Monday, June 9, 2008

Rocking and Rolling

Time to catch up on my blog! Today is Monday, June 9th. We were at anchor last Thursday-- in Brielle, NJ this past Friday and Saturday (with no wireless for me)--and came here to Newport Marina (across from Manhattan) yesterday, Sunday. We have been rocking and rolling ever since my last posting--very uncomfortable! Tides, swift currents, wakes from thousands of other boats, have all contributed to this mess. We'll be glad to head north tomorrow--up the Hudson River-- and get out of all this.

We left Cape May early in the morning and in the rain--but it didn't last long. There were 3 boats headed out-- us, "Sunshine", and "Our Way", who all had decided the night before to go "inside" to Atlantic City--the wind in the ocean being the reason for this decision. It had been blowing for 5 days. We had heard that going inside might present problems with shallow or "skinny" water, however we had no problems at all. Yes, it was skinny in a couple of spots, but we were following a boat with a 4-1/2 foot draft, and we felt secure (ours is 4 feet!).

We went literally through the backyards of New Jersey. We meandered along a crooked ICW and saw some amazing sights. First, we went through marsh after marsh of nesting turrins. It was quite a sight--seeing literally thousands of these birds sitting on their nests--and reminiscent of Cape Lookout, except far more birds here than Lookout. Secondly, we passed through one long spot just north of Ocean City and south of Atlantic City where all the waterfront houses were built out over the water on stilts, and the boats were parked under the houses in the water! I'm told we won't see anything like that anywhere else on this trip. And just past Atlantic City was this energy making field of 5 windmills. Having seen and heard the ones in the western part of NC, these were very different--so quiet--not a sound--as these huge machines just kept turning and turning. I was very impressed--I'm so glad we decided to go inside!

Having been to Atlantic City twice before, we passed behind it, deciding not to go see The Donald and blow $5 a foot for an overnight. We chose a place just north of Sin City East and supposedly a good place to anchor--it was very picturesque. Buddy had a WONDERFUL time swimming for a good while, and we grilled out. There was a new moon in the sky, and we were close enough to see the tacky lights and fireworks from Atlantic City.

We decided, after a night of rocking and rolling, that we would seek a marina in Brielle, NJ to wait out the weekend--in preparation for the next leg--New York. We've heard from other "Loopers" that you stay put on the week ends, traveling only during the week days. Good advice. Just too much traffic. So we chose Brielle Yacht Club Marina, they had spaces available for us and "Sunshine". Weekend spaces are hard to find--lucky us!

The marina was just at the railroad bridge leading into the inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. When Louis made the turn to go into the marina, the current was so strong that he literally had to race into the marina, with a side-to current, in order to make the turn. Had I been on the fly bridge, instead of below with the lines, I would have been screaming, I'm sure! What a rush for Louis, and he did an outstanding job getting us in.

Our marina was having a weekend "family" fishing tournament--bluefish, rock fish, and fluke (our flounder). There were about 60 boats registered, with both children and adults fishing. There would be three top prizes in each category of fish caught. We were tied up right beside the weigh-in station, and we saw lots of action Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. The children weighing in their fish were precious to observe--so enthusiastic. I set up my chair right there on the dock and watched the action. Such fun!

This older man, fishing alone, came in to weigh his rock fish. It weighed just under the already #3 fish, and was still barely alive. When he found out his fish wouldn't even "show", he tried and tried to revive it--with no luck. He said he already had a freezer full and didn't want it--boy, was I in the right spot! I quickly spoke up, asked him if I could have it, and asked him if I could pay him for it. Thinking I was from Texas, ???, he said I could just have it with his compliments!
Color me happy!

We took the now-dead fish and Louis filleted it--all 24.7 pounds of it--giving half to "Sunshine". A beautiful fish--I don't think I've ever seen one that big--and we were thankful for it too. As we left early Sunday morning, we didn't get to see who won the tournament, but they expected a 40+lb bass to win. We had seen a 35lb rockfish already brought in, who was the leader when we left. A 5lb fluke (flounder) was tops when we left--caught by a 9 year old. The sponsor gives out $1000.00 gift certificates in the Brielle community as prizes.

We left Sunday morning and headed out into the ocean for our calm ride up to New York. There were fishing boats out the whole way up--a glorious day to be out on the ocean. We arrived in New York about 4 hours later, passing Coney Island, coming into New York Harbor and passing the Statue of Liberty. What a thrill it was for me to see it so close, and by water. I thought of those books I'd read of immigrants coming to America and their first thoughts and tears upon seeing "Lady Liberty". Ellis Island too--it was a thrill for us--we got lots of pictures.

We are anchored here in Newport Marina--right across from Manhattan. We are just across the harbor from The Empire State Building--and the lights of the city as seen across the water at night are truly spectacular--something I'd never seen on my other trips to New York. You just can't appreciate the skyline when you're in the city! What a view--makes all the traffic of huge private boats, cruise ships, ferries, barges, tankers, police & security, and us lowly 40ft pleasure boaters worth a lot of rocking and rolling!

1 comment:

Jay Stockard said...

Glad to hear that the engine is back to normal and that your trip is still as exciting as it was when you "shipped out." Seeing the "Big Lady" from afloat is a feeling that will stay with you forever, and I'm so glad you got to experience it! Hope your Northern progress drives you into cooler weather! It was 105 at 6:00 PM last night! Yikes! Take care and God Bless!