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Friday, September 5, 2014

Sassafras River

The trip up the Delaware Bay was not bad at all since we had the wind and tidal current pushing us. I just had to get over how incredibly close the tugs, barges, freighters and tankers came to Hold Fast, even though we stayed outside the shipping channel. I felt the propeller vibration in our boat from one of the tankers. Spooky in the dark. Might be even more spooky in the daytime.

As we proceeded up the bay, I periodically checked the computer route program and saw that our ETA to Sassafras, which should have been less than 10 hours, was 'Never.' That seemed awful pessimistic, we were making good time. I have no idea what its malfunction was, except that maybe it knew something I did not. How disappointed I was to then hear the C&D Canal Authority put out a call on the radio that the canal was closed to all traffic until further notice, due to fog. We had at least a ¼ mile visibility, probably even a third mile or more - just another operating day in Nova Scotia. I was kind of embarrassed. I let Myron finish his off watch of solid sleep before I told him the bad news. Hoping it would resolve itself an hour after Myron came on watch, we pulled the throttle back. An hour later, no joy. We dropped anchor at a designated anchoring area near the canal entrance and so did 'Exhuberant,' who had been milling around for more than an hour before us. The boats began to pile up, all of us with destination goals that were slipping away. It was not lost on any of us that the clock was ticking for the tidal current to turn against us. Rather than get a bad attitude about it, like our computer route program, I took a nap. That only worked for about 15 minutes, then the ticking clock would needle me again. A Canadian power boat completely ignored the closing and went anyway. The Canal Authority guy was furious, so much for his authority. I imagine the US Coast Guard was waiting for those Canadians on the other side. At least I hope so because it made the rest of us look like compliant dweebs (aka sheeple). Finally the call came at 10 am that the canal was open. Before the call was even finished, we were up on deck to get underway. We almost made it all the way through but had a ½ knot current against us at the end.

I guess you could say this trip had its challenges. I love the line on a Clint Eastwood movie (Heartbreak Ridge) to 'improvise, adapt, overcome.' Right now we are improvising, adapting and trying to overcome the foreign feeling of a heat wave. Today the heat index was 98F, the low will be 75F. The water temperature in the river is 80F. Tonight will be our first night without the comforter and duvet since we left Deltaville in June. Not to worry, a cold front will pass through tomorrow and push us back down into the 70's for highs and 60's or 50's for lows. I have been cold since we left for Nova Scotia. It never felt like summer. Two days and a night of this will tide me over just fine until next 'summer.'

We are trying a new anchorage on this river. It does have a south breeze channeling right into the boat. We took our time setting the anchor as we expect thunderstorms tonight. That is what the heat usually brings about around here. Even so, we are glad to be back in the Chesapeake Bay.

Love to all,

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