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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity, Jig.

Discussion in 'Roger Long - The further adventures of Strider' started by Roger Long, Apr 14, 2015. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Roger Long

    Roger Long

    Joined Nov 22, 2008
    3,563 posts, 8 likes
    Endeavour 32
    US Portland, Maine
    This old piggy in his little trawler yacht disguised as a sailboat is feeling pretty good. C & D Canal to Atlantic Highlands, 177 nm singlehanded in two days with some 30 mph plus gusts measured along the way, not too shabby.

    I woke up in Chesapeake City still feeling a bit punky. Fourmite BobT was launching his boat in Delaware City and getting that far would cut a couple hours off the next day’s long trek down always endless Delaware Bay. Paying for a marina night seemed a good deal. Afternoon thunderstorms threatened so I was underway at first light.

    I was feeling much better by the time I reached the far end of the canal, despite the raw damp morning. It was a good decision. I spent a very pleasant day helping (well watching) Bob and Laura get their boat ready, warming them up in Strider’s always toasty cabin, and having dinner at the only restaurant open with adult beverages, “Lewinsky’s on Clinton” (no comment).

    The next morning I was underway by 0426. It was an easy run down the bay. Eliminating that two hour run at the start has a huge psychological effect, so does reaping the rewards of good planning. The wind came up as forecast late in the afternoon. Very quickly, I was measuring gusts a bit over 30 but the wind was right on the stern and the seas didn’t have time to build. With only about an hour to go to the canal, it was just a welcome boost.

    There was dredge pipe stored in the comfortable spot I hoped to anchor and I was feeling good. The wind was strong but would be off the land so I decided to just carry on to Atlantic City. It was a very lively run up the coast trying to find the sweet spot between where the large swells started to feel the bottom and getting as close to the land as possible to minimize the fetch and size of the wind driven waves. However, we weren’t pounding or throwing lots of spray so it was tolerable.

    The marina dockmaster was just leaving when I called but a bit before 1700 but he told me to just tie up at the end of “E” dock and not worry about paying since I was leaving at 0400. I didn’t feel him quite as generous when I found the dock at least two inches deep in guano but I still appreciated it.

    I woke up at 0330, ready to roll. I started the engine and the charging light came on dimly. The battery monitor showed normal output but the light was solid red when I looked again. I shut down to check the alternator belt tension. It was fine. I tried to restart the engine and it was dead as a doornail, not alarms, no lights, just like the master switch was off. I tried the traditional remedy of wiggling every wire I could reach and the engine circuit came alive. A big project lies ahead there along with nagging worry and uncertainty for the rest of the trip.

    The run up the New Jersey coast was as easy as it could be with light winds astern until late afternoon when they came up in the last couple hours. It was lively but easy running for the last bit around Sandy Hook and into Atlantic Highlands. I anchored close in under the highest bluff on the East Coast with a view of the New York skyline and celebrated being at the fringes of home. It was calm but an occasional wail of wind and jerk at the top of the mast as gusts spilled over the bluff told me I had picked a good spot to anchor.

    The morning was dead calm. I ran up the bay past a fleet oyster tongers. I had no idea. I won’t look at oysters in the Oyster Bar at Grand Central quite the same way again. I arrived at Liberty Marina about noon to refuel. Upon leaving, the engine was dead again. This time, I found just the right spot to wiggle in the wiring harness. I had decided the night before that the electrical issue makes a couple weeks of hanging around the New York area inadvisable so headed up the Hudson.

    While poking around behind the switch panel checking the engine master switch, I found a corroded, high resistance connection and burned wiring insulation in the AC wiring. Just after leaving the marina, the autopilot remote stopped talking to the autopilot and I had to resort to the hardwired backup. Strider has covered thousands of miles with very few problems but she is starting to tell me that she is tired.

    I anchored in Croton where I am writing this while waiting for daylight. I just can’t get off this early schedule. Sitting in the cockpit last night, I could see the course of the river winding up between Bear Mountain and the other hills. I can’t think of anything more alluring on the water at this point in my life than looking at mountains and thinking ahead to winding my way through them. This river is in my soul.

    It’s going to be a challenging and interesting finish to the trip though. There was ice here just a couple weeks ago. Everything is closed and most docks are not even in. The current timing is awkward with ebb most of the daylight hours so I am going to need to find more fuel somewhere.

    I’m home but it’s sort of like landing in LA from Japan when you live in New England. There are still miles to go before I sleep. Strider is going to sleep too. No dock available for over a month so she is going right up on the hard for a while.

  2. BobT


    Joined Sep 29, 2008
    239 posts, 1 likes
    Gulfstar 37
    US North East River, Chesapeake Bay
    Glad the weather window worked so well. Impressive pace.
    We are completely sold on putting a real heater in the cabin!
    Thanks for the demo and counsel.

  3. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,340 posts, 455 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    Welcome North!

    Hey Roger ... Welcome back! You got here just in time for the beginning of spring! You're right, just 2 weeks ago you may have been dodging ice. Below is the scenery 2 weeks ago today. Much better now.

    Out of curiosity, you described your run to A.C. as finding the sweet spot just offshore from where the larger waves feel the bottom. How far offshore and what depth were you at?


    Attached Files:

  4. Roger Long

    Roger Long

    Joined Nov 22, 2008
    3,563 posts, 8 likes
    Endeavour 32
    US Portland, Maine
    I usually run NJ along the "Fish Trap" line on the charts to minimize the chances of hitting a left over stake. This is generally 3 miles off the beach. I took a chance and went in about a half mile closer this time in 20 - 30 feet of water.

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