Saturday, May 18, 2019

Stingray Point - at the Watereay Guide cottage

Ed Tillett's boat, a "Trumpy" made boat. 
I decided to buy a dehumidifier for the boat for summer storage. I found one at the local hardware store and put it in Fleetwing at the "Continuous" setting, on all the time. One of the side effects is the heat from running t all the time. I checked it today and it was 91 inside the cabin when it was only 75 outside. Well, maybe I overdid it. I then set it on running only when the humidity was over 45. That's probably too low too but I've give it a try.

An inside view
We were invited to view the boat races from Ed Tillett's boat today so we went over around noon. He has a "Trumpy" 60-foot wooden boat. It is from a grand era that's no longer much on the water. However, it's elegance at its best, just a beautiful boat for enjoying what the water has to offer. Today,  it was races in small boats, very short but amply powered, great fun.

This was a "buy me" boat, it would go out and buy, "on the spot" oysters caught that day and store them in the hull below.  
We went back to Fleetwing to offload some more "vital" equipment for storage on land and all we have to do on Sunday is remove the dodger and bimini. Then it's off to New York for the next four months. I rented a SUV for the trip north and I've managed to cram it to the gills. I think that any size car you have will always be packed so there's room for nothing more.
We have a magnolia tree in the front yard at the cottage. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Stingray Point Boat Works - Fleetwing is Airborne

Fleetwimg is airborne!
We did our last minute preparations on Fleetwing and the crew arrived right on time at 8:00 to lift Fleetwing out of the water and move her to the land home for the summer. At Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, we do all our own work including operating the travel lift for taking boats out of the water. it was really strange to stand aside and let someone else do all the work. I knew where the lifting straps had to go and how to position the boat stands but so did they. They were very professional and did a good job.

The cottage here from Waterway Guide is very nice!
If I count the docking fees and fuel costs as well as the fee for storing the boat on land at PYC, we actually came out ahead and it was much easier than trying to find a window to go north up the New Jersey coast at the end of May.

It overlooks the bay, we've enjoyed our stay!
Fleetwing will be here until the end of September when we will return for our trip south in the fall of 2019 but this time all the way to Key West. We really missed out two month stay there this year! We can't wait to to back!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Stingray Point Boat Works - ready to be hauled

We are ready for haulout Friday morning!
We had waited for a calm day to go north and today it arrived. We had a west wind, not a north wind, and it was less than on Wednesday. It was a fitting end to a cruise that mostly had good weather the entire trip from Titusville.

The travel lift dwarfs what we have at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club
However,, it's a somewhat sad day. Our stay on Fleetwing is ending tomorrow morning when it's hauled and put up on land for the summer. When we're hauled at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, we are full participants but here, the yard does all the work. They provide the labor, the boat stands and any wood needed to level the boat. They also have water and electricity available. Best of all, the entire yard is surrounded by 60 ft high trees which provide an outstanding windbreak.

I like the protection provided by the tall trees
So our cruise is ending early this year. There's no trip down the Delaware, up the New Jersey coast, up the Hudson River - we're done Friday! From what we heard of northeast weather from our family still there, it's not been a warm spring. I think we made the right choice.

I'm part of Waterway Guide and they have a cottage here for use by their people and we get to use it while we're hauling Fleetwing and when we come down in the summer to work on it. We plan to launch the end of September and start down the ICW yet again but this time all the way to Key West!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Downtown Hampton Public Piers - at a dock

Things are looking up at Downtown Hampton Public Peirs, nearly full
Once you join their cruising club, you only pay $1/ft for dockage and get every fourth day free. There's a fee for joining the club that varies by length of your boat but it's still a good deal. We made use of their laundry facilities today which are not enough to satisfy demand. There was a line all day long. The dockmaster said they would be adding one washer and one dryer in the near future.

There's a free, 72-hour dock just beyond the bridge (too low for sailboats but fine for powerboats)
Fleetwing will come out of the water for the summer this coming Friday at Stingray Boat Works. We will store it on land while we're up north during the summer. It fits in well with their openings since they are full during the winter but not so much during the summer. We will launch Fleetwing in the fall, probably in late September for our trip south again on the ICW to Key West.

Another strangely colored  bird
Meanwhile, there are lots of things to do to get Fleetwing ready for the summer storage. We will be buying a dehumidifier to keep the interior dry and hopefully free of mold and mildew. We have a car rental reserved for the trip north.

Our night heron says hi again!
Thursday is predicted to be a good day for going north with winds out of the west that will die off in the afternoon. We will spend our last night on the boat then with a haulout scheduled for Friday morning.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Downtown Hampton Public Piers - at a dock

It's always impressive to pass by the naval yards at Norfolk
Somewhere north of the Alligator River, we passed into the northeast weather zone. It's windy, cold, no sun and we can no longer get by with just shorts and a polo shirt. We endured our sunless ride to Hampton and took a dock at Downtown Hampton Public Piers. We've come here for years. It's close to downtown with many restaurants and the Virginia Space Center which has an iMax. It has decent WiFi and a washer and dryer. They also feature a herb garden for cruisers to harvest.

A night heron guarding his territory
We were only going to stay one night but then the weather forecast changed which was followed by the Coast Guard issuing a small craft advisory. Now winds of 15 kts with gusts in the 20s out of the northwest are expected Wednesday morning. Guess which direction we need to go? If the forecast is the same in the morning, we'll just stay here another day and wait for better weather - and run the heater at night for warmth.

Meanwhile, we were invited out for a nice meal and get together with Gordon and Eta and friends. It's all part of the ICW experience, the friends you meet along the way, can't be beat. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Free dock across from Atlantic Yacht Basin - At a fixed dock

Good, sturdy docks - and free!
According to the forecasts, we had a window in the morning to travel before rain caught up with us in the afternoon. We didn't have far to go so we had a leisurely breakfast and shoved off around 8:30 or so.

The Boy Scouts recreated the historic way of making a fence, no posts needed - it seems to use up a lot of wood though
The ICW has shoaled in along the edges but the middle is fine and with Aqua Map display of the USACE surveys, it's very simple to stay right in the middle at the deepest point of the channel. Just steer in the blue or at least in the green shaded area, just avoid the red!

Just a wonderful nature trail through the woods
We reached the free docks which are in a park setting and only found two other boats tied up. There was room for three more so there are still places for two more boats. The docks are very substantial and well kept. The park has several nature trails and a history trail for one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War at Great Bridge. If you ever stop here, be sure to walk the trails, it was all very interesting. 

We will go through Great Bridge and the locks tomorrow and take a dock at Downtown Hampton Public Piers for the night. Gordon and Eta will meet us at the marina for dinner at their place. The next day, we will leave for Deltaville and Stingray Point if the weather holds. It will be the home of Fleetwing for the summer as we head back north in a rental car. The spring cruise is coming to an end but there's always next fall!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Coinjock - at a dock followed by prime rib for dinner

What is this guy doing here? I've seen him at Atlantic Highlands. 
The winds were predicted to be 10 to 15 kts out of the southwest but turned out to be a steady 15 that gradually increased to 17 to 18 with higher gusts. The weatherman got the wind direction right but on the Albemarle, that doesn't count for a lot in terms of a good ride. Any winds over 15 kts results in a rolly ride.

The most famous restaurant on the ICW
We were shoe-horned in as usual at Coinjock. They snug the boats up with less than two feet between them. All they have is one long facedock and they pack them in to maximize revenue. They help you come in but are not usually around when you have to leave in the morning in tight quarters before they open.

Happy Mother's Day!
It's a convenient place to stop between the Alligator River Marina and Norfolk. Its major claim to fame besides the location is the on-site restaurant that serves aged prime rib. When we first called yesterday, they said the restaurant was full, no room for more reservations. They took our request anyway and when we arrived today, they found a place for us.

I took Ann over for a Mother's Day dinner of prime rib, her favorite on the ICW. She eats about half of the prime rib and then has enough for a steak sandwich the next day. They do a great job with that cut, recommended.