Archive for the ‘Newport to Manhatten’ Category

Manhasset to Manhattan

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

We woke very early to catch the tide down the East River. Just in time to catch the dawn. We didn’t really have time to see much of Manhasset, but as a place to overnight it was perfect.

Before long we were approaching the first of many bridges. For some reason I felt quite nervous passing under the first one, and even though I had seen taller masts go under just before us, I still found myself staring at the top of our rig as we went under, and holding on just in case! After a few bridges I stopped even looking up.

We came down the river, eye to eye with the commuters, joggers, traffic, and all the hustle and bustle of city life. Very strange to look out the familiar little hatch and see such sights.

As we passed under Brookln Bridge so many of the views were familiar, even though I’ve never been here before. It really is such an awesome city.

We rounded The Battery to move from the East River to the Hudson River. Then crossed over to pass the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Dinah’s long journey Westward was finally at an end. From here on we’re Eastbound all the way home. Over the next few days we’ll do the final boat prep, provisioning, navigation planning, and of course some tourism. Then obviously we have the big event on the 4th of July, and will slip out quietly the next day.

For now, we’re off into Manhattan to see just exactly what all the fuss is about!


Port Jefferson to Manhasset

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Port Jefferson. I’m not sure what to say about that town really. I think we were spoiled with Mystic and Shelter Island. Port Jefferson was completely different. I have to admit that I became a little overwhelmed that myself and the little self contained world that is Dinah were in the middle of all this idiosyncratic down town America.

We left just as soon as we had replenished the beer, donut, and muffin supplies. To be honest the day sail was pretty uneventful for the most part. 15knts on the nose all day. Clear blue skies. Lots of sunblock, and a good dent made in the beer supplies.

As we approached Manhasset, the heat haze lifted a little. All of a sudden we could see the Manhatten skyline on the horizon. A shiver went down my spine at the sight of the fruits of so many labours. Very quickly a lightening storm stole the view again, and we just got into the marina before the storm hit.

We sat down below sheltering from the conditions for a while before venturing to the restaurant and bar just at the top of the marina. I haven’t seen much of Manhasset itself, but from the looks of some of the properties on the shore it’s not going to suffer too much from the depression. That’s the extent of todays social commentary I’m afraid. I was far too interested in food and a bar to go look around the town properly.

Tomorrow morning we’re up before dawn to make the tide down the East River into the city. This is the day I have dreamed about for years now. I’ll take lots of pics, and try to start writing the blog early in the day so as not to miss anything. The thought of little Dinah sailing down the river and past the Statue of Liberty is just incredible.

Sleep now though, so I don’t miss anything tomorrow. I’m so excited, I’m like a child on Christmas Eve!

Let’s hope for some decent sailing conditions in the morning!


Shelter Island to Port Jefferson

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Yesterday we spent the day ashore in Shelter Island. Beautiful scenery, nice people, good food, quiet mooring. I seemed a shame to move on without looking around. In the afternoon I found myself sitting on a beach with an ice cream and a beer, throwing stones idly into the tide. For months and months every waking minute has been spent on OSTAR preparation, and then in Newport it was all fun, fun, fun, busy, busy… Suddendly it dawned on me that that part of my life is all over. A strange hollow feeling developed inside. Is this boredom? Of course it didn’t take long for new personal challenges and goals to start popping into my mind, but first things first. I’m still on the wrong side of the Atlantic, cruising, and I have a date with the Statue of Liberty on the 4th of July!

We had a really great bbq right next to the boat last night. One of the bottles of champagne I was given on the OSTAR finish line was quickly polished off. And we had an early night. What’s happening to me?

This morning we were all up early for the long sail to Port Jefferson. We came back round the North end of Shelter Island, and squeezed ourselves through the gap between Long Island and Plum Island (a narrow treacherous passage by the name of “Plum Gut”) to get back into Long Island Sound. Conditions were super with 15knts breeze, albeit from the wrong direction, but still warm, and flat water.

We made great progress down the Sound until mid-afternon when the breeze started to die off. It was at this point the tragedy of the day was discovered. Somebody forgot to replenish the beer stocks after the bbq last night, so we found ourselves in 24deg water, 26deg air, and not a beer to be had! Bad form… Soon we were under engine again making directly for Port Jefferson.

As we came through the narrow channel into the harbour the local ferry, the “PT Barnum” passed us. According to the guidebook apparently Barnum was a resident, and as well as building the famous circus he also set up the local ferry company back in the late 1800’s. We pulled into the marina at 20.00, conspicuous in the fact that we’re one of the few non-“superyachts” here.

Time now for a shower and dinner, before what sould be a shorter day on the water tomorrow heading to Manhasset, the last stop before the Big Apple.


Mystic to Shelter Island

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

After a very American breakfast of coffee and donuts we left Mystic and started motoring downriver in glorious sunshine. The railway bridge opened as if by magic as we approached, with merely a friendly wave expected by the bridgekeeper in terms of payment.

Half way down the river a bank of thick fog sat apparently blocking our
path. Thankfully Dinah is equipped with all the electronic navigational aids necessary for just such an occasion, so we were able to continue our way down the winding river despite not being able to see anything further than 20meters away. The island hopping which was an interesting and fun challenge when approaching the Mystic river was significantly more stressful while fog blind.

As the day progressed, the fog cleared and came back again many times. It’s completely different fog to what we’re used to in Europe. Wind has no impact on it, it’s very very damp, condensing on anything it can (including Bobs beard), and it’s quite shallow so even though there are sunny blue skies overhead you can see nothing horizontally.

A huge tidal race off Little Gull Island provided confused seas for an hour or so, while we made just 1knt over ground against the current. Eventually we left Little Gull behind and worked down the shore of Plum Island, carrying on past Orient Pt the Northernmost tip of Long Island.

All traces of fog finally cleared and we found ourselves with no breeze and 30deg sweltering heat. Aileen and Louise even went for a swim off Long Beach. That was the first time anybody has deliberately gone over the side of Dinah!

We made shorefall in Dering Harbour on the North coast of Shelter Island late afternoon. Our berth is within two minutes walk of the local pub and shop. A good sign in my books! We still have to decide whether to stay a day on Shelter Island or to carry on. Let’s test out this pub before making the decision!