Homeward Bound, Part 1- Chesapeake Bay to Cape May, NJ

The waiting and anticipation finally came to an end. We picked up a rented cargo van and loaded it with everything we thought we might need, and could fit into it. We attempted a minimalist approach, which applied to clothing, food,and galley needs, but not safety equipment or tools.

We needed to bring our dinghy and outboard engine with us. Hmmmm, is this really going to fit?? This is not our old 11ft Novarania dinghy that we loved. Sold that in Florida. This is our “new” 9.5 Caribe, bought on Craig’s List. Guess it is a good thing we downsized!

We needed to bring our dinghy and outboard engine with us. Hmmmm, is this really going to fit?? This is not our old 11ft Novarania dinghy that we loved. Sold that in Florida. This is our “new” 9.5 Caribe, bought on Craig’s List. Guess it is a good thing we downsized!

Everything fits!! Al is the supreme packer and loader.

Everything fits!! Al is the supreme packer and loader.

This side view proves that even the dinghy is in the cargo van. We are ready to roll.

This side view proves that even the dinghy is in the cargo van. We are ready to roll.

We began our third drive to Maryland, one to view the boat, second for the survey and sea trial, and this third one to bring it home to Connecticut. Back over the George Washington Bridge in New York and down the Jersey Turnpike.

ThIs bridge goes over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Next time we are here, we will be under it!

ThIs bridge goes over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Next time we are here, we will be under it!

We drive through Middletown. Not in Connecticut, but in Maryland.

We drive through Middletown. Not in Connecticut, but in Maryland.

By 1:30 pm on Saturday, we had arrived at Piney Narrows Marina on Kent Island where Unfunded Requirement sat waiting for us. I did not take photos of either Saturday or Sunday because all we did was unload, clean, and unpack for hours and hours. With the emphasis on clean. We also filled a dumpster with things abandoned on the boat by the previous owners. It became more and more obvious that this boat had not seen real attention in several years. Somebody lost interest. Poor thing. Looks like another rescue job for us.

Sunday evening - first dinner onboard the boat. A Toast to us and the new, soon-to-be Kindred Spirit.

Sunday evening – first dinner onboard the boat. A toast to us and the new, soon-to-be Kindred Spirit.

The only "decorating" we did for this trip was to select three bears from our little collection of sailing  bears and bring them along for good luck.

The only “decorating” we did for this trip was to select three bears from our little collection of sailing bears and bring them along for good luck.

It was now time to start the journey home and step into “trawlerhood.” Monday morning we pulled out of the slip and stopped at the fuel dock.  Our first moments on the “dark side” brought that inevitable, and expected, sticker shock at the pump. 120 gallons of fuel added to the 300 gallon capacity tanks. Our little tank on the Morgan only held 50 gallons.

That first day was a long rough ride – strong winds (20 -25 knots) and seas of 4 feet. We both discussed reefing before setting out into the Chesapeake Bay. OOPS! Wait a minute, we don’t have sails to reef anymore! Old habits die hard. We took a lot of spray over the bow and even up to the flybridge. What a baptism into “trawlerhood.”

Al begins the day at the lower helm. He already looks pretty comfortable, doesn't he?

Al begins the day at the lower helm. He already looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t he?

When we move up to the flybridge, I get to drive the boat. Windy day!

When we move up to the flybridge, I get to drive the boat. Windy day!

We arrived at Chesapeake City at the western end of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal at 4:30 pm. Hooray –There is a spot at the end of the free town dock and Al maneuvers the boat into it.  Two fine docking jobs in one day!

At the Chesapeake City dock. Reminds us of our trip south last September when the Morgan sailboat was at the dock.

At the Chesapeake City dock. Reminds us of our trip south last September when the Morgan sailboat was at the dock.

Our reward for the long rough ride was a visit from Alicia, Aaron, and Ella!!! What a nice way to spend the evening. We introduced the grandchildren to the new boat.

~Aaron in the helm seat on the flybridge. Ready to captain! ~ Ella investigates the transom door. Trying to escape??

~Aaron in the helm seat on the flybridge. Ready to captain!
~ Ella investigates the transom door. Trying to escape??

Hanging out on the bow

Hanging out on the bow

The boys go for a dinghy ride.

The boys go for a dinghy ride. This is the first time we have tested this dinghy.

Sunset at Chesapeake City. A good first day.

Sunset at Chesapeake City. A good first day.

Day 2 of the trip home begins with the trip through the C&D Canal and down the Delaware Bay. It was a much calmer day, both the waves and the winds had died down. The air was cool and dry, and the skies were a little overcast.

Here we go under the bridge we had driven over just two days earlier.

Here we go under the bridge we had driven over just two days earlier.

The Delaware Bay is looong and not very scenic. It just isn’t.

~ A lighthouse marking shoals ~ The nuclear power plant spewing smoke.

~ A lighthouse marking shoals
~ The nuclear power plant spewing smoke.

This yellow nun (not the usual red one) shows the current against us. Once the current changed and was with us, our speed increased from 6 knots to 9 knots, while always running at 1850 rpms.

This yellow nun (not the usual red one) shows the current against us. Once the current changed and was with us, our speed increased from 6 knots to 9 knots, while always running at 1650 rpms.

While I was at the bridge helm, Al investigated the anchor lines and windlass in preparation or anchoring in Cape May Harbor for the night.  Hmmmm…..

Measuring the anchor lines

16 feet of chain! You have got to be kidding us! This will have to change. We loved our rocna and 200 feet of chain. We want to be able to sleep at night on the anchor.

This time we can go through the Cape May Canal instead of around the tip of southern New Jersey. With the sailboat we didn’t dare try that. The bridge clearance is 58 feet and our mast was 59 feet.  The Cape May Canal is man-made, 12 feet deep by about 100 feet wide, and was built by the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II.  This was done so  that maritime traffic wasn’t exposed to German U-Boats that may have been patrolling near the coast. Today, for pleasure craft and smaller fishing boats, it makes a shorter and more protected run from the ocean to the Delaware Bay, avoiding   “the rips” off of Cape May Point.

The Cape May Ferry makes the run across the lower Delaware Bay from Lewes, Delaware, at Cape Henlopen.

The Cape May Ferry makes the run across the lower Delaware Bay from Lewes, Delaware, at Cape Henlopen.

We approach the entrance to the Cape May Canal. It  was an easy 3 mile ride and cut about an hour off the trip to Cape May.

We approach the entrance to the Cape May Canal. It was an easy 3 mile ride and cut about an hour off the trip to Cape May.

We saw quite a few people fishing along the shore of the canal. From the look of the water, I am not sure I would eat anything from it.

We saw quite a few people fishing along the shore of the canal. From the look of the water, I am not sure I would eat anything from it.

Our second day ended with our first anchoring experience in a trawler. It was successful, and we slept peacefully in the Cape May Harbor for the night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *