Delivery Trip – Home and Haul Out

The last day of this “delivery,” the final 51 nautical miles from Port Jefferson to Shennecossett Yacht Club in Groton. Our spirits were high in spite of the fog and dreariness that faced us at 7:00 am.  

Viewing the Port Jefferson breakwater as we leave. Did I already mention that I love this round porthole in my galley??? 😊

I guess it’s a good thing that there were very few crazy boats out here with us. Autopilot, AIS and radar are our friends today. There were few opportunities for photographs along the way eastward on Long island Sound.

At 10:00 am there was a tiny glimmer of sunlight on the water, but alas it gave up quickly.
To relieve the sameness of our view, I satisfied our tummies and noses with cinnamon buns.

And so it went, uneventfully (which is good on a day like this), for 7.5 hours. By the time we had Avery Point in sight, it was lightly raining and still overcast.

A blurry wet view of the Avery Point lighthouse on the UCONN campus.

To say we were excited is to put that in mild terms. Our friends, Dean and Mary Jo, were waiting at the little lighthouse to take photos of our return as we passed in front on Ledge Light and then by Pine Island. This is the third time they have done this for us – first time was leaving for the Bahamas on the sailboat, second time was our delivery of the Mariner Orient, and now the third time for the delivery of The Edge. (Check out the banner photo at the top of the blog.)

Let the photographs speak for themselves —

A stop to wave.

Mary Jo and Dean next raced back to SYC to help us into the slip.

Backing The Edge into the slip. It was not easy to do. I was grateful for Dean’s helping hands.
All settled into the slip. Not too many boats are still in the water. Oh wait, it IS October 30th.
The last leg of the 7 days, 51 nautical miles (7.5 hours) down Long Island Sound from Port Jefferson to Shennecossett Yacht Club.

The delivery trip from Kilmarnock, Virginia to Groton, Connecticut covered 404 nautical miles, taking 57.5 hours over 78 days (6 days of travel and 1 stop for weather.) That means our average speed was 7 knots, although it ranged from 6 knots to a high of 13 knots through Hells Gate. 😳

Not only did Dean and Mary Jo take photos and help us into the slip, but they brought Prosecco and chocolate for celebration.

A toast to us! We did it!
And yes, a kiss from my Captain.
Good, good friends! A perfect way to end this adventure.
A moment to show off his standup engine room.

We secured the boat in the slip in preparation for a rainy and windy day and went home to REST. As Mary Marie said, (may I quote you?) “Does this mean you are no longer living on the edge?” Good one, Ems! 😄

Saturday was haul-out day. The day may have begun at 38 degrees but it warmed up to 50 with the bright sun and cloudless blue skies.

Before our afternoon haul out time, we had some prepping to do. One thing was to move the dinghy off of the flybridge using the boom/crane and electric winch. We didn’t do too badly for a first time, but it’s going to take practice to do it easily and efficiently.
On the lift and in the well.
The boat is taken over to the wash down area for an underside bath. By spring she will be renamed Kindred Spirit. The Edge is a fine name for Billy and Becky’s boat (their last name is Edge so it was perfect) but we will be staying with Kindred Spirit …….the fourth…….
Before the wash down, Al took a few minutes to spray the bow with lemon juice. The lemon juice if from a bottle of Real Lemon; nobody was going squeeze lemons. It works like a charm to quickly dissolve and remove the yellowish “mustache” that comes mostly from the ICW and southern waters. And it is environmentally friendly!
Well, look at this. Our former Mariner Orient and our new Kady Krogen will be hibernating over the winter together.

What an adventure this has been. Twenty-seven years ago, Al bought an abandoned sailboat at auction for $1200. During our 25 years of marriage, he gradually “watsonized” each of the successive four boats that came after that auction boat; and now he has the boat of his dreams, a Kady Krogen 39. Not bad, honey, not bad at all.

I don’t think anyone, not even me, could have predicted how quickly this would happen. Once we knew the Mariner Orient was sold (and would be in good hands), everything fell into place with lightening speed. I think we may very well be the only people to attend a Kady Krogen Rendezvous as “wannabes” and leave as “newbies.”

Who could have imagined we would find our Kady Krogen 39 while at the 30th Rendezvous?

This adventure would not be a complete story without the biggest, deepest, most heartfelt thanks to four dear friends. Anthony and Annette were there every step of the way, knowing when to be silent and when to cheer for us. Over the 7 days of our delivery journey, they were ready and eager for any phone call or text, and full of encouragement.

Dean and Mary Jo have always been there to welcome us home with open arms and Prosecco, when we return from months of cruising and when we return with a new boat. The photos they take are wonderful, but their friendship and smiling faces are even better.

Once in a while, we get these four together in the same place at the same time. Thank you all so much for being a part of our lives. We love you.

Delivery Trip – Through New York

Going up the East River with the sights of Manhattan and the thrill of the ride through Hells Gate is always memorable. Al has done this seven times and I’ve done it five times. This was probably the least thrilling for both of us. It was a gray overcast day and we are focused on getting home as soon as possible. Still, it is New York!!

We began Tuesday, October 29th at a reasonable hour, 7:30 am, timing it for a swift trip through Hells Gate but not a terrifying one.

New York traffic on the water. Because it was a gray Tuesday morning in October, there was not nearly the amount of water traffic as we usually see.
You simply cannot make this trip without taking another photograph of the Statue of Liberty. As least I cannot.
Lower Manhattan ahead, shrouded in a misty sky.
The east side of Governor’s Island.
Brooklyn Bridge ahead.
8:45 am. Still rush hour on the city streets.

I didn’t take many photos on our trip up the East River; there are plenty on this blog from previous ones. But I couldn’t resist taking these next two.

My old apartment building on East 63rd Street. Not the big one in the front, the smaller one just to the left behind it.
Rockefeller University, a block north of my apartment, has finished the new contemporary space that hangs over the FDR Drive. I miss the sight of the old brick buildings.

Shortly after we arrived at Hells Gate.

Proof that even when it isn’t peak current, you can get a real boost through Hells Gate. We saw 13.4 knots!
Look at that current.
On our way out of Hells Gate and the East River, heading for Long island Sound.

We usually stop for the day in Port Washington, but with miles to go to reach home, we aimed for Port Jefferson. After 54 damp and gray nautical miles, we picked up an empty mooring (they were ALL empty) at 2:45 pm.

Tomorrow we will be home. One more leg of the trip to go.

Delivery Trip – Jersey Coast to New York

We were awake at 2:30 am on Monday morning, October 28th and ready to depart Utsch’s and Cape May. In the dark. Al was on the dock handling lines while I was at the helm to back the boat out of the slip and into the fairway. There was enough light to see, just enough. My knees were literally shaking and knocking, but I did it. Leaving Utsch’s and Cape May Harbor required a vigilant look-out from both of us, picking our way through the channel using eyes, radar, and lighted buoys. Slack tide made the exit easier (we planned it that way.) By 3:30 am we turned northward for the very long day ahead of us. 

The Captain staring out at the sea. Goin’ be a long day!
Somewhere between Avalon and Ocean City the sun rose at 7:20 am. The half doors in the pilot house make it really easy to stick your head out and take photo.
Ahh yes, daylight. Even rough seas seem better in the sunlight.
I could look out the round port in the galley to see the sun in the east. I love this round port; it’s so “ship-like.”

Although the sun was shining, we knew that it was not going to be a perfect day for running up the Jersey coast. The conditions were certainly better than the past 24 hours and we needed to keep moving. It wasn’t dangerous, just very uncomfortable. The winds were 15-18 mph from the east, but it was the waves that made the conditions lumpy, bouncy, and confused. The stablilizers probably helped somewhat, but not enough in these seas. It was challenging to walk about the boat. Our speed was a sluggish 6.5 -7 because of the waves.

Photos just don’t capture the reality. This doesn’t look too bad to me, but we were pounding and bouncing through the waves, taking spray over the bow over and over, even slamming the windshield. But the sun was shining……!
We took turns taking short naps in the salon. Not one of my most flattering pics. Thanks, Captain.

By mid-afternoon, things were a little calmer, but we still had a long way to go. A conference between captain and crew led to a revised plan. We decided not to go into Sandy Hook to anchor; instead we would continue to head past there and anchor in Gravesend Bay southeast of the Verranzano Bridge.  Al had tried that bay on his solo return up the Jersey coast in May of 2016 and Active Captain had favorable reviews.  It saves some time, especially for the next day’s trip, and with east winds the anchorage will have protection.

Back at Shennecossett Yacht Club, our Mariner Orient was getting hauled out. Our friends, Dean and Mary Jo helped the new owners, Whit and Joan, bring her over to the bay and lift.

By 5:30 the current began to help us so our speed picked up to 7.5 knots. At 6:00 pm we passed the 100 nautical mile mark for the day. Chugging away…..

Just as the sun set, with just enough light to see, we spotted a boat coming towards us (Yes, yes, we know nearly everyone is going in the opposite direction from us. Call us “Wrong Way Watsons” this year. 😉😜 The boat looked like a larger Kadey Krogen. Our second Krogen sighting of the trip home???? Yes! A quick chat on the VHF confirmed it was indeed a Kadey Krogen,  Bull Dog Sally. They were confused because AIS shows us as The Edge, but the Krogen Finder app shows us as “Kindred Spirit 39.” Al was thinking ahead when he entered our information there. Changing the AIS is more complicated and requires the manufacturer.

Bull Dog Sally, A Kadey Krogen heading south.
The Krogen Finder app is pretty cool. You enter your location in the app, and it shows your position. All the green pins are Kadey Krogen locations.

The fading light from the setting sun soon disappeared as we neared the tip of Sandy Hook and the channel into New York. The city lights allowed some visibility as we picked or way into the channel and across to New York. 

Yippee!!! We can see the Verranzano Bridge through windshield. Almost to Gravesend Bay.
Al is out there anchoring the dark. See lighted signs ahead on land?
When Al was here in 2016 it was Toys R Us, now it is Kohls and Spirit of Halloween.

This was actually a good place to anchor for the night. Easy in and out compared to Sandy Hook where you double your distance because you have to go all the way in and then back out again. The winds were from the east so that was good, too. Yes, it can be rolly at first because of ferry wakes, but between 9 pm and 6 am we didn’t feel a thing. And we slept well.

111 nautical miles, 3:00 am until 7:30 pm. 16.5 hours. Done.

Delivery Trip – Delaware to Cape May, Then Wait

Saturday, October 26th was overcast but not too cold. After a little engine maintenance (changing fuel filters), we were ready to leave Chesapeake City. We needed to consider the Delaware Bay current, but we also needed to get to Cape May before dark. Our best option appeared to be a departure around 9 am. So we left at 8:25 am knowing we would have the current against us in the beginning and at the end.

Out into the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal. Been there, done this, no real worries.
Muted autumn color on the canal. Not much sunshine today.
Sighting two C-D bridges
The bridge is a pretty bright blue color as we look back at it.

There’s not much to say about the Delaware Bay that I haven’t already written about on four previous passages. It’s not my favorite stretch, you just have to get through it. At the beginning we were still bucking the current, traveling at only 6.6 knots. At 11:00 am we had passed over to the east side of the bay, outside the shipping lanes, and our speed increased to 7-7.5 knots. From 11:30 am until 2:00 pm our speed jumped to a constant 9.7 – 10 knots with assistance from the current and a little boost to 2000 rpms.

Obligatory photos of working boats and cargo ships.
We passed some pleasure boats, always going in the opposite directions (Yes, we are the oddballs at this time of year.) The top boat has a unique configuration. The bottom boat is one of many Canadian boats we saw, heading south to escape the Northern winter cold.
Well, look at this! Our first Kadey Krogen sighting (as Krogen owners.) Dream On is heading north on the bay and presumably south for the long haul. We waved out our pilot house doors.

We snapped a couple of photos of lighthouses when the thought occurred to us to do so.

Ship John Shoal viewed from our pilot house window.
Ship John Shoal Light was named after the Ship “John,” which wrecked in 1787 near the site of the present structure. The iron superstructure was placed in position as a permanent structure in 1877.
Miah Maull Shoal Lighthouse commemorates Nehemiah Maull, “a river pilot who was drowned in 1780 when the ship in which he intended to sail to England in order to make a claim on an inheritance was wrecked on the then-unnamed shoal.” Construction of the lighthouse between 1909-1913 took so long because of financial issues.
I have discovered the perfect place for weaving! I get to watch everything and weave along.

At 3:00 pm, our speed began to drop as the current turned on us. 7.4 kts …. 7 kts ….. 6.7 kts. Oh well, we had a good run for awhile.

Cape May Canal ahead!
Our timing was good – we passed the ferry terminal without any ferries departing or entering.
This fishing boat sped right passed us on the canal, carrying what looked like a good day’s haul.

Arrived at Utsch’s Marina and were all tied up in a slip by 4:30 pm. 58.3 nm, 8 hours.

Utsche’s gives transients a gift bag with informational flyers, a bottle of wine, biscotti and handmade soap. The biscotti were tasty, the soap looks fine, but I have my doubts about the wine. Still, a very nice gesture.

We are settling in for a two-night stay to wait out a weather front that looks fierce – rain and high winds. We probably need a rest day as well.

Captain Al has many manuals to study. I think this boat will keep him busy and out of trouble for a long time to come. LAST boat, remember????

We slept well and we slept late, past 7:30 am!! There was simply no reason to get up and rush.

It’s raining…… the rainwater is pouring out of the downspout on the flybridge. And the wind was “blowing a houlie,” as our UK friend Sue always declared.

A rainy day is a good day for chores. This little Kadey Krogen has a washer/dryer. Yes, a washer/dryer! Once upon a time I would have considered that an unnecessary luxury, but life changes and sometimes you see things differently. I wear heavy custom compression stockings 24/7 to control my lymphedema and they are supposed to be washed DAILY. How nice to be able to do this onboard.

My first use of the washer. The cycle took 70 minutes but it beats doing it by hand!

After hours of dreary rain and heavy winds, the sun pushed it all aside. It was even warm, a condition I certainly did not expect on this trip. We needed to stretch our legs and decided to take a walk for ice cream.

YELP told me this was the nearest ice cream and that it was open. When we got there Dry Dock was clearly closed for the season – see the little red sign in the window on the left? Such disappointment.
At least we got a nice walk and found ice cream at the Wawa. Satisfied!

Before and after dinner we studied currents, winds, and waves for the 115 offshore nautical miles we need to travel tomorrow. We considered various scenarios for the best time to leave. I have done this NJ coast leg three times and Al has done it five, but it’s still one of the toughest legs of the journey.