Boat wakes, yacht clubs, and the Jersey shore   Leave a comment

Ahhh, finally tied up in a marina with some time to kill and their wireless isn’t working. Pictures will have to wait. It’s a good thing I have plenty of stories to tell!

Lee and I are starting to look the part of wandering vagrant sailors. A woman working in the cafe I last posted from asked us if we were Scandinavian. She said she was from Sweden and we looked Swedish. I looked at Lee. He looked at me. We took in each others dirty hair, mine in braids and his accompanied by a grizzled beard. We were dressed for the rainy, cold weather and carrying backpacks. Yep, we did not look like we were from around there. I told the woman we sailed in on a boat and she seemed satisfied.

The trip through New York city was breathtaking and a bit chaotic at times. It was a clear sunny day and plenty of spectacular views unfolded as we wound our way through Hells Gate, past Manhattan, and into NY harbor. A party boat filled with dancing Asian tourists passed by in the morning, waving and taking our picture. Several cargo ships accompanied by color-coordinated tug boat lumbered by. I swear, the tug boats match their tankers and container ships! The bright orange Staten Island Ferry was quite a site blasting around harbor and there were countless other working boats around.

I lost track of the number of bridges we went under. We sailed past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I think our brains were worn out from processing everything by the time we got to the coast of New Jersey on the other side of the bay. We anchored off Keansberg, NJ, explored the abandoned boardwalk carnival, and moved to the other side of the bay to escape a rising chop the next morning.

Great Kills harbor was kind to us. Lee called up Staten Island Yacht Club before we motored over and they kindly offered us a free transient mooring. When we got there we discovered there was no place to dock our dinghy and go ashore without paying transient fees to the yacht club with actual waterfront space: Richmond County YC. We paid them a bit reluctantly but got several nice showers and launch service out of the deal. The Staten Island YC was essentially a bar populated by big, gruff, but friendly guys with such thick NY accents I felt like I was saying what every time they talked to me.

We enjoyed a bit of free food and drink at RCYC’s opening day party on Saturday and then picked up some interesting groceries at a Russian market down the street (“Russian Chocolate” with squirrels on the wrappers included). I had my first Italian ice (tasty but not as good as soft serve).

Yesterday morning it was time to head for Atlantic City. I set up the solent on deck the night before. It was hanked on the stay and stuffed in the bag all ready to go in case it got windier than the forecast 5-10 knots. Ha! Yesterday turned out totally calm most of the time and light right on our bow the rest. We fought through swarms of little fishing boats just outside the harbor, raised, then lowered, and furled our sails dejectedly. We even rigged the MPG, our big light air/downwind genoa. A little voice in the back of my head told me it was a bad idea to keep raising it when it was getting really hard crank the winch. I should have listened: the top hank was too big for the splice at the top of the synthetic stay and it got stuck. We managed to get it down by rigging a halyard to the bottom of the sail and bring that to a winch but the top hank bent completely open. The solent stay won that battle.

We pulled into Atlantic City just after dark with the city lights blazing. It reminded me of driving into Vegas; the city just appeared out of the horizon. Dolphins escorted us in and a coast guard helicopter dropped a rescue swimmer (training, I assume) into the ocean right next to us at the mouth of the harbor.

Atlantic City to Cape May, NJ…to be continued.

Posted May 17, 2010 by Rachel in Uncategorized

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