Finally Underway

StarGazerProps

The Props are finally back on. Ready to go back in the water.

We’ve had a very busy time our first few weeks of running the boat. A long way to go in a short time. I have written these entries up, but had no time to process them and what few pictures we had time to take. When the pressure is off, somewhere around the Erie canal entrance, I’ll start putting things together and get these entries in. I’ll try to back date them to when they happened. Here goes: After two full months in Washington NC, nearly all of it on the hard where we could not live on our boat, we will be back in the water and on our way. We started early near the end of March. Many start the loop a month later than we did and get by OK, with maybe not quite as much time to stop over in interesting places. We are now starting two months later.

WaterTankOut

A little earlier. The water tank is still out, pulled forward from under the bed.

We’ll have to hurry through the first part of the loop. I plan to go quickly through the rest of the ICW (Washington is 30 miles off of mile marker 150) to Norfolk at mile marker zero. Then we’ll transit the length of the Chesapeake bay, through the C & D canal at its top over to the top of and down the length of the Delaware bay to Cape May. Then it will be up the New Jersey coast on the open Atlantic to New York City and then up the Hudson to Albany and the entrance to the Erie Canal.

PresBushBoat

A boat rally, including President Bush’s (elder) boat taking off from our yard. Star Gazer off picture to right.

We hope to arrive at the canal by July 1. If we can do that we’ll have time for an unhurried transit of the Erie Canal, the Trent – Severn Canal, the top of Lake Huron and down Lake Michigan to Chicago by the end of August, when conventional wisdom says to be off the great lakes. We won’t have tons of time for stopping, but will still have enough days for down time and seeing sights. Hopefully no more major boat trouble will intervene. The big if at this point is weather. It’s not the most fun to travel in bad weather on the ICW, but except for big storms most of it need not slow us down. On the more open waters of the bays and especially the Atlantic run that could be different. We could get delayed waiting for a “weather window”.

DogJumpWater

Another week in Washington NC before leaving. A dog jumping contest in weekend fair downtown.

Waves on the big waters could be troublesome or even dangerous for our boat. The bay waves would be, like much of the great lakes, closer together, or higher frequency. These can rock us, especially if on the beam, more than slow swells out on the ocean. On the other hand, ocean waves can get really big. If 3 foot or higher waves are forecast I will think of not going. 4 foot or higher I will definitely not go. The last two weeks has been quite hot, both in Richmond and then in Washington NC. That would have worked. The next few days are forecast the same, so our next few days of ICW time will be easy.

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