Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Atlantic City - We see the sun!

View from the swimming pool, pretty full but plenty of slips available still
A day can't be all bad when the sun comes out. It mostly didn't rain either, what more to ask? Well, one thing to ask for is a weather window to reach Cape Map. Thursday would probably be a good enough day but we're going to wait for Friday to leave. After that, one app says Saturday is good for going up Delaware Bay and the other one says Sunday is the day. Things usually become clearer when you get closer to decision time. At least we are situated well for a flood tide going north to Chesapeake City. One thing you never want to do is experience wind against current when transiting Delaware Bay! It can be downright dangerous.

Play those slots - but not me
The saga of the lost FedEx package was solved today. It turned out that the sender "ran out of room" in the address field given the long marina name to include my name. The marina got a package addressed to them with no indication that it was directed to anyone else. FedEx had delivered it but the marina didn't realize it was directed to me since my name was not on it. I got FedEx to retrieve the package and redirect it to Atlantic City with a due date of Thursday. Let that be a lesson to all, be sure that your name is on a package to be delivered to a marina!

The casinos know how to be gaudy
The marina here seems to have fewer empty slips than in the past but in walking through the casino this afternoon, I didn't notice a bigger crowd than usual at the slots. Meanwhile, we're just waiting for weather for the trip to Cape Map. I think everyone is piling up, waiting for the Socastee Swing  Bridge to be operational again. It's blocking the entire ICW. Unfortunately, the river there hasn't even crested yet, it's still going up! It zoomed by the old record by 2 ft and still moving. I would guess at another 1.5 weeks until it's open again so we're in no rush. At least the sun came out today for the first time in over a week!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Atlantic City - Day 2 at dock

Ann's work of the day, much better than what I spent my time doing
The wind is howling, the rain is pelting, and it's cold outside. But we are snuggled up inside with both heaters going, 1500 watts for the main cabin and a 400 watt unit for the forward berth. The combination keeps Fleetwing nice and comfy. Taking Hoolie outside is a test of timing between rain showers but it so much better than taking him ashore if we were at anchor.

So what do we do on a rainy, cold, windy day? Ann painted and I like the results. It's a scene from our backyard during warmer days. I worked on tracking down that package that was supposed to be delivered Saturday. FedEx says it was delivered, the marina said it never was. So now I'm in claim mode with FedEx. The guy that delivered the package was off today so FedEx will ask him where exactly he thought he delivered it when he returns to work on Tuesday.

The crowds at the Golden Nugget haven't skipped a beat
We are pretty much in waiting mode for a weather window and Friday still looks like the earliest calm day. Thursday is doable but for us, Friday is calmer and we like calm. Of course, the forecasts for 3 to 5 days out are always better than when they actually appear on your doorstep. There are a bunch of us holed up along the New Jersey coast from the Atlantic Highlands to Cape May, nobody is moving for a while.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Atlantic City - at Golden Nugget dock

We're at the Golden Nugget marina
The weather window was closing up fast. It was either Sunday down the New Jersey coast or wait for three or four more days in Atlantic Highlands at anchor. The forecast wasn't that bad with winds out of the northeast 5 to 10 in the morning, increasing to 10 to 15 in the afternoon with 2 ft swells. I had ordered a part overnight for the fuel leak but it didn't happen. I hate to think what I paid for that service. So I did a boater's patch and all was fine for the 10.5 hour trip down the coast. I'll have to make a permanent repair while in Atlantic City.

We left at 6:00 am in the dark and headed around the tip of Sandy Hook. We faced a foul tide heading out for over an hour but it gradually dissipated and we made very bouncy progress southward. Just to add to the complete experience, rain started in and didn't stop until 8:00 pm that night in Atlantic City. It was a miserable ride. It wasn't unsafe or dangerous, just not comfortable.

The casinos do believe in bright lights!
At least now we have the biggest leg of the Atlantic coast behind us. We will just wait for a perfect day to reach Cape May, however long that takes. We don't particularly enjoy this part of our trip south each year. It's basically point A to point B. We don't explore the surrounding area. We do enjoy the ICW and the folks we meet along the way. With rain in the forecast for the next several days, we'll be here for a while.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Atlantic Highlands - we leave Sunday for Atlantic City

Notice that little sign in the right-middle of the photo, that's the high water mark for Hurricane Sandy
Sad to say that the part I needed to stop the fuel leak did not arrive today even with overnight shipping. So it was on to stopgap measures. The leak was only at the nut used to bleed the fuel line so it wasn't all that critical, I just needed to stop the leak at that point. The O-ring fix I applied yesterday seemed to hold so I'll go with that to Atlantic City. If worse comes to worse, I'll put a clamp on the top of the nut to squeeze it down int he same way that screwing it in does, pressure to the O-ring.

Dawn and Paul came by to say hello, we get a lot of visitors that way - good to keep in touch
Aside from that, the Prosine decided not to work anymore. It's 15 years old so it's not worth repairing, just get a replacement. The risk of something like that always seems to be higher after a pause in cruising. Leave something unused for a while and decay sets in. The cure is simple, don't stop cruising! We cruise 9 months of the year but I suppose we need to cruise all 12 months to keep everything working, including us!

Dawn and Paul Gudelis came by to visit this afternoon. We hope to meet up with them in St Augustine. They also have a boat dog and Hoolie was very interested in the subject.

The weather looks a little ominous 
We plan on leaving at our usual 6:00 am and expect the trip to take anywhere from 10.5 to 11.0 hours depending on current. The weather is predicted to be ok, not the best but the weather window closes up tight after Sunday for at least three and maybe four days, then it's on to Cape May.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Atlantic Highlands - at anchor

The old Tappen Zee is being removed piece by piece
We awoke to an announcement that the Tappen Zee bridge just south of us was closed to marine traffic! That's rather startling to hear when you're trying to head south on the river. If listened closely after the announcement that the river was closed, you heard that you could pass under the bridge using the west side of the channel. One wonders why the Coast Guard couldn't just say that the first time? We passed on the west side with no problem. We got the tip from a tug heading north, we couldn't understand the Coast Guard, very garbled.

Always be prepared for a lot of boat
traffic when going through NY Harbor!
After passing that hurdle in our path, we went below to do a routine check on the engine. I found a fuel leak! It was dribbling into the sump under the engine (which is separated from the main boat sump). I had replaced the secondary fuel filter (the one on the engine) as part of getting ready to go south for another year. It was a bleeding tap on top of the filter that has to be loosened to let air out of the fuel lines. Well, it was leaking under the nut. No problem, thought I, just tightened the nut. After I tightening, it still leaked a little. So I tightened it some more. Still a little, More tightening and then it started to leak a lot! With further turns, it didn't seem to help.

We then anchored the boat just north of the George Washington bridge to troubleshoot. Upon inspection, I found I had stripped the threads in the female part of the connection. The fuel system was otherwise fine, I just had to find a way to stop fuel leaking out of the bleeding nut. I found a selection of  O Rings and fit one the nut that would tighten. However, it was tight enough for the O Ring to seal so we restarted our trip to Atlantic Highlands.

20 boats anchored here tonight! Everyone is backed up.
Meanwhile, I ordered the parts I needed and had them shipped overnight to the municipal dock for a Saturday delivery. If all goes according to plan (ha!), we'll go down the coast on Sunday to Atlantic City. Wish us luck, we could use it.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Shattemuc on the Hudson River - At a dock

The Hudson River is navigatable for some very large ships
The trip down the Hudson was delightful. We had an ebb tide so we were making 8.5 kts near the end of the run. I had sold my previous dinghy to Jack Mace who happened to be a member of this yacht club. He invited us for a night's stay as his guest so we took him up on the offer. It's very nice with a large clubhouse and even a swimming pool although it's closed this time of the year. They just installed a new set of docks that aren't even on the satellite photos. They are very heavy concrete docks that dampen the waves rolling in from passing boats. It seemed to help.

The Bear Mountain bridge held the title of the longest suspension bridge in the world for 18 months!
On the way down, we heard a call on the VHF that the Tappen Zee was closed to marine traffic!
Well, that was a wake-up call. It seems they are still in the process of removing the old bridge and they periodically close the river. You have to request a passage from the Coast Guard and you'll eventually get through. At least, that was working today, we'll find out Friday for sure.

Shattemuc YC is very nice, we're out on the end towards the river
We will leave early Friday to reach the Atlantic Highlands in the afternoon. The Atlantic seems to be settling down and we intend to take advantage of it for a quick trip down the coast. I refuse to look at weather forecasts until Friday afternoon, we're committed anyway. What the weather Gods allow, we'll take, what else to do?

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

PYC - Last Day

PocketGrib, nice and calm
 Fleetwing sunk another few inches after we loaded the last of our supplies aboard. We planned to have enough supplies to last until we reach Hampton. I took one last look at weather apps and then swore them off until Friday night when we reach Atlantic Highlands, our staging area for Atlantic City. They are just crazy.

Looks like the opposite! 
A boat ahead of us kept in communication with us as they went down the coast today. They had a forecast of 10 kts or so out of the north. That contrasted with 20 kts out of the same direction from PredictWind. The 10 kt forecast from PocketGrib was right as was the same prediction from SwellInfo. For trips down the coast, I'm going to place more faith in the latter two.

Windy looks better
We will leave Thursday morning for Haverstraw Bay to overnight and move on the next morning. When we were getting ready to leave the house this morning, Hoolie was glued to one or the other of us. If we walked towards the front door, he placed himself between us and the door. If we changed direction towards the door to the garage, he scampered right over between us and that door. Likewise, if we headed towards the back door. There was no way we were getting out of that house without Hoolie. He's sound asleep in his bunk now. Tomorrow our 9th adventure down the ICW starts. No more weather apps until Friday night!