…Not bad for free digs within rock throwing distance of the City.
The routine went like this…
I’d get up around 4:00pm, do the coffee thing and if the weather was shitty, which it was most of the time, I’d get geared up and go out on deck to check the ground tackle, foredeck, midships, cockpit, fantail, wind generator, and standing rig … Check!
Back on the hook and off the grid, that is the way this boat performs best. And let me tell you, it’s incredible to experience so viscerally the fruits of your labors.
And let me tell you about those labors…
…I’d feed myself next, read some and then Dena would text around 6:30 or so to let me know that she was going down into the PATH station from midtown Manhattan, Grove Street bound. She’d text me again at the Grove Street station, I’d wait about 10 minutes then jump in the little boat and row in to the public dock to meet. A couple of times over the past few weeks I managed to hit it perfectly where Dena would be riding up just as I’d be rowing into the dock. that was definitely cool, it felt like we were making this thing, this Cryptozoic, thing look easy.
…She’d jump in the boat and depending on a combination of, her level of retail-exhaustion, wind direction and of course, velocity, she’d either row back to the boat, or not.
We’d chill out, she’d decompress and I’d ready myself for another night of graveyard-wage slavery in TriBeca.
In the morning after my servitude-to-capitalism I’d work out, steam, shower, jump on a train and then ride back to the anchorage where I’d find the little boat locked up to the dock where Dena had left it on the way to her wage slave gig. On her days off I’d call her from the station and ride to the anchorage where she’d be waiting for me at the dock.
It was working famously! We got lots of looks and waves from people in the park either on the rowing commute or during the deck routines but for the most part we were as fringe and enigmatic as we’ve ever been while staying put.
There was that early spring chill in the air so we went through a couple of tanks of propane but there’s propane for sale back at the Liberty Landing Marina just a little over a mile from the boat.
We found a cool place to lock the bikes that was almost invisible from most angles unless you were looking for them right off the bike trail.
We also discovered a pirate-able, potable water supply on the side of a building that was closed on the weekends right up the street from our anchored boat. Dena would load up the bike trailer with our two five gallon water bottles, go up to the building, fill the bottles from the spigot and load them back to the dock, into the little boat and then back to the big boat where we would pour the water into the on-board tanks. We both knew it was only a matter of time before somebody caught us “stealing” water from their building but we’d deal with that when the time came.
Then the French invaded!
47 feet from stem to stern with about a 26 foot beam the S/V Phineas buried a hook in the mud just about 100 meters east of where we were anchored. From my perspective she was a perfect example of a ship-shape cruising catamaran. She had a huge solar panel array aft over the dinghy davits and I could tell that she had a rather large genset from the size of the exhaust spit that was constantly spewing out of her port-side pontoon.She was power hungry which most likely meant there were lots of people aboard, at least four was my guess and she was flying the French flag off her back-stay.
The day she showed up we had winds in 30 to 35 knot gusting range with intermittent shitty-showers so we didn’t get to meet or even see anyone aboard but the next day as I was doing my wake-up thing two men, one in his teens and one, I’d guess in his mid 30’s, to early 40’s came motoring up in a rather nice rib-inflatable introducing themselves as two of the four members of the crew of S/V Phineas.
“…As in Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days.”
Oh yeah, Phineas Fogg! I get it, that’s cool.
We talked for a few minutes and they sucked my brain of local knowledge as much as possible and we all agreed it would be a good time if we could get together on their boat for some dinner and some conversation.
Are you kidding me, I’ve never even set foot on a Lagoon catamaran much less the 47! We’d be honored.
“Wonderful, we’re looking forward to it!”
We didn’t set anything in stone but over the next three days we kind of worked around each other on the dock and waved whenever we saw each other.
(You should Google the “Lagoon 47 Catamaran” wow!)
On Tuesday the 6th as I was rowing up to the dock to pick up Dena and take her back to the boat the entire Phineas family came ambling up to the Dock just as Dena was doing the same and evidently they had had a little run in with the local Park Ranger. He told them that “they were not aloud to use this dock to park their tender, not even for one more day!” They said the park ranger also told them to tell us, if they saw us that we couldn’t use it either…
Okay, initiate Plan-B… I mean think up a Plan-B and initiate it!
…But jump where?
Now is a good time to mention that Dena has an immediate-family, family reunion every year at the beginning of May and she was leaving for Montana Friday morning at 0400 so we had to be settled into Plan-B before then or I’d most likely have to deal with Mr. Park Ranger by myself during her absents… We both figured that was a no good scenario so we decided to go with the Plan-B of least resistance and that was…
Go up the Hudson River to the 79th street marina in the upper west side of Manhattan and pick up a mooring for the week that she will be with the Fam.
Right, well there is the issue of Logistics.
We came up with this lavish idea to leave the bikes at the anchorage in Jersey, sail to 79th street, take a train back to Jersey, walk or bus from the train, pick up the bikes and reverse the train and bike ride back to the boat just in time for me to get to work by 2400 and Dena to get to the Airport by 0600 to be on a plane to South Dakoda, (or the North one, I forget which one) Where she would meet her mom and then drive to Montana…
Fuck it, let’s just pack the bikes and the bike trailer in the dinghy row them out to the big boat and save the three hours that it would take to go back for them…
We had to make two trips but a 15 minute row boat ride as compared to the three hours we would’ve had to dedicate to going back for them later made for a quick decision on the matter.
With the bikes loaded aboard and the engine running we flipped a quarter to see who got to weigh (our three weeks imbedded in the Jersey mud) anchor.
Dena won that toss.
We had a real nice flood tide going up the river so we left the sails covered and motor-charged our batteries all the way up to the 79th Street Marina. It was a lovely trip. We did see the French Invaders (I’m kidding, they were very nice people) anchored between Liberty Island and Ellis Island on our way up the Hudson. We were on a mooring in less than four hours and in an upper west side Indian restaurant celebrating our new digs with plenty of time for me to get to work and Dena to catch that plane!
My new bike commute is twice what it was in Jersey City bringing it up to 6.4 miles but it’s all on the NYC West Side Bike Highway and it seriously rocks.
We’ll see how it goes, we only paid for a week here and as I’m sure you can imagine this marina is not cheep and it really is a bit of a rodeo being as though we’re right at the bottom of the Hudson River but we jumped and we landed and the whole adventure, I think, makes for a pretty damn good story!
I’ll post some pictures of this place as soon as I get some descent light and until then, just imagine us in paradise.