On the move...
We left Norfolk, Virginia, May 5 and have been on the move ever since. Our first day out we entered Chesapeake Bay and had to cross a shipping channel. See the little tug in front of the ship? That tug is twice as big as Nellie May which means the barge is HUGE.
Chesapeake Bay is about 150 miles long and is big water. We planned our trip for 4 hops. Norfolk to Deltaville, Deltaville to Solomans, Solomans to Annapolis and Annapolis to Delaware City.
The Maryland State House is located in Annapolis, Maryland and is the oldest U.S. state capital in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772. This fellow is George Washington. This is the exact room where he resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army. The State House was a museum worth visiting.
We stayed in Atlantic City 2 nights. We walked from the marina to the Boardwalk and spent the whole day there. We played some slot machines, ate a bunch of fun food and walked miles. We googled photos of the locations we were at on the boardwalk to see what it looked like there after the storm. We were impressed with the rebuilding of the waterfront businesses and attractions.
This photo shows how foggy it was the morning we left. Atlantic City was one of those places on the Loop that really didn’t impress us. The lady in the marina office warned us to never walk around the area at night...probably a good idea to just stay on the boat after dark. And lock the door.
We stayed one day. Enough said.
The Jersey ICW route is only possible for boats with shallow drafts. We draw about 2.5 feet so we qualify but the Jersey ICW is so shallow that we still went aground once. We had 2 days of mile after mile of watching the depth gauge to make sure we had enough water under our keel. It was exhausting but the alternative is to dash out into the Atlantic and make 2 fifty mile runs with no chance to get back into safety if the weather changed. We were happy to be able to take the inside route as far as we could but we still had to go outside into the Atlantic for the last 30 miles to Great Kills Yacht Club near New York City.
I can say that Captain Tim picked a good weather window to travel on the big ocean and our trip was uneventful, which is always a good thing. We jumped to “light speed” to get back into the safety of protected waters.
And we saw a whale. That was pretty cool.
A huge part of the doing the “Loop” is the opportunity to get together with other Loopers. We don’t actually travel together but when we land in a marina and find out there are other Loopers around someone will organize Docktails (cocktails on the dock). Docktails are usually scheduled for 5 pm on the dock. In Cape May we were lucky enough to have a gazebo. Everyone brings their own beverage and something to share. Talking to other people who are on the same adventure is pretty special.
New York, New York
We stayed at Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island for 5 days. This was our chance to visit New York City. We rode a train and the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan...all before 10 am! We spent the rest of the day walking, walking, walking. We saw the South Street Seaport Museum, the 9/11 Memorial, Times Square and then landed in an Irish Pub with other Loopers to celebrate surviving the big City. We walked to the New York City Library to catch the X-1 bus back to Staten Island. We jumped off the bus about 5 blocks from our marina. We were “peopled out” by the time we got back to the boat. Now I can say I’ve been to New York.
Don’t ever need to go back...
Nellie May and the Statue of Liberty
We had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a shot of our boat in front of Lady Liberty and thanks to Leon and Karen on Scotfree (Ranger 29 tugboat) we have this awesome photo to remember our time in New York Harbor.
Tim was busy driving the boat, dodging fast moving ferry boats and slow moving barges so he didn’t get to do much sight-seeing.
We took photos of each other’s boats and then headed out of the harbor north on the Hudson River as fast as possible. We were glad when we put New York Harbor behind us and had a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Hudson River.
4,000 miles down, 2,000 to go
We have passed the 4,000 mile mark. It’s hard to believe we have been on the water since last September. We agreed we have finally gotten into the rhythm of days on the water. Every day is different. Our schedule is determined by the wind and the tide. That means we make Plan A but usually end up with Plan D, E, or F. If we like someplace we stay an extra day. If we pull into a marina and discover friends are there that we haven’t seen awhile we stay an extra day. If the harbormaster tells us about someplace we just can’t miss while we are there we stay an extra day or two.
Big Water...little boat
In the course of our journey, we have had to cross some big water...where you cannot see your destination over the horizon and there is not much but water most everywhere you look. We always pick good weather days because our boat is so small and the water is so big. Some are notorious...The Albemarle Sound, for instance, which is very shallow, windswept and with strong tidal currents. It can be very challenging even to large vessels. On a nice day a piece of cake, but other times quite dangerous. Planning and a good weather eye is necessary. We waited for good weather and then went for it. These crossings are kinda the spice that makes the trip exciting.
Tim and I started our Great Loop Adventure on 9-11-2017 in Ottowa, Illinois. We put the boat on a trailer and drove 9 hours from our home in South Dakota to Heritage Harbor Marina in Ottowa to put her in the water. Tim's brother, Dan, drove the truck and trailer back to our house. Thanks Dan!