Jun 01 to Jun 07 2012

 

June 01, 2012 

The weather is not looking good this week. Small craft advisory – lots of weather coming in tonight…

We explored alternative options for getting to New York by the 7th. We are fortunate to have landed at the Atlantic Yacht Basin. If we chose to stay here for the next two weeks and we paid the daily rate, it would cost us over 400$ BUT if we chose to pay the monthly transient rate, the cost drops to 208$ - DONE!!! If we need to we will just stay right here and Steve will meet his kids in New York while I stay with the boat. Plan B settled!

On another note, it is really hot here!! The humidity is not something we are used to anymore!! We actually sought out air conditioning for the first time this year. The yacht basin has an air-conditioned lounge which we took full advantage of today; juicing up our computers and surfing the net. We spent the evening on Polar Pacer enjoying a nice meal, drinks and telling stories. It’s not all bad being held up here J

June 02, 2012

A tornado and water spout touched down last night in Hampton Roads Virginia Beach, about 13 miles north of us!! It moved one boat from the water to the parking lot and damaged several booths set up for the Black Beard Festival going on this weekend. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Once again, we are extremely grateful to not be in that area and to have stumbled upon the Atlantic Yacht Basin. The weather is very unusual for this time of year as we have been assured by regular cruisers. They have not seen two named storms at the beginning of May before. It’s time to go home. We are discouraged by our inability to move north. It is not looking like we are getting our three day window before the 7th of June. We still have two more days until we have to enact Plan B so we will remain hopeful.

Since we are here, I go out for my first run in more than a month this morning. It felt good to be out but my body protested so I suffered a little and couldn’t do as many miles as I wanted. Oh well not to worry, breakfast OUT was my reward. We checked out a breakfast place across the bridge called Sunrise Breakfast and Lunch – FABULOUS!! Cute little place, ran by a filipino family. It is an impeccably clean restaurant with great service. The food was delicious and the prices were very reasonable – about 7$ a plate. We enjoyed our eggs with good company as Tom and Chris joined us along with another couple from s/v Wind Warrior 1, Ron and Jan from Halifax. They too spent the winter in the Bahamas and are waiting here for a weather window to get back to Halifax so we had lots in common and lots to talk about.

After breakfast, we checked out the thrift store next door and it was the best thrift store for clothing I have ever been to!! Tom, Steve, Ron and Jan went back to the boat after some time while Chris and I continued digging through the clothing looking for deals. I got a carried away and walked out with a big bag full of clothes while Chris showed great cruiser restraint and settled on one pretty little top as she knew she would have to get rid one to replace it with the new one. I will just jam my new/old stuff somewhere - FUN J

We are making the best of our time here, chatting with fellow cruisers and making new friends. If we stay, we will do some maintenance on Diana over the next few days to ensure she is ship shape when the weather is right to head north.

After reviewing the weather this afternoon, it would appear we may be able to do the trip in two jumps. The first, to Cape May leaving tomorrow morning and arriving Monday before noon; where we will stay Monday and Tuesday night then leave Wednesday morning to get to New York by Thursday…more to come…

June 03, 2012

Upon further review we do not have our weather window yet…we will be patient!

So, we did some chores on board, took advantage of the free WIFI and enjoyed the warm Virginia sunshine. That’s about it – not much else to report.

June 04, 2012

What a difference a day makes. It looks like tomorrow’s the day! It’s amazing how quickly the weather changes – we hope we can trust this forecast. For the time being, we will get the boat ready for the 2.5 day passage to New York. The fortunate part about this passage is we will only be about five or six miles from shore and there are several inlets along the way to duck into if the weather turns.

By the end of the day our check list was complete and we were relaxing watching a movie and eating pizza J

Tomorrow, we plan to leave the Atlantic Yacht Basin around 1000hrs to make the Great Bridge and lock opening. We expect to be out of Norfolk around 1230hrs-1300hrs. Our expected arrival to New York is June 07, 2012 around 1800hrs if all goes well. 

June 05, 2012

We managed to get underway by 1000hrs to catch the Great Bridge and lock opening.

Today is going to be the most challenging weather day of the ocean passage to New York. We are expecting NE winds, 15 to 20 kts with scattered showers. We are headed in a NE direction which means for the first 10 hours or so we will be “beating” into the waves.

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Great Bridge opening the lock is just ahead…

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The rain started just as we were entering the lock and there was nothing scattered about it. It pretty much rained continually for the next 4 to 6 hours. Norfolk is still a very interesting harbor and the rain didn’t dampen our enthusiasm for the ships and military activity. I only took a few shots this time around ;)

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Do you think they have enough lines?

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A tall ship in town for the Black Beard Festival

We exited or should I say pounded out the inlet around 1600hrs. A few hours later, the wind and rain finally subsided giving us a chance to dry everything out. The evening was uneventful and an easy motor sail.

June 06, 2012

The winds were unexpectedly light from the NE – what is with this wind direction?!?!? The winds this time of year are supposed to be predominantly from the W to SW.

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Sunrise – my favourite time J

We sailed for most of the evening in an attempt to conserve fuel. The winds died out by early morning so we had to consider the possibility of ducking into Atlantic City if the winds didn’t cooperate. Our motor misbehaved this morning by not starting when ordered to. Fortunately, we were able to crank start it but Steve’s knee was injured in the process. You see, the handle to the crank had some corrosion and jammed in place when the motor started (it is supposed to let go as soon as the motor starts). It flew off after several turns hitting Steve - luckily – right ABOVE the knee cap! After several moments of grimacing in pain (Steve silently screaming while I fear the worst), Steve was able to assess the damage and determined nothing was broken – only badly bruised. We both breathed a sigh of relief and I quickly treated it with ice and pain killers. This is not the best start to a day...

By the afternoon the winds clocked from the north to the south to the North West. We took advantage of what we could but still needed to motor-sail to keep up the pace if we were going to make it to New York by the 7th. The BEST part about motor sailing is that Ottotoo can take the helm and do most of the steering making helming duty more enjoyable.

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Ottotoo at the helm – doing a fantastic job!

We settled in for another quiet evening at sea with some very pleasant sailing.

June 07, 2012

We really aren’t sure how much fuel we have. Our fuel gauge is not reading accurately but we are almost sure we have enough to get into New York. We were able to sail the entire night and feel we conserved enough to get into New York City. The good news is the winds should be up around 15 kts by this evening and should help push us in if we run out of fuel. We are a sail boat after all!

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Another beautiful sunrise at sea

However, it’s only great to be a sail boat IF there is wind to push us around. The winds died completely by 0930hrs this morning….and the engine would not start. Steve cleaned the corrosion off the handle and greased it up so it should pop off when it is supposed to. He tried crank starting it – and the bloody thing would not start. Now, it’s not easy to crank start these things. There is quite a bit of tension on the handle and it must be cranked about three or four times around before the motor kicks in. We spent an hour trying to start it and nothing. Steve tried all his bag of tricks while we floundered in dead calm – we were actually going backwards!! Finally, in our last ditch attempt, we shut off everything that was taking power allowing all the power from the battery to go directly to the starter. Sure enough, it started right away!! So, it’s not the starter after all but a power issue. There will be a Google search about this when we get in…

By late afternoon we determined we should reach the first buoy to New York harbor around 1900hrs.

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That’s the NY skyline in the background – yay!! We’re almost there J

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Getting closer…

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The Verrazano Bridge…

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There she is!!!

Funny story… There was not a lot of traffic in the harbour, just the usual ferry and party boat stuff, but it was really dark and we couldn’t see the unlit security buoys around the Statue of Liberty. As we approached Lady Liberty to take this photo, we had some very serious Coast Guards with some very serious guns advise us we were too close. Turns out we were about 50 feet or so from her and well inside the no-go zone. Oops!!

I was a bit nervous coming into this harbor at night and suggested to stop in Sandy Hook for the night. Steve suggested we go for it “When will we ever see New York from this perspective” he said with enthusiasm. I was easily convinced. The New York skyline from the water is gorgeous!! I only wish I had a better camera to capture it.

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That’s the new Freedom Tower in the middle

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Beautiful!

We stopped for fuel as soon as we could and turns out we had more than 5 gallons of fuel left when the tank read “empty”. We worried for nothing!!

By midnight we were safely moored at the 79th Street Boat Basin in time to meet Steve’s kids in the morning. We managed to pick up some WIFI to email family of our arrival.