Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Bayliner Chronicles - Cruising thousands of miles across the Northeastern United States

Michelle and I traded in a 40 foot Carver over the winter of 2014/15 and purchased a 2008 Bayliner 245 Ciera so that we could explore the Northeast United States without breaking the bank on gas and repairs.

More backstory on our nautical life, including the boats owned prior, can be found here.

After a couple of cold winters in New York, thoughts quickly changed to trip planning. With a trailerable boat, the world was now our oyster - so to speak.

Here are some of the journey's thus far...

Major Trips:

1. Jersey Shore via Manasquan River

MAY 27-28, 2016

A 206 mile drive south of Albany put us at the Manasquan River Club in Brick, NJ, where we could launch, keep the truck and dock for a few days while we explored the Jersey Shore.

We were able to jump out of the inlet and get a taste of the open Atlantic for awhile, and then jump back inside for a nice 25 mile cruise down the shore to Seaside Heights where we tied up at a Moose Lodge.

A nice walk over to the ocean side beach and then down the Boardwalk to see the home turf of Snooki and friends. On May 29th we trailered the boat to Sesame Place in Langhome, PA.

2. Washington, DC for July 4th Fireworks

JULY 1-5, 2016

The longest drive yet with boat in tow - a 360 mile drive south of Albany will put us at the Franklin Street Boat Ramp in Cambridge, Maryland. 

Fun fact: Jay-Z called Cambridge home before pursuing a music career.

We start the 5 day trip from Cambridge, into Chesapeake Bay down to the Potomac River and then back up to the Nation's Capital. On the way, we will spend the first night at Bayside Marina in Colonial Beach, Virginia making for about 100 miles of cruising.

On July 2, we head up the remaining 76 miles of the Potomac to Washington, DC and stay at the Washington Marina, just steps from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. We hang out to watch the fireworks on July 4th and do some navigating around the DC area (by foot and boat).

On July 5, we make the full 176 mile journey back to Cambridge and then the drive back to Albany.

Day Trips:

1. The Hudson River

2. Saratoga Lake

Major Trips:

1. Hudson River to NYC and then Long Island (and back through Harlem River)

MAY 8-10 & JULY 26-27, 2015

A short 90 mile drive south of Albany put us in Newburgh, New York and the start of a 250 mile nautical journey taking us through Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, East River and the Long Island Sound to Northport.

We had a great dinner at Water's Edge Restaurant spent the night right beside Citi Field, the home of the Mets as well as Northport in Long Island.

In July we headed back on almost the same route to see friends Melissa Kerkau and Myra Jensen and stay 2 nights at the 79th St. Boat Basin.

Great to see family and friends along the way!

2. Thousand Islands and Lake Ontario (and back to Oneida Lake)

MAY 22-24, 2015

A 140 mile drive west of Albany put us in Oneida Lake, New York and the start of a 275 mile journey taking us through the Erie Canal, Oswego Canal, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence Seaway and then the Thousand Islands.

We had a wonderful time exploring Boldt Castle on Heart Island as well as the little towns along the way. With nights in Oswego and Clayton, it was a beautiful journey through two countries.

3. Boston, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard (and back to New Bedford)

JULY 3-6, 2015

A 200 mile drive southeast of Albany put us in New Bedford, MA, and the start of a 300 mile journey taking us through Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod, Boston Harbor, the Atlantic Ocean, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. We were joined by a great crew - my dad Jim McBain and Audrey Jackson.

We had a great time exploring Boston for 2 days including a game at Fenway Park and the July 4th fireworks at anchor!  The weather was cooperating so we took the outer Cape Cod route to Nantucket which worked well except for the last 20 miles of open water where we were battling big waves.

Staying at the Nantucket Boat Basin gave us excellent access to the town and we enjoyed walking up and down each street. It was an expensive night, but worth it because both nights in Boston were free.

The journey between Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard was calm as a small lake and the 28 miles flew right by. We found a nice town dock in Vineyard Haven (Tisbury) that was only $5 per hour and had an excellent beach to cool off.

The final leg back to New Bedford was also clear sailing and a very quick 23 miles.

4. Philadelphia & Baltimore, via the Delaware River, C&D Canal & Chesapeake Bay

SEPTEMBER 4-7, 2015

A 211 mile drive south of Albany puts us in New Jersey's capital city Trenton, and the start of a 300 mile journey taking us through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the C&D Canal, and Baltimore, Maryland.

This was our first trip down the Delaware River. From what I read on the internet, the rocks up north are a concern and the tides can cause some interesting navigation. Not to mention the amount of commercial traffic that takes this route.

It was also our first time in Chesapeake Bay which I know is a boaters dream. Approaching Philly and Baltimore by water was an awesome experience. Baltimore has one of the nicest waterfronts I have ever seen.

When I bought my previous boat, the Carver Mariner, I navigated from south New Jersey up the Atlantic to New York City and then to Montreal and Toronto. This time we were on the inside route!

5. Whitehall, NY to Plattsburgh, NY on Lake Champlain

SEPTEMBER 19-20, 2015

A quick 80 mile drive north of Albany puts us in Whitehall, NY, on the northern end of the Champlain Canal and the gateway to Lake Champlain. Whitehall is steeped in history as during the late 17th century, the area was a staging ground for raids between English and French colonies. I visited once before on the Carver and remember the famous Skene Manor on the hill.

The voyage up Champlain is about 90 miles direct, with a few more miles planned for visiting the Vermont side of the lake.

It is "parent's weekend" at SUNY Plattsburgh where my daughter is attending her freshman year and we will spend one night at the Boat Basin.

Day Trips:

1. The Great Sacandaga Lake


A quick 52 mile drive west of Albany put us on the southeastern side of Great Sacandaga Lake.  The first thing we found was a sandy island with a bunch of boats beached and having a great time. We joined them and basked in the rays.

We then drove to the farthest point in the northeast part of the lake and then watched the sunset as we cruised back down and explored the built-up western region with numerous marinas. Lucky I had my Navionics running on my iPad as the sunken islands and shoals are not very well marked!

2. Saratoga Lake


A very quick 32 mile drive north of Albany put us on Saratoga Lake.  A favorite spot for locals because of its proximity and clean water, this lake offers a lot of options for kayakers, waterskiers and even small sailboats.

While it is shallow around the shore, the middle is wide open and has little worry about shoals or sunken islands of any kind.

We enjoyed spending time with our friends the Godgarts, who have a beautiful property on the southwest shore.

3. Hudson River


Our home body of water is the Hudson River - dividing Albany, NY and our home in Wynantskill.

We were members of the Albany Yacht Club (excellent group of people - highly recommended!) which is only a few miles down the road. With a trailerable boat, we decided to keep it on the trailer this year - but who knows what the future will bring!

So there it is, how to put a 1,700 miles on a boat in only one summer!

Stay tuned for our next adventures...