Our Encroaching Ice Age

A reprieve at last and I’m back out on deck, Nikon in hand, shooting the proof of our impending doom. The only thing protecting our ship from “Polar -Vortex 2014!!!” are those little pods of bubbles in the lower third of the above image, and let me tell you, that shit works! Everything that doesn’t have a bubble’r under it is frozen this far west in the canal. The bilge froze up last week so I had to take one of our invaluable room heaters (we’ve graduated to two heating units) and point it directly in to the open engine hatch. By morning I could run the pump by hand and clear the bilge of packing drippage. No big deal really. The drinking water has been freaking cold, but it’s not frozen… Yet! The city is still very strange to me in the morning… But even the cold, dead of winter somehow keeps me stimulated visually. When we’re both on board we generate enough energy to keep the place warm and cozy but take one of us out of that equation and the boat is just a little too cold to hang out in. The ride from the boat to the train station and back has also been a constant adventure and a true test of my stealthy, polar-urban-vortex bike riding skills but the salt on everything in the path of the commute is really putting my bike to the test! So far I’d say I had a good bike… Dena’s not so lucky, her bike sucks and this is why. Sorry Dena… I wish it wasn’t true, but it’s true. But, the sun did come out today and it got just a little warmer, that’s something, right?  

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Big City, Little Boat

Damn it’s been cold! We’ve both been working “over-nights”, or rather Graveyard shift, for the past month or so witch means we’ve been doing our commuting to the city in the middle of the night, the coldest part of the day, and the only upside, besides the fact that we make just a little more money than if we were working days, are the sunrises. I mean, it’s not like I take my camera to my wage-slave-gig but my shoe-phone can even capture the dramatics here. …And you cant argue with the fact that Gotham City is pretty freaking intense looking in the morning. So far we’ve been using our time pretty well considering our work schedules. We’ve taken in some theater, some museums, Central Park lots of street food and some of my favorite graffiti of all time. (If you haven’t seen the documentary “Resurrect Dead”, you should, it will explain the above photo captured in the middle of the street in the Garment District…) Anyway, the big city is a blast and we’re making the best of it and staying as warm as possible. Even considering all the issues we’ve had with our propane heating system, our shore power battery charger and 1/2 of our electric blanket all going tits up at the same time, still, we’re keeping our little boat cozy and warm with plenty of daytime snuggling under tons of blankets in each others arms. I fucking love this town!

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The Dream?

We’re here, we’re working our way through this season of, well, you know! I’ve never been a big fan of the christian, end-of-year psychosis (I know, christian and psychosis is redundant) but you have to know that it makes it all that much easier to deal with when you can step out of the Metro station on Bleaker St. and into the warm confines of the Lynn Redgrave Theater to watch four people freak-the-fuck-out on Shakespeare’s Hamlet! It was awesome, it was Bedlam! A good friend of ours was in the city on the obligatory university tour for her offspring and scored us a couple of tickets to the show. It was the perfect thing to do on a cold, cold night in Gotham. I have seen Hamlet more times than any other Shakespeare play, maybe 12 times in all, and it always blows my mind at how much of our pop culture was brazenly stolen from that play. It’s like watching Casa Blanca only better, every single line in it has been masticated by every media machine we have and it still stands the test of time on its own. Brilliant! Just in case you forgot what our home looks like… There’s no doubt about it, winter is real in this part of the woods and for some reason, it still takes the utility companies by surprise. The night we went to see the show a water main broke and left the marina without potable water for about 6 hours. It didn’t effect us very much. We had water in the tanks for coffee and neither one of us are that prone to a daily shower now that they are 1/3rd of a mile from the boat… Every other day is just fine with me, really! Anyway, We’re here,[…]

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Adventure’s End?

October 25th marked the completion of our 17th year together.  We celebrated in high style – our version. We got underway from Cold Spring Harbor bright and early, heading around the rocks off Center Island, along the blunt point, down Hempstead Bay to Glen Cove. Once again, we were doing some heavy beating with a foul current for most of the trip.  When we turned down the bay, though, we caught the fair current, broad reaching in 20 knots of wind, with the swell on our quarter.  Fast. We didn’t make arrangements ahead of time, because of our allergy to firm planning, but it’s just not that hard to get into a marina in late October.  To our disappointment, the Brewer juggernaut has taken over every single marina in Glen Cove – not a single independent left.  Sigh.  Oh, well – we’ll feed the devil this once. So we pulled in (minor clusterfuck – the office drone told us we’d be port side to, so we put our mooring lines and fenders on the port side, then she waved us in on a starboard side slip and said oops, which necessitated some last minute scrambling to get lines on the correct side).  We did a washdown of the boat and then of ourselves (the first in the six days since using Mom’s hotel room shower in New Haven). We walked up to Sea Cliff, where the Metropolitan Bistro was just opening up.  Almost three hours later, we left replete with wonderful conversation, loving each other more than ever, well fed and well lubricated.  The waitress gave us the poached pear on the house – it was divine.  It was perfectly us on our day – a long walk after a lot of sailing, holding hands and wandering into the unknown[…]

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We Be Here

Stepping foot off the Mystic Whaler for the last time was as uneventful an adventure as the trip from Baltimore to Philadelphia aboard that same schooner. Our friends and ship mates Marie and Dan handed us our measly belongings, walked us to our rented car, hugged us, shook us, and away we went… The End. (I should note that the captain and cook were so moved by our departure that they couldn’t bring themselves to say goodbye. I should also note that the previous note was facetious.) The drive to New London from Philly actually took longer than the preparation to get our boat underway. Within 45 minutes of being aboard the S/V Itinerant/Nomad, the boat was completely ready to go mechanically with the only thing left to do being provisioning and washing the Whaler off our bodies.  Groceries, propane, water boarded and several excellent showers enjoyed, we slipped the mooring pennants off the bow bollard and sailed off our mooring. A gentle wind wafted us, aided by the more powerful ebb current, down the Thames River.  It was our first downriver sail aboard our own boat in quite some time, though we’d done it so frequently as crew.  The ebb turned against us when we tried to head west, up-Sound, and the wind’s light caress revealed its insufficiency.  We motor-sailed past Bartlett’s Reef, past Niantic Bay, and entered the Connecticut River. A few miles in, a bascule bridge allows, by turns, trains and boats to utilize the same scrap of planet.  It is ordinarily open, closing only for approaching trains, with a digital board counting down the minutes until the next opening.  Something has gone awry with this elegant system, however, and it is, as usual, the human element at fault. We approached the open area downriver of the[…]

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