Friday, June 30, 2017

June 24-30 Great Kills, NJ to Whitehall, NY

June 23rd A new boat pulled in,  Miss Lily (Kevin and Anne from Texas).  We met at the bar and decided to go to dinner together at Coles.  They are very experienced boaters who are now doing the loop.

June 24th  One of the younger boaters, John Scarcella at Great Kills, did the loop with his family a couple of years ago.  He is very generous in loaning his vehicles to loopers.  We were able to borrow his Chevy Silverado Black Widow Special on tires making it so high I had trouble getting in.  We were a real site arriving at church in this truck and then taking a handicapped spot.  Following church, we went to Top Tomatoes, a fabulous Italian grocery store where they had wonderful produce, meats, baked goods and deli.

June 25th  We decided on an early morning departure today (Sunday) 0630.  The weather was perfect with calm seas and minimal wind.  Although we had to wait for a couple of ships to enter NY Harbor under the Verrazano Bridge, there was little boat traffic.

We saw only one tour boat and one Staten Island Ferry.  Once north of the city, the boat traffic was limited.  Upon our arrival at Half Moon Bay at 1245, we were placed on the "big dog" dock.  Big dogs over 30 pounds are not allowed on the main docks because the exit to land is through a condominium complex which does not allow dogs.  Owners with dogs under 30# must carry their dogs out of the complex.

June 26th   We left at 0830 for Kingston.
It is always emotional to see West Point!

Since we were in Kingston in 2013 many upgrades have been made to the museum and docks. There is a new River Port Wooden Boat School and there are new single boat slips available behind it. Wooden boats are under construction and line some of the sidewalks.    We were placed behind the Clearwater sailing vessel where the crew was using pine tar to refurbish the deck.  It smelled wonderful.

When we docked, a young dock hand helped us.  We mentioned jokingly that we were back to pick up the grill that our large entourage (stuck for 3 weeks waiting for the Erie to open) had left behind. He said, "Oh, we've heard about that group".

After dinner we walked along the waterfront and found a jam session.  This "senior" group meets 2 times per week.  I did not have my dulcimer with me!  The group had a variety of instruments:  fiddles, flute, keyboard, mandolin, an ocarina.

I was motivated to play when we returned to the boat.

A couple came by in a rowing vessel and she sang along as I played.  She said she had built her own dulcimer.  Then she asked me to help them get out of their boat because they were new to rowing and we're stuck. I helped them out with capsizing their boat.

June  27th  Kingston to Shady Harbor 38 miles
This was an easy day with limited boat traffic.  We love Shady Harbor.

 It is a beautiful marina with a great staff, pool, laundry, nice showers, and a good restaurant.  We got the laundry started and went for lunch before the torrential rain hit.  There were several loopers there and we met at the tent for docktails. (Paul and Taffy on Catalina, Terry and Dorothy on Magic, and Jean on Time Out).

June 28th  Shady Harbor to Fort Edward
This was a really long day. (58 miles, 8 locks, 9 hours)  We arrived at Fred's dock for free dockage.  He and Ron have communicated the last few years.  Fred owns Tug 44, an American Tug.

June 29th  Ft. Edward to Whitehall 28 miles.
 Fred had recommended a local bakery/breakfast stop, so we took advantage and walked a few blocks for breakfast before our departure.  Today was short, only 3 locks.

The canal is narrow and straight. This house caught our attention as did a mother deer and her fawn.

We pulled up to the free wall before any other boaters arrived. This is a great location with 3 free power pedestals.

There is a museum nearby, groceries within 1/2 mile, and a hair salon 5 minutes away.  The house on the hill, east side of the canal, is Skene Manor.

Three other boats pulled in after us.  One of them was Terry and Pat on Happy Happy.  Raining!!  Since rain and storms are predicted the next two days, we are staying put.

The other three boats took off this morning and we're replaced later by three other boats, one of which was Dirk and Pat on Wandering Star.  We had met them briefly in Brick, NJ.

While I walked a few blocks for a $10.00 haircut, Ron took the bike to the grocery store. Since the rain had not started as predicted, we walked across the bridge and up the steep hill to Skene Manor where we had lunch and a tour.

By the time we returned to the boat the rains had begun, but were not constant or severe as predicted.  We will leave here Sunday morning when better weather is expected.

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 6-June 23, 2017

6/10  After returning from Nashville, we attended the rehearsal dinner for Nephew, Joe (and Zara's wedding).  It was an interesting party because of the ethnicity of Zara's family.  They are Armenian. We sat with Zara parents, her brother's in-laws and her uncle.  Other than her uncle who had flown over from Armenia, most of the family spoke limited English even though they've lived in the states for a few years. Her uncle works for the US embassy in Armenia.
Kim(left) and her kids

6/11  The wedding!  It was a beautiful event and a fabulous reception!

6/12  My one year post cancer mammogram was scheduled in North Jersey (Summit), so we drove up a day ahead.  Ron's cousin Tom manages a Hilton Garden Hotel.  Connections!  He upgraded us to the bridal suite.

6/13  The mammogram was not good.  It showed new calcifications near my scar so the mammogram was repeated.  Then I talked with the radiologist who scheduled me for a stereotactic biopsy.  (Drove back to South Jersey)

In addition to that news, we attended a wake (visitation) for Ron's 65 year old cousin, Arlene Slinsky.  She had been diagnosed with pancreatic/liver cancer.  As children, Ron and Denise spent lots of time wit Arlene. She will be missed!  Drove back to South Jersey.

6/14  Arlene's funeral and repast (dinner).  We drove to North Jersey and back again for this. Each one way trip takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Coming from rural Illinois, this commute is tedious for me, but people in NJ are accustomed to it.

6/15 Stereotactic biopsy.  Another drive up and back.  Following the procedure, I stayed at Denise's  and Brian's in South Jersey.

Ron, Denise, Brian and cousin Theresa drove up and back in the evening for his Aunt Margie's (also Ron's Godmother) wake.  She had ovarian cancer.

6/16  Another drive up and back to north Jersey for Aunt Margie's funeral and repast.  The funeral procession contained many, many cars, had a police escort, and routed past her house on the way to the cemetery.  She had lived in the house for over 60 years.
11 of the 20 living cousins

Ron with Aunt Margie's sons

6/17  Ron and I are prepared for good or bad news on my test.  With good news, we will proceed on our boat trip.  With bad news, we will go home.  But how will we get a car, fly, buy a car???

6/19 received a call from Gail (Summit Breast Center) on my test results....all tissue samples were benign.  YEAH!!!!!!!!! With this emotion-filled week, we both breathed a sigh of relief.  Our decision made, we are preparing for our boat trip north.

6/20  We bought a used (2,400 miles) 2017 Subaru from the same dealer where we bought our white one.  Since we need a car to get us from Michigan to FL in September, the car will stay in NJ until Ron takes a train to come back and get it.

6/21  We departed from Viking Yachting Center, New Gretna at 0800 and arrived Traders Cove Marina in Brick, NJ.   We had a reservation.  When we got close, I phoned them since they don't respond on marine radio.  I have never had worse directions getting in to a marina.  Here is a portion of that conversation.

Jan:  we just came under the Mantoloking  Bridge from the south.  Can you direct us in to the marina?
Marina guy #1:  So you are where.?
Jan:  just came under the bridge from the south.
Marina guy #1.  He handed the phone to an older worker #2.  I repeated what I had said.  He said so you came from the south and you are heading south?
Jan:  I see your marina.  We are heading toward the 3 story gray building.  Do we go in the main marina opening.
Marina guy #2:  Do you see me?
Jan:  where are you?
Guy #2:  I'm on the grass.
Jan: I do not see you.
Guy #2:  Do you see the police boat?
Jan:  No. (Turns out that boat was down a channel and behind a larger boat).
#2:  do you see the playground?
Jan:  Yes. Do I head to the right of  the playground down that channel?
#2: Yes. Did you have a reservation?
Jan:  Yes.  Our length is 34 and our draft is 4 feet.  Is it deep enough?
#2: Your what.
Jan: where do you want us?
#2:  Will you fit behind the police boat?  If not, go further down.

By then we turned around and pulled into a fairly tight space behind the police boat and in front of looper boat, Wandering Star (Dirk and Pat) who helped us dock. #1 and# 2 seemed less comfortable assisting us.

This marina has been purchased by the city of Brick and completely redone.  The cleats on the dock are few and far between and the power didnt work well.  Current price is $25 per night but is expected to rise to about $2.00 per foot.  The grounds and playground are beautiful.  Currently they have only portapotties, but are building restrooms and showers.

According to a friend, the dock hands are public works employees...probably with no marina experience.

June 22.  We based our departure time on when slack tide would occur at Manasquan Inlet.  That made our departure 0630.  We had to transit the Point Pleasant Canal while the 2 knot current was against us.  That didn't sound like it would be a problem for this 2 mile stretch, but at one point Ron briefly lost control to the current.  A bit scary!

 Fortunately it was a weekday with very little boat traffic.  The railroad bridge at the Inlet was open, so we breezed right through.

 Conditions on the Atlantic were great.  Winds---3.  Swells--3 feet with a period of 8 seconds.

 We neared Sandy Hook, where there is a nude beach, and yes, there were nude bathers and walkers.
Once we were around Sandy Hook and headed for Staten Island, I  noticed a disturbance in the  water.  Then I saw the blowhole.  It was a whale!  How exciting!!

John Calascibetta, the harbor host extraordinaire, greeted us!  This is our 5th stay at Great Kills Yacht Club. We had an evening drink in the bar and Joe, the bartender, gave us 2 loaves of fresh Italian bread.

June 23:  We decided to stay a couple more days.  Rain from Tropical Storm Cindy is on the way and weather looks better on Sunday.