The Grand Cruise South,Victorious 37VT26
Heidi Maitland [Excerpt from October 22, 2016 Blog Posting]
Due to Hurricane Matthew we did not leave at the beginning of the first week of October as we originally planned. But, as soon as it
became clear we would not be in the path of the hurricane, Ken moved Victorious from Cohasset to Duxbury, MA. On October 7, we left on our Grand Cruise!
On Saturday October 8 we spent the night in Marion, in Buzzards Bay, and were able to come into the town dock the next morning. It was a perfect place to invite my sister and mom to come see the boat, and us. My mom is 94 and gets around quite slowly, but it was fairly easy for her to get into the main cabin on the boat. My sister Sharon brought us muffins and coffee. We also got to see friends who were using the town dock to prepare for a race weekend in Menemsha, MA. Our friends, Peter and Kate Cassidy, use their boat a lot and homeport in Marion, MA. We hadn't seen their two boys in a while (they are now 11 and 7 years old) and the tug provided an interesting counterpoint to their sailboat, to explore.
On day three, starting from Block Island, we were fighting a vicious north wind. In retrospect, we should have not been out there, knowing the forecast. Eventually we got to Stonington, CT and spent two days there. To compensate for the windy weather, we next had several days of very nice, sunny, mild weather. We transited the East River in New York City with 3 extra knots of current (that added almost 50% more speed). We made sure we saw the United Nations Building, which we had previously missed.
The next time we needed to stop for a couple of days we were in the bay across from Atlantic City, NJ. We were anchored, and it proved to be a quiet spot out of the heavy winds that sprung up. Each time we have had a day that we don't travel, we have plenty of chores and tasks. Loading the boat with lots of food and clothing for almost every eventuality means that we have to find places to stow it. We are still emptying bags at this point and stuffing gear into the backs of lockers. We have a new Advanced Elements inflatable kayak and in this bay we got it inflated and tried it out. It will be a nice addition to our bag of "toys" to use on this trip.
One of our favorite stops in the Northeast is Chesapeake City, MD and we got there in the middle of the day, and got a spot at the free dock (the free city dock is one of the reasons we like it there so much!) We had lunch on the deck at the Chesapeake Inn, looking out at the harbor, surrounded by avid sports fans settling in for the game -- in this case the Eagles -- and it was very festive. However, since it was not our team, we decided to leave and continued on south to an anchorage, again with extra current pushing us.
Great weather has continued from that day, for almost a week. We have stopped in Annapolis, MD and docked next to friends from home, the Colemans. There we got groceries and went out to dinner, each time using an Uber cab with our friends. We made a stop just off of Little Choptank River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to tie up to the dock of Victory Tug friends Bicki and Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63. Besides using their dock they cooked dinner for us. Two days later we were at another Victory Tug owner's dock just off of the Potomac River. Bob Allnutt, Victory 37VT02, invited us to stay even though, or perhaps because of, a weather change that will bring a lot of wind for several days.
We are just at the point where it is sunny and beautiful, but tonight and the next two and a half days may be terrible for traveling. We are tucked up near to shore on the dock and will be in the lee of any strong wind. This creek, off of St. Mary's, MD off the Potomac, has other small creeks off of it which are perfect for the kayak. These seem to be "bonus days", much warmer than we thought we would have, and in well-protected places.
We had a full moon earlier this week, a night full of geese flying and honking (who knew they flew at night?), an afternoon of very fast jets taking off from Patuxent Naval Air Station, MD and we are starting to see some of the other boats that are heading south, including one from the Netherlands and three from Maine.