September 26, 2001
We changed our plans since the last time we e-mailed. Although we originally planned a more leisurely trip down the Hudson River and through NYC, we decided as we were eating dinner in Waterford on Wednesday night (19 September) to get through NY harbor on Friday. After watching the U.S.'s preparation for the war on terroism, we thought it was best to head back more quickly. (By the way, we had dinner at the same Irish pub as we had our anniversary dinner in June - - and it was just as good).
So on Thursday, we cruised 75+ miles (12 hours) down the Hudson River in the rain and gloom. Although it was a long day, we must say that it was quiet and beautiful - - I don't think we saw more than 3 barges, one other cruiser, and maybe a half dozen local fishing boats the whole day. After spending Thursday night at the Chelsea Marina near Neuburg, NY, we went the rest of the 70+ miles through NY harbor to Sandy Hook, NJ where we anchored for the evening.
We do have pictures of NY (and others from locations where we have been for the past 2 weeks or so), but once again, the library will not allow floppy use. We will send them as soon as we can.
Going through NY harbor was emotional. The damage was visible from our view on the water as was the amount of traffic in the harbor. We estimate that only 1/4 of the ferries were in use, but we did see a good number of barges, one or two other cruisers, maybe a dozen local boats, and lots and lots of Coast Guard and other state and local police boats. The security checkpoints at both Peeskill (nuclear power plant) and in the harbor were evident and we know our progress was observed. But we were not boarded either time.
One last word on the NYC trip. I admit to shedding tears over seeing all of the American flags flying. It was amazing at the number flying from every surface - - bridges, homes, cranes, boats, etc. It was very emotional, heartening, and patriotic.
After an evening in Sandy Hook, we continued outside in the Atlantic (3 - 4 foot swells, not bad at all) to the Manasquan Inlet and then inside the NJ ICW to Forked River (Silver Cloud/Tall Oaks Marinas). We immediately saw the frieds we met there in May and spent both evenings we were there (Saturday and Sunday) talking with them and convincing them that they had to go cruising. It was like a wonderful homecoming! (To other cruisers, we would highly recommend these marinas.)
Side note: We hate salt water! Already, everything is sticky and the boat windows (and our eye glasses) are constantly 'foggy'. Maybe it is time to head back north again?
On Monday morning, we continued inside the ICW to Altantic City where we anchored across from Harrah's as we did in May. NOAA was calling for rougher weather in the Atlantic so we considered the NJ ICW for the next day. We were concerned over stories we had heard about low water in the ICW from Atlantic City to Cape May and called the local MTOA Port Captain for the 'real scoop'. He assured us that it should not be a problem if we ran on a rising tide. And he was correct. We only encountered one 5' section; the rest was at least 6'. Note to cruisers: we would recommend that you review bridge opening schedules and be prepared for some small delays.
After 7 1/2 hours, we arrived in Cape May and anchored north of the Coast Guard station, almost in the exact same spot as in May. And, as we were pulling in, the couple on a sailboat nearby yelled a greeting to us - - it turns out we talked with them back in Erie, PA. Once again, we noted how small the cruising world is. The Coast Guard cutter "Dependable" is again in port - - we hope that it does not 'run us over' if it leaves the dock again as it almost did in May (see previous e-mail)!
We will stay in Cape May today and plan to head up the dreaded Delaware Bay to Chesapeake City tomorrow. As of now, they are only calling for 2' waves. You better believe that I would be THRILLED over that!
From Chesapeake City, we will stop over somewhere around Fairlee Creek and than go to Annapolis for a day or so. And then it is back to Solomons.
I must say that we have mixed emotions about going "home". We have thoroughly enjoyed the time we have been cruising. We cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it has been to explore parts of two countries, meet new people and make new friends, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. We have already started planning our next cruise (although the departure date is still up in the air ...).
Jeri and Brian