Sunday
Oct142012

NYC by sailing yacht

We started a short delivery in Jamestown RI on Swan76 Tigris on a cool but beautiful New England fall day. Before departing RI, we met some nice folks at Jamestown Boat Yard's annual wine making and pig roasting event, the famous blogger behind The Daily Prep!

 

We dropped the Tigris mooring around 1730 and motored out of Naragansett Bay in the evening light. Winds had moved SW around 15 kts, skies were clear, air temp was in the low 50s. Within short time we rounded Point Judith and set course for The Race. We had the tide turning against us but still pushed about 7.5 kts, nice to have the pace of a large yacht for this trip!

Wind and seas built throughout the evening and night as we pushed into the breeze on a westerly course. There was only a little commercial traffic on the sound, and we were able to make a decent pace while rotating watches throughout the night.

By dawn we were fast approaching City Island and the entrance to the East River, and saw both pleasure and work boats pass as the seas flattened and we increased our pace. Tigris had favorable tide down through the East River, Hell's Gate, and out into NY Harbor where we did a quick pass in front of the Statue of Liberty for the photobooks!

 

We were bound for North Cove Marina on the lower west side of Manhattan, next door to the trade center site. This has to be one of the most fun places to come by sea, it gives you a feeling of power pulling in, unopposed amongst the tower buildings and bustling crowds. We were docked by 1130 for a quick washdown and a welcome warm shore meal! A fantastic short delivery and perhaps the last for the fall for CYS, looking forward to the other side of winter and warming weather!

Sunday
Aug052012

Timing The Race Tides: Delivery from CT to RI

CYS was hired by a yacht brokerage firm to take care in the short delivery of the 1968 Swan36 "Barbara Anne" from Stamford, CT to Jamestown, RI. This boat will be hauled and surveyed in preparation for sale out of the Jamestown Boat Yard; an expert in restoring and maintaining both new and classic Swans.

Since this boat had not been sailing in over a year and over-wintered in CT in the water, CYS first did a sea trial of this boat to prove systems and seaworthyness. A few issues were found after this trial, remedied, and the boat was deemed ready enough for the trip to Rhode Island!

Key to any delivery up Long Island Sound, but especially in this older small sailboat is timing the ebb and flow from the sound. We were lucky in both weather and tides, and pushed out from the Harbor House Marina in Stamford Harbor at 0430. The first few hours we enjoyed flat seas, warm air, and some favorable tide as we motored east. The tide however turned around 0800 that morning, and we spent the next tide cycle in an unfavorable flooding current. For this trip, a stint against the tide is unavoidable for a small vessel with max pushing speed of 6 kts in flat water.

Early in the afternoon the tide went slack, then began turning favorable during the ebb. The afternoon breeze first blew in from the east, but eventually clocked to the south which allowed us to gain a bit of speed on an easy reach. With just under 70 miles up to The Race from Stamford, the pull of the current within 10 or so miles of this narrow stretch between Fisher's Island and Montauk Long Island was a wonderful agent of speed! It is hard to believe but as we passed through The Race we were doing 9 and 10 kts over the bottom, not bad old girl! For anyone that has passed through this during the full tidal rush, it is quite a scary thing in a small boat. You begin to see white caps from a ways out and then the waves and visible currents seemingly running from several directions. The feeling is a chaotic one in the rip of it; eddies, and even on a flat day, sizable waves! We managed getting through with a firm grip on the helm, and had a nice view of Fisher's Island Light to port:

More favorable tide drew us past Fisher's Island towards Point Judith. We thought we were going to get a perfect sunset and evening sail on Block Island Sound, but then the fog rolled in. This fog was of Maine caliber thickness. The air was so water-soaked, anything in it ended up with a mist of water droplets! This was not a great place to lose viability due to the traffic in and out of Point Judith, a popular spot for pleasure boats and big ferries going to Block Island. We had two close encounters with small power boats FLYING through the fog, thankfully catching a glimpse of us at the last minute and slowing down to avoid us. Due to our slow speed and their maniacally fast speeds, the reality is that avoiding incident seemed entirely in these powerboaters' hands (yikes!). Regardless, we put out regular radio calls alerting anyone that would listen that we were passing through the traffic lanes in the lil Barabara Anne!

We pushed on into the dark and fog up towards Naragansett Bay which was uneventful besides the lights and markers that once in close range, popped out the fog surprisingly. Coming into Jamestown in the dark and fog is not ideal. We were lucky enough to weave through the rocks and moored boats to the docks, parking her for the night. Early today I brought the boat out to mooring where she will wait to be hauled this coming week. I met some nice folks at JBY, had some breakfast and then jumped on a bus back to Portland. A great trip and another delivery logged for CYS!

 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug012012

Tigris: Georgetown to Portland

7/27

This morning I motored the inflatable a ways up Robinhood Cove which is about 5 miles long and very deep with many good anchorages all the way up (actually up/in is south west). Later in the morning we took off again under gray skies and ebbing tide back out to the Sheepscot and en route for a lunch stop in Cundy's harbor. A couple hours after setting out, we set anchor in Cundy's Harbor amongst a few trawlers and dozens of lobster boats of various sizes. Lunch on the hook and a walk through town was all that happened on this stop! For those who have not been there, Cundy's is such a quiet and quaint working harbor, and one of our family's favorite places for our annual "shore dinner"!

The skies lightend up a bit and we motor cruised on back towards Portland.

We took a nice route into Casco Bay past Monument Light on the port side, Haskell Island to starboard, then Bangs Island to starboard past Great Chebegue, Hope Island, and through the channel between the Chebegues. We did a quick fuel up at DiMillos and then landed Tigris back on the dock at Portland Yacht Services! This was my last day on board as more cruising friends and family would come in over the next couple days and then take Tigris back out and up to Penobscot Bay and Mt. Dessert! I had a great time on board and it was a great cruise on the Tigris in Maine: The Way Life Should Be [baby]!

 

Saturday
Jul282012

Tigris: Camden - Georgetown

7/26/12

Today was a bit of a lousy day weather-wise, woke up to cloudy skies and no breeze as forecasted. We made the best of it by running into Camden for a few provisions in the morning before setting off from our mooring in Sherman Cove. We had a short motor boat ride over flat seas and hardly a breath of air down to Rockland, where we set anchor just outside the mooring field. Our anchorage was not far from the cement barge loading dock and about 30 minutes after dropping the hook a tug came by to inform us of a 300' barge they were bringing in, and to be aware of this as they had them break loose before. A 300' barge break free?? Not very amusing. While in Rockland, watch out for these guys:

We survived this anchorage and any stray cement barges, and motored on into a light south breeze hoping to make as much progress as possible back towards Portland. We set our sight on getting up into the Sheepscot River and a mooring in Five Islands, and going ashore for some fresh lobsters on the dock. We called ahead and found the '76 was too big for any moorings in the harbor, which I would dispute but that would not get us anywhere closer to one! We instead decided to head further up the river, passing Macmahan Island and Middle Mark Island (covered in sleepy seals!) to port and into Robinhood Cove. Turns out Robinhood Marina had load of open mooring balls and we snagged one with a significant tide rushing out of the cove. We went straight in to the Osprey for a cold beer and great dinner, very much a recommended stop for any cruiser! Great mooring or anchorage, try it.

 

Sunday
Jul222012

Cruising Maine on Swan76 "Tigris" 

July 22, 0800

Getting underway today on the Swan76 "Tigris" from Jamestown Boat Yard in Rhode Island en route back home to Portland! It is a absolutely perfect morning here on Naragansett Bay, not a cloud in the sky, and very calm here on the mooring, nothing but the sounds of seagulls and some spanish banter carrying from a small fishing boat nearby! We are planning to drop the mooring here just after lunch, NOAA is calling for a light SW breeze this morning that should pick up this afternoon as we make our way up to the west entrance of the Cape Cod Canal. We expect to pop through into Cape Cod bay just after dark at which point we can set a direct course to Cape Elizabeth. We may have to dodge some tanker traffic in and out of Boston, but expect to land in Portland for lunch on Monday!

 

July 22, 1600

Absolutely perfect reach sailing on this big ketch rigged Swan76, 9.0 kts boat speed with ease in 15-17 kts of breeze, not to mention comfortable and very civilized!

July 23, 0300

Tigris is absolutely crushing it! We came flying out of Cape Cod Bay with a 15 knot SW breeze and 2-4 foot following seas, which seems to add an extra knot to our boat speed of 8.5 kts for a total of 9-9.5 over ground. Looks like we might make it to Portland for breakfast! These conditions are a solid reminder of why we sail: star filled sky, fair wind and seas , brisk speed to wards our destination, and plenty of comforts on board! I am looking forward to noting the total trip time, this may be the fastest I have ever sailed this leg. Just a few fishing boats out around Stellwagen bank and outside Boston Harbor as we passed by. We are now getting out into the Gulf of Maine and some deeper water, feels a bit cooler. Very nice to have the espresso machine for this time of day, getting good use out of that and tending to  regular boat checks, navigation, and lookout. All are asleep and it has been a nice couple hours on deck, looking forward to a couple more and a sunrise if I can make it!

July 23 0930

Tied up at Portland Yacht Services, home sweet home!