Saturday, June 7, 2008

Atlantic City NJ to Sandy Hook NJ

Beautiful day after the fog lifted. Long trip - 12 hours. Jim is a master of predicting arrival times. We left at 6 a.m. and arrived at 6 p.m. just as he predicted. We anchored at the Highlands. Got fuel there the next day - it's known for good prices. At the fuel dock, Vicki learned never to put fingers between the boat and the pilings - a near mishap was averted by lighting quick (panic) reflexes.

Top Ten List of What We'll Miss About Dock B

By popular demand, here's the Top Ten (actually 11) list that we shared at the Bon Voyage Party.
#11. Saturday morning water fill-ups and jockeying for position.
#10. The joy of checking off items on the perpetual 100-item list of things that have to get done before we take off cruising.
#9. The Naughton "aid society" that supplied us with latex gloves (Nancy), took Vicki to get rental cars (Lisa, Mike), gave interior decorating advice (Denise, Fran, Mike), made curtains and bedding (Fran), loaned a burner (Bob and Denise), a powercord (Mike), a workshop (Captain Ron), a boat (Roger and Lisa), provided the dock B surgicenter and follow-up house calls for Norm's stiches (Jerry), toted Norm to get the freezer (Mike), held the flashlight while Vicki polished brass after dark (Nancy), our secret weapon for boat remodeling (master crafsman Ron), and Vicki's fabulous support system at work (Pat and Dottie).
#8. Commiserating about the ghetto boards and sink-holes on the dock and the tippy finger piers.
#7. Friday night (or any night) gatherings at the marina restaurant or on the dock, and dancing to JT's music.
#6. The joys of winter - making the dock snowman, ambusshing neighbors with snowballs, oil heaters, ice rugs, stabilicers, scraping the car, and the ever-popular midnight swim.
#5. In a very twisted way, we'll miss Bob bragging about passing us in his sailboat!
#4. Everyone truning out to assist when the boat leaves and returns - without looking for a dockhand tip.
#3. Unique shrinkwrap configurations - it's doubtful that we'll ever again see the mutant shrinkwrap designs of the diaper and the condom-minium.
#2. Vicki will miss terrorizing the dock neighbors with the medical uses of a safety pin.
#1. (drum roll here) Our dock B community --knocking on our door, stopping by for a chat, or just waving as you pass by. We'll miss the tremendous sense of friendship and connectedness.

We'll reconnect in person in the fall. Meanwhile, keep those emails and phone calls coming!

Cruise Day 2 - Victory Over Cold Quiche

Yesterday's trek from Cap May to Atlantic City was lovely. The seas were a bit choppy, so Vicki was on the edge of seasickness - or was it just a ploy to finagle a box of ginger snaps from Robin? (Ginger is a remedy for seasickness.) Vic downed a preventative pill this morning because today's journey from Atlantic City to Sandy Hook is a long one - 12 hours - so we're taking no chances of ending up like dock neighbor Lisa with a Dorito bag filled with something other than Doritos. (Ick, I know - sorry.)

Thinking that quiche might settle her stomach (?), and being unable to use the microwave while underway (see yesterday's entry), Vicki ate cold ham and artichoke quiche for lunch. It's not bad, really, but not good enough to forego the microwave long term. So, after anchoring yesterday at about 2:00, Norm called the inverter folks and discovered that the inverter was providing plenty of electricity, but the alarm needed to be changed to a more appropriate setting. Norm took care of that and this morning we had microwaved oatmeal and coffee for breakfast while underway.

Yesterday's anchorage was Plum Point just off the Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City. A peaceful pond with an inlet that, according to the charts, looked like it would be hazardous to a row boat. But Jim and Robin's secret sources of maritime knowledge had informed them that we could pass. We're bribing them with wine to divulge those secret sources and finding them pretty easy to persuade. The lights of the Atlantic City casinos about a mile away were quite a cool sight after dark.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We're Off - Finally!

The first cruise day of our voyage into the future was Thursday, June 5. And it couldn't have come soon enough. We departed Summit North Marina at 1000 hrs thus ending the longest "good bye" in modern civilization. You know you've stayed too long when the dock neighbors start saying, "You still here?" We waved goodbye to Summit North Marina and hello to the world of adventure. It was a beautiful smooth-water cruise to Cape May, NJ. Just when we thought we'd seen the last of dock B for awhile, one of our dock neighbors, Captain Ron, comes zinging by us delivering a boat from New York to Maryland. Dock B is everywhere!

Jim and Robin Roberts are our cruising buddies for the trip to Nova Scotia. They are experienced cruisers, good teachers, fun people, and seem happy to act as our training wheels when needed. Their boat is identical to ours which means that they can give us advice on all sorts of things like the inverter which currently screams when the microwave is turned on while underway. Yes, Vicki's intentions of quiche for lunch were thwarted - drat! Friend Rick Tierney also gave some good advice about the inverter (Vicki was soliciting ideas from anyone - she really wants that quiche)--Rick's sage advice was "Read the manual"! Ya gotta love common sense.

Anchoring wasn't in the picture. The lone anchorage in Cape May harbor was already filled with boats - overfilled actually - they were sticking out into the channel and the commercial boats were not too kind about that on the radio. So, we headed for the Canyon Club Marina, arriving at about 7:30. The first cruise day was celebrated with champagne and lentil soup aboard Tidehiker. It was, as we'd hoped, a good start.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bon Voyage/Retirement Celebration

On May 25 we celebrated Vicki's retirement and bid a final farewell to family and good friends. Yes, the longest "good bye" in history came to an end. This party was held a week prior to our scheduled departure from Summit North Marina, but the list of "to do's" seems to be a perpetual one. Anyway, as the saying goes...a good time was had by all. Vicki orated the "Top Ten List Of Reasons We Will Miss Dock B". The list generated some cheers, some applause and some tears. Then Norm auctioned off the remaining land-based items we did not want to bring with us. Legal tender in this auction was wine. Some items went for one bottle of wine, others went for more.

JT, a dock neighbor took the biggest prize and donated a case of wine (much more than the value of the item). Thanks JT. Others gifted us Bon Voyage gifts from stemware to wall hangings to diapers (in case our toilets break down); and, a huge haul of wine of all kinds. All were unexpected surprises and very much appreciated. Colleen and Brian, Norm's daughter and son-in-law flew in from Columbus, OH; and, Aimee, Vicki's niece, bussed herself in from D.C. Of course, the family crab feast was held.