I looked down this morning, as I was petting the cat, and I saw my mothers hands. It was kind of startling, but it's happened before, this little jolt of recognition of my connection to my family. Where does it come from, this recognition? I haven't ever studied my mom's hands, I couldn't pick them out of a line up, but I knew they were hers. I am constantly saying things and thinking,"Ooo, that was Dad!". I like it, this glimpse into my genetics. Or is it learned behavior? (It also proves my brothers wrong: no, I was NOT adopted.) I wonder if this will happen more and more as I age. My parents don't seem to age at all. The hand thing is definitely genetic, while Dad's thought process and insight are more things I've tried to emulate, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. Is that genetics? Are we destined to become our parents, no matter what? In my case, it's a very good thing. Thanks Mom and Dad.


Waiting For Bill

Steve, the slacker, started and finished a new teak floor for the head (bathroom) yesterday. We're anchored in Atlantic Highlands NJ, waiting for the sea to calm down in the Atlantic so we can continue south. Hurricane Bill isn't looking like he'll do much here, knock wood, but we'll wait it out anyway.

This is a nice city to be in, a grocery and laundromat, two essentials, within walking distance. If only there were a newspaper delivery boy coming by in his dinghy in the morning, it would be perfect.

So as you can see, Steve put his time to good use. I, on the other hand, read The Improbable Voyage, by Tristan Jones and spent a lot of time petting Adjima.


Being Touristy

We're back aboard tonight after another day of touring around New York. We've spent hours walking through Central Park and have barely seen a third of it. I can't think of a better place to be on a summer Sunday afternoon. There were people of every size, color and nationality. And they were everywhere. We sat on a big rock and watched the softball games, listened to some really good jazz, walked the Ramble and got a little lost. It was wonderful.

We sat for a long time on the middle of Times Square, eating ice cream. There were thousands and thousands of people there, all taking pictures and shopping, eating.
It's an incredible place to just sit and watch. I met the Naked Cowboy! He was playing his guitar and singing, having his picture taken with all of us tourists. He was very interested when I said we came in by sailboat. As he leaned in for the photo, he said huskily, "Does that mean you know Bob Bennett? I didn't think I had any competition out there but now I've seen his blog photo, I'm a little worried".
One of the really great things we did here was have lunch with my cousin Jeff and his girlfriend, Erica. I haven't seen Jeff for about 20 years and had never met Erica, so we had a lot to talk about. We met in Chinatown for some seriously good food. They live in Jersey City and it was great of them to come and meet us. Jeff, thanks again for lunch. I hope you two come to the Keys this winter. Next time, lunch is on us.


Another Beautiful Day

Yesterday was a memorable day, and not just for the incredible amount of traffic on the Hudson River. We came into New York Harbour, under the Verazano Bridge, past Staten Island, around Brooklyn, and right up to the foot of the Statue of Liberty. It was amazing.
We checked into the marina and headed for Central Park for a walk. We ended the evening with pollo parmigiana and linguini pescatore (delicioso!) at Copola's, then came back to Celebration to watch the lights come on.
We're staying at the 79th Street Boat Basin, on the west side of Manhattan. At $30 a night, it's the best thing going. A quick walk to the Park and subway stops, we can go anywhere from here. The view of the Upper West Side is great and the people watching, as ever, fascinating.
Looking to the east from the marina.


Happy Birthday

What to do on a cool, rainy, blustery afternoon? Have a Birthday Party! Adjima turned 18 this week. She's been our wonderful little companion since she was 5 weeks old and the girls rescued her from the pound in Anchorage, AK. She's been around the world by plane and car and now by sail. We sang and had treats (tarter control, of course). She was so happy!! You can tell by the look on her face.


New York

Hi Everyone, just a quickie... we got into Atlantic Highlands, NJ, this afternoon. We're currently sitting at anchor, sipping cocktails and checking out the lights of Manhattan. We'll head into NYC tomorrow, or the next day. We have no schedule and we're sticking to it.

N 40 deg 24.989
W 74 deg 01.393


More Days in Cape May????

Why, YES. Leaving yesterday, er today, er well, don't really know.

The plan: leave yesterday with southerlies rolling to westerlies and head up the coast toward Sandy Hook then off straight to Block Island if the weather held. Dinghy up, sail covers off, Mr Mac called since it would be a two night off shore and well, someone should know where we're expected to show. Last minute weather check showed 25+ knots predicted south of Long Island right about when we'd be passing through. Why do that?

So leaving today: South-westerlies predicted are blowing right at 10 knots, beautiful sailing weather but...they're blowing out of 355 degrees. (NOAA still repeating southwest over the radio) Could we sail that? Maybe but again, OK anchorage here and no schedule so why do that?

Leaving tomorrow: I confess, I haven't yet bothered to look at the forecast for tomorrow ...

38 deg 56.964 N
74 deg 53.279 W


Days in Cape May

Steve found a small tear in the jib last week and took advantage of the nice weather here in Cape May to effect repairs up on the bow. We're anchored right in front of the Coast Guard station here, that's the Vigorous in the back. We've heard some complaining from fellow cruisers, but we LIKE hearing reveille and the national anthem in the morning and retreat in the evening. Just like the good old days. Of course, if I could sleep in past 6:00, I might feel differently.

YOU wanna go to this beach? You wanna go to THIS beach? You wanna go to this BEACH? It seems you have to pay to access the beaches here in New Jersey. We met William, the mafia, er,access guard, on our walk yesterday. We had thought to take an early morning walk in the sand, but no. We politely declined to pay $10 for the privilege and walked the promenade instead. The view is great on both sides of the walkway, a distant view of the water on the left and the beautiful houses on the right. We had a nice lunch outside and made it home before the rain. I was feeling strange last night, and then realized I was COLD (sorry Bob and Kitty). I had to put on a jacket and actually slept under the covers. WOW was that nice.

In regard to the last blog entry, the provisioning we did before we left St Pete was extensive. This accounts for the large grocery $$$. The grocery category includes everything edible and personal. I set a level of stores I thought we should keep, about 6 months worth, and stocked up. For example, we carry 12 cans of tomatoes. When we use a can or two, we replace them, that way I always know what we have on board. And in case we get a wild hair and decide to set out across the Atlantic, we're prepared.


Some More Stuff

We made it to Cape May, NJ, on Saturday, late evening. It's a long way from Chesapeake City to Cape May, with few places to stop along the way. We did it in 78 miles in 14 hours. Actually, a lot faster than I thought we'd make it. We were in well before dark.

Cape May is a really pretty beach town, old Victorian houses all over, quite a few of them for sale, if you're looking. Most of them are huge, which makes them easier to see through all the tourists. Yes, we're on the South Jersey Shore, in August. The streets are packed with people, in cars, who don't really want to spend any time outside in the heat and humidity, they just want to look. They try to run us over as we hike around and they drive madly from one place to another. I want to yell "What's the matter with you? Are you not comfortable enough, sitting there in your air conditoning, eating and drinking?". And then I remember that 84 days ago, I was them. And I think "Oh, those poor people."
We have a leak in a seawater pump seal, and are waiting for one to be sent from St Petersburg, of all places, so will be spending a few more days touring around.

We just finished our third month of full time cruising! Actually 83 days, since we didn't leave on the 1st of May. I like to keep track of a lot of stuff, I'm kind of compulsive that way. So I have what I consider to be some interesting stats. Steve said "You're killing me here". Of our 83 nights out, we spent 47 at anchor, 10 on mooring balls, 14 at docks that charge a fee, 5 at free docks and 7 underway. We've spent $1286.35 on groceries (a $15.35 daily average or $7.67/per person/per day), $507.83 on liquor (or $6.11 per day or $5.99 for Steve and .12 for me per day), and $451.19 for fuel (or $5.43 per day) fuel includes gas and diesel and the propane for the BBQ and stove. As you can see, we eat and drink well.

And to poke a few more pins in the Steve doll, we've seen 21 cities in 6 states, spent $42 dollars doing laundry. We also have eaten out 20 times, for a total of $581.70 or an average of $29 per meal, including drinks. That's only $14.50 per person. If anyone has any questions on any other useless trivia, jus let me know. I have other lists.