As announced on another thread, Camaraderie has been sold and has a good new home. While I recounted our sea trial as a good and memorable last sail, Djodenda asked what I remembered from our first sail on her. Fortunately I have my log from my trip and I will post it below and hope some of you enjoy the read. As background...we found "Anemone" up on the Hudson River in rather dilapidated shape, but she had good bones and we knew we could bring her back to life...but we had to get her back to the Chesapeake to do the work in Deltaville. Here's the rest of the story....
I drove up to NY with a car load of boat equipment that would be necessary to sail the boat south if all went well. Thankfully...the sea trial went perfectly and we were thrilled that her mechanical systems and rigging were in great shape. I had a big ocean passage ahead and the survey gave me confidence that the boat was ready for one.
Good buddy Mosby **** kindly offered to help me bring her down and mentioned he had a friend, Jay , who was just getting into sailing and would like to do the trip. We closed on the boat on Saturday and loaded our stuff aboard. Sunday we provisioned the boat for 3 hungry ,(and thirsty!)men for 5 days and picked up Mosby and Jay on Long Island Airport on Monday afternoon. The drive to the boat took about two hours too long in NY traffic...but we arrived in Haverstraw, checked out the boat and had a great "last meal" at Annie's (big portions...great steaks!) before sacking out. We would depart around 6:30 AM to catch a fair tide down the Hudson River...and the admiral would drive the car back to VA and meet us in Deltaville some days hence.
Tuesday dawned bleak and gray with a threat of rain but the forecast was benign for the next few days so the 3 brave sailors cast off their lines...waved to the fair maiden ashore and motored out of the marina and into the mighty Hudson River. We had about 40 miles down river before entering the ocean. This is a really pretty stretch of river with high cliffs and big houses and lush greenery but the overcast weather really didn't let us enjoy it. Soon enough we passed the Harlem River junction and then under the George Washington Bridge wondering how many of the commuters wished they were us. We sailed down the West side of Manhattan passing the familiar skyline and of course the missing twin towers. Ellis Island appeared out of the mist on our starboard followed shortly by the Statue of Liberty...what a thrill to sail by all that history...and to think of our ancestors on ships much less well equipped than ours making this same sail!
Shortly we turned the corner and sailed out south of Coney Island under the Verazzano Bridge...the worlds longest suspension bridge...no worries about mast clearance here! We were in the main shipping channel into NY Harbor and the fog rolled in! We had no more than a couple of hundred yards of visibility and could not see from buoy to buoy so we carefully navigated along our plotted course and kept a sharp lookout. After a few miles we were able to turn south along the NJ coast and get out of the lanes while the haze lifted a bit.
Since everything was going so well and it was still only early afternoon, we decided to press on and reach the latitude of Manasquan inlet before nightfall in case we had to pull in. It was about this time that Jay's stomach decided that it wanted off the boat. Poor Jay didn't know he was susceptible to mal de mer and spent the next 18 hours in the head. We kept knocking on the door when he didn't make any noise for extended periods....but he could not move.
Mosby and I took 3 hour shifts on deck while the rickety old auto-pilot did the steering along our course. The wind was about 10 knots right on our nose and the seas were rolling us a bit which sure wasn't helping Jay feel any better! Mosby suggested raising the main to steady us and that worked like a charm.
Anemone feels like a BIG boat in the ocean swells...she is much more stable and steady than our old Camaraderie is and she doesn't slap down on the backside of larger waves as lighter boats will do. She is also very light on the steering both under sail and power...a tribute to the good design of Bob Perry!
We continued on through the night and were off the bright lights of Atlantic City by dawn on Wednesday and down past Cape May and the Delaware shipping channels by nightfall. Jay was out of the WC and into his bunk at mid day and was sitting in the cockpit with Mosby when I woke up from my afternoon siesta. I had not slept well during our 1st 24 hours and was happy to at last get a few good hours under my belt. It was a good thing that Jay decided to recover when he did for just about that time, the autopilot gave up and we had to hand steer the rest of the way. That would have been really tough on just 2 of us! We set up a watch schedule that rotated every 2 hours...two at the wheel, two in the cockpit resting and available and two in the bunk. I prefer 3 hour shifts but hand steering a 52 footer gets tiresome!
While we had been having winds on the nose and lots of rain along the way, we got hit with a real squall on Wednesday night off the Delaware coast. The lightning flashed and the winds built to 30+ knots with higher gusts. We had the mainsail up but no one was in the mood to go on deck and try to wrestle it down. As it turned out, that wasn't necessary as Anemone just ate up the squall on her nose. She just loved 30 knots and while we were soaked and cold...we were safe and sound.
We made good time in very light winds down the rest of the coast and fetched the Chesapeake Bay Bell #4 on Thursday morning...finally rolling out the big genny as we passed through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel about two hours later. We enjoyed a great sail in light following winds up the bay. Mosby tweaked everything he could and poled out the gennny as we reached along at about 7 knots...hitting 8 occasionally. Once Mosby was satisfied he was getting everything he could out of the boat...he sat back behind the wheel with the biggest smile on his face...This is what sailing is all about! We dodged some squalls on the way up the Bay and pulled into Deltaville at about 6:30 PM ...a total run of 56 hours from NY to Deltaville!
Special thanks to Mosby who once again proved his excellent seamanship and good friendship!...and to Jay who persevered through the seasickness and was a big help on the last half of the trip...Good luck with the new boat Jay!"
Not the most exciting sail we ever had on Cam...but it will certainly stay in my memories.
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