We are just days away from heading on with our journey to Florida. We’ve been at our home port in Chesapeake City, Maryland for about 3 weeks, busy with appointments, boat maintenance and repairs, and lots of visits with family and friends. We are excited to continue the adventure and to explore the Intracoastal Waterway! But first, let me finish writing about our trip from Rhode Island back to the Chesapeake Bay!
October 2, 2017
Monday would be a longer day, as we had to finish going through Long Island Sound, pass through New York City and then on to the marina in Point Pleasant, New Jersey where we’d spend the night. I have started driving the boat more and can give Jim an occasional needed break. I enjoy taking the wheel.
Once again it was exciting and fun to go right through New York City. Visibility was fantastic that day and we could see the city for miles and miles before finally reaching it. First we saw low planes taking off from LaGuardia and then Jim sighted Rikers Island. We moved from the extremely strong current of Hell Gate to floating between the skyscrapers and finally the amazing sight of The Statue of Liberty!
It was then, after leaving New York harbor, where we were once again out in the open ocean as we traveled through Sandy Hook, from New York to New Jersey. We took Floating Home into the Manasquan Inlet, up the river to the marina where we would stay for the night. Before putting her in the slip, we fueled up, something we do every opportunity we get. We’d rather be full than out of fuel!
I cooked up some chili and corn muffins for dinner and we relaxed for the evening.
If you’re interested and have time, this is the video I shot while traveling through the East River to New York Harbor!
October 3, 2017
Tuesday morning we were on our way by 8:00 a.m. We weaved through the Manasquan River, under a bridge and then waited for a railroad bridge to rise again so we could continue out in to the ocean. The water was a bit choppy with waves of maybe 3 to 4 feet, but the ride went well.
Until… it didn’t go so well! This time it was the starboard engine that failed. So we stopped, and brought the boat closer to shore where the water was shallow enough to drop the anchor. Jim figured he’d now have to change the fuel filter for that engine. Unfortunately, the boat was really rocking and as Jim went in to the engine room to begin the process, there was just too much movement. He quickly came up. We were both feeling nauseous, so I thought we should have a little lunch, maybe some food in our stomachs would help. I quickly made simple p.b. & j. sandwiches, which then came up over the side of the boat! So much for that great idea!
We could see Atlantic City, it was about 3 to 4 miles away. Could we take the boat in the inlet on one engine and work on her there? Just not sure. A call to Sea Tow was made. We are thankful that we pay the insurance for this service. As we waited for a call back to let us know they had a captain to come out and get us the boat rocked up and down, and side to side. We then waited for a call from the captain to let us know he was on the way. The boat rocked to and fro, up and down. He then radioed and we kept in touch as he worked his way closer to us. The boat rocked more and more, and we fell sicker and sicker.
The Sea Tow boat approached Floating Home and Jim has to go out on the bow to catch the line that he would attach so we could be towed in. What a challenge that was. Once Floating Home was connected with the Sea Tow boat the anchor had to come up. I watched as Jim sat on the tip of the bow bringing the anchor up. The boat dipped down close to the water and then 6 feet up. Down and up it went as he worked to release and pull the anchor in. With mind over matter, he controlled his sick feeling. It was then time for us to get towed into Absecon Inlet, where we tied up to a T head at the city dock, just beneath the high rise casino and hotels.
We got word of a good mechanic so Jim gave him a call and he was able to come out and take a look at the boat. He changed the fuel filter and drained air from the line and after a few cranks the diesel roared to life again!
The next morning we pulled away from the dock to begin on our way. No sooner had Jim attempted to turn the boat to head out of the marina that he realized the starboard engine was not working, again! We circled back around and tied up to the dock, again! The morning was filled with getting in touch with mechanics and figuring out what the problem was.
While the mechanics were on the boat I decided it would be best to take Blue for a long walk. I strolled down the long dock looking at the boats, and their names. Exiting the dock I headed for the water, we walked past the marine police station and weren’t far from the Coast Guard station in Atlantic City. Approached the water the area was filled with trash and Blue spotted a pigeon with a broken wing hobbling along the sidewalk. Being in Atlantic City wasn’t the most beautiful place I could imagine. Thankfully there were knowledgeable mechanics that could access the issue and get us back on our way.
Upon my return I heard Jim say, “let’s go!” The boat was ready to finish the journey. We calculated that we’d have approximately a 5 hour ride back to The Bohemia River, at the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay. So off we went, holding our breath ever so slightly.
We went on to finish the coastal ride and then into the Cape May canal, through the tip of New Jersey. When we approached the Delaware Bay we thought “not much longer and we’ll be there!” But that Delaware Bay is BIG! And there were frequent waves, maybe just 2-3 feet but they kept coming. The boat couldn’t seem to get up to full speed as we headed north toward the C & D canal. Riding through the canal the sun began to set, the sky was beautiful, but we knew before long it would be dark, making the end of our journey home a bit challenging.
As we turned from the Elk River to the Bohemia there was a full moon shining on the water greeting us! We made it in to the marina with only night light. As Jim slowly steered the boat I looked for the slip that would be ours for the month of October. I spotted it and Jim said “we won’t fit in there!” “Oh yes we will.” Working together, with Jim driving and me guiding him through our headsets, we docked the boat, tied up the lines and were home, once again.