TEELOK’s Maine Trip Of 2002
By Wayne Bower
I usually do the Maine trip single handed; however, a fellow A37 owner, TJ, wanted to know if I could use a hand for at least part of the trip. The offshore leg to Block Island is always a long one so I jumped at the proposal.
TJ showed up at the house on afternoon of 5/24. We had previously loaded most all the supplies so it really meant loading the two of us and the boat was ready to set sail. The plan was for TJ to do the leg from the Magothy to Scituate, MA. Anyway, after a bit, we said our good byes to Sherrill, dropped the lines and headed for the anchorage for the night behind Dobbins Island.
The following morning the winds were predicted to be under 10k out of the NE; however, what we found was 15+. After a fashion, things quieted down and we motored to the anchorage behind the C&D canal located at the western end of the canal. We ran the bulkhead going in and found 6 feet of depth which for us means plowing a little mud to get into the anchorage area.
The following morning, timing our departure to be about three hours ahead of high at Reedy Island, we started out. Delaware Bay can be ugly on a strong SE wind and there was some question as to what we were going find. As it turned out, the time on the Delaware was most pleasant although it was under motor to Cape May(NJ). We managed to get anchored beside the CG station about 1800.
On the following day we again headed out. This time we were bound for Atlantic City. It's only about six hours from Cape May, but by stopping here it cuts the six hours off the following leg to Block Island.
We needed to top off fuel, water and ice. For those who know that I sometimes travel without ice, I thought it best(having crew aboard) to cool the beer. I should mention that we were eating extremely well on this first part of the trip. Sherrill had done some research into what was available in ready to serve meats and we benefited. We were really eating well. After topping tanks etc., we set the hook in the river in front of Harrah's Casino. I guess I should add that the entrance into the AC basin has gotten a little thin at low. I almost forgot, there were two military(don't know the service) go-fast Boats tied up to the CG station here. They definitely looked lean and mean.
On Tuesday morning at O-dark-thirty, we headed out the AC inlet and put the pointy end on Block Island. The winds were predicted to be light and that's what we found. The trip across was uneventful. We managed to set the sails and do a little sailing, but for the most part it was a motor job. If nothing else, I did get a chance to play with Monitor Windvane and found the larger vane worked quite well at wind speed of say 12k and under. It was quite an improvement over the standard vane. I frequently come across clam dredges off the NJ coast; however, this trip found very little activity. As a diversion we made a couple sun sights with the sextents. The total time across amounted to about 28 hours - a fairly quick trip. Once inside at Great Salt Pond, we found lots of moorings and few boats. After a little mooring analysis, we latched onto one that had heavy line and well maintained. We both were pretty well rested and it was fairly early in the day; however, we decided to lay over till the following day before shoving off for Hadley's Harbor -located opposite Wood's Hole. TJ was looking for some New England experience, and this was his first contact with fog on the trip.
The inner harbor at Hadley's has got be one of the prettier spots around. The Forbes family, who own the island, provide moorings as a freeby - first come, first serve. Being the middle of the week and early in the season, there was no problem picking one up.
On Friday morning, we again found plenty of fog. We hadn't topped tanks since AC, so prior to going through the Cape Cod Canal, we inched our way into Onset and topped them. We managed to have a flood tide(eastward flow), at the time, so we didn't have to wait around. I should note, the Cape Cod Canal can have a current of 5k so one wants to plan the time of passage. Just past the first bridge, the fog cleared and we were free of fog to Scituate.
The leg from the canal to Scituate was especially good. The wind was coming over the land so we had basically flat water and great winds.
We were hitting 8k plus coming up the coast. The TEELOK was moving smartly.
We arrived at Scituate in mid afternood and gave Don & Bette, super friends of Sherrill and I, a call. They came down to the yacht club and picked us up shortly thereafter. I should note that this was the end of the line for TJ, so after a super steak dinner at Don & Bette's, Don and I drove TJ up to Dedham and got him on Amtrak.
The time at Don & Bette's was fun as usual. Don and I played with the boats(Don has a lobster boat from which he chases the giant tunas).
Oh yes, the three of us went out for a feast of fried clams on one of the nights. Somehow it just wouldn't be a complete trip if there wasn't fried clams being eaten at Scituate.
Because of the strong north winds that had set in, I delayed departure for Gloucester by one day; however, on 6/4 I again put the pointy end heading north. This day the winds started out light, but built as the day wore on. By the time we got to Gloucester, we were a bit over canvased.
There are a few different anchorage areas in Gloucester, and I opted for the one off the CG station. While at Scituate, I managed to come down with an infected tooth. I didn't think that much of it until I awoke the following day with the left side of my face swollen up like a basketball. After a call to the Harbor Master, who I had made contact with on arrival, I got a ride in plus transport arranged to the local hospital. Doesn't get much better than that! The experience at the local medical facility was a good one and I was back at the waterfront within a couple hours.
The summer hadn't gotten to this neck of the woods. I was looking for a two day window to make it to Bar Harbor before another wind shift. As it turned out, there was two days; however, the first one I lost with the tooth. As a result I hunkered down for a total of five days in Gloucester, before picking up a wind on 6/8. I headed for Cape Porpoise, ME.
The trip was uneventful. The run between Cape Ann and Cape Porpoise puts you in close proximity to Isle of Shoals as well as Boone Island. The latter has an interesting shipwreck history. This is where the NOTTINGHAM broke in 1710. At Cape Porpoise there isn't a lot of protection, but there is enough as long as the conditions aren't too bad. As it turned out, the winds were up at the 0500 departure time which made getting the anchor up with a crew of one a little dicey - the anchorage s a little crowded.
The leg from Cape Porpoise to Townsend Gut, located just west of Booth Bay, was a shirt, sweat shirt plus a heavy coat type of day.
As I say, summer had yet to arrive. It was cold, wet, windy and the seas were up. Some how pleasure like in "pleasure boating" didn't apply. However, when I finally set the hook in the Townsend Gut, the sun came out, it got instantly warm and all was well in the world. This is very pretty section of the Maine Coast.
I wasn't into the Townsend Gut very long before I was offered two separate moorings. The natives are friendly. After cleaning up the boat, I headed through the Gut to Boothbay to top tanks, take showers, wash clothes etc. The predict was for rain for the following day so I headed across while things were dry and stable. As it turned out, it started to rain as predicted and rained for two days solid. Being so nice and protected I spent these couple days back in the Gut. I should note the presence in the cove of a beautiful 41' Concordia Yawl. This is wooden sailing vessel that dates to the early 50's.
On 6/13 the rain had stopped so I dropped the mooring and headed back through the Gut destined for East Boothbay. Off the tip of Linekin Neck, I spotted three cruising kayaks - interesting! The village of East Boothbay is located up the Damariscotta River by a few miles.
I'd never stopped here before, but my main interest was to try and see the latest creation of Hodgdon Yachts. This is the yard that produced the 124' wooden sloop ANTONISA - some three years ago as I remember. The latest creation is a 154' wooden ketch named SCHERAZADE. She is scheduled to be launched in May of 2003.
I never got to see the SCHERAZADE, as all the doors were closed and tours aren't given; however, I did see pictures and got to talk to someone from the yard. These boats are impressive to say the least.
I should add, when a boat is launched, the owner throws a party. For the ANTONISA this amounted to some 5000 people. Apparently, everyone is welcomed. I would imagine with one upsmanship, the next party has to be even bigger.
It was still early afternoon when I departed East Boothbay so instead of heading for Christmas cove as originally planned, I headed for Round Pond. Round Pond is a nice little protected anchorage on the western side of Muscongus Bay. Oh yes, had to take the short cut through the "Thread of Life" - love that name! Got into Round Pond late in the afternoon and after a little "mooring analysis", hooked onto one that wasn't being used. While in Gloucester,I had helped a trawler skipper put a windlass back together. He was out of Round Pond and offered his mooring if I stopped. Well, here I was so after a little local inquiry, I found the right mooring and settled in to wait out a passing low pressure system. The winds were predicted to be over 30k, and the protection is generally good in Round Pond.
Well, the predict came true this time. Winds were up, but since we were close the mouth, things got a little lumpy; however, by the next morning the low, that was causing all the trouble, had moved on through and things were quiet once again.
After a morning radio schedule with Sherrill, we were again underway. After leaving Round Pond, we took the scenic route through Muscongus Bay, passing north of Hog Island, past Friendship - birth place of the Friendship sloop, past Port Clyde, and onto Tenents Harbor our destination. Tenents can be crowded although not today. I found things quiet with little to no activity which was nice. There isn't a lot here, but it's a good place to get something to eat. What can I say, I travel on my stomach and the eatn's definitely good down he'a! During the evening, the fog had set in. It became evident that it wasn't going to lift right away so on went the RADAR and up came the anchor. I'd done the Mussel Ridge Channel(i.e. the passage from Tenents Harbor to Rockland) before in fog, but it sure is a lot easier when you can see all the rock. The destination was to be Cradle Cove on Seven Hundred Acre Island. This Island lies just east of Isleboro in the middle of Penopscot Bay. I'd never been to either Island so that was the draw. Cradle Cove turned out to have easy access with plenty of room to anchor which is not what I expected. Once ashore,I happened to comment to the yard manager on all the Herrshoff 12's that were present and I was promptly given a guided tour of all the boats stored here. Because of the age of a lot of these boats, it was an interesting afternoon.
From Seven Hundred Acre Island (what a mouthful), had a short two hour run to Belfast. Belfast is larger than most towns on the Maine coast and has among other things a super market and a hardware store. I should add the market is at the very top of a rather steep hill. While there I learned of a cruisers rendezvous on the first weekend in July at Islesboro. I'll have to see if I can make it back for this one. Based on those that attend(i.e. Dodge Morgan, Nigel Calder etc.), it sounds like it could be an interesting get together.
After leaving Belfast I headed for Castine. This is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy and a nice place to stop. Castine is actually at the mouth of the Bagaduce River which has quite a bit of current and some relatively deep water. There is; however, a town dock with a two hour limit which you can tie to or you can anchor on the other side of the river and take the dink across. Among other vessels, the Academy has the two masted schooner BOWDOIN. I don't know when it was built, but I did learn it had gone to the Artic in 1923-24 on an expedition. Oh yes, found another Concordia at Castine. They're everywhere, they're everywhere! It's just a short run from Castine around Cape Rosier to Bucks Harbor our next destination. I think I've stopped here just about every trip to Maine. It's located at the top end of Eggemoggin Reach and it's just one of those places that draws you back. It's quiet, protected and very laid back. There's also a little country store here where they make their own bread. What can I say, I travel on my stomach.
After a couple days at Bucks Harbor, we headed down the Reach to the Wooden Boat School. The school is located at the Blue Hill Bay end of the Reach and on the grounds of what appears to have been the home of one of the rich and famous. There is a fantastic view from the top of the hill. The classes are held in what was probably the carriage house with the offices and library located in the main house. While I was there, they had three different classes going on, building three different types of boats. This was a Saturday and most of the activity centered around the canoe building class - these were really nice looking wooden canoes. If you went out to buy one of these things, I would think you'd be spending some serious money. I've stopped at the school several times over the years and found each stop just as interesting as the last.
Leaving the School, we headed up Blue Hill Bay destined for the village of Blue Hill. The mooring field/anchorage area is a distance from the town. In the past I've anchored just inside and off the local yacht club. However, being low tide and able to see some of the rock that disappears at high, I continued into the inner basin. This was a Saturday, but absolutely nothing was moving and it was very quiet. It was almost too quiet. Off to my starboard were several seals sunning themselves. There is a town dock; however, it dries at low water so I had to wait till the following day to dink in. The town of Blue isn't very big, but it does have a grocery store, gas station, hardware etc.
Leaving Blue Hill, we headed north of Long Island and under Newbury Neck destined for Bartlett Narrows. There is a cove in the Narrows called Great Cove that I've used before. It's open to the south- east and yet with the winds out of the west, it was a perfect spot for the night. I also wanted to flip the inflatable to clean the bottom and Great Cove was a good spot for that also.
The following morning I pulled anchor and continued through the Narrows heading for Southwest Harbor. Southwest is located on the south side of Mt. Dessert Island and is the home of Hinckley Yachts.
The harbor is loaded with moored boats; however, there always seems to be room for one more of us transients. The harbor holds a high percentage of Hinckleys, which is not surprising, but it also has a fair number of work boats which tends to give the place a little character. Ashore you can find most of what you'd need for the boat and crew. Hinckleys is always worth a visit and I've always found the personal here friendly and eager to please. A stop at Beal's Lobsters is a must. Beals also has the cheapest diesel in town although there is no indication that they even sell fuel to the general public. There is a town dock where you can land the dink which gives you easy access to down town Southwest. I used to like to stop into Morris Yachts, but this trip I found they had moved to Bass Harbor. Oh yes, there is also a West Marine in Southwest.
While at Southwest, I had a call (on the Waterway Net freq) from a fellow ham Alan/AD4HE. He and his wife Trish/KD4LGZ were on their sloop MAGIC MOMENT at Northeast Harbor - about two miles away. After the fog lifted, I jumped in the dink and took off for Northeast. Their home is Tennessee and they're currently cruising the Maine coast. It was fun getting together with them.
The following day, I pulled anchor and headed south to one of the nicest of the offshore Islands - Long Island. There is a picturesque village on the Island called Frenchboro and there is a snack bar at the village and at this snack bar one can get the greatest fish chowder anywhere. All that is the good part. The bad part is it wasn't open - disappointment! Apparently it won't be open till at least the 4th of July - another five days.
It's only a couple miles to Swan Island so on we went to Burnt Coat Harbor via the back door. This rear entrance is an especially interesting passage in a dense fog, but today was, for the most part, fog free. There isn't a lot to do here, but it is a nice spot to spend a couple days. While here, I managed to meet up with another ham/sailor, Ralph/AB1V, who lives on the Island. I guess I should mention the weather. It has been basicly fog free with day time temperatures in the 70's and night time temperatures in the 50/60's (i.e. quite pleasant). The day before we left Burnt Coat we were socked in with fog most of the day; however, for this trip, fog has been the exception rather than the rule.
On 7/2 the TEELOK was underway again and heading for Vinal Haven. I hadn't checked the forecast that morning, but things looked good for an easy passage although in limited visibility. About an hour later the sky darkened, the winds blew, the temperature dropped, the rain fell (in buckets), lightning strikes everywhere and visibility went almost to zero. This wouldn't be that bad if it wasn't for all the rock around. It took what seemed like forever, but eventually I managed to locate a reference point and held position. When things finally quieted down, a heavy fog set in.
The next anchorage was to be Perry Creek on Vinal Haven. Perry Creek is a good protected anchorage(except from the east) located within a couple miles of the village of North Haven. Another plus for the creek is the mussel beds located here. Nothing like a good feast of fresh steamed mussels dipped in butter. They were gooooood. I should also note the change in temperature while we were here. The highest temperature we had seen to date was a very pleasant mid 70's. While here in the creek, it went up into the mid 90's. I came topside of the first morning here and was hit with a blast of 90+. What a shocker.
The water temperature is still in the 50's , but I was in regardless. It was just too hot to stay out.
As nice as Perry Creek is, I was running low on some supplies so off we went to Rockland. Rockland is on the western side of Penobscot Bay and a short eight miles from the creek. It's a good spot to restock, take showers, wash clothes etc. While here, I found a restaurant(what else), that gave you twice as much(seafood no less) as you could eat. I had scallops cooked in butter and garlic and could only finish half of it. Definitely, my type of place(HA)! From Rockland it was a short ten mile run up to Islesboro - one of the islands in the center of Penobscot Bay. The timing was right so I went the ten or so miles north to see if I could find the cruisers rendezvous that I'd heard about earlier. I waited around for a day, but never did find anything that looked like a rendezvous so I headed south for Muscle Ridge Channel which leads to Tenents Harbor. It is Sunday and we are at anchor in Tenents. It now looks like we'll be meeting up with Sherrill this coming Saturday. Come on Saturday! After leaving Tenents, we headed for Christmas Cove located on the Damascotta River. It's a small inlet that's just about filled with moorings. There might have been one spot to drop the hook, but I managed to spot a private mooring without an occupant. After a little "mooring analysis", I figured it was a keeper so I grabbed it for the night.
There wasn't anything in Christmas Cove that was holding me back so the following morning it was off to Boothbay. Here the cleanup process was to start. After all, the 1st Mate was due in and the ship needed to be put in shape for her arrival. Oh yes, I can't remember if I mentioned seeing the square rigger BOUNTY. She was on the hard at Boothbay when we arrived about a month ago and today she was back in the water. I talked with the 3rd Mate for a bit and learned a little about the boat. Evidentially, she was trying to sink when they brought her in. They now have that under control, but she needs a ton of work. They appear to be operating on a shoestring budget with the crew doing most, if not all, of the work. After checking out the BOUNTY, it was off to Townsend Gut to set the hook for the night. I could have spent the night in Boothbay, but the Gut has a lot nicer scenery and the anchoring a little easier.
Leaving the Gut, it was a relatively short run over to "The Basin". The Basin is a hurricane hole located on the eastern side of Casco Bay and a short distance from Sebasco Lodge. The lodge is where Sherrill and I planned to meet up when she arrives from MD-land. After checking out the local amateur repeaters, I determined that the 147.135 at Brunswick covered the widest area and it could be brought up almost as far south as the New Hampshire border.
As it turned out, the repeater lived up to it's reported coverage and we were able to stay in touch all the way into Sebasco. Sherrill arrived on Friday the 12th after a long eleven hour drive from Maryland. It was good to see her.
Sherrill & I spent Saturday running around in the car getting groceries, eating seafood, sightseeing and generally taking it easy. We had the land transport so restocking for the following week was made that much easier.
Sunday is the day that Sebasco has a brunch beside the pool. It is quite good and I always make sure I time my arrival to partake of same. As I say, I travel on my stomach. There is usually a group playing chamber music while you eat(a little bit of class), but for some reason they weren't in attendance this morning. Never the less, it was goooooood. On Sunday afternoon in came Bill & Nancy Sullivan on MOONBRIDGE. We knew they were due in, so it was no surprise, but it was really good to see them arrive. We got together soon after they got settled.
On the following Monday, TEELOK and MOONBRIDGE headed back up the New Meadows River to the Basin. There was a little weather predicted for Monday afternoon/evening and this was a perfect spot to sit it out. When I was in here last, waiting for Sherrill, I was talking to one of the other cruisers and they mentioned a mussel bed. That evening, Bill and I managed to pull three buckets a mussel bed. That evening, Bill and I managed to pull three buckets full for a future feast.
On Tuesday the two boats were underway heading for Quahog Bay a relatively short distance from the Basin. Neither Bill or I had ever been here so off we went. We set anchor behind Snows Island. The cruising guide had it rated as a four out of a possible five. I think, all of us agreed that it rated a five. This is a really nice spot. That evening in the cockpit of MOONBRIDGE, the four of us (and Molly the dog) devoured three pales full of steamed mussels. What a feast! The Scenery, the food the company, it just doesn't get any better than this.
The following morning we were off again. This time we were heading for another spot that neither of us had ever been to, Jewel Island - located relatively close to Portland. It's a popular spot and a reasonably protected anchorage(except from the east). Neither of us had ever stopped here and that was the attraction. Along the way we bumped into Roger & Anne Howell aboard their sloop, MONACH. It was like finding a needle in a haystack, but somehow we managed to meet off the southernend of Bailey Island. They sail out of Brunswick and were heading west for Penobscot Bay while we were heading east to Jewel. We sat off Bailey for a bit discussing our plans and mutual old VA-friends TJ & K Assenmacher. We eventually made it to Jewel and set the hook. Bill & Nancy rafted along side at Jewel; however, they were heading for a final destination of Portland so after a bit, we bid them bon voyage as they headed over the horizon and we settled in for the night. I should add here that of the number of times that I've been on the Maine Coast, this is really the first time that I'd done any exploring in Casco Bay. What we've seen of Casco has been really nice.
Leaving Jewel, Sherrill & I needed to head back to Sebasco Lodge so that she could pick up the van to start the trip south. There is a floating dock at the lodge so we just needed to come along side for a few minutes so she could jump ship and get the land transport heading for Scituate(MA). We would meet up again at Scituate. The TEELOK in the mean time was heading for the Portland area to anchor for the night behind Peaks Island. There is a ferry that runs from the Island to Portland, about once an hour so it makes a convenient spot to anchor. There aren’t a lot of places to anchor in this area, but this is one of them. I don’t like to tow a dink at sea so here is where the dink got cleaned up for storage.
I cleaned the bottom of the dink once during the trip and was hoping it wouldn’t be that bad. I should have cleaned it more than once(HA).
There was a norther predicted for the next couple days – one for my side. The morning of 7/19 we got underway about 0500 and put the pointy end heading for Cape Ann. It turned out to be an eleven and a half hour trip which put us into the harbor at Gloucester about 1630 – an easy trip.
On the following morning, I again pulled anchor at O-Dark-Thirty and headed the relatively short distance to Scituate arriving in the harbor before noon. We had north winds again which helped push us on south.
After picking up a mooring and getting the boat squared away, I made a phone call to Don & Bette. I visited with them on the way north and here I am again. Sherrill had arrived the day before.
The four of us spent the next couple days catching up on old times.
It was a fun time as usual. There wasn’t much that needed doing on the boat although Sherrill did add to the boats food supplies while we were here. I shall not go hungry! While here we also met up with a fellow A37 owner, Bob Prescott. I’d been in contact with him via Email while on the Maine Coast and he wanted to get together when I arrived in Scituate. On Sunday evening, we met up on TEELOK and had a couple hour chat talking about the A37’s. What better way to spend an evening! The winds were predicted to be out of the SW and in the 15 – 25K range for the following afternoon and I needed to get through the Cape Cod Canal during the ebb tide which started about 0900. This combination said get up and get underway early. I had a good sail, but the winds were piping by the time I got to the canal. The problem with strong SW winds on an ebb tide is that the waves square up on the Buzzards Bay end of the canal. As it turned out, they weren’t all that bad. The strong SW’ers were predicted to stay around for a couple more days so rather than fight the head winds on Buzzards Bay, I put into Onset to wait it out.
As it turned out, I had only a one day wait before the winds shifted to the northeast. On Wednesday morning, I managed to be out into the channel by 0600. When I pulled anchor, the winds were barely up, but by the time I motored the short distance to the channel, they were in to the 20-25k range and building. It was an exhilarating day on the water. We were fighting the currents in Buzzards Bay to start out, but the farther we got from the canal, the less it was a factor. About noon, the sun came out and the winds dropped down in the 15k range. We were heading west with a northeast wind, doesn’t get much better than this. That afternoon, we put into Stonington, Ct. Stonington is a small protected harbor located behind Fishers Island. With the winds out of the northeast, it was perfect spot to spend the night. As it turned out, that evening’s entertainment was watching the small boat harbor races. We were some what up close and personal with the course. Some looked like they had plans of taking a shortcut through the TEELOK.
On the following morning at O-dark-thirty we entered Long Island Sound heading for Port Jefferson(LI) and we still had the trailing wind.
If your lucky, you can time this passage on a favorable flood tide. We were lucky and managed to use just about the full tidal change. With a favorable wind and tide, it was almost like we could do no wrong.
Port Jefferson is a large harbor with an easy entry and plenty of room to anchor. The ferry from Bridgeport(CT) stops here and there is plenty of restaurants etc. ashore. They also have a shuttle service so getting ashore is not a problem.
Leaving Port Jeff, we headed for Manhasset Bay/Port Washington.
It’s a short leg, about 30 miles, but I find it a good jumping off point for transiting NYC. Would you believe, the easterlies held again and the tide was favorable. I’ve got to be doing something right. Once in the Bay, I stopped to top the tanks for the run down the NJ Coast. The time of slack water at Hells Gate, going to ebb no less, was early afternoon which meant we’d be into Atlantic Highlands(NJ) well before dark.
Leaving just short of 1100, put us at Hells Gate at the desired 1300 hours. After that we got an added push from the outgoing tide. I was a little concerned as to what I’d find as far as added security in the harbor; however, with the exception of a couple small police boats, that I don’t remember seeing before, no added security was noted.
There was a little breeze, but by the time we got to the breakwater at Atlantic Highlands, it was flat calm. Here’s hoping this holds well into tomorrow as it is suppose to come up out of the south.
When I got up at 0445, the weather conditions were a repeat of the previous evening – hot and still. I managed to get underway a little after 0500. The trip around Sandy Hook and down the coast was most uneventful. To me, the New Jersey coast is boring and this time was no exception. I was thinking of putting into Barnegat, about the half way point, but progress was good so I continued on. When we got just short of Little Egg Inlet, the wind came up creating short steep seas over the shallows and progress came to screeching halt. It was to be a late arrival at Atlantic City. As usual, I set the hook in the river just off of Harrah’s Casino. There were three other boats already in for the night.
It was a long day, about 14 hours, and I was tired; however, it felt good to have most of the NJ Coast behind. I almost forgot, spotted a pelican off AC. I’d seen them in the southern Chesapeake, but never this far north.
The following morning, again about 0500, I set the pointy end again heading south. This time the destination was Cape May(NJ). It is not a long leg, being about 30 miles, but I was interested in getting it behind and calling the NJ Coast fini. It was an easy stretch and we managed to get in a little before noon. After topping the tanks and adding a little ice, I went back to the edge of the Coast Guard station to anchor for the evening, get cleaned up and relax. I should add, where it was warm in AC, here in Cape May, it was just plain ugly. Oh yes, just short of getting in, I sited a large three masted square rigger, under sail, heading north.
It might have been the Coast Guard’s … EAGLE.
The winds were predicted to turn from the west to the northwest during the "night" so the following morning up the Delaware we went.
I figuring we’d be at the Canal before the shift. The trip up the Delaware was relatively uneventful. When we got north to Cross Ledge the wind started to build and effect our forward progress, but by this time we were almost to the point where the flood currents started to kick in to counter the wind. When the C & D Canal breakwaters came into view, I felt like I was almost in the barn. We made a fairly quick passage through the canal and anchored behind the Corp. of Engineers for the night.
On the following morning we were underway fairly early to make sure we weren’t going to run aground leaving the anchorage - it was a falling tide and things have gotten a little thin along the bulkhead.
The trip down the Bay was uneventful. I gave a call on the 147.105 repeater when I got south of Pooles Island and made contact with Sherrill. After a short trip up the Magothy, the TEELOK was back at the pier with Sherrill welcoming us home.
It was a good trip; however, it was also good to be back. We had little fog on this one. When you head north you never know what your going to find, fog wise. There was only a few times when we had the RADAR turned on. Temperatures were generally in the seventies during the day and sixties during the evening(i.e. quite pleasant). Met a lot of nice people and managed to find a few places where we hadn’t been before which is always fun. With all this said, I think the biggest draw to me and the reason I keep going back is the beauty of the place. I find the Maine Coast one of the prettiest places anywhere.