New England In The Fall
These pictures really don’t give the true account of just how beautiful this part of the country is in the Autumn, and this Autumn was gorgeous. We only had a couple of days of rain. For the most part it was warm sunny days.
We left Danbury having spent a busy month helping the family unpack, and settle into their new home. It was great to be with the boys. They had their 3rd. birthday while we were there. We did a trip with them to visit Thomas The Tank Engine, which made the birthday gift an easy choice. Poppa, Nana and Uncle Murray gave them the Thomas play table with some of the engines. Also that outing was one of the days it decided to rain. Not for the whole day, but just at the end of our visit, and we
We also had one day when we had about half an hour of snow flurry. Very light and melting before it hit the ground. That did have us worried knowing that we were too far north for this time of the year. SHAMAL has NO heating apart from a small fan heater which we can only use if in a marina and plugged into their power source. Even though we do have the conversion box to change power from 240v to 110v, we find it does not work in all marines. Alec and I do have an electric blanket on our bed which we can turn on for about 20 minutes. That really has been our saving grace.
Another trip we did was by train into New York. We took the whole family and had a great day. Walked for miles and saw as much as we could cram into a day. We arrived into Grand Central Station which is a magnificent building, visited Central Park, Time Square, Ground Zero, passing lots of interesting and well known buildings, avenues and streets along the way.
After the month of October spent with family, it was time to start moving again. It was back to Stamford and the marina where SHAMAL was parked up in. We had had a wonderful time but it was good to be home again on board. We also wanted son Murray to experience some of the coastline with us before he had to return home to New Zealand.
So south we headed, down Long Island sound towards New York. The weather for this leg was for a cool grey overcast day with rain looming. We spent the first night anchored north of the city at the top end of the East River. It was cold with winds gusting to 20kts, but no rain. The following morning was still cold, but beautiful and clear with the sun shinning. Also the wind had dropped. We upped anchor, headed down to Throgs Neck, passed under the first bridge and into the East River passing the Bronx, Harlem and Manhattan on our starboard side. The United Nations Building complex stands on the banks of the river, and one gets a view of the Empire State Building between the high rise. Also a little further back up the river on our starboard side we passed the Floating Prison. Here 800 prisoners are housed inside the “Vernon C. Bain” jail barge. It is used to help solve the problem of overcrowding in the Rikers Island jail complex. It was built in 1992 for US$161 million. Since it is floating and not permanently moored to the shore, the Coast Guard regulations require that three maritime crew members are on board all the time – a mate, an engineer and an oiler !!!
Long Island and Roosevelt Island were on our Port side. We entered New York Harbour at lower Manhattan. As the weather was so nice we had to go out and take photos of the Statue of Liberty before heading back into the entrance of the Hudson River and berthing at Liberty Landing Marina. It was a great marina on the New Jersey side. We had a fabulous view of Lower Manhattan from the saloon and cockpit. At night it was picture perfect. We spent two nights here. We did another day trip back into Manhattan to visit the Sea, Air and Space Museum Complex, then walked back along the Hudson, had a meal in town then found a fabulous supermarket to get a few goodies in before we caught the ferry back over to the Marina. Again another great day weather wise.
Then as always it is time to move on again, but this morning the forecast is for a change!! It is cold and grey as we untie our mooring lines. We have a problem with the watermaker so pull into the fuel dock to fill up our tank before heading on out. We are going to do an overnight sail directly down to Cape May, a run of 130nm. By mid afternoon the seas and winds have increased. The winds are fine and pushing us along at 6kts, but unfortunately the seas are on the beam and increasing in size which makes it rather uncomfortable. While I am down in the galley – starboard side - preparing dinner we are hit not once, but twice by two rogue waves on the port side which cause the fridge door to fly open sending a few of its contents onto the floor before slamming shut again, plus, both cutlery draws fly open then shut again!! Bugger!!!!! This had happened before and out comes the masking tape to tape them shut. Trouble is it is cold and damp and the tape does not work too well. The winds and seas are increasing with gusts up to 40kts. and it is now COLD. Oh the joys of winter sailing.
The next morning Murray and I were particularly pleased when we dropped anchor inside the sheltered harbour of Cape May. It is fairly shallow and we had to keep an eye on the depth sounder as we found our anchorage, but it was good to be out of that swell. The winds whistled through the rigging for the first three days and white caps were all around us – too rough to get Murray with his wheelchair into the tender and go ashore, but we were safe and if not, a little cold, so spent our time eating reading and sleeping !!!!!!!
Day four we ventured ashore to find much of the town closes down over the winter months. After picking up a few basic supplies we ventured into the famous “Lobster House” for a meal. Murray noticed we were seated next to the door on our own, and wondered if it was because as we had had water rations over the past few days and that our showers had not been as frequent as usual, that people may have noticed. I thought it may have been due to our dress - we looked like three salty dogs dressed to the “nines” in layers of thermals.
We end up spending five nights anchored at Cape May waiting for strong north westerly winds to subside as our next leg was up Delaware Bay and that would have been with the wind on our nose. Also the Bay is quite shallow with lots of bars and shoals. One needs to pretty much follow the main shipping channel.
The Cape May Harbour has a number of marinas which are full of private fishing boats. There is also a commercial fishing fleet here hence a wonder fish market is found on the dock side. Here I again purchased some of that wonderful yummy smoked salmon. It is sold in steaks and a little goes a long way.
OK we will sign out
Love to you all
The Admiral and The Commander