Tristan arrived around 8:30 with the mast light assembly and got to work, the mast lift started about an hour later. The crane is older than anyone can remember but it is expertly run by Tim and staff. All went well and Bob with Tristan and only marginally, I, worked until 5pm to get all the other stuff that has to be done once the mast is up. We did take a break for lunch – can’t work hard on an empty stomach. All the instruments and electrical are working, except – bummer – the wind instruments. Bob may call the manufacturer to get some ideas on how to fix the problem, the connection appears to be ok.
We were given a load of food by a Canadian guy who was hired to sail a boat to the start of the ICW. He had delivered the boat (I think from the Toronto area) to Hop-O-Nose, the mast had been stepped yesterday, and he was driving back to Toronto today. He said the boat will stay in the marina until October when he’ll come back down to deliver it to Norfolk. Turned out Tristan knew his boat, Black Diamond, which he kept at the Port Credit Yacht Club, it’s now in a “hurricane hole” in Georgetown, Bahamas. We gave a lot of the food to Tristan as we couldn’t possibly use it all, pork chops, two dozen eggs, lots of cold cuts – good old Canadians 🙂
A very large, beautiful 48 foot sailboat arrived in the afternoon. They are from Minnesota, left there on August 20th. They have to wait until Monday to do their mast, no lifts on Sunday. They are also heading to Fort Pierce marina in Florida so I’m sure we’ll meet again. They and their crew were a very friendly bunch. Yet another couple recently retired who sold their house, bought a bigger boat, and plan to live on it at least the cooler/cold part of the year. The owner looked to be in his mid 50’s. He said they kept their cabin so probably spending their summers up north and winters in warmer climes on their boat. They have grandchildren in Minnesota so that is a draw to return for the summer.
We walked into town – all of ten minutes, to have dinner at the New York, recommended by Ursula. Very busy, hopping place, good thing we’d made reservations, the food and the people watching was great. A little before we left, the entertainment for the night arrived, two belly dancers. We couldn’t quite make the connection between the name and decor of the restaurant, and belly dancing, but it was preferable to a loud band – geez we’re showing our age.
Another foggy morning, it’s tended to be the norm. We were treated to a noisy night by people on a big power boat near us so it was a good thing we hadn’t planned to leave until around 10. I tested out the frying pan by making Finnish style pancakes (kinda like crepes but just a little thicker). Ideally they should be made in a cast iron frying pan but after the first few experimental ones they turned out ok. Having the maple syrup from Kevin was a real treat.
We went for a circular walk around town after breakfast, and like all the towns where we’ve had a chance to walk around a bit, it’s a mixed bag. We saw some pretty run down houses beside well kept ones, so again, one can understand the frustration of the voters even if we shake our heads at their choice.
We left the dock at 10:45, waving goodbye to our Minnesota neighbors who would be backing their boat into our spot in prep for their mast going up tomorrow. I don’t think the captain was looking forward to the exercise. After navigating the shallow entrance where the Minnesota boat grounded a bit, he draws 7′, we were back in the Hudson. Another sunny day so pleasure boaters were out in droves. A couple of them actually slowed down when overtaking us but for the most part, especially the cigarette style boats, they went zooming by in both directions leaving us bouncing. At least that’s not a big deal now that the mast is up but a few barges had major bow waves that really had us bouncing. We also sailed (read motored) through a sailboat race as they were flying their spinnakers, a very pretty sight.
Another pretty sight, if one can call it that, is all the mansions on both sides of the river. What appears to be a commuter train line runs on both sides of the river so we’re pretty sure many of these houses belong to very wealthy business people who commute to NYC. There were also several old lighthouses in beautiful stone or brick buildings, I’m going to post more of them in the Bob and Tarja’s Travels Facebook page as the blog seems to get ornery when you post too many pictures. Not only ornery but for PC users it sometimes turns pictures upside down.
We pulled into the visitor dock at Poughkeepsie Yacht Club at 3:15. The current had been against us for the first few hours but then turned in our favor so we were doing 7.5 knots (1.5 knots of current). And with that current it was a good thing there were two guys waiting to help us dock as we were instructed to dock to starboard facing the current. It is a very friendly club, bar service at ultra cheap prices, $3 for a bottle of beer and $10 for a bottle of California wine. It was not the greatest wine but just fine for the price. After cooling off at the bar, it had been another warm sunny day, we had to face the task of washing the last of the canal dirt and spider poop off the boat. It was a slog and we still have to do the coach roof which is not really dirty, but it’s very nice to have a clean boat again. We know the spider doo is a never ending battle so we were happy find the very efficient spider spray – sorry Kathryn. I also washed our slimy canal gloves after soaking them in Dawn. For those of you old enough to remember, “Madge would have been proud”, and after a bit of scrubbing they came surprisingly clean. I was in serious need of a shower after all this and am happy to report that PYC had the best shower I’ve used to date on the trip. If KYC is ever able to put in new showers, I’d love to provide some suggestions on design, and I’m not talking fancy, just practicality.
Fog again of course but got off to a good start, just before 9am. Not nearly as much traffic on the river today which we expected being a Monday. We saw much of the same scenery and huge houses along the river but there was a bit more industry. There were also some pretty high hills, it might have been the Peekskills
We were passed by a grey military or border patrol looking boat about half way through the day. It didn’t go far in the other direction when we saw it turn around and slowly start back in our direction. Remembering that Ursula & Jeb got boarded on the ICW, Bob said to quickly get our life jackets/vests closer to the cockpit, just in case. We do have life jackets in one of the cockpit lockers but the ones I grabbed were easier to get at. False alert this time, but we’ll keep those jackets close.
The interesting sights on the river today were the Culinary Institute of America, a medieval Scottish Castle – yes, that is what it claimed and what it looked to be, a large nuclear plant – not so lovely, and West Point which was pretty cool. One building which might have been a large sports complex had BEAT AIR FORCE on one side of the roof and BEAT NAVY on the other. The West Point property is huge including what looked like a castle keep wall. Lots of commuter trains, the tracks are so close to the river I wonder whether the Hudson ever floods.
Arrived at Haverstraw Marina around 3:30, got gas, a pump out and we were set. It’s a nice marina but we had one complaint, our finger dock was disgusting, covered in seagull splotches and lots of duck poop. We think maybe everyone cleans their own docks and this does not have a regular occupant.
We had a bit of a conference on where to stop today as the wind forecast for today and tomorrow was for quite a bit of it. We had hoped to get to the marina at Great Kill Harbour on Staten Island by Wednesday afternoon but the forecast made us rethink that plan. So we are now at Liberty Marina on the Jersey side, across the river from the tip of lower Manhattan. It’s a pretty high end marina but still a lot cheaper than a hotel in NYC. We’re going to stay here for two nights as the forecast for tomorrow is for even more wind. We’ll go to Great Kill on Thursday, weather permitting, where Ron is meeting us on Saturday.
It was a pretty bumpy ride until we we crossed under the Tappan Zee bridge. At least we had a following wave. The river narrowed at that point and the waves got quite bit smaller. The tide also turned in our favour so by the time we got within about 5 miles of the turn to the marina, we were doing 9.4 knots!
It was great site to see the Manhattan sky scrapers behind the George Washington bridge. We’re planning to spend the day in NYC tomorrow, there is a ferry very close to the marina and we also have the option of taking the subway from Jersey City to Manhattan. We had our first real rain of the trip, the heavens opened up just after we got back to the boat from doing the registration thing. So tonight is a chill and dine on the boat night.
Before recounting our fabulous day in NYC, time for the news we got from our insurance company the day we passsed the Tappan Zee bridge (Sept 19). Our Insurance company had our complete trip plan, including approximate dates, which were included in the voyage plan we had to submit. We also had to provide a hurricane preparedness plan, ie what we would do try to avoid one etc. All duly filed and accepted. We accepted the fact our premium would double once we crossed the Tappan Zee bridge, covering being in “hurricane area” and the fact that our boat would be in the water all year. There were no exclusions around dates. We had to let the company know 24 hours before got to the Tappan Zee bridge, which Bob did.
The next day Bob got an email from the insurance company saying thank you for letting us know, and by the way, because of all the claims we’ve had to pay for the recent hurricanes, you will not be covered for any damage from named hurricanes south of Norfolk Virginia until Dec 1. Our travel plan had us being at Fort Pierce, Florida by December 1. Norfolk is where would enter the inter coastal waterway and then take 5/6 weeks to travel through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and half way down the east coast of Florida to get to Fort Pierce where we have a slip booked for the month of December.
Bob has exchanged emails with the insurance company, there is no movement on this issue. In talking to some people here, some US insurers have a prior to Nov 1 date for not being covered south of Norfolk. Our friend Chris, who lives in St Petersburg FL and is making his way back to Florida, having spent the summer in the Long Island NY area, has no date restrictions on his coverage. Bob has contacted a company Chris recommended and they can insure Canadian boats in US waters. If they do, they would probably have a Nov 1 restriction but that sure beats Dec 1. We should hear back from him fairly soon, fingers crossed. The time of course is a big issue but so is the weather. Hanging around in the Chesapeake area even to the end of October means colder weather. We’ve been lucky with amazing sunny warm weather so far but that’s not going to last. We talked about parking the boat somewhere sometime in October, renting a car and doing some touristy stuff on land, staying in hotels with heat! It’s all up in the air for now ☹️.
And now to good news. We took the Liberty Landing ferry from the marina to the World Financial Centre at the tip of Lower Manhattan, a very short trip. It was interesting listening to the people around us. We were the first stop, the second one was still on the Jersey side across the channel from the marina. A lot of business people got on at the second stop, commiserating about the traffic that morning on the turnpike. I imagine being able to use the ferry makes it manageable to get from somewhere on the NJ side to Manhattan without having a daily mental traffic breakdown.
We were on a mission to try to get tickets to today’s matinée of Come From Away. The box office opened at ten to sell rush and standing room tickets. We knew we’d never get those but hoped there were regular priced seats still available. I chatted with a couple of women who were fairly close to the front of line, they had been there since 7am, we got there at 9:40. Luckily for us, most people were looking just for rush or standing room tickets so we got a pair to tickets four rows from the front and close to the centre, it was worth the hour we were in line !
We had talked about going to the Frick Museum but with the 2pm show we decided against it. We meandered to the Rockefeller Centre, had a leisurely lunch at the Rock Summer Cafe – it’s where the skating rink is in the winter. Bob did some shopping at the GAP on the way back to the theatre. The show was wonderful, worth every American penny. I was in the usual line at the women’s washroom (17 stalls, only minimal waiting according to a staffer) after the show, when an usher walked by heading for the staff locker room. As she excused herself to get past a woman in line, she asked her if she had enjoyed the show. The woman said yes, and also that she was from Newfoundland. The usher hugged her, which is a perfect illustration of what the show is all about.
A happy coincidence, our friend Paula was in was town doing a couple of training sessions for TD staff at the NYC office so we had a made arrangements to meet her for dinner near the theatre. She was going to the evening performance of Come From Away. We had a fun 2.5 hour, two bottle wine dinner. We took the subway back to ferry terminal and ended up wondering through a number of buildings including a very large shopping area. We were astounded at how much this part of the city had changed since we were last here – but it had been 12 years. It’s very built up now, condo/office towers, lots of restaurants, many people around, I’d say it was an improvement and there are still green spaces. We caught the last ferry back and I got a fabulous shot of Lower Manhattan all lit up. I Love ❤️ NYC !
We left the marina around 10:30 am, relieved that a honking big cruiser near our path out left this morning making the right turn out of our slip a lot easier. It was a bit of a bumpy ride in the harbour but I did manage to get a few good photos including one of Lady Liberty. There was a fair it of ferry traffic around us but all very manageable. Bob realized that he hadn’t put our Canadian flag or the courtesy US flag back up after taking them down at Liberty Marina to prevent the flap-flap noise during the night, so they went back up before we got to the Verrazano Bridge.
Once we went under the bridge it calmed down a lot and I had no problem going below to make lunch. We made it to Great Kills Harbour – which according to Google may mean “many creeks” in Dutch, by shortly after 1pm, thanks to the favourable current. I can’t say we had also had a following sea before the bridge as with all the ferry traffic the waves seem to be coming from several directions. This is a very large harbour with several marinas and yacht clubs. We’re staying at the club in the far corner beside a VERY large orange catamaran – I quite like the look. The owners bought at St Martins and picked it up in December – fortuitous timing.
We walked into town, which is very close to the club, to hit a drug store but were really dragging our asses on the way back as it was hot. Dinner was at a seafood place nearby and as a sign of our maturity, probably temporary, we didn’t finish our bottle of wine but brought t back to the boat to enjoy with lunch or dinner tomorrow.
One anecdote about the club, they redid their washrooms and showers this pst winter and they are beautiful. However, their sinage leaves a lot to be desired. The washrooms are labelled Captains and Mates, hahaha – Rosemary would have fun using the Captains washroom . Talk about not having caught up with the times. Everyone we’ve met at the club is very friendly and helpful so we can only hope they see the error of their naming ways. Bob did point out there was not a single female their picture gallery of commodores/vice commodores We were chatting with one of the catamaran owners last night and she also commented on the washroom labels – as in “what gives”.
It was nice to have a leisurely morning coffee as we were not going anywhere far today. It was another very hot, pretty much cloudless day so we decided against going for a walk.
Bob did the annual/or 150 engine hours oil change and we finished scrubbing the outside part of the boat that didn’t get done at Poughkeepsie. I think we’ve managed to reduce the spider population but they are not all gone.
Quiet day, a drink at the club bar, again only male customers, other than me – hmmmmmm. Dinner on the boat, Ron arrives tomorrow.
And another hot, hot day, it should hit at least 90F. Ron arrived around 1 pm and lunch at the Tiki bar was in order to discuss plans for the rest of the day.
St. Pete’s Chris is docked at a marina at Forked River, about a 1.5 hour drive south of here. He has our replacement radio that was delivered to his daughter’s place on Long Island and Bob’s PFD which he left on Chris’ boat in June. So poor Ron got to do some more driving. Bob really wanted to get the replacement radio installed before he & Ron leave tomorrow as the wind instruments are not working and Bob’s pretty sure it’s because the instrument display is linked to the radio/satellite that died the day before we left Kingston.
We had drinks on Chris’ boat, he, Ron & Bob perused many weather forecasts and strategised getting to Cape May. Chris is day ahead of us and will be sailing to Atlantic City tomorrow. The plan is to meet up at Cape May in a few days.
The formal change of crew took place this morning. Ron and Bob left about 9:30 and the laundry bag and I left in Ron’s car shortly after. The laundromat had wifi so I could entertain myself 🙂 I’m staying at a hotel about a one hour drive from Cape May.
Their plan, weather permitting, was to anchor at Barnegat Bay, about an eight hour motor/sail, from Great Kills Harbour, which they did. Bob said getting into to the somewhat narrow bay entrance against a two knot current was a bit of a challenge. He may went to add some details about their part of the trip.
They plan to be underway tomorrow by 7am at the latest – again weather permitting, they should reach Cape May around 6 pm.
Bob and Ron got off to an early start to head for Cape May while I lounged about at the hotel until checkout time.
It was a pleasant drive to Cape May, I got here around 5pm. Chris, on Even Keel, our Catalina twin, had arrived a couple of hours before that. He came from Atlantic City, we’ll be travelling together for a while now. Finnish Line pulled in around 5:30. They reported it was a pretty easy trip, mostly motor sailing and they ran into some fog but it wasn’t really dense. We’ll be here for two nights so tomorrow will be a chill and check out Cape May City day.
After drinks on Even Keel, we decided to have dinner at a Cape May institution, the Lobster House, which is about a two minute walk from the marina. The mains were good, sadly Ron reported he’d had much better martinis:)