Friday, September 28

New York, New York

Hellllooooooo New York!  The morning after the horrific wind in Port Washington (which topped out at 47 knots/54 mph!), we weighed anchor and made our way to the Worlds Fair Marina to pick up my mom.  She was there waiting for us as we arrived.  “Come on grandma, come aboard, let’s go”, we all said as we were very excited to see her and get to New York.  I think Olivia must have asked every day, 3 times a day “are we going to New York today?”.  Finally we could say "Yes!"  Grandma got the full 30 second tour of our abode and tried to steady herself on our floating home.

Finally, Grandma AND New York!

Citi Field where the Mets play is right next to the marina where we picked up my mom

We met up with another cat family that we met briefly before the big blow in Port Washington, Full Monty.  We both sailed through Hells Gate and down the East River.  We timed it perfectly at slack tide so we wouldn’t experience any drama.  Hells Gate is famous for claiming many ships before the late 1800's, when the army corps blasted the rocky shoreline in an attempt to make the passage safer.  

It was a beautiful day to see New York City in its full glory from the bow of the boat.  It’s so different than being in a taxi! 

Full Monty sailing the East River to NYC.  Hells Gate Bridge in the fore front.

Tons of fun!

Sailing in New York Harbor on our own boat was exhilarating.  The new World Trade Center is nearing completion (tallest building)

Isn't she grand?

Three little ladies

We followed Full Monty to an anchorage behind the Statue of Liberty.  It was an amazing location in that we had a view of the back side of lady liberty, it was very protected from wind and ferryboat wakes.  We quickly met Mark on a neighboring cat, Big Easy, while we were visiting with Full Monty.  We thought it was comical that there were 3 cats in one small anchorage but even better were our boat names:  Full Monty, Big Easy and Anything Goes. 

Our boat at rest behind Lady Liberty

The only down side was the long trek to NYC from the anchorage and back.  First we tried driving our dinghy over to Liberty Landing to catch the ferry.  This sounds easy enough, except navigating the plethora of ferry wakes churning the water into a washing machine was a little uneasy and it was a long way.  Then returning in the dark and wind was a little too much adventure.  The next day we walked to the light rail station through a sketchy part of New Jersey.  I mean to say, we were thankful it was daylight!  Then it we took the subway into the city.  Finally, we moved to a mooring ball at the 25th st pier, which only required a 60 second dinghy ride to the dock.  It was great to be so close but the ferry wakes were never ending during the day.  

Day 1 in NYC: Boat school, Ferry ride, China town, Little Italy

Riding the ferry to NYC

St. Paul's Chapel was spared in the 9/11 attacks but became a place for fire fighters and volunteers to seek rest, comfort and nourishment.  Today it is a shrine of those lost and remembered.  It was a moving experience to see pictures and personal items on display.  I did not take any pictures out of respect except for the note Kate added to a table that others have contributed from around the world.

Farmer's market along the streets of China Town

Beautiful exotic fruits

Waiting for us to figure out where we were going

Little Italy's street festival

New York style pizza for a late lunch/early dinner 

Celebrating my birthday with a chocolate ganache cake

Day 2 in NYC:  NJ Light Rail, subway, Carlo's Bakery in New Jersey, Union Square 

The girls LOVE The Cake Boss on the Food Network.  We were thrilled to visit in person, stand in line for cupcakes and cannoli's and watch the camera crew at work - presumably filming for the show!

Street hotdogs in Union Square Park, fresh corn from the farmer's market for our first cruising potluck with our friends on Full Monty.  We were sooo excited and it was so much fun!!

Too tired to walk home - it was a long walk from the train station

Day 3 in NYC:  Moved to mooring ball at 25th street pier.  50 lbs of dirty laundry carted through NYC!  Do you know how hard it is to find a coin operated laundromat in the city - nearly impossible.  They are rare and almost extinct!  The girls played at an awesome, gigantic park right on the pier where our mooring ball was located.  How perfect!

An ordinary day in New York Harbor

Day 4 in NYC:  Subway to Midtown and Uptown

Empire State Building

Flat Irons Building

All of Kate's statue poses

Eating our brown bag lunch at the Grand Central Station's dining concourse

Kate had birthday money to spend!

In honor of Charlotte and Sophia : )

The girls love the movie 'Big'

 Dylan's candy store - oh my!  Craig gave me the credit card and ask that I not share how much the total bill was for the same candy you can buy for under $2 at the drug store!  Oh well, it's all about the experience, right?  That's what I keep telling myself.

Statue near Park Ave.

Street performer near Time Square

Central Park

We rested for a couple of hours in central park, taking in the sunshine, people and dogs.

No more birthday money!

Looking down the Avenue of the America's

Time Square

Is this NYC or Disneyland?

Dancing on the late night subway after a very long day

When it was all said and done, my mom traveled by car, airplane, boat, dinghy, light rail, subway and bus!  I think that just about covers it!  Bye Bye New York City.

Tuesday, September 25

Alive and well

In case you were wondering if we had fallen off the face of the earth, I can assure you that we have not.  We have been in NYC for a week, enjoying my moms visit.  There was no wifi and we were busy morning 'Til night!  I promise I will update you all with fabulous pictures and stories soon.  We are in transit to Annapolis for the boat show.  Follow our trip on the "track us" page and click on our SPOT for live tracking.

Tuesday, September 18

Big Blow

As we sit in Port Washington, NY attached to a mooring ball watching, waiting, anticipating how big the next gust of wind will be, we are hunkered down inside.  On days like today, we are ever more grateful for the extra space we have on board our catamaran and the full enclosure that allows us to be in the cockpit too.  So far, it’s been up to 41 knots (that’s 47 mph)!  We are in what would be considered a very protected harbor and the waves look like we are out in the middle of the Long Island Sound.  Trust me, the waves out there are ginormous and even bigger swells.  We have secured an extra line to the mooring ball and have even considered putting our anchor down, just in case all else fails.  

We can hear the wind howling through our rigging, increasing in pitch as the speed increases.  We all look up and someone jumps out to see how many knots are being registered on the wind instrument.  We also hear halyards banging masts from other boats, zippers flapping in the wind, creaks of the boat as it moves about in the waves.  I can't say there is a gentle lapping of the waves against the hull.  Down below it sounds like we are sailing at 7 knots and the waves are rushing by.  We have had some rain this morning, but we are waiting for that to hit next.   The wind has steadily increased with building waves all day.  And we still think the worst is yet to come.

Olivia continues to ask if this is a hurricane.  The answer is positively NO.  Believe you me, I wouldn’t be hanging out on the boat if this were a hurricane.  But it does raise the question of what category of wind we are experiencing and definitely a teachable moment. 

According to the Beaufort wind scale, we are experiencing a Force 7 or near gale.  But bear in mind that this scale is for those on the open sea.  Wind speed is described by force (1-10), speed (knots) and wave pattern (flat to very high rolling waves with long overhanging crests). 

Some boats around us have had their sails unfurled and ripped to shreds.  The smaller boats are bouncing like hobby horses on steroids.  While we are rockin’ and rollin’ here on Anything Goes, I am smitten when I say we are not as bad off as some.  Our neighbor looks as if he is actually healing in the wind when his boat swings on the mooring ball.  At one point we thought they were going to be knocked down.  Since we have 2 hulls, we pretty much stay centered to the wind and don't swing violently from side to side.  

Here are some pictures and a short video to illustrate the severity of it all.

As Kate would say, it's a perfect flag day

Pictures just don't do it justice

It looks like a decorative streamer atop the mast, but sadly, it's what is left of the jib sail.  It's not supposed to do that!

Another jib comin' loose

And a main sail escaping

Monday, September 17

Huntington Bay, NY & Kate's Birthday!

Yesterday was Kate's 11th birthday!  She celebrated with chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and opened presents.  She did some school work (I know, we are cruel) and then went up to the top of the mast!

Assembling her new kite

Getting ready to go up the mast

She  made it!

She went to the beach to fly her new fancy kite, but the wind wasn't strong enough.  The girls played on the beach for a while and then Craig gave them rides on the kayak behind the dinghy - kinda like an inner tube - but not really.  We finished off the day with dinner and a strawberry shortcake cake from Sono Baking Company!

Isn't it beautiful?!

Cutting the first slice!

Maggie towing Liv in the sailboat

Our protected side of the beach - Long Island Sound on the other side

You know you're a redneck when you pull a kayak behind a dinghy!!!

Favorite Olivia quote of the day:  When Kate reached the top of the mast, Craig asked her what she could see.   Olivia said "can you see God?".   Ha Ha Ha, kids say the darndest thing!