Sunday: We’re getting closer to our departure date, set for this Thursday. Kailani is going back in the water tomorrow and we can start loading the new stuff and getting some old not-ever-used stuff off the boat.
Monday: I drive to Chester Marina to meet Tyler and lower Kailani back into the water
. We complete the launch and then he and I take Kailani out for a test run on the river. I take her up to 2,700 rpm’s and 23 knots and she runs true and smooth in the water. Tyler and I are both pleased and we return to the dock.
Tuesday: More trips to the marina and timing is slipping away for getting everything accomplished that’s on our lists. We’ll do our best to get as much done as possible. We spent the night on Kailani for the first time in three weeks.
Wednesday: I start working on the fluids maintenance including new oil, oil filters, fuel filters and air cleaners. We have to be in Simsbury by 6pm to meet Dave and Kim. They will be driving us back to the marina without a vehicle in preparation for our departure. Kim will be coming along this weekend, so Dave drops us off and heads back home.
Thursday: I still must complete the fuel filters changeout and the air cleaners before we depart. We’ve also been watching the weather and the Sound is not looking good for winds and waves today. Then as I get into changing the air cleaners, I find oil residue in the filter on the starboard engine and immediately make some phone calls to see what I’m dealing with. After discussing options with a few knowledgeable people and watching the weather, we decide to stay put for the day and leave on Friday.
Meantime, Bart shows up and after close inspection of our filters, he is convinced that it’s just blowback, a fairly common occurrence resulting from our type of cruising (low rpm’s, low speeds). So we replace both filters, clean up the oil residue and finally close the engine room hatch by dinner time. Bart had also mentioned a great place to aim for tomorrow in Northport, Long Island, so we’ll get an early start tomorrow and make the rather long (for us) journey to Northport and try to get a space at the Northport Village Town Docks.
Friday: We are admittedly going slow this morning because, quite frankly, we’re taking our time with chores and saying goodbye to good friends Tyler, Jesse and Aunt Beth at the marina and Bart, our next slip boating buddy. Bart has said he plans to cruise to Florida this fall and be there to meet up with us as we come around from the gulf to the Atlantic Ocean in the winter, then cruise together, back up to Connecticut.
So at 10:40 am, Bart is handing us the last line and we are sounding the horn. The Kailani departs with Nick, Tracy and Kim, who is riding along with us for the next five days. She can’t wait to see NYC from the waterside. The Connecticut River has a head current, so we’re slowed down a bit and coupled with the late start, we decide we’re not going to make Northport today. First of all it’s 70 nautical miles and 8 hours of cruising, secondly, the town docks are first-come-first-served, so being a Friday and potentially getting there late in the day, we figure there’s no chance to get dock space. So Tracy calls our old friend Ray at Milford Lishman Landing and he says he’s quite full, but he’ll definitely accommodate us and we set the Navionics to Milford.
This becomes a 6 hour cruise and most of the way, we’re in calm seas and light winds, but just as we cross New Haven Harbor and have less than 10 miles to go, the winds pick up out of the northwest and the sound gets choppy. Fortunately, with the winds out of the northwest, the Milford Harbor will be mostly on the lee side of the wind, but as we approach, with me at the helm and Tracy and Kim handling the fenders and lines, we still have a slight crosswind as we’re backing into the finger slip. Ray and his dockhands are at the ready and the owner of the adjacent motor yacht is on his rail if necessary. Miraculously, we get into the slip with only two tries and no crashes! It’s 4:40 pm so we’ve cruised for exactly 6 hours and travelled 48 nautical miles.
There’s an ice cream shop right behind the marina office on the main road called Scoopy Doos so we feel obligated to go try the goods and they do not disappoint! And as Mother Nature would have it, less than thirty minutes after we’re all tied up in our slip, the winds die down to nearly dead calm! Oh well, just a reminder that she’s always in charge and she has the last say.
We make arrangements to cruise to City Island tomorrow and stage for Hell Gate from there on Sunday.
Saturday: We leave the docks of Milford Lisman Landing at 10:00am with Ray and a deckhand assisting with the lines. We have a pending Dockwa request into Minneford Marina in City Island which we have not heard back yet with a confirmation, but we set course for City Island just the same. Winds on the sound are light and variable and the seas are a slight chop at times, but Tracy and Kim enjoy a few hours sunning on the bow before coming back up to accompany me on the bridge. Tracy calls Minneford Marina to check on status of our reservation and they confirm that they are booked and have no space for us. So we proceed to look for options and end up getting a slip at Manhasset Bay Marina in Port Washington, NY. They are extremely friendly here and the town of Port Washington is very accommodating. There’s even a brand new Stop & Shop across the street from the marina.
So at 2:45 Tracy eases Kailani up to the dock with perfection and Kim and I hand the dock lines to the dock hand waiting on the dock. A short time later, we all walk up to the office to check in and check out the marina, it’s features and the LaMotta’s Restaurant on site.
So we’ve completed week #9 and tomorrow, we’ll be cruising around the Manhattan skyline and starting up the Hudson River along with many other looper boats. Our plan is to get to Half Moon Bay by Monday when Kim has to leave and get back to Connecticut.