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October 22, 2002

October 12 - 15, 2002

The Great Adventure begins! Left from City Island with Robert Boone as crew about noon in driving rain with 25 kn wind NNW. Ug! Motored under the Throggs Neck and Whitestone bridges, past LaGuardia Airport, through Hell's Gate(relatively calm) and down the East River with the falling tide.
After checking with the Coast Guard to be sure there were no security restrictions around the Statue of Liberty ("just stay at least 175 yards off the statue") we settled in with a calm, peaceful, misty view of the Lady. Turned out to be a great place for the night; sheltered from the NNW wind and quiet!
Sunday AM we left for Atlantic Highlands to pick up Al Hopkins and Brian Higgins as additional crew. Topped up the diesel and then moved to Atlantic Highlands YC (friendly and helpful) to wait for Brian and Al. Left from there about noon for overnight trip to the Cape May canal.
Motored around Sandy Hook with no wind and into 6-8 foot swells from the ENE. Continued parallel to the coast working our way about 5 miles out in the company of another southbound boat that reported they were headed for the Virgin Islands with the Caribbean 1500 ralley. About dark the wind picked up as the predicted front started through. Put up the main with 2 reefs because of the gale forecast that arrived about midnight with gusts to 35kn!
Turned cold but was clear part of the time; nice moon and a spectacular view of the Atlantic City lights from 6 mi offshore. Set up 4 hour watches with Brian and Al as one team and Robert and me as the other.
Arrived off Cape May canal entrance about 8 AM with crystal clear sky but cold and windy. Downhill all the way! Went into Utch's Marina for fuel (burning about 1.1 gal/hour at 2000 rpm, 6.5 kn) and a hearty breakfast at the Lobster House. Robert had to leave for an important meeting the next day and we three started through the canal with the tide about 10:30 AM.
The tide was favorable up the Delaware (wind on the nose so we were motoring again!) and got to the entrance to the C&D canal about 5:30 PM still with the favorable tide so our speed over the ground in the canal was 9.7 kn! Stopped for the night in the cove across from Schaffers Restaurant just east of the Rainbow Bridge. Very secure and quiet with about 6 other boats so this small anchorage was almost full.
Got up Tuesday AM to a very cold (high 30's) but clear day. With storm warnings forecast for the evening, we set out down the Chesapeake. Couldn't go to Annapolis because of the boat show so we motor sailed the last part of the trip to the Baltimore Inner Harbor and called into Anchorage Marina for a slip. Very helpful friendly folks with good off season rates. Nice facility with clean restrooms and a nice laundry.
Al and Brian treated for drinks and dinner ashore and we got back to the boat just as the forecasted storm arrived. Next morning we shared a taxi to the BWI airport where Brian and Al had a meeting to attend. I got a rental car for the drive home. Omega performed flawlessly and Robert, Brian and Al were great crew and fun to have on board. All in all, it was a successful beginning to The Great Adventure!

Posted by Dick at 08:08 PM