Sunday, July 16, 2017

Poughkeepsie YC - at our dock

The West Point Military Academy is always a dramatic sight
Today was OK. We had pizza for dinner so today was fun. My cosins left so that was sad. We are at the PYC club. We are HOME. We are having an early bedtime so I am a little disappointed just a little. We had a fun time on the river for 2 weeks I hope we have more like this. But before I go I need to tell you all something very special, the pizza was cheese.    

Storm King comes right to the edge of the Hudson River
The last day of our cruise with the grandkids was perfect. Ann prepared a favorite breakfast for Finn (pancakes and bacon) and we were off. The tide was against us all the way but we didn't care. We had a good view of all the magnificent sights along the way north including the palisades on the New Jersey coast which are about 300 to 500 ft high, very dramatic. Farther north you'll pass West Point and World's End where a chain barricade was placed across the Hudson Rive to prevent the English going farther north during the Revolutionary war. Just north of that you'll see Storm King Mountain which rises 1340 ft above the Hudson. In all it's a dramatic trip up the Hudson River.

Lots of barge traffic today, nobody could figure out what these were
The railway owns both sides of the Hudson for tracks so there is very little development since all the waterfront property is already taken by the trains. the Poughkeepsie YC is a rare exception where the trains take a small detour back from the water.

Home at last, we like it here too
Coming up on PYC we had about a 1 kt current behind us with a 15 kt wind, not ideal for coming into a face dock when there's a boat directly ahead of your slip. Ann was at the helm as usual and I supervised the crew with the lines. Ann decided on a Captain Ron maneuver and came at the dock at a 45 degree angle while moving with the current 1 kt towards the docked boat in front of our slip. At the last minute, Ann turned the boat 45 degrees and threw it in reverse just like Captain Ron in the movie of the same name. The boat stopped cold and snugged up against the dock. It was quickly tied off and we were in!

Our Connecticut crew is gone and we just have Rowan and Finn on board. We will get off the boat Monday and take them home Wednesday to Pennsylvania. We will undoubted spend a few days to rest up.

This marks the end of the temporary blog but it will continue starting 9/15 for our eighth trip to down the ICW to Key West. Be sure to join us then.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Croton Point in Haverstraw - at anchor

Finn's favorite building
Hello it’s the long lost FINN!!! Today we saw some skyscrapers. We are anchored at Croton point. We swam of the back of the boat. Matt joined us too. We saw one skyscraper that we called the drunk architect. It was really crocked so they attached it to the building next to it. I don’t know who would buy it but whoever who bought it must have been CRAZY!!! Today was a great day.      

Another odd one
We have Matthew on board who's in the architect school at Roger Williams University as a Junior this coming year so it was interesting rounding Manhattan and seeing some of the wilder buildings and Matt's assessment of the design. Finn was impressed once again by the "leading towers" of two buildings (pictured). I can only guess that it's just the desire to be different that drives such a design. Likewise for the buildings that appeared to be inspired by Lego blocks. On the other hand the Freedom Tower looked elegant and unique at the same time. It was an interesting ride.

How would you like to work here?
We went through Hell Gate as the tide was turning against us in the hope that by the time we reached the Hudson River, the tide would be in our favor. However, once again in our experience the tide was late. We bucked an adverse current all the way to Haverstraw Bay! It should have turned by at least the George Washington bridge according to the tide tables. We have never seen it turn on time yet! 

Magnificent Manhattan
We are now anchored off Croton Point with about 50 other boats (it's a Saturday night). We well conclude our journey Sunday upon returning to PYC late afternoon. I wish we had more wind for the trip but that's the chance you take in Long Island Sound in the summer. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Port Washington - at a free mooring

Sarah likes to steer the  boat! 
Hi this is Sarah and today was a very rainy day. This morning we had delightful biscuits with honey and had to wait out the rain. We were aiming to leave at 12:30 but there was a opening and we took it! I read my book, A Tree grows in Brooklyn, for a tiny bit until a felt a little sick and too nauseous to read to read. After a while I took my thirty minute shift and had lunch and rested for a little bit afterwards. Then we got to Port Washington and it was still raining. Before the our trip I took some motion sickness medicine and after we arrived in port Washington I could barley keep my eyes open and feel asleep. After I woke up and played on my phone and now I am doing the blog. After we have our dinner were going to watch Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, bye.

Racing sails!
We watched the weather radar to look for an opening and one came at 12:30 so we were off. There wasn't much wind and we didn't think we had to put out the mainsail for stabilization. That was a mistake. There were rollers coming off the Sound and they were hitting us broadside causing us to roll about 45 degrees in both directions. Everybody down below came up to he cockpit, it was not comfortable. We then up the mainsail up and that helped some but it still wasn't a good ride. 

When we turned the corner around the point and headed directly for Manhasset things got much better.We could see on the weather radar that we still had a window so we hurried along. Then the fog set in. We countered by turning on the running lights and powering up the ship's radar to see what's ahead of us in the fog. As you might expect, nobody else was out in this mess. We found the same mooring we used last time and then it started to rain. 

90 one day, today in the 60's, hardly summer weather
We hope to leave Manhasset around 7:00 am so we can make the tide through Hell Gate and reach Haverstraw Bay by the afternoon if all goes well. The next day we plan on reaching PYC. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Northport - at anchor

Even though it's called Sand City, the beach is mostly pepples
Howdy! Matt here. Today we had a lovely pancake breakfast. We then proceeded to remove ourselves from Port Jeff. On the way out of the anchorage we raise our mainsail and after getting a little ways farther out into the sound we raised the jib and cut the engine. Fleetwing got to experience a pleasant sail across the sound over to Sand City, Northport. She reached speeds of up to 6 knots with a strong 16 knot wind behind us. We didn’t have to tack until two thirds of our sail was over. I was caught using the head mid tack. I found myself up when I should have been down and came up into the cockpit with the swift realization that we tacked. I got some good reading in while we were sailed today. I have gone deep into the pages of the sci-fi masterpiece, Dune. We are now sitting anchored in Northport waiting to see whether we’ll get hit with a storm. Happy Sailing!

Peddles or not, the kids still enjoyed the water
At last we sailed! We came out of Port Jefferson and sailed across the Sound. Naturally, you could not point directly at our destination, that was right on the bow! We were just happy to have good winds of 10 to 12 kts and we took advantage of the opportunity. Once on the other side we tacked to point towards Northport but then in looking at the weather radar which showed severe weather on the way, we decided to motor the rest of the way (directly into the wind, of course, the wind gods know where you want to go!). It feels kind of powerful to be the only boat on the sound that controls the wind so effectively. Other boats must have fair sailing with winds on the beam since we didn't see any other boats headed in our direction. 

The front looked fierce but we didn't get much rain and no thunder or lightning
The cool front was coming with the associated storms so I made a quick trip to shore with Hoolie and the kids got some swimming in but we had to cut it short to get back to the boat before the storms hit. As it turned out, we snuck through a gap in the front and barely got any rain at all which didn't bother us any. Now it's about 15 degrees cooler and it feels nice. 

We're headed for Manhasset on Friday but there are storms coming again so we'll head out in the morning to avoid the afternoon storms. The real chancy departure date is from Manhasset heading for Haverstraw Bay. There are storms predicted all day long. If there's no opening, we'll sit Saturday out and leave on Sunday. The weather is king.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Port Jefferson - at anchor

Running the dinghy is great fun for kids of all ages. They all take turns.
Today was great. We went to the beach. I snorkeled. I found some interesting rocks. I even found a clam. I spent most of my time In the aft cabin reading. We anchored at port Jeff. Sadly we didn’t sail but it didn’t take long to get here though. Today was a FANTASTIC day and I hope I have more like it. BYE       

The blog above was from Finn. His brother Rowan got off the boat in Branford but Finn stayed on for the rest of the trip. We would have liked the winds to be incorrectly forecast like yesterday, out of the northwest instead of the southwest. Now that we needed winds out of the northwest, naturally, the winds came directly out of the southwest, mostly on the nose for the trip from Milford to Port Jefferson which resulted in us motoring all the way. Oh well, such is Long Island Sound.

Storms all around us but none on us so far
It was a short trip over and we found the anchorage entirely empty. Two other boats came in later but three  boats in all allows for a lot of room. The anchorage could easily take 30 boats. Of course, the kids were eager to go swimming so that consumed about two hours in the afternoon. There are thunderstorms all around us but none appear to be aimed at us. It's warm at 83F but there's a breeze and if needed, we'll run the genset tonight with A/C to cool off the boat.

Our goal on Thursday is to move over to Northport and anchor next to Sand City for more beach time. There should be a window open in the morning before the storms kick up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Milford - at a dock

Finally got to sail
Hi this is Sarah here and today was a pretty quiet day. This morning when I got up it was very hot and humid. We had breakfast and then we said goodbye to Mattituck and headed over to Milford. We were able to sail but we only went 5 knots for our speed. Me, Matt, and Finn all took turns sailing the boat. After I read for a long period of time; so much that I was asleep when we were heading into Milford. I took the stern lines and helped with the fenders. After tying down the boat Matt, Finn, and me played card games like slap jack, knock, and exploding kittens. I won a good amount of those games and then Matt started to make dinner after, which are taco burgers (onions, and taco seasoning). So now were going to eat dinner and might watch a Kurt Russell movie after wards, bye!

The docks are nice and quiet
We were going to spend the rest of the trip at anchorages but when we looked at the weather report and saw a southwest wind predicted at 10 to 12 kts, we thought that was perfect for a long reach to Milford from Mattituck. But we made a fatal mistake, we broadcast our intentions before leaving the anchorage. That was the opening the weather gods wanted. Upon exiting the inlet, the winds were directly on the nose! The winds were out of the northwest and not the southwest! We should have hidden our intentions better to keep the weather gods guessing and maybe they would have guessed wrong. But usually in cases like that, there's no wind at all until you turn in one direction or the other, then it's right on the nose! We've even tried pointing at somewhere we didn't want to go but to no avail, the weather gods knew better.

In the end, nothing beats ice cream
In the end, we just clocked over enough away from Milford to get some sailing in at the expense of having to motor the last two hours into the wind to make up for the sailing while not pointed at Milford. On the positive side, everyone had a turn at the helm sailing and they all did fine. We took a dock at Milford Landing Marina and Matthew prepared dinner. I took everyone out for ice cream at one of the best places on Long Island Sound, Scoopy Doos

On Wednesday we're headed  back to Port Jefferson and one of our favorite anchorages where the kids can go swimming again. This time the winds are predicted to once again be out of the southwest but only at 4 to 5 kts, not enough to sail. At least the kids will be able to swim which is pretty important.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mattituck Federal Anchorage

Our anchorage
Howdy! It is I the long lost Matthew! I make my triumphant return with a trade off at Branford with my younger sister Natalie. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the boat for more than a day sail. After a strong scrubbing of the cockpit, we had a pleasant ride out of Branford. We spotted a sub and went bonkers trying to get the binoculars up so we could take a closer look just to realize it was a tug and barge. The wind was real sassy today. Wouldn’t give more than 5 knots the whole ride over until we were just put the sails away when it picked up to 15. We are now anchored in Mattituck. I went ashore with Grandpa to get some supplies while Finn and Sarah swam off the back of the boat. Motoring the dink back and forth from shore to the boat was like riding a bike, one doesn’t forget the ever important landing maneuvers. For dinner we’re having some salsa and cheese chicken. I’ll be onboard until the end of the voyage on Sunday and will be adding to the blog till then. Happy sailing!

Matthew joined us for the rest of the trip. It's the same Matthew that we took to Maine 9 years ago! He's gotten a lot bigger, 240 lbs worth! We wanted so much to sail today but the wind just would not cooperate. It maxed out at 7 kts with 5 kts being the norm. So we motors all the way to Mattituck. 

The anchorage here is ideal. It's big enough for a half dozen boats but we're the only one present for now. There's a free dinghy dock provided by the town and lots of shops a short distance away. There's even a supermarket about 1/2 mile down the main road to the right not to mention the laundromat nearby too. 

Free dinghy dock too for access to town
We'll spend the night and the crew voted to return to Port Jefferson so they could all go swimming again on the beach by the anchorage. The water holds a big attraction for kids.