Sojourn-Sunset

Saturday, May 8, 2010
Annapolis, MD

The weather report was windy and wet so we decided to take a lay day in Annapolis. Most of the boating has moved out of the downtown area of Annapolis. Fawcett’s Marine Supply - a good independent store - had closed. At first we were told (by a store getting into marine supplies) they had gone out of business. Turns out they moved further out of the city core to where there were more boaters.

We took a bus out and gathered a few odds and ends (the boat always needs more odds and ends) then headed for Eastport to check out a local restaurant we had been wanting to get to for a few years. We had a great lunch at the Boatyard Bar and Grill.

We could have moved the boat up a river to a quieter anchorage, but we wanted to stay downtown

By the way, any boaters going through Annapolis, you MUST have your dinghy registration clearly visible. It seems the local law enforcement (all levels) are quick to write tickets and slow to take explanations. Hudson had not had numbers on his hull, because they were not required in Canada.

Saturday, May 9, 2010
Chesapeake - Delaware Canal, MD

The weather report was windy, but in a direction that would help us. We headed out of Annapolis at first light and crossed under the Bay Bridge while we finished breakfast. We recalled passing under the bridge not that long ago (last October) heading down the eastern shore of the Chesapeake.

My brother Bruce, who is from Halifax and did this leg of the trip down with us, pointed out that we seem to believe what the weatherman says will actually come to pass. Damn you Bruce.

The wind started to build, instead of giving us a very controllable broad reach, we sailed on a close reach and sometimes close-hauled, up the mid part of the Chesapeake. When I attempted to reef the genoa by furling it, the line jammed. Damn you Murphy.

We were in the open with a fetch all the way from Baltimore. The waves grew and the ride got a bit (more than a bit in Mary’s opinion) rough. There was no where along the shore we felt safe pulling in, so we decided to carry on until almost the top of the Bay when we could duck behind the lee of an island and I felt safe going forward to clear the re-coil line from around the drum.

With only half of the genoa exposed, we gained control. We were able to get into the Chesapeake - Delaware Canal and, while trying to get into the first marina, we ran aground. Both the Waterway Guide and the chart all noted there was a shoal there. We found it. Fortunately, the tide was coming in and re-floated a few minutes later. We went further into the canal and stopped at the next marina - Summit North.

Unfortunately, we discovered we had lost part of our rudder. For those of you who have been following us from the beginning, that was the same rudder we broke (and re-paired) going into Marathon, Florida.

Heading for the dock, we ran aground twice more and found we had difficulty turning to starboard. This was getting to be a long day. Finally we tied the boat to the dock and shut the engine down. Tonight’s vodka and tonic took on a completely medicinal purpose.

Monday, May 10-12, 2010
Jersey City, NJ

Before you check to see if missed a stop or two, we did go from the Chesapeake - Delaware Canal to New York Harbour in one hop. Here is how we did it.

Learning from our trip down, we timed slack water and the ebb tide at the mouth of the Canal. We caught the end of the flood tide going through the Canal from the Chesapeake to the Delaware Bay and the flood ended just as we entered the Delaware. Heading further east down the Delaware River, we motored through slack water until the tide started to go out (ebb).

It was a glorious day on the Delaware. We passed and were passed by numerous freighters and container ships from all over the world. As we neared Cape May, MD at the end of the Delaware Bay, we listened to the weather report. Tonight was going to be clear and the winds out of the South. Given the state of the rudder, we decided not to stop in Cape May, but keep going to New York. When the rudder broke, it left about 6 inches in the water, so we were able to steer, just nothing fast or abrupt.

 
mary-watch-prep Mary and I had gotten pretty good at double-handing at night and we settled in for what would prove to be a completely uneventful night. We felt we were due.
Mary preparing for her next watch
 
Approaching midnight, we saw the lights of Atlantic City and they stayed with us well into the early morning. atlantic-city
 
Atlantic City, NJ - 3 miles out

It was midday when we entered New York Harbour. We were concerned about being able to negotiate the currents, freighters, water taxis and the general Hudson River traffic with our broken rudder. Everyone behaved. Sojourn performed flawlessly and we headed for the Liberty Landing Marina. The only challenge we encountered was coming into the fuel dock. We were doing well, then about 15 feet from the dock, when I tried to turn slightly to starboard, I remembered, “We can’t do that with the broken rudder!”

I put Sojourn in reverse and backed (using prop walk) to starboard, pulling the boat away from the fuel dock. When I had sufficient room, I turned to port and brought Sojourn in to the dock starboard side to. The guys on the fuel dock thought I was nuts until they saw how little rudder we had.

They assigned us a slip that was all turns to port. We docked for the night. After showers, we went out for a fabulous dinner at the Liberty House Restaurant in the marina and then sleep. We never seem to have problem sleeping after an overnight sail.

Weather report said to stay where we were for the day, so we did.

Tuesday, May 13, 2010
Mills Norrie State Park, Stattsburg, NY

manhattan

We left the marina at first light. We wanted to clear the Manhattan area before the taxis started - with our poor steering and all. We did it.

 

Manhattan Skyline at sunrise
 

We also caught the morning flood tide which carried us at great speed above the George Washington Bridge and past Tarrytown, NY. This is where our regular insurance allows to go without a US rider on our policy. We were heading home.

The Hudson River is majestic. We had a great motor until late afternoon near Poughkeepsie, NY. We stopped at Mills Norrie State Park with excellent docking. The showers were a bit of a walk, but worth it. We realized how early in the season we were when anti-freeze came out of the lines when Mary first turned the shower on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2010
Hop O Nose, Catskill, NY

Off at first light one more time. West Point looked as majestic as when  we came down the Hudson in the fall. We arrived at Hop O Nose Marina on Catskill Creek late in the morning. Sean, the owner, was able to slot Sojourn in that afternoon to take the mast down. We had stored the mast cradle with them and were good to go by end of day.

By the way, today - May 14 - is my birthday. We went out to dinner. For those who have followed this blog, you are aware we celebrated it Feb 14, Mar 14, April 1 and now the actual day. There is a reason. This trip was intended to allow me to turn that magic number - 60 - on our boat in the Bahamas. For many reasons, we were not going to be in the Bahamas on the actual date. Our family tradition is, if you cannot celebrate your birthday on the actual date (i.e. away on business, family members missing, etc.) you can ‘declare’ your birthday on other dates. Messy, but it works for us.

Thursday, May 15, 2010
Waterford, NY

We got away from Hop O Nose mid morning and motored to Waterford with few incidents.

The only challenge (other than not having all of our rudder) was the lock at Troy, NY. It was getting windy and the wind was coming across the lock at right angles. We were almost finished when the boat got away from me and the top of the mast (hanging off the stern) hit the wall, bending the Windex and breaking our masthead light.

sojourn_waterford We tied up on the wall (a free dock) at Waterford and inspected the damage to our mast light. It was just a cracked base.
Sojourn - on the wall at Waterford, N
 

Next Chapter - the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario and our new home.

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