Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Barnegat Bay to New York City ... Pirates & a Whale, oh my.

May 19, 2017 to May 25, 2017    Spenser's Bayside Marina for six days 
Rip found a great little gem of a marina in Spenser's Bayside Marina (SBM). besides all the clean and immaculate spaces and quick access to bathroom and laundry facilities... it was the friendly and helpful people that made this place fun. We were waiting for a good weather window for our next two days of cruising taking us through some more skinny water, a tight canal with current and an ocean inlet we need to hit at slack tide. All this so we can go out in the Atlantic, around Sandy Hook, NJ (yes ... that Sandy Hook) and over to Great Kills Harbor on Staten Island, NY.
Looking out the inlet to Barnegat Bay

Looking across the dock to the marina office ... Lab Partners is the tall one to the right

With wind and rain not on our side, we elected to stay at SBM for four days. We were set to head out on Wednesday, when a last minute check of the weather told us to stay until Friday. So, we did the smart thing and waited. While waiting these six days, Ripper did two major projects.

This is how Cally supervises
New quieter pump!
 First, he replaced the fresh water pump. Ours worked, but probably needs seals and such replaced, as it would periodically go off without having run water. However, it was a noisy thing. Rip replaced it with a new variable speed constant pressure pump. The old one will be rebuilt, later, with new seals and such and kept for a spare part. so, far this is working out great! Much quieter and doesn't go off over night and wake us up.

After deciding to stay put for a couple more days, Rip decided to tackle the second project ... running 10-3 wire to a new 20 amp breaker replacing the 15 amp breaker for our new inverter charger. Running the convection oven, and some times just the microwave, would trip the breaker. To avoid that, we would turn off the outlet for the separate freezer we have on board while the oven was running. Now, if we forgot to turn that outlet back on, we ruin a lot of food and/or if we forgot to reset the tripped breaker, our batteries would never charge when we were on shore power which could kill the batteries (the inverter would continue to supply our 120 volt power requirements while using up the batteries). 

Tight squeeze, tight place to work

Rip down in the engine room hooking up the new wire

New correctly sized wire!!

Rip split the project up over two days, running the 45 feet of wire one day and the connecting everything up the next day. We have tested this project out several times now and, yes, another success! We do not have to turn off the separate freezer to run the oven and the inverter breaker does not trip! It was nice that parts were available at the marina to complete these two items while we were waiting around for another travel day.

In addition, I was able to use Spenser's SUV for a grocery store run to stock back up for the next two weeks. PLUS, I was able to use the SUV to take Cally to a near by park to let loose and run for a while!! It has been to cold to swim and though she gets lots of long walks, she does enjoy chasing balls, running and playing off leash.

Across the canal are finger canals
Each home is water front and has space for a boat
Friday  May 26, 2017 - 23.9 miles traveled in 3 hours, 20 mins ... Spenser's Bayside Marina, Waretown, NJ to anchored on the Metedeconk River, NJ

 After coffee, breakfast and a long walk for Cally, we finally headed out. Our delightful dock neighbor, Jim, was back last night. This morning he helped us off the dock when winds were blowing and to the NJ ICW we went; a short run today with less than 24 mil covered. We anchored in the closest spot to the inlet we need to go out tomorrow ... an hour travel time away. This is a busy little river with lots of boat traffic, but it was the westerly winds blowing that have kept us rocking and rolling all afternoon. It is now 8 pm and the winds are finally calming down tonight and the boat traffic, too. It will be a zoo here tomorrow with holiday boaters. Ugh.

Where is the cannon when you need it?

 This afternoon we were invaded by a Pirate Ship! Looks VERY similar to the one that rules Annapolis... maybe even the same name. Hmm. Anyway the kids are board were having a blast and seemed to think it was fun to have me take their picture, too.
Pirate Ship cruise for kids ... sounded like they were having a blast.

Day 37 ... Saturday,  May 27, 2017 (Memorial Weekend) - 46.4 miles traveled in 6 hours... Metedeconk River, NJ to Great Kills Yacht Club, Staten Island, NY
There are no pics of Point Pleasant Canal. The current running through that small canal was CRAZY. It looked like you could surf in the canal. Rip was too busy keeping the boat moving forward for me to distract him by taking pics. At one point we were running at 3.8 knots ... we usually run around 7.5-8 knots. Rip had it throttled down some because it was a slow wake zone, but you had to have enough forward progress against the current to keep the boat moving and have some steering control. Just sitting beside him was nerve racking enough. Next comes running the Manasquan Inlet to the ocean. Rip timed it perfectly to be at slack tide. Still, too many holiday boaters running every which way, fishing boats freaking stopped in the channel with lines out ... where were we supposed to go? All in all this inlet wasn't a big deal because the currents were slack, but the boaters were nuts. AND, we were the last boat through the railroad bridge before it closed for a commuter train to pass.  
Boat fishing in the center of the channel

Canals of water front homes line the shores

They sure don't let you build like this in Annapolis or Anne Arundel County, MD

Shrimp trawlers by the inlet

The inlet and Atlantic Ocean
Neat statue by the inlet entrance

BEACH!!! The Jersey Shore!!

A nice ride in the ocean off the coast of NJ, around Sandy Hook and over to Great Kills Yacht Club. We even saw a WHALE!! only saw him/her breach twice. I wasn't quick enough to take a picture.

Our home for the holiday weekend. There was a club opening day party/picnic ... Loopers were invited to join in!! Nice way to end a day.
New York sky line comes into sight

when in the ocean or rough water, Cally has to have her big harness on

What a cutie!

NYC gets closer
Leaving the Atlantic Ocean ... for a long time. We will be on inland waters, canals, rivers from here until we get to the Gulf of Mexico.
We rested the rest of Saturday.
On Sunday Morning, their was a Blessing of the Fleet. Lots of boats from this club, other marinas and moored out in the harbor all gathered and lined up to parade pass the end of one specific pier where the boats were blessed for the new boating season.

Blessing of the Fleet
Cool, old style clubhouse

View from the boat up to the clubhouse on Memorial Day weekend

Looking out from the parking lot to the boats

On Monday night, all the Loopers gathered to meet and talk about boats, cruising plans and past experiences. Usually this is done on the dock or a boat ... hence called DOCKTAILS verses Cocktails; or is it Docktales?? Anyway, it was nice to finally meet other Loopers and mingle. The weather was cold and dreary, so the Club let us use their Captains Lounge! Doubt many would have gathered on the dock. Some are headed to one marina up the Hudson, some are headed to anchor out behind the Statue of Liberty to take boat pictures with her. We are headed to Nyack, NY. We will meet up with some of tonight's folks again along the way, some we may never see again.

Docktails continued

8 Looper Boats met for Docktails