Back to our “Home base”

Just an update to make up for some lost time.

Our trip to Canada, Georgian Bay and North Channel was memorable. Cruising the canals is such a laid-back experience. No real weather worries, you cruise when you want, travel short distances without any real concern about where to stay. If a little town looks interesting and there’s space on the canal wall, you stop and tie up for the night. It’s a very relaxing pace, it’s nearly universally pond-calm. Lots to see, and the folks along the waterways are interesting and friendly.

Time to head back to Maryland and our “home” marina at Stansbury Yacht Basin. Our original plan to visit Great Kills was waylaid as a consequence of hurricane José, and instead we stayed at Half Moon Bay at Croton, NY. About 40-some miles up the Hudson, we were reluctant to venture closer to the anticipated path of the storm. All weather-based decisions are a crap shoot, and staying worked out OK, although no clear advantage had we moved to Great Kills. The storm pretty much was a non-event.

With still more crappy weather predicted to follow José, we decided to make a run for it. We left Croton by mid morning on the 21st with intentions of traveling to perhaps Barnegat, contingent on conditions. As it worked out, conditions weren’t too bad, so we continued without stopping, transiting most of the lovely Jersey coast after dark. Rather than transit the Cape May canal in the dark at low tide, we made our way around the Cape and headed up the Delaware Bay, passing the canal cutoff just about daybreak. With favorable winds and riding the flood tide up the bay, we made excellent time, getting almost a 2 kt. boost from the tide at times, all the way to the C&D canal. We entered the Canal and picked up a boost there as well, and yet another boost from the ebbing tide when we hit the Chesapeake and the home stretch to Stansbury.

As we left the canal, an engine check revealed a new noise. Uh-oh. Not supposed to hear that. Oh, it’s the alternator. Maybe it’ll hang on for just another 2-3 hrs to get us to the slip. Well, ALMOST! At the Bowley’s #2 marker, had to shut down. Well, I’m not changing out an alternator with 3 miles to go! A call out to TowBoat/US, time for a welcome shower while awaiting his arrival.

He towed us the last couple miles of our 36 hour run from the Hudson. The belt squealed in protest as the Cummins came to life just long enough to back us into our slip! Frank had dinner going on the grille as we tied up! What a great welcome home! Other than the unceremonious end with failed alternator bearings, the trip went exceptionally well, our quickest trip yet from 40 miles up the Hudson to Middle River in just 36 hours. Our typical transit of that route is 4 days! Secure in our slip on the 22nd September. 260 nm in 36 hours. The push worked out as perfectly as could be, and it was good to be safely home!

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