The U.S.A.

MONDAY  20th JUNE  2011
 
Well it was just a week today since the last blog, so here's what happened in between,
We had very strong currents heading us almost the entire journey from Bermuda to New York, up to 3.5 knots against us at times,
so when we were motoring at 7.5knots through the water, we were in fact only doing 4 knots over the ground, so progress was very slow,
This resulted in " A Lady " arriving in New York harbour almost a full day behind our schedule,
The direct distance between the two places is 670 miles and we covered 745 miles as a result of the adverse currents,
 
Wednesday
However, Arriving at Sandy Hook, off the Coast of New Jersey, and at the entrance to New York harbour was exciting, It was
early in the morning and the day was going to be beautifull , specially for our arrival,
The place was buzzing with ships, tugs, barges, fishing boats, yachts, sailing ships, and all sorts of floating things, ohhhhhh,
it is so wonderfull to be here as we closed in on the " Verazzano Bridge"  this huge bridge linking Brooklyn to Staten Island is
awsome, We passed underneath and gasped at the sheer scale of it all.
 
And then, there she was, " the Lady "   The Statue of Liberty  standing proudly in the western part of the Hudson river,
straight across from Lower manhatten, and next to " Ellis Island" where most of the immigrants had to register on their arrival
to the land of oppertunities,  It all sent shivers down our backs,
we passed the Staten Island Ferries as they raced back and forth from manhatten to Staten island, These orange coloured passenger
ferries brought back memories to skipper as he ( as a student ) worked in the Staten island General Hospital, desigining all their
extensions and alterations, The hospital has since been replaced with a new bigger and better one closer to the sea with great views.
The hospital was then, and still is a Jewish operation,
One of skippers task's while working in the hospital was driving the Ambulance,  only on occasions when the regular drivers were sick
or out of action, This all happened because skipper could drive a " gear shift "  auto, while most Americans can only drive automatics ,
and that is still the case today,
 
We moored the boat at " North Cove Marina" Lower Manhatten , just on the north west side of Battary Park , close to Ground Zero
and facing onto the mighty Hudson River, We were surrounded with magnificant glass Skyscrapers, restaurants, bars, and of course
prominades running the length of lower Manhatten,  There were great monuments to the Irish and the Jews, not to mention all
the different sculptures and Arty things, and then the big brass " Bull " in Wall St.  where all the girls were being photographed
holding the Bulls brass B*ll's , while their kids were being photographed sitting on the Bulls horns, ohhhh, happy days. 
 
We had lunch with our friends Tom and Jos Hallway , who were just passing through N.Y. on their way back to England,
Lunch was in "Jacks" and we had a great time with them and the food was also excellent, and the staff were mostly Irish, It was
almost like being at home, except we got a couple of free drinks at the end of the meal, That would never happen back home................
 
We made arrangments to meet the U.S customs early tomorrow morning , and so skipper and the " first mate" toddled around
Times Square and Broadway for the evening, The crowds were fantastic, and we booked a show for friday night,  " Anything Goes "
 
Thursday
We hopped out of the scratcher early and headed off to Pier 92 to meet " Officer Kennedy" to do our clearances and get our
cruising licence for the East Coast , Of course for 40 minutes we stood out side the wrong door, well the right door, just the wrong level,
Officer Kennedy was based on the grounf floor and the taxi driver dropped us on the first floor, well, could you ever !
 
Officer " James ( Jamie ) kennedy " worked as a stock broker up to a couple of years ago before joining the Customs, Both his father
and Granfather worked in Customs, his granfather being Irish , Jamie also has an M.B.A. and was a very pleasent and helpfull thirty something
young fellow,
We got our papers all sorted out and went for a big, big american brekfast in an American Diner,, yum yum,
Following all the food, we had to walk it off, so we walked from 40th street up to 72nd street around the Lincoln Centre, just magic,
It was close to here that " John Lennon " was shot by the mad man,
We armed ourselves with local mobiles, they cost $25 each, another $ 25 to get onto the system and for $2 a day we had unlimited
phone service for local call on the East Coast. fantastic value,
 
Later, we sat down on a park bench in Battary Park and just sucked up the whole atmosphere of the Place while watching
the sun go down over the sky scrapers on th New Jersey shore line,
 
FRIDAY
We did a wakling tour of the area, Then went off up town to have the hair done while skipper serviced the generator, it giving a splutter
every so often and shutting down completly on occasions, all just to test the metal, skippers metal..........
We met at Times Square later and strolled over to the theatre and took our places to watch " ANYTHING GOES "  and what happens to
skipper, yes, this 6.5 foot bird with a mop of hair like a monster birds nest sat down right in front of him, !   this made viewing a
real neck straining exercise.  BUT, but, it was worth it all, a fantastic show, and we spent the night laughing away out loud,, 
 
Saturday
Skipper had to get up earley to do something with the Aqua fresh water filter, this blooming thing is leaking again, and after an hour
on the mobile trying to locate a new filter, just gave up, they do not have this type of filter system here in the States, so skipper
decided to take it out all together, that took about an hour , but when finished everything worked like clockwork, no more
water squirting all over the engine room ,
 
10.15 am We met Clayton Love and Christina for Brunch, we have not met these for a long time and it was great to meet them again,
we had the " Brunch" in a restaurant selected by Clayton called " locanda Verda"  An italian place and the food was very Italian
and equally very good, we stuffed our faces while catching up on all the stories and travels of each other,
We really enjoyed a few hours chatting, whileing away the day.
Clayton presented skipper a " Fathers Day " card from his youngest son " Stefan "  a very apt card in the circumstances titled :-
To my DAD the " Mr. Fix-it "  of our FAMILY
 
Later, Skipper was taken by the first mate to Mass in St. Patricks Cathedral on 51st street,  Later we did a tour of " Sak's"
before going to China Town for a meal ,
 
SUNDAY  ,  
Up early to catch the east flowing tide through the East river up to Long Island Sound, We passed under Brooklyn Bridge at 07.30 hrs
past all the ferry docks, past the sailing ship Museum's , past the U.N. building, psat " Hells Gate" and finally past " Throgs Neck Bridge"
and into Long Island Sound,  The weather was great and the sea as flat as a pancake,   However on the way , skipper forgot to switch
on the auto helm as he went to read the cruising guide, so " A Lady" did a big circle and crashed into an old timber Pylon,
Ohhh My God!   A quick survey of the boat and apart from a few scratches and scrapes, a broken stb. navigation light, there was no other
damage, phew, ..................... we really escaped there lightly..
What an irony, having sailed 36,000 miles only to bang the boat in a river, But it did shake the life and soul out of skipper, and the first mate
dident know what to say , and thats unusual, 
We travelled 30 miles east along the Sound and moored the boat at " Stratford" on the South coast of Connecticut , a lovely marina,
when we were all settled down , we went ashore to the " Outriggers Rest " where skipper watched Rory Mc Ilroy win the U.S. open
in a fantastic style, breaking all records on the way, and aileen did her emails,
later we had a great Rack of lamb dinner in the restaurant, skipper had a few glasses of wine to calm the nerves after the trauma
of the day, . an early night,
 
MONDAY  20th
Another beautifull day,in a beautifull location, still delighted for Rory Mc Ilroy, at 22 years of age, he has a fantastic future, and a great
advertisment for Belfast and ireland as a whole,
Skipper has been thinking about the generator and thinks it might be the MPU is the trouble here, so this will have to be tackled
over the next few days, but definatly not today.   
So Far we have travelled :-    25,839 nautical miles,
            we visited            :-           29 Countries,
           we called to          :-         117 Ports, Islands & stops,
All in 2 years this Month, 
 
We left Stratford around 3pm and headed east,towards Clinton, but failed to enter after going aground twice, ohhh, whats next,
we sat for a while and having checked with a  number of marinas, it seems that we draw too much water for most harbours
at low water, so we decided to drop anchor outside " Duck Island " just a half mile south of " West Brook " harbour.
It was a beautifull evening and we had a real red sunset, good for the Sheppeard and his dog,
 
Thats it for now,
 
Signed ;-   Stephen Hyde   ( skipper )