Tail between my legs. Catching up from Baltimore, up to New Jersey, and NYC, May 20 – June 14, 2018

Yes, we’ve (actually Nancy) been lazy and procrastinating a bit about updating this blog, but we can also attribute it to having a great, fun summer!  We’ve loved everything we’ve seen coming up the Chesapeake, to our old boating grounds in New Jersey and New York, and catching up with friends!  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip up the Hudson, through the Champlain Canal System to Lake Champlain, where we have been since June 23. More on all of that later, but to keep the chronology of the trip and provide tips to our boating friends along the way, here’s an overview of most of June.

After leaving Baltimore, we headed for the anchorage in Chesapeake City, just past the bridge across the canal.  It was a lovely, quiet spot for 4 -5 boats.  And, yes, the current getting into the anchorage from the C&D Canal is everything the Waterway Guide promised it would be!  We entered the anchorage sideways, under the careful observation of all the the patrons at The Bayard House Restaurant on a lovely  Sunday afternoon.  The good news is that it wasn’t windy, the awkward approach is short lived, and it’s a quiet and pretty anchorage.  Due to dinghy problems, we stayed onboard and listened to the band playing across the water at the restaurant. It was a relaxing afternoon and evening, capped off with a great sunset.  It’s a fun place to watch the canal traffic and be out of the way of those huge new barges!  The bad news is that all of our pictures from Chesapeake City and our next stop, Cape May, have vanished from Nancy’s phone and iPad.  Despite help from our computer savvy children in Vermont, we remain without those pictures.  Perhaps it had something to do with Nancy dropping her phone in the water in NJ? So…we’ll just have to recreate them when we head south in the fall.  In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful pictures of Chesapeake City found online, and the Cape May shots from our archive below.

We had a quiet trip across Delaware Bay, arriving at Utsch’s Marina Cape May at 1:30 in the afternoon on May 21. It was a clear, calm day for our arrival, and before the rains came again! We love Utsch’s.  It’s not the fanciest Marina, but the facilities are clean, and the staff is terrific.  A number of them drive their motor homes from the south to spend the summer in Cape May working at Utsch’s.  Before retiring and moving south, many of them lived in the area.  You’ll see the campers in the far end of the parking lot near the newer bath/laundry building, which has amazing individual full bathrooms!

Utsch’s Marina, Cape May

We ran in to a number of other “Loopers” and enjoyed “docktails” aboard Babe, Jerry and Diane Wheeler’s beautiful Jefferson Rivanna 52. It was fun to see it, as we have a Jefferson Rivanna 42.  It’s amazing what 10’ will give you on a boat!

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Yes, the exit for Cape May on the Garden State Parkway really is Exit Zero!

The next evening we hid from the drizzle in the gazebo with more “Loopers” who had arrived.  We had a lovely evening with the Wheelers, Jim and Susan Merritt, M/V Gypsy, Tim and Diana Moynihan, M/V Xanadu, and others (sorry, we don’t have cards for all!).

As members of the American Great Loopers Cruising Association (AGLCA), we have access to wonderful Harbor Hosts along the way. These folks volunteer to help AGLCA members as they travel through their home port.  They’ll provide information and advice, lend a car or take you to the store themselves, help with mail delivery and essentially anything you need. Cape May has a great couple you can count on! While we did not have the good fortune to meet Bruce and Buffi Miller, they are kind enough to leave a pick up truck in the parking lot at Utsch’s Marina for “loopers” to use while in town.  The Miller’s own a nearby restaurant, and they evidently have the habit of dropping by Utsch’s with homemade donuts. Unfortunately, we missed them by a day! It was great to have the car for access to large grocery stores and local farm stands, especially since it was raining, which makes biking unpleasant!

Cape May is a very special place for us.  Rob’s parents honeymooned there in July 1942.  Since it was war time and gas was at a premium, they had to siphon gas from Rob’s Grandfather’s boat so they could make the drive to Cape May!  They spent their honeymoon at The Colonial Hotel, now known as The Inn at Cape May.

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The Inn at Cape May

We spent many summers in Cape May Point, where you can find the Lighthouse, the Bird Sanctuary, the remains of the Cement Ship, the WWII Lookout Tower, and the not to be missed Sunset Flag Ceremony at Sunset Beach, where the flag of a lost veteran is lowered to a scratchy recording of Kate Smith singing “God Bless America” every evening.

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Sunken cement ship, Cape May Point

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Cape May Lighthouse from the Bird Sanctuary

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Snapshots of Cape May Point

Cape May’s beautiful beaches

Nancy was happy to spend time on the Washington Street Pedestrian Mall in town, visiting some favorite shops and getting a jump on Christmas Shopping (hey, gotta do it when the opportunity presents itself, and it’s never too early to think about Christmas!). Favorites include Bathtime, It’s a Breeze, Madame’s Port and The Whale’s Tale, but there are so many others, both on Washington Street and all of the surrounding sides streets. 

Downtown Cape May & the Washington Street Pedestrian Mall

There is no shortage of good food in this town!  We mostly ate on board this visit, but did make an exception for the wonderful Ebbitt Room in The Virginia Hotel.  Ebbitt is a special place, but worth the prices. The food, service, and ambiance are all incredible.

The Virginia Hotel and The Ebbitt Room

A few Cape May landmarks

Once provisioned, we headed up to Oceanport, NJ to our marina friends at Oceanport Landing Marina.  Thanks to Keith and Carol Seeley for always having a spot for us! We used that as a base while we visited with friends, our storage units, and annual doctor/dentist check ups!  We also timed our visit around Rob’s 40th Drew University reunion.  It was a great day catching up with old and dear friends.  We look forward to welcoming them aboard Misty in the near future!

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Tom Mahoney, Dave New, Nancy and Louis Albert

We were also thrilled to welcome our new friends Jolanda and Marcus onboard for a visit.  We met them in March, while attending Trawlerfest, a boating conference, in Stuart, FL. They just purchased their first boat, that will be their home.  Coincidentally, it’s a also a Jefferson, theirs a 52″ motor yacht.  We can’t wait to see Sky’s The Limit!

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Rob, Jolanda, Nancy & Marcus

After Oceanport, we headed up to Liberty Landing for a few days.  No matter how many times you come into New York Harbor by boat, it never disappoints!  Despite some fog, the trip was still amazing!

We  ❤️ NY!

Yes, Liberty Landing is expensive ($5.00/foot/night, plus electricity), but the views are unbeatable!  You’re also in the heart of Liberty State Park, with spectacular views of Manhattan and the East River, and easy access to New York City.

We were thrilled to welcome Nancy’s old Parade sales team over for “docktails” after we arrived.  Since most of the gang lives in NYC, it was a pretty easy trip across the river. Liberty Landing has a conveniently located NYC water taxi stop a few steps from the transient slips.  It comes over from Manhattan near the World Financial Center. Getting together with this gang never changes, and we consistently pick up where we left off!  It was a wonderful afternoon.

We spent the next day exploring lower Manhattan.  Having been a Midtown Girl for her whole career, Nancy spent some time with clients in lower Manhattan, but it’s different when it’s for business!  A standing ovation for NYC!  Having seen the devastation of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy to lower Manhattan and NJ first hand, we know how far they’ve come.  We had a beautiful day exploring and doing some things we’ve never done.  While you definitely know you’re in a city, downtown is just different.  You’re closer to the water, there are parks everywhere, boats, beautiful architecture and history.  Trinity Church and the graveyard are fascinating, and you’ll see Alexander Hamilton’s grave there. The 9/11 Museum and Memorial are not to be missed.  You will likely need to reserve tickets ahead for the museum, but it’s worth the planning to go. It’s incredibly well done, but heartbreaking, so be prepared. We were exploring lower Manhattan on Flag Day, and enjoyed a lovely lunch at historic Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington resigned his commission in 1783.  As a bonus, there was a Flag Day Parade and ceremony outside of the Tavern.  Mostly, we just strolled. But a visit to lower Manhattan would not be complete without a stop to Eataly.  You can shop and dine, and it’s all amazing.  We’re still enjoying our purchases!

Beautiful Lower Manhattan

Our visit to Liberty Landing came to a perfect end, with a lovely evening on board for dinner with Trevor Casey and Amy Tsai. Tomorrow, we start our trip up the Hudson River…Lake Champlain, here we come!

The end to a beautiful day and Trevor and Amy.

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