These Tide Minders, gift of dock-mate Steve Romano, have come in very handy! There is a stiff breeze out of the north this morning, so instead of giving our PVC fender-boards a workout, the Tide Menders get to show off a bit!
The 8 foot tide here makes this a practical necessity at least in this slip.
Without them we’d have to adjust the lines every couple hours, or beg for a larger slip (not readily available here.)
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.
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 FIVEUSCG 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, off the cemetery, 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.
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,
Here is a closer look at the signs on either side of the ramp. I found them VERY innovative.
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 # E8008 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.)
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.
Here are pics of two special persons that I want to include in today’s blog post.
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!
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!
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.
Total distance for our Great Loop: 5548 sm (4827nm)
722 engine hours (delta)
May 25, 2021 – May 5, 2022 // 248 travel days underway (as defined by NEBO “boat movements”)
2665 gallons of diesel fuel, $9661. ($3.625 avg price per gallon)
3.64 gallons per hour trip average, 2.1 mpg (statute miles)
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!
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
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 (once inside!), 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.”
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.
Make R-16 from either direction. Then follow their headwall within 35 feet. Turn right just before their 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.
In the stern, Shelly is prepping for our “push off”. Here’s a good look at our fender boards.