Boats of all the cousins!

Shellerina (left), Top Dog (right) Richie (Shelly’s brother) and Lisa’s boat.

Another angle on Richie’s boat!

Just launched this morning!

Good N You was launched a few hours before this pic. (Cousin Donna and Tiger’s)

Good N You ‘s bow

My Shadow is “TJ’s boat, son of Donna and Tiger Lambert. TJ’s grandfather, Donald Charette, always owned a boat sporting this vessel name. TJ proudly continues the family tradition!

All these family members keep their boats at Palmers Cove YC. Four generations of Charettes!

PCYC burgee

Palmers Cove Yacht Club in 1961:

Salem MA

On the anniversary of starting our Loop May 25, we made it into Salem. Both Shelly and Ray’s earliest boating memories started in this port. Salem Willows Yacht Club and Coney Island (where there used to be a YMCA camp and building for decades) were the earliest of my memories. While Shelly’s were more centered out of Palmers Cove Yacht Club and Misery Island is where her family frequently anchored out and rafted up with all the cousins.

Salem Harbor as seen from the deck of Palmers Cove YC.

My grandfather ran the YMCA island camp for decades, and when I was all of 5 years old, he let me steer the Seahorse , the open runabout that we used to shuttle the boys out to Y camp on Coney Island in Salem Harbor. My father and my uncles all ‘graduated’ from that camp program years earlier, and much of their seamanship originated there, all to be passed on to MY generation, which came to include two Maritime Academy grads and at least FIVE USCG licensed Masters, (Russ, Scott, Richie, Lori, and Ray all have or got their captains licenses among this generation of the Charette and Sirois families). I need to check on Steve and Mike Charette (sons of Peter and Diane Charette). It is entirely possible that one or both of them are captains too. Steve is a Marine Surveyor, and Mike is a big boating enthusiast.

It is a little early in the season to try, but Shelly and I need to get a long string of mackerel jigs to see if we can re-live some of her childhood memories of bringup the line with a fish on every hook on every cast!

I do not ever remember getting THAT lucky as a kid, but I do remember one fishing trip anchored on the east side of this harbor where we caught SEVEN different species of fish in one day… all on drop lines! (Mackerel jigs and sand worms were our typical bait.) Flounder, mackerel, skate, pollack, and 3 others were the species. I cannot remember all the names, but I can remember what they looked like.

Decades later, I took my son, Nick and his friend Josh Knapp fishing in the Damariscotta River in East Boothbay, Maine and that’s when we got to experience the success that Shelly boasts about… multiple mackerel on each cast! So, I can attest: it IS possible.

Shelly’s mom, Nora Charette, is aboard this afternoon! It has been a couple years since these two have seen each other, though they talk on the phone every day. Nora knows her way to this marina as she and husband Dick filled up their car with five kids, food, and boating gear countless times over the decades.

Shelly and mom, Nora! “The Beverly Girls”
Catchin’ some rays.
Dinner at The Anchor… excellent food and service. Broiled Haddock, naked without breading! Smashed podadah!

Happy with her choice: Sea Scallops!
Right off the bridge – Beverly
The Anchor – Salem News: Best of 2022
Safely back at the club.

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After dinner pics…

After our great dinner I took the following pics… sculptures… INside the Pilot House and stuff outside seen on our walk back to the boat.

Nice, but no positive signs of buoyancy if this lifeboat capsizes!
This newly paved road along the south edge of the basin is called ED MOFFITT Drive. Ed Moffitt used to own this whole marina and “harbor of refuge.” It was Ed’s privately owned marina, but reportedly during bad storms vessels could tuck in here. I am not certain of the fee he charged back then exactly. But, I plan to research this some more. The USACE (Army Corps) took the place over in the late 1970’s if I heard the story correctly. Watch for updates to this post.
My first thought when I saw this was, “This must be a joke?!” Actually, I figured out, I bet this is a historic structure. This “marina office” resembles an outhouse, compared to the other office pictured in an earlier post today which is rather exquisite! This building must have been Ed Moffitt’s marina office! I’ll find out and
update this post accordingly! I promise.


This abandoned vessel was put up for auction in April 2021, and was supposed to be removed from the harbormaster’s property here near the launch ramp of the basin. It does not appear that they had a successful auction!

My brother Russ found this link about this PILOT boat:

https://www.capenews.net/sandwich/news/sandwich-harbormaster-to-auction-off-abandoned-pilot-boat/article_0584bff4-4a2e-59a6-ab7c-24d3dea3e77f.html

More details to follow!

Well, Tuesday I met the fellow who won that auction. He is a young merchant mariner out of FL who simply could not make this investment work. He was in town to complete the sale of the vessel to a local who had the resources, time, and skills to bring her back to seaworthy condition. He says the engine ran, but there were too many other things that made it impossible for him to get the boat to FL where he could work on it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch,

This launch ramp was VERY busy yesterday!!! It was a weekend day in May! (Not so busy today.)

Here is a closer look at the signs on either side of the ramp. I found them VERY innovative.

Left side of ramp.
Not Photoshopped!
This is the sign on the right side of launch ramp. My guess is they 1) get paid more attention to, and 2) show up properly in one’s rear view mirrors.

Sandwich Marina

This marina, at the northern end of the Cape Cod Canal, is a nice place!

Nice facilities leased to the town of Sandwich by the Army Corps of Engineers. Clean showers, laundry, etc. They use Dockwa for reservations, but I still like the place anyway.
Shellerina at her birth on Dock “C”. I think that is the USCG Station in the background. (Or else it is someone imitating their most common color scheme!)

Two restaurants are right on the basin’s edge, and at least two others are a short walk; the village is 0.4 miles away.

If there is something on your boat that needs repair, just bring your boat up to this bike rack! They have tools you can use.
We actually made a play for Salem MA (50nm) this afternoon, as the forecast winds were showing things calming down out there as the afternoon progressed. However, the actual observed conditions outside the inlet at 2:00pm were still too spirited for us.

So it is two more nights here, and a very early start Wednesday.
Shellerina from another angle, as Shelly and I dine at Pilot House restaurant.

[BTW: finally found a NE Clam Chowder that rivals Shell’s!]
Our meals were outstanding! Shelly’s elusive soft shelled steamers were almost impossible to find on our Loop trip. But we are back in beloved New England. This staple is readily accessible!

This boat basin in an earlier day.

The basin today, and our position within it.

Transitioning to open water cruising [almost] full time.

No longer having the ICW (American Intracoastal Waterway) to shelter us, our Go – No Go Criteria gets a review, and all our “tools” need to be tried in real seas, out in open water, so we can find our new limits.

Our comfort levels in 3 ft swells (5 or 6 second periods) is coming back. However, we will admit our early start today (first light) to make it into central Buzzards Bay before the wind kicked up was a good strategy. We had the swells all morning with no wind, and now the white caps are starting, but the swells have abated! Our timing of the current thru Cape Cod Canal matches up with another perfect cruising day. The wind is on our back and it won’t be opposing the current as we head to Sandwich MA on the other end of the canal.

Our Dockwa reservation has been confirmed. So we’ll break our 3-night anchoring streak tonight. We’ll take on about 100 gallons of fuel at the cheapest place in Buzzards Bay, as the place is a quick detour for us before entering the canal.

We’ll then be a day from Salem MA where Richie’s Mooring # 8008 awaits us near Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club. (Rich is Shelly’s older brother.) It looks like our Memorial Day target in Salem is easily within-reach. (We skipped Mystic as my cousin Joyce has fallen ill.)

Mass Maritime Academy…

and the Cape Cod Canal RR Bridge are dead give-aways to our geographical location…
… and the lime green “infant” leaves popping from their buds on the deciduous trees here in New England will give you all the chronological tips you need to know what season of the year it is for this transit on the Cape Cod Canal! Now, can you imagine the picture if taken from this same location in mid to late October?!

Playing “chicken” with a passenger ship!

We were on a right angle collision course for a half hour early this morning. (She was the privileged vessel, for more than one reason!)

Even with my radar’s CPA calcs, (closest point of approach) it was not clear whether I should speed up or slow down.

I finally coordinated passing with the approaching PILOT. (The ship herself was unresponsive.) He said the ship would be turning left a bit (to NW) to take him on board. So I told him I would speed up therefore to leave them behind us. He agreed that made the most sense.

Earlier I had asked him (again, before he was aboard), “Should I speed up or slow down?!” His answer was, “Well you gotta do SOMETHIN!”

In reality there was no real danger, as we were still miles apart. But it was an interesting passing nonetheless. It did get the blood flowing at 7:00am! It also makes for good story-telling of course.

The PILOT we coordinated with boards the ship to direct her entrance into Newport’s anchorage from the ship’s bridge. She anchored west of Goat Island for the day and presumably had shuttles bring her passengers into Newport for the day.

In our experience, cruise ships typically put on their miles at night, and make interesting ports during daylight hours for their passengers to go ashore to buy the T-Shirts that they couldn’t find online.
It left a large image on my radar! (Here just under a mile away, after the excitement) The pilot boat can also be seen on the left exiting the area.

It is too bad all this happened in clear weather. It would have been much more exciting had it all happened in the fog!

Long run today on the outside – South Shore Long Island

Long, rolly 50 mile run today. Fire Island Inlet to Shinecock Inlet.
It was a borderline “no-go” day for the outside: 3 ft swells on the beam-fortunately the period was longer than predicted, 2:1 (seconds:height) which is desire-able. We only saw white caps for an hour or so. Things settled down for our entrance into Shinnecock.

We finished the day anchored in one of our favorite anchorages anywhere! West Neck Harbor – Shelter Island. Between the “forks” of eastern Long Island.

Below is a link to a blog post written in this anchorage with my morning coffee, 2017.

https://shellerina.com/2017/06/14/waking-up-on-the-hook/

No-Go Today

Just a bit too much 3.5ft on the beam today for 6 hours + 13-16mph wind. I’d say “Yes” in my earlier sailboat days!!!
So we visited one of our old favorite places for Sunday brunch: Toast Coffee House in Bayshore. It’s a happening place! 1+ hour wait.
But they TXT us when it’s our turn!
Good things come to those who wait!

Shellerina’s Gold Family Celebration – Captain’s Lounge, Surfside 3 Marina, Lindenhurst, Great South Bay, Long Island NY.

Tina, Colleen, Steve, Kirt, with our blog up on the big screen!

Shelly and Tina Romano.

Shelly, Nancy, and daughter Desire (Nick’s GF!)

Nick with Arlene
Arlene and Shellerina!

Nick ‘n’ Dez
Kirt- Grill Master!
Chelsea and mom, Alice. Sharks! (After lessons by Kirt!)
Nick! Chowing down after working his afternoon shift as a pharmacy technician.

Here are pics of two special persons that I want to include in today’s blog post.

Harry Verby is someone we “met” on July 19, 2020 as we were crossing Block Island Sound. Dear friend, Steve Romano, crewed for us to help bring our new boat across Block Island Sound. He knew his friend, Harry was heading out to Block Is. https://shellerina.com/2020/07/19/successful-trip-across-block-island-sound-to-greenport-ny-north-fork-of-long-island/

Steve coordinated the at-sea rendezvous for pics to be taken.

Harry is the guy who took these first pics of our boat underway out at sea. July 19, 2020.

Harry joined us today, and he has been following our blog constantly for almost our whole trip. It was GREAT to meet him and fill in some blanks and answer some questions! Too bad I did not put my photo-chronicler hat in time to catch you on-site!

Jane Jantz, seen here with Shelly swimming off the stern of Shellerina. Jane has been the #1 respondent to our blog posts. Jane, we missed you today. We are so sorry that your sudden back injury prevented you from joining us. I am so glad you got to hang out with Shelly and all the YMCA pool friends this past week! Get well soon!!

East Coast Loopers all hunkered down!

We are feeling SOOOooo fortunate, as we are secured in our old, original slip. It is very protected, and we are right where planned to stay for 8-10 days, having arrived before the big blow. We are seeing pics and video of the places where we were last week, and we go outta there just in time!

Family celebration!

Our son, Nick and GF Desire joined us last evening aboard Shellerina for a reunion, then tonight we had a great dinner at the Seagull Restaurant at nearby Bergin Point!

(L-R). Shelly, Kurt, Nancy, Nick, Chelsey and mom Alice, Ray, Dez with neice October Rose, and Jenn. Three generations of Fawlkes at the table!

Everyone helped us celebrate our Wake Crossing and return to Lindenhurst. The meal was great and the service was too. These people have become close family for Nick in our absence; we love you all! Thanks to Wally, Laila, Carol Ann, our hosts at the Seagull.

Shellerina crosses her wake!

5548 sm (4827nm)

722 engine hours (delta)

May 25, 2021 – May 5, 2022 // 248 travel days underway (as defined by NEBO “boat movements” which is not necessarily travel days.

More stats to follow!

We anchored in this great protected harbor in Lawrence NY, almost immediately inside East Rockaway Inlet. The municipal Lawrence Yacht Club is were we spent our FIRST night of our Loop about a year ago. It is now a new favorite spot!

Manasquan River NJ to East Rockaway Inlet, Long Is, NY.

Our starting point was Clarks Landing Marina right off the canal hitting the Manasquan River from the NJ Intracoastal Waterway.
Clarks Landing. A wedding reception venue AND marina. Bathrooms and showers were clean and at ground level. Decent ships store. Instacart.com worked well for us here to get restocked. We appreciated this marina’s reasonable fee, as Hoffmans was now asking $5/ft per night.
Looking west: New docks, fixed docks, difficult to get on and off. They put transients on the far left (north) as you approach from the Manasquan River’s channel. We approached at peak ebb on the river, but honestly, current was not a big issue once we got in close here. They were NOT great at giving directions on VHF as we approached. 

We don’t like to be negative, but… Our slip did not have ladders like those shown above. Not really sure why they seemed to put us in their worst slip ?!?!

Once we exit Manasquan Inlet NJ, it is a straight shot across the shipping lane of Ambrose Channel to get to East Rockaway Inlet NY. The waypoint with the Finish Line Flag shows where we cross our wake. Pretty cool!

It all happens tomorrow afternoon!!!

NJ Coast Strategies

Inside? Outside? Hybrid?

Lets start with the Cape May Canal in 30 seconds time lapse into Utsch’s Marina. (see our post on Utsche’s … including how to get in.)

We had two beautiful cruising days, Saturday and Sunday to make Cape May from Del City, and then did Atlantic City on the outside. However, conditions like that would not last. 2-3 foot waves (but oddly, no wind) was forecast for the next hop.

Weeks ago, my first look at the “inside” route (NJ Intracoastal Waterway) was short-lived. Spots with only 3 feet of water meant we’d have to time it all with the tide… which is changing as you progress your day on the inside. We assumed we’d go “outside all the way”.

After our experiences waiting nearly a week for a good weather window to transit Chesapeake Bay, and nearly another week before we could take this video into Cape May, we needed to re-evaluate! We didn’t want to wait another week in Atlantic City, nice as Atlantic City is. (I mean it has great dining (which we already have on-board), but watching seniors pour their money into noisy slot machines is not OUR idea of “entertainment”!)

Shelly suggested we take another look at the inside route. The passage from Little Egg Inlet to Manisquan River actually looked doable. It was the section from Atlantic City to Little Egg that I did not like.

My work schedule was clear on Monday, save for one call I could simply sit in on from the bridge. There were no winds above 10 mph in the forecast, but waves were predicted to be 1-2 feet off the starboard quarter most of the way.

Tides were irrelevant on the outside, but they coincidentally worked to our favor on the inside passage.

We decided on a float plant to start off outside knowing we could pull into Little Egg Inlet if we didn’t like what we saw. That’s exactly what took place. We did not like it on the outside so we went in at Little Egg Inlet, (which was not fun in these conditions… even with no wind.)

The odd forecast of very little wind but waves after two picture perfect calm cruising days, unfortunately turned out to be correct. Except the waves were more like 2-3 feet with an occasional 4 footer. Not good.

Side note: after two beautifully calm cruising days, how can a third day, still have no wind, but call for waves?!?! Where do the waves come from!!! Trying that logic out… trying to out-smart the forecasts… just didn’t work! LOL

This 1-minute video “kinda” shows you what we endured for an hour before pulling into Little Egg Inlet.

We successfully got into Little Egg and finished our passage to Manisquan River all on the inside with tides in our favor the whole way.

While it was flat dead calm the whole way, I cannot write you to say I was “relaxed” at all! The unknowns of a long trip with only inches beneath our unprotected running gear at times with several hours like that still to come made it a nerve-wracking day… only to be finished by a roller coaster ride through the canal at the end with 1.5 knots of current pushing us along!

Once secured for the day in a rolly Manasquam River (Clarks Landing) we picked up all the stuff that got thrown around the cabin earlier in the day, then Shelly made a killer fish chowder, and then, needless to say, we slept very well!

I was disappointed to hear that Hoffman’s is now getting $5/foot for the night. The anchorage options aren’t great. Perhaps finding an anchor spot before hitting the canal would have worked? Clarks would do for now.

Post evaluation: If sea state conditions were any worse than we had today, making Little Egg Inlet would not be advisable IMO. So, my advice, “Do NOT consider Inlets like these to be a reliable storm ‘escape plan’ if confronted with a bad day on the outside.”

Looking forward:

We have only 25 nm left before we cross our wake! For the finish, we plan on waiting patiently for a VERY nice day in deep, open water, to cross, thank you very much.

After all, I don’t want Shelly to fall over board in the middle of Ambrose Channel (the Atlantic’s approach to NYC) when she is up on the bow changing the old white burgee to a new GOLD one.

USCG Cape May NJ

Doppler VHF-Marine Radio Direction Finder (RDF) over 150 ft tall tower. This “network” of RDF antenna stations up and down the coast can triangulate a VHF transmitter’s location many miles away.
You are looking at multiple vertical dipoles arranged in a circle; they virtually “spin” around in a circle (electronically) using solid state switching. Using the Doppler Effect they can then get a line of position to the mariner’s transmitter. A second station like this one (e.g. Fire Island NY) does the same to pin point the mariner’s position by triangulation.

Open Ocean!

A school of bait fish goes by under our boat. Stereo transducers make the 3D view possible. Click on video above.

Fishermen love this stuff.

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We more often use this equipment to record bottom contours in shallow places.

e.g. Last evening coming into our slip at Utsch’s Marina.

Here is what the bottom contours look like out here off the south NJ coast.

Notice the width! A 200 foot swath is captured at this depth.

Less than 10 mph wind on our starboard beam, as seen below.

Nice re-introduction to open ocean for us today!

We’ve seen some dolphins. Now we are watching for WHALES!

Lunch at the helm!

Taco Salad.

Utsch’s Marina, Cape May NJ

Make R-16 from either direction. Then follow their headwall within 35 feet. Turn right just before their lighthouse.

Blue Circle = Lighthouse

We left this morning soon after dead low tide. No problem with 8 ft, so long as you hug their wall! Fuel Docks, office, bait shop is straight in where yellow arrow points. Bow-in slips down that fairway on left is where they put us.

Free cup of hot coffee every a.m. at the [well stocked] Bait Shop. Block ice! The Ship’s Store is also very respectable off the marina office. 2 restaurants very close by.
Famous for a gift bag with surprises inside. Ernie and Wayne make it a friendly place. They will catch your lines during business hours (VHF 16>9).
Shellerina in her birth at Utsche’s.

In the stern, Shelly is prepping for our “push off”. Here’s a good look at our fender boards.

Utsch’s Lighthouse this morning on our way OUT.