Almost done with salt water (until Canada)

If any newcomers to this blog expect zany excitement, it’s probably best to move along for now.  Basically we just want to get north of the Erie Canal so we can see some new stuff.  But since this is our cruising diary, we might as well make a few notes.

Last time we did the trip up to Great Kills, we still were full of pie-eyed wonder.  It didn’t help that the group generally (1) was traumatized by the AC/DC tribute band and (2) was terrified of the Atlantic.  Ahhh, what a difference a year makes.  This time we knew we weren’t fooling around with the Manasquan Inlet, so we left shortly after dawn, mostly confident we could make it.

Mostly we were confident we’d make it because we anticipated smooth seas.  Last year, the Absecon Inlet was a horrendous mess.  The only upside (and a big upside it was) was that the Absecon Inlet directly was responsible for our bonding with Second Wave.  Yesterday?  Scarcely a ripple.

In fact, the entire day gave us nothing more than one-footers.   Beautiful.  All ten-plus hours of it.  Not much to see from three miles off the Jersey shore, but nice and easy.

Well, nice and easy unless your boat is Troublemaker.  We don’t know that boat, but along with everyone else on the Atlantic coast with VHF marine radios we got to listen in to the drama, which started when they radioed a Mayday because the boat was sinking some 60 miles offshore.  (We’re guessing the small waves and blue skies weren’t much consolation.)  Anyway, the Coast Guard dispatched a rescue ship, but said it would take more than 2 HOURS to get out there.  How is that possible?  Dozens of the noisy annoying stupid cigarette boats in the Farley Marina could’ve been there in half that time.  The Coast Guard ordered radio silence for “search and rescue operations.”  High drama indeed.  The radio chatter between rescuers and rescuees was constant as those involved raced against the clock.  Would they make it it time?  The Coast Guard told the captain to keep the boat on plane, conjuring up images of Sandra Bullock trying to keep the commuter bus from exploding.  Then the helicopter reported that it was overhead.  Thank goodness.  By now we felt we knew these people.  We couldn’t wait to hear the story.  How’d the boat take on water?  Did the crew have to jump overboard?  Was everyone rescued?  Nope.  All we know is that at one point the Coast Guard had lassoed the boat and was pulling it towards Manasquan.  It was like they ended the book without writing the last chapter.  Doesn’t the Coast Guard care that we were emotionally invested?  This just isn’t right.

At least in the midst of the chaos, Old Barney stood proud, beckoning the Troublemaker to safety, just like he’s done since the beginning of time.

Shortly before Sandy Hook, we moved close enough to see the crowded beaches.

It’s kind of hard from the water to see what they’re all doing, but we assume the children are collecting hypodermic needles and used condoms the way children in, say, Florida collect seashells.  “Hey Ma!  Look!  I found a purple one!”*

We made it in to Great Kills Yacht Club, had a great dinner with Linda Anne, Jadip, and Antonia, and collapsed.

We were extra glad to see Mark and Lezlie.  We last saw Antonia at the Old Henry Lock Wall.   Good times with old friends.  Of course, we forgot to take any pictures and we couldn’t take one before we left because they still were asleep when we left.  At 9:45.  Too bad, because Mark’s beard has become epic.

So off we went to The Big Apple again.  This time, we put on a Pandora station playing Broadway show-tunes.  As an aside, Broadway shows seem to have an edge to them.  For example:  “When push comes to shove, I’ll kill all your friends and family to remind you of my love.”  You can’t get away with that in real life, but put it to happy music and you can make a fortune.

Under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where even at 11 o’clock the poor slobs were bumper to bumper.  And for that privilege they apparently pay $19.   As the girls would say, it sucks to suck.

No traffic for us though.  Unlike last year, there was no jet ski parade.  The ferries were sparse.  The tourists mostly were elsewhere.  We just cruised up easy as you please.

We barely had to slow down while Dana took Linda Anne’s Statute of Liberty Money Shot.

Wait, this is new.  If you live in one of the densest cities in the world but need to work on your golf game during your lunch break, what can you do?  Apparently just head on down to the Hudson River.

We suppose we just missed it last year through, because years ago Kate Beckinsale put her hand in the gross gum wad that Jonathan stuck under a seat in a place just like that.  Serendipity baby.

Hey is that a cruise ship around the corner?  Why yes it is.  Turns out Antonia isn’t the only familiar boat we’ve seen in the past couple of days.  Right there docked in Manhattan was the Carnival Sunrise.  

We last Carnival Sunrise spinning in circles in Norfolk.  We figured the Captain probably recognized us as well but we missed seeing him wave hello because we needed to get on up the river.

Another little something we didn’t recall from last time was the Frying Pan.  Dana snapped a photo.  Thank goodness.

It’s a boat.  It’s also a restaurant.  Which isn’t really all that cool by itself but becomes much more cool in context.  Because a couple of hours later we reached the Tappan Zee bridge.  Where a car exploded or something.  Big fire on zee bridge.  Dana snapped a photo.  Thank goodness.

That’s right people.  Soak it in.  We literally went from the Frying Pan to the fire.  That’s just damn funny right there.  And we have the photos to prove it.

We stopped giggling at the absurdity of boating through a cliché long enough to pull in to Half Moon Bay.  We’re in the exact same spot where Doug helped tie up our friends John and Marilyn on Blue Goose last time around, after Steve the Dockmaster had an emergency and shoved his radio in Doug’s hand and disappeared.  The Loop is great for making friends and for making memories.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to storm, but tonight we got another sunset from the flybridge.


* Ok, we know that’s sort of a cheap shot.  The Syringe Tide—no joke, that’s what they called it—was a few years ago.   But anything that becomes scarce makes a good collectible, right?

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