Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vicki Goes A-Paddling!! / The Big APPLE

Vicki Goes A-Paddling!!

Vicki inaugurated her new kayak at Oyster Bay, NY. And Norm took a spin in it too. Vicki paddled over to town and picked up a Sunday New York Times so we could get up to date on the news and to prepare for "doin" the town. Oyster Bay is a must see anchorage just off the Northern shores of Long Island Sound (just as the last three have been). Again, it is a lovely, quiet harbor with plenty of room to anchor and good holding.

It was another great ride from Oyster Bay to NYC, although a bit overcast. We timed slack at Hell Gate just right after a 3-hour cruise from Oyster Bay. However, we did not expect the US Coast Guard escort as we passed the United Nations complex on the East River. Seems the president of Iran was there and the security was tight. I can't pronounce his name, but Vicki says that Oprah uses "I'm-A-Dinner-Jacket" and that sounds about right for us. Anyway, we were being closely watched by armed coastguardmen. That 50 cal. gun on the bow was a bit threathening. We survived the escort, though, and continued into NYC harbor amongst all the ferrys and work boats and on into our marina.

The view of Manhattan from Liberty Landing Marina is spectacular. We’re looking at the melt-down area – the financial district at the southern tip of Manhattan. I could probably see the Chase building from here if I knew how to identify it. The view is even more spectacular at night when the

skyscrapers light up. The boat on the left is a 142 yacht that takes up the entire outside facing dock. We've chatted with the crew a couple of times but have not seen the owners. The bow of that yacht appears to be taller than our flying bridge--perhaps 20 ft or so.

Tuesday's venture was over to Ellis Island and then broadway for dinner and a play. Ate at Becco’s which was recommended by friend Nancy and was fabulous – the food was excellent, but the big draw is a huge wine selection at $25 per bottle.

Wednesday, we hit broadway again for lunch and a matinee; then, we scurried home to meet a fellow DeFever owner living on his boat in this marina. Matt Bryne joined us for cocktails Tuesday evening. Matt had posted an email inviting other members of the DeFever Cruisers Association to stop by when cruising through NYC. He’s a lovely person and has been outstandingly helpful with restaurant recommendations (notably CafĂ© de Bruxelles) and tips and directions on how to get around NYC--most importantly, how to get back to the marina late at night. We had a great evening getting to know Matt.
We were scheduled to depart Liberty Landing Marina on Thursday (yesterday). Unfortunately, the seas along the Jersey Coast were 6-12 ft and are expected to be that way until Monday. So we negotiated a "weekly rate" with the marina and decided to wait out the weather here. On to manhattan for some shopping. We had lunch at Cafe de Bruxelles in Greenwich Village. Excellent for mussels, trout, and the best french fries (or do you say pommes frites?) in the city. We shopped at Century 21, the discount dept store near the World Trade Center site. It was packed with people at 2:00 Thursday afternoon –aren’t these people supposed to be working?
The storm came in last night – it will be rainy and windy all day, so today is a work day for us – cleaning and projects on the boat.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hotbed of Coopers

Friday we dinghied into Sag Harbor and caught the bus to Southampton to hobnob with the beautiful people. Southampton was a hotbed of Coopers in the 1600s-1700s! Vicki’s ancestor, John Cooper, who came from England was a founder of Southampton. Yes, this is the same John Cooper who started at Lynn Massachusetts where he was one of the town officials to sign the document that planted the town of Southampton,and he was among the first 20 people from Lynn to settle Southampton. We went to the historical museum and the researchers helped us find references to him in books. It was a pretty cool experience. We bought a couple of books to send to Vicki’s Dad who did the genealogy of the Cooper family which traced their roots back to John. In the picture above, Vicki is reading a deed transfer of land from John Cooper to someone I can't spell. Below are some shots of Vicki and some of the Cooper landmarks in Southampton, NY.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a perfect cruise from Sag Harbor along the northern coast of Long Island to Port Jefferson which is about half-way to New York City which is where we'll be tomorrow through Wednesday. Port Jefferson is a wonderful and picturesque harbor with loads of anchorage room in good sticky mud. And, it is well protected on all sides.

Today we treked westward about 30 miles across the northern shore of Long Island to Oyster Bay Harbor. Oyster Bay, is another great hideaway anchorage about 2 miles south of Long Island Sound through a tricky channel; but, worth the effort. We're anchored in about 15 ft of water, pretty much protected all around and have a good hold. It is such a nice day, Vicki is going to try out her new kayak. More on this later.

Tomorrow we will make the 35 mile run to NY Harbor (via the East River and ...........HELL GATE!!!!!!). Oooooooooooh! We'll get a slip at Liberty Landing Marina (just behind the statue of Liberty) because we are planning to "do" the town and there is good water transportation to Manhattan from there. Vicki went on line and got tickets to two broadway plays and a tour of Ellis Island where Norm will look up his ancestors who arrived in this country through there.