Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks 2 years since we cast off from Michigan!

We had temps in the 30's early on, murderous heat and humidity last summer, blasted by a derecho, nicked by hurricane Sandy, dodged a tornado, run aground a few times, caught in a squall and zapped by a lightening strike. No pirate attacks; yet.

We've also had a great trip down the river system, riding in locks 90' high and watching the jumping carp. The Gulf of Mexico greeted us with our first of many dolphin escorts. What a phenomenal experience to see them riding in our bow wake. There have been alligators, sea turtles, skates, rays, barracuda and sharks as well.

We're actually beginning to get the hang of this sailing stuff too. Shutting the engine off and gliding along at 6 knots, listening to the water rushing by never gets old. Motoring down the East River past Manhattan at 11 knots with the fast current is pretty cool too!

Does anyone ever get tired of beautiful sunsets? They're extra special when at sea. But even better were the shimmering jewels of bioluminescence we had in our wake just last week off southern New Jersey, brightest in the moonless night. This just after the spectacular rocket launch that flew right over us.

We've met lots of great people, some real characters and a few buttheads too. Made many new friendships that we expect to last a long time.

Chicago, Mobile, St. Petes, Key West, Miami Beach, St. Augustine, Charleston, Annapolis, Hope Town, New Plymouth, Little Harbor,  Stonington, Edgartown, Newport; all great places to visit and plenty of good eats too! Fresh fish, shrimp, scallops, oysters right off the docks; yum!

Yes, it's been quite a ride these two very quick years. Perhaps it's time to move on to some other adventure?

Not; we're just getting started!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How much?

"At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much."

Robin Lee Graham

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stars On The Water

We made another run through NYC to Atlantic Highlands without incident. Now for the hard part, we don't like the New Jersey coast. The weather is often unfavorable and anchorages are poor. A window of north winds presented itself so we jumped. The seas were kind of sloppy but from behind, so tolerable. As the day progressed, the sea state moderated and we decided to keep going overnight all the way to Cape May. It turned out very well.
By nightfall, the ocean was just a mild roll from astearn, perfect. I received a text from a friend telling us of a NASA ICBM rocket launch in coastal Virginia almost 150 miles away. Maybe we'll see something. We were looking south at the appointed time, wondering if we could see it when a huge orange glow lit up on the horizon. Several seconds later, up comes the big flame of the rocket. Yea, no kidding, we see it! The rocket looked like it was headed right for us! Its low trajectory went just to the east of us. We clearly saw 2 of the stages break away and the new stages light up. The show lasted at least 5 minutes, maybe more. Thanks NASA!
Around 2 AM, I started seeing shimmering in our bow wake. At first I thought it was reflections from our lights on this moonless night. But I soon realized it was phosphorescence in the water illuminating as our bow wake stirred it up. They were like little shimmering jewels glowing in the darkness, flowing along in our wake. They would last from a split second to 3 or 4 seconds and were a continuous stream for about 2 hours. Sorry, they were not bright enough to photograph, but it was truly spectacular.

The weather and the seas stayed very mild so we then decided to keep going. We would have reached Cape May, our usual stop, at dawn. Our fuel level was excellent and the tide favorable so pressing on up the Delaware Bay was an easy decision. With the current pushing us, we did around 8 knots, instead of our usual 6, the whole way up the bay and into the C & D canal. We had another miraculous event on the bay, NO FLIES! The Delaware Bay is typically a nightmare of biting flies. How lucky we are.
Our last concern of the day was space in the Chesapeake City anchorage. No room at the in could be problematic. Our luck held and we found a nice spot in the back to anchor...right next to friends we'd last seen here last time through! It's deja vu all over again on Ground Hogs day!

So one of our most dreaded legs of our coastal cruising provided several of our best experiences!