John

Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard

The minute we get off the boat at Block Island, our dog M.E., makes a beeline for the cows. She absolutely loves them!  She practically drags me down the gravel road to the stone wall, behind which they abide. Then in her Jack Russell fashions, leaps up so she can say hello.

Each morning during the summer months on Block, Aldo’s bakery boat drives around the mooring field selling hot coffee and pastries. He yells “Andiamo…..andiamooooo”!  It’s always very tempting, but we manage to abstain.   (See below.)
Block Island behind us, we headed northeast to Cuttyhunk Island. Tucked between the southern Massachusetts coast and Martha’s Vineyard, it is a popular destination for boaters, but by no means populated.  The island is about a mile and a half long, and three quarters of a mile wide.  It is part of the town of Gosnold, Massachusetts and home to 52 of the town’s 86 year-round residents.  As for the topography, if you didn’t know better you might think you were on an island off the coast of Scotland! The dense scrub, along with the rock and stones, are a testament to Cuttyhunk’s glacial origins.

We enjoyed anchoring out there for one night, with a trip into the village for an after-dinner walk up to Lookout Hill for an incredible view of the harbor.

Thursday morning prior to Labor Day weekend, we took the one hour trip across Vineyard Sound to a wonderful anchorage, Lake Tashmoo, on Martha’s Vineyard.  It’s one of our favorite anchorages due to it’s excellent wind protection and good holding (with the right anchor).  Since we’ve been there many times, we knew we had to get there early, before all the weekend boaters arrived.  We were glad we did because, by Saturday morning the place was packed!  While it was a little cozy, we enjoyed getting acquainted with some of our neighbors, especially those with dogs.  There are always dog-boating tales to tell!

By the way, we were the best looking boat there.  When you decide to purchase your Krogen Express, be forewarned.  People stare.  They walk by on the dock and stare.  They stare from their boats.  They circle us in their dinghy.  On occasion  they even stop and engage us in conversation. “Wow, that’s a good lookin’ boat”, they’ll say.  Or, “what is that?”  Or “I just read about this boat in the September issue of PassageMaker magazine”. Sometimes we feel like we’re on display at the zoo! Going into the heavily populated mooring field at Great Salt Pond on Block Island, a couple were relaxing on their aft deck when suddenly they both sat up and stared as we passed by. Children not familiar with boats, especially, are fascinated that “there’s a boat on a boat!!”. They’re talking about the tender, of course.

When we arrived at the Vineyard it was hot, probably 84 or so, but we decided to walk into town with the dogs anyway.  It’s about a 20-25 minute walk into Vineyard Haven, one of the 3 towns on the Island.  We made a stop at the grocery store, and then headed back.  The dogs were exhausted by the time we got back to the boat.  But they’d had a good walk!

Unlike many boaters we don’t have a hauling cart on the boat.  Because we are displaying her at boat shows, we don’t like to fill up our storage spaces with alot of things we really don’t need.  Only occasionally does this make grocery shopping a little problematic.  Martha’s Vineyard is one of those places.  I wanted to take advantage of the local Stop and Shop, but I had to really pace my shopping, based on how much things weighed!  I know it sounds funny, but when you have to walk almost a mile and a half with your purchase, you think – long and hard – “do I really need this?” and “can I carry it for 25 minutes?”  As a result, we made a trip to the grocery store 3 days out of our 5 day visit. Unfortunately, purchasing ice cream was definitely out of the question!

By Monday morning, almost everyone had left.  We were the last to depart on Tuesday morning. But, after 7 days away from a marina (either anchored or moored) we were looking forward to washing the boat, washing the dogs, washing our clothes!  It was upward and onward to the Falmouth (MA) Marina.

Below is a picture of the dinghy dock at Lake Tashmoo.  The tenders are 2-3 deep, which can make getting off quite a challenge.

John

New York City and Connecticut

We last left you in Cape May, and for us that seems like ages!  The main reason we don’t update more is the internet; and quite frankly, I just get lazy!! What a blessing and a curse the internet is! We love it and depend on it; yet while cruising we don’t often have it, or it’s variable and spotty.  And when we do have it, it’s often at a location where we’ve had a long day on the water, get settled in for the night (either anchoring, at a mooring, or a dock), eat dinner, watch a little tv or read, and go to bed!  So writing up an entry for the blog gets put on the back burner. But today I feel that we owe our readers an updated entry.  So here it goes………..

The Jersey coast proved to be a fine cruise.  The water was great….from a light chop to almost smooth.  Now that’s the kind of day I like to have while cruising in the Atlantic Ocean!  And was it ever a clear day!  We could see the skyline of New York City from the farthest distance we’d ever experienced…….over 10 miles south of Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  It was incredible!  Even though we have cruised through New York more than two dozen times, it is still an amazing experience.

After a long day we settled for the night at one of our regular stops, a marina just northeast of the City near LaGuardia Airport.  The marinas in the NYC are few and far between, so we appreciate having this one which is convenient to the airport, Citi Field (where the Mets play), the Tennis Center for the US Open, and the subway for going into NYC.  In fact, it was our hideaway during hurricane/tropical storm Irene during 2011.

The next day we moved on to Port Washington on Long Island. This is one of our favorite spots to hang out.  The town provides complimentary moorings to visitors, AND there is a huge grocery store there.   So, stock up we
did! Our daughter, Joy, came out from the City for the weekend, and we had a delightful time.

On a mooring or while at anchor, we are dependent upon our tender (or dinghy) for transportation to land.  And that is critical when you have two dogs on board!  But they do quite well with it. M.E. is an experienced dinghy rider.  Zoey is getting better.  At first she didn’t know quite what to make of it. It takes us about 5 minutes (literally) to put it in the water, and off we go.  Our weekend in Port Washington was unusually hot for this time of year, so John and I enjoyed a swim off the boat on Sunday afternoon.  Joy headed back in to the City that evening.

Long Island Sound’s surface water area is 1300 square miles.  It is 21 miles wide at it’s widest point, and 113 miles long.  Depths vary greatly in the Sound, averaging 63 feet deep with a maximum depth of 320 feet at the Race (see below about the Race).  The past several years we have cruised along the north shore of Long Island.  There are some great anchorages there, but this year we took a detour and headed northeast to Black Rock, Connecticut.  There we met up with long time friends for dinner.  It’s always so good to see familiar faces along the way.

From there we were Block Island bound.  This is another one of our favorite spots to stop.  And again, we were able to reconnect with some marine industry friends that we have known for years.  Along the way, we passed the Little Gull Lighthouse off of Fisher’s Island, New York.  The fog horn was blowing.  (I wish you could hear it!  I just love that sound!)

Then we passed through a part of the Sound referred to as “the Race”.  The Race is located between Fisher’s Island and Little Gull Island.  It’s about 3-1/2 miles wide and serves as the main entrance into Long Island Sound from the Atlantic on the eastern end of Long Island. Depths in the Race range from 320 feet to less than 50 feet.  These dramatic changes, along with the massive water exchange in and out of the Sound create a large rip line.  And, in turn, this significantly affects cruising speed, either negatively or positively depending on tides.  But we timed it perfectly, naturally, because that’s the way this captain planned it.  He did his homework.  We left at just the right time from Black Rock, and we got a huge boost going through the Race.  We increased our speed by almost 50%.

Next we are headed to Cuttyhunk Island. We’ll be back to you soon!

John

New Jersey

We have arrived in Cape May, on the southern tip of New Jersey!  This will be our jumping off point for the commencement of our trip along the Jersey coast starting tomorrow.  The New Jersey ICW has continuous shoaling challenges with depths of only 3′ in some areas making it prohibitive for many boats to use it.  So a boat with any keel at all must cruise on “the outside”, that is, in the Atlantic Ocean.

When cruising in economy mode, this 120 +/- mile trip is one l-o-n-g (10-11 hours) day.  A few times we’ve done it at night.  But the last couple of years we’ve broken up into two days, stopping in Atlantic City.  It makes it so much more enjoyable, especially with two dogs on board.

Prior to reaching Cape May, we took a few days “off the water”, and had some work done on the boat at one of our favorite yards, Washburns in Solomons, Maryland.  Those of us who have been there numerous times don’t really give it much thought, but the site of the yard was the nation’s first naval amphibious training base, training some 68,000 sailors, marines, and coast guardsmen and soldiers between 1942 and 1945. Seventy years later the buildings remain and are still actively used by the yard personnel.

Heading north through the northern Chesapeake Bay we then entered the mouth of the C&D Canal, docking at Chesapeake City.  (See my entry dated September 12, 2012 for information about and history of the C&D Canal.)

No sooner were we were tied up at a dock positioned right on the Canal, a  RORO vessel rolled past!  A RORO (“roll on, roll off”) is designed to transport wheeled cargo, such as automobiles, trucks, and railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle.  If you have ever seen one of these ships in open water, you know how big they are.  But when one is in a narrow Canal and right in front of you, they are positively massive.


And then, we witnessed the pilot exchange!   I provided the pictures, but I give Wikipedia the credit for explaining how it works:

“Today’s canal is a modern sea-level, electronically controlled commercial waterway, carrying 40 percent of all ship traffic in and out of the Port of Baltimore.

Since 1933 the Corps’ Philadelphia District has managed canal and highway bridge operations from a two-story white frame building on the canal’s southern bank at Chesapeake City, Maryland. Cargo ships of all sizes, tankers, container-carrying vessels, barges accompanied by tugboats, and countless recreational boats create a steady flow of traffic. Through state-of-the-art fiber optic and microwave links, dispatchers use closed-circuit television and radio systems to monitor and safely move commercial traffic through the waterway.

Navigating oceangoing vessels requires extensive maritime skills, with strong currents or bad weather conditions adding to the risks. A United States Coast Guard certified pilot is required for vessels engaged in foreign trade transiting the canal, the Delaware River and Bay, and Chesapeake Bay. Many shipping firms use pilots from the Delaware River and Bay or Maryland pilots’ associations.

Typically a Delaware River and Bay pilot boards a ship as it passes Lewes, Delaware, entering the Delaware Bay, and guides the vessel up the bay and into the canal to Chesapeake City. A Maryland pilot then takes over and continues the ship’s transit into the Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore or Annapolis, Maryland. The procedure is reversed for eastbound ships. At Chesapeake City a “changing of the pilots” takes place, while the pilot launch maneuvers alongside a vessel as it continues its journey without stopping. The pilots use the ship’s gangwayJacob’s ladder, or port entrance to climb aboard or leave the vessel.”

I apologize for the fuzzy photo.  It’s hard to photograph a moving object!   But it was thrilling to witness.
We’re on to NYC next!
John

North Carolina

As we’ve progressed north, cooler temps and lower humidity have welcomed us.  What an awesome greeting! We are most appreciative!

As we’ve passed – and stayed the night in – these little North Carolina towns along the ICW, I’m reminded of one of the major benefits of cruising.  We see things that you just can’t see traveling in a car…. acres and acres of green sea grasses, miles of undeveloped forest and marshes.  There are also many small, sleepy towns and villages that depend upon boating visitors.  Last night we were in Belhaven, North Carolina.  Tonight it’s Coinjock.  In fact, the ship’s store at the marina has tshirts for sale that say “JustwherethehellisCoinjock?” !!

Have you ever heard of Belhaven or Coinjock?  In fact, I challenge you to find them on a map in less than 2 minutes!  But be sure you have a detailed map because they are tiny. However, cruisers are very familiar with them, and visit them often on their boat trips up and down the ICW.   In our years of boating, we have stayed in both of these spots numerous times.

Today John spent some time polishing stainless.  While this is not exactly his favorite task, we do strive to keep the boat in tip top shape.  But most of the time he is the eagle-eye captain at the helm, sometimes with a 4-legged crew member in his lap!


We also did some sit-ups on the bow. “How does that work?” you ask.  Well, we tied a line to each of the forward cleats to secure our ankles and put a towel under the line so we wouldn’t get rope burn. Looks and sounds wierd, but it works!  And on the boat, you have to get creative about exercise.  In fact, I recall once cruising along the East River through New York City and seeing a woman on a sailboat using a stationary bike!
Zoey and M.E. enjoy the sites from the side deck
John

We’re Back!!

After a long absence, we are back to blogging! Welcome readers!
Since our last entry we have logged many hours up and down the east coast of the States and exhibited a boat in 17 boat shows; and in March 2014, we hosted a Krogen Express owner’s rendezvous at Ocean Reef Resort in Key Largo, Florida. It was a fun three day event spent at a lovely spot with great folks!
We hope that all the Krogen Express fans, owners, and wanna-be owners will enjoy our entries this fall as we cruise north bound for Newport, Rhode Island, and then work our way south for shows in Maryland and Florida. We pride ourselves in identifying the Krogen Express owners as members of the Krogen Express “family”, and we hope that you will feel that way too through this blog.
If you would like to read earlier blogs, check out the blog “archive”. You can also find some postings on Facebook, if you would like to check that out.
Traveling with me and John are our two dogs, M.E., who is a 10 year veteran on the boat, and Zoey who is brand new to boating. (I can already see some good dog blog material in our future with these two!!)
And they’re off………
We departed from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina this morning, August 10. As it was home for us for about 11 years (and was the home of Betsie’s parents for many years), we really enjoyed having a few days there. We went out the Port Royal Sound inlet into the Atlantic, and turned left, bound for Isle of Palms, just north of Charleston. Although a little choppy, it was a following sea, so it gave us a nice boost, allowing us to arrive ahead of schedule. In fact, we were able to meet up with some ol’ college friends who were vacationing in the area! It’s always fun to have surprise get-togethers like that!
Zoey enjoyed her first full day of boating, and fared very well. But, even more, she enjoyed the grass under her feet when we arrived at the marina!
Myrtle Beach Bound
The sun had just risen when we left Isle of Palms. That’s such a nice time of day to be on the water when things are quiet; and that particular stretch of the Waterway is undeveloped and natural. The dolphin were riding our bow wave, the sun was peaking up over the green sea grasses, and I had my cup of coffee!! All was well with the world!! A few hours later the green-head flies arrived (ugh!) and the sun got hot! But the scenery along the Waccamaw River (see pic lower right) made up for it. Gorgeous! We arrived without incident at Barefoot Marina in Myrtle Beach about 5, plugged in the power cord, and cranked up the air conditioning. Ahhh.
The next morning, we cautiously proceeded through the “Rock Pile”. In the boating world, Myrtle Beach is known for the infamous “Rock Pile”, a man-made canal-like section of the ICW. It spans a distance of about 5 miles. The canal is narrow and lined with submerged rocks and a rock shelf, just a foot or two below the water’s surface. When the Army Corps of Engineers was building this portion of the ICW in the 1930’s they encountered a sold shelf of granite. The Corps simply blasted through this obstruction, but, over the years, the soft silt above and below this rocky outcropping has washed away, making the canal now appear wider than it really is. It can be very dangerous and costly to the inattentive captain. On the other hand, our Director of Yacht Services, Captain Andrea Gaines, has done it at night! She’s good. Really good!
This picture to the left shows us passing a single file parade of boats traversing the Rock Pile.  You can’t see the rocks, but they’re there!
North Carolina
Every time we make this tripalong the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), we find more and more shallow (or “skinny”, as John calls them) areas. Chronic shoaling along the 1,100-mile section from Norfolk to Miami plagues everything from private yachts to tugs with barges, charter fishing boats and passenger vessels. This part of the ICW is made up of naturally deep estuaries, rivers and sounds connected by manmade “cuts” through land areas and shallows which has earned it the nickname “The Ditch.” It is these cuts and dredged channels, as well as secondary channels running inland and connecting channels to ocean inlets, that require periodic dredging to keep traffic flowing.  Unfortunately, the Federal government – and many State governments – keep cutting dredging budgets.  This is why we appreciate the 4′ draft on the Krogen Express. It would be pretty dicey if it were any more than that!
John

So Many Wonderful Friends!

Since the completion of boat show season, John and I have been busy hanging out with our Krogen Express family.  It’s one of our favorite things to do!  As you read in the previous posting, we had a wonderful Thai dinner in Vero Beach with Karen, Skip, Robert, and Jill.  Shortly thereafter, we returned to our home in Hilton Head, South Carolina only be blessed with the arrival our Dutch owners, Hans and Thea aboard “Scylla” (pronounced Silla).  They had with them their friends from Holland whom we have met many times before.  They are such a happy group, probably because they love being aboard such a beautiful boat!

They came to our house for dinner, but first
Thea requested a little computer help
from John!

Then we sat down for a lasagna dinner
followed by fruit pie (Hans’ favorite!)

 

Hans and Thea are in the center of the pic (dressed in gray…..although their dispositions are far from gray!!)

They departed the next morning in an effort to
reach Florida and warmer temps.  We were
just sorry that they couldn’t have stayed longer
in Hilton Head.

Only 4 days later we met up with David (“Electra”) whose boat had been stored over the summer at a marina in nearby Savannah, Georgia (about 45 minute drive from Hilton Head).  We went to a fabulous and famous restaurant there called “The Old Pink House”.  Wow!  What a meal.  Definitely a notch (or two or three) up from my lasagna!

While we were eating, a woman approached our table and said to John, “Excuse me, but you look so familiar, and when I overheard you talking about boats I realized I’d probably met you at a boat show.”  (John has become a celebrity!  Who knew!)  An engaging conversation ensued, and sure enough we’d met her and her husband at several shows most recently at Newport. (We call those folks “boat show junkies” which she readily claimed herself to be!) She will see us at Ft. Lauderdale TrawlerFest at the end of January.

David will be heading out to the Bahamas in a few days for some sun and fun.  Happy cruising!!

John

Fall 2012 Boat Show Season Completed!

We have completed our fall 2012 boat show season, and are happy to report that it was a safe, harmonious, and productive one!  We were spared any nor’easters while aboard “JOY”, and made it through T/S Sandy during the Ft. Lauderdale show.

I left off on the blog at the end of September, having just completed the run from Cape May to Baltimore.  By the way, if your travels ever find you in that neighborhood, be sure to stop.  There are lots of great marinas in Baltimore Harbor, with most accessible to restaurants, grocery stores, and the waterfront scene.  There’s a wonderful walking/running path along the harbor which is nice way to stretch your legs and get some exercise.  (Always check www.activecaptain.com for more information about marinas.  We can’t say enough about that site.  It’s our cruising Bible!)

John and I got the boat set up in our slip for TrawlerFest and Bob arrived the next day.  The dogs and I drove to Hilton Head for a few days of land/home time.  I do love being on the boat, but home time is always appreciated!  Upon my return to Maryland, John and I took the boat to the dock of some dear friends, Cathie and Pete Trogden.  They own Weems and Plath, the nautical instruments company headquartered in Eastport.  (Thanks for having us!) Being with friends along the way  makes boating such fun.

Then it was on the Annapolis boat show. Like the Newport show, most of the docks are temporary, put into place as the boats come in.  But unlike the Newport show, the ABS requires that all boats depart on Sunday night following the show.  We’ve never understood that, making it mandatory for the boats to depart into the darkness of the Chesapeake; but we don’t have much choice.  It is what it is!  So Bob and John drove the boat to Solomons Maryland where she would stay temporarily.  I met them in the car.  In the morning we unloaded everything we would need for our next gig, Ft. Lauderdale, (and then some) into our van and headed out.

Fast forward 3 days (with a quick stop at home) and we were “on the road again” to Lauderdale.  As I mentioned earlier, T/S Sandy descended on us bringing huge winds and rain.  As a result the crowds at the show the first two days were down which was disappointing, but the storm moved on and the sun returned, as did the show attendees.

We are now in recovery mode, having completed 4 shows in 6 weeks covering nearly 3000 miles in both boat and car.  We have also completed the orientation for our newest owners whose boat, “EASY WATERS” from Fairbanks, Alaska, was featured in the Ft. Lauderdale show.  Last night we had dinner with them along with other members of our Krogen Express family, Jill and Robert (you remember them, from our ads!!)

Our dogs love Robert and Jill (fortunately the feeling is mutual), so M.E. wasn’t shy about cosying up to Jill on our porch after dinner!

Here’s a picture of “EASY WATERS” the next morning, passing by our place on the Indian River in Vero Beach.  (I just have one of those “sure shot” cameras (in this case it wasn’t such a sure shot) so I apologize for the blurry pics. But you get the idea!)  They were honking their horn and everyone was waving!  Great fun.  It gives us such pleasure to have these types of experiences!

John

Baltimore or Bust

The alarm clock went off at 5:20 a.m. Even though darkness greeted us, it was up and at’em for us. Dogs walked and fed, coffee perking, at 5:45 we left the dock of the Great Kills Yacht Club in Staten Island, out into New York Harbor and then the Atlantic, cruising just a mile offshore of New Jersey. Finally, light began to appear and we watched a glorious sunrise. The ocean was quite nice actually.  Again, the captain called it right!  West winds at 10-15 mph, 3-1/2 footers with 11 second duration (we normally like to see 2 seconds per foot). But it was chilly, so we opted for driving in the pilothouse.
The forecast for Tuesday was less favorable, plus the Baltimore TrawlerFest was looming and we were running out of time to get there, so John and I discussed the option of continuing on to Baltimore that night. I do like sleep, don’t get me wrong; but I’m happy to forgo some in lieu of a more comfortable ride. The Delaware Bay is not only an open body of water, but it’s shallow depths can make it extremely choppy. So we decided to stop in Cape May for fuel and dog walk, and keep going. After a long day, the girls were happy to be on land! Plus they always enjoy barking at – and trying to chase – the cats that live at Utsch’s Marina. When we started down the Cape May Canal towards Delaware Bay it was dusk. The Delaware brought total darkness. Unfortunately the tide was against us, with 2-3 knots against us, seriously slowing us up and making the trip longer than necessary. John took the first watch. I awoke just after we entered the C&D canal, and he turned over the helm to me. Thanks to good ol’ Wikipedia, here is some history about the canal:

The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C&D Canal) is a 14 mile long, 450 foot wide and 40 foot deep ship canal that cuts across the states of Maryland and Delaware, in the United States. It connects the waters of the Delaware River with those of the Chesapeake Bay (the mouth of the Susquehanna River) and the Port of Baltimore. Construction began in the early 1820s with some 2,600 men digging and hauling dirt from the ditch. Laborers toiled with pick and shovel at the immense construction task, working for an average daily wage of 75 cents. The swampy marshlands along the canal’s planned route proved a great impediment to progress as workers continuously battled slides along the soft slopes of the “ditch” being cut. It was 1829 before the C&D Canal Company could, at last, announce the waterway “open for business”. The near-$2.5 million construction cost made it one of the most expensive canal projects of its time. 
In 1919 the canal was purchased by the federal government for $2.5 million and designated the “Intra-coastal Waterway Delaware River to Chesapeake Bay, Delaware and Maryland”. Included were six bridges plus a railroad span owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad. They were replaced during the 1920s by four vertical lift spans and a new railroad bridge.
Responsibility for operating, maintaining and improving the waterway was assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District. By 1927 the eastern entrance at Delaware City had been relocated several miles south at Reedy Point, Delaware. All locks (except the one at Delaware City) were removed and the waterway was converted to a sea-level operation at 12 feet (3.7 m) deep and 90 feet (27 m) wide. These improvements cost $10 million. Two stone jetties at the new eastern entrance were completed in 1926.
The “new” canal opened in May 1927 with great celebration, yet plans already were underway for further expansion as the sizes of ships and amounts of cargo continued to increase. The Philadelphia District took over operation of the canal in 1933. Between 1935 and 1938 the channel was again improved — deepened to 27 feet (8.2 m) and widened to 250 feet (76 m) at a cost of nearly $13 million

Cargo ships of all sizes, tankers, container-carrying vessels, barges accompanied by tugboats, and countless recreational boats create a steady flow of traffic. 
Now it was John’s turn to rest. Despite our state-of-the-art radar, I sat upright in the chair my entire watch, completely focused on what was going on. We have seen many barges and container ships go down this canal and I did not want to encounter one. About half way – with 7 miles to go – fog set in. Oh great! Fortunately it wasn’t so heavy that I couldn’t see the dimly lighted banks of the canal. I gave thanks for electronic navigation and stayed focused on that as my guide. Then, as the canal widened into Chesapeake Bay, the lighted markers increased, and navigating became a little more challenging. I decided it was time to wake John for some assistance, although I hated to do it. He got us through that area, went back to sleep, and I took the helm again. The Bay was choppy but not too bad. The wind was from the south at 15 mph which made for a bit of a sloppy ride. We arrived in Baltimore Harbor shortly after sunrise, then dropped the anchor, lowered the dinghy, took the dogs ashore, and hit the hay. It had been a long 27 hours. We were tired.
John

East River Daughter Siting

We cast off our lines from Essex Island Marina at exactly 9 am to hit the current/tides just right.  Down the Connecticut River and out in to the (Long Island) Sound.  It was still breezy but out of the east, 5-10 with 1 footers, and chilly so we stayed in our cosy pilothouse.  The captain of this boat is amazing.  He knows exactly when and what, in order to make the ride the most comfortable for his crew!  And every captain knows how important it is to keep the crew happy!

Bound again for Port Washington on the north shore of Long Island, we picked up our mooring there around 5.  With the dinghy all cleaned up for the Newport show, and Baltimore TrawlerFest coming up, we didn’t want to mess it up again, so we called the launch to take first mate and pups ashore for a long walk. (But having provisioned in Essex, it killed me not to need to go to that fantastic grocery store there!)

The next morning A&R (that we met at the Newport boat show) flew down from Boston for a sea-trial.  It was a nice opportunity to get to know them better, and we appreciated the effort they made to meet up with us.  They were impressed with the boat and the ride, and why not?  What’s not to like?

Upon their departure a few hours later, we left Port Washington for a short ride to World’s Fair Marina.  I wrote something in our 2010 blog about this marina which is right next to Laguardia Airport.  We also stayed there last year during Hurricane Irene.  It’s a very protected spot, with floating docks, and high pilings.  Plus it’s easy to get into the City from there (#7 train takes 45 minutes).  The docks and power are not in the best shape, but the staff is amazing, and are even getting to know us (the dockhand commented that we had a different color boat this year!)  Joy came out from the City that afternoon, and we walked to a fabulous – and authentic! – Mexican restaurant for a late lunch.  John had seen it featured on Guy Fieri’s tv show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”.

Joy left at 11 the next morning so that she could get back into the City for her 1:00 tennis practice.  She plays on a couple of teams and they practice at several different locations around the City and it’s boroughs.  That day she was to practice at some courts on the East River.  What a coincidence!  We would be going right by them during her practice time.  We made an arrangement with her to toot our horn as we passed.  She told us the courts were under the Williamsburg Bridge and that it could be noisy, but John reassured her that she would hear the horns!

As we left the marina, the planes were flying right over us.  And I mean, right over us!  Meantime, we were against the current as we headed down the East River, sometimes as much as 5 knots!!  So much for that nice push we had going up the River a few weeks ago.  These pictures below don’t really capture the turbulent water at Hell’s Gate, but I do believe you get the idea of the force of the current passing by these buoys which are just off the East River Drive.

 

The Coast Guard was broadcasting a “security zone” outside the United Nations as it prepares for the UN General Assembly (when 120 world leaders and their entourages gather) this week.Between them and the NYPD, they were all doing a good job of keeping pleasure craft away.

Approaching the Williamsburg Bridge we got our binoculars out and searched for tennis courts.  We were probably 100 feet offshore when we spotted them.  John tooted the horn a couple of times.  Suddenly we saw a couple of tennis racquets waving through the air!!  Another toot!!  Mission accomplished, thanks to the Kahlenberg airhorns!!  I have to say, it was pretty cool to be passing by on the boat and waving to her onshore.  And in her phone call to us later in the day, she said she and her friends thought it was pretty cool too!  (It’s always nice when your kids think stuff you do is “cool”!)

Leaving Manhattan (and the new Freedom Tower) behind us, we ended the day at a small yacht club marina in Great Kills on Staten Island.

John

Where are we now?

Our 10th Newport show completed, we were rejoicing in the gorgeous weather we’d had. Some years we’ve not been so fortunate, as they’ve brought high winds and accompanying side-ways falling rain. Not fun. During the shows we always move off the boat into a hotel, and so when the show was over at 5 on Sunday afternoon, we were happy to return to the boat and settle back in to life aboard. That evening we shared a nice relaxing dinner with some of our good marine-trade friends.
The Newport and Annapolis shows are both temporary. That is, the docks are built around the boats as they arrive, and are removed as the boats depart. (Actually it’s quite something to observe and participate in.) We were last in and, consequently, on Monday morning, we were first out. The weather couldn’t have been better, and we hit the tides and currents just right which boosted our speed almost 10%.  Departing Newport, we headed back to Essex, Connecticut. Our dear friend, and Northeast/MidAtlantic Nordic Tug dealer, Ben Wilde, offered us some dock space there. (Thank you Ben!) We jumped on his offer since the weather forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday was ugly…….mega rain and winds at 30 mph with gusts over 45. Ugh.

Safely tied up at Essex Island Marina just after lunch, we sat back and enjoyed the rest of the day, in recovery mode from a busy show.

This marina is an island and they provide a ferry to transport the patrons back and forth to the “mainland” and town of Essex (a mere 150 ft!)
Monday night we were treated to dinner at the home of the marine-trade friends referred to above, which also included a reunion with other friends who own a small boat company. Tuesday morning we were able to borrow their car and head to the grocery to provision. I never appreciate the use of a car as much as when I’m on the boat and want to do big grocery shopping! Errands completed, we waited for “the weather”. The rains never materialized, but the winds sure did. They picked around 4 and got more intense as the evening wore on. The bimini frame was shaking like crazy, and the boat was banging into the dock. When it was time to take the dogs ashore for their before-bed outing, M.E. was afraid she’d blow away! There were even swells in the approximately 150 foot wide harbor we’re in!  But when I awoke in the night the wind had ceased. I looked out the porthole and saw that the water was perfectly still. It was so weird how it suddenly changed. Welcome to the world of weather-watching! All was well with the boat, by the way.  These Krogen Express boats are so soundly built, they withstand all kinds of adverse conditions! 🙂
We’ve spent the last few days here, waiting for things to calm down on Long Island Sound. Plus we just like it here! And who doesn’t mind being tied to a dock for a few days? While we’ve been here we’ve become acquainted with the owners of the Kadey-Krogen 58 exhibited at the Newport show. Great folks. We went out for pizza with them last night. We’re going to depart tomorrow morning, and continue west. The Jersey shore (no, not the tv show!) looms ahead. We are diligently watching the wind and wave forecasts.