2006.10.15 .....

We are home for a couple of weeks and I knew I would forget something important on the boat and I have... the wire to download pictures from my camera to the computer duhhhh!!!
Also I noticed we had no comments on the latest postings... also nowhere to post comments!!! I somehow managed to delete the option for comments on the new postings .... two out of two I am really doing well, sorry about that.

The flight back to Montreal from Washington was very uneventful and we had Jamie and crash Jack (he was crashed in his car seat ...never woke up) to greet us at PET .

I must say I miss Soli, it was hard to leave her in Baltimore this morning but she is safe in Inner Harbor East marina and tied up like the QE2, not going anywhere I don't think patiently awaiting our return.

I'll write more later when I have found a way to post more pics.


2006.10.11 ...

Going up the Delaware Bay on a dull day somewhat misty and foggy.... again lots of big boys passing us in the channel.



Nobody said cruising was easy...just making up the bed is exercise...should have taken off my shoes.

We are still in Cape May and the boys are fiddling around with Jem' cooling system.

We had a nice supper on board, left over shrimps on pasta with a rose sauce yummy!!
We are off tomorrow up the Delaware Bay to the C&D canal.



0940 cast off gas dock where David fueled up Soli... getting quite good at doing this without spilling as the pumps are very fast.

We said goodbye to Atlantic city and resumed our coastal passage South to Cape May.

A brilliant day, the ocean is a magnificent shade of blue and the swells more civilised today, if this is what cruising is like I think I can handle it for a while.
We arrived in Cape May at 1445. My last time here was on camping trip with Alec and the kids in 1968, when we saw the first man walk on the moon.
We arrived at a civilised time for a change and were greeted by the staff of Utsch's marina in their usual friendly and efficient manner.
The facilities are wonderful and Louise and I put some laundry in while we took glorious, long, hot showers full private bathrooms.
We took the Babys aout for a belated birthday celebration at the Lobster House. We have all decided to give ourselves a lay day to lick our wounds and it is just as well as Jem has discovered a leak in the heat exchanger and salt water is not a good thing in the engine.
This place has wifi but I have unfortunately discovered that I cannot post this blog as an attachment to the blog.... there is no way I am retyping this whole thing ON LINE!!!



0705 cast off Great Kills, on our way to this wild North Atlantic that the weather stations have been bad mouthing for the last few days and they are still talking about small craft warning, the skipper declared this did not apply to Solitaire1 ( we are in the same class as the Queen Mary).. so off we go!

Passed Sandy Hook and finally sailed on the Atlantic. It was a wild and beautiful ride with swells of about ten feet rolling us along and Solitaire could handle them all sans probleme! It was quite impressive to look at Jem on our starboard looking like she was doing a submarine job... quite an optical illusion!
We decided to give Barnagat Inlet a miss because of shoals and pushed on to Atlantic City.
We arrived there at night and although the city is lit up like a Christmas tree, the red buoy marking a shoal was not and oooops we were hard aground!!
David was very upset, first ever grounding for him, Jem who had been been following us closely veered off smartly and avoided it. We eventually got off, Jem went to anchor and we went to the $3.00 a foot Trump Tower marina, we docked at 2000 the office was closed so we could not register and I am ashamed to say we left at 0700 the next morning without paying Mr. Trump a red cent (marina office still closed). I am sure he will still eat tonight.



Another grey rainy and windy day but we cannot complain as we are cosily ensconced in our warm and comfortable cocoon.
We are pleased with the way the batteries are behaving, after 2 days at anchor we've used 193 Ahrs.
We are tied up to a dock in Great Kills Harbour. We seem to be on the wrong side of the bay as far as activities are concerned, Jem is on the East side on a mooring at RCYC (Richmond not Royal!) and there are shops and restaurants nearby, Not sure we feel like launching the dinghy and motor and crashing across the bay in the rain...sounds too much like hard work but is is Andre's birthday so we'll see later.
We launch and went over to RCYC, we are off to the library to try and post this mess to the blog...wish me luck.
The library was closed!!! so still unpublished, pizza for lunch and a quiet evening back on board.



Well the honeymoon with 79th Street Basin is over, the weather is cooling off, a dull and still very windy day and we are getting fed up with the buoy banging against the hull, although it is painful to hear it does not appear to have done any damage. What is happening is every time the tide turns, the wind is pushing in one direction and the tidal current in the other resulting in the boat being ahead of the buoy instead of hanging back from it.

So we are soon leaving and moving the boat to Great Kills Harbour on Staten Island, it looks like a nice little horseshoe bay where we should have good protection. David has reserved a slip with Nichols, it should take us about 3 hours to get there.

What a ride, rock and rolling and surfing past the Empire State building, Ellis Island where all the imigrants used to be welcomed and processed,

and the Statue of Liberty, the very busy port of NYC with ferries, tugs & barges, helicopters, tankers, container ships and a line of planes coming in for landing... it is all very humbling.

Saluting "The Lady" as we pass

We finally bid farewell to Manhattan



We had a bit of a disturbed night as it was very windy and and he lines from this mooring buoy kept banging into our anchor and making quite the racket. We have taken the anchor on deck and should have a more peaceful sleep tonight.

It is a beautiful clear crisp day, still very windy, the weather stations are talking about gale force winds on the coast so we are staying put for the moment.

Heinz (L'Equipe) called this morning, concerned about us, they are also waiting out the weather in Newport, we will meet up with them next week in Baltimore. At the moment it does not look like we are going anywhere for a couple of days, the weather should break by Sunday.

We had some excitement earlier, Andre reported a drifting sailboat, probably broke his mooring lines and was headed up the Hudson towards a ship, the US Coastguards sent a cute little tug boat to rescue her, so that entertained us for a while, then David spotted a bride and groom having a photo session on a ketch sailing on the Hudson, she must have been freezing, bare shoulders and all, only in New York.

Life is good on board our flotting condo in downtown Manhattan I am bringing my log up to date on Dino, short for dinosaur, David's old Panasonic Toughbook, David is on the Blackberry selling grain to the UK, or trying to and readind the news on Google. The Hudson is rocking us gently, we had bacon and eggs for breakfast and I will soon be hanging the laundry out to dry, hoping our knickers do not fly awy... no cabin fever yet!
We had a productive day, David was not happy about the way we had tuned the rig so we redid it and now the mast is nice and straight. We saw Michael sailing by this morning, tried to raise him on the VHF but he was not tuned in, he is Bermuda bound. Another quiet evening watching the magical city lights .



After a blissful sleep at anchor we woke up to a warm hazy morning on the Hudson, t-shirts and shorts for us today, must be indian summer.

After cleaning the salad (removing the weeds from the water intake filter), checking the oil and all that good stuff we picked up our hook and went over to Jem for a pow-wow, Andre called Atlantic Highlands in Sandy Hook to book for this evening, as a front is expected to roll in and they offer good protection... but there was no room at the inn so we opted for a mooring ball at 79th Street Basin, Manhattan. We were told "first come, first served" how comforting!

Stopped at Westerly Marina in Ossining (home of the bad boys camp Sinsing) and fueled up, the owner Artie, his wife of 62 years and their son operate this marina, nice folks.

1200 passing under the famous Tappenzee bridge and shortly thereafter picked this very wet cocky New York pigeon (I think he did not get out of the way), he chased after Solitaire, landed on the swimming platform then flew up and perched himself on the outboard engine then right into the cockpit where he made himself at home... David made me close the companionway as we figured he was headed inside the cabin to help himself to some lunch . Julia would have said we had a pet on board. Anyhow, after about an hour having established he was not hurt and somewhat drier and rested (and of course taking a couple of pics) we shooed him away and he flew to perch under the George washington bridge.

We successfully picked up the second mooring buoy we went for, the first one had no line attached, and here we are in our floating downtown Manhattan condo. I love it !!! Watching the continuous line of bumper to bumper traffic on the Westside Hyway until 2200!! as well as on the GW bridge and here we are sipping wine in the cockpit admiring the lights of the city that never sleeps. NEW YORK NEW YORK.



0840 Cast off Hop-O-Nose Marina on a beautiful clear fall day.

We are cruising down the Hudson at 7 knots and are admiring the real estate on both banks.... lots of money around here, we have made a reservation at a restaurant this evening because they offer free dockage to their patrons... I hope it will not be a $20.00 for a burger.

Jem is leading the way today and warning us of floating debris of which there are quite a few and now I know what a real deadhead looks like !!

I have made a little spreadsheet on the computer to help us keep track of our disbursements for this little adventure, let's see if what the skipper has been reading ie $25K per year is realistic, you can take the bookkeeper away from her desk only to a point!!
1640 docked at this marina cum restaurant "The Torches", Louise and I went to register at the restaurant and were told that the free dockage was only during dinner... if we wishes to stay the night it was a further $3.00 a foot...$120.00!! I was not even close with the $20. burger.. so the 3 boats (Barbara Ann from Shelburne) cast off rapidly at 1640.
We decided to make a run for Haverstraw Bay, although it was a bit far and it was getting late, but as Capt. Baby justly said "we have electronic equipment hanging out of our yang yang, so we should be fine".
As a matter of fact Solitaire did not have the Navionics charts for this leg of the trip, so it was actually fun using the skills I learnt long ago with CPS, rapidly plotting positions on the paper chart and giving Skipper heading for a waypoint I had plotted at an anchorage.. even with all the electronics, good old fashion seamanship comes in handy.
First time dining a deux.



We woke up to a very foggy day...0830 Jem's mast stepping was underway and our followed.. then the rigging, cleaning, I will not bore you but a long and exausting day it was. We took a lunch break and back to work.
We had homemade chicken soup, rosette de Lyon, Societe Roquefort and a delicious bottle of Bordeaux , compliment of the Baby at the end of a very long day, to restore our spirits and celebrate our boats looking like sailboats again.We saw Michael and his Kanter 47 Mistress V, they are on their way to Bermuda.


2006.10.01 ...

Joe (Troy Dock owner) took Louise and I provisionning at Price Chopper, it was pouring cats and dogs.. we had a free pumpout, topped our water and fuel tanks and were on our way for the relatively short trek to Catskill Marina It pretty much rained the whole trip. We passed Rick's dungeon (office) in Albany at 1130 but he was not there to wave as it was Sunday.
Beautiful mansions on the Hudson and lots fun names.... Ripvanwinkle bridge, Coxsackie. Talking about fun names at 1515 we docked at our destination for the day HOP-O-Nose Marina, in quaint and charming Catskill Creek... they have just built some lovely waterfront condos starting at $300K... Jem tucked in behind us, our masts almost kissing for the last time.
We had an orgy of Chinese dumplings with Hunan sauce which David devoured, good thing he does not like peanut butter!!