Monday, September 13, 2010

Haverstraw Bay Dodging Severe Thunderstorms

We are off on our great adventure. We’ve been to Maine the last three summers and sailed in Long Island Sound innumerable times, we’ve never gone down the ICW to Florida. The opportunity came up this summer so we planned our time, carefully we thought. We still cruised to the Sound but came back early to give us a month to get ready for the trip south. At first I thought, “What do I need a month for?” But soon it became obvious that it was tight even at that. The boat work included replacing the radar with a new unit, changing all diesel and gas filters on the main diesel and genset along with changing the oil, replacing all the hoses in one head (Don’t ever do that! If you think about it, forget it. If you consider buying the hoses, don’t. If you start doing it, stop. In other words, don’t! I will not go into the gory details but the job finally was done after two weeks.)

We finally shoved off around 1:00 pm after refueling at our yacht club interrupted by the Steward saying, “You going to pay for that when you come back?”, since I was already on my way south, forgetting to put a check in the box for the fuel! Certainly a bad example for the former Financial Chairman to set – but all was saved when the Steward reminded me before I left.

We had severe thunderstorm warnings all the way south but somehow they all missed, going both north and south of us. We have a much more important storm to worry about, Igor. We left two days ahead of our plan to avoid the swells coming from Igor later in the week. We’ll spend Tuesday night at Atlantic Highlands and then set out for Atlantic City the next day. The swells are due to arrive late Thursday along the coast. We use a forecasting site for the swell predictions. At Atlantic City we plan on staying at Trump Castle. Presently, we’re at Croton Point in Haverstraw Bay, just click on "Feetwing Location" at the left to see our exact spot. We passed the Half Moon on the way down, they are even outfitted with AIS!
For those not familiar with our boat, it’s a Beneteau 423 sailboat, 42 feet long with a 5 foot draft. It has a 55 hp Volvo diesel and a 4.2 kw Panda genset. We carry 52 gal of fuel and 150 gal of water. The cockpit can be fully enclosed for comfortable cruising during cool weather, handy for Maine and probably useful for the ICW too. Both the main and jib are roller furled with all lines led back to the cockpit. It’s very easy for two people to sail, we never have to leave the cockpit except to anchor (44 lb Spade and 60 ft of 3/8 inch BBB chain.) I have an internet connection on board via Verizon for checking on the weather status and e-mail.
We took the rainbow as a good sign! Wonder what Igor is doing….