Last weekend marked a pivotal moment for us – Alli Oop was officially renamed (hooray!) and we took her on our longest trip to date, moving her to our new port of call. These two days were the fruition of careful planning on the part of Dave and we couldn’t have pulled it off without him. From Middle River, MD we needed to sail north up to the C&D Canal (Chesapeake and Delaware), through the canal to the Delaware Bay and then sail south east to our new marina on the Maurice River in New Jersey.
The Chesapeake is an ideal place to keep a sailboat. Annapolis if basically the mecca of East Coast sailing and the bay is so large, you can never really sail the same spot twice (unless u really wanted to). We loved it of course, but we wanted to move the boat to a new location for a few reasons:
To be closer to the Jersey Shore.
- We spent our first season with Alli Oop on the Chesapeake Bay and it was fantastic, but we missed spending time at the shore with family and friends. As much as we enjoyed our time on the Chesapeake, we knew that being near the ocean was important to both of us.
Alli Oop needed to be closer to the ocean.
- It only made sense that with our upcoming trip we should keep the boat closer to our nearest exit. Not only will we have less distance to travel when it’s time to leave, but we’ll be able to take her out on the open ocean and really get to experience what it’s going to be like when we make our crossing over to the Bahamas.
Keeping down the cost of our seasonal marina fees was important.
- Our old Marina, Bowley’s Quarter’s, was great. The cost was very reasonable, we were a short distance to the open Chesapeake Bay and there were lots of great amenities. Our new marina however, is even cheaper. Although it’s going to be a bit of a trip to get Alli Oop out in to the open water, we figured that by keeping the cost of our marina fees down, we would be able to spend that extra money on the cost of installing new electronics, and doing some updating.
In order to pull off the big move, Dave and I needed to be there the same day Alli Oop went into the water. We needed to get her ready, hope the engine started and sail off to our new port of call. Why so soon? MONEY (isn’t that always the answer?).
If we would have put the boat in the water and then leisurely waited for optimal weather to move her (say the following weekend) we would have had to pay almost $800 for keeping her in the water for just a week. Since we weren’t staying for another season, we were no longer able to pay the normal monthly slip fee and would’ve been charged a transient fee. Transient fees are more expensive than a monthly slip fee as you are to pay by the foot per day. For us, that would’ve meant $3 a foot multiplied by 31 feet, which would be about $90 a day. So, as you can see, we wanted to put her directly into the water and sail her off to our new port of call so we didn’t have to pay all that cash. We’re not made of money, you know 😉
The Day of…
After she was hauled back into the water, we pumped out the head and filled up our fresh water tanks. Luckily we still had a full tank of diesel, so we didn’t need to worry about that. Shortly after, we put her sails on and then before we left, performed a purging and renaming ceremony to make Alli Oop official. We didn’t have champagne on board (which is the traditional libation of choice) but I think Poseidon and Gods of the Wind were satisfied with some Yuengling Light Lager 🙂
During the move we roughly sailed 109 nm over the course of two days and actually made it to our destination five hours ahead of schedule (thanks to an outgoing tide). It doesn’t seem like much to any seasoned sailor, but to us, it’s quite important.
Up until now, the longest trip we’ve had was from Annapolis, MD to Bowley’s Marina in Middle River, which was about a six hour trip (I know, I know, ‘what a bunch of newbs’ – I agree). Although the weather could’ve been warmer and drier, we lucked out and avoided any consistent, heavy rain or downpours during the trip. Fortunately we layered up and were able to stay warm and dry.
Thankfully we were smart enough to have foul weather jackets on board, but we were wishing we had pants and boots as well. Can’t get it right all the time, can we? Thank goodness we had lots of plastic bags on board because they work great at keeping your socks and feet dry!
**Note to self: BUY REMAINING FOUL WEATHER GEAR so this can be avoided in the future.
The wind was expected to be a slow and steady 7mph, but ended up building to about 12-15mph. Whitecaps began to make their appearance and only grew the closer we got to Maurice River.
We all started to feel the effects of fresh air and choppy water. Dave got sleepy, I got nauseous and I think Darby did too. Luckily I had some fresh ginger on board and popped a piece in my mouth (it did help, btw). Once in the Maurice River, all chop ceased and things were back to being slow and steady.
All was right with the world – I was feeling better, Darby has stopped crying and the water was calm. Dave took the opportunity to check the fuel gauge to see how much diesel we had used. When he opened the bilge, he found that it was COMPLETELY filled with WATER. Ahhhh!!! How? What? Why?
A few minutes longer and we would’ve CERTAINLY had water leaking into our cabin! Luckily, he quickly drained the bilge and everything stayed dry. After we docked the boat, we checked out the situation further. Dave came to the conclusion that it must have been the engine rubbing the raw water intake hose. We ran the engine the ENTIRE trip, so this seems like a plausible answer to our problem.
The next morning, we looked into the bilge again and found it completely dry. We’re worried this problem will happen again, so we’ll have to keep an eye on it. Next time we run the engine all day long we’ll see what happens.
Ah, the joys of being a boat owner!