Saturday, June 11, 2011

Northern Dash

We departed Norfolk on Tuesday, May 31st at 8:00 a.m.  Our departure was slowed by a navy warship which chose to sail at about the same time.

We motored 51.7 nautical miles on flat seas with the air temperature reaching 95 degrees, so we chose to spend the night at Dozier's Regatta Point Marina on Broad Creek in Deltaville.  The facilities here were very nice, and the air conditioning was appreciated.

Wednesday we traveled 55 miles to Solomon's Island. We enjoyed another day of record setting heat, so we plugged in at Calvert Marine.  Showers were a little rough here, but the a/c worked great.

Thursday, June 2nd we left Solomon's Island with a forecast of northwest winds of 15 knots gusting to 25.  The forecast was correct.  After two long tacks the wind clocked a little more west, and we sailed up the bay in boisterous conditions.  48 miles later our salt encrusted catamaran reached my Uncle Pete's dock on Back Creek.  Uncle Pete was waiting on the dock.

We enjoyed visiting with him and my cousin Sandi.  We ate at Pete's favorite buffet restaurant, and visited again the next day.  That evening we went to dinner at Galway Bay with Tom and Doris Johnson, who live near Annapolis.  We became close friends during the winter in Florida.

On Saturday, June 4th we motored out of Back Creek.

Every inch of the shoreline is docked boats.  Soon we were powering up the mirror flat Chesapeake on our way to Chesapeake City.  Since the anchorage and free dock were full, we stopped at Summit North Marina in Bear, Delaware.  After a 55.2 mile day we barely docked before the rain arrived. 

On Sunday, June 5th, we celebrated my 64th birthday by pounding down the Delaware Bay into southeast winds.  We enjoyed positive current for ninety minutes, reaching  speeds over the bottom of up to 9.2 knots!  However, the seas were ugly because the wind opposed the current.   After fighting current most of the day, the last two hours were with current and calming seas.  58.1 miles later we arrived at Utsch's Marina in Cape May.

Passage left the dock on the 6th at 6:50 a.m., and we motorsailed 67.1 nautical miles in eleven hours.  We anchored inside the Barnegat Inlet near Lady Jane, a 32 foot schooner sailed by John and Jane Wilson, whom we had met in Fort Myers.

The following morning we were up early for the long sail to New York City, so we greeted the Sunrise at the Barnegat light.

We enjoyed a wonderful sail up the New Jersey Coast, passing Lady Jane two hours into the day.

Ten hours and 62.1 nautical miles later, we were securely anchored at Liberty Park behind the Statue of Liberty, where we enjoyed a peaceful night.

Wednesday, June 8th we faced the daunting task of fighting the current of the Hudson River and the wakes of the multitude of speeding ferries.  But first we said goodby to Lady Liberty.

We started north at 3.5 knots over the bottom, but conditions improved after we crossed under the George Washington Bridge.  After Tarrytown the current turned, and we rode the current at speeds up to 8.3 knots.  We motored 62.1 miles to dock at Marlboro Yacht Club after a long day in 95 degree heat.

Thursday, June 9th we were up at 5 a.m., and left the dock at 5:25 to catch the current north.  We enjoyed speeds of 8.1 early, and carried the current most of the way to Catskill Creek 38 miles later, arriving at 10:38 a.m.  We spent the day washing the decks and removing and storing the sails, but our work was interrupted by a good rain storm.

Friday, June 10th, we finished prepping the boat, and by noon the mast was down and secured in her cradle on the deck.  By 12:20 we left Riverview Marina, fighting a current all afternoon.  Our boat speed gradually improved from 4.5 to 5.4.  On the way we passed Isis, a Beneteau from Toronto with Josh and Sarah, who had unstepped their mast just before us.

Four and a half hours and 21.3 miles later, we stopped for the night at Castleton Boat Club, where we were greeted by Rob Davies of S/V Mandate.  Rob kindly lent us his car, so we made a grocery run to restock our empty refrigerator.  We then enjoyed happy hour with Rob and Sue, who encouraged us to stay for the party tomorrow.

Today is Saturday the 11th.  We are enjoying a rainy lay day.  Sue will catch up on laundry between the raindrops, and we will enjoy the party.  Tomorrow we will reach the Erie Canal.


  1. Hi Jack and Sue - Sounds like all is well with you guys. I love the Statue of Liberty pictures. Your blog is awesome. Jack, I hope you are feeling well. Can't wait to have my neighbors back home. Love, Lennie

  2. Hello Sue & Jack. Happy belated birthday Jack.
    You 2 must be tired , it seems like a long hual.
    Love your stories, hope to hear more soon.
    Take care of each other.
    Brenda & John