Cruising

Those Next Door Neighbors

It was a windy day when we entered Liberty Landing Marina, we were glad to be in and tied up at the dock. That afternoon we watched a sailboat motor in and do some fancy maneuvering into the dock next door. They looked like they were ready to be in safe harbor also, but first the crew of eight set about getting the boat “ship-shape”, sails dried and folded, gear washed and stored. Just by the way they moved we could tell that they were not your typical weekend sailors. Everything seemed very regimental and orderly. Foul weather gear was washed and hung to dry and they were all the same brand and colors.

Our new neighbors were military. Turns out British military and the sailboat they were on, St. Barbara V, is the flagship of the Royal Artillery Yacht Club. Currently on what they called the Atlantic Ubique. Latin for there and back again.  I also learned that they had lost their head stay during the night run up the coast of New Jersey. That’s one of the cables that helps keep the mast in place. As one of the crew said ” We were carrying more head sail than we should have.” Very British in the understatement. We had just ducked into Statton Island getting away from 4-5 foot waves and winds over 30 and gusting.

I asked about the emblem on the flag and was educated about the “Scottish Gunners”and how Royal Artillery Yacht Club makes vessels like St. Barbara V available for servicemen that would like to learn more about sailing and puts them with experienced sailors and a rookie crew for 2-3 weeks at a time. Part of what is called by RAYC the Atlantic Ubique. In honor of the regiments 300th anniversary. Left England in September of 2015 and is scheduled to return in August of 2016. This crew had brought the boat from the Norfolk, VA area up the coast to New York City. Now it was time to get St. Barbara V back in shape and shape and exchange crews.

We couldn’t help but notice that one of the crew had a pretty bad cough. Cynthia went after him with cough drops, cough syrup, Tylenol, and any other over the counter remedies that we had on board. He was very grateful and so were the others. His coughing not only kept him awake but the rest of the crew on board.

Soon the crew were catching flights back to England and it left just a few on board until the new crew arrived. Cynthia had been baking and I brought over muffins for those still on board. It was good to have them as neighbors and we enjoyed the company of the fellows.

As they were leaving the “spare Left-tenant” , second lieutenant,  came over and asked if we might have room for some extra “crockery”, and gave us these beautiful bone china coffee mugs. We were blown away by the generosity.

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You can find out more about the Royal Artillery Yacht Club and the Atlantic Ubique on their website www.rayc.org.uk or ATLANTIC UBIQUE on Facebook. (It’s Latin)

 

It’s the people who have made this the adventure of a lifetime.

 

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Cruising

Manhattan Bike Ride

After our first trip over to New York City from Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, NJ we decided that our bicycles were an option to transportation in New York. So, on our second sortie onto Manhattan Island we brought our bikes along. There are plenty of bike paths around the city and like the streets the bike paths are packed with people.

We first headed just a short ride to the 9/11 Memorial. Again we were amazed at the different ethnic backgrounds touring the site. Tour guides with different color flags brought groups of people to the edge of the memorial and explained the sight in every imaginable dialect.

 

We headed up the island along the outer bike path then moved toward the center. After some maneuvering on shared paths, shared with taxis and buses, we looked up and found ourselves in Time Square.

With my trusty bike path map in hand we angled for the Empire State Building passing Harold Square and arriving onto 5th Avenue. We were given great advice from a bicycle messenger. “You’re best bet is to take 5th Avenue straight, rather than work your way back to the shoreline.” It worked, another exciting bike ride, but now we are pros. Ha!

We traveled through Greenwich Village on our way back to the ferry landing. Plus had a chance to stop for “a slice”along the way.

 

Day two of our bicycle adventure had us heading for the Brooklyn Bridge.  The bike path took us along the East River under the Brooklyn Bridge and making a circle through China Town and Federal Square.

A great sunny day had us witness to many marriages happening at the court-house in Federal Square. We felt like we were part of the weddings, lots of smiles.

We made our way up onto the Brooklyn Bridge and again the crowds astounded and confused us. Going halfway up the bridge it was decided that was far enough. Now a coast back down off the bridge and bring out the trusty, although getting very wrinkled, bike path map. We were offered help from a New Yorker and left with these fine words. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We New Yorker’s aren’t as bad as they say.”

We made it back to Bright Angel safe and sound. Another exciting day in New York City.

more to come.

 

 

 

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Cruising

Ellis and Liberty Islands

We had arrived. New York City. Now what? Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, NJ is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan and blocks from the 9/11 Memorial.

Ali, our dockhand, was very helpful. Not only helping us get into the dock on a windy day, but with plenty of advice for first time city visitors. Ali educated us to the best prices on the ferry across the river to New York and what to watch out for in Time Square. “If Spiderman approaches you wave him away, he wants money.” We didn’t see Spiderman but Elmo tried to get a picture with me.

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On a blustery day we headed for Ellis Island and Liberty Island to get close up with the Statue.

We arrived on Ellis Island and Cynthia’s first comment was “It’s too peoply”. It was crowded and we were not used to crowds. But being a Monday and weather not really the most ideal the crowds were not as they could have been. Imagine what the immigrant people felt like with groups of about 4000 at a time moving into the “great hall”. On our visiting day the population of tourists was at least half that size. It left its impression on me.

Once onto Liberty Island we did the self-guided walking tour around the Statue. Along with hundreds of others we walked around the base of the statue listening to our tour on headsets. We were impressed by the multitude of nationalities and languages all there for the purpose of seeing this great statue. What it means for everyone is different, but the same. In the front of the statue we took pause to just look around at all the people and listen to the various dialects.IMG_1503

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Being from a small mid-western town I was impressed. We returned to Liberty Landing Marina tired from our adventure and looking forward to what would come next.

More to come.

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Entering New York Harbor

We arrived into New York harbor with the wind literally on our backs. That morning we made an early move from Staten Island with winds out of the Southwest at 15-20 mph and expected to grow during the day. We surfed under the Narrows bridge just behind a freighter.

Once under the bridge and inside the harbor our ride smoothed out but then moved into the next phase, ship traffic. Being early on Sunday morning, well early for us, about 9:00A.M. With the weather not the best, there was little in pleasure craft traffic, however this is New York. We found freighters anchored inside the harbor, tug boats moving about the harbor, and the Staten Island Ferry crossing in front.

Wait!

THERE’S THE STATUE OF LIBERTY!

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With everything else happening, entering a harbor for the first time and all the traffic to be aware. The Statue of Liberty is right there. We made our bee line closer to get a better look. Careful to stay out-of-the-way of tour boats and ferrys, we crossed in front of Miss Liberty and proceeded up river with the skyline of Manhattan off the forward. 20160515_092148

Look! That’s the Brooklyn Bridge!

Oh My Gosh what an experience.

More to come.

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