Day 40, May 9, Floatin with the ‘floaters’

10 05 2012

Since hurricane Irene(2011), the Erie Canal has been closed til recently due to flooding and damage. All the trees and branches have floated down the Hudson making it difficult for boaters to get around them at times. When we left this morning we were lucky to fallow a barge that cleared a path for us all the way to Albany. There were whole trees being shoved aside by his wake. We wound our way around branches and trunks for about 5 miles to Troy, where we entered the first lock towards the Erie and Champlain Canals. We were one of 5 Canadian boats in this canal—I was speaking french to some sailors from Montreal who just finished a two year journey to the Caribbean and Central America.

We are docked at the complimentary dock provided by the canal system in the town of Waterford. The first lock of the Erie Canal opens at noon tomorrow. Nite all.


Day 39, May 8, The Hudson River

10 05 2012

We were surprised at how little industry we saw on our trip up the Hudson. Huge cliffs hug the shore (3 and 4 hundred ft.), for miles out of New York city as well as rolling hills and forests. The river spans a mile or so at times with homes and towns once in a while. We passed Sing Sing, one of the largest prisons in the US, and also West Point, the largest officer-training facility in America.

Must mention some of the odd and funny names along the Hudson—-there’s Anthony’s Nose, Con Hook, Murderous Creek,(there was an anchorage there but we decided to pass, interesting that it’s not far from Sing Sing), Verplanck, Indian Kill, Little Nutten Hook, and Coxsackie!!!

We anchored at Catskills Creek, we’re in the Catskills now.

Day 38, May 7, ‘On the Town’ in Manhattan and Brooklyn

9 05 2012

Due to the tide, current and barges going by, our mooring was rather ‘rocky’ last night and this morning, so we decided to find a marina further down the river. As we floated along the Hudson we could see the morning traffic backed up on the Riverside Parkway and Washington bridge,(we were the only boat on the river at the time), I thought how easy it is to travel by water in such a big city. We ended up at the Tarrytown Marina,about 15 miles from downtown, and took the train back into the city for the day: and what a great day it was!!!

From Grand Central Station we took a subway to Soho, then we went to Central Park for a horse and buggy ride(something I’d always wanted to do ever since I saw “The Good-bye Girl”;one of my favorite movies—–in fact most of my favorite ‘girl’ movies are set in New York). The sun was shining and the park was abloom with spring. Of course there were many people around as our buggy meandered around the park. Our Irish driver pointed out the sights —even the building off in the horizon where Woody Allen owns the whole top floor!!! After the ride we went into Tiffanys to ‘brows”!!!!( “Breakfast at Tiffanys” will always be my favorite New York flick). A movie was being filmed on 5th Avenue—-you feel like you’re in a movie around this place; Very surreal!!! We didn’t really like the atmosphere, so we decided to go to Brooklyn where we’d planned to hear one of our favorite Key West bands, Billy Nemec and The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn. Since they didn’t start til 8, we thought we’d see a bit of Brooklyn til then, (another area we’d never been before).

After getting lost a couple times on the subway, we finally emerged on Lafayette St. in Brooklyn, and we loved this area! It reminded us a lot of the Beaches in Toronto, but the apartments have those staircases out front like you see on Sesame St. We had happy hour at the Brooklyn Public Pub and everyone was very friendly. We had dinner at Chez Oscars, (where the Blue Vipers were playing); this restaurant was just adorable! When Billy, one of the sweetest guys we’ve ever known, walked in, he was extremely surprised and pleased to see us,(we’d seen him in January). He puts his own ‘twist’ to standards and his band consists of trumpet, stand-up bass, and ‘drummer’, who uses a washboard,a pot and a cake pan! Needless to say the night was ‘magical’, and the perfect ending to our New York visit.

It took us a couple hours to get back to Tarrytown and I was too pooped to blog. Night nite.

Day 37, May 6 New York State of Mind

9 05 2012

We got up very early and to go through the Manesquan Inlet to travel about 20 miles to New York City.
Austin and Sandy were going to stay at Sandy Hook Bay, just outside the New York Harbour, so they could go up the East River tomorrow, so we said our good-byes and talked on the radio until we got close to New York Harbour. We put our radio receiver close to our Sirius radio when the song ‘Till We Meet Again’ came on. They are excited about showing us the sights of St. Johns in July.

What a beautiful day as we sailed into New York Harbour. Lots of boat traffic and several big tankers and barges anchored. Sailboats swooped past the Statue of Liberty and the view of Manhattan was AWESOME! I thought of the millions of immigrants who sailed into this harbour as we passed Ellis Island. Can’t describe how excited to have made it this far on our journey! So wonderful to see the ‘Big Apple’ from the water in our boat. We both felt that we’d accomplished something in our lives—really see how experience builds confidence.

We attached our boat to a mooring ball in front of the 79th Street Marina and took our dingy to the dock. It’s a lovely location along Riverside Park. The subway was a couple blocks away so we decided to go to Greenwich Village(a section of the city we hadn’t seen the only other time we’d been here over 10 years ago)—reminded us of Queen Toronto. We treated ourselves to fresh-cut french fries and french pastries!!!? Got back on the subway and headed for Times Square. SO MANY PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!!!!! We were definitely overwhelmed after being on the water for so long. But it was a lovely sunny day and the lights and activity were very exhilarating. We had happy hour and dinner at a french restaurant on 42nd Street and talked with some English tourists, sweet people.

By the time we got back to the boat we were really tired, so I put off blogging for another day—sorry, blog ‘fans’, will catch up soon.

Day 36, May 5 MUD and ‘Newfound friends’

9 05 2012

Because the fog was thicker than ever today , especially on the Atlantic, we had no choice but to continue in the New Jersey ‘ditch’—-and it was a VERY challenging day! Travelling with our friends made it bearable, though. Sometimes the depth was only 4ft. (we have a 4ft.draft) and the width was the width of our boat sometimes, but we were on the radio with Austin and Sandy all the way. We got towed out by SeaTow twice. They were only 5 minutes away; needless to say this is a very busy area for them! With Austin and Sandy’s comments,(and accents), on the radio, we were able to stay lighthearted through all of this,but it was very stressful. Sometimes the markers were not accurate to the chart or the GPS, and sometimes all three contradicted—but we kept going until we finally got to a deeper area near Manesquan Inlet through a canal that had a 6 knot current coming against us and 2 and 3ft waves! (this canal was only 100 ft. Wide). It was dark by the time we finally docked at Hoffmans Marina(challenging because of the current). We had a much needed happy hour on Austin and Sandy’s boat and decided to walk over to a restaurant for burgers and lots of stress-relieving laughs.

It’s amazing how ‘raw’ life can be on the road , or ‘on the water’, and how quickly you an get to know people, especially when you have to go through some challenges together.

Must mention how lovely the Jersey Shore is. The huge summer homes line the shore, some on piles extending into the ICW. A continuous beach lines the Atlantic shore with dunes and almost continuous mansions(probably cottages).

Too ‘pooped’ to blog tonight ; will catch up later.

Day 35, May 4 Fog and the New Jersey shore

7 05 2012



Well, here we sit.  Needless to say that we did not leave at dawn as we planned.  This is our first experience with fog on this trip and it’s as thick as pea soup.  The boat from Newfoundland was also waiting it out so we contacted them and found out that they were thinking of going ‘on the inside’ if it didn’t lift soon because it wasn’t as thick inland as on the ocean. The ‘inside’ is the New Jersey stretch of the ICW that takes you to about 40 miles south of New York city.  We had heard that it was very shallow, so we hadn’t planned on taking it, but as the fog wasn’t lifting we decided to go with these people——-big lesson learned; you can’t rush mother nature!!! The fog did lift on the ocean by noon, but we were committed to continue until we could find an outlet.  This waterway is VERY shallow, especially at low tide,and it also twists around like a snake.  By noon we had pulled our new friends out of the mud twice,(they didn’t have SeaTow),and we were forced to anchor in order to wait for high tide, which occurred at 4pm.  When we finally got out to sea, after 15 miles, it felt wonderful to be in deep water again.  We stayed in Ocean City at a marina and had happy hour and dinner with our new friends, Austin and Sandy from St. Johns, Nef ‘n LAND (the way to pronounce it properly—accent on LAND).  I identified with Sandy’s comment concerning our day, when she said: “Me narves are gone!!!)  We had some needed  laughs and got promised a lobster dinner when we visit their province this summer.  Today was a lesson in patience, but we learned a lot and were thankful to be safe and sound with our fellow Canadians.  Nite all.

Day 34, May 3, Delaware Bay and Cape May

4 05 2012

Today was the perfect day to go down the Delaware River and cross Delaware Bay because we’d been advised to not do so against the tide or with the wrong winds.  It was cloudy til mid afternoon and very little wind from the southwest.  We anchored in Cape May harbour then took our dingy to Utsch’s Marina where we took a cab to the town.  ADORABLE!!!!!The whole town  looks like  a Victorian Reproduction movie set.  Porches and gingerbread trim everywhere!  There’s a lovely beach,too.  We walked down the Promenade; ( a street closed off to vehicles), and looked at some of the shops, then had dinner.  It’s pre-season so there were very few people around.  Our cab driver-tour guide showed us around and told us how the town had drastically changed once the historical society took over—they have done an amazing job!  The town is a historical monument.  A great example of what can be accomplished when people unite for a common purpose.

We’ve got a ‘weather window’ of one day tomorrow to do our ocean run along the Jersey Shore(oh, by the way we are in New Jersey now).  That means we will be leaving at dawn so we can get to Sandy Hook, at the tip of New York harbour; about 120 miles,(our longest run yet).

When we came back to our boat tonight we noticed that the boat from Newfoundland was anchored beside us again.  Hope they’re doing the same run with us tomorrow.   Well, Night all.