Behind the Statue

Apr 17, 2014 by James in James' Blog

Now, when I was in the marine hardware industry and people asked me what my thoughts were about going out in heavy weather I used to give them my standard answer, which was, “If you get caught out in The Shit it’s good to be prepared for it, pull your reefs in, don your foulies and grin-and-bare-it, but don’t go out in it unless you absolutely have to!” I believed then as I believe now that that’s sound advise… With that said.

At 0730 on the 15th of April 2014 Dena and I set out in a storm to find our new summer digs! It wasn’t a very bad storm as far as our history goes but a storm none-the-less.

We didn’t really have to go, although the 15th was the loosely set deadline that the Liberty Landing Marina gave it’s winter residents, they seemed pretty cool about that date, but we went anyway.

The winds were on the bow at 15 to 20 knots from SSW as we made the Hudson River but the day promised an increase in winds to 40 knots from NNE by that afternoon and we knew it going into it.The tide was also just starting up against us as we headed down river towards the free anchorage behind the Statue of Liberty so our speed at 2400 RPM ranged from a screaming 2.1 knots to a trudging .8 knots. In other words, slow going at best!

“What the fuck are we doing out in the shit?!” We silently asked ourselves, and yet, there we were, in the shit directly going against our own “sound advice”.

To be quite honest with you, even though we were barely moving and the wind and waves were pounding us and the wake from the packed tourist boats was, well, what it was, we never even once brought up the fact that we were needlessly out in the shit.We just kind of dealt with the weather aspects, laughed at the tourists boats and loved the fact that we were together doing what we love to do. It was awesome!

We traded off the helm and made the anchorage just as the winds really started to pick up but the wind was still mostly from the south so as we came around the Statue our speed went from 1.6 knots to 7.8 knots in the blink of an eye. We backed off the throttle and glided into the anchorage.

It took all of 5 minutes to set the CQR with 90 feet of chain in 14 feet of water and just like that we were home.

We rowed into the public dock, tied up the newly painted dink…The-Dink

…Then walked back to the marina to get our bikes, stopping on the way to take pictures of our beautiful boat in her natural environment, hook-down.

Hook-Down

If this looks familiar it’s because we’ve anchored here twice before; once when we were on our way to Maine in 2012 and again last fall when we came down from Connecticut. It’s good solid holding in a good neighborhood, across the street from a cool family owned diner and we hope we can stay here until we want to leave, as opposed to being chased off by the water piggies.

When we got back to the boat that evening we installed the new hardware on our, long since broken, propane heater and it’s a good thing we did because as the winds came around from the NNW that night it brought with it what we hope will be the last snow and ice storm of the year. That’s right, it’s fucking April and it’s snowing in Jersey!

As I’ve said before, I work over-night in Tribeca-NYC so when Dena and I rowed back to the public dock that night the wind was howling at 40 knots dead on the nose of the little boat with ice pellets pounding Dena’s face and the back of my head as I rowed the 200 yards to the dock… That seriously sucked!

It snowed all night and the temperatures dropped down to 29 degrees leaving a sheet of Ice on the big boat and of course in the dink.

Ice

Today the wind came back around from the SSW to give us a little taste of spring to come. The temperatures came back up to the 60′s and it looks like we’re facing a week of increasing temps. So maybe, just maybe it won’t be so bad this summer, on the hook, behind the Statue.

 

 


The Run Of The River

Apr 07, 2014 by James in James' Blog

Ok so I turned 50…

ptownI

As we’ve said so many times before in these pages Dena and I are lucky, we both have our birthdays in the off seasons so we get to spend them in our favorite places pretty much by ourselves. This year we spent mine in P-Town, Cape Cod, Mass. It was awesome… We had the run of the place! Dena shot this picture of me taking a picture of the Provincetown tower with my dumb phone and the shot she took was so much better than the shot I got that we had to publish it… if for no other reason than its po/mo stature and the fact that it’s a great shot.

So much for that.

…But today, we went sailing and once again we were the first boat off the dock for the spring-time and again, we had the run of the river!

HudsonAdventure03

It was a beautiful (almost warm) Sunday and we were all by ourselves heading up the Hudson River to check out some potential anchorages for the summer.

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The winds were gentle from abaft heading up river with the tide and we were truly in our element, it was so spectacular that we were just, ok I’ll say it, giddy!

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We saw a bunch of very cool shit including this awesome fully-rigged Tallship from Amsterdam moored-up next to the (totally stupid) downtown Manhattan driving range.

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…Makes for surreal photography though, that’s for sure.

When we got up this morning we were both just a touch hungover from a little game that we played last night…

(You see, we went to see the movie “Noah” and we brought a flask of good single-malt Scotch whiskey with us. The game was this; every time they said something ridiculously religious we would drink from the flask… Well, we ran out of whiskey 10 minutes into the fucking movie and laughed our collective asses off  for the next 2 hours, much to the chagrin of our fellow audience members, it was a hoot!)

…Anyway, we had a touch of the pink elephant (not in the movie, WTF?!) and we had to shake it off somehow, and what better way than to get those sails up!

And let me tell you it was absolutely the perfect remedy! Broad reaching with the tide from Jersey City all the way up the Hudson to the 79th street peer where we turned around with the tide to beat our way all the way back with winds ranging from 5 knots to about 15 knots. We even got to tuck a reef in on the way back after getting a little over 25 degrees of heel with speeds up to 7 knots!

Hangover, what fucking hangover!

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Can you read the sign on the side of that building in lower right hand of the photo above?

(It’s cool just knowing the fucking psycho-christians lost that battle in N.Y. eh!)

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So we had the run of the river on a beautiful spring day in the biggest city in the good ‘ol U.S. of A and, once again, proved to ourselves that we are the happiest people in the world… We’re young, (well, Dena is), we’re talented, we’re lucky and yes, still a little hungover!


A Two-Hat Winter

Mar 25, 2014 by Dena in Dena's Blog Posts

I’m convinced that winter is over, but the temperature is arguing with me.  Fine – we’ll call it a cold spring then.  It was a two-hat winter and I don’t see doing that again.

When I say two-hat, I mean a woolen watch cap under a second, looser, and fluffier wool hat with ear flaps.  Seriously.  And then my scalp was the only part of me that didn’t get freezing cold.

Rowing

Now join me in hopes of multiple days over 50 degrees so that we can prepare our dinghy for the cryptozoic life.  We will be leaving our winter home at Liberty Landing Marina for a peripatetic existence anchoring wherever convenient.  Or at least, wherever we don’t get run off.  This will mean another hard summer in the water for the dinghy and the poor little thing deserves some primping before launch.  We used it hard last summer while on the mooring in New London (see above pic), but looking at our NYC options convinces me that this summer will be the real test.

NYC isn’t designed for people who want to avoid paying for things, and several of the likely anchorages have dinghy docks at up to $20 per day.  No thanks!  We’re going to work out methods of getting ashore (far more difficult than anchoring in the first place) without paying, but some of the breakwaters and beaches are hard on equipment.

We’ll see!



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Behind the Statue

Apr 17, 2014 by James in James' Blog

The Run Of The River

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