It was pretty foggy this morning and Jeff had a lot of calls so we decided to take a lay day. Neala noticed it was "Spa Week" at the Golden Nugget Spa where we were docked. Not one to pass up a "bargain", she made an appointment for a hair trim and pedicure. Sometimes it is nice to have some little luxuries while cruising. Later in the day we had dinner at the Chart House overlooking the marina. Crab cakes, a huge beet salad and chocolate lava cake, a Chart House specialty, made our tummies hurt all night. It was a two Tums night!
Farley State Marina at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City by day
Same place by night
10/17/13 Motoring to Cape May
We left Atlantic City about 0730 to get an early start to Cape May, 25 miles south of us and the last port on the New Jersey shore. The wind was a slim 5 kts and blowing on our nose so we motored once again with "Otto" at the helm. By 1300 we were entering the Cape May channel past anchored sailboats, the impressive Cape May Coast Guard Station and the picturesque fleet of Cape May fishing boats. This visit we decided to try out South Jersey Marina and boy, are we glad we did. We had a nice side tie in plenty of water and the staff were most helpful. The piece de resistance however was the beautiful shower facilities above the harbormaster's office, restaurant and marine store. The restaurant had had a fire the year before and they had completely remodeled the building so everything was five star throughout. Our friend Mike Grab introduced Jeff to his girlfriend Katy O'Hara last winter in Breckenridge and her family owns a liquor store in Cape May. So, needing to replenish our gin stash we called Katy who informed us that her store delivers! A little later, Katy arrived with "the goods" and stayed for a while to enjoy happy hour with us and one of our cruising neighbors.
Neala, Katy O'Hara and Jeff
Impressive cutter at the Cape May Coast Guard Station
Colorful fishing fleet in Cape May
Neala says, "Can you believe this is a marina restroom??!"
10/18/13 Enjoying Cape May
Today we stayed in town to avoid the breezy NW winds that would have made the Deleware Bay uncomfortable. There were several other boats that made the same decision and so the marina was full. The marina has a courtesy shuttle and their staff was happy drive us to the Acme Market to resupply our galley provisions and to run some other errands. Later in the afternoon we went back into town and Jeff suggested to take a horse and buggy tour of the historic Victorian neighborhood. After the tour we walked along the Washington Street Mall, which is a 5 block pedestrian zone with many shops to visit. We ended up at the Brown Room of the renowned Congress Hall hotel for drinks. The Congress Hall was built in 1816 as a wooden boarding house for the guests of the new seaside resort Cape May. It burned to the ground in 1878 but within a year its owners had rebuilt it in brick. John Phillip Sousa regularly visited Congress Hall with the US Marine Band and composed the "Congress Hall March" there in 1882. There we had a lively conversation with Ted, the self-appointed "Mayor of Frog Hollow" and his wife Pat who live in one of the historic houses we passed on our carriage ride. Afterword, we walked to the Marion Inn for a delicious dinner of wine, scallops in a pesto cream sauce, salad and dessert. There was live piano music on a baby grand piano throughout dinner and we recommend this restaurant highly. We loved discovering Cape May!
Northern Lights tucked in with the "Big Girls" at South Jersey Marina
We enjoyed our carriage ride through the Victorian neighborhoods
One of the many beautiful Victorian homes of Cape May
This was one of our favorites
The Inn of Cape May est. 1894
The Brown Room at Congress Hall
Jeff in front of Marion Inn
10/19/13 Delaware Bay Here We Come!
Everybody who was packed in at the dock got an early start this morning, including the 80 foot motor yacht backing out inches away from our starboard lifelines as it departed. Yikes! There was a strong flood tide that was pushing us onto the dock as we departed too, so we kinda understood his predicament as the tide pushed him at us. Once clear of the dock we motored out of the harbor and into a beautiful Cape May sunrise. The seas were calm and so we again took the inside passage through the shoals that brought us within 1/4 mile of the shoreline before we were clear. With the tide pushing us northward we motored up the Delaware Bay in calm conditions with a nice 1.5 knot kicker. Later the wind even filled in from behind and so we motorsailed up to the C&D canal entrance. The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal is a 14 mile long, 450 foot wide, 40 foot deep ship canal that opened in 1829 and connects the upper Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. There we got a 2.2 knot kicker that pushed us quickly to the North Summit Marina where we stopped for the night. Last year we were here when we first heard about hurricane Sandy. This year we were relieved not to have a repeat. We had enough time before dinner to give the boat a good topside scrubbing. It's amazing how dirty a boat can get while cruising!
Fishing fleet at sunrise in Cape May
Motoring into the sunrise
Past anchored yachts
And into the Atlantic
We passed some large ships in the Delaware Bay (we agreed this one was pretty ugly!)
We arrived at Summit North so Neala could work her magic on the decks. She looks happy...
... but she wasn't!
We planned a short, 25 mile trip down to Fairlee Creek, a nice little anchorage we stayed at last year. After refueling at the Summit North Marina fuel dock we got underway about 0930 and reentered the C&D canal. In about an hour we had entered the Chesapeake. The sky was clear and warm and there was a bit of wind on our beam so we were able to sail for a couple of hours before we got to Fairlee Creek. This little harbor has a very narrow channel that runs right along the beach and not much water. We were able to get in last year at mid-tide but this year we were at a minus tide and so we mushed into the mud at red #4. Another try proved futile so we decided to head for Annapolis. The wind had mostly abated so we motored down the Chesapeake and arrived to pick up mooring #12 at the Annapolis City Marina about 1820. There were several other sailboats on the moorings and many others at docks around us. The familiar skyline of Annapolis was marvelous at sunset and the church bells music to our ears. Neala was so happy to be in Annapolis - one of her favorite towns!
Departing Summit North Marina on a beautiful, crisp morning
Cool looking tug we passed on the C&D Canal
Close reach down the Chesapeake. Happy to be sailing again!
These 1000 foot ships can be a bit daunting when they are headed right towards you. Good thing AIS gives their course, speed and closest approach so we know when to run for it!
Passing under the Chesapeake Bay bridge on the way into Annapolis
Looking at the Annapolis skyline at sunset from our mooring
More Annapolis skyline
Full harvest moon rising over our anchorage
10/21/13 Pussers Rum Day
Jeff had calls in the morning but after lunch we put the dinghy in the water and motored in to town. We were looking for some nice seafood for lunch and walked over to the Pussers Bar & Grill in the Marriott. On our way into the restaurant, we passed a little shop that was selling Pussers Rum decanters and bottles of Pussers Rum. We had never seen this sold in stores before and Jeff got an immediate gleam in his eye. We went to the restaurant and Jeff ordered a shot of the Pussers 15 year old rum before lunch. It was delicious, and certainly a sipping-quality rum. We had some tasty crab soup and split an order of fish tacos that we washed down with a shot of the Pussers 6 year old for comparison. The older rum was definitely much smoother so when we passed the little shop we bought a bottle and a decanter to take home. We walked around town a bit then returned to the boat for the night.
Jeff happily sippin' the 15 year old Pussers
Neala loved it too (well sorta)
Daylight view of Annapolis from our mooring
That's Northern Lights between the blue and red sailboats
10/22/13 Kent Island Anchorage Near Buff's House
The weather was calm, sunny and clear as we departed Annapolis harbor. We motored SW to round the Bloody Point Bar Light and around the shoal to the large cove at the south end of Kent Island. We snaked around the shoals and anchored in 12 feet of water about 3/8 mile from Jeff's colleague Buff's waterfront home. Jeff and Buff exchanged some emails and we made plans to go ashore later in the evening for dinner. Just after lunch, however, Jeff got a call from Buff warning him that there was a "crazy guy in a red kayak" that had been bothering boats in the anchorage and to keep an eye out for him. Shortly after that, Neala spied a man in a red kayak paddling furiously towards our boat and screaming madly about how we "can't anchor here", "have to move immediately", etc. Jeff came on deck and the two had a bit of a shouting match until the "crazy guy" got close enough to see that it was just Buff acting crazy (he was very convincing). Jeff was red-faced at being hoodwinked that way but Buff came aboard and we all had a good laugh. Later, after both of them had finished their respective calls, we turned on the anchor light and dinghied in to the beach where we met Buff's wife Robin and two of their three sons. Later, we drove up to The Narrows for dinner at The Bridge Restaurant. After a great meal and much conversation we took the dinghy back to the boat well after dark. So happy Jeff had turned on the anchor light, as the boat seemed really far away as we headed out into the blackness from shore with only the little masthead light to guide us back to the boat.
Annapolis mooring field in the morning
Cruise ship Yorktown had slipped in early this morning
Rounding Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse at the southern tip of Kent Island. According to legends, the nearby point was the site of multiple bloody incidents way back in our history.
Our friend Buff's beautiful home on the cove where we anchored
Looking out at Northern Lights from Buff's second floor balcony