Sunday, June 7, 2015
Back in the water .....
Ambition went back in the water and everything tested out just fine with the engine seal. The yard in Palmetto compensated me for the labour to have the bottom repainted but I am still unsure why the paint failed to adhere properly.
We motored back to St. Augustine Municipal Marina to await the installation of the new refrigeration systems.
Barbara was kind enough to arrange for us to get a VIP pass to all the city’s tourist attractions and events. Maryse and I enjoyed the Foodie Tour immensely, our guide Bob was a lot of fun to listen to and was really knowledgeable about his city. We also got to enjoy a number of very good restaurants in town – there is no shortage of delicious meals to be had here.
To save a few labour dollars I removed all the old copper plumbing for the refrigeration systems – that was a job and a half – not exactly like pulling out wires!
By the end of the week, we had the two new systems installed and functioning. We spent the weekend making sure that all was good before leaving town.
After watching the weather for a few days it was clear that Monday was going to be the best departure day for us to get to New York City. After a fuel and water fill-up we dropped the dock lines at noon and headed out the inlet.
Sails out as soon as we cleared the last buoy for the inlet. We were on a close reach – about 60 degrees and the boat was charging forward. During the overnight hours, we clearly had made it into the Gulf Stream, which was about 60 miles east of St. Augustine – Ambition’s speed was now steady over 11 knots and at times touching 13 knots over the bottom. We had full sail set – genoa, staysail and main. Our speed through the water was steady at over 9.3 with the wind at 60 degrees apparent. We held this tack for about 85 hours! I fell in love with the way in which the boat handled the ocean. She was steady, fast and comfortable – this is what I bought this boat for – with so many months of constant repairs and failures behind us, I fell in love with Ambition again!
We ended up having to motor the last 24 hours into Sandy Hook, NJ as there was no wind at all, arriving at 6PM on Friday having covered over 800 miles in less than 4 ½ days. Our average speed was 7.9 knots!
Saturday morning we refueled Ambition at the completely rebuilt marina, as it had been destroyed in hurricane Sandy a few years back. A sunny Saturday in NY brings out LOTS of boats and tourists – the tours of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are non stop. There is a morning fog that hides the waterfront but the building all poke through the fog – really pretty.
We were hoping for a very favourable tide to head up the Hudson River to Catskills, but that was not happening today. Instead of making it in one day it will necessitate and overnight anchorage. The weather was very snotty in the afternoon as we had torrential downpours and winds to 40 knots.
Noon Sunday saw us tied to the dock at Riverview Marina where we will have the mast taken down for the trip through the canal. In all it took 2 days to prepare the boat, disconnect all the wiring in the base of the mast, build the mast supports and remove the rigging. As they started to lift the mast out it was clear that this was one of the heaviest they had dealt with! We succeeded in wrestling it into position on the supports with no damage or incidents.
By noon Tuesday we were back underway towards Albany and Troy. The first lock is the Federal lock at Toy and we went through and tied up to the free municipal dock at Waterford. This is where the west bound canal to Lake Erie and the north bound Lake Champlain split.
An early morning start to make the 7AM first lock opening. Our plan was to do all the locks in the system except the last one in a day. We easily made our target, tying up Whitehall NY by 4PM. The city provides free dockage and electricity to boaters. Met a delightful couple, Doug and Jan on their way to Lake Champlain and Montreal in a Kady Krogen trawler. Jan had found the only remaining open restaurant in what otherwise appears to be a virtual ghost town.
Thursday morning we are up early for the 7AM lock opening – after reading the small print – the first opening is now 8AM! The lake is just spectacular – no wind and glorious sunshine. The mountains are displaying every shade of green you could imagine.
We crossed paths with Albert and Sandy on Outrageous as they headed south and west to Lake Erie. Rafted up together to a few minutes to chat and then headed back northward.
Treadwell Marina has offered us a spot on the service dock for the weekend as we need to be at Gosselin Marina by Monday where we will have all the remaining work done to make Ambition ready for our next trip south.
It was good to catch up with all our friends at Treadwell Bay.