People, Boats, and Stories => SB/LD Cruisers => Topic started by: okawbow on May 16, 2011, 08:44:27 AM

Title: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on May 16, 2011, 08:44:27 AM
Hi All

I'd like to tell a little about my trip so far.

I started from Kentucky Lake dam on April 13th, in my 31' Cheoy lee ketch. Clarity It took about 3 weeks to make it down the flood swollen tennessee-tombiggbee river system to Mobile. I stayed there at Dog river for a week, u7ntil my wife, Pat could join me. We then headed across the gulf foe Key West
It took 7 days of fluky winds and some rough seas to get here on Sunday, the 15th. The boat did a great job, except for a short time when a hose leaked and we saw water over the floorboards. We were 100 miles from shore at the time. It's a different feeling to be out of sight of land for a week, and then see it as the sun is rising!

I'll try and fill in the details as time permits.

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Oldrig on May 16, 2011, 01:05:30 PM
Great report, Chuck.

Keep us posted when you can--and enjoy your time on the water.

We're looking at a week of rain and 50-degree weather here in New England--hardly weather to finish getting the boat ready for launch.

Fair winds,

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on May 26, 2011, 03:27:02 PM
We left Key West on May 18th. Sailed the Hawk Channel and stopped at Long Key and Angelfish Creek for overnight anchorages. On the 20th, we sailed up the coast and stayed outside until evening of the next day, when we went in at Ft Pierce. The next day, we headed back outside, and sailed 2 days to St Simons Island, Georgia. After 1000 miles offshore, we decided to see what the ICW was like. We anchored the 25th off Blackbeard's Island in Sapello sound. Beautiful place. Today, we motored and sailed in stiff winds to Isle of Hoope, near Savannah, Ga. We'll rest up for a couple days and sight see. Time to slow down and relax.

Chuck and Pat
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Mario G on May 26, 2011, 05:26:08 PM
Hey Chuck it sounds like your a day or 2 behind us. We are working on Chareston tomorrow before any storms move in, hope you find a place to hide if they come.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on May 26, 2011, 10:00:58 PM
Mario, we plan to spend a few weeks in the Chesapeake. If you see our Cheoy Lee 31 ketch, "Clarity", give us a call.

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 05, 2011, 12:29:00 PM
We are in Elizabeth City NC now. I can only post with the phone as my lap top won't connect for some reason. We sailed outside from Savannah to Southport NC in 2&1/2 days. Have motored and sailed the ICW up to here. Will go through the Dismal swamp and spend some time in the Chesapeake.

The city has dock space free for 48hrs. Nice place. They are holding races today for vintage powerboats. Some are no larger than a dingy.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 09, 2011, 05:50:51 PM
In Kings creek, near Cape Charles, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. Sailed here today from Portsmouth. Really Hot! Had a following wind, and could only make 3 knots. Ready for cooler weather.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: mrb on June 09, 2011, 10:07:52 PM
If you get a chance look around the town of Cape Charles, was a nice place 50 years ago.  There was a conch processing plant there then, probably gone now. 
Are you planning to do the circle in one year.  also post any pictures if you can.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: phil416 on June 10, 2011, 09:05:09 AM
     Okabow; Sure sounds like your having a great time.  Up on the mid Chesapeake, on the Eastern shore is the Nantikoke River.  Not easy to get to but very rewarding, lots of wildlife.  Free dockage at the town of Viena.  You can voyage clear up to Seaford Delaware.  If you stop in Solomons you can see Deep Blue at Harbor Island Marine.  Fair Winds Phil
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 24, 2011, 02:36:01 PM
We left the Chesapeake after visiting Annapolis. Had a great meal at the boatyard and a supper to remember at the charthouse.

While in Annapolis, we docked at the Annapolis yacht club. Nice people and a great club. We were tied up just under the spa river draw bridge. I've never seen so many boats in my life.

We headed north on the 19th and made it to chesapeake city by dark. Anchored in the city basin with several other boats. Next morning we left before dawn to catch the tide down the Delaware river. We spent several rough hours in the bay before it settled down. Made it to cape may new jersey before dark. Anchored next to the coastguard facility.

We headed north on the 21st for Judith point, rhode island. The sailing was great for over 28 straight. We averaged over 5.5knots on wing on wing. Then the wind died and came around on the nose. As we motored Neal long island new York, we had several black and white porpoises play along the boat. Later we came within a few feet of a giant loggerhead turtle. Near montauk point, we saw 3 different minke whales. Two of them jumped completely out of the water. Then it started to rain. After near misses from fishing boats and tugs near block island, we felt our way through thick for into point Judith harbor of refuge. We anchored in the middle at 1:30 am.

Today we are anchored in Judith pond trying to rest. Saturday we plan on heading for new bedford and fairhaven.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Oldrig on June 24, 2011, 04:21:49 PM
It sounds like you're having a great time.

I've never had a chance to see all that wildlife. Be careful of the fishing boats going out of Point Judith!

Dan, "Adrift at Sea," keeps his boat in Fairhaven. You might be able to look him up.

My boat is on the other side of Buzzards Bay, and I have not yet mounted the mainsail or tuned the rigging.

Fair winds,

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 25, 2011, 05:11:07 AM
Oldrig, we are having the time of our lives!

Do you know if there are moorings available on Popes island? Is there a launch service? We called several marinas friday and never got through to any of them. We would like to stay at least 2 or 3 days. We don't have a good dingy, so we need to dock the boat or be ferried in. My wife refuses to ride in our little inflatable. >:(

I'm reading Moby Dick on my Kindle right now, so I'm looking forward to the museums.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Oldrig on June 25, 2011, 07:06:02 AM

There are usually moorings available off Pope's Island, but you rent them through the water taxi company in New Bedford, rather than through the city-owned marina on the island.

I have not been there for two or three years (can't remember); the only launch service is also the city's tour boat and water taxi. If they're running harbor tours, they don't pick up boaters. Also, they shut down early in the evening.

When I was in New Bedford, which is a fascinating city with a great historic district and a vibrant working waterfront (but high crime), there was no designated dinghy dock, either at Pope's Island or on the city waterfront. However, I was told that the city is developing two dinghy docks, one for  Pope's Island and one adjacent to the historic schooner Ernestina, which is docked permanently, as the USCG has deemed it unsafe for carrying passengers. I ran into a representative of the Port of New Bedford at a boat show in Boston in February, and he assured me that the two dinghy docking areas would be open this season, but I haven't verified it.

If looking for a mooring, try contacting Whaling City Expeditions ( (, as they are the company that rents moorings and also operates the somewhat sporadic water taxi/launch/harbor tour boat. Their phone number is (508) 984-4979.

BTW, the Whaling Museum is a must-see attraction! According to somebody I met at the Maine Boat Builders Show last March, there are only two world-class whaling museums on Earth: Trondheim, Norway, and New Bedford.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your visit.


Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Captain Smollett on June 25, 2011, 07:35:11 AM

According to somebody I met at the Maine Boat Builders Show last March, there are only two world-class whaling museums on Earth: Trondheim, Norway, and New Bedford.


The one in Bequia ( was pretty cool, too, but that was mostly due to the flare of the late owner.  It was only open on his whim, but if you caught him there and in a good mood, you got some really cool first hand stories from the old whaling days.

Unfortunately, Athneal Ollivierre has passed away, and his particular memories are lost.  He was quite a character, and certainly lives on in the legends of the people of Bequia.

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 25, 2011, 07:23:11 PM
Made it to New Bedford. We are on a mooring at Capt Leroys on Pope Island. We plan on walking to the Whaling museum and the Sailors Bethel Sunday. Had a nice close reach sail over from Judith Point, until the wind died.

My wife has 4 weeks of vacation left. When that is over; I will stay and clean up the Cheoy Lee and try to sell her. I think it will be a great deal for someone looking for an inexpensive way to get down to the Keys or the Islands. The boat is ready to go with everything needed for cruising. The motor runs great and was rebuilt in March. I'm open to suggestions as to where is the best place to sell. If it doesn't sell, I will need a safe place to store the boat.

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 27, 2011, 05:09:27 PM
We are anchored at the west end of Cape Cod canal, near Hog Neck. New Bedford was a great Place to visit. The whaling museum was outstanding. We also visited the Seamans  Bethel, where Herman Melvile attended church before shipping out on the whaler Acushnet.

We will transit the canal tomorrow about 6 am. Plan on getting as far up the coast as we can sail in a day.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on June 29, 2011, 05:37:12 PM
Anchored near Georges Island near Boston last night. Rowed over and toured the old fort Warren. Very interesting. Not a comfortable anchorage, as there are ferry boats and fishing boats going by continuously.

We sailed up this morning, to Glouchester. We had deflated the dingy, thinking we could dock at the city dock while spending a couple hours in town. The dock was full of city boats and there was nowhere else to tie up. Harbor master was no help. Marinas either didn't, answer or wanted $100 a night! I left with poor opinion of the town.

We sailed around Cape Ann and anchored in Rockport. Nice place.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Oldrig on June 29, 2011, 09:13:07 PM
We sailed around Cape Ann and anchored in Rockport. Nice place.

Rockport can be crowded, but the harbormasters (there were two, a man and a woman, when I was last there) are great and very helpful. Gloucester is crowded, busy and not terribly friendly for recreational cruisers. That's really interesting because New Bedford, Massachusetts' other major commercial fishing port, is actually a nice place to visit by water.

Just my observations.

Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on July 07, 2011, 07:10:25 PM
I am finally somewhere that has good enough phone signal. We are in Rockland Maine, in Penobscot Maine. What a great place! Lots of beautiful islands and bays. Seals, whales, and many unusual sea fowl. We will be in this area for two more weeks.

The sailing from Massachusetts to here has been hit and miss. Light winds and fog have slowed us down. The Isle of Shoals was a great anchorage, as was the islands in Boston harbor. Jittery Maine was friendly and the food was good. Speaking of food; the wife and I celebrated the sale of some real estate at home with Maine lobster today. Talk about good!

Our trip is nearing the end, but what a great adventure! We have sailed well over 3000 miles so far; with over half of that on offshore passages. We have seen and experienced many new things, and met many interesting people.

If you are thinking about a similar trip; find a way to make it happen soon.

Chuck Jones
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on July 13, 2011, 04:54:35 PM
The boat is under contract to sell next week.

This has been a wonderful experience for us, and things have worked out well so far. We are cruising Penobscot Bay until next week. This is a great area for sailing. The best of our trip, for sure.

Time now, to get back home to work and family, until I can do this again.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Oldrig on July 15, 2011, 09:57:09 AM

The Maine Coast is the gold standard for Northeast (and probably all East Coast) sailors, and you've had a chance to cruise those storied waters.  I'm afraid I haven't sailed there for almost 30 years.


Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: okawbow on July 16, 2011, 05:59:25 AM
I,d have to say that Maine trumps every other area that we've been to. The prices are high; but you can get around that if you are careful. A good anchor and chain are a must. We use a 33 pound Bruce type with 35 feet of 3/8" chain and as much nylon rode as swing allows. The tides are about 10' in the Penobscot Bay, so the current is strong in some areas. The views are breathtaking! The farther "down east" you get; the more so.

We are currently anchored in Rockland harbor with about a dozen "windjammer" ships. Yesterday was the "parade of windjammers" . We had about 20 wooden schooners and ketches sailing by at the same time. Most of them came in and anchored under sail.

Today in the The North Atlantic Blues Festival, which takes place at the waterfront. We can hear just fine from the boat. Next weekend are the Friendship sloop days, where these beautiful wood boats come in from all over.

There are events happening almost daily in many of the small towns. You can also find uninhabited islands with safe anchorages. The one thing I have a little trouble with, is all the lobster traps. I hear calls on the radio almost daily for assistance because someone snagged a float. I suggest a full keel with attached rudder for cruising here.
Title: Re: The Adventure of "Clarity"
Post by: Jim_ME on July 16, 2011, 09:45:17 PM
Chuck & Pat, Welcome to Maine. Glad to hear that you are enjoying your cruising here. I enjoyed sailing out of Camden on a friend's boat last fall. Maybe CJ and Laura (and others) will be tempted to come up this far after all by your positive report?  ;) [and your praise for the area, too, Joe.]

I wondered whether you might have gotten over to the North Atlantic Blues Festival. good to read that you made it, and that you could hear it well from the boat. I'm going to have to get to it one of these summers.

The American Folk Festival in Bangor, ME is another great event (which I posted about in another thread), accessible by boat on the Penobscot River. It starts on August 26, 27, and 28th. May not work out this year with you current schedule, but keep it in mind for future visits.

Have enjoyed your writing about the cruise. Grog to you.

Fair winds,