Getting the boat to Norfolk, VA was important for insurance reasons, so with that accomplished we took a rest and left Happy Together in Little Creek Marina for a few weeks while we planned our next cruise. For years we had been excited to cruise the Chesapeake, but after reaching out to many fellow cruisers who have done this during Covid we got a lot of negative feedback -especially for the month of August. They talked about muddy brown water, biting flies so bad you can’t have meals on deck and lots of shallow waters. Many suggested we take the opposite approach and head back out into the Atlantic and up to New England for the summer and hit the Chesapeake in the fall when the flies and heat are retreating. This sounded good to us so that was the plan.
We thought it was like Vegs
We flew in early morning back to Norfolk and did a fuel-up and we were outside the tunnel bridge at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay by noon. The weather was great, but it was a bit of a motorboat trip with the sails helping just a touch. It is about 180 nautical miles to Atlantic City and that is about our 24-hour day mileage, so we decided to head there and bypassed Cape May, New Jersey at the entrance to the Delaware Bay. We had originally planned to stop there, but Atlantic City was only another 30 miles, and we love big casinos and nightlife so AC here we come! We pulled in around 10 am and tied up at the Golden Nugget Marina. As we hurried to get off the boat, we started to put our electric bikes on the dock when the dockmaster stopped me and said, “where do you think you are going with those?” I told him we were going to ride to the boardwalk and casino hop and he said, “not on your life are you riding a bike from here to there. It’s not safe and I can’t advise you to do it.” He seemed pretty intent and with local knowledge, so we hopped a cab instead. The boardwalk was fun during the day, and we played some table games and had a nice dinner at the Borgata. For years we had heard this was Sin City of the East, but I can tell you one visit is all we needed.
You can’t get that feeling anywhere else
We left AC in the early morning for our last run to our destination of Brooklyn. We had a great day motor sailing passed the Jersey Shore and saw all the towns and beaches we had been reading about for years. Even though this is the USA, and we are used to adventures of a more remote and tropical kind, seeing sites you have never seen and only wondered about is the magic of cruising by boat. At 4 pm we arrived in upper New York harbor and stared right up at ole’ liberty and we had goosebumps and a bit of emotion. We took some selfies and admired the statue and all it represented for New York, the United States and both our ancestors. To think that we had just left the USVI a few months back and now we’re in New York is quite a thrill, and that we made the journey alone at 8 mph is kind of fascinating. If you haven’t cruised by sailboat to any distant destination, you have a hard time imagining the feeling you get by arriving. Boats and weather have a mind of their own. The best laid plans often get changed but this one didn’t have one wrinkle or tweak. Was it good planning and seamanship? Was it the experience of the 20,000 miles behind us over the last 8 years? Or as simple as the luck of Poseidon? We tied up in the marina in Brooklyn and didn’t even realize until Rose’ time that our view off the back deck was lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn bridge.
Our next trip will be up Long Island sound and ending at the Island of Nantucket. Stay tuned.
Our plan for this lap from the Caribbean to New England and back was about 4,000 nautical miles. We are over half way through it but our return to the Caribbean is uncertain as Covid and island lockdowns have returned in full force so we don’t know where we will head this winter but we will update you with our posts along the way!