Great Kills

Great Kills

08-May-2021 Saturday. Hooked around the hook at Sandy Hook NJ to Great Kills Yacht Club, Great Kills neighborhood, Staten Island borough NYC NY (8.5 nautical miles   9.8 statute miles)

40°32’41.9″N 74°08’10.2″W
40.544963, -74.136178
Elevation: sea level
States (2): New Jersey, New York

Along the Way

It was a great call yesterday to push on for an extended run up to Sandy Hook. It was a smooth night on the hook last night. Today is miserable, cold and rainy. We only have 8 miles to travel today.

Being Saturday and all, there were over 50 fishing boats in the Sandy Hook Bay when we got up this morning.  About 10:00am we pulled over and headed the Great Kills Yacht Club, where we will be hanging out until Tom F joins us next Friday.

You’d have to pay me to stand outside on a boat in this weather. Wait a minute!! The fishing fools paid to do it.

Of course we docked in the middle of a rain storm. The dockmaster and another boater came over to lend a hand. Boat people are really great people.  After settling in and drying off we walked about .75 mile to an Italian Market. I wore my covid mask to keep my face warm.

Interesting items in the Italian market.

It wasn’t raining when we left for the market. It definitely was when we walked back.

We are drying out.


Great Kills. Nothing dead around here. The name Great Kills was the result of the Anglicization of the words “Groote Kell” which, from Dutch, may translate to “many creeks”.

Great Kills is a neighborhood within the borough of Staten Island in New York City. It located on the south shore of Staten Island and the southern most point of New York City.

It is the southern most area of New York City

Drolleries and Yuks

What did the Magician say to the Fisherman?
~Pick a cod, any cod.

The Jersey Shore. All of it.

The Jersey Shore. All of it.

07-May-2021 Friday South Jersey Marina, Cape May NJ to Hooked around the hook at Sandy Hook NJ (131.1 nautical miles   150.9 statute miles)

40°27’49.9″N 74°00’28.5″W
40.463871, -74.007919
Elevation: sea level
States (1): New Jersey

Along the Way

We left at 5:55 AM this morning, five minutes before sunrise.  It was slack tide. We had a long ocean run planned (~100 miles/9 hours) to the Manasquan River inlet. We were the 5th boat out of the marina.

The Jersey Shore is known for its boardwalks.

Making or remaking the Jersey Shore. I’m not sure if they are reconstructing from a hurricane or enhancing nature. That’s a LOT of sand.

Whale Tales

The Right whale below had ‘happy tail’. It kept slapping and slapping and slapping the water. A tail slap, also known as “lobtailing”, is the act of a whale or dolphin lifting its tail fluke out of the water and forcefully slapping it onto the surface of the water, often repetitively, resulting in a loud slap. Lobtailing can be heard from many miles away and is a means of communication to warn away predators or other males, and to impress a potential mate. Different species of whale lobtail differently.

Right whales (a.k.a black whales) are a species of large baleen whales. They got their name because it was the ‘right’ whale to hunt—it moved slowly and would float after being killed.  Right whales get up to 68 ft in length and weigh up to 298,000 lbs. Right whales rank only behind the blue whale in sheer body mass.

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species, with less than 400 individuals remaining. … Entanglement in fishing gear and vessel strikes are the leading causes of North Atlantic right whale mortality.

Obligatory picture of Atlantic City and Boardwalk
If you’ve played the game Monopoly, you are familiar with the names of real streets in Atlantic City. Atlantic City is home to the world’s longest boardwalk. This is the closest I will ever be to Atlantic City. It’s just not on my Bucket List. Besides, I’m not really fond of of the game Monopoly.

You can drive on some beaches in New Jersey during the off-season, maximum speed 10 mph.

MV Ocean Observer research and survey vessel.

At some point in the day we decided to bypass the Manasquan River inlet and continue up to Sandy Hook, adding another 40 miles/4 hours to our run. The weather forecast for tomorrow wasn’t as desirable as it had looked earlier. The last good weather window for over a week was closing in quickly. Tomorrow will have 5 foot waves and rain.

New Jersey brags about their crown jewel 130 miles of coastline, spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May. I agree they do have a reason to boast.

North Jersey Shores resorts (it’s getting dark)

Rounding the hook at Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook is a barrier spit at the north end of the Jersey Shore. It is approximately 6 miles in length and varying from 0.1 to 1.0 mile wide. Most of it is now park land.


Fort Hancock and the Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Good night.

Drolleries and Yuks

What did the triangle say to the circle?
~You’re pointless.

Diamonds are a Girl’s best friend

Diamonds are a Girl’s best friend

06-May-2021 Thursday South Jersey Marina, Cape May NJ (0 nautical miles   0 statute miles)

38°56’57.7″N 74°54’31.1″W
38.949361, -74.908624
Elevation: sea level
States (1): New Jersey

Along the Way

Off to Sunset Beach to look for diamonds.

World War II Lookout Tower. Part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles, the World War II Lookout Tower has played a major part in coastal defenses. Built in 1942, the tower was one of 15 towers that helped aim batteries of coastal artillery, stretching from North Wildwood NJ to Bethany Beach DE

S. S. Atlantus. The S. S. Atlantus was built by the Liberty Ship Building Company in Brunswick GE and launched on December 5, 1918. She was the second concrete ship constructed in the World War I Emergency Fleet.

Diamond Hunting
Sunset Beach was covered with small stones. If I was going to find diamonds, they were going to be here on Sunset Beach or Higbee Beach to the north.

Cape May diamonds are quartz pebbles. The pebbles are sometimes collected, cut and polished to resemble diamonds, then sold locally as souvenirs.

It wasn’t long before I had a pocket full of rocks. Two pockets full of rocks. I’m normally not a rock collector. (That would be my sister.)

I kept looking for an elusive Hope Diamond. The largest Cape May diamond, 3-pound-14-ounce, ever found up was found up river at New Castle DE in 1866.

Horseshoe Crab. Now this HUGE guy had himself a predicament with his head in the sand. I flipped him over to look for his head then flipped him back onto his tummy. There were a lot of barnacles on him. The next wave took him back out into the water.

Diamond are a girl’s best friend.
The Sunset Beach souvenir shop had a great little exhibit on what to look for how they look after they have been polished and cut.

I picked up a LOT of rocks today. Many were Cape May diamonds in the rough and quite a few were rocks I just liked. I also picked up a couple of pretty broken shells. Cape May diamonds come in clear and pink/amber. The clear, which look white unpolished are the more coveted color.


The most interesting boat in the marina is the Leeway Striker. It was built by DLBA Naval Architects as a prototype boat in hopes of securing a military contract. The hull is made of Kevlar. They didn’t get the contract. The boat was sold to LeeWay Marine out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is currently used for sonar surveys imaging the sea floor and collecting high resolution bathometric data.

The other interesting boat is one that just came into “The Beast’s” spot. It’s 80 feet long. 35 feet longer than yes dear… I was too lazy to go out onto the dock and take a picture.


Horseshoe crabs are a prehistoric throwback. On moonlit nights in May and June, thousands of the crabs crawl ashore on Delaware Bay beaches at high tide to mate and lay eggs, as they have for 450 million years. The crabs are sometimes so dense that the water’s edge looks like a road paved with brown shells.  Horseshoe crab eggs are critical in sustaining birds that migrate up to 10,000 miles each year to their arctic breeding grounds.

Horseshoe crabs lay huge numbers of eggs. In a single nest, there can be up to 4,000 eggs, and each female will make more than one nest. In a single season, one female horseshoe crab might lay 88,000 eggs.

While these animals spawn from Maine to the Yucatan Peninsula, Delaware Bay is the center of activity. Exactly why isn’t certain, but warm water and sandy shores without big surf are part of the reason. Some swim and crawl more than 60 miles — from the continental shelf off the mouth of the bay — to get there.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. Unlike the blood of vertebrates, horseshoe crabs do not use hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout their body. Instead, they use hemocyanin, a chemical that gives their blood that distinctive blue color – but this isn’t what makes their blood so valuable. Instead, it’s the kind of immune cells they carry.

The horseshoe crab’s strange blue blood clots when it finds certain toxins, so vaccine makers use it to find bad batches. Researchers take about 30% of the crab’s blood, then return them to the sea, where most–85-97% survive. Horseshoe crabs’ blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.

Recent innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.

Drolleries and Yuks

Where do crabs go to borrow money?
~To a prawn broker.

Where do crabs save all of their money?
~In a sea bank.

What would a crab do with a smartphone?
~Take lots of shellfies.

What is a crabs favourite fruit?
~Crab apples.

Why is the sand so quiet?
~Because the waves keeping going “Ssshhhhhhh!”

A Pointless Walk

A Pointless Walk

05-May-2021 Wednesday South Jersey Marina, Cape May NJ (0 nautical miles   0 statute miles)

38°56’57.7″N 74°54’31.1″W
38.949361, -74.908624
Elevation: sea level
States (1): New Jersey

Along the Way

Early morning.

There were 6-inch diameter shells on the dock this morning that hadn’t been there last night. Seagulls had dropped them on the cement dock to crack open to eat the insides.

The marina shuttle dropped us off downtown at the Cape May board walk. Well, it used to be a board walk. It is actually paved now and they call it the ‘Promenade’. The last wooden boardwalk was destroyed in the 1962 nor’easter.

The south Jersey shore. The Cape May Beach is rated #1 in New Jersey. It is beautiful.

We got good use out of our umbrellas today. There were scattered showers off and on all day. When we weren’t using them for rain protection we used them for sun protection.

This HUGE horseshoe crab was making its way down to the water. It must have been stranded when the tide rolled out. Check out the barnacles on it.

Another picture of sand. Areas of the beach were quite diverse as far as sand goes. The small stones are about the size of peppercorns.

Harbor defense battery 223 and Cape May Lighthouse
Harbor defense battery 223 was completed in 1943. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 2008. The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859, automated in 1946, and continues operation to this day.

A pointless walk. We got to the Cape May Lighthouse and decided to head back into town. We never made it to Cape May Point 🙁 No bragging rights for this walk.

A walk on the wild side. What a great walk through the Cape May Wetlands Natural Area. It was very diverse.

Flowers from along the way

Interesting restaurant made out of an old gas station. Lots outdoor seating under the overhang in addition to their indoor seating. They also had the little twinkie Airstream you could dine in.

Dog tired from our walk back to town we stopped for a beverage. As we stepped into the Rusty Nail the sky opened up with rain. Then manager told us we had to sit in the outdoor patio (in the rain) if we just wanted a beverage. We had to order food if we wanted to stay inside. There was hardly anyone in the place. We ordered an appetizer.

Cape May is said to be a Victorian town with a drinking problem. I found the Victorian’s.

Cape May downtown is a several block long, outdoor mall.

The sign on the door at the Original Kitchen Fudge candy store read ‘Hand Rolled Irish Potatoes’. In I went. I wanted to try it. Irish potato candy is a traditional Philadelphia confection. Despite its name, it is not from Ireland, and does not usually contain any potato. The candies have a coconut cream inside and are rolled in cinnamon on the outside, resulting in an appearance reminiscent of small potatoes.  The store had lots of gourmet candy. I loved the flip flops and the deviled eggs, but I only walked out with the Irish Potatoes.

Last stop was the grocery store. I have never seen an ‘Acme’ store outside of a Road Runner cartoon.

We called the marina, the shuttle came and gave us a ride home. I have over 22,000 steps on the Fitbit today, over 8 miles.


Cape May, New Jersey is the oldest seaside resort in the United States.

Drolleries and Yuks

What did the plate say to the refrigerator?
~”Stay cool. Dinner’s on me.”

Cape May the 4th be with you

Cape May the 4th be with you

04-May-2021 Tuesday Delaware River off Reedy Island, Port Penn DE to South Jersey Marina, Cape May NJ (50.2 nautical miles   57.8 statute miles)

38°56’57.7″N 74°54’31.1″W
38.949361, -74.908624
Elevation: sea level
States (2): Delaware, New Jersey

Along the Way

I was struck by the flatness of NJ along the Delaware River. It wasn’t lush and rolling like along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay.

The oyster fishermen were away off. We watched them through binoculars dropping their nets, scrapping the bottom of the river and retrieving the haul. It looked like they were dropping their catch on some kind of a conveyer system that moved it to a holding area of the boat.

Autopilot. Neither one of us wanted to sit in the sun. We channeled Cleopatra and Marc Antony and sat in the shade.

Heading towards the light. They are pretty good at letting you know where to go on the Delaware River.

It’s not just the lighthouses that guide vessels. There are many lighted buoys too. Each lighted buoy in an area flashes a different pattern to aid navigation.

It’s amazing how amazing a canal is after you’ve been on big water all day.

LOL. We chose South Jersey Marina because it had great reviews on its showers and laundry room. A rare find in a marina.


The Beast’s balls!

I hope we are still here when the Beast returns. I’d like to see the Beast.


Pirates traveling up the coast regularly dropped anchor on the shores of Cape May, NJ. There’s a legend that pirate Captain William Kidd left buried treasure somewhere in Cape May, NJ. I’m going looking for it tomorrow.

Drolleries and Yuks

What did Dela ware?
~She wore her new jersey.

We were in both states today 😊

Good Bye Chesapeake Bay

Good Bye Chesapeake Bay

03-May-2021 Monday City of Annapolis Mooring Ball #31, Annapolis MD  to Delaware River off Reedy Island, Port Penn DE (69.5 nautical miles 80.0 statute miles)

39°31’21.2″N 75°34’11.4″W
39.522565, -75.569837
Elevation: sea level
States (2): Maryland, Delaware

Along the Way

I don’t think yes dear… has ever been as filthy as she is today.  It’s amazing how dirty she is given all the wind we’ve had. I thought it would blow all the dirt and pollen away. There is a fine layer of pollen over everything and drifts of pollen and dirt in all the pockets.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a major dual-span bridge in the U.S. state of Maryland. The original span, opened in 1952 and with a length of 4.3 miles (6.9 km), was the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structure. The parallel span was added in 1973.

Sonic booms rattled through out the day. The Fly Boys must have been out.

Buttonwood Beach RV Resort

It looks even worse from Google.

Getting to the end of the bay

Good bye to Chesapeake Bay after 160+ miles of travel upon you.

It is always better to have 2 kts current with you instead of against you. The Annapolis and Delaware Canal is one of those places you need to watch out for. You need to plan your timing to cross the 14 mile stretch. Luck of the draw we hit it spot on, rising tide, inbound current. Even better yet, there was no wind.


We are just kinda out there tonight.


AltDriver and WheelsNews have called Chesapeake Bay Bridge the scariest bridge in the USA to drive over. Fear of the bridge is so commonplace small companies have been created to drive you and your car over the bridge for a fee.

Drolleries and Yuks

How did the tree feel in the spring?

Sunday Fun Day

Sunday Fun Day

02-May-2021 Sunday City of Annapolis Mooring Ball #31, Annapolis MD  (0 nautical miles  0 statute miles)

38°58’31.0″N 76°28’57.7″W
38.975265, -76.482687
Elevation: sea level
States (1): Maryland

Along the Way

Even the pump out guy was driving around. We had him stop and pump us out.


The old houses in the historic district had these plaques identifying their age and architectural significance.

First Sunday in the Month Art Festival in Annapolis’ Arts District

The painting I painted a flower on was up for raffle

It was hot so we stopped in for a cool beverage. Interesting menu item. Mint chocolate chip stout? Tobacco tasting wine? A BP&J with no PB and no J?

I did taste the mint chocolate chip stout. It really had a strong mint chocolate chip flavor. I think I’ll stick to mint chocolate chip ice cream though.

The ego parade was non-stop in Ego Alley. Boats paraded down to the end, spun around and paraded back out.

We crossed the Spa Creek bridge to Eastport to check out the J/Boats. The regatta was over and they were being loaded for departure.

Supper was at Chick and Ruth’s. The guy in the table next to us ordered the 6 pound shake. Dale got the 20 oz shake.

We leave tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed the sounds of the Naval Academy – the daily reveley, Star Spangled Banner, taps, cannon…

Drolleries and Yuks

What do you call the soft tissue between a shark’s teeth?
~The slowest swimmer

May 1st

May 1st

01-May-2021 Saturday City of Annapolis Mooring Ball #31, Annapolis MD  (0 nautical miles  0 statute miles)

38°58’31.0″N 76°28’57.7″W
38.975265, -76.482687
Elevation: sea level
States (1): Maryland

Along the Way

It was 48 degrees when we got up this morning. The wind was still in the high teens, low twenties mph. It had subsided from yesterday. The first day of the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta was canceled yesterday due to high winds. It was on for today and 153 registered ‘J’ boats were rolling out of their berths and heading into the Chesapeake Bay for the race.

I’ve concluded sailboats that regularly participate in races have a spatial awareness that is significantly smaller than trawlers on anchors. I could have shaken hands with more than one boat as they left the harbor.

First on today’s agenda was breakfast at Chick and Ruth’s. Who’s counting? We’ve just traveled 4771 statute miles to make this stop. It has been 712 days since we were last here.

Chick and Ruth’s

I took one bite of the crab cake and it was as good as I remembered. Even better. I forgive every crab trap I’ve sworn at.

Today is May 1st. May Day. Start of my birthday month. First day of Medicare for me. And, the Kentucky Derby runs today.

Being my special month and all I got to pick what we do today. Since we’ve already been here several times and seen the Naval Academy and the Maryland Statehouse I just wanted to walk around the town.

May Day

May Day store front flower displays

One of the stores was enlisting passer-bys to paint flowers.

May Day private residence flower displays

May Day nature flower displays

Around Town


When we returned to yes dear… the Harbormaster was checking in on moored vessels.

Run for the Roses

We took the water taxi back into Annapolis to watch the Kentucky Derby. That way we didn’t need to worry about dinghy lights for our return trip. We got a little tour in route as other passengers were dropped off and picked up.

The race buoys have GPSs and electric motor so they can hoover in place during during race.

Off to the Middleton Tavern to watch the Kentucky Derby. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin used to hang out here (that was before the first Kentucky Derby was held).

Annapolis prides itself as being a drinking town with a sailing problem. Yup. Town was packed and the Middleton Tavern was filling up. Traci offered us a seat at her table with a premium view of the TV and easy access to the bartender. The friend she was meeting at the last minute couldn’t make it. Lucky for use.

Thanks Traci for sharing your table. It was a delight meeting you!

Obligatory Annapolis Pictures


The major Annapolis to New Port 38th biennial Race starts June 4 and June 5, 2021. The Annapolis to Bermuda Ocean Race is held on the alternate years.

Nauti Words

A sporting event consisting of a series of boat or yacht races.

National Offshore One-Design

J Boat
The world leader in high-performance fiberglass sailboats- designed for cruising, day sailing, offshore racing, one-design racing. J/Boats is an American boat builder based in Newport, Rhode Island and founded by Rod Johnstone in 1977.

A sailboat with a single mast typically having only one headsail in front of the mast and one mainsail aft of (behind) the mast.

Helly Hansen (HH)
A Norwegian manufacturer and premiere retailer of clothing and sports equipment. They were a pioneer in waterproof clothing, a technological innovation that revolutionized the clothing industry. Helly Hansen used the same techniques as before but replaced linseed oil with PVC.

Drolleries and Yuks

Winded out

Winded out

30-APR-2021 Friday City of Annapolis Mooring Ball, Annapolis MD  (0 nautical miles  0 statute miles)

38°58’31.0″N 76°28’57.7″W
38.975265, -76.482687
Elevation: sea level – Heading up the Chesapeake we are still at sea level. It is a bay.
States (1): Maryland

Along the Way

Winded out. There were gail force winds (34–47 knots/40-55 mph of sustained wind) today gusting to 60 mph. The G-forces of gusts of wind on beam almost made me fall down a couple of times. Thank goodness we are in the harbor and tied to a mooring ball. We have the standard two lines on the mooring ball (one from bow cleat) and an extra safety line in case one breaks.

We dropped the dinghy but didn’t venture into town. It was a little too windy and a little too cold. We sat inside and watched the world go by all morning.

The sail boats instructors used the mooring balls for practice with their students. They ran the lines and tacked in and out around the balls. They got real close but never hit us.

I was surprised at how loudly the sheets rattled when they changed direction.

The neighbor’s dinghy got loose and a passer by boat grabbed it. We told him whose it was and he took it over to their boat.

By afternoon no one was moving around in the harbor.

Today reminded me of a snowed in day in Minnesota where you don’t go anywhere and are just stuck at home.

The winds will pick up more tonight then drop off tomorrow afternoon 🙁


Annapolis at one time used the slogan “sailing capital” for their city. As the capital city of Maryland and a prominent port, it was an easy claim to make. Sailing and racing is a big deal in Annapolis.

Drolleries and Yuks

What does a mermaid use to wash her fins?

Half Looped

Half Looped

29-APR-2021 Thursday  Somer’s Cove Marina, Crisfield  MD  to City of Annapolis Mooring Ball, Annapolis MD  (76.8 nautical miles  88.4 statute miles)

38°58’31.0″N 76°28’57.7″W
38.975265, -76.482687
Elevation: sea level – Heading up the Chesapeake we are still at sea level. It is a bay.
States (1): Maryland

Along the Way

Smith Island

They sunk my battleship!

Crab Trap City
Every lighthouse is a crab trap city with hundreds of traps. I wonder how many million crab traps there are on the Chesapeake.

I hate crab traps so much I’m going to stop eating crab.

We pushed up the Chesapeake current not making the speeds of yesterday. The current was against us and we didn’t have the following winds. We had another day of flies. Ugh. I’d go south to get rid of them but then we weould have the horseflies, love bugs, chiggers….

Cove Point

Aquatic Fly Boys. I suppose they need practice too.

Entering Annapolis

It’s been a grey weather day and a long run.

Half Looped

Nautical Miles: 4145    Statute Miles: 4771
Days on journey: 208    Days on Loop: 197

It will take us a shorter period of time to get back to Minnesota that it took us to get here as we will not be extended staying anywhere. We hope to be in Minnesota by mid-August or sooner following the Great Lakes southern path to get back.

Good Night

Drolleries and Yuks

A pirate walks into a bar with a paper towel on his head. The bartender asks “Hey, what’s with the paper towel?” The pirate replies “Argh, I’ve got a Bounty on me head!”



28-APR-2021 Wednesday  Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Park, Chesapeake VA to Somer’s Cove Marina, Crisfield  MD  (86.1 nautical miles  99.1 statute miles)

37°58’39.4″N 75°51’19.9″W
37.977613, -75.855528
Elevation: sea level
States (2): Virginia, Maryland

Along the Way

5:50 AM departure from the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Park free dock on the Albemarle/Chesapeake Canal to catch the 6:00am bridge lift and lock.

Down the Elizabeth River towards Norfolk

Penned in warships and other vessels.(The Navy vessels referred to themselves as warships when hailing other vessels.)

Dry dock. It takes a lot of effort to keep yes dear… clean and in working order. I can’t even begin to imagine the effort to these warships afloat. No wonder they are out for 6 months then in harbor for 6 months. Besides, salt water is really hard on everything.

The Norfolk Conventions and Visitor Center is directly across from the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Mile Marker Zero, Portsmouth, Virginia (milepost 0.0).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is next door to the Norfolk Conventions and Visitor Center. NOAA is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere. NOAA is every boaters friend.

Continuing down the Elizabeth River. More Navy vessels.

And then there’s the the Land of the Merchant Vessels. There were several very large terminals.

The Ever Lasting is owned the the Evergreen Marine Corporation, the same corporation that had the boat stuck in the Suez Canal. The Ever Lasting, above, is a big ship. The Ever Given, the boat that got stuck in the Suez, is a really big ship. It is one of the largest container ships in the world. The capacity of the Every Given is more that double the capacity of the Ever Lasting. Just for perspective:

Ever Lasting8,452361,099160
Ever Given20,000511,312194

Nauti Words:
TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) is an exact unit used to measure cargo capacity for container ships and container terminals.
LOA (length overall) is the maximum length of a vessel’s hull measured parallel to the waterline.

Another smaller cargo ship for comparison.

Merrimac (Does the name ring a bell? Do you remember your history lessons????)

It’s a crowd out here today. Being a small boat we stayed well out of the commercial channels as the was plenty of depth elsewhere.

More Naval docks and vessels

Battle of the Bay
The Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack took place on March 8, 1862 and March 9, 1862 and was the first clash between ironclad warships. This battle changed the future of naval warfare.

Southbound Wednesday marine traffic in the Chesapeake

It was a delight to see ‘clean’ water. The water in the rivers and canals are full of tannins and coffee colored.

Fly boys

Fly killer
We literally had a boat load of flies today. We were out in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, miles from nowhere and flies kept landing on yes dear… Where were they coming from?

Crisfield, MD

Crisfield is the home of the ‘National Hard Crab Derby’ every Labor Day Weekend. Crabs are brought to Crisfield from all over the Chesapeake Bay region and are raced at Somers Cove Marina (where we stayed) on a slick, flat track in view of hundreds of spectators. Fifty live crabs at a time are launched from the wooden “crab cake track” onto a wet flat surface pitched at an angle. The first crabs off the surface are the winners of that heat. Heat winners continue to compete. The highlight of the race is grand finale The Governor’s Cup Race.

Waters Edge Cafe is a well known state of Maryland must eat at restaurant. I had to go there. We split an order of their famous crab cakes. Half way through I remembered to take a picture.

Floccinaucinihilipilification: Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce is not actually from Texas. This hot sauce is made by TW Garner Food company in Winston-Salem North Carolina and has been in production since 1929.

For dessert I needed to have a slice of Smith Island cake. 10 layers of cake and yummy chocolate made by a Smith Island Baker, checked off my culinary bucket list.

Smith Island Cake dates all the way back to the 1800s. Island inhabitants would would send these multi-layered cakes with watermen for their autumn oyster harvest. Fudge was used because it lasted much longer than buttercream icing.


Slow night in the marina. Too early in the season.

Ponder This

Who ever said out of sight out of mind never had a spider disappear on the bedroom.

Truly a Picturesque Morning

Truly a Picturesque Morning

27-APR-2021 Tuesday Alligator River Winn Bay, half way between Cypress Point and Tuckahoe Point, Fairfield NC to Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Park, Chesapeake VA (80.1 nautical miles  92.2 statute miles)

36°43’14.6″N 76°14’14.5″W
36.720720, -76.237365
Elevation: sea level
States (2): North Carolina, Virginia

Truly picturesque morning

It was a truly picturesque morning. Up at 6AM, I wandered from one side of yes dear… to the other. The sun was rising in the east and the super moon was setting in the west. There was also was a light fog on the water. Here comes the sun and there goes the moon.

Along the Way

We were off.

Coinjock NC
The Coinjock Marina Restaurant is one of those must stop at places if you are ever in the area. They are famous for their prime rib. We stopped for lunch. (Bragging rights)

House fire on Bell Island

We got just close enough to see the Outer Banks in the distance when we were on the North Landing River.

Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal to Norfolk

Speed Bumps on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal

The final speed bump was the Great Bridge Lock and Bridge. We stopped just short of it and will tackle it in the morning. We are tied up on a free dock.


The Battle of Great Bridge was fought December 9, 1775, in the area of Great Bridge, Virginia, early in the American Revolutionary War. The victory by colonial Virginia militia forces led to the departure of Royal Governor Lord Dunmore and any remaining vestiges of British power over the Colony of Virginia during the early days of the conflict.

I had no idea.

Ponder This

You know how they throw the ball into the stand after they win the game? That’s not allowed in bowling.

We looked at a lot of water today

We looked at a lot of water today

26-APR-2021 Monday Galley Stores Marina, New Bern NC to Alligator River Winn Bay, half way between Cypress Point and Tuckahoe Point, Fairfield NC (90.8 nautical miles  104.5 statute miles)

35°40’14.4″N 76°05’27.2″W
35.670677, -76.090900
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

Today we left New Bern and are headed towards Norfolk. It’ll be a three day run weather permitting. The weather window looks good but weather is weather and always subject to change.

We looked at a lot of water today following the red path from New Bern to the Alligator River.

Alligator River/Pungo River Canal

Good Night

Tonight’s anchorage was in Winn Bay of the Alligator River. One of the local military bases must us it to train helicopter pilots. After their 23rd time around we’d had enough. They went around another 23 times.

About sunset they headed for home.

The super moon was on the other side the boat.

About 4AM it looked like this.


Stretching 248 miles, the Neuse River is the longest river in North Carolina; at its mouth, it is the widest river in America at 6 miles across.

Pamlico Sound is the largest lagoon along the North American East Coast, extending 80 miles long and 15 to 20 miles wide.

The Alligator River was named for its shape. It does not have alligators.

Drolleries and Yuks

What does a Panda cook with?
~A pan,   duh!

April 24 (I couldn’t figure out a better title)

April 24 (I couldn’t figure out a better title)

24-APR-2021 Saturday Galley Stores Marina, New Bern NC  (0 nautical miles  0 statute miles)

35°06’26.3″N 77°02’02.4″W
35.107292, -77.034002
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

Bradham Pharmacy – This is the location where Caleb D Bradham created Pepsi-Cola in 1898.

I bet you are wondering about Dale’s sling. He’s been dealing with a muscle spasm side effect from his first COVID shot about two months ago. It’s amazing how many people go out of their way to offer sympathy and get well wishes to him. The muscle spasm has to go away eventually….

Another meal I DIDN’T order

Missed this bear yesterday,,,,

Mitchell Hardware Store, founded in 1898, is an authentic working hardware store. They had a bear and have a little bit of everything and anything. We stopped in for supplies to make a new anchor bridle. Line was measured on the floor instead of using one of the fancy measuring thingy you find at Lowes.

North Carolina is an interesting blend of the South and New England culture and charm.

Saturday Farmers Market

Checking out some of the historical area.

Tryon Palace was completed in 1770 as the British colonial government house. It was the official residence and administrative headquarters of the British governors of North Carolina from 1770 to 1775. The residence was seized by patriot troops in 1775. After the Revolutionary War, New Bern became the state capital and the Tryon Palace became the First State Capital of North Carolina. The North Carolina the state capital was relocated to Raleigh in 1792.

Stanly House. George Washington visited the Stanly home two nights. April 20-21, 1791. That’s 230 years ago almost to the day. John Wright Stanly, a Revolutionary War veteran.

This formal garden must have been beautiful a week ago with tulips in bloom. Interestingly the hedges are trimmed in a trapezoid shape. They are wider at the bottom than they are at the top.

Adjacent flower garden. Oyster shells were used instead of stones to line the garden path.

We picked up supper, today’s caught shrimp, at the local seafood market then headed back to the boat.

Bridges at the confluence of the Neuse and the Trent Rivers.

There were a lot more bears but I’d decided I’d already take enough pictures of bears.

Nauti Work

We are trying a different style for our new anchor bridle. We like the simple, free sliding hook on the anchor bridle line but the line eventually abraids and breaks when under the strain of heavy waves. The free sliding hook on the anchor bridle as it allows yes dear… to move more fluidly with the waves and current, minimizing the jolts when the anchor rode pulls tight. With the secured hook we will feel more jolting but we’ll have a second line on the hook should one side fail. (i.e. we won’t have to go out in the middle of the night and tie a line to the chain like we did a couple nights ago.)

After trimming and cauterizing the old lines, and tying a couple of blundtline hitches we had ourselves a new anchor bridle that looked like a couple of third graders made it. If we like it, I’ll take the time later to braid the loop rather than use the blundtline hitches.


The marina bathroom/shower doesn’t have bolt locks to secure the door from the inside when you are using it. The dead lock is in effective. Instead, you have to more the magnetic OCCUPIED sign from the inside door to the outside door and hope someone doesn’t come in. When you’re done you need to remember to move the sign back to the inside door so others will know it’s empty.

I made Dale stand sentry outside the door when I took a shower. (I did that for him too.)

What do you call James Bond taking a bath?


In 1996 The Notebook, set in New Bern and written by New Bern resident Nicholas Sparks, was the first novel in America to be on both the hardcover and paperback bestseller lists for over a year.

We are waiting out the weather until Monday. The wind came up and it’s going to be a rolly night even in the marina.

What’s up with all the Bears?

What’s up with all the Bears?

23-APR-2021 Friday Galley Stores Marina, New Bern NC  (0 nautical miles  0 statute miles)

35°06’26.3″N 77°02’02.4″W
35.107292, -77.034002
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

After a wonderful 10 hour night’s sleep (needed recovery from hard night on the hook) we wandered Historic New Bern.

What’s up with the bears?

Bears every where. What’s up with that?


yes dear… is one of the smaller boats in the marina today.


New Bern, North Carolina’s second oldest town, was settled in 1710 by Swiss and Palatine German immigrants led by Baron Christoph DeGraffenried. The new colonists named the settlement Bern, the capital of Switzerland and hometown of their leader. Bern means “bear” in German. The Bern’s bear symbol and flag, as well as the name was passed along to New Bern.

There are more than 50 fiberglass bears scattered around the city, all uniquely designed and decorated! Although there are bears in North Carolina, it’s highly unlikely that there are any real bears around New Bern.

Crabby. I’m not talking crab traps.

Crabby. I’m not talking crab traps.

22-APR-2021 Thursday  Adams Creek,  Merrimon NC  to Galley Stores Marina, New Bern NC  (24.9 nautical miles  28.7 statute miles)

35°06’26.3″N 77°02’02.4″W
35.107292, -77.034002
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

I’m crabby today and I’m not talking crap traps. It’s 49 degrees and it was a long night. The wind and waves did not lay down. Our anchor light pole jiggled loose and fell out during the night with all the jostling. Fortunately we were well out of the channel and the light didn’t fall off the boat.

Our anchor bridle broke sometime during the night too. Dale and I were out on the bow in 49 degree weather and waves in our night clothes tying a line to the chain rode using icicle hitch to relieve tension on the bow pulpit. An icicle hitch…. Go figure.

At least the anchor wasn’t dragging. I love our Vulcan anchor.

The ride up the Nuese River against the current to New Bern today was no picnic either. Stinking crab pots. It seems we can never get away from them. At least the wind was at our back. Dale was at the upper helm for most of the run by himself. I coward in the salon where it was slightly warmer.

I de-crabbed long enough to take pictures of the US17 bridge at New Bern. It’s one of the more unusual engineering efforts we’ve seen with the clover leaf interchanges over the water.

We paid for four nights in a Galley Stores Marina and bought fuel $$$$. Then they had the audacity to charge us $20 for a pumpout, where usually it’s free. For the $$$$ we spent here I should have been given a full out kiss on the lips.


Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

21-APR-2021 Wednesday Anchors Away Boat Yard, Hampstead NC to Adams Creek,  Merrimon NC (73.0 nautical miles  84.0 statute miles)

34°55’34.4″N 76°39’11.6″W
34.926223, -76.653214
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

The first item on the agenda today was to swap out the props. While dancing in the current, waiting for a bridge to lift near Myrtle Beach the starboard prop hit something hard in 10 feet of water. Most likely it was a submerged piling from and old dock. yes dear... has had vibrations from her starboard prop ever since. We had our spare props sent up from Cape Canaveral so we could swap them out.

The lift is ready for yes dear…

We needed to check into the office before work could commence. It’s always an interesting walk through a boat yard.

The boat yard had an unusual approach for readying a boat for a lift. They walked the sling back underneath yes dear… untying and retying dock lines. Every other place we’ve been we’ve driven the boat into the sling.

Nothing but good vibrations from here on out!

The mechanic who swapped out the props has lived in the boat yard for the past 8 years. He invited us over to see his boat.

OK …. back to the office to pay our bill.

The ‘Carolina flare’ is a popular deep sea fishing boat in the Carolinas. The exaggerated flare from the bow to the gunwales keeps the topsides dry as it deflects the waves as they crash under the bow.

Paid, splashed and we were on our way.

The Onslow beach bridge is owned and managed by the US Marine Core. Land on both sides of the ICW is heading north is owned by the US Marine Core and used for target practice.

Entering the military zone.

They weren’t practicing along the ICW today but there were sounds of bombs and other large caliber ammo. It reverberated through us. Shelling took on a whole different meaning today.

With the wind at our back it turned cold every time we slowed down. We didn’t slow down often.

Bouge sound has barrier islands within barrier islands.

Heading into Morehead City

Heading north up the ICW towards the Neuse River.

Good Night

It’s going to be a long night at anchor. The wind is gusting 34 mph and waves are 2-3 feet.


The origins of the Tar Heel nickname trace back to North Carolina’s prominence in the mid 18th and 19th centuries as a producer of turpentine, tar, pitch, and other materials from the state’s plentiful pine trees. “Tar Heel” was often applied to the poor white laborers who worked to produce tar, pitch, and turpentine.

The nickname was embraced by North Carolina soldiers during the Civil War and grew in popularity as a nickname for the state and its citizens following the war. It is also the nickname of the University of North Carolina athletic teams, students, alumni, and fans.

In its early years as a colony, North Carolina became an important source of the naval stores of tar, pitch, and turpentine, especially for the Royal Navy. Tar and pitch were largely used to paint the bottoms of wooden ships, both to seal the ships and to prevent shipworms from damaging the hulls. Tar was created by piling up pine logs and burning them until hot oil seeped out from a spout.

Drolleries and Yuks

Why are computers so smart?
~They listen to their mother boards.

Who took the wrong turn today?

Who took the wrong turn today?

20-APR-2021 Tuesday  City Docks, Wilmington NC  to Anchors Away Boat Yard, Hampstead NC (50.6 nautical miles  58.2 statute miles)

34°24’22.0″N 77°36’20.5″W
34.406121, -77.605680
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

Last night the Wilmington City Docks was free. We had originally planned to stay for three nights but on Sunday changed our mind to stay through Tuesday. I tried calling City Docks office off and on all day Sunday and Monday and couldn’t reach anyone to pay. A couple of other boats on the dock were having the same issue. As far as that goes, the other three nights might have been free too. My credit card still hasn’t been run.

Two prime blocks in the Wilmington waterfront are under restoration. It will be a whole new waterfront to see if we ever return.

Towing the line. On the Mississippi River and other central USA river you very rarely see line tows.

Dale at the helm made sure we didn’t repeat my error and accidently pass through Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point (MOTSU). MOTSU is one of the largest military terminals in the world. It serves as a transfer point between rail, trucks, and ships for the import and export of weapons, ammunition, explosives and military equipment for United States Army. This time there was a vessel in the harbor and minions were unloading it. It’s just the kind of ship that would send a anchor miles away, should it explode. There were two harbor patrol boats, one at each entrance and a fire boat standing by.

We’d have really been in trouble if we accidently passed in there today.

I’m guessing they recognized the signature of our boat from last Friday’s mishap. The fireboat left the restricted area as soon as it saw us and followed like a pit bull until we were past the southern entrance.

Today it was Dale’s turn to have missed the turn. Our ICW was turn was about 5 miles back up river. We turned around and headed back. The pit bull was back on us ……

We made out turn and were on on way again.

Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It’s off to work the go. The small helper tows each have a line tied to the barge so they can pull and push it to pass through the bends in the waterway.

Jungle Run

Dredge with a little something for everyone. Zoom in to see the auger.

Tonight’s dockage is the Anchors Away Boat Yard lift slip. Our props are being swapped out tomorrow.


We should be safe tonight.


North Carolina produces more sweet potatoes than any other state in the nation.

Ponder this

Ants that help other ants should be called assist ants. To be politically correct, they should no longer be called helper ants.

Barbary Coast

Barbary Coast

17-19 APR 2021 Saturday-Monday  NC to City Docks, Wilmington NC (0 nautical miles  0 statute miles)

34°14’21.5″N 77°57’06.8″W
34.239303, -77.951887
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

The Wilmington Marathon was on Saturday morning.

Around town

There are a lot of churches in or near the historical downtown area of Wilmington.

The First Baptist Church was built between 1860-1870.

First Presbyterian Church

The historic Latimer House is across the street from the First Presbyterian Church.

They were having a rummage sale so we stopped in.

The flowers around the city were beautiful.

Historical Wilmington could be a town right out of a John Grisham book

Getting around the city

My friend Sarah and her husband Grant drove over from Durham NC. It was a 2.5 hour drive for them. Thank you for driving so far to visit! I really enjoyed catching up with you.

One of the places we went to was the Barbary Coast bar. It’s a must see dive bar. The oldest bar in Wilmington. We loved it! Dale thought it was good enough to put on the ‘Best of the Best’ list. Awesome music – Grateful Dead and Rage Against the Machine.

Patrons are allowed to carve names in the rail.

Dale had to go back.

There’s a first for everything. Wearing a mask, we just took a knife into the Barbary Coast bar with the intent of using it.

Fun Facts

Pepsi-Cola began in a drugstore in New Bern NC in 1898 at the hands of pharmacist Caleb Bradham, with the aim to create a fountain drink that was both delicious and helpful in aiding digestion and boosting energy.

With only a 3,600-square-foot building and $19,500 in capital at its beginning in 1926, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company in Mt. Olive NC has grown to become one of the most bestselling brands of pickles, peppers and relishes in the country.

The world-famous Krispy Kreme was founded by in Winston-Salem NC in 1937. He sold his first donuts for 25 cents a dozen after borrowing the ingredients from a nearby grocer.

No, Texas is not the birthplace of Texas Pete hot sauce – nor was it developed by a man named Pete. The spicy condiment was actually developed in the 1940s in Winston-Salem NC.

Veteran restaurant owners Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas founded the first Bojangles’ restaurant in Charlotte NC in 1977.



16-APR-2021 Friday Bald Head Island Maria, Cape Fear NC to City Docks, Wilmington NC (26.2 nautical miles  30.2 statute miles)

34°14’21.5″N 77°57’06.8″W
34.239303, -77.951887
Elevation: sea level
States (1): North Carolina

Along the Way

Two foot waves with a one second duration on our bow and starboard beam. Nuisance waves.

Once we were in the mouth of Cape Fear River the waves we were sucked up the river with the inbound tide, traveling 10.5 kts (12.1 mph) running 1500 rpms against the 19 mph wind.

The wave size increased to three feet with and occasional four, straight on with a one second duration. They were no longer nuisance waves. They were now annoying waves.

Thank goodness for isinglass. Waves were splashing over the top of the helm.

We continued to pick up speed to 10.8kts (12.4 mph).

Dale took over the helm from me when the Harbor Police pulled up by us with their lights flashing. I had totally missed the warning signs for entering a Army security zone. The ‘shoal’ markings were really security boundaries.

The Harbor Police took possession of our drivers licenses and boat documentation.

WARNED We were escorted to the edge of the security zone where our drivers license and boat documentation were returned with a lecture on how to identify military security zone signs and written warning. We got by easy!!!! HAD THERE BEEN A VESSEL at the Terminal of Excellence we would have been in BIG trouble.

The rest of the trip to Wilmington was uneventful.



With the nickname of “The Port City,” Wilmington has a long history having been incorporated on February 20, 1739/40, and named for Spencer Compton, who was the 1st Earl of Wilmington. Its population in 2010 was 106,476, and it grew to an estimate in 2019 of 123,744. WOW.

Drolleries and Yuks

What’s the opposite of a tidal wave? 
~A microwave