The Oyster Bay Oyster Festival is over and it's time to start thinking about heading back. Conditions were the reverse of the sail to Oyster Bay I made a week ago. The winds were now expected out of the west in the morning which was good for my easterly journey. Unfortunately, just like a week ago the winds were expected to be light only between five to ten knots. But, the sun would be shining so it would still be a nice day on the water. But, like last week during my Columbus Day voyage I would need to get an early start in order to ride the last of the ebb current out of the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor entrance and into Long Island Sound:
Not quite as early as the trip to Oyster Bay. I figured a 6 AM departure would give me enough time to get out into Long Island Sound before the flood current started to enter in the harbor. I would be bucking the flood current for most of the day but, that's a sailor's lot sometimes.
The alarm went off at 5:30 AM. I made coffee and had a blueberry muffin for breakfast. I had everything ready in the cockpit including even having the searchlight nearby. I let go the lines off the mooring at 6:11 AM. I raised the sail and fired up the electric propulsion system for a 10 Amp draw and was moving along at about 1.7 knots in the pre dawn of the morning:
A slight breeze kicked in and BIANKA was soon moving along at 2.2 knots. Even though I was motor sailing I could still hear the noise of the traffic along West Shore Road which was over a mile away as the residents of Bayville started their early Monday morning commutes to work. A solitary Seagull was keeping watch on a buoy and appeared to be checking that things were clear as I headed toward Cold Spring Harbor bound for the sound
At 6:56 AM I was off Plum Point at the entrance to Oyster Bay Harbor. At 7:44 AM I was at Buoy 1 in Cold Spring Harbor having used 16.4 amp hours and the battery capacity had dropped to 92% .
At 8:43 AM I was in Long Island Sound off of Buoy 2 at Lloyd Point. The XBM battery monitor showed I had used 26.3 amp hours and battery capacity was at 87.4%. the current in Long Island Sound had also turned against BIANKA.
10:22 AM Found BIANKA off Eatons Neck and battery readings were 79.5% capacity and showed the EP had consumed 42.8 amp hours in four hours of electro sailing. As I rounded Eatons Neck the Northport Power plant stacks hove into view:
They are hard to miss being 600 feet high and part of the biggest gas fired power plant on the east coast.
Here's a little Nav tip from Capt. Mike: When the Northport Stacks line up they point due north.
At 11:24 AM I was directly north of the stacks. BINAKA's electro sailing had consumed -52.7 amp hours and battery capacity was now at 79.5%. Usually by this point I would have fired up the Honda 2000 to start operating in hybrid mode and not draw down the battery bank much further. But, it was such a nice day even in the very light wind and I still was bucking the flood current so I kept motoring along. I had ducked into Smithtown Bay where the flood current was much weaker than further out in the Sound and was moving along at 2.3. knots.
At 12:05 PM the wind picked up from the northwest and I was moving along nicely at 3 knots so I backed down on the electric propulsion.
At 12:35 PM A gentle breeze developed so that I was moving along at 3.4 knots and I shutdown the EP completely after drawing down 65.4 amp hours and having a battery capacity reading of 69%.
Later in the afternoon I spied the Tall Ship MYSTIC that was docked in Oyster Bay for the Oyster Festival just north of BIANKA:
I thought they might be headed back to their homeport of Mystic Connecticut. But, they instead ducked into Port Jefferson. Probably were on a cruise with passengers of Long Island Sound.