Sunday, July 17, 2011

Up the NJ Coast to NYC

Well, I am alive and well on High Spirits, but haven't contributed to the blog for, I think, weeks.  Thought I better write occassionally so you don't think I jumped ship.  Of course, I am still in pictures, so I guess I just have writer's block.

We had a much better sail up the NJ coast than we did last August, when we were bashed by cold, wet waves and wind on the nose, making for a very unpleasant sail.  This time we had smooth seas with some wind to both sail and motor sail down the Delaware River to Cape May, then Atlantic City, followed by a 13 hour sail to Sandy Hook, NJ, within sight of NYC.  The Delaware River was infested with biting flies.  We estimate killing at least 300 of them, most of which we swept up the next day underneath our cockpit grating!  Ugh!

We spent 2 nights in Atlantic City due to windy conditions one day, giving us the opportunity to swim in a pool, and gamble at the Golden Nugget, formally Trump Marina and Casino.  Joe won $60 on the Craps table in about 20 minutes!  We also found a blackjack table with $1 bets, so enjoyed a little time there.  Both evenings they had good bands with dancing under the stars.  We hooked up with fellow sailors, Micky and Ron, who are traveling to Maine for about a month, from their home port in the Chesapeake.  It is a small world with Micky having worked at Prince George Community College, where one of her projects was working on a grant to bring teachers from South Africa to learn teaching methods.  Our daughter, Jennifer, who works at PGCC, was in the Peace Corp in 1997-99 in South Africa, working to improve teaching methods in several schools there.

After finally arriving at Sandy Hook, a peninsula at the northern tip of NJ, we found a delightful little harbor with moorings(picture below).  Atlantic Highlands was developed in the late 1800's as a vacation area for the wealthy from NYC, arriving by ferry during the summer.  There are many elegant old victorian homes, and a downtown with numerous restaurants.  Jill and Matt took the fast ferry from Manhattan and spent Saturday/Sunday with us on the boat.  The town had a street fair, followed by a One Minute film festival in the park after dark.  We must have seen 30-40 one minute films.  The top prize was a film- Change the Word, Change the World, which you can google and watch on line.  During the afternoon, Jill, Matt, and I took a dinghy trip, running aground on our way to the beach, and finally arriving at a beach that was accessible by boat.  That is motorboat, as there had to be 50 motorboats rafted together just off the beach. 

This morning we sailed with them to Rockaway Point Yacht Club, where we had stayed for a couple of nights on the way south last August.  Jill had plans to meet a friend at Rockaway Beach, so we joined her at the Rockaway Taco Bar for delicious fish tacos, and beach for the afternoon.  We are used to deserted beaches in the Bahamas, but NYC beaches are the opposite with multi-colored beach umbrellas and bodies everywhere.  After returning to the yacht club, we enjoyed a fish dinner, with members cooking the dinner.  They enjoy a communal dinner every Wed and Sun evening together and are the most hospitable yacht club that we have encountered!

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