Thursday, August 30, 2012

Essex, Ct to New Gretna, NJ (our 2012 final destination)

After 2 weeks in New Jersey staying with Ron's mother while his sister and brother in law were away, we returned to Essex, CT.  The warranty work (a new shaft seal) was completed while we were gone.  Last night, (8/29), we stayed in Stratford, CT at a free dock in a condo community where our friends Brad and Alice keep their boat.  Our Nordic tugs were parked side by side, which was quite a sight.  After a great dinner at a local Italian restaurant we returned to our boat and spent time visiting.

The past 2 days have been beautiful.  Full moon at night.  Clear skies.  Very little wind.  Tonight we are in Port Washington, NY on Long Island.  Tomorrow we will time our entry to the East River so that the current is with us as we approach NY Harbor.  The plan is to be in Great Kills tomorrow night.   Then we will wait for a weather window on the Atlantic as we travel to Manasquan Inlet.  If you remember, this is where we had very rough weather several weeks ago.

We timed our departure to take advantage of the current in the East River which can be turbulent, especially in Hell's Gate.  We had a head wind as we approached Hell's Gate, but were fortunate that there were no other ships (just a few pleasure craft) in that section as we headed for NYC Harbor.  The ferry boats can be a challenge, so it takes two sets of eyes to watch for them.  When we neared the Statue of Liberty, there were numerous large, site-seeing boats heading for Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Instead of heading directly under the Verrazano Bridge for Great Kills Yacht Club, we decided to completely circumnavigate Staten Island so Ron could see the waterfront at Elizabeth, NJ, his birthplace.  We both concurred that it was a boring few hours and would not do that trip again.
NYC viewed across from Elizabeth NJ

We met several members of the yacht club and were invited to visit with John Calascibette, the harbor host, and his wife and friends on his boat.   He had just purchased a really nice37 foot Carver (1980's) in mint condition for $5,000.00.   Yes, that's five thousand dollars.  Unbelievable!  Apparently the previous owner from Connecticut died and the boat sat for 5 years.  He offered $10,000 for it, but it needed $5,000 worth of work, so he ended up paying $5,000. 

We had paid for a two night stay at the Yacht Club, but after watching the weather, we decided that 9/1 was our best chance for a smooth ride on the Atlantic.  We left at 0630 and did have a really smooth ride the whole way to Manasquan Inlet.  Again, Ron had timed the entry perfectly so that the current was with us both in the inlet and in the Point Pleasant Canal.  Once we entered Barnegat Bay, there were a ton of holiday boaters.  Go fast cigar boats, sail boats, center console boats and  mid -sized cruisers stirred up the water and made it very rough.  After stopping for fuel at Beach Haven Yacht Club, we decided that we could make it all the way to Viking Yachting Center at New Gretna (our final destination).  So after 12 hours on the water, we were grateful to pull in to the marina.  Our tug is now in the same slip that we berthed in during our July stay. 
9/ 8/11
After unloading the boat and spending a few days with family, we bought a new Subaru, loaded it up and headed for Florida.  We arrived 9/10 and have reacquainted ourselves with our new home.  Ron will make a trip back to NJ in the truck in early October to prepare the boat for drydocking.  Then he will load up the remaining stuff and head back to Florida. 

Until spring, our blog will be silent.  We look forward to sharing our travels with you then...

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cuttyhunk to Mystic, CT to Essex, CT

We left Cuttyhunk early.  After a smoothe ride, we arrived in Mystic at Brewer's Marina where our looper friends keep their boat, the Erika Lin.  Bob and Lynda were the loopers we met on our first day on Lake Michigan after leaving Traverse City. 
Ron and I took a dinghy ride up to Mystic Seaport and had drinks with Alice and Brad, on the Nordic Tug, Orca I. 
We spent the day walking around Mystic and eating lunch at Mystic Pizza, the location of the movie of the same name.  Dinner was with Bob, Lynda and their friends Ingrid and Dave. 

Today was another early departure, this time for Essex, CT, where we have an appointment with the mechanic at the Nordic Tug dealership.  We may need a new seal on the drive shaft.  We arrived at 0945, several hours before severe storms passed through the area.  There were tornado warnings north of here, very unusual for this region.  We hope to leave in the morning for a very long day (70 miles) on Long Island Sound.  It will depend upon the forecast.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Falmouth, MA to Cuttyhunk

Because Pat has symptoms of food-borne illness, we are heading directly for their home in Falmouth instead of the planned trip to Martha's Vineyard.  It was good to follow Joe's boat, since he has local knowledge of the area.  As soon as we left, we were in fog for at least an hour.  Visibility was limited to about 100 yards, so we stayed close to "Glory Days".   There were quite a few Sunday cruisers when we arrived at the entrance to Joe's harbor.  We wound our way back to the river where Joe's house is located and tied up to his dock.  Joe & Pat have a beautiful home which Joe build several years ago
Adagio docked at Joe & Pat's home


While Pat rested, Joe took us on an extensive tour of the area.  One of the places we stopped was Quissett Marina where our Nordic Tug group was spending the night.  We knew we would not see them, but wanted to point out their boats for Joe.  As we approached the dock, Judy and Warren were just exiting their dinghy.  Serendipity!  We were able to say a personal goodbye to them, which we had not done when we left the group. 

After the tour, Joe took us to the new homeowners' association clubhouse where we enjoyed a nice dinner. 

Pat and Joe invited the guys (with whom Joe traveled on the gulf when we first met) and their significant others to a cocktail party.  We had spent a couple of weeks with them from Gulf Shores, to Appalachiacola, to Carrabelle, to Clearwater, so it was great to see them again and meet their spouses.  What a nice evening!

Woo Hoo!  Got my hair cut when Pat went to have her nails done.  This was one of the discount franchises where you pay $13.95.  What a bargain!!  Tonight we plan to take our hosts out to dinner before our departure in the morning for Cuttyhunk.  Tomorrow is their anniversary, and they may head for Cuttyhunk, as well.  From there we will be in Mystic Seaport, Essex and back up the Hudson to NJ.


Cuttyhunk at dusk

We spent a wonderful day relaxing and walking around the island.  The sunsest was beautiful. 

Pat & Joe
We will miss Pat and Joe.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cuttyhunk to Nantucket

We arrived at Cuttyhunk after a nice smooth ride on the water.  Cuttyhunk is the opposite of the frenzied, touristy area of Block Island.  It is a quiet harbor and tourists are limited to those on mooring balls and a few tied to a dock or anchored.  We went ashored with Judy, Warren, Sue and Bob.  After climbing to the highest point on the island, we were able to see a panoramic view of the entire area (20 miles out).  It was a perfectly clear day.  The few shops in Cuttyhunk are in little sheds or on front porches. A small grocery store stocks essentials.  All in all, a perfect day. 

Twelve of us climbed up a hill to the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club for a casual breakfast on the porch.

  CFC is also a bed and breakfast. 

Sue and Bob (on Simone) are returning home today and we will miss them! 

 They were great companions on the journey.  Our destination today is New Bedford, only 15 miles away.  Clouds and storms are predicted for tonight.    We took Duke ashore via the dinghy in New Bedford.  Not a real clean area--lots of trash lying about.  A rainy mist started in the afternoon which lead to a steady rain through the night.  Everyone stayed aboard their vessels on the moorings due to the weather. 

After stopping at the commercial dock for fuel, we headed for Marion, MA.  When we arrived in Marion, it was a nice day.  The many moorings here are filled with sailboats for the regatta which begins on Friday, but they found room for all of our tugs.  Judy, Warren (on Celebration), Ron, Duke and I walked in to town where the ladies did laundry. Everyone met again for cocktails on Nordic Lady.  Some of our Nordic tug group have departed for other locations.  We contacted Joe Apicella, a looper from Falmouth, MA, whom we met on the gulf coast. In order to visit with Joe and his wife Pat, we decided to leave our Nordic Tug group earlier than planned.  We will join Joe and Pat in Nantucket for two days.
The friendships we developed on this trip were wonderful.  We will miss all of the tug owners and hope they keep in touch. 

The 50 mile trip to Nantucket was perfect.  Calm with mild swells and no wind.  Storms are predicted for Sunday and Monday, so we will have to plan our route carefully.  Pat and Joe pulled into the next mooring about an hour after we arrived.  After spending some time walking around town, Ron and I had salads at a small outdoor restaurant and then went back to the boat.  Our mooring is a long way to the dinghy dock, so the trip in takes a while.  The mooring balls here are $70 per night.....very pricey!  The launch service is NOT FREE.  They charge $10.00 per person round trip from mooring to dock and back.  We'll just use our own transportation, thanks.  Dinners in town at some restaurants were a flat fee of $68.00.  Some were much higher.  We're eating on the boat!!  There are 5 huge personal yachts on the dock....over 200 feet long and 3 stories high.  Who are these people?

We caught a shuttle bus to Sciasconset on the other side of Nantucket.  The bus costs $2.00 for those under 65 and $1.00 if you are over 65.  We found a walkway behind some houses along the shore.  The hydrangeas are FABULOUS! 

After our lunch, we took the bus back to Nantucket.