Thursday, September 21, 2006

Plans for the Cruise

At this writing, Sam and I will leave early on 9/23 from Bolles Harbor, Michigan enroute to Buffalo, New York. We can’t afford to dally so one week is planned for this trip. The Erie Canal (New York Barge Canal) runs about 340 miles to the Hudson river at Troy, NY. Due to the height of fixed bridges, we will lower the mast in Buffalo and motor most of the way across New York state. We’ll raise the mast and become a sail boat again on the Hudson. (the above photo shows Mike(left), Annie, Sarah, Mary Ann, and Sam) Then we’ll sail three days down the Hudson to New York City where we’ll take a break, see the sights, and visit Yonah and Kim.
After leaving N.Y.C., we must sail the Atlantic 119 miles down the New Jersey coast. This will be our first extended ocean sailing, but we hope to accomplish it in a 24-hour period to Cape May. Then we traverse the Cape May canal to the Delaware Bay for a day sail to the C&D canal and on to the Chesapeake Bay.
We hope to visit cousin Jamal in Baltimore and make a stop in Annapolis during this segment as well as enjoy tranquil autumn anchorages. A week should bring us to Norfolk , Virginia, and the start of the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) which will carry us through the Carolinas, Georgia, and into Florida. I’ve read that the draw bridges cause long delays, so once south of Cape Hatteras we hope to make some coastal passages in the Atlantic to save time and discover any tendencies toward motion sickness.
We can’ t accurately estimate when we’ll arrive in Florida, but hope to sail across the Gulf Stream from West Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island in late November, well after the last hurricane. Then the itinerary is dependent upon weather and inclination. We’ll probably spend December in the Abacos and make our way south in short sails to Nassau, Eleuthra, and the Exumas. Sam will return to his studies at the University of Toledo after Christmas and we hope Sarah will join us soon after and sail back north by early June. We’re looking forward to an 18-month boating season this year.