Sunday, June 28, 2009

Barnegat, NJ to NYC

We arrived at the Barnegat Inlet from Cape May late in the afternoon and woke really early to go to the Forked River to meet our friends Deanna, Guttorm, Olivia and Andre and their extended familjies at the Marina in which they keep their boat the "Abby J".

Deanna's parents Joy and Tom were great and had us over at their home on two nights which was great as it was raining and we got to visit not only with them and the Baadsviks but also with Deanna's sister Kara her husband Keith and their kids Jake, Maddie, and Sophie.

This was a boon for the kids as they got to have lots of buddies their age and all had a blast!

This is Maddie and Olivia.

Here are all the boys Andre, Jake, Alistair and Dakota. Probably up to no good...

This is Keith rowing Olivia and Maddie on the Forked river.

Guttorm was in fine form, the dads and kids all went sailing on Barnegat Bay. He and Deanna are part of a new start up jet charter company called "Zen Air". Deanna is back in the work force doing the books for Zen Air, before I left Guttorm gave me his Zen Air hat and is currently my favorite hat.

Here is the Alice anchored at Barnegat Light, you can see her new colors.

After the weekend we spent an extra day at Barnegat Light discovering the lighthouse and town, this is the view of Barnegat inlet from the lighthouse "Old Barney".

We left Barnegat light at 9:00 and motored in a windless day to NYC where we anchored at Liberty Park on the Jersey side next to the Statue of Liberty. Above is Dakota swinging from the rigging as we aproach the Verrazano bridge.
On our way out the next morning we passed the Statue of Liberty as close as the security perimeter allowed us and explained to the kids her significance. We headed for the 79th St Boat Basin which is a city Marina and therefore the best deal in NYC, I read another cruiser's blog that said you can pay 80.00 dollars plus a foot for docking in private Marina's. Ouch!! A mooring at 79th st Marina is 30.00 bucks period and you get free ice, showers and laundry. We spent two nights there, the Hudson can be very rolly during the day, because of big boat wakes so we planned to spend our days in the city and come back in the evenings when the river is calmer.

We spent our first day at the American Museum of Natural History, the kids really loved it, we spent a few hours there in the morning then took the subway to China town and had lunch at an
excellent and cheap noodle and dumpling restaurant. It was really good we all left happy.
If you've seen "Night at the Museum" this is Dum Dum give me Gum Gum, there were hordes of kids who all looked for him and took their pictures with him all the while saying "Dum, Dum give me Gum, Gum" I kept hearing "there he is!". It looks as if the movie has been good for the museum.
After lunch we spent time at Central Park this is the Shakespeare Garden.

Nearby in the park was Belvedere castle where we climbed to the top and the kids got to see the turtles that hang out in the sun on the lake below.

We got around the city by subway and bus, was nice to have lived in the city before as getting around made sense to us. We also went to the Metropolitan Museum or the MET where we spent a couple of hours, we knew that trying to do the marathon museum thing is a killer not only for the kids but also for us so we kept our visits short. A good thing to remember when you go to the MET and the Natural History museum is that these museums are by donation. They have posted suggested prices but you can pay what you want.

Laurel spent the afternoon walking around the city while the kids and I went to a movie. We had wanted to see Up but in NY 3D movies were more money 16.00 for adults and 12.50 for kids!

At the end of the day we got some goodies at a local supermarket on Broadway and I think 74th. We bought a bottle of white to go with it and enjoyed the evening on board overlooking the city. Doesn't get much better.

Saturday morning we caught the end of the ebb on the Hudson and the beggining of the flood tide on East river. The current really rips through the East river, while going through Hell's gate we found ourselves doing over 10 knots.

Here is Alistair swinging on the rigging as we pass the UN. Below is me with a bluefish we caught on Long Island Sound. Next stop for us is the Connecticut river where we'll stop and see Laurel's brother Mathew and his wife Nancy. Best, C.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Annapolis to Cape May

As we sailed through the Chesapeake to Annapolis we decided to throw out a hook. The result was a 25 inch rockfish (striped bass). We were very excited because this fell into the legal limits in Maryland to keep. He made for an excellent dinner! Two dinners actually. I just read a book in which the author described the size of fish they caught by how many dinner they got out of it. The biggest fish they caught was an 80 dinner tuna! This is the Alice in Spa creek, notice that the boot stripe has been repainted a darker blue. Charles has been working on the boat and little by little she's getting a face lift. The wood is stripped, name re-applied, boot stripe done. We hope to come home looking better than when we left (the boat that is, as for us personally.....oh well).
This is a sleeping lion that we saw in the town of Cape May. The town is very quaint and pretty with lots of cute houses and B&Bs. We were glad to be here after a gruelling day coming down the Delaware Bay. We started from Chesapeake City at 4 AM and made the end of the C&D canal at around 7 to catch the outgoing tide. The beginning was great, we had some wind and the tide we were making 8 kts! Then we came around the corner into the bay, we could see it in the distance like little ripples, a broken horizon and bam! Chop! At first it wasn't too bad but it only got worse before it got better! The chop maxed out at maybe 3 plus feet and then the tide switched against us!! We buried the bow sprit up to the cabin top over and over! Our record low speed 0.0 kts and Dakota even said "are we going backwards?" Maybe! Luckily it got better as we got slowly closer to Cape May and thankfully the wind veered a little in our favor too. We got into the canal around 4:30 and heaved a huge sigh of relief! We had a well deserved spaghetti and meatball dinner and crashed! The kids did great during the day, Dakota read a lot and Alistair even slept for the worst of it. We also had fun yelling and shouting at a particularly bad set of chop that Charles took to calling the three sisters, as the big ones seemed to come in threes.

Alas, the next day we waled into town and found a grocery store and rolled the food back in our cart and rowed it out to the boat. This pic is of the groceries tucked between my legs as Charles rows.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Elizabeth City to Tangier Island, MD

We sailed of the outer banks and into Elizabeth City and were immediately greeted by Lynn from Silver heels II and Bruce from Zingara, both we had met in the Exuma park in the Bahamas. We attended the traditional Rose buddy cocktail hour and then a pot luck that Lynn had orchestrated. We had a ball that night catching up with old friend and making new. We met Arnold a single handing Englishman and Catherine, Patrick and Rubert, a french Canadian family. We stayed up way too late talking and getting to know Catherine and Patrick and decided to travel together the next day. Below is their steel boat Noka. This is Charles and Bruce (who's from Maine!) on Zingara at the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center free dock.
We went with Noka to the Dismal Swamp museum across the canal and found a beautiful building an interesting museum, also trails that we walked a little on before departure for Deep Creek.

Zingara, Noka and Alice at the dock together.
Charles and Patrick, probably talking boats!
Rubert is three and a sweet little boy, we all adopted each other! Dakota and Alistair had a great time playing with Rubert.
Noka and Alice at Deep Creek. Here there is another free dock and we took advantage! With a grocery store and a playground nearby it is a great stop. We had yet another fun evening with Patrick and Catherine!
The boys brought the lock master shells from the Bahamas!

Here we are in Hampton, VA at the Cousteau submersible outside the Cousteau center there. We came into Hampton and found the Blackbeard festival going on so we picked up Noka and motored up to see the re-enactment of a pirate battle. Later after we anchored we all went ashore to walk around and see the Cousteau Center. Exhausted after many busy nights we all tucked in early. Noka was also getting ready to go off shore to New York the following day.

The next day we entered the Chesapeake and Charles caught a flounder!! It was delicious!

This is a fish shack in Tangier Island, an old fishing island where they speak an old English. We came in the eastern entrance and motored through the town fascinated by the crab boats and the piers and fish shacks on stilts.

A crab boat in Crisfield, MD. These boat are made for the Chesapeake, long and narrow with a fine entry, they can cope this the chop in the shallow waters here.
The main street of Tangier Island. The town is small so people get around by golf cart and bicycle. It reminded us of the Bahamas.
A couple of folks had maps and recipes out for a couple of dollars, all crab recipes of course! We enjoyed walking around and listening to the locals talk in their dialect and watch the rails and herons in the marsh (until we were driven in by the mosquitos which would carry you off!!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Oriental to Ocracoke

This picture is of Dakota cutting bait for fishing in Oriental. I include it to show how far we have come as parents: notice the ultra sharp fillet knife that Dakota carefully and competently used to slice his fish up. The kids had a blast fishing and playing on these docks, they wore themselves right out to the point where they were so tired they were in tears at night, complaining that their legs hurt etc. I wanted to show some pictures of the people we met that made Oriental such a wonderful and special stop for us. This is Jodi and Mitchell. They were really wonderful and funny and we hope that they continue to make their trips on Scarlet and the next one that Mitchell designed and is building himself!

Below is Sigi and Joe, a lovely German couple that have lived in the US for many years and were so kind and generous. Sigi made the kids peanut butter cookies designed like mice the first day we arrived and we spent lots of time chatting on the docks or in the Bean (coffee shop).
The last night in Oriental Melinda and Kieth invited us to have dinner at their home. We eagerly accepted and had a great time! Melinda has planted wonderful gardens all around their home and Keith is behind the awesome web site . Gil and Laura (below) came as well and it all made for a fun evening. Such a treat for us to have a social evening! Laura spent a lot of time with the kids drawing and we all shared life experiences. For a look at the kids on their website click on this link:
Keith and Melinda, thank you for opening your home to us!!

We also met Marvin Bullock, a local realtor (if you ever need to buy in the Oriental area he's the man!), he gave us a tour of the area and also brought us the paper that Dakota and Alistair were in. This shows why we choose to stay an extra day, who wouldn't?!
We headed for Ocracoke in the outer banks the next day and after a some what gruelling motor sail we made it and were pleased to find a very protected anchorage, snug and peaceful.
The next day we went into town and went to see the lighthouse, the second oldest in the us, I believe. We could not go to the top but were able to enter the base and talk to a nice ranger.
window shot.

After the light house we stopped at the Jolly Roger for refreshments for it was scorching hot and we got a wee thirsty. So the following pics are from the restaurant deck as we rehydrated with sodas and Yeungling lager.
Feeling much better!