Friday, October 26, 2018

Callao, VA - Our Journey’s End

Our original plan for the day was to cruise halfway to our final destination of Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina on the Yeocomico River off of the Potomac.  We didn’t leave until 10 because we didn’t expect to have a very long day.  As we got underway the bay was calm and the weather was beautiful. 

We thought conditions were going to deteriorate and Jonny was concerned about how bad the seas could get as we crossed the Potomac. But the weather continued to be nice and the bay was amazingly calm.  After a lot of discussion we decided to just make it a long day and go all the way to Olverson’s.  This was a bittersweet discussion because it would mean ending our seven month cruise a day early and we were not anxious for it to end. But it made the best sense and that’s what we decided to do.  Lynn joined Jonny on the flybridge for the remainder of the day because it was warm enough to be up top and we wanted this last experience for our journey.  She is knitting an afghan for Stephanie which is serving a dual purpose of keeping her warm in these cool temperatures.  It has to be finished before we get to Florida because it’s much too hot to work on it there!

We arrived at Olverson’s  around 6 and tied up at an outside dock. We had to wait until the next day to see if we could get into a covered slip without taking down our bimini.

Once we got settled in we celebrated the end of our wonderful journey with a cocktail.  We traveled 4,658 miles since we left Miami on April 17.   It’s been a fabulous trip and we are sorry to have it end.  We’ll look forward to planning for our next big cruise.

In the meantime we would be spending the next several days at Olverson’s  prepping the boat for the winter.  Jonny had hoped to work with someone at the marina to do it with him so he could do it himself next time.  Unfortunately there was no one available to do so.  The regular mechanic was recuperating from hip replacement surgery.

Olverson’s is in a very remote part of Virginia and there are very few resources here other than a hardware, grocery, and Dollar store.   Fortunately, we have MTOA friends, Liz and Steve, who are keeping their boat here for the winter.  Because they are from Minnesota, Steve is very familiar with winterizing boats and has offered to help guide Jonny through the process.

Jonny got to work the next day draining the fluids from the engine and adding gallons of antifreeze.  Zendo will be in a state of upheaval for the next couple of days while he finishes winterizing and we pack up our belongings.

Poor Georgio is having to be ultra flexible in finding places to perch!

Another MTOA member had left their SUV here and needed someone to drive it to Miami since they were spending the winter in the Keys.  This solved our problem of how to bring all our belongings back to Miami.  Our plan, if all goes well, is to start the drive home on Monday and hope to be back in South Florida by midweek.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Annapolis, MD

We left Delaware City Marina at 8 a.m. on Monday October 22  after being up very late the night before.  When we went to go to bed at 10:30 we discovered that Georgio had left us a very unpleasant gift that had once again soaked through our bedding all the way down through the mattress pad!  Unfortunately we hadn’t noticed it when we arrived back at 4 the previous sfternoon because it had soaked through the elaborate pattern on the comforter which was no longer wet.  This was so frustrating on several levels including the fact that the comforter has to be washed in a giant laundromat style washer which of course it was too late to do!  So we stayed up late washing everything else in the marina’s laundry. (The photo is not even half of what had to be laundered!)

It was a long day of cruising as we headed to our final destination on the Chesapeake where we would be storing Zendo for the winter.  The weather was clear but  cold enough that we spent most of the day in the saloon.

We made our way down the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal with the current in our favor for half of the day.  The canal led to the Elk River which flowed into the Chesapeake Bay.  The waters were quite comfortable for most of the day until later in the afternoon when we neared the beautiful Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  It got pretty choppy at that point but we only had another hour before we would reach our destination for the day.

Originally we were going to anchor in Bodkin Creek but because we were making good time we decided to push forward to anchor near Annapolis.  
We found a very well protected anchorage in Lake Ogleton off the Severn River just south of Annapolis.  It was a lovely spot surrounded by attractive homes and no other boats were anchored nearby.  This would sadly be our last anchorage for this journey.

We are seriously working our way through our store of food. Lunch consisted  of chili that Lynn had frozen a couple of weeks ago and dinner was salmon, sweet potatoes and salad.  We were able to get TV reception now that we are back in civilization.  Our reward for the day was this beautiful sunset. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Delaware City, DE (Philadelphia)

We left Cape May at 8:40 for our full day’s journey up the Delaware Bay to Delaware City Marina.  The weather was sunny and cool and Jonny went back and forth from the fly bridge to the saloon throughout the day.  The cruise was calm and uneventful with the current running with us for part of the trip.  We were excited about this trip because Stephanie would be picking us up so we could spend the weekend with her in Philadelphia.

We arrived at this familiar and friendly marina at 5:00, tied up quickly and visited with dockmasters Tim and Charlie who seem to always to be there when we are.

We decided to forego our usual visit to Lewinsky on Clinton and instead have our own  cocktail hour on board and work our way through the food in our refrigerator.  We still have a lot in the freezer which we need to consume because our journey is (sadly) almost over!

The next morning Stephanie picked us up.  Georgio was very happy to see her and gave her a big hug!

Then we left him onboard and headed into Philly.  On the way we stopped at a cool country market where we bought apples and veggies and Stephanie got a couple of pumpkins for Halloween.

We arrived at her very comfortable apartment just off beautiful Rittenhouse Square and were greeted by her cute kitty, Sasha.

That afternoon we headed over to Philly’s hipster neighborhood known as Fishtown.

There, we found a very cool pub called Jonny Brenda’s that featured all kinds of hard cider.  We had a delicious lunch and yummy ciders.  Our server was an engaging young woman from the Lake George area who was very familiar with the lovely town  of Vergennes, Vermont which was one of our favorite places on Lake Champlain.  The connection came up because one of the featured ciders was made in Vergennes.  As expected, a lively conversation about our journey ensued.

Upon returning to Stephanie’s apartment, she popped a open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot so we could celebrate her recent promotion and raise and her upcoming birthday.  We are so proud of her!  And later that evening we had a celebratory dinner at a great Italian restaurant in the Old City called Panorama.  It was exceptionally good and we obviously were throwing caution to the winds with our culinary indulgences this weekend!

Stephanie made breakfast for us on Sunday morning and we headed out for a brisk walk along the Schuykill River.

It was quite cold having dropped to the 40’s during the night.  Stephanie showed us the new building her company would be moving to by the end of the year and we walked back towards her apartment.  She is so lucky because she can walk to work now and when her company moves she will be even closer to the new building.

Philadelphia is a very beautiful city and she really loves living in one of the nicest parts of this historic city.

After a homey lunch at the comfortable restaurant across the street from her home, we loaded up her car and she drove us back to Delaware City so we could resume our cruise the next day.  We’ll see her next in Miami when she comes home for Thanksgiving.  A wonderful weekend was had by all!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Cape May, NJ

We held off leaving Atlantic City on Thursday morning October 18 waiting for a more favorable tide since we thought we might cruise on the intracoastal instead of the Atlantic.  The winds were expected to be higher than the day before which could make an ocean passage more uncomfortable.  And the tides were looking favorable for an inside passage through the skinny New Jersery intracoastal waterway.  Jonny kept going back and forth with the decision on which route to take.  The ocean passage could be shorter and easier if the seas weren’t too kicked up.  The intracoastal passage is shallow and twisty with lots of no wake zones and many bridge openings.  He consulted with the local port captain who pointed out that if the ocean passage was too rough we could always duck out after an hour and go into Egg Harbor and pick up the ICW there.  So we decided to try the ocean passage.

It turned out to be a great decision!  We left Atlantic City at 10 and Jonny hugged the shore since the wind was out of the west.  The seas were not at all bad and the weather was sunny enough that we spent most of the day on the fly bridge, though we stayed bundled up against the chilly temperatures.  We made good time and arrived at our Cape May anchorage at 3:00. 

We spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing.  

It was cool enough to warrant our leftover lentil soup and salad for dinner which was much appreciated.  Jonny finally turned on the generator so we could have some heat.  That evening we watched one of the movies Andy loaned us, an enjoyable British feel-good movie called A Street Cat Named Bob. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Atlantic City, NJ

We left our favorite New Jersey anchorage called Glimmer Glass at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, October 17 in order to make time on the Atlantic before the wind picked up later in the day.

It was sunny all day but cold enough that we spent the bulk of the day cruising from the saloon again.  We have done this more times on this trip than ever before. 

The Jersey shore continued to be lined with lots and lots of attractive beach houses.

By 3 p.m. as the waters became more choppy, we made our way into Atlantic City.  Good timing!

This time we decided to stay at the Farley State Marina which is also known as the Golden Nugget Marina.  Previously we had stayed at Kammerman’s Marina but we thought we would try something different.  We were not thrilled with our stay at Kammerman’s three years ago but it does get very good reviews on Active Captain so we will consider giving it another chance in the future.

After docking, Jonny washed down Zendo which was completely encrusted with salt.  We have been spoiled most of this trip because we have been traveling in fresh water lakes and canals and the boat has stayed relatively clean.  We then headed up to the showers and got dressed to go out for our “date night.”  A Chart House was located above the marina and they had a great happy hour with interesting and reasonably priced food choices so we decided to take advantage of it.  The setting was lovely overlooking the marina and harbor. As we sat in the cocktail lounge we reviewed the weather for the next couple of days to determine our best approach for getting to Delaware City (the intracoastal or the ocean).  In the meantime, we watched as dusk fell and the harbor was bathed in beautiful soft light. 

Although we are definitely not gamblers, we thought we would walk through the casino to get the local flavor.  It was loud and very glitzy, as expected, but not at all crowded.  It’s amazing that these places stay open 24 hours a day!  Lynn tried her hand at one of the slot machines but of course she immediately lost her very modest investment.

After a quick stroll through the rest of the casino we headed back to Zendo since once again we planned to leave at dawn the next day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Manasquan, NJ

Our Nyack anchorage turned out to be one of the worst nights on anchor that we’ve ever had.  The boat rocked incessantly throughout the night with the dinghy banging like crazy. The slap of the waves was not even rhythmic enough to lull us to sleep.  Each of us woke up several times in the night and Jonny kept getting up to check the anchor app to make sure we weren’t dragging.  Fortunately, the anchor held fast. 

It was a relief to leave that anchorage which we did at dawn on Tuesday, October 16 in order to take advantage of the ebbing tide on the Hudson.

We wanted to make time over the next three days so we could get to Delaware City by Friday.  The plan was to have Stephanie pick us up there so we could spend the weekend with her in Philadelphia.

It was cold enough to cruise from down below in the saloon.  We made our way down the Hudson passing the Tappan Zee Bridge which was under construction and very close to where we had anchored.  

We passed the majestic Palisades and George Washington Bridge.

Cruising by Manhattan  is always a thrill and requires hyper vigilance with all the ferries and other watercraft crisscrossing New York Harbor.  We never tire of the view of the skyscrapers, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Even Jersey City looked beautiful in the morning sun.

We were making great time the whole day with the currents in our favor and the sun shining brightly.  Rounding Sandy Hook, NJ we cruised down the Atlantic coast to Manasquan Inlet passing all the attractive summer homes that line the shore.

Turning into the inlet, we made our way to one of our favorite anchorages, Glimmer Glass.  This is a very calm estuary that is entered by way of an old draw bridge.

It’s a perfectly calm anchorage and we were surrounded by lovely homes with docks.  Only one other boat anchored there. 

We had a wonderfully peaceful night at anchor, quite  the opposite of the previous night.  We enjoyed the lentil soup that Lynn had made the day before, perfect for this chilly weather.  Surpringly, we had no TV reception but we managed to watch our favorites, PBS New Hour on their website and The Voice using Stephanie’s YouTube TV app.