Friday, August 21, 2009

NYC Pretty much Sucked, But we are Having Fun Again!

All it took was a day away from the city, back on "the hook" to remind us of why we are doing this.

After our move to the Liberty Island anchorage, we left early Thursday morning for Atlantic Highlands, NJ. The trip went smoothly, although the first part was again a little stressful since we traded the NYC water taxis for the Staten Island Ferries. I plotted a course on our new chartplotter that kept us along the main shipping channels so things actually went quite well.
After we arrived in the anchorage and were confident the anchor was set, it was time to relax and have a little fun. I went around to talk to a couple of other boats, seems we are all here for the same reason, waiting for Hurricane Bill to pass so we can run the 110 miles down the coast to the Delaware Bay.

Once again it was stinkin` hot, so it was nice to be somwhere we could all swim ( we didn`t realize crabs could swim!!). The day ended with our 182nd viewing of Lemony Snicketts.

Today was another hot one, and unfortunately called for a visit to shore. We needed to go to West Marine to get charts for the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. This really brought to focus how much we love being on the boat and hate having to be onshore. Mitch and I caught a cab to WM, Lisa and Delaney checked out the local shops in town. We also picked-up a few necessities (milk, bread, cerveza),before gettting back just before some bad weather.
I had actually just taken the kids off in the dinghy to check-out some kiteboarding kites off in the distance (hopefully get some kiting in tomorrow), when the front moved in. As we were heading back to the boat, we hit a wall of wind that was about 10C cooler than anything we had felt the past 2 days. The wind had also shifted 180 degrees from the heading it was on when we set the anchor (no fear, our new $600 Rocna15 anchor was up to the challeng).

Anyway, some pretty spectacular thunder and lightning kept us entertained, the benefit being a great sunset.

The kids were a great help cleaning up after supper, Delaney even made us some garlic toast to go along with the pasta.

We really needed a change after two longs days on the Hudson River and our time in NYC . It was taking it`s toll . It`s not always easy keeping everyone happy and entertained, kids and adults alike!

On another positive note, we found out that the marina on the Chesapeake Bay that our friends Bobbie and Gord recommended will be able to accomodate us when I return to work in a couple of weeks. Sounds like there are quite a few kids living aboard there, a very family-oriented kid friendly spot (and well protected from hurricanes).

Life is good!!


The Crew of the Good Ship ``Happy Again``

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Well we're back at it again!!

We left Coxsackie on Saturday. Another big thank-you to Sal and all the members of the Coxsackie Yacht Club, you really made us feel at home.
Thanks also to mom and Marge for driving us down. They made an impression on the Club and have been invited back next Spring for a party.

And of course thanks to Tim and Errinne for loaning us their truck. As luck would have it, the brakes on our car gave out the day before our departure and there was no way we were going to replace them just so the car could sit in our garage for the next 12 months!!
As usual, I had a couple of projects to deal with before we left. The biggest was installing our new dinghy davits. The set-up is pretty sweet, including moving the solar panel and speakers further aft. Unfortunately it was 92F and I didn't plan well for it. I wound up on the floor of the boat ready to yak my guts, too much sun and not enough fluids! Then for the remainder of the day my hands and arms kept cramping up. After about 5 gallons of Gatorade my electrolites were replenished and all was normal.

We set off down the Hudson on Sunday morning with the outgoing tide and ended up having a VERY long day, making it about 50 miles to Marlboro, NY, grabbing a mooring ball and scoffing some free ice from some friendly power-boaters (see, I don't have a problem with stinkpots!!)

The kids had fun snapping pics of lighthouses and barges. Lisa and I had fun dealing with the Coast Guard (twice) and a local Sherriff. A little bit of the "Biggar" attitude was on display, thankfully countered with some MacLean "appeasement", thus avoiding, as the floating Sheriff put it, "a visit before the Judge". Too long a story to go into here, suffice to say it all worked out in the end.

Monday was another long day, covering 55 miles, taking us past West Point and into New York Harbour.

We had pretty calm conditions as we entered the harbour, but as you get near lower Manhattan you have to start dealing with the water taxis!!

These boats are big, fast and zig-zag all over the harbour, running back and forth between NYC and New Jersey (where we were going). Because they are going in different directions, you get wakes coming at you from everywhere! Nah, I didn't care for this part of the day much, but we (and the boat) were fine.
Our home for the night was a marina in Jersey City, NJ, right across from Manhattan. In the past we have always avoided staying here, assuming it was expensive. Well whatta you know, we were right !!! $365USD for 2 nights!!! No extra charge for the crappy washrooms either!!

Anyway, it's not about the money, right???

Yesterday we did the tourist thing in the city, although first we had to go to Verizon to get our internet access corrected (they gave us an out of date driver, which of course is easily obtainable WITH INTERNET ACCESS!!!!!!). So after Jonaton loaded the newest driver, we were off. The ferry from NJ drops you off right at the World Financial Center, which is next to the former World Trade Center location so we got to see the construction of the new building. We then jumped on the subway and made our way towards Times Square, stopped for some great pizza, then got a cab to the Museum of Natural History (from the movie).

We then had a little walk through central park, then went for dinner at an Irish Pub just off Broadway.

Today we played tourist again, visiting the Statue of Liberty.

So what's next??

Well another night at the marina was out of the question, so this afternoon we moved to an anchorage not too far behind Liberty Island. Anchorage=FREE!!

We have also made a change in our plans. We were originally planning to head to Oriental, NC but have decided to go to the Chesapeake Bay (safer during Hurricane season). We haven't firmed up the details, but hopefully will find out tomorrow if the place we want to go to can accomodate us.

In the mean time, tomorrow morning we will travel out of New York and down to Atlantic Highlands, NJ. This is the same place we bought Charlotte-Ann, so Alan and Jim can relate to where we will be tomorrow night.

We then need to wait for a weather window to head down the coast, and this could be a few days since the NJ shoreline is going to be feeling the effects of Hurricane Bill. We are going to lose a few days sitting in Atlantic Highlands, but there isn't much we can do about it. Hopefully the seas will lay down over the weekend so we can make the run down the coast to the Delaware Bay.

So all in all, things are going pretty good.

Are we having fun??? Most of the time. In all honesty, with the heat and long days on the water (and water the kids can't swim in) we all can get a little snippy.

Would we trade what we are doing for anything else right now, no way.

Well, o.k, Lisa would trade for a boat with air-conditioning, but other than that things are good.


The sweaty, grumpy crew of the Charlotte-Ann!