On Saturday we celebrated 1 week anniversary being back with The Sky’s the Limit. The boat is looking better every day. I installed a new battery charger, also did some minor electrical upgrades. Currently we want to make sure that no water pipe can freeze when we are away over Christmas in Jamaica.
On Monday I picked up Luna and she is clearly enjoying the boat, so many things to explore. Also we meet already our new neighbors, which are very helpful and always up for a spontaneous party.
But most important news is that we managed to get our waste tank pumped out. The friendly staff from Liberty Landing came over to empty our tank.
Overall we are very happy with our new home and we can even see the Statue of Liberty from the upstairs room and the sunset is incredible as well. The boat is currently decorated with Christmas items, more pictures to follow.
What a relief, we made it back to Jersey City. A four day trip turned into a 17 day odyssey. A lot of ups and downs, very emotional but also very rewarding. We feel very proud of our persistency to accomplish our mission. It was one of the most challenging endeavors in our life’s. It’s such a good feeling to be finally home.
Can you see the happiness in our smiles when we finally saw the Stature of Liberty. The last 60 miles was a smooth ride, also thanks to our 3rd captain Jay. Yes, we had 3 captains on our “4 day trip”, thanks again to Rebecca, Troy and Jay.
As we arrived in Jersey City, we filled Diesel tanks, cleaned up a bit and invited our new neighbors for a small welcome party.
Luna is probably coming tomorrow and there is still stuff to do. We will keep you updated and hope you enjoyed our story so far. Now we can enjoy the holiday season by decorating the boat (Jolanda has already started).
P.S.: two pictures a friend of ours took on our arrival
So as you have read I surprised Jolanda to accompany her on the last of our journey. I was very scared that she is calling me in the bus during the 3 hour ride and finds out, luckily everything worked out that night.
We went to bed and I had the alarm set for 3am to register for the Berlin Marathon 2019, it was a first come first serve draw. Unfortunately I took me 10min to find out were the registration button was, so I did not make it.
On the bride side we had a beautiful morning and engines stared smoothly.
We took off bright and early for our leg to Jersey City. The first few hours were beautiful, chilly but great views and sunrise. At Atlantic City we realized that the swells were getting much higher, wind picked up and visibility deteriorated. We were trying to get into an inlet just after Atlantic City but we could not even see the canal markers. So we continued in the Snowstorm. I can’t tell you what torture the next couple of hours were, BIG swells, sometimes the boat even diving into the swells and all things not secured flying through the boat. We were so lucky that our experienced captain Troy managed to get the boat into Barnegat inlet to get shelter. Even he US Coast Guard was watching over us that we made it through the canal safely.
Completely exhausted and relived we ended the day at Lighthouse Marina at Barnegat bay. So long story short we are still 60 miles away from Jersey City, but we learned a lot today (especially how much beating our boat can withstand). We have some bad weather forecasts the next days so we hoping we will be able to finally arrive at home on Saturday.
So we are 13 days into our adventure to bring our beloved Sky’s The Limit up to Jersey City. So this means I have lived on our boat now for 13 days and nights :-)!
Day 13th was so beautiful! Gorgeous weather, beautiful heater running and looking forward to the next day to bring the boat up to Jersey City…..
Suddenly around 3pm I felt it’s getting colder and I turn the heater up, but I realize it’s not producing heat anymore…I checked the voltage…something wrong! After a few calls I find out that our super nice, expensive mechanic turned off the battery switch…. he wanted to come up to check…but even though I like him, I’m like – oh no – not another $210 per hour…. I can do this! Just tell me which switch to turn on and I did. I see the battery improving immediately. However after a while it doesn’t seem to improve the battery anymore. By that time Troy our captain arrived and our expensive, nice mechanic had an idea (maybe he felt a bit bad to turn off our battery switch :-)…he advised us to go and buy a battery charger…. off we went with Mr Uber Formula racer to make it before the automotive store closes. Troy our captain connected the charger to the battery and it seemed somewhat to work…. we looked forward to a relaxing evening with no worries, but we ended up concerned we can’t start our boat in the morning… while we were going through our options, I checked the voltage upstairs again and suddenly the door opens and somebody stands in front of me and I scream….. Marcus arrived to surprise me….Thanks to the late George H.W. Bush Senior. The banks closed Wednesday because of his funeral and Marcus got the day off and wanted to join us for the last leg. Did I mention lately that I have the most wonderful husband in the world?
I hand this blog over to Marcus to document day 14th after a sleepless night due to excitement, a bit of worries that the boat will not start and Marcus trying to win a lottery entry to the Berlin Marathon at 3am in the morning…..
Marcus left Sunday night back to the city as he had meetings to attend. So I stayed by myself on the boat. I must admit I was scared. After 5pm there is not a soul on the marina during this time of the year.
Cleaning the boat calmed me down and after watching a feel good movie, I slept surprisingly well. This morning another beautiful sunrise in paradise and I started my day with a mediation. After I made my tea, I smelled burning and saw smoke in our downstairs living room…. panicked I run to the Marina office and asked if somebody could come and have a look…. I was so scared!
A nice guy with the name of Bob helped me to turn off everything. I called the Marina where our boat has been fixed up the last 6 months. They asked me to identify where the smoke is coming from and I just couldn’t tell for sure…. it was so smoky and smelly… After turning everything off again, helpless I went back to see if somebody could assist me again and I learned I’m on my own!
Devastated I went back and called Coltons Point Marina again… This time they asked me to turn on switches – one by one – and smell and investigate what happens before switching on the next one. For the first time I climbed into the engine room and the hot water heater compartment. Mark patiently helped me to troubleshoot everything. I was able to identify from which area the smell came from even from which corner, but couldn’t find for the world of it anything burned. Too make a long story short, we only turned the most necessary switches back on and I had no more smelling and smoke!
Miracles the starter (remember our right engine stopped working) already arrived today and another Mark from MidCoast Marina had time to come and install it this afternoon. He had a look at my concerns about the burning/smoking too and he determined the inverter was the culprit. It was exactly at the spot where I smelled the burning. Lucky this equipment is not doing anything for us at the moment so he removed it and took it with him for further testing.
In the beginning of today I had no confidence! I thought I couldn’t troubleshoot or find out issues and do something about it on the boat on my own! I was scared to be alone on the boat!
Tonight I feel empowered. I have the believe that the next time I have a challenge, I can actually do something about it!
Good night world,
Today we were told: “Everything on your boat is broken, you just don’t know it yet”. Thanks Pam for letting us know :-). Today we had a beautiful morning with a bike ride to the lighthouse at Cape May. After Jolanda went shopping and I had a nice coffee in town. Then we went grocery shopping with the bikes the marina gave us for free:
During our visit in town we found out there is a famous Christmas parade tonight so we went home to warm up and booked a taxi for the evening to see the parade.
Jolanda realized today that the layout of the boat is perfect for us. She was initially concerned that she does not have enough outside space in the Summer. The heating works extremely well too and it is very cosy. We are loving our Sky’s The Limit every day more despite the challenges.
I have to go back to the city tomorrow as I have important meetings beginning of the week. Jolanda might stay on the boat. The next plan is that the new starter will be installed early Tuesday morning and captain Troy will come down on Monday night. Jolanda and Troy want to start Tuesday to go up North, they either make it in one go, or one stopover at Atlantic City. Tomorrow we will check the forecast again if that plan is reasonable.
Tomorrow we finally wanted to do our final leg back to NY. So we checked all the fluids, topped up the oil and steering liquid. I had the idea to switch on both engines to be able to start easily in the morning. Guess what? The right (starboard) engine did not start….
We did a lot of trouble shooting and could not find out what is wrong. The engine will not crank. So tomorrow we need to get a mechanic to look at the engine, that means that our weather window will close.
On the bright side I managed to get the heater running, so at least we are not freezing any more.
Let’s wait for tomorrow what the mechanic is telling us (if we get one).
Highlight of the day was a bike ride to the beach:
Of course there could be worse places in the world to get stranded, but we really looking forward to get home. Due to high winds we are not able to go North. We do have a weather window on Friday to make the +10hr trip.
Luckily we got new a captain called Troy from Australia helping us on that leg.
In the meantime we are enjoying the marine life here in Cape May:
We did not have the chance to go to the town until now as we have to do a lot of catch up with work, luckily the internet reception is acceptable. The fishing shop is providing free coffee and soup (unfortunately the soup contains meat) so we got some new friends already 🙂
A few little things need to be fixed on the boat but that should not prevent us to go on the ocean journey.
Keep your fingers crossed that the weather forecast will stay good for Friday.
P.s.> the heating problem has not been fixed yet so we are surviving with some temporary heaters
Today was a day where we aged much more than we expected.
It started off with a beautiful sunrise at Havre de Grace marina, west of the C&D canal.
Very peacefull and the water like a mirror. We entered into the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal (C&D canal) and followed the narrow piece of water East. Just before we arrived at our fuel stop at Summit North Marina we heard a loud bang and the boat was tilting to the side. Jolanda started shouting like a fridge fall on her and buried her alive. We checked if we are still able to maneuver and engines are still running. We stopped at the next place to check everything out and took on fuel. It sounded like we scraped the bottom of the C&D canal (which is 40ft deep) with our keel. Luckily our bilge did not accumulate any water, so we did not have a leak. It was a big shock, as we thought this is the end of our dream. This bottom has just being repaired for the last 4 months. This picture just shows the place before it happened.
Luckily no one got hurt and the boat was still functional, after the fuel stop we continued our way. Our boat advisor Phil (remember the one who did the checkout) gave us good advice on the way. The rest of today’s trip was very enjoyable due to the gorgeous weather down the Delaware river and to final destination Cape May. All of us were very relived to end the day in a nice marina with a great dinner.
From Cape May to Jersey City it is “just” 100NM left but the forecast for tomorrow looks very bad so we decided to stay in Cape May. For both of us it means “working from home” and our Captain Rebecca will leave us tomorrow.
As you can imagine this trip is more than we expected to experience, but we learned a lot. We still have no central heating, the generator is not working and we hope that the incident today will not be so costly. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when we reached the marina tonight (Rebecca really did a great job in getting us in a tight slip) and of course I treasure the support of my beautiful sunshine I call my wife.
It was a hard day.
BTW I think Luna at upstate NY with our friends had a more relaxing day.
The morning stared bright and early, 6am wakeup 7am leaving the dock.
It was a beautiful morning with me looking out for the crab fishing buoy’s.
At noon it stared to rain, and it has not stopped yet.
Everyone did an amazing stop at the helm, despite all the weather conditions.
That was the longest stretch we did until now with more than 100NM. Of course it took his toll, but we and the boat are still in working condition. Rebecca and I checked that we are able to continue tomorrow.
We had some amazing views and did overall quiet some progress, see chart.
Now we are all very tiered and going to bed soon, C&D canal waiting for us tomorrow.