Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oct 29 - Belhaven NC

Oct 22 – Norfolk to Deep Creek – Dismal Swamp
We had a busy morning running errands in Norfolk. We started with a visit to a little marine store called WT Brownley’s a few blocks away from the dock. We went there to pick up a guide to the ICW. Mostly they had books and charts and a few marine instruments. Then we noticed the printer that they use to actually print marine charts. I guess this is the way of the future for charts so that they can be printed "real time" with all the updates included as marker buoys and things get moved around. We were talking to the lady there, and it was originally her grandfather’s store that he opened in 1932. After we left there, we took a cab out to a big shopping area where there was PetSmart that had Rudder’s special dog food. I had never seen so many different types of dog food in my life, including special food for Labrador Retrievers, and special food for Boxers – but we couldn’t find Rudder’s food. Eventually we asked where it was and the lady said – oh that’s prescription food, so it would be in the prescription food section (oh oh…) We went to check out and they asked for our prescription…. We pleaded our case and fortunately they let us get the food without a prescription. Then we stuffed the 37lbs of food into our big waterproof knapsack and headed a couple of blocks down the road to Walmart where we picked up groceries and a few odds and ends before getting a cab back to the dock. We packed away the groceries, filled up with water, had some lunch and then left Norfolk around 1:00. There are two different routes you can take for the first 90 miles of the ICW the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal and the Dismal Swamp Canal. The first is still used for commercial traffic and is deeper and better maintained, but the Dismal Swamp Canal is more scenic and more historic as it was originally used by the likes of George Washington in removing timber that was logged in the area. We had opted for the Dismal Swamp route, and we were headed for the 3:30 opening of the lock that would lift us 8’ up into the canal. In order to get there we had to pass under 6 bridges, two of which we had to get opened for us to go underneath. We originally planned to go and additional 18 miles to the Dismal Swamp Visitors center, but some folks at the lock recommended tying up to the free dock just on the other side of the lock, so that is what we did. There were 6 other boats that locked through with us, and all of them stayed at the same dock overnight. Many of the boats were ones we had seen over the past few weeks including Estelle from Charlottetown that we originally saw in Cape May, Lap Cat that were tied up with us in Baltimore, and Calliope that we had passed going down the Chesapeake. We also met new some new people including Randy and Diana on Strider (a Tyanna 37’). When we checked Misty’s log we saw that we had left Norfolk on Oct 22 as well!

Oct 23 – Deep Creek
The forecast for leaving the Dismal Swamp doesn’t sound that great. It is very protected in here, but the wind is forecast to be really high so we decided to stay in this nice little place rather than get stuck down at the other end of the canal. The kids did their school work in the morning. We went on several nice walks through the park. Kristen and I went on a walk to take notes on all the birds, animals, insects, trees and plants we could find for her habitat lesson. It is amazing the diversity of trees and plants and how different they are from home. In the afternoon we walked to town and got a few groceries. This is a great spot!

Oct 24 – Dismal Swamp Visitors Center
This morning we left Deep Creek with the boats that came through the 8:30 lock opening, so we went through the Deep Creek bridge around 9:00. We had about 18 miles to go to the visitors’ center. It was a nice day in the canal. The canal is beautiful with trees and vines growing right up to the edge of the canal. In the 1800’s there was a desire to build a canal to join Abermarle Sound with the Chesapeake Bay so that shipping could be done safely between North Carolina and Virginia. George Washington was an early investor in a project designed to drain the 50,000 acre swamp to try to log the area and develop the land for farming. Beginning in 1793, the canal was dug by hand by slaves. It was miserable work with lots of bugs and snakes, and the slaves would be up to their waists in mud trying to dig. As slaves, they weren’t paid for the work unless they outperformed what was required of them. If they were paid, they used the money to buy blankets or buy their freedom. The canal was open to flat bottom boats in 1805. The water in the canal is a deep brown. It is so rich with tannin from the bark of the trees that bacteria couldn’t grow in it, so it was highly prized to take on sailing ships as it wouldn’t go bad.
We got to the Visitors center a little before lunch. There were already 4 boats tied along the wall so we had to raft (tie along side) with one of the other boats. By the end of the day there were about 10 boats all rafted together along the wall. There is a floating footbridge to take you to the other side of the canal, and we crossed the bridge to go for a short hike through the swamp land. The ground isn’t actually swampy, but there are so many trees and so much foliage it must have been really hard to try to cut a trail through the swamp. There is also a short footpath that identifies 10 types of trees native to the area including Sassafras, Hickory, Black Cherry, Virginia Red Cedar, Sycamore and Sweet Gum. It looks so different from Nova Scotia.

Oct 25 – Dismal Swamp Visitors Center
With high winds still forecast outside the swamp, it didn’t make sense to move today. We got the school work done, visited the Dismal Swamp museum and borrowed the loaner bikes and went for a bike ride in the pouring rain. There is a young couple on a boat tied up behind us and we had them over for potluck supper. Noah bought his first boat and sailed it from California to French Polynesia. He and Vicky are starting another adventure and hope to go back to the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. It was really interesting to hear about his adventures and about their trip north this summer.

Oct 26 – Elizabeth City (mile 50)
We left the Visitor’s Center at 7:30 with 10 other boats – only one boat stayed behind. We met with two other boats at the lock, so that 12 boats locked through the South Mills lock together. It was so calm in the canal that we passed our camera over to Serenus (Noah and Vicky) and Noah climbed his mast to get a really cool picture of Bird with the girls on the bow. We got to Elizabeth City around 1:00. It was a nice sunny day and we had a busy afternoon getting laundry done. Then Annie and I went to the grocery store, and Dave and Kristen went to the Abermarle Museum. They said it was really good, but it was closed by the time we got back from the grocery store. Most days, there is a "Rose Buddies" wine and cheese party for the boaters at the dock. The Rose Buddies started doing wine and cheese parties in 1983 after their wives died. They also gave a rose to each woman that stayed at the dock. Unfortunately, the original Rose Buddies have both passed away but the tradition continues. They don’t usually have a get together on Sunday, so the boaters organized their own party. After the groceries got put away we stayed out on the dock until it got dark and cold talking to the other boaters.

Oct 27 – Elizabeth City to Alligator-Pungo Canal (mile 113)
We left Elizabeth City at 7:00 as the forecast sounded pretty reasonable for travel today. Unfortunately the wind was right where we needed to go so once again we had to motor all day. We had planned to stop at an anchorage at the start of the alligator-pungo canal, but when we got there it looked really unprotected for the high winds that were forecast for overnight. We pressed on another 10 miles to a little canal near a bridge. The canal was about 100 feet wide and we ended up tying a line to a tree off the bow, and another line to a tree off the stern. It took us quite a while to get all organized and we were just going below at 6:00 when the rain started pouring down and the wind started howling. We stayed safe all night, and later we heard that a number of boats that stayed at the other anchorage had dragged their anchors overnight. It was another really cold night!

Oct 28 – Alligator Pungo Canal to Belhaven (mile 135)
It was really cold today, and really windy. Once again we weren’t able to sail. We got to Belhaven a little after noon and decided to call it a day and go to a marina. We went to the River Forest marina where we had stayed 15 years ago. Carpe Diem was there too! We hadn’t seen them since Staten Island. We borrowed a golf cart from the marina and went up to town to go to the post office and to the hardware store where we bought a little electric heater. It was great to plug it in and get the boat warmed up! After supper Chris and Penny came over to visit. Chris brought his portable picture printer and made some post cards for us from some of the pictures we had taken.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oct 22 - Norfolk

Oct 15 – Washington DC
Today we got up early and walked about ten minutes to catch the 7:20 train to Washington DC. We arrived at Union Station about 8:30. Once again, the US transit system worked really well. It was another lovely warm day and we walked from Union Station, pasted the capital building to the Mall (not a shopping mall – more like a big grassy park that stretches through most of Washington. We started to walk down towards the Washington Monument, but by about 9:00 there were a couple of people that were tired of walking, so we went to the Smithsonian Castle to learn about the Smithsonian Museum and to try to figure out which buildings we wanted to see. At 10:00 the Air and Space Museum so we went there first. There was a museum tour that started at 10:30, so we thought that would be a good idea. It was a great tour. The lady that gave it was really interested in airplanes and space. It is amazing the collection of airplanes, rockets and space craft that they have collected. We touched a rock that was brought back from the moon. We saw the original airplane that the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk (no mention of Alexander Graham Bell at all in the early years of flight). They had the original space capsule that did the first manned trip around earth - John Glenn flew around the earth 3 times in about 4 hours! They also had the lunar lander from the first trip to the moon. The number of rockets and airplanes was incredible. Kristen though it was neat that they put monkey in space first because they needed to figure out if they can go to the moon. The monkeys survived the trip but after the trip the older monkey died (but they don’t think it was because of going to space). After the Air and Space Museum and some lunch (McDonalds again) we walked across the Mall to the Natural History Museum. We had a good look at their new Ocean Hall that had just opened, but had to do a quick walk through the gem display that includes the Hope diamond, the mammal exhibit and the insect exhibit. We saw a tomato horn worm pupae trying to hatch into a moth – but eventually we had to leave and we didn’t see the moth emerge. We also saw a beehive built inside a Plexiglas container so you could see inside the hive, and there was a tube that led to outside so the bees could come and go. When we finished at the museum we continued our walk to the Washington Monument, but it was too late in the day and too hot and too far to walk to the Lincoln Monument.
We walked a few more block to get to the subway back to union station. We had to buy the subway tickets from a machine, so we bought 1 ticket for the four of us, like we had in New York. When we tried to use the ticket for the four of us it wouldn’t work, and the lady that worked there thought we were pretty stupid – but we explained we were from a little town in Canada and we didn’t have subway there, so she let us on the train anyway! We got safely back to Union Station, and from there caught the train back to Baltimore. We had our final supper in Baltimore at one of the restaurants that overlooks the harbour.

Oct 16 – Baltimore to Magothy River
We had a busy morning trying to finish up some of the chores we had planned for Baltimore, but hadn’t gotten done yet. We finally pulled away from the dock around 12:00. We headed a little way out the harbour and then dropped the anchor where we had gone for groceries just after we arrived in Baltimore. We all got in the dinghy and went to shore. Dave went to the marine store and the rest of us went to the grocery store to get a few things. It seemed like we had just gotten groceries a few days before so we didn’t get a full weeks supply. We finally got back to the boat and got the anchor pulled again around 1:00 so there wasn’t much time to go very far. The place we had planned to go to was about 27 miles away and that would take 4-1/2 hours and that just seemed too far. Instead we went to the Magothy River which is just a little bit south of the Patapsco River that Baltimore is on. The Chesapeake Bay is an amazing mass of rivers that all flow together into the bay. Each one of these feeder rivers is made up of more rivers. In total there is close to 6000 miles of shoreline in around the Chesapeake. It provides a wonderful selection of anchorages. We dropped the anchor in one of a selection of little creeks off the Magothy River by about 4:30. It was a really pretty little spot and a real change from the bright lights and noise of Baltimore.

Oct 17 – Magothy River to LaTrappe Creek.
We got up in the morning and got a little bit of school done before we left the anchorage at 9:00. We headed across the Chesapeake to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We took a short-cut through Knapp’s Narrow that is a little canal cut through the middle of Tilghman Island. This took us into the Choptank River. We were able to actually sail up the Choptank which was great. There was a sailboat race going on an there was a fleet of about 15 or 20 boats all sailing in the river with us. We followed another sailboat up LaTrappe Creek and into another beautiful anchorage. In the cruising guide it said there was lots of wildlife around LaTrappe Creek and within minutes of dropping the anchor (around 4:30) we saw a family of little deer down by the creek across from the anchorage. There were dozens of noisy canada geese around too and we would see flocks and flocks fly by on their way south.

Oct 18 – Oct 19 – La Trappe Creek
A storm front blew over the Chesapeake and strong winds were forecast for the next couple of days so we decided to stay in this snug little anchorage. The kids got their school work done and Dave did a great job of bringing the brass dorade vents back to life (the dorades are vents that rise about the cabin top and bring air down below). We were starting to run low on food again (pretty dumb not getting more groceries in Baltimore) so I made a couple of small loaves of bread. We went on a couple of dingy explorations to look at the little creeks around the anchorage, and we tried to do some fishing – we even tried to catch some crabs – but generally it was a pretty quite couple of days.

Oct 20 – La Trappe Creek to Mill Creek – Great Wicomico Virginia
We woke up before dawn to get an early start today. The Chesapeake has been wonderful but with temperatures in the 30’s overnight, warmer weather is calling. We have about 130 nautical miles to go to get to Norfolk and the start of the Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW) where wind will have less impact on us. The ICW is a serious of rivers, canals and sounds etc. that takes you the 1000 miles from Norfolk Virginia to Miami Florida. The miles we will be travelling on the ICW are statute miles (like in a car) and not nautical miles that we usually track our progress in. I can’t remember the exact relationship, but a statute mile is a little less that a nautical mile so we will be able to go "farther" (more miles) in a day if we need to. There is another nasty weather system forecast for Wednesday, so if we can do 65 miles today, and then again tomorrow well be in Norfolk without having to wait out another weather window. We pulled the anchor at 6:50 with a forecast of 5-10N and we hoped that the light breeze would push us south down the bay, but the wind was so light that there was no wind at all. The seas were flat and we had a long and uneventful day. We’ve started to see pelicans on the Bay. They look sort of prehistoric but they fly so gracefully and then dive into the water with such a big splash we love to watch them. The girls spread schoolwork out over the whole day, with long play breaks in between in a tent they built on the aft deck. We pulled into the Great Wicomico River, back on the Western Shore of the bay, just south of the Potomac that would lead you up to Washington DC around 5:30. We had the sun setting in our eyes as we wound our way up into Mill Creek and dropped the anchor in Virginia at 6:10 with about 10 other boats. We quickly dropped the dinghy down and Annie and I took Rudder to shore. Just as we got back with the dinghy there was a loud buzzing sound from overhead. We looked up to see a large parasail overhead. There was a man hanging below it, and he was in a seat that had a motor and a big fan attached, so the whole thing was self propelled. He was having a great time flying around and over the anchorage as the sun was setting and Dave got some great pictures.

Oct 21 – Great Wicomico to Norfolk Virginia
Another early start – out of the anchorage before 7:00 again. The forecast isn’t great for today with high winds starting this afternoon from the West (sort of where we need to go) but we thought we’d leave early and see how we made out. Well, we had about 1.5 knots of current with us all day, so instead of going about 6knots per hour we were going closer to 7 or 8. We also had a lovely 15 knot breeze that we almost on the nose, but we could still sail along close hauled, and the seas weren’t too bad either. We did keep the motor on a bit just to make sure we would make good time and we were off the Norfolk light by 2:30, instead of the 4:30 we had estimated. It was a good thing too, because in the morning it looked like the girls were going to mutiny if they had to do another 12-hour day! It took us another couple of hours to get into downtown Norfolk. Coming in up to Norfolk is pretty strange -- this is the home of the US Naval fleet so there dozens of huge naval ships tied up along the shore. There is lots of security by the way of small(er) naval boats patrolling and helicopters flying overhead. In some ways it it busier than New York harbour. When we got into Norfolk we had to get fuelled up at one marina and then go across the river to the marina where we planned to spend the night. While we had no near misses on either docking, both were pretty stressful moving Bird around in tight quarters. We were all settled by about 4:30, which was a lot better than the 6:30 we had expected. We all got showers and then we went out for supper to celebrate making it to Norfolk.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Oct 15 - Baltimore

Oct 21 - Added a couple of pictures -- This is one is of Bird tied up in from of Amistad -- kind of hard to tell, but that is Amistad in the background.

Oct 10 – Chesapeake City to Baltimore
It was another beautiful warm day and we were on our way around 9:00. There wasn’t much wind but it was lovely motoring down the Chesapeake Bay under beautiful sunny skies. It was warm enough for shorts and tank tops, which was great after weeks of long pants and sometimes even hats and mitts. The leaves are beginning to change and the shoreline of the Bay is really pretty.
The river up to Baltimore is very industrial with lots of factories and the girls were pretty skeptical about where we were taking them, but the Inner Harbour of Baltimore is great. We were tied up at the city marina by 4:30, right in front of the tall ship Amistad. We had a spectacular docking experience as Dave had to thread Bird ahead of a large tour boat, and around a power boat and then snug into a 45’ space in front of the power boat (we’re probably 43’ overall). There are three tour boats and two tall ships as well as a few sail boats and a few power boats tied up with us here at the small city dock. The Inner Harbour is a real tourist destination with two food malls full of restaurants and bars, a Science Centre, the National Aquarium, and USS Constitution (a boat that fought in the Civil War) as well as water taxis and 4 or 4 huge marinas. We are arriving here at the start of the US Columbus Day weekend so it is a very busy spot.

Oct 11 – 14 Baltimore
Another hot sunny day here in Baltimore. The Inner Habour is crawling with runners and spectators for the Baltimore Marathon and the other races for running day. Over 17,000 people were registered for the various races. We spent the morning doing school and getting the boat tidied. We decided that getting groceries was more important than doing the tourist thing today. After lunch we dropped the dingy down and Annie Kristen and I went for a 20 minute dinghy ride back out the harbour to little place where we could tie up the dinghy and go to the big Safeway store. It worked out really well and we got a big load of groceries, including all the fixings for Thanksgiving supper, but it took us most of the afternoon. While we were gone Dave bought Harbour Passes for us so we can see four different Baltimore attractions over the next four days. The first one was a trip up to the 27th floor of the Trade Center where we got a great view of the city. After we got back we had pizza for supper. The oven is not working that well and it is moving to the top of Dave’s list of things to look at in Baltimore. On Sunday, the girls got some school work done while Dave started to take the stove and oven apart. At 11:00 the girls and I went over to the Science Museum to take a look around before lunch. It was great being so close. We were able to spend an hour or so, then go back to the boat for lunch and to get Dave and then go back again. We spent the whole afternoon there. Amongst other things, we did an experiment that compared how well bleach, dish soap, household cleaner and disinfecting gel did at killing bacteria – surprisingly bleach did better than the disinfecting hand cleaner. On Monday (Thanksgiving) morning we discovered that the stove was leaking kerosene from one of the (irreplaceable) fittings. It’s not looking good for Thanksgiving supper… Dave took the stove out and took it apart again while the girls and I went to the aquarium. When we got back to the boat at lunch Dave had found a place within walking distance that might be able to weld the leak in the fitting for the stove… We’ll have to wait and see how they make out tomorrow, but in the meantime we only have out little microwave (and no stove, over, toaster, kettle etc. etc.) So much for Thanksgiving!! We went back to the aquarium and saw the dolphin show and spent the rest of the afternoon there. After the Aquarium Annie and I walked to the market and got a roast chicken and we had that with some rice and salad and topped it off with the Thanksgiving pumpkin Pie.
We started Tuesday off with a family walk to the place that was supposed to fix the store, but when we got there it still wasn’t done so we went to the Children’s Museum. It was a little farther from the boat than the aquarium and the science center (maybe a 12 minute walk) so we decided to go to McDonalds for lunch. After lunch Dave went back to the boat to follow up on the stove, and I took the girls back to the Kids Museum. We all got back to the boat around 3:00 and Dave had the repaired stovetop. We got the stove/oven back together by 4:00 and gave it a try. Now let’s remember it’s about 85° , and we’re on a small boat, and our turkey breast was ready to be cooked yesterday, so of course we started to cook Thanksgiving dinner! Actually, it worked really well and we had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas and pumpkin pie for dessert –in the cockpit where it was cool.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Oct 10 - Baltimore MD

Wow - we finally have internet!

Here's the update up until yesterday -- I will update again before we leave Baltimore.

Sept 29 – Westbrook
We woke up at 6:00 and it was pouring with rain so we decided to stay in Westbrook another day. It turned out to be quite a nice day. The girls did school work in the morning. In the afternoon they went over to visit Linda and Ed and make some jewelry. I walked up to the Laundromat and got the laundry done.

Sept 30 – Westbrook to Glenn Cove, NY
We left fairly early – a little after 6:30 – to catch the current down Long Island Sound. Originally we planned to all the way to City Island just north of New York City, with the plan to go into the city by bus on Wednesday. After considering the forecast we decided that we should go through NYC tomorrow, so we only went about 60 miles to Glenn Cove. We were anchored around 4:00. Glenn Cove is on Long Island and we were there with Misty (on Sept 30th). It is surprisingly underdeveloped. There is a good sized park that seems a little tired, but it had a playground and a nice beach. Kristen found some new shells that we hadn’t seen before.

Oct 1 – Glenn Cove to Great Kills (Staten Island)
We left Glenn Cove around 10:45 after the girls got some school work done. It is important to get the current timed correctly to go down the East River through New York with favourable current, so it meant we got to make a late start. Travelling through New York is pretty exciting. You start north of the city with Laguardia airport and the jets are taking off and landing right next the to river so they are flying right over the boat. Next you pass by Riker’s Island prison. Then you go passed a couple of islands and you are into Hell’s Gate where it can be quite turbulent with the current. After Hell’s Gate you are travelling right down beside Manhattan and all the skyscrapers including the United Nations building, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. You go under 9 different bridges in one day. After you pass by Manhattan you are in New York Harbour and can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We crossed under the ninth bridge – the Verazzano and then headed south east to Great Kills Harbour in Staten Island. It took a little while to get organized with a mooring, but eventually we were settle about 4:00 – just a few minutes before the rain started.
Carpe Diem was also here and they came over for a visit after supper. It was really nice to see them and to get caught up.

Oct 2 – Manhattan

We had a great day visiting New York. We walked about half a mile to the Great Kills train station, and then took the train all the way up Staten Island to St. George and the Staten Island ferry. We then took the ferry to Manhattan and the subway up to 81st street and the Museum of Natural History. It is an incredible museum in an incredibly beautiful building. There are beautiful displays of animals that date back to 1920. I’m not usually a fan of taxidermy, but this is so beautifully done with such wonderful backgrounds for the animals that it is really great to see. Annie and Dave went to see an IMAX film on sea monsters, and Kristen and I went to see a display on Horses. They had a great discovery center and we looked at lots of things through the microscope. We were at the museum until around 2:00. After we left the museum we went for a walk in Central Park. It is really nice. There was a pretty pond you could walk around and there were people rowing boats. There were turtles in the pond too. It was really different to have such a peaceful place surrounded by the skyscrapers of New York. We walked down through Central Park and then down Broadway to Times Square. We went into a couple of stores including the biggest and best Build-A-Bear Workshop we’d ever seen. Lucy (Kristen’s bear) and Juno (Annie’s Boxer) are now sporting New York Jets clothing in honor of Brett Favre having joined the Jets, and Carmel (Annie’s girl dog) has a flashy New York t-shirt. We left the city around 4:00 and took the long trip back to Great Kills. The day went really well. Transit was really easy (and cheap), the city was clean, and there were lots of police around so we felt really safe.

Oct 3 – Great Kills
It was windy again today so Great Kills is filling up with boats waiting to go south. It sounds like there is a good weather window to do the coast of New Jersey starting tomorrow, but it is long enough that we can wait and leave on Sunday. We went to shore in the morning and the girls did their school work in the club house and we all got showers. There is no wireless here so we can’t update the log, but there is a computer we can use. I bought tickets online for us to go see Hairspray on Broadway tomorrow – Kristen and I are really excited, Dave will come if he has to. We also found a possible house to rent in Florida. In the afternoon Annie and I walked up to the "Top Tomato" grocery store. On our way we ran into Chris and Penny (carrying their Sobey’s Green Bag!) and Penny can with us too. It had great produce and very reasonably priced meat but very expensive and limited canned and dry goods. There were lots of people in the clubhouse around suppertime as they all planned their departure the following day.

Oct 4 – Manhattan (again)
We made the long trek to Manhattan again – train, ferry, subway and it took a little longer than it did on Thursday as train was delayed and there wasn’t enough time for us to get from the train to the ferry and we had to wait for the next ferry. We took the subway up to Penn Station and when we go there it was raining so we decided not to go to the Empire State building. Instead we went to Macy’s which was really incredible – we went up the 7 floors to kids wear on an escalator that was all trimmed in oak, and on the way back down the whole escalator was wooden. As we continued up 5th avenue we came across the magnificent New York Public Library. It is an incredible building that shows how important the written word was around the turn of the last century. Then we walked over to pick up our tickets for the show and had lunch at the Cosmic Diner across from the theatre. We were sitting in our awesome, fourth row seats by 1:40 and ready for the show. It was terrific. George Wendt who played Norm on Cheers was Tracy’s Mum (the role played by John Travolta in the movie) and he was absolutely fabulous. The show was so well done, Dave couldn’t get over it. He really enjoyed it, as did the rest of us. We were so glad we stayed the extra day so that we saw it. It was pretty crowded walking back to the subway through Times Square after the show, but it was really the only time in New York that we saw big crows and we had walked around enough before to know where we were going so it was ok. Again, we missed the train connection after the ferry and had to wait and extra half hour. It was about 7:00 when we got back to the boat.

Oct 5 - Great Kills to Barnegat NJ
We left Great Kills around 7:00. The seas were kind of sloppy as we went across from Staten Island and around the tip of New Jersey and back out into the Atlantic. It was a little too rough for school so it was a bit of a long boring day. The most interesting (?) thing that happened was overhearing a conversation on the radio between a fishing boat that was dragging about 14 miles off shore and the Coast Guard. Apparently the fishing boat pulled up a wetsuit in their fishing gear and there was still a leg in it… Certainly conjured up some pretty yucky thoughts and sent shivers down our spines. We decided to push on past Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat inlet where we had gone before with Misty. It is supposed to be a sort of challenging harbour but after talking to a guy at Great Kills we decided we would rather anchor there than do the marina in Manasquan. We had a bit of a time getting tied up at the fuel dock as there is quite a bit of current, but we took our time and got tied up safely. We took Rudder to shore and then we went out in the harbour and anchored. We were anchored a little after 5:00.

Oct 6 – Barnegat to Atlantic City
We left Barnegat around 7:00. It was pretty sloppy as we went back out into the ocean but it settled down after a bit. After listening to the forecast it sounded like Wednesday would be a better day to go up the Delaware than tomorrow, so we decided to stop in Atlantic City rather than push on to Cape May. We headed into Atlantic City around noon and were tied up a the Gardiner Basin Marina around 12:30. After lunch we caught the Jitney bus to the Boardwalk and had a look around. We saw a water show with fountains inside a mall near the boardwalk. Then we walked up to the outlet mall and bought a couple of things and caught the Jitney back to the boat around 5:30. (Still no internet!!)

Oct 7 – Atlantic City to Cape May
We left Atlantic City around 10:30 as we wanted the wind to die down a little. School got started early and was almost done before we left. The trip to Cape May was uneventful. The seas were calm which was a pleasant surprise. We had a little bird land on the deck and stay with us for about 15 minutes. We got out the bird book and decided it was a pine warbler. We got to Cape May 5:00 and put down the anchor. Annie and I took Rudder to shore on a little sandy beach off the Coast Guard College.

Oct 8 – Cape May to Chesapeake City
We knew the current would be against us in the morning, so we didn’t try to leave really early. We’re out of bread (as well as most groceries) and there isn’t a grocery store close to the anchorage. Kristen and I tried to make two different recipes that looked like bread – the first turned out to be more like cookies and I burnt them… The second was pretty easy and Kristen whipped up the 3 cups of flour, 2 tbsp of sugar and a can of warm beer and we put it into a heavy pot to cook. We weren’t sure quite what to expect but we ended up with a palatable loaf of bread!! When we make it again I think we’ll try to make it in a coffee can so we get a better-shaped loaf. In the end we left around 8:00. We went through the Cape May Canal and then did the long trip up the Delaware Bay. It was about a 60 mile day and we finally arrived in Chesapeake City at around 6:00. It was just getting dark and we were pretty tired and we had a hard time anchoring. Annie and I went to shore with Rudder and tried to find some groceries but no luck. We went back to the boat and scraped up a supper of hamburgers and noodles