Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New York, New York and New England

East River NY

We moved North again after a couple of days as the present weather window may be short. We had a good sail up to Atlantic City and docked in front of the imposing Golden Nugget Casino. A visit was mandatory and the concentration of Irish luck yielded a $165 win by Des on a poker slot machine for a $5 outlay! Thanks for the steak dinner and drinks Golden Nugget! Otherwise not a lot to attract cruisers here.
Dawn off Sandy Hook NJ
We set sail for New York the next day - deciding on an overnighter to skip 2 stops in dubious anchorages along the New Jersey coast. Some are still silted in from effects of Hurricane Sandy. We sailed full canvass in light winds most of the way, only to have a morning hour of big gusts to 30 kts requiring a quick deployment of a double reef and furled genoa.
Time Warner at Central Park
We dropped anchor in Liberty State Park at 10 am and had a well earned coffee and rest after a long night. Once the CBP reporting formality was done we headed in to the Big Apple. We took in all the usual sights and were particularly struck by the discovery of the Irish Hunger Memorial near Battery Park.
Irish Hunger Memorial
You would think you had been transported to Connemara its so authentic. We also visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the latter particularly fascinating and well worth a visit.
We were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the New Jersey and New York folks with advice, car rides, subway passes and did I mention free drinks at the numerous Irish Pubs there.
New Jersey Parking Rules
After 3 days - and a good soaking in a thunderstorm in the dinghy - we reluctantly moved North again up the East River to tackle the notorious Hells Gate pass and on to City Island, NY.
A delightful place , full of character and characters. A rich history of boat building at the shipyards here that included 7 Americas Cup winners, alas now closed down in the name of progress.
Hells Gate here we come
Next stop was Port Jefferson on Long Island. We took a mooring with the launch service, as there was no public dock for our dinghy to land. Great little town with lots to see and do. We took a train ride to Hampton to get some mainsail work done at North Sails - fantastic while you wait service there from Olga and Chris the manager even drove us all the way back to the boat!
Port Jefferson launch
Thanks you guys - you are the best. Next we crossed Long Island Sound to Old Saybrook at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Nice place, but we did not need the two mile walk to town after a long day sailing. Next day we motored 5 miles upriver to Essex, CT, where we have decided to moor Chantey V while I make a return trip back to Victoria.
Chantey V on Essex mooring
Essex is the quintessential New England town, beautifully restored and kept up. We received a very warm welcome from the folks at the Essex Corinthian Yacht Club. We rented a car and drove up to see Stonington and Mystic CT, also extremely picturesque. At this point I have to reluctantly bid adieu to Des who has to return to Ireland. It's been great to have you on board Des!
Poolbeg sailing yarns

" after a months exposure to feeble coffee, a mans mind is apt to weaken...." Mark Twain

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