Thursday, July 27, 2017

Day 19: Brooklyn to Cape May

The night in Brooklyn was rough on Ann. The water was choppy, and Sababa was rocking back and forth, at times almost jumping out of the water. Our marina was on the East River, close to where it meets the Hudson, and the large commercial boat traffic had no speed restrictions. Some of those ferries literally fly. (Okay, that's actually the use of "literally" that I hate because they did not actually fly in the air, but they went very fast, over 30 knots.)

The rocking and bouncing do not bother me, and in fact, I find them soothing, but they made Ann's nausea from the day before even worse. She did not sleep all night, and in the morning felt like she needed to be on land. We walked to a Rite Aid pharmacy that was 0.8 miles from our marina, and we picked up some dramamine and ginger ale. She took the medication, and we waited about 40 minutes before she came back on the boat, so that the anti-nausea would kick in. In fact, it worked really well, and she felt a lot better.

Note to self: don't ever go on a boat trip without dramamine or bonine on the boat. The drugs are not useful if you take them once you're under way, but if you know that the day will be choppy, they can be taken on land, and then apparently, they are quite effective.

Pulling the lines off in that marina was very tricky, so we woke up Benny so he could help. The boat was bouncing all around, and I regretted not calling the office for a dockhand or two to help us. I ended up hitting the dock ever so slightly in the back, enough to make me very unhappy.

The trip to Cape May was slated to be our longest run of the entire vacation, but it was surpassed by yesterday's long run from Falmouth to Brooklyn. Still, it was a good 6 hours. As we pulled out of the marina, I took one last glance at the Brooklyn marina, where I vowed never to stay again. We'll find something more sheltered next time.
Brooklyn Marina looks peaceful enough, but it is not
While we did not like the marina one bit, the views could not be beat. As I pulled out and headed to the left of Governor's Island, I took a quick shot of the Statue of Liberty, and then turned and photographed the Manhattan skyline again.

The view of lady liberty as we were leaving our marina
Our view of Manhattan before heading South for home
Today's run was one of our easiest. A straight shot along the coast with my waypoints set about 60 miles apart. I turned on the radar, set tracking to the waypoints, and I had very little to do. The seas were relatively calm, but towards the end of our trip, they grew to the point of discomfort, probably around 4-5 feet for the last 10 miles. We got out just in time. To our amazement we saw all kinds of small fishing and other recreational boats heading out the inlet as we came in. I don't see how those guys could survive in those waves. Good for them. (or not)
Very easy navigation day
Since I did not have to focus on navigating, I spent the day looking at the weather forecast for the next two days. Our itinerary called for leaving Cape May for Baltimore tomorrow. However, the forecast at Cape May, halfway in between at Chesapeake City, MD, and in Baltimore all looked horrible. In fact, thunderstorms were listed as possibly severe, and there was a gale force wind watch in Cape May with waves potentially 6-10 feet scheduled for tomorrow. It did not look possible to get to Baltimore on time. I called the marina that I had reserved in Cape May and asked if we would be able to stay a day or two extra to ride out the storm, and they agreed.

Then, we had the idea of pressing all the way to Baltimore today. We did not have nearly enough fuel, so the plan we considered was stopping at the marina in Cape May, taking one last look at the weather, fueling up, and heading home - an 11 hour boating day. Crazy. But we would be home.

At one point, we decided that this was the plan. However, I kept tracking the forecast, and the best we could do would be a 40% chance of getting caught in a thunderstorm. Benny really wanted to go for it, despite being the one who gets the most seasick. I think Ann could have been persuaded either way. I suggested to her that there was a 60% chance we would get home okay, and a 40% chance that we would have to improvise and find cover, which might involve dropping the anchor in some cove somewhere. Given the forecast for the next 2 days, that could include being on the hook for 2 days with no access to water, food, pump out or any amenities. That did the trick, and we decided to stay in Cape May for the evening.
Tied up in Cape May, might have to bunker down for 3 nights here
We have been looking at the weather forecast every 10 minutes. Would absolutely love to go home tomorrow, but I cannot see that happening. The forecast would have to change drastically, and that rarely happens in your favor. Unfortunately, Saturday doesn't look great either. I'd say Saturday is 50-50. Sunday looks good. I have to be at work on Monday, so having to stay here beyond Sunday would be a bit of a disaster, and we'd probably go out of our minds stuck here on the boat in Cape May in storms for 3 days.
The radar picture looks scary - storm is coming
I have several apps that we are using to track the weather. We tap into the NOAA database directly to see alerts. Weather Underground is an extremely useful and information-rich app, and it's our primary one. I also use Dark Sky, which has surprisingly accurate short term information about rain wherever you are, and MyRadar, pictured above, which gives real time radar images. You can see we are the blue dot, and the storm is moving from West to East, so in the next 12 hours, I expect we'll see some action, not the good kind.

Anyway, vacation is just about over, and I'm going to spend whatever time we are stuck here getting caught up on work. Ann has a book, and Benny has his video games. There are also movie theatres here, and perhaps some indoor shopping areas, so we'll survive the waiting period, and the only thing I don't know is if we'll be able to go Saturday or not. We are okay with rain, but we want to avoid heavy seas and lightning. 

So we wait.