Monday, June 27, 2016

SSCA GAM & beyond!

As everyone knows we accomplished our goal of making the Seven Seas Cruising Association GAM in Essex, Ct.  From our prospective we thought the rendezvous was a rousing success and we picked up quite a lot of information and met many new friends along the way.  The three and 1/2 day event had a little of everything and we even got a chance to participate.  All in all......a good time!

But first!  BS&T know how to do a "care package"

SSCA sponsors

SV Totem just finished a circumnavigation 

A life raft demo

Ruth & Herb just in from Annapolis

Guess who!?

Tom Whidden

Great attendance!

We had a number of sessions on weather by Chris Parker and now we have a face to the voice we listen to almost every morning while in the Bahamas.  He is on SSB and although we only have a receiver (we can't call him on the side band) we will still be able to email him and receive concise weather information in the future.  Also we watched a life raft opening demo (first time to see one open), had a presentation by Tom Widden, president of North Sails, a talk on Bob & Brenda's trip to Cuba and many other worthwhile subjects.  Bob & George did a great job with the whole meeting!

Sv Pandora

Right after the meetings we finally got a chance to take in the town of Essex.  It is a quaint little town with a couple of restaurants and a number of marinas.  We actually remembered being here over 20 years ago when we started our first wanderings to look at boats!  Talk about going full circle....

There are a number of swans in the area

Nearby the yacht club

The Griswold Inn

Local decor

some more

Very hard sand!

Train line near Deep River

"She'll be coming around the mountain....."

In Deep River, CT

The last day of the GAM was held in the Essex River Museum and at lunch we had a chance to see what was inside.  They have done a nice job with the museum.  Who would have known the river was actually over 410 miles long?  The biggest navy defeat prior to Pearl Harbor occurred right at Essex, Ct when the British burned 26 vessels, there by wiping out the vast portion of the Navy fleet.

The waterfront
Looking out at the moorings...can you see Nati?

Captain Anne at the helm of a sub!

The boardwalk

Afterward it was time for a little down-time.....We've been pushing hard so a few days off was in order.  For that we motored up the Connecticut River to Hamburg Cove.  They have moorings there ($25/night) but no anchoring.  The setting is great, a number of ospreys and eagles and on the weekend the place fills up.  Even though it is mostly powerboats it still was a good spot to have Nati. We had other things to do.........

Cove Landing Marine

Hamburg Cove

 Cove Landing Marina

Look who shows up.........Chris & Barb, on the Parker!

Here they come!

Chris's family lives nearby and they come down quite a bit so we hung out with them for a couple of days.  Dinner in a town nearby and yesterday we went out on Long Island sound and fished for blue fish.  The water was cool but calm and we nailed them.  My guess is that we caught perhaps 20 of those fish.  They are not for eating but they put up a great fight!  Afterward we had a late lunch at "The Dock" (which doesn't allow docking!!) and decided to rename it "The Curb".

A "lunker"!!!!


Relaxing after a hard day of fishing

Very excitable dogs....Stella & Kramer

Another lunker blue fish

We are having some new cushions done for Nati while we are here in Essex.  With that in mind we will most likely hang out here for a few more days.......then????

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We made it! The journey to Essex, CT

Our course over the last 30 days

The picture above just about says it all.  On May 16 we departed Soldier Cay in the Berry Islands and last night at 8:15pm we dropped the anchor across from the Essex Yacht Club in Essex, CT.  It has been a 1,278nm trip with the one goal ...... to make it to the Seven Seas Cruising Association GAM that is being held here this weekend.  We did it!!

We've documented the first part of the trip so we'll go right to the Florida portion.......  Since the winds were not in our favor we went up the inside to St Augustine as quickly as possible.  By chance the bridge at Titusville wasn't opening when we needed it so we anchored nearby for the night.  It was a good night and as lucky as we are, we were in the right place for the Falcon 9 space launch that night.  Very cool!
Our last rainbow in Florida

Up goes another rocket!

From there we made it up to St Augustine for our semi-annual Pizza Alley fix and jumped offshore.  Our goal was to make it further than we ever have and we succeeded.  409nm and 3 nights later we pulled into Beaufort, NC.  We had thoughts of going around Cape Hatteras but tropical storm Colin was on the move so we took the prudent direction and went inside to Hampton, VA.  Since we had a chance to sail more than not we decided to do the Coinjock/Virginia Cut run and stopped at Midway Marina.  Coinjock Marina was 100% full of big boats so perhaps we found our future stop over.  Besides, Tim the dock master drove us down to pick up dinner at Currituck BBQ.  Oh about good food!!!!  The Dinosaur BBQ doesn't even come close to real southern BBQ.  It was a great find!!

Spotted and Bottle nosed dolphins

They stayed with us for close to an hour!

More fun then ever to watch

Robie, your pretzel rolls!
The big powerboats at Coinjock Marina

What is left of Currituck BBQ!

From there it was through Portsmouth and up to the Hampton Public Piers.  This is our second stop at the marina and it was, once again a nice stop.  It also served as a pick-up location to have our "rock star" crew, Bobo fly in and get a taste of offshore sailing.  Lucky for us we think he really enjoyed the sail up the east coast.  Hopefully he'll be able to join us again for more offshore trips!

One of many ships in Battleship row

Hampton Public Piers

The day after Bob arrived we headed north, out the Chesapeake and up the Delmarva coast.  Captain Bob got his first initiation going out of the Chesapeake when suddenly we were hailed by a US Navy patrol this boat had real guns and then we heard....."move out of the channel for a US submarine!"  Yep, we did as directed and we had a great chance for pictures.

Look Out!!

And we did get out of the way!

Two nights, three days later we pulled into Port Washington, NY, on the north shore of Long Island.  We had logged another 310 nautical miles and pulled within a day of achieving our goal.  Along the way we:

  • Sailed out the Chesapeake and saw our first, up close and personal sub.
  • Battled a thousand black flies that appear to hatch in the open ocean.
  • Had two good nights, the second of which was a great reach up the Jersey coast, arriving in NY harbor at dawn.
  • Our first sail/motor into and through the waters of NYC, the East River, Hell Gate and Long Island sound
Looking towards the Verrazano Bridge, NYC

"Jenny" and the Verrazano Bridge

"Lady Liberty" herself!

The currents of the East River

The Manhattan skyline

The Brooklyn Bridge

The "Freedom" tower

United Nations building

check out the beautiful stone work

Bob headed back to reality on Monday and the next day we took advantage of NW winds to head east on the Sound.  We didn't think we could do the whole run in one day but the wind gods were kind to us.  We even made it up the Connecticut River before the current switched.  So.....the SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) GAM is next and then we will have to make some more plans.

The Essex waterfront