Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Block Island, RI to Ventnor City, NJ

After our pleasant evening at Great Salt Pond, we and Alfie set out into Block Island Sound again. Again Alfie pushed ahead and called back with reports of improving seas ahead. We came to a section of the sound called The Race where because of changing depths and mingling currents a strong current exists. We didn't break our speed record, but we got close to it. As we came to the end of The Race, beyond our calm water we could see white caps ahead.
Once we got to the white cap area, the water was just boiling with swirling currents. After we got past that short stretch, we had smooth seas for the rest of the day, into Long Island Sound, and our anchorage at Port Jefferson.

This harbor was bordered by some high cliffs with houses perched on top and in the trees.

It really doesn't matter what kind of day we've had when we see something like this at the end of it.
Since we started this cruise, I've been "suggesting" to Joe that he needs to be careful about closing the port holes before hosing off the deck - especially the galley one that is directly under the deck scupper. Failure to do so was resulting in lots of water on the counter in the galley, which then ran into the corner and stayed there - often making for a soggy wine box. Not a good thing. I had finally gotten smart enough to keep a towel on the counter as sort of a dam. One day the towel was soaked - not a little damp - I wrung about a cup of water out of it! Joe admitted that he was probably a little sloppy washing his hands in the sink. This would've been way too sloppy - even for Joe. He started investigating. Turns out that although closing the port hole may help a little, there is such a gap around the port hole itself that when he rinsed off the boat water just poured in. So Joe's off the hook - and we're looking for some good caulk!
When we left Port Jefferson we thought we'd anchor at another place along Long Island that night, but as the day went on Joe decided we could make it down the East River and to our old anchorage behind the Statue of Liberty.
We left the next morning in some fog that made Joe happy he had AIS (Automatic Identification System). Commercial boats are required to broadcast it, we can only receive.
The yellow captions on his navigation screen show where boats are located - this was in New York Harbor as we were leaving. Some were large barges and many were fast ferries - we're not used to rush hour traffic anymore!
After we left the harbor we headed for Sandy Hook. Joe had spent the day before on the phone with other boaters looking for suggestions on a good place to hunker down for the expected visit from Hanna. The final decision was to go to a marina in Red Bank, NJ.
On the way we saw these fishermen with what appeared to be blue tarps mounted on their boats. We later found out they were raking for clams and use the sail to move the boat which helps pull the rake across the bottom.
As we rounded the end of the Highlands we saw this old lighthouse - which is no longer in use. When we then started up the Navesink River we realized this is not exactly a middle-class neighborhood. At least not the part you can see from the water.
I'll save most of the outrageous house pictures for picasa, but this one has a story. We'd taken the picture on the way up the river. Joe and I were watching TV one evening and they mentioned that Obama was at a $30,000. a plate dinner at Bon Jovi's house. Joe said the guys on the dock had been talking about that and had described the house to him - this is it!
Joe spent most of the day Friday making preparations for Hanna's arrival. He took off the bimini top, stowed anything that could fly away and trussed Carolyn Ann up with more lines than I cared to count. It was a pleasant day and he had plenty of company as many other boat owners were doing basically the same thing. I say "basically" because Joe out did them all. Oh yeah, he also had guy come check out our inverter which had been acting funny but was fine while the repair guy was here, and he got hold of a diver who came and replaced out zincs which had become pretty much non-existent.
Friday night we had some rain and it rained off an on all day Saturday. The wind did kick up a little late Saturday - but not enough to get excited about. Sunday was a gorgeous day and we spent most of it undoing all the things Joe had done on Friday.

And remember that leaking port hole? Joe had caulked it inside and out but it still leaked. We had a peanut jar anchoring a spatula which pushed a sponge against the wall under the port hole. Periodically we'd squeeze out the sponges. So Sunday Joe also looked for new places to put caulk.
We took off Monday and stopped at Atlantic Highlands Marina. Joe had called earlier and they were selling diesel for $3.83/gal - much less than we paid the last time we got fuel. We wove our way through their large mooring field to the fuel dock only to learn that their electricty was off, so no fuel. We had about half a tank left so we just went on our way - after having wasted nearly an hour! We anchored in Tom's River that night - not far from where we had on our way north.
Because of offshore weather we had opted for the inside route again which took us across the dreaded Barnegat Bay. According to our guide book it is one of the most popular boating areas on the east coast. Both times we've been there it looked like this. We had planned to anchor near Atlantic City, but a line of thunderstorms convinced us to stop around noon at a marina in Beach Haven.
We could see the Atlantic City skyline most of the day - but it took almost 4 hours to get to it!
Today we had a fairly short run, though not a particularly easy one for Joe. The inside route is shallow, narrow and twisty - and we had to wait for trains to pass to get a bridge opening, which then made us late for the next one that only opens twice an hour.
Since we didn't take the inside route south of Atlantic City on our way north, we did see some new sights - lots of fish traps! The ICW also seems to go through the lower rent district of Atlantic City.

Tomorrow we expect to go to Cape May and spend a day or two exploring there.

1 comment:

John said...

I think my favorite part of the story and favorite picture is the spatchula/peanut jar/spunge trick. That really made me laugh.