If there’s an unexpectedly unpleasant vibe to this post, it’s because we wrote much of it while enduring an unexpectedly unpleasant seven hours between Port Jefferson and Sag Harbor. Lots of pitching and bouncing around. Spray over the pilothouse. Yuck. Sometimes our free weather forecasting apps aren’t worth what we didn’t pay for them.
Fortunately, between that time the sun came up the morning we left Atlantic City and today’s ugliness, we enjoyed a pretty good run. Dave and Becky. Mike and Lucy. Mostly good weather. Then best of all, Monday evening the girls arrived. As per usual, in our excitement we failed to take any immediate photos. Oh well, we have them for a few days.
The Empty Sky memorial finally opened, showing us where we’d see the World Trade towers if they still were there. Pretty cool stuff.
Tuesday morning the sun popped up over our last view from Liberty Landing. Yup, that’s kind of awesome.
After some buffoonery at the fuel dock that set us back thirty minutes, we headed out for the obligatory swing around the Statue of Liberty. We’re dang near to needing a tour boat license, but it’s another view that doesn’t get old.
Then up the East River. Past all the stuff we’ve discussed in prior posts. The Brooklyn Bridge. The UN. Typhoid Mary’s island. About the only thing we haven’t done yet is emulate Kramer, who started swimming in the East River after finding the pool unsatisfactory.* We’ve now been through New York so many times that we’re thinking of joining a stick ball team or a street gang. We still, however, find the prisons fascinating.
And not just the kid prisons.
Back past Throgs Neck, which sounds every bit as cool as the other times. Just on the other side of the Throgs Neck Bridge, we passed an odd-looking thing that was vaguely military and vaguely commercial.
Turns out it’s a boat that’s chasing Gene. Actually it’s a shadow boat for Gene Machine, a superyacht that claims to be seeking “genes to combat global warming and clean up the oceans and the air.” Hence this boat being named Gene Chaser.
Anyway, Tuesday on Long Island Sound was everything today wasn’t. Calm. Blue. The girls sat up on the bow, inviting the healthy tan that precedes wrinkles and skin cancer.
Despite Shannon having lived in Arizona, Florida, and Hawaii, however, we’re not sure she understands how tanning works.
Port Jefferson was known for shipbuilding in the nineteenth century, which explains the statue of four dudes carrying a boat skeleton. We’ve seen dozens of boat-related statues and monuments in our travels. This one is high on the list.
Port Jeff, as the locals call it, is another one of those cute little towns we like with shops and restaurants and boats.
For us, however, this stop wasn’t about shops or restaurants, but about finally meeting up with Exhale.
Tumbleweed is NPY 49 hull six. As we noted back in our first post after buying her, her original owners were Rick and Mary, whose company we enjoyed several times when we were looping in Misty Pearl and they were looping in what then was Exhale. The new Exhale is NPY hull 11. Exhale is North Pacific’s gorgeous Euro style, however, which means the hull is about the only thing our two boats have in common. That, and dogs. Both boats have a dog, although theirs is white and named Maddie Sue. We’ve been looking forward to seeing Rick and Mary and Exhale and Maddie Sue for months.
Obviously we welcomed Rick and Mary back aboard their old boat.
We did this for a couple of reasons. First, of course, we wanted to catch up and thank them for the help they’ve given us. Second, they know the boat inside and out, and dialed in most of the systems we’re still figuring out. So it seemed like a great time to take advantage of Rick’s knowledge. And his willingness to roll around on the floor.
Good meals, good stories, good times. As an added bonus, nobody got arrested after Rick and Mary snuck over the fence at the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, which is good because we could’ve been fingered as accessories.**
Initially we’d planned to dock at Danfords, but Exhale was at the Yacht Club, so when we were almost there and Danfords said their dock power was out we figured we’d go to the yacht club so we could get a cool photo with the boats next to each other but the yacht club said there wasn’t room so we ended up on the town dock on the other side of the ferry landing. The point being, it was tough to get a photo with both boats in it but if one knows where to look we technically pulled it off.
This morning, Exhale took off a half hour before us, heading to the Baltimore boat show where basically she’ll be working as a supermodel advertising boats for North Pacific. We pulled out as soon as the ferry gave us an opening.
Just about the time we untied our lines, Mary texted that the Sound was rougher than expected, which would’ve been true even if we’d expected to be miserable. The girls stayed in their cabin. Oscar whined and cried. Dana ran around cleaning up stuff that crashed or spilled.
Half way to Sag Harbor, we realized that Plum Gut is another of those places where people die if they don’t time the passage. And we hadn’t timed the passage. Coastal Boating Magazine ranks Plum Gut as one of the top five most “challenging cruising waters in the Northeastern U.S.” Excellent way to end a rough day.
We rather assumed that once we passed Orient Point Light and entered Gardiner’s Bay, things would calm down for the last ten miles. Hey we made it to the lighthouse! Yippee!
The waves did subside. For a hot minute. Then they decided we were a bit too presumptuous and started slamming us on the beam. Which—being from a new direction and all—caused stuff that miraculously had survived the pitching to succumb to the rolling. Just excellent.
But as often is the case on these rough days, we survived. We’re happily tied up in Sag Harbor.
Here for a couple of days or until we screw up enough courage to face the Sound again, whichever comes last.
*“You’re swimming in the East River? The most heavily trafficked, overly contaminated waterway on the eastern seaboard?”
**In fairness, any place with security so lax that people in their fifties and sixties with neither lock-picking skills nor bolt-cutters can breach it easily deserves whatever happens.