Whale Watching Adventure

Hello virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!

Eric here with the latest travels of Still Waters II.

Monastery high above the Hudson River across from Hyde Park


Summary of week:

weekly pic






The adventure continued nearly 250 miles south this week.  From Hyde Park on the Hudson River all the way to Cape May, New Jersey.

First stop on Monday was at a marina 25 miles north of New York City to get some heat due to a forecasted cold night.

Then a night on the anchor next to the Statue of Liberty and a great view of Lower Manhattan.

Then another night on the hook near mile zero on the New Jersey ICW.

The crew spent a third night at anchor next to Atlantic City before landing in Cape May on Friday.


This week’s journey of discovery did answer the following questions:

  1. Who are the only civilians buried at the West Point Cemetery?
  2. What was the name of Henry Hudson’s last ship?
  3. What ever happened to Henry Hudson?

Click on the link to read the day-to-day travel log.  This includes weather report of the day, sea conditions, log of the days travel, and a summary of the experience.

At the Box Office

This week’s video shows Still Waters II and crew taking a break to eat at the Culinary Institute of America, at anchor beside the Statue of Liberty, and some whale watching in the Atlantic Ocean.  Enjoy!

To Cape May from Still Waters II on Vimeo.

Link to this week’s video to Cape May.

To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site.  The library now contains 41 videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Prior to leaving the dock, the skipper noticed a strange contraption mounted to the side of the dock master office.  The dock master came out and gave the skipper lessons on how to use the device.  He was not sure if it still took coins, but did say it had a dial tone and you could dial 9-1-1.


The crew decided to do a dock-and-dine at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for lunch today.  The skipper worked out the logistics of stopping at the Hyde Park Marina, even though they were already closed for the season.  While the Admiral made the reservations at an Italian Restaurant.


Upon arrival, the crew docked and then walked the mile to the CIA.  The crew tried an assortment of three pastas and some quail.  The skipper also ordered a side of fries, just in case the food portions were skimpy, as can happen at these high end joints.  As expected, the food was excellent.  The hike back to the marina helped walk off the chocolate pudding, bread pudding, peanut butter cookie, and chocolate chip cookie.

When the crew passed West Point, they saw these guys out rowing their skulls.


The skipper was pretty sure he heard the cadets singing the following ditty to help keep the cadence:

Row, Row, Row your boat

Gently out to sea

Sure wish I had joined

The Na Veee!

Remembering this early childhood nursery rhyme also got the skipper thinking of another popular children’s song and its connection to the only civilians buried in the West Point Cemetery.


The crew would be cutting it close to get down river to their anchor spot before dark.  As they continued south, the weather unexpectedly changed.  Instead of sunny skies, clouds moved in and the wind picked up out of the north.  The crew could feel the temperature dropping.

The skipper checked the overnight weather forecast.  The updated forecast called for 9 mph winds out of the north, with temperatures falling into the mid-thirties.

The crew decided to skip the anchor and continue a few miles further down river to take a marina at Half Moon Bay for the night.  The crew arrived just after sunset, but before dark set in.

20 Sunset at Half Moon Bay

With the wind direction hitting the marina docks at a bad angle, it will be a bumpy night.  On the bright side though, it will be warm with the heater on.

Half Moon Bay is named after Henry Hudson’s second and third ships.  The following is a replica of the ship which can be seen at the Maritime Museum in Kingston.


This was Henry’s third and final ship.  While searching for the elusive Northwest Passage in 1611, his crew mutinied and placed him, his son, and seven others in a small boat and set them a drift.  The nine drifters were never seen again.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our crew decided to drift further down stream and headed towards NYC this morning and left the beautiful Hudson River valley in the rear-view mirror.  The last of the fall color for a while:



With the mountains behind them, they had this view of Manhattan from a few miles above the George Washington Bridge.

24 Manhattan thru George Washington Bridge

The crew decided to anchor directly behind the Statue of Liberty so they would have a good view of Lower Manhattan at night.  The area is not well protected from the numerous NY Water taxi’s and Staten Island Ferry, so it was a little rocky until the ferries stopped running around 2200.  However, the view was worth the wakes.


26 Lower Manhatten
Ellis Island




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Who would have known, those New Yorkers get up early to get to work?  The ferries started running at 0600 and the boat started rocking due to the wakes.  The crew ‘suffered’ thru the wakes until 0930 when they weighed anchor so they could ride the current to Sandy Hook.


The Admiral spotted a whale while the crew was in the Lower Hudson Bay, but it was too far to get any good pictures.

After rounding Sandy Hook, the crew saw two more whales.  The whales were less than a mile to shore which was a big surprise.

The skipper brought the boat to idle so they could better watch the whales.  The whales remained several hundred yards away for most of the time.  Then the whales disappeared for a while, so the skipper was about to resume travel when the whales surfaced very close to Still Waters II.  Pretty exciting, yes it was.


The crew continued on to Manasquan and found the two Canadian boats that they had travelled with on the Champlain Canal anchored where the skipper had planned to drop anchor.  Rather than crowd the Canadians, the skipper went a few miles further to his Plan B stop.  The crew did wave at the Canadian’s as they passed by though.

 Anchored in Applegate Cove.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

The crew weighed anchor and continued south today towards Atlantic City.  They ran inside on the New Jersey ICW.  The experience was much different from what they encountered on the way North when they travelled with every boater in New Jersey on a Saturday.  Today, they were pretty much the only boat on the water for much of the journey.

They arrived near Atlantic City about an hour before low tide.  There is some shallow skinny water that if they had been any later, they would have had to wait for the tide to come in to pass over.

IMG_0260 (1).JPG

For much of this last hour the low-level alarm was buzzing in the background.  The alarm sounds when there is less than five feet of water below the keel.  The boat needs 3 feet 9 inches to stay afloat and off the ground.

At one juncture the boat drifted over a 3.9-foot spot, which equates to 3 feet 11 inches under the keel.  Sometimes every inch matters, and in this case, it was a difference in passing safely over the area or bumping the ground and having to wait several hours for more water.

IMG_0259 (1)

 The skipper was mentally tired from navigating all that skinny shallow water and was delighted when the anchor was down and the day was over.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The crew has run the inside ICW between Atlantic City and Cape May before and have first hand experience at bumping the bottom at least four times.  Since the outside wind and weather would be favorable to an Atlantic Ocean run, they opted to run outside in the big pond.

The cruise started off rougher than expected, but things settled down fairly quickly.  The swells were mostly 2-3 feet every 9 seconds moving south east to northwest.  However, the wind was blowing out of the west and was causing 1-foot waves on top of the swells moving west to east.  The skipper kept moving closer and closer to land until the wind-blown waves had no effect on the sea conditions and the crew enjoyed the ride to Cape May.

The view for much of the day:


The crew did overtake this one interesting little sailboat, notice she is even closer to shore than our crew.


While docking, the skipper noticed a White Burgee, Looper in Progress flag, flying on a boat.  The boat was an Albin Gulf Harbor 45 named Rhapsody.  Her crew is just getting started on their Great Loop Adventure.  They have four days experience so far on the Loop and were extremely excited to meet their first Gold Loopers, the crew of Still Waters II.


Wishing Larry and Sue a great, Great Loop Adventure

Parked in the slip next to Still Waters II is a 42-foot Jefferson named Misty.  The crew of the Jefferson came on board and talked about the Loop.  They are on day two of their Loop adventure.  Our crew got to share many ideas with Rob and Nancy.  One recommendation was to buy a White Burgee and start flying the flag off the bow.

Rob and Nancy
Rob and Nancy, Best of Luck on Your Loop!

It was fun to share experiences with them and reflect on how much our own crew’s skills have improved over the last few years.  They have grown and learned much in the last few years.  A Friday Flashback pic of our crew back when they were newbies and just getting started on the Loop.

Geof the Training Captain, Claudia, and Dave, third day on the Loop

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rob and Nancy have spent many a day at Cape May.  They recommended a bike ride out to the Cape May Lighthouse, so the crew took the suggestion and spent the afternoon exploring the area.  The skipper said it was good to get ten miles in on the bike.  Nancy also reported that they ordered their White Burgee.

Cape May Lighthouse

Boat Name of the Week

Saw this boat at Norrie State Park:


Next Week –

Weather once again will become the overriding factor in the days ahead.  Tuesday shows wind speeds in the mid-twenties with gust in the forties.  This dictates that the crew get somewhere well protected and out of the wind.  They have chosen a marina on the Sassafras River off the Chesapeake Bay.

It will take two travel days to get to the marina, so they will leave Cape May on Sunday and travel north on the Delaware Bay.  The Bay has been a nemesis for them in the past, so they are hoping to catch a break and get a good day on this passage.

They plan to spend a week in the marina to regroup, rest, and re-provision before heading down the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk.

Loop On – The water goes on forever and the adventure never ends.

Eric the Red

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