May 21, 2008
We woke at 6am, feeling like death warmed up, hoarse and hungover and not at all ready for another day of bad weather, but bad it was. This time once we left Atlantic City we had to carry on until Sandy Hook, 75 miles north, as there was no good inlets to come into, all of them too shallow or poorly marked. It was cold, freezing even, windy and rough, and it rained from when we left to when we arrived 12 hours later. Dickie was such a star, he kept me cheery inspite of everything, and we did make good time as we had both sails up and it was blowing just the right amount of wind, for most of the day anyway. We were very grateful that the cockpit has a full fixed cover and sides so we are protected from the worst of the weather, although by the end of the day everything was pretty wet anyway. We anchored about 12 miles south of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, that marks the mouth of New York Harbor, had hot showers and grub and crashed out exhausted.
The weather this morning was thankfully lovely, with blue skies and light winds, perfect for crossing NY harbor, we thought. We timed our departure so we would pass a particularly tricky section of the East River called Hells Gate, on the east side of Manhattan Island, at slack tide, as currents can be very strong there. However as we approached the bridge we could see a procession of war ships coming up the channel, and coast guard and NYPD boats were all over the place. I thought it was a bit of overkill to put on such a welcome for us, but eventually we realized that it was Fleet Week, a big event with lots of naval vessels on display. The coast guard announced security restrictions over the radio, so we could not pass under the bridge until they had finished going through which took about 2 hours! This messed up our carefully planned schedule, as we had to bob around below the bridge and watch, but it was quite a show over coffee and breakfast. Once we could continue we went to anchor just around the corner from the statue of liberty. We spent the afternoon catching up on email, and planning the last section of our trip home. Manhattan is amazing, awesome even, especially when approached from the water, it has been quite the day.
Tomorrow we are planning to leave here at 5 am, and head through NYC to Long Island Sound. We will have to anchor a couple of nights along the way, and the last stop before Cape Cod will be Block Island, which is in Rhode Island. From there we should make it to Quissett Harbor by saturday-ish weather permitting, where we will leave Harmony on a mooring and go home and spend long lazy days on the couch, watch TV and have giant hot baths at will. I CAN"T WAIT. Actually we will have to haul Harmony out shortly after we get home and paint her bottom and catch up on a million things, but I am focussing on the couch and tub for now.