Onward’s Cruise Journal 2013
Cruise to New England

Updated: 11 July 2013

A Note to Regular Readers:
My apologies: while on my 7-week sojourn to LA for Grandpa duty, my life-rhythm got mis-adjusted a few of the many casualties were my attention to email and this journal. I will catch up… Be patient, please.

June 2013

17 June 13; Monday; Los Angles to Maryland

  • Time to go back to my life. I was able to work in one more tour "Driving Miss Ellie" so Laura would not have to try to get both she and Kian in the car. So we got out of the house by 0830 and had did our regular schtick of counting busses and garbage trucks and spelling words along the way. I have really enjoyed this task while i have been visiting and I will miss it and the fun I've had interacting with an amazing 3-yr old.
  • I made it back to the house in time for the van to LAX and then a direct flight back to BWI. Tina and Ed Burke were at the airport to get me and then cart me home with them. Ed provided some great bourbon to help me adjust my time clock as we talked over plans for our sailing cruise to New England.

18 June 13; Tuesday; Annapolis
  • Ed drove me to Annapolis where I found Onward all nice and cleaned, polished, buffed, and painted awaiting my arrival. Nice. We had lunch together and did some shopping for boat stuff. It rained heavily for the afternoon so there was no chance to do any work in preparation for launch.

19 June 13; Wednesday; Annapolis
  • Today Kian was one month old. I really miss my little buddy!

20 June 13; Thursday; Annapolis

21 June 13; Friday; Annapolis
  • Launch Day. I asked that the launch be delayed until after lunch to give me more time to do stuff. The launch went without a hitch. and I backed Onward over to the service pier so the welder could come aboard and do his thing.

22 June 13; Saturday; Annapolis to Crab Creek, South River

23 June 13; Sunday; South River to Reedy Island, DE
  • Onward and Merlin departed Crab Creek at 0500 to start our summer cruise to New England. Winds were light from the SW so it was a motorsail up the bay until the winds failed as rain storms hit. We had two rain storms. The second was very heavy but thankfully stopped as we entered the C&D canal at ~ 1600. Merlin stopped at the renovated Shaffers marina to get fuel while Onward continued on.
  • Onward anchored for the night at Reedy Island and Merlin came in to raft up. It was a calm night - just what we needed. The Merlins whipped up a pork roast and we celebrated our firs day of the 2013 New England Cruise.

24June 13; Monday; Reedy I to Atlantic City
  • It was an 0500 start to take advantage of the remnants of the ebb current to speed our way down the bay. Until 0800, we were hitting SOG of up to 10 kts. Nice!. With a good 10 - 15 kts SW wind we were able to maintain SOG above 7 kts most of the way.
  • At Cape May, I was haled by Sojourner a boat I'd met in the Bahamas and they said they were going to take a route even closer to the beach than the one I take. They offered me the waypoints but I said I wasn't brave enough to take that route.
  • Onward rounded Cape May at 1115 and pressed on to Atlantic City. The swells made for a rolly passage and I had decided it was too rolly to be able to make pizza dough without making a mess. The swells became less of a problem and the sound of disappointment in Ed's voice when I'd told him I'd cancelled pizza fore dinner made me reconsider. I managed to move all the stuff necessary to get to the flour and then measure out what I needed without any mess. Then as I was putting the flour keeper away, I was distracted by simultaneous bites from several black flies and as a result I spilled flour and made the mess I'd been trying to avoid. But I did get the dough made!
  • There we found the dredge R S Weeks working in the inlet just E of the bridge but were well over to the red side so there was no problem passing. This did force me to follow the two green buoys W of the G&R buoy where the charts still show a shoal but it has obviously been dredged away. I can't figure out why they have all the dredge equipment when the inlet is all in good shape. Must be a Sandy thing...
  • After anchoring about 1630, I poured myself a mug of beer and started making the pizzas. I was done by the time the Merlins were ready to launch their dinghy and managed to get in a delightful shower before they arrived.
  • While in the Bahamas and in LA, I worked out the baking tricks to be able to make thin-crust pizza from my pizza dough recipe. However, having done that, I decided that I really like much better the Sicilian-style thick-crust pizza that I usually make. So, my guests will have to find a way to pay me a big bribe to make thin-crust pizzas. Tonight, the pizza was IMHO really good with a very light and airy crust and body. Delish. We enjoyed with red wind and then topped it off with a Merlin fresh fruit salad.

25 June 13; Tuesday; Atlantic City to Atlantic Highlands
  • I managed to talk the Merlins into an 0530 start. Ed talked about the desire to sail up the coast. Well the seas were calm and there was essentially no wind. For a while, a favorable current seemed to help us and we entertained dashing directly to Manhasset Bay as I did last year. But that wasn't to be.
  • There is an amazing amount of dredging activity along the Jersey shore with a good deal of it being for beach replenishment. It seemed the chartplotter was never free of an AIS signal for a dredge.
  • Along the way I heard an interesting VHF exchange with the Barnagate USCG by a small commercial fishing boat who said he was being harassed by smaller boat who was attempting to ram him and get in his way… Interesting.
  • As we approached Sandy Hook, we were greeted by a thunderstorm cell moving directly at us. Luckily it divided in two with the northern segment moving over Fire Island and dissipating and southern segment passing behind us. We still got winds of 40+ kts for a bit but no seas and no heavy rain.
  • We put into Atlantic Highlands and anchored. I noticed a Leopard 40 cat had come in just before Onward and was having some problem deciding where to anchor. We talked on VHF and after Merlin got settled off Onward's port side, I talked them into a good spot just beyond Merlin. They later stopped by and the owner from MA had just bought it in DE and was still on the learning curve. It turns out they will keep it in Wickford RI this summer.
  • The Merlins invited me over for dinner. I was at first too tired to go but then after I had a G&T and relaxed a bit I changed my mind and enjoyed a nice if short evening.

26 June 13; Wednesday; Atlantic Highlands to Manhasset Bay
  • We weighed anchor at 0700 and headed off for the E River on a beautiful sunny morning with ~ 15 kts of WSW wind. My GPS-125 again decided it didn't like getting up early and I had to plug in the GPS-120 until it woke up.
  • We caught the flood current up the East River and had a fast ride at > 10 kts most of the way. I forgot to check how close the mid tank was to empty and found out -- in the exact middle of Hell Gate. There was a strong current at max flood carrying me along so it wasn't a problem to switch tanks and restart a couple of times to clear air out of the line.
  • We put into Manhasset Bay at 1145 and picked up one of > 12 North Hempstead town moorings that are free for the first 48 hours. After lunch we Ventured in to town for a walk and to check off the hardware store visit. Ed forced me to join him in a cappuccino so I was alert for the rest of the afternoon. It was good to see the bookstore at the corner still going strong and I found a number of books to add to my list to read -- once I read through my back inventory.
  • After returning to the boats to rest and clean up, we Ventured in to Manhasset Bay Yacht Club where we were met by Mike and Maureen Yorke. We had dinner at the club. Both Mike and Maureen had meetings to attend in the club but we had a good time catching up until they had to leave. The Merlins and I finished a leisurely dinner and then headed back to our floating homes.

27 June 13; Thursday; Manhasset Bay
  • Another overcast day promising rain. The weather forecast for the next week promises the same as the Bermuda High holds a low pressure zone over the area. Ah well, at least we had good traveling weather for going up the coast.

28 June 13; Friday; Manhasset Bay
  • New York Excursion Day! We Ventured ashore to the MBYC and then walked to the train station to catch the 0945 train in to Penn Station. After the hot walk to the station, it was a nice cool comfortable ride in. Based on Leslie's advice we took the subway S to see the Tenement Museum. They only run group tours and we weren't clever enough to reserve ahead so we had 90 min to wait. We decided to walk around the neighborhood and Ed discovered that famous Katz's Deli was only a couple of blocks away. Great!
  • At the deli, we selected our personal "carver" who hand carved the meat for the sandwich we chose. I had a combo pastrami and corned beef. It was far and away the best deli sandwich I have ever had: tender, flavorful. Delish. It was a MEAL!
  • We finished lunch in time to make our tour of the Tenement Museum.
  • We took the subway back N to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was the first time I had had a chance to visit the Met in spite of my many trips to NYC over the years. We took paid for one of the audio tours and that was a brilliant decision. We received an iPod touch where we put in the number of the tour or exhibit we wanted to hear about and voila, a personal tour guide! First order of business was a cappuccino to pep us up for the afternoon.
  • We decided to start with the Director's Tour of the First Floor -- narrated by the Director himself. This took us to significant exhibits in almost every gallery on the first floor and gave us a wonderful overview of the whole museum. This is something that probably I wouldn't have gotten otherwise. When we finished the Director's Tour, we went to visit the current exhibit on art and photography from the civil war. I found it interesting and educational. We managed to keep going until it was closing time.
  • It was a beautiful night as it had could down a bit from the heat of the day. We started out just to take a short walk S to see some of Central Park and ended up walking the entire way S back to Penn Station. Unfortunately somewhere along the way someone not looking where they were going ran into my right shoulder and spun me half way around. Later as I walked S my back began to hurt and took a bit of the blush off the festifities.
  • As we passed the Apple Store, On a Friday night Times Square was packed. It was an interesting sight but not an activity I would want to do anything but walk through.

29 June 13; Saturday; Manhasset Bay to Oyster Bay

30 June 13; Sunday; Oyster Bay