Tuesday 8th October, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
At last I’ve finally caught up with myself! We have been here since Friday waiting for suitable weather to cross the Gulf of Maine and return to the USA. The weekend was glorious autumn sunshine with the trees starting to change colours…
On Saturday we went to the penultimate farmer’s market of the season….
The apparently old building was actually built in about 1995 for the film “The Scarlet Letter”, starring Demi Moore. Whilst the film bombed it had a major and lasting impact on Shelburne. The previously run down Dock Street waterfront was cleaned up, houses renovated and the whole area improved dramatically (so I was told).
Next stop should be Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Sunday 13th October, Onset Bay, Massachussetts
Next stop was indeed Plymouth. We left Shelburne on Tuesday afternoon, anchored off Negro Island that night and set off across the Gulf of Maine on Wednesday morning. I ripped a muscle in my long suffering back on Tuesday evening so Sheryl took charge and got us going. By Wednesday evening I could at least get up to stand watches. The crossing was somewhat tedious with very little wind so we motor sailed the whole way.
You have probably been hearing about the US government shutdown. What a bunch of kids! And this is supposed to be a democracy! Anyway the shutdown doesn’t apply to Homeland Security agencies such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP). I can’t speak highly enough of the efficient and courteous way we were treated by the staff in Plymouth. Officer McQuaid came down to the boat, issued us with an extension to our cruising licence and new entry permits so we can stay in this amazing country for another six months, if we choose. Here is the obligatory picture of the Mayflower replica….
Anxious to keep moving we only spent 24 hours in Plymouth and left there yesterday noon to transit the Cape Cod canal before stopping in Onset Bay for a couple of nights. Hopefully our new German friends, Astrid and Bjorn of S/V Buena Vista will catch up with us in a day or two. They got stuck in Plymouth having been directed by the harbour master to a berth they couldn’t leave the next day at a lower state of the tide!
Thursday 24th October, Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York
Since leaving Onset we have been cruising steadily along the New England coast. Our first stop after Onset was Newport, Rhode Island, a state we had skipped going north. Newport is a major centre for American sailing and there were still plenty of boats in the water in mid October. The first evening there we witnessed a magnificent sunset……
Whilst in Newport we met up with our new German friends, Astrid and Bjorn from the sailing vessel Buena Vista. We had a particularly good evening with them drinking beer and listening to live music in a Newport Tex Mex restaurant.
After a couple of days in Newport we again set off west and by the 18th we were alongside at the Mystic Seaport museum. For anyone interested in maritime history this is an amazing place. During the period 1850-70 Mystic was a hive of wooden boat building activity with at least five shipyards. All sorts of vessels were built including clippers and whalers. Indeed the last wooden whaling ship in the word, the Charles W Morgan, is currently being restored at the museum and will be at sea next year, although not for whaling. She is in the background of this picture at the right…..
The museum covers some 17 acres and includes many restored, relocated and replica buildings. There are craftsmen practicing old skills and an active youth sail training programme.
Autumn is now well under way in this part of America. Up until a couple of days ago we had been enjoying daytime temperatures of around 20C (68F). However, all that changed yesterday as a front went through and it is now barely double figures Celsius. We are anchored next to a mooring field and there isn’t a single boat left moored there. Yesterday we didn’t see any other small craft out on Long Island Sound, it really is time to be beating feet southwards. However, the weather isn’t co-operating and by the look of the forecast we will be in the Long Island area until at least Monday. In the mean time I can occupy myself with such delightful jobs as servicing one of the heads (i.e. marine toilet), lovely.
Sunday 27th October, Port Washington, Long Island, New York
Those of you who have been following this blog attentively will remember we stopped here on the way North at the end of June. It is a very cruiser friendly town, for that read free moorings, which is only 45 minutes from New York City by train. We spent a cultural day in the city yesterday, at least that’s how it started with a visit to the Guggenheim museum of modern art in the morning.
(Editorial note: I haven’t worked out why art galleries are called museums in the US) There was an exhibition by Christopher Wool and I have to say not at all to my liking. Still there were a few Cezannes, Picassos an van Goghs to gawp at.
The cultural bit over with, we had lunch in a diner on 7th Avenue and walked in glorious fall/autumn sunshine in Central Park ending up at the Rockefeller Centre/Center by late afternoon. Some of the architectural detail is amazing….
Along with the Chrysler building this must be one of the greatest art deco buildings in the city.
By now we had worked up a huge thirst, first stop was The Tavern on 29th where I had an excellent martini made from Brooklyn gin. On the way to eat we passed an interesting doorway that led us into The Cannibal, a bar and restaurant. I can’t tell you how the food was as we didn’t make it past the bar. Alan, the barman had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the huge variety of beers available, mostly bottled although they did have a good selection of tap beers as well.
New Yorkers have an undeserved reputation for being rude and unfriendly. None of the ones we have met meet that description, not even the cab drivers! Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the Indian Chinese fusion restaurant they recommended as it was time to catch the train back to Port Washington. Here’s a shot of us for good measure…
We left Port Washington at 0700 on Monday 28th to catch the tide through the East River and once again pass Manhattan Island. This time we crossed the harbour and managed to get a decent photograph of the newly re-furbished Statue of Liberty.By 1100 we were sailing under the Verrazano Narrows bridge, heading out to sea with the next stop Norfolk, Virginia around 200 Nm south.
Continued in November.