Monday, July 24, 2006

NORTHWARD! And More Stupid Boat Tricks

My college roomie Ted wanted to know if we had found the edge of the world. Not yet. We've just been out of touch with libraries.

Next stop after Belhaven was Elizabeth City, NC. Captain Bligh continues to demonstrate wonderful grasp of seaman-ship. Approaching a public dock after a long motorsail, I carefully circled to scope it out, then pulled into the slip down-wind with aid from the 'dockmaster'. Etude seemed to be pushing hard into the slip. Dock dude says, "That sail isn't helping." Bligh thinks, "Sail, what sail? Oh, the mainsail is still up!" I confessed to the skipper on the next boat that I hadn't REALLY planned that.

That was Stupid Boat Trick #2. #3 was running aground, which we did repeatedly. The fourth was failing to check water levels in our deep-cycle batteries. Result: batteries-as-ballast. This morning we replaced two of them, which should get us to Wickford RI and Donna's bro, and his extensive electrical know-how.

Memorable places transited include the Dismal Swamp Canal, Point No Point, Prissy Wicks Shoal, Great Kills Harbor and Hell Gate. Our route took us up the Chesapeake Bay, through the C&D canal, down the Delaware River to Cape May, then up along the New Jersey shore to NYC. Now at anchor in Oyster Bay, Long Island, home of T. Roosevelt. He's dead though.

Surprises included a lovely night at anchor in Atlantic City, in a pond surrounded by sea grass and birds, with the casinos on view about a mile away. Following night we anchored in Manasquan NJ, in another small gem called The Glimmer Glass. That night a line of violent T-storms rocked the East Coast. One moment we were enjoying dinner in the cockpit and noticing some distant lightning; 15 minutes later, the wind was howling, driving sheets of rain and brave Captain Bligh manned the wheel in shorts, slicker and scuba goggles, powering the boat to and fro to keep it off the other boats in that little anchorage. Our anchor didn't hold in that wind. Another half hour and it was pretty much over. Bligh reset the anchor, we drank some hot chocolate and went to bed.

Now that we've reached more temperate climes, we're slowing down and smelling the roses (as Darrell told us to do.) Plan to mosey up to Wickford, arriving next weekend. After a week or two there, who knows? Maine-bound, we think. Stay tuned!