Jul 10 Friday
  • I made arrangements for Onward to be hauled, the bottom repainted, and the hull polished at Nortons Marina Shipyard next door to EGYC. It would be hauled on Monday and with good weather splashed on Friday.
  • My sister, Kathy, came to get me and we spent an afternoon running errands and shopping. We were in one store when I was suddenly jumped by a lovely young woman - and was pleased to find out it was my niece Linda.
10 Jul 10 Saturday
  • Linda, called to ask if I had anything on my social calendar for the day and said she'd come to get me. We spent part of the afternoon shopping and then went to her home where I'd hoped to use the pool. However the day turned cool so that scratched swimming - but I did get to do laundry. Linda called here sibs and before you know it there were 30 people at her home for an impromptu party. It was great for me to get to see everyone whom I had missed by not making it to their July 4th party.
11 Jul 10 Sunday
  • Kathy and Andy picked me up for church. We then had what has become a ritual breakfast at the local Panera where I got to see some of their friends again. After a bit of shopping - another ritual, my sister-in-law picked me up at Kathy's home and we went to the Art Festival in Wickford. It was a hot humid day but I enjoyed the festival in spite of it and bought a lighthouse print that caught my eye.
12 Jul 10 Monday
  • I moved Onward to Nortons Marina Shipyard for an 0830 haul out. When Onward came out of the water the bottom was UGLY! It was completely covered with a uniform coating of algae and barnacles about 1/2" thick. With that drag, no wonder Beckoning outran me off the NJ coast! It took two men in the yard more than 3 hrs to scrape off the barnacles with ice scrapers and then power wash the hull. By early afternoon Onward was safely sitting on the hard surrounded by stands to dry out in preparation for the new bottom paint.
  • The local rep for Pettit came to inspect the bottom. While not admitting a problem, he brought 4 gal. of new paint. He did say he had never seen what appeared to be a good paint film fail so miserably in such a short time. He had no explantation. After thinking it over and talking to friends, I decided to go back to an ablative paint because this, my first try of a hard/leeching paint, was such a disaster. The rep was very responsive and helpful and arranged for 4 gal. of Pettit Ultima SR 60 paint to arrive from their distributor on Tuesday.
  • Kathy came and fetched me in the late afternoon and we went shopping for a bit before going home where she cooked Italian sausage and peppers. Watching her cook this dish brought back many memories of my Mom doing the same. I got to meet my nephew Matt's girlfriend, Katie - a lovely young woman. The dinner was delish!
13 Jul 10 Tuesday
  • The sanding of the hull started in the morning and continued all day. The paint and barnacle residue was fairly tough. It was such a hot day, I didn't get a lot done. But, in late afternoon, My brother-in-law, Andy and his cousin again fetched me and took me home where I got to have lasagna and meet my nephew Mark's, girlfriend, Marissa - another lovely young woman.
14 Jul 10 Wednesday
  • Sanding continued slowly all day. Another hot one and again I didn't accomplish much.
  • In the evening I walked over to the Firemen's Club and had a great dinner with about 12 of my fraternity brothers. It was a combination of catching up on our current lives and reliving college days. Fun!
  • Some days Opportunity throws a prize in your lap BUT What was I thinking??? I blew it: After dinner I got a ride back and three of my fraternity brothers came along to take a look at Onward on dry land. When they left, I went immediately to bed and was quickly in a deep sleep. I was woken at 1022 by soft voices close by. Then I heard scurrying noises over my head! I jumped out of bed and walked out of my stateroom and looked up the companionway only to find a female twenty-something looking down. I said, "Yes?" And she said, "Is this Johnnie's Boat?" I answered that it was not. She then disappeared down the stern ladder and step ladder whence she had come. Dressed as I was, I elected not to follow her. The next morning, after I determined it wasn't a dream, all I could think about was the lost opportunity and the need to think quicker and respond with a better line the next time a young woman climbs aboard looking for Johnnie's Boat.
15 Jul 10 Thursday
  • More sanding around rain storms. It finally got finished and painting will start Friday.
  • Linda's two sons were taking their dad to see a Red Sox game in Boston so she and I went out to dinner together. What fun being out with a beautiful young woman!
16 Jul 10 Friday
  • Two coats of bottom paint went on fairly quickly and polishing of the hull will begin on Monday. I decided to have a 3rd coat of the ablative paint put on along the water line.
17 Jul 10 Saturday
  • It was a bit cooler so I was industrious. I cleaned and painted the bow thruster tunnel and scrubbed the entire deck and cockpit. It looked great! Kathy came to fetch me in early afternoon. We spent the rest of the day shopping and finished it off with a great dinner.
18 Jul 10 Sunday
  • Sunday morning, after church, I made a batch of pepper biscotti dough with my sister to show her the tricks.   We put the dough covered in her empty oven with the idea of baking the biscotti early Monday morning. However, her oldest son, Matt, came by with his girlfriend after we left the house and they decided to bake a blueberry pie to take to the family gathering that afternoon.  They turned on the oven without checking to see if there was anything in it.  The result was the boule of biscotti dough got partially cooked and was unworkable when I went to make the biscotti this morning!   The blueberry pie, a favorite of mine, was great though.
  • The Rocchio clan gathered at my sister-in-law's home for the annual "Feast" - the celebration of the feast day of the Madonna della Civita, The local area was settled in the early 1900's by a number of people from the town of Itri in Italy and they brought their annual festival with them. Great food, lots of family to catch up with, nephews and nieces to watch and see how they have developed into great young people, and then fireworks. Great!
19 Jul 10 Monday
  • Kathy and I had breakfast together before I returned to the shipyard. Part of the 3rd coat of bottom paint got put on and about 2/3 of the port side got polished before an extensive cold front came through with a deluge. I managed to scrub the cockpit cushions and do a bit of organizing.
20 Jul 10 Tuesday
  • Launch day at last. The yard bill was a bit of sticker shock! But Onward looked beautiful.
  • I got to have dinner with Chris and Bob Kozak - a treat that we managed to work in at the last minute after launch. They delivered me to Kathy's home where I got to have a ride in her new car and do some last minute shopping for vegetables before saying farewell for this visit.

21 Jul 10 Wednesday; Greenwich Bay to Nantucket
  • I was up at 0500 to organize and stow "stuff" in the interior and made an early departure at 0730. From the first few minutes I could really feel the difference from the new bottom! Onward felt "light" and responsive and I was close to hull speed at only 2500 rpm! The trip down the bay was aided by a favorable tide so when I got to Beavertail Light, I decided to set course for Nantucket to see how far I could get. If conditions held me back then I would cancel my planned visit with Ed and Nancy but if I could get as far as Vineyard Haven, I could at least "stop in" for part of the day Thursday.
  • As it turned out, the winds S - SW at 10-15 kt and the currents were favorable and that combined with my new bottom made for a sleigh ride to Nantucket! I motorsailed under genoa and was able to do > 9 kts boat speed and, for much of the day, ~ 9 kts SOG! Along the way, I found myself reminiscing about my first sojourn in this area in 2007. It was my first real experience sailing in these waters and my son, Joseph, was with me for a week. We did Newport, Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Edgartown, and Nantucket. I remember being just a bit unsettled at taking Onward into conditions far different from the Chesapeake. Having Joseph with me made it less formidable and a special moment. Now, having done so much sailing in this area, I was totally relaxed and confident.
  • As a result of the favorable conditions, I put into Nantucket and anchored off 1st Point and settled back with a cocktail to await the squall line that had been chasing me for the last 3 hours. It arrived after sunset and turned out to be the worst set of squalls I have experienced aboard. There were sustained periods of > 40 kt winds. After the first cell went through there was a break and then a more severe cell came through! It was nice to watch the A70D and see Onward staying put!

22 Jul 10 Thursday; Nantucket
  • I went ashore at 0800 and spent the day hanging out with Ed and Nancy. We had breakfast and then walked around for a while until we had to go to an appointment at 1100 with a local painter. Ed and Nancy had been intrigued by a series of paintings at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington DC by Richard Harrington. They had found he had a studio on Nantucket and had been trying to find him for the last couple of years. They finally tracked him down and were invited to his studio. We met Richard and his wife and we had a personal tour of his upcoming exhibit. He enjoyed the company and I got had a fascinating time taking with him and getting insight into his creative process. One of the best mornings I've had!
  • We returned to Ed & Nancy's house where we just hung out and read. I started reading "Stumbling on Happiness" as it was laying about and found it interesting enough in its discussion of human thinking and choices that I've got to get a copy.
  • Nancy's sister arrived and we went out for a great dinner. Nancy and Ed dropped me off to catch the harbor launch back to Onward to end a great day.

23 Jul 10 Friday; Nantucket to Sandwich
  • Another sleighride! Left Nantucket at 0600 and arrived at Sandwich Boat Basin at the E end of the Cape Cod Canal at 1515! I had an adverse current at the beginning until I reached Cape Poge. For the rest of the trip I had the current with me although there was no usable wind until just before the entrance of the canal where it was too late to take advantage of. The tide was initially against me until reached the first bridge.
  • There were no slips available at Sandwich Boat Basin but they were nice enough to allow me to put in to pick up Kelly Gregg. I got to spend a bit of time talking with Deb, Daniele and Christen before we had to clear the pier for an incoming boat. We exited the canal and anchored just NW of it off the beach. We had intended to take the dinghy in and meet Deb for dinner but a wide swath of rain and thunderstorms made that impossible.

24 Jul 10 Saturday; Sandwich to York Harbor
  • We woke to heavy fog and weighed anchor at 0600. We motorsailed in fog most of the day and made such great time that we bypassed Gloucester and rounded Cape Ann for the Isle of Shoals. Due to the lack of moorings there, we put into York Harbor where the Harbormaster made a town mooring available to us. With good fortune, we arrived at the harbor entrance just after low tide so we had a gentle current with us. Good thing! There is a very sharp right turn in a narrow channel between rocks at markers 8 and 9 that is a nightmare in mid to max currents.
  • After showers we took the dinghy into the local yacht club pier and then walked toward the center of town to have a lobster dinner at Fosters Clam Bake. After dinner we took a pleasant walk along the shore back to the yacht club and the dinghy.

25 Jul 10 York Harbor to S Freeport
  • We were clever enough to select a time for a gentle current to exit the harbor and headed E. We motorsailed to S. Freeport on the Harreseeket R where we picked up a mooring at Brewers Marina. We then took a cab into town to shop at LL Bean. I had read the Corinthians Cruise instructions and found I was to dress "yachting smart" so I beefed up my "smart" clothing inventory a bit.
  • I also learned that I had an inadequate number of signal flags to properly "dress ship" on the cruise. I contacted West Marine and they were out of them. I contacted Helene and Bill but they didn't have flags. So the quest went on.

26 Jul 10 S Freeport to Lowell Cove on Orrs Island
  • Before breakfast I changed the oil and filter for the Yanmar. Not a bad process this time: only a few curses, a minor scratch, a minor mess. Then Kelly and I swapped out my starboard davit for a new reinforced unit that Martek built for me. By the time this was done it was 1300 and I decided to get underway. I did manage to find a full set of flags from Downwind Marine and had them shipped to Boothbay to await my arrival.
  • I had assigned Kelly the job of deciding where we would go as we moved closer to Boothbay Harbor. He found it a challenge - too many choices and too much flexibility in schedule. He finally selected an anchorage on the NE shore of Orrs Island and we set off. The winds had been from the W to NW at >20 kts most of the morning. Once we cleared he narrow channel where the Harraseeket passes Pound of Tea Island, we deployed the main with a 20% reef and had a fast sail across Casco Bay to the anchorage. We managed to find a hole in the lobster floats big enough for us to anchor at 1615. I then declared cocktail hour and topped it off with a good nap. After dinner I did the dishes while Kelly worked on fixing the switch on the reading light for the forward berth. We enjoyed listening to Sgt. Pepper on the Bose while we did this - going back to our youth.

27 Jul 10 Lowell Cove on Orrs Island to Boothbay Harbor
  • We made an early departure from Lowell Cove and motored to Boothbay Harbor as there was little wind. We picked up mooring #20 at the Carousel Marina. After some boat tasks, we went into town for lunch. A walk took us to the shipyard where I had seen 2 schooners being rebuilt in 2008 with Ed and Tina. There were 50 people working then and today we found just 4 - no one is refurbishing old vessels in this economy. I discovered a cuddly baby lobster stuffed toy and immediately priority mailed it to Elena - one of the joys of grandpa-hood. We also discovered the local hardware store where I bought "one or two" things that got up to >$50.00 - amazing how that happens.
  • On the way back, we stopped in at the Carousel Marina bar for a frozen Margarita on the very hot afternoon. While at the bar we started talking with the guy next to us and discovered he was on the mooring next to us. Jim and Kathy Ferguson are experienced cruisers who have done Alaska and Europe. After listening to him, I've decided to look into moving Onward to Europe for a year or so - it may be much easier than I thought.

28 Jul 10 Boothbay Harbor to Boothbay Region Boat Yard, Ebenecook Harbor
  • I decided to add almond biscotti like Mom made to my baking repertoire. When I was in LA with Laura, she gave me a copy of a recipe from her mom. It was a fax from Cathy to her sister, Terri, conveying the almond biscotti recipe she had transcribed from watching my mom make them during one of our visits to RI. So this morning I got out my copy and began. It was a bit nostalgic and a bit sad, too, to be reading this recipe in Cathy's handwriting and remembering how she had worked with my mom to develop it. Well I made the dough and rolled it out and cut it with the pizza cutter similar to when I bake pepper biscotti. The end result: Delish!
  • While I cleaned up and sorted "boat stuff", Kelly went ashore for some shopping. We departed the mooring as soon as he returned at 1130. I'm getting spoiled by having a knowledgable hand on the foredeck in stead of scampering back and forth like a madman. We had a nice sail under genoa alone around the S tip of Southport I and up to Ebenecook Harbor where we picked up mooring #38 at the Boothbay Region Boatyard at 1400.
  • We spent the rest of the afternoon on boat tasks. Kelly whipped the ends of my new genoa sheets for installation in the morning when the winds calm down.
  • We took the dinghy in to the office but found they closed at 1530 so we walked into town. On the way, Kelly found another Whitby 42, Memory, in the yard being painted by its owner who turned out to be someone he had met in the Bahamas in 2007-8! Along the way we found a Bakery & Art Studio and managed to buy a fresh blueberry pie. We also found the general store where we picked up some Stella Atois beer before returning to Onward. After dinner, I was bushed but Kelly still had energy so he managed to get the anchor wash down pump running. I'm really going to miss him when he has to go back home!

29-31 Jul 10 Maddock Cove
  • Kelly and I spent the morning working on boat chores - more of those 3-hand tasks that I find hard to do alone. I took Onward in to fill water tanks, get a wash down, and do 2 loads of laundry before the press of other Corinthian vessels made this difficult.
  • In the afternoon, Bill and Helene De Neergaard arrived to join Onward as crew during the Corinthian Cruise. Bill is a past Master of the Corinthians and he and Helene have been involved with the Corinthians for decades so they know everyone. A nice addition to Onward for its first Corinthian cruise. Kelly's friend from Memory provided his dingy as a cargo liter and Kelly brought Bill and Helene out to Onward.
  • While we we sitting in the cockpit taking a break and enjoying a beer, I looked up and noticed a sailboat coming down the E side of the N-S rock spine coming out from shore. The good water and moorings are on the W side and it is dangerous to try to cross the spine. If you don't look very closely at the chart when entering river to the W, a nun marking the channel N can be mistaken as a mark for the entry to the channel where the yard's moorings are. I had been trying to keep an eye out for newly arriving Corinthians to warn them of this but in the tumult of arriving guests and gear, I had missed a boat. When I saw it, I reached for the VHF to warn about the rock spine. But, before I could act, the boat hit the rocks. Kelly immediately grabbed his friend and they headed off in my dinghy and eventually assisted the boat off the rocks. The next day, the boat was hauled to have the damage repaired and the crew was dispersed to other vessels for the Cruise.
  • We got everything and everyone sorted out and nearly stowed and then jumped in the dinghy to go out to dinner. Bill drove us up to the Southport bridge over Townsend Gut where we had dinner at the waterside restaurant.
  • A bit of a sad day for me as Bill and I drove Kelly up to Wiscasset to catch a bus back home to Boston and then the Cape. Having Kelly aboard was a delight - one of the special gifts of cruising: meeting people, becoming friends, and then getting to continue the friendships as I move along the coast.
  • After delivering Kelly to the bus pickup point, Bill and I went to Hannifords to do some grocery shopping. We also picked up another blueberry pie from the local bakery before returning to the Boatyard.
  • The Onward crew spent the morning organizing our "stuff" and preparing to start the cruise. Cruise registration was at 1500 followed by a cocktail hour with appetizers that just kept on coming. A great way to meet people. I picked up my new Corinthian burgee and gave the much "loved" and worn one to a boat without a burgee. I also got my official Corinthian Skipper's Hat for the cruise.