Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Newport, RI to Cape May, NJ

These posts are our attempt to backup and update the blog.

We finally left Newport, RI at 1:00 November 8, 2015 and headed South to find warmer and safer weather for traveling, especially since we are new boaters.  Because we departed Portsmouth in the afternoon, the plan was to only go three hours and anchor at Point Judith just outside Narragansett Bay, so this was a good trail run to check out all the systems.  Inside the breakwater at Judith Point, with plenty of coaching from our training captain Carol Vernon, we dropped the hook.  Our first night on the boat and everything was so new.  And of course, we each were secretly wondering... will we love this as much as we think we will?

Our concern for approaching winter weather encouraged us South as quickly as possible, so we were underway the next morning at 6:05 in the dark, the beginning of our first full day, 10.5 hours to Milford, CT.  The same schedule the next morning allowed us to time the tidal currents through the East River and NYC.  Even though it was rainy, passing through New York City on our own boat was spectacular.  Coming out of NY harbor was pretty lumpy for us new boaters and our cat Mooney did not like it one bit, but soon we anchored at Sandy Hook, NJ.  Our third night at anchor brought 25 MPH wind that made it difficult to sleep as the boat bounced.  Carol truly seemed not to notice so Wendy and I pretended to be brave.

Our goal was to make it to Cape May, NJ with guidance from Carol, and after the washing machine anchorage at Sandy Hook and studying the improving weather forecast, we left at 6:50 for the 14.5 hour day.  Around midday, we completely lost steering off the coast of NJ.  Of course Wendy and I were about to panic, but Carol calmly says lets look.  In the lazarette, the steering arm had completely come off of the post.  I reattached it, tightened as best I could and we were underway again.  It was good to have a hiccup off the coast to learn that you just deal with it.  About 9:30 we entered Cape May harbor and anchored.  Another good learning experience was to navigate and identify traffic at night.  The next day we checked another item off the new boater list, using the boom and hoist to lower the tender to the water.  After a couple of trips around the boat, back up it went.  Then over to Utsch's Marina to test me for only my second time docking the boat in a slip.  No damage, whew!

We had made it to Cape May, so we celebrated by dinner out with Carol realizing that she was leaving and then we were on our own.  Wendy and I were excited, but panicked at the same time.
Yes, we were pretty excited to boat through NYC!  How cool is that...  except for the big barges and ferries that completely expect you to stay out of their way. 

The messy, rainy day could not dampen our spirits of being in NY harbor.

Our first time bringing the dingy down from the boat deck and a ride.  Cape May, NJ
Not quite the professional line handler yet, but it's coming.  She likes her lines coiled up just right.

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