2002

 
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September 12, 2002, 5:32 PM
 

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Hi All,

We are riding out a good blow on the mooring tonight. It is fueled by the hurricane 'Gustav' currently offshore. Wind gusts of 50 miles per hour are rattling our rigging. I'm glad to be on a mooring tonight and not out in the anchor field.

We had a wonderful week sailing 'SummerThor' in the company of Jan and Bob on their boat 'Gabrielle'. We left a week ago Saturday and sailed from Stonington, CT to Shelter Island (in the crook of the Long Island 'fish tail'). There were some heavy seas and stiff winds that made the trip exciting!

The whole next day it rained, so we each spent a day below decks on our respective boats, and never even set foot on Shelter Island.

Monday brought much nicer weather and fair winds, which we used to sail over to Block Island, Rhode Island. We spent the next couple of days on Block Island, trying to figure out what the tourist who flock there see in the place. We never really did figure it out! But we had a great time anyway.

Friday we sailed from Block Island to Montauk Point (the tip of the Southern most 'fish tail' of Long Island). Montauk Lake is shallow, but with a little hunting and pecking, we found our way to a decent place to drop the anchor in the middle of the lake. We swam off the back of our boats and rafted together so that it was easy to share a great meal together.

Saturday found us heading back to Stonington, under light winds, so we each dragged out our spinnakers and flew them. We took some fantastic photos of the boats with their big colorful spinnakers flying!

We had a great week. It was a little 'different' for us in that Jan and Bob actually like to SAIL their sailboats... so we made decisions on where to go next based on where the wind was blowing! What a novel idea! But then again, you have the option of doing that around here. There are interesting places to go within an easy day's sail in almost every wind direction. Up until now we have really been traveling with specific goals in mind... such as 'Get North before a hurricane hits'. So it was really nice to let the wind choose our itinerary for a change.

I dropped a 'message in a bottle' halfway between Block Island and Montauk Point on an outgoing tide. It should be on its way to Europe or Africa now. I hope it will inspire some person to find out more about the world outside of his or her village. And perhaps our message of peace and hope will touch someone's heart and turn an enemy into a friend.

There is a big boat show in Newport, RI (just over the border) this weekend which we will go to on Friday. Then we will get serious about our boat projects and haul the boat out of the water the middle of next week for about a week. We decided to put the boat 'on the hard' here because I am concerned that if we take it out of the water closer to home, it may take too long to get it back in. At home it is too easy to let 'one thing' lead to 'another' and 'another'!

On this day that the whole world is remembering those who were lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and the brave souls who brought that plane down in Pennsylvania; we hope all of you are safe and at peace with the choices you have made in your life.

Life's a trip.

Claudia


August 29, 2002, 1:41 PM
 

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Hi All,

What with one thing or another, it was a few days before we got a chance to take Roger's brother out to the boat for his inspection. In fact, I stayed at the house, and Roger took his brother Bob and Bob's son Robby out to the boat. Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub... are bound to get into trouble!

They were riding in Bob's Boston Whaler... a boat that actually goes FAST. Which, of course, meant that they WENT fast! Boys will be boys, and all that. They no sooner made it out to our boat when the Stonington Harbormaster came alongside and started balling them out!

Didn't they know that there was a speed limit in the harbor? Didn't they know that they had LAWS in Stonington!? How long was Roger planning on staying at anchor anyway? A MONTH? You can't leave your boat at anchor here for a MONTH! Don't you know we have LAWS!

Roger reverted to his military school training and 'yes, sir', 'no, sir' and 'I didn't know, sir(ed)' the guy and promised it would never happen again until he calmed down a bit. And then, since Bob knew that the guy was from a merchant marine background, they started trading ship stories.

One thing lead to another, and by the end of the conversation they were all old buddies and Bob ventured to ask if there happened to be a unused mooring in the harbor that we could tie up to. Sure enough, there was... and the guys moved the boat over to it that very evening.

But the misadventures didn't stop there. It seems that there is still some debate over who was responsible for the speeding (fingers were pointed in every direction) but EVERYONE agrees that it was Roger who tied the Boston Whaler onto the stern of our boat while they moved to the mooring. Unfortunately, it wasn't tied onto our stern when they were done and ready to go back ashore.

Oops! They looked up, they looked down, but there was no Whaler in sight. And of course, the tide was such that the thing would be drifting out to sea with every passing minute! BUMMER!

Roger always said that the only reason he became an engineer is that he failed knot-tying at the academy! I've seen his knots... this may be a true story!

Fortunately for everyone there is a launch boat that plies the harbor bringing people to and from their moored boats for a fee. They had a hunch and called the launch driver, and sure enough, he had found the wayward Whaler and had it tied up at their dock. It cost the boys a few dollars to get the thing back, but all was well in the end.

So, all in all, what started out poorly ended up fine... and with us on a free mooring to boot! Can't complain about THAT!

It looks like Bob and Jan are up for taking their boat for a week cruise over Labor Day. We'll tag along to keep them out of trouble (ha!).

Life's a trip!

Claudia


August 18, 2002, 11:10AM
 

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Hi All

This morning (Friday) we made the boat secure again after two weeks on a mooring (you tend to get careless) and we left for the Long Island Sound.

We motored from the 79th Street Marina (this was just a little down river from the George Washington Bridge) down the Hudson River, around the Battery (tip of Manhattan), up the East River.

Our fearless navigator (Claudia) had me do this at just above an idle speed to make a good (slack) tide at Hell's Gate. The slow speed made us a good target for all the water traffic that was coming and going, such as the Staten Island ferries that travel at about 25 knots, all the Manhattan ferries, and the sight-seeing boats. We did good, I went right down the middle of the channel at between 2.5 and 5 knots (we were going against a good current) and everyone had plenty of room to pass us. The fast ferries put out about a 5 foot wake (wave) so we were a-rocking and a-rolling!

There was a lot of boat traffic, especially around the Battery! But our ride through Hell's Gate was smooth thanks to Claudia's careful timing.

We traveled up the East River, under all the bridges, through the Throgs Neck Bridge, which put us into the Long Island Sound. The sky looked threatening, and the weather forecast included the possibility of thunder storms and rain in the afternoon, so we pulled into Manhasset Bay, Port Washington, LI area and dropped the anchor. Now it is raining a little and there is thunder in the distance. And I hope it stays far away!

Roger

We ended up in the middle of a good thunderstorm, so it was good that we stopped. The sky isn't totally clear yet, but at the moment we are out of the rain and the humidity has subsided down to a tolerable level. We may be able to make it to Port Jefferson tomorrow. We'll probably cross the LI Sound at Port Jefferson and head for the Connecticut coast.

Life's a trip!

Claudia


August 15, 2002,
 

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Hi All

We are having such a great time in NYC that we are really going to hate to leave!

Today we visited the American Museum of Natural History. We could have easily spent another day there.

We have visited a lot of museums. I finally got to see the Cloisters... a museum made up of old monasteries stolen... I'm sorry, I meant 'purchased for relocation' from all over Europe and transplanted onto a hill on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Along with a really good collection of Medieval art, including half of the existing Unicorn Tapestries. I had seen the other half in Europe somewhere, but the location eludes me.
We also spent a short afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art... it was included with our admission to the Cloisters, so we ran over there. The place is HUGE! It would take a week to see it all, even if you were rushing!

We took a quick tour of the Intrepid... a Navy aircraft carrier turned museum. We did that right after we got done with our 3 hour Circle Line cruise around Manhattan Island. We wanted to see Manhattan from the water without having to drive. It was interesting.

We went to the top of the Empire State Building, and we have visited a number of interesting churches, including the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Riverside Church. And we can now tell you for sure who is buried in Grant's Tomb!

We got 'free' tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. The tickets are free but you pay for them with your time... we got on line at 8:30 AM for tickets that began to be given out at 1 PM. It was a lovely play with some big-name actors. We were allowed 4 tickets between the two of us, so we gave a pair to the boat behind us. They were grateful and we all had a really good time.

We've looked at the charts and it looks like we will leave here on Friday and follow the North Shore of Long Island until at least Port Jefferson, and then probably cut across the LI Sound after Port Jeff.

Life's a trip!

Claudia


August 6, 2002, 2:33 PM
 

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Hi All,

We've been on the road since mid-June and so far the only slip we've slipped into was a free slip without water and electric. Why pay $90 a night for a slip when we can sit at anchor for free or pick up a mooring ball for $15 a day .... on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, yet! I mean you can't even park a car around here for $15 a day! ONE of these days we plan to break down and buy a night or two for the use of shore power so we can defrost the freezer, but not at the prices around here!

I picked up a bunch more computer charts yesterday. The boat across from us needed NY and North charts, I traded a copy of my NY to Nantucket to Cape May for the use of his to duplicate. I now have the Central America coast of the Gulf of Mexico all the way down to Colombia, through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast to California. Not to mention the Caribbean. And Cuba, if it ever opens up... but until then our boat insurance won't cover us there, so we aren't going.

From here we are going up to Connecticut to 'hang with Roger's brother in Stonington, near New London. That's probably as far North as we will get. It's getting late in the season. We will probably take a trip from Stonington to Block Island while we are there.

This morning we are waiting on line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets. We were told to be here at 9am... which we were, but the tickets aren't given out until 1pm. I think they failed to mention THAT! Anyway, the tickets are free... you just pay with your time. Roger is off walking while I hold the place in line.

Life's a trip!

Claudia


August 5, 2002, 1:32 PM
 

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Hi All,

We are sitting in the Cockpit watching all the Sunday boats go by. Everyone likes to go fast and make big waves.

New York City is fun. We will never be without someplace to go or explore! Arriving at NY harbor, we missed the right tide ( the GPS has been giving us bum information) and had a good current against us all the way to Manhattan. The trip was exciting, lots of big boat traffic going in every direction possible. I really liked the Staten Island ferries, they cruise right by at about 30 knots!
Arriving at 79th street marina, there were about 3 moorings left, we picked up one of the outside ones, as it was Friday, the remaining moorings went quickly. There are about 50 moorings some are for smaller boats. Not a bad deal for NYC, $15 a day, stay 6 days and the 7th day is free. But ALL you get for that price is a mooring and a dock space for your dingy. The place doesn't even have showers.

Friday night a great thunderstorm came through. Lots of wind and lightning. We were happy to be on the mooring and that most of the buildings around us were higher than us because the lighting was striking the buildings. The light show was spectacular.

Today, Sunday we went to the Sunday Flea Markets. This was great, the flea markets went on forever. We no sooner would get through one and see another one across the street. You could find almost anything imaginable and the prices were negotiable. I bought two winch handles for the sailing winches for $4. New, these two would sell for about $130!

Well lets get back to the 79th street marina. Tied up to a mooring out in the river is great because the wind is always blowing which keeps us cool. But those fast ferries keep passing all day and they make about a 5 foot wake, so lots of rocking during the day but all gets quiet at night.

Roger


We are LOVING the food stores here. You can buy ANYTHING... the hard part is trying to limit what we bring back to the boat. It is an embarrassment of riches! We want to try it ALL before we leave!

Life's a trip!

Claudia


August 1, 2002
 

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Hi All,

We've been in Atlantic City for the past two days. Roger promised to take me to Atlantic City years ago... and he finally did. Okay, done with that!

We are not impressed. Las Vegas is much better. This place lacks the grandeur of Vegas. No big fountains, no free 'attraction' shows, like the erupting volcano at the Mirage, or hourly pirate invasion at Treasure Island. Just large hotel casinos... lots of flashing lights, but not much else.

Still, we've managed to donate $13 between us to the slot machine gods. They need to be fed, and we feel we have done our share.

Let's see, the last trip report had us in Annapolis waiting out rain. We spent two days doing that and missed our big moment on Good Morning America. Oh well, it wasn't meant to be.

From Annapolis we went further up the Chesapeake, through the C and D canal and down the Delaware River. Not much excitement there, although we were so far up the bays, that we finally got to take a fresh water swim.

Then we headed out into the ocean and had a WONDERFUL day sail from Cape May to Atlantic City. We are finally past the large sandbars that plague the mid and southern Atlantic coast. From southern Florida to Virginia, you need to go SO far out into the ocean to get around the shallows, that it is not really practical to stop to take in the sights. Once out, you might as well stay out. We like to sightsee, so we have been taking the inside route.

Today we are going to do some boat chores... take the laundry ashore, take a shower at the marina, fill our water tanks and buy fuel. Tonight around dusk we will head back out into the ocean and sail to NYC, hopefully arriving around noontime... give or take 3 or 4 hours.

We hope to be able to grab an anchor mooring in NYC at the 79th street marina, but they are first come, first served, so we won't know until we get there.

Life's a trip!

Claudia

 

 

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