Prism's Blog

2021: Sailing New England

Going Back in Time....

Better late than never…. right? Okay this is a blog I started to write last summer (when it was happening) but somehow forgot about it and skipped over it completely.ūü§™ So here is the rest of our summer adventure from last year.

Mattapoisett

When we left Rhode Island the fog was so thick we could barley see the bow of the boat. Jon and I have not had, nor needed radar since Panama. However, this day we wished we had it. No we did not need it, it would just make it a bit easier. We motored up Buzzards bay sounding our fog horn and watching the targets on our AIS receiver.  We proceeded with caution and had no issues. As we pulled into Mattapoisett Prism broke though the fog layer and we were welcomed with blew skies and a beautiful huge anchorage. 

Looking back at the fog bank
Coming into Mattapoisett

We launched Penta to take a look around the harbor tacking through the mooring fields. We headed into town to take a look around and to meet up with old friends from Berkeley Marina who were there visiting family.

We were lucky enough to pull into this harbor during a weekend Harbor Fest. There was live music every day, farmers markets and loads of food. We laughed, ate, drank and played cornhole till the afternoon storms chanced us away.

It was so great to catch up with old friends and to hang in this little town. 

Cape Cod Canal

I don’t know why I felt nervous about this canal, but I felt that I needed to be prepared for it. We left Mattapoisett with Fin and enjoyed a great sail up the rest of Buzzards bay. We had line squalls forming all around us and the sea looked more angry than it actually was.

Squall line at the end of Buzzards Bay

We found a small cove to drop the anchors then headed into the little town to find something to eat. 

As soon as we started to walk into the little town of Monument Beach the rain started. We laughed and made our way to the only place that was open, a pizza joint.

The next morning did not need to be early as we had to wait for the tide to be in our favor to transit the canal. We upped anchor around 11am and made our way to the opening, because we are small  pleasure boats, we did not need to check in with the Canal Control. 

It was a very simple and fast trip, we had no large ship traffic with us and the weather was beautiful. Quite boring if you really think about it.  I even took the time to polish the pulpit during the transit.

The beginning of the Cape Cod Canal

We made such good time in fact that we kept heading north after we came out the other side. All of us wanted to head to Cape Cod, but friends who were just there said they were chased out and hassled when they tried to anchor.  Over the VHF our flotilla of 2 turned north to make our way to Boston with the idea of maybe hitting Cape Cod on the way back south.

Fin and Prim made it up to Plymouth before dark and anchored in the middle of a thousand lobster pots. It was a very settled night which made for easy sleeping. Fin was up and out of the anchorage while Jon and I kept sleeping aboard Prism. We were about 1.5 hours behind them. Next Stop BOSTON!

Anchored in Plymouth Bay
Plymouth Bay
The Cape Cod Canal is an artificial waterway in the U.S. state of Massachusetts connecting Cape Cod Bay in the north to Buzzards Bay in the south, and is part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The approximately seven-mile-long (11 km) canal traverses the narrow neck of land joining Cape Cod to the state's mainland. Most of its length follows tidal rivers widened to 480 feet (150 m) and deepened to 32 feet (9.8 m) at mean low water, shaving 135 miles (217 km) off the journey around the Cape for its approximately 14,000 annual users.
Kpedia
The Internet

Boston

Holy hell, now this is a fun town!! Fin made it to the anchorage located in South Boston. While Jon and I were coming in through the Harbor we heard an announcement over VHF channel 16. 

“All stations, all stations, all stations…….. for more information about underwater blasting near red marker buoy #4 at 1200 please switch to 22alpha”

I switched to 22a as we were going to be right next to this marker around noon, and well we don’t want to be near any blasting. Sure enough they were going to hold back traffic while the blasting happened, which would have kept Jon and I holding our ground in the busy harbor. Lucky for us, a large tanker that was behind us, asked if they could hold on the blast till after they had passed around 1210. We picked up our pace as much as we could so we would also make it past the marker before 1210. The locals didn’t like it, but they held the blast for the tanker and us. We made it through and could hear the boom a while later. We thought it was going to be much louder.

Approaching Boston Harbor

We anchored in the lee of Pleasure Bay, which offered protection from everything but south winds. The large sand beach made for very easy dinghy landing, and great walks. We had been saving our pennies so we could “go big” while in Boston. Across the street was a docking station for Blue Bikes which made getting around so easy.¬†

The anchorage Pleasure Bay

The 4 of us spent one full day doing the Freedom Trail, we walked and used the Blue Bikes to get around. It was incredible to stand in the same place that so much of American history had happened. I told Jon that because of growing up in California and never having visited the East Coast, I never really gave any real thought to American history. I hated American history in school, but to visit the place where it all started, was a very eye opening experience for me.

In a few days there was some south wind heading our way, and none of us wanted to stay in the anchorage at Pleasure Bay. Instead we headed back out into Boston Harbor with the intent to check out the islands that make up Harbor Islands State Park.

Now finding an anchorage that was out of the channel, deep enough, and somewhat protected was proving to be difficult. The fact that I was PMSing to the point where I was thinking about jumping ship, had nothing to do with the fact that none of the anchor spots where “good enough” I swear.¬† By the time we got the hook down in an “okay” spot off Gallops Island, I was in no mood to explore. I really just wanted some time to myself to get my emotions under control.

Christina on Fin, coaxed me out of my funk and told me that a walk around would do me some good. Part of me wanted to see Fort Warren and the other half wanted to sulk, but I put my party pooper pants away and got into the dinghy for the quick ride to the beach.

We landed the dinghy on the soft pebble beach of Georges Island and made our way up to the visitor building. The first thing we all noticed was that there were no people around. Our group of 4 was greeted by a park ranger who told us that because of a brake in one of the water mains the ferry’s were not running today. So we had the whole island and fort to ourselves! I could feel the ugly PMS emotions ebbing away and the normal Shannon coming up for air.¬†

Exploring the old fort with virtually no one else around, made the fort seem so vast. We spent a few hours looking around and all thought that the large underground cave like rooms were like nothing we had seen before. Jon kept saying ” I want to shoot a movie here… this place would be so cool to shoot a movie in…” so on and so on.

Once we were done exploring the 4 of us headed back to our boats and started the search again for a safe place to anchor for the night. It was just about sun down when we noticed that the very busy anchorage in Portuguese Cove on Peddocks Island just to the south of us was not completely empty… must have been filled with boats just out for the day. Sweet! It was the perfect spot for us to ride out the strong southern winds that were forecasted to be blowing for the next few days.

Looking over Gallops Island with Long Island and Boston in the background

When we headed back to the anchorage in Southie, we prepared our selves for a night we would never forget. We were heading out for a classic pub crawl as we walked to Fenway Park. YEP! We went to a Red Socks game at Fenway. HOW COOL IS THAT! It would have been better if the LA Dodgers were playing, but still!! On our way we stopped at a few places, mostly dives off the beaten path, one of then was called Shannon’s Tavern, so we HAD to go there, then we found ourselves in a place that we don’t think even had a name. The door at the entrance was solid steel and had a single rope as a handle. When the 4 of us walked in, the bar got quite, something right out of a movie. The bar keep walked up to us, said ” your not from here, I’m Jerry” in the thickest Boston accent you can imagine. I could barley understand a word he said. We all ordered some beers, the cheapest in town according to the regulars that where there and were about to play some pool when things started to get hot. I am not sure how these men knew each other, but they were both Veterans and did not like each other.¬† By the time they were at each others throats and the bouncer separated them, we felt like it was time to go. By the time we made it to the gates of Fenway we were all pumped and also in shock. This was by far the most amount of people we had seen out with no masks for a very long time. Derek, Christina and I made it through security and turned around to see Jon was no where to be seen. Opps, seems like non of us read the fine print on the tickets, cause it says NO BACKPACKS. Like always, Jon was wearing his backpack, so he had to go down a few blocks to a place that rents lockers by the hour. By the time we were all back together, we realized why our seats were so cheap… we bought seats in the “family zone” which means no drinking. Luckily it was not a sold out game and one of the employees allowed us to sit in a different section so we could enjoy our $15 beers.¬† I cannot remember who the Red Socks were playing, but I do remember that the home team won, so that’s good.

Our ride home is the part that we will never forget. Fenway Park is quite a long way by foot back to our anchorage in Southie, so we thought it would be a great idea to get the Blue bikes we used a few days prior. Getting an Uber was out of the question as they jack up their prices on games nights and it would have cost us over $60 to get home. We rushed to the nearest check out station for the bikes, and we were lucky that there were more than 4 left. By the time we had our check out and paid for, all the bikes were gone. Lucky, other wise it would have been a long walk home. Anyways, we all hop on and start to head back towards the boats, or so we thought. Derek took the lead and got us completely lost. I should mention that we are trying to get back to the check-in station next to the anchorage before the cheap first 20 min limit is up. So we are rushing, a bit buzzed and riding bikes in a very large city that we really know nothing about. Luckily it was midnight and the streets where empty but it took us more than 15 minutes to realize we were going in the wrong direction. Oops! Now we were really out of our way, so we all thought it would be fine as long as we make it before the hour, cause then the bikes get even more expensive. Jon takes the lead and gets us heading back in the right direction. As our 20 minute time limit starts to approach we realize we are getting close to the beginning of the Freedom Trail and one of the Citi Bike check-in spots. We hightail it towards the station, we loose Christina and I come to the realization that even though we are peddling like bats out of hell, there is no way we are going to make it. Now we are all parched (as we had no water) and had no more buzz, but instead nasty headaches from the dehydration. Fun times. I yell up to the boys that there is no reason to keep up this depleting pace as we are SOL. But where in the world did Christina go?

The boys and I make it to the station to find Christina there with no bike, she had made it to the check in station before the 20 minute, checked it back in and then someone else rented the bike. Now we still had over a 30 min bike ride back to the boats and were down to 3 bikes. Good thing Christina is a small human, she hopped up onto Derek’s handle bars and we proceeded back to the boats. I laughed so much on the way home watching my dearest friends on the bike in front of me yell at ever bump, ledge and pothole while they worked hard to keep the balance just right. By the time we made it to the check-in stand next to the anchorage, Derek could hardly move his legs, Jon and I were out of breath and Christina had a bruised bum. And it was all worth it!

Before we knew it, it was time to move on from Boston. All of us wanted to get up to Maine, but none of us wanted to bypass Gloucester. We had to see the place where the people from “Perfect Storm” called home.¬†

Squall developing right above Fin

The sail up to Gloucester was like all the others on this coast, a motor. The anchorage in the inner harbor no longer allows anchoring, so we found a spot in the Western Harbor in front of a small beach. There was a huge mega yacht anchored in there with us, and we were able to get our hooks set before a nasty squall line joined us for our afternoon cocktails. Once the squall had passed we packed up and headed into the small town to check it out. We found the famous Crows Nest Bar and had more than a few rounds there, played pool and took a look at the photo album the bar has of when the cast and crew where there to film the epic “Perfect Storm” movie back in 2000. Other than the smell of fish and a few places to eat or drink, there was not much to see in this little fishing town. We spent the rest of our time walking the harbor and just taking in the sites.

Crazy enough there is a canal that cuts through Gloucester called the Blynman Canal, but none of us had heard of it before. Fin could not use it as they could not clear the bridges, but Prism could. We thought about going through it, that was until we saw the entrance and started to ask the locals about it. All we could see were small fishing and power boats going through. Apparently the current rips so fast though the cut that keeping the channel dredged is almost impossible. There is only 2ft in areas where it is charted to have 6.5ft. So that was out of the plans for Prism as well.

It was now time to head up to Maine, but there was some nasty weather coming, so it was leave this day, or be stuck here for another few days. We all opted to get moving and to make it at least up and around the corner to Rockport so that the next morning would be a very easy departure for the full day sail up to Portland Maine. The motor out of Gloucester then up and around Thatcher Island was beautiful with the setting sun. As we made it the anchorage in front of Rockport we were escorted by Fin Whales. The anchorage was deep and filled with crab pots, but the night was forecasted to be calm and we were leave at the ass crack of dawn. We got the hooks to set and wished we had more time to explore this cute little town. Rockport seams to be built into the rock cliffs and undisturbed by the rest of the world.

Rounding Thacher Island Lighthouses

Maine

By the time we pulled into Portland the rain had caught up with us and we only has a few more hours till things started to get shitty. None of us wanted to pay for a mooring in Portland Harbor, so we set off and tried to find a spot that offered protection from the nasty storm heading our way. There are many, many islands in Casco Bay, we were sure one of them would offer what we were looking for. 

Trying to find a safe anchorage in a Bay you have never been in, with crazy tides, loads of ferries and mooring fields is always difficult, but in the rain, it is down right miserable. Between our 2 boats I think we tried ever “anchor” spot that our charts had to offer, eventually we both chose a spot on the west side of Long Island. Fin grabbed a spot in Great Ledge Cove, while Jon and I looked for a shallower spot. Prism’s hook dug in closer to the ferry terminal just before the skies really opened up.

The next day and half was spent hiding inside and keeping warm. When the weather finally let up, we prepared the boats for the passage towards Round Pond where our friends Jess and Josh were waiting for our arrival. 

We finally got to sail some on this 50nm stretch, but there was nothing “leisurely” about it. The sun was out, the skies were clear the wind was perfect, so what made it difficult sailing? LOBSTER¬† POTS! Yea, yea everyone warned us, but we were not ready for this amount of dodging and weaving. Our eyeballs hurt at the end of the day from all the scanning of the horizon, and the quadrant also got a work out. The perfect day though, did allow us to get some amazing photos of other boats sailing around us.

This has to be the 2nd sexiest sailboat out there, after Prism of course

We were looking forward to anchoring and not having to “move” for a while, so we were a little set back when we looked into the small inner harbor that is Rock Pond. The little cove is completely filled in with private moorings, which makes sense for the locals as it is completely protected from all directions. So we needed to keep heading up the bay and ended up anchoring about 2nm north of Jess and Josh’s house in a beautiful place called Greenland Cove next to Hog Island. We jumped in the dinghy and headed to the dock that Jess and Josh’s neighbor said we could use.¬†

Jess & Josh’s boat on their friends mooring, with the dock we used for the month we were there.

The last time Jon and I saw Jess and Josh was back in April of 2020, when we drove up to Maine to buy our Fatty Knees during the height of Covid-19. Our visit was quick, including a long distance hug and coffee that was enjoyed 20ft apart. This time, we were able to embrace in big bear hugs and tears. Their daughter had gotten so big and the Dudes (their dog Uly) was overly excited to see us. We spent the month just spending time with our friends, exploring the surrounding areas, getting in the hot tub, running away from mosquitos, laughing, eating and drinking. We were happy to be there for Jess Birthday, which we set off to hike and explore Monhegan island Island. The day was beautiful and the weather was perfect for us, hot even. The only down fall were the black biting flies, those little fuckers hurt. Prism stayed put for the whole month of August in the same cove, where Fin headed up to explore Acadia National Park. Part of me wishes we had also explored the famous park, but the other half is very happy we spent so much time with our friends. Before we knew it August was coming to an end, but Jess wanted to celebrate my birthday as well before we left, so we had a wonderful BBQ with friends and family.

The hill…no the mountain from the water up to the houses was very steep. Thankfully their neighbor had this handy mule to haul us up and down most of the time.

Views from the “top” of Monhegan Island

Fin came back to Greenland Cove where we started to stage our departure to head back south.  After we did some land exploring of course. How is the summer over already?

Hurricane HENRI

While we were in Greenland Cove, this hurricane aimed right for us. Jon and I felt very comfortable in this anchorage, we had loads of room, good holding and lots of protection. We were very lucky and Henri was down graded to a TS by the time it reached us. 

Prism anchored in Greenland Cove.

Hurricane Henri was the eighth named storm and third hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Henri strengthened steadily, reaching its initial peak intensity with winds of 70 mph (110 km/h) and a pressure of 994 mbar (29.4 inHg) early on August 19. Soon after, strong wind shear weakened Henri slightly. Eventually, Henri strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, before weakening back to a tropical storm and making landfall in Westerly, Rhode Island, on August 22, making it the second tropical cyclone to make landfall in the U.S. state of Rhode Island during the season, seven weeks after Elsa.

Offshore: Maine to Cape Cod and through to Long Island Sound

The original plan was to head back down to Boston to get in a few more days of exploring. It was all going to work out, as Jon had a job scheduled with his little brother in Boston during the first week of September. It was going to be extremally convenient so that Jon did not even need a hotel room, as he could just stay aboard.¬† It was not until about 2 weeks before the job that Jon’s little brother called to confirm the flights and where Jon was going to pick him up when he landed.¬†

¬†” Yea, I am all set to land around 10pm at BWI” – Chris

” You mean BOS, right?” – Jon

” Chris, no BWI,¬† Boston?” – Chris

” BWI is BALTIMORE as in Maryland, not Massachusetts.” – Jon

“rut row”- Chris

Yep, turns out that Jon needed to be in Baltimore in 2 weeks, which was only 9 states south of us and about 500nm, give or take. At this point we were stressing, we needed to get south and fast, but we knew there was no way to make it all the way to Baltimore, but we could make it to Long Island. So we aimed to make it to our favorite place on the East Coast, Port Washington, NY. Jon could then rent a car and drive to Baltimore to pick up Chris at BWI  do the shoot, then drive back to me. 

So back to sitting in Greenland Cove, Fin wanted to stick with us, and there was some strong winds coming, so we needed to cover some ground, the plan sadly was to bypass Boston and head directly for the Cap Cod Canal. With heavy hearts we set sail from Maine waving good bye to our friends as we headed out to see. The good thing about this passage, is that we would be far enough off shore that we “shouldn’t” see any lobster pots. It took a few hours but by the time the sun set we were free and clear from the pots. Thank goodness! Once the sun set this passage became all sailing, and in good winds. It was all on our beam and the seas did pick up, but our boats were moving very quickly which made it very stable. When I came up for the midnight watch the winds were in the 30’s and the seas were pushing 8 feet. Yeehaw. We could see FINs nav lights up in the distance as we tried to keep up with their larger ship. But that did not happen. As dawn broke the winds started to die down, but seas stayed with us, causing a very uncomfortable roll. By 8 am we shook out the reefs and got back up to speed and couldn’t wait till we were in the lee of Cape Cod. We made great time and got to the canal with time to spare. Fin was already through and heading to the anchorage. Once again our canal transit was straight forward and kind of boring. We had no big ship traffic and were back in Buzzards Bay before we knew it.¬†

The anchorage where Fin stopped for the night filled up so Jon and I moved on and anchored in a cute little cove called Wild Harbor. We were here only for the night as we needed to keep heading east to make it to Port Washington in time for Jon to pick up his rental car.  The next morning as we made our way towards Fishers Island, that is when we all realized that Hurricane IDA was coming straight for us. 

Wild Harbor
Wild Harbor

Originally, we were not planning on being below cape cod until halfway into September, but here we are the end of August with a massive hurricane coming right for us, joy. We had about 4 days until Ida was upon us, and we did not like any of the options for where to hide. If money was no option, then hiding in a marina behind the surge walls in New Bedford would be perfect. Or even just anchoring behind the wall, but no, anchoring is no longer allowed, and we could not afford the marinas, not that there were any open slips anyways. 

So in order to make it to a safe bay, we kept moving west through Long Island Sound. I will say that we had to stop at Block Island, because everyone told us we HAD to and because it was Shannon’s Birthday. Plus, it was along the way. We pulled into the inner harbor before sunset and made our way into town for a night of live music and drinks. There were so many people, the fact that we did not get covid blows our minds.

Heading into town on Block Island
Captain Nick’s Rock-n-Roll Bar

The next morning, against all the hangover blur, we weighed anchor to headed as far west as our hangovers would allow.  Only making it to Fishers Island, as none of us wanted to sail through the night feeling the way we did, we stopped for the night. 

Fin anchoring at Fishers Island

We hoped that the wind would carry us all the way to our favorite place in NY, Port Washington, but we were not going to make it before night nor the start of Ida. We were not happy about it, but we both pulled into Port Jefferson and tried to make the best of our scenario. the rules for anchoring in this harbor read like the harbor police like to hassel people so we tucked up into the NW harbor behind Whitehall Beach. We were happy to see that all but one of the moorings were empty and only one other boat was in the “anchorage.”

Sailing down the Long Island Sound
The calm before the storm in Port Jefferson

Hurricane IDA

This one sucked!

Fin and Prism set our anchors with 200ft of scope out. The forecasts kept changing and in the end Ida was going to go right over us, as in a direct hit. This sucked cause we did not have that much swing room between us and the shore when it came to the wind switch. We did not have high hopes that our Spade anchor could reset in time in the soft mud, so Jon had the idea to set up for Bahamian Mooring. This way, when the wind did switch we would not swing 200 feet the other direction, but would simply pivot and the pull would be on the other anchor.

This was a sleepless night, even though like most of the other storms this summer, IDA was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she got to us, but she still went RIGHT over us. There was SO MUCH RAIN, and we were so thankful we have Prism sealed up completely.  There were times of strong winds, and periods of calm.  When the eye passed over us we were hit with the wind switch and our boats went for a wild ride as the gusts hit us in the 70knt range. yuck.

There were plenty of times where I thought to myself:

¬†“Why the fuck do we do this?”¬† or ” The boat is for sale” or “How could we be so stupid”

I was glued to the chart and anchor alarm, just terrified that we were going to end up on the beach, and having internet did not help in anyway. We were getting real time updates about the shit that was happening around us. Our phones were constantly warning us about tornados around us, a lighting strike happened within 500 yards of our boats. Like I said earlier IT SUCKED!

The next morning we were left in the wake of the storm which meant there was not a could in site and it almost seemed like nothing happened. We spent the day celebrating that we made it through the night, reading about those who were not as fortunate and caught up on sleep. 

Hurricane Ida 

 This storm was a deadly and destructive Category 4 Atlantic hurricane that became the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. state of Louisiana on record, behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

On August 29, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall, Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, devastating the town of Grand Isle. Ida weakened steadily over land, becoming a tropical depression on August 30, as it turned northeastward. On September 1, Ida transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone as it accelerated through the Northeastern United States, breaking multiple rainfall records in various locations before moving out into the Atlantic on the next day. 

The remnants of the storm produced unexpectedly severe damage in the Northeastern United States on September 1‚Äď2. Several intense tornadoes and catastrophic¬†flash flooding¬†swept through the entire region, which had already been impacted by several tropical cyclones,¬†Elsa,¬†Fred, and¬†Henri¬†during July and August. The flooding in¬†New York City¬†prompted the shutdown of much of the transportation system.

Bahamian mooring ‚Äď Two anchors from the bow

The Bahamian Moor is essentially the same as the V configuration taken to its extreme ‚Äď setting the two anchors 180 degrees apart. It allows your boat to swing pointing into the wind or current ‚Äď whichever exerts the greater force on your boat and wherever it comes from at a given time. It can thus be very useful in an anchorage with a strong reversing tidal flow.

This method of anchoring also minimizes your swing radius. It is a configuration you may consider in a tight anchorage, provided, of course, that the other boats do the same. It can be useful also when anchoring close to boats on moorings where their swing radius is quite small, although anchoring in a mooring field is generally not recommended.

 

 

Port Washington....... AGAIN!!‚̧ԳŹ

In the aftermath of Ida we were ready to just chill for a little. Well, I was ready. Jon had to get to work, rent a car and drive from NY to Baltimore! He would be gone for the week, which means I had Prism to myself. 

I’d like to say I got some work done, but I can’t remember doing anything other than hanging with FIN, hanging with our friends from the Yacht Club and eating more pizza.

Fin did have a friend come out to visit them and we went out for a sail which was a good time.

When Jon got back, our new friends invited us to their home for dinner and to hang outside of the YC. We were there for the end of the season party and got to say goodbye to all the wonderful people we met while we were in NY. 

Before we could keep heading south we made some repairs to our stackpac (damages done from IDA) and we needed to stock up on food while the stores are easy to access from the dinghy dock.

It was very hard to sail away from our NY friends not knowing the next time we would see them again.

Thank you for welcoming us into your homes and Yacht Club!

New York to Delaware

We buddy boated with FIN down the East River, taking epic pictures of our boats with the iconic backdrop of New York City. There was no wind, so we motored our way, timing our departure so we could ride the tides all the way through. We timed it a little to late and were carried through Hells Gate during max ebb, moving our boats at a swift 11.4 knots!

Once the river dumped us back out into NY Harbor we made our way to the anchorage tucked in behind Coney Island.  The entrance into this spot was a tight fit and I would not want to do it at low tide. Once we were in, the water was deep (30+feet) and we thought that this could be a large anchorage, but it is filled with sunken boats. Due to all the wrecks, there was not much room to anchor for 2 boats, we we let FIN set their big ass Mantus then we came up beside them to raft up for the night.

Together we all loaded up into the FIN’s dinghy “PITA” to explore the area and to go to the beach.¬†

Delaware Bay and the C&D Canal

The next morning we set off to make our way out of the harbor and sail offshore, Prism was heading to Delaware while Fin was heading to Virginia to get fitted for their new arch.

The sail south was as perfect as sailing can get. We had the breeze behind us, the drifter poled out and we were making great time. We thought about sailing around Cape May and then heading up the Bay to avoid the shallow waters in the Cape May Harbor and Canal, but then we found out that there is CHEAP diesel beyond the bridge at the start of the Canal. Not to mention we were very low on fuel….

Leaving NY Harbor

Prism’s bridge clearance is about 49′ on paper, with the VHF we account for max 53′ ish, and we had to fit under a 55′ bridge to get to the fuel dock….Yea okay, sure, normally we would be like, “okay, we will just wait till low tide that way we have more air room,” but we couldn’t do that. There is not enough water to make it to the fuel dock at low tide. We HAD to nail the timing.¬†

We ended up motor sailing to make it to the inlet in time and we were escorted into the harbor with the last of the incoming tide. As we approached the Route 633 bridge we knew it was going to be a tight fit, but we “should” fit.¬† The bridge heights are not only changed by tide, but by wind as well! Wouldn’t you know it, there was an east wind blowing (which causes the water to be higher). The closer we got, the more nervous I got, this is by far the closest we have ever been, and now I know how FIN felt doing up and down the ICW. EEEK.¬†

Route 633 bridge

It was about 7:30am, the tide was starting to go ebb and we still needed to make it into Cape Island Creek. When we called the fuel dock, they said they were not there yet, but should be there soon. Jon and I inched forward waiting to see our antenna fling back and forth as we scooted under the bridge, luckily it did not.  The entrance into the creek is a immediate turn to port, but the creek has no markers, so we were flying blind into the murky water as our depth sounder had a hard time getting a reading, We start to pull into one slip to quickly find there is not enough water, we were able to back out of that situation and took a deeper spot where the larger fishing boats normally park. We had to wait for a while until the fuel dock guy got there, the whole time we were watching the water get lower and lower, praying we would be able to get out before it was too late. We did not want to spend the next 6 hours waiting for the water to return.

Luckily our man showed up and the fuel pump was a quick one, so we were topped off and out before we lost anymore water. We continued our way out the Cape May Canal till we were dumped out into the Delaware Bay where we turned north for a very boring sail up the bay. 

Delaware Bay

In the beginning we were shocked that the entire coastline was bare, we did not understand why this stretch was not developed. That was until we started to notice the water, well it looked more like liquid sand rather than wind waves. Then the smell hit us… there was nowhere to hide from it. We both had to keep an eye out for the thousands of crab pots which blended in perfectly with the sand colored water. We had the wind behind us, so that was nice, well until the tide switched a few hours later, now it was wind against tide and the nasty square chop made for a bumpy ride. As we approached the C&D canal we passed another boat who was also sailing up the bay, and they made the view much prettier.¬†¬†

The ebbing tide had slowed us down to the point where we missed the tide to ride though the canal, so we dropped anchor outside the inlet and waited a few hours till we could go through. Which was perfect as we got to enjoy dinner and a quick nap.

Anchored in front of the C&D Canal

At slack tide we weighed anchor and set off to transit the C&D Canal. We had heard that it can get tight in there with passing tugs and other boats, but we had the whole thing to ourselves. An added bonus was that the canal was lit up like an air strip, so making our way though in the middle of the night was no biggie what so ever.  As we passed Chesapeake City we wished we had made it in time to spend the night there, it looked so cute all lit up! Not to mention all the sailboats anchored in the little harbor. 

It was 2 am before we made it to a spot that looked good to anchor in front of the Bohemia River. We crashed for a few hours before continuing down to Baltimore to meet up with our very dear friends MV SeaLife.

 

Back in the Chesapeak & Heading to Baltimore

Jon backed Prism into the slip next to our friends and we were immediately  pulled into hugs. We spent the next 2 weeks with our friends, doing some boat projects and exploring Baltimore in a way that only locals can do.

Howard the cat checking out his long lost friends and short term neighbors

Our time with SeaLife always feels too short and it is always hard sailing away from these guys. We needed to keep making our way south, as it was time for the Annapolis Boat Show and for Jon’s family to come join us for the week.

Read about the Boat Show and the Family Visit

Click the Photo ‚¨ÜÔłŹ

After the Boat Show, we spent only a week more in the area before we had to start heading down to NC to start the last big project on Prism, the interior cushions!

We spent some time rafted up with friends. We stopped in Virginia to see the progress on FIN and then we continued down the ICW !!! FOR THE LAST TIME!!!!!!!

The Last Project on Prism

Interior Cushions

When we got back to Oriental, NC we got right to work with our friends at Inner Bank Sails and Canvas. Prism needed her dinette and settee cushions replaced badly. It was hard work but we LOVE how they came out. THANK YOU Spencer and Breena!!!!

Leave a Reply