Beatitude in the Big Apple

We’ve been privileged to spend several wonderful days in New York City with Julie and Tracy. On Wednesday, we pulled into Newport Yacht Club Marina on the New Jersey side of the harbor. Around 11:30 that evening, the girls arrived by car from their home in New Castle, Pennsylvania. We’ve been going full tilt since then.

A view of Manhattan from Newport Yacht Club Marina

A view of Manhattan from Newport Yacht Club Marina

Nighttime view from the marina

Nighttime view from the marina

Beatitude at the dock in Jersey City, NJ

Beatitude at the dock in Jersey City, NJ

The ladies on deck

The ladies on deck

Thursday’s big adventure was a trip to the 1776-foot tall One World Trade Center, the edifice built to replace the twin towers which tragically fell on 9/11/2001. We decided to head up to the observation deck for a view. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it for the unforgettable view, which was incredible. The whole experience was very Disney World-ish with the latest technological and multimedia presentations while in line to ascend to the top, as well as in the elevator itself. But, the highlight is the awesome 360° panorama of the New York City… and it does not disappoint.

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A look down at Newport Yacht Club Marina (Beatitude barely visible behind the building)

A look down at Newport Yacht Club Marina (Beatitude barely visible behind the building)

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The ladies looking out at New York City from 100 floors up.

The ladies looking out at New York City from 100 floors up.

Manhattan from One WTC

Manhattan from One WTC

Looking up the East River, which Beatitude will transit leaving the city.  Brooklyn Bridge to the right.

Looking up the East River, which Beatitude will transit leaving the city. Brooklyn Bridge to the right.

Bird's Eye View of New York Harbor. Statue of Liberty visible  with our initial anchorage off to the right of it.

Bird’s Eye View of New York Harbor. Statue of Liberty visible with our initial anchorage off to the right of it.

Looking up the new World Trade Center building.

Looking up the new World Trade Center building.

Daughter and Mother in the WTC

Daughter and Mother in the WTC

Daughter, Mother, and Father

Daughter, Mother, and Father

A view of Manhattan from atop the WTC

A view of Manhattan from atop the WTC

Resting outside the WTC

Resting outside the WTC

Thursday evening, we were treated with additional grand views of the Manhattan skyline at night as we dined at the Weehawken, New Jersey Chart House. The food, as usual was delicious, but the view from our window table was even more delightful. What a great first day with Julie and Tracy.

Approaching the marina from the land side at night

Approaching the marina from the land side at night

A view of Manhattan from the Chart House Restaurant

A view of Manhattan from the Chart House Restaurant

Our location in Newport Yacht Club Marina is ideal. The PATH train is less than a block away. For $2.10, it takes us right into Manhattan, and does so quickly. It runs 24 hours/day, which is also convenient. Once in town, we take the subway to get around.

Beatitude with the WTC providing the background

Beatitude with the WTC providing the background

Ladies in the cockpit at Newport Yacht Club Marina

Ladies in the cockpit at Newport Yacht Club Marina

Beatitude moved across the marina basin to a new location (with better views of the city)

Beatitude moved across the marina basin to a new location (with better views of the city)

Daughter and Father

Daughter and Father

Friday was an even busier day. For me, it was about as close to a perfect day as possible. There was Italy, art, and jazz. It began with a lunch time departure on the train over to Manhattan. We exited the train on 23rd St., which was just a block from one of my favorite places to visit in NYC, Eataly. Eataly is the largest Italian marketplace in the world, comprised of a variety of restaurants, and food counters, bakery, retail items, and a cooking school. We went to the Pizzeria within the complex and enjoyed some wonderful authentic Italian fare.

Waiting in the Subway Station

Waiting in the Subway Station

Eataly

Eataly

Eataly markets

Eataly markets

These are actual gargoyles from the Duomo in Milan on display in Eataly.  Cool!

These are actual gargoyles from the Duomo in Milan on display in Eataly. Cool!

Only thin people may live here.

Only thin people may live here.

Empire State Building behind

Empire State Building behind

From there, we walked several blocks down 23rd to the Green Line and caught the subway up to 77th street, from which we had several more blocks to walk to the marvelous Metropolitan Museum of Art. It would be easy to spend days in there, so it was a challenge to decide what to see over the three or four hours allotted to explore. We decided to focus on European Art and spent the entirety of our time in just two sections of the massive art museum. It was obviously amazing to stand in front of some of the greatest masterpieces in the world. I only wish I had several days to spend at the Met.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art

13th Century Italian Madonna and Child

13th Century Italian Madonna and Child

Filippo Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Exquisitely carved German Jesus and Madonna

Exquisitely carved German Jesus and Madonna

Rubens

Rubens

Rembrandt

Rembrandt

The Met

The Met

After two hours at the Met

After two hours at the Met

Haystacks

Haystacks

Maybe my favorite Van Gogh at the Met

Maybe my favorite Van Gogh at the Met

After a few hours at the met, we walked back to the subway station to take the Green Line to 59th, where we connected to the Yellow Line which took us to Times Square. It was just getting dark, enabling us to appreciate the massive electronic billboards which dominate the view from the street. We spent just a few minutes jostling our way through the crowds before boarding the subway again to head for our evening destination on East 27th Street, the Jazz Standard, a great jazz club in NYC which serves southern cuisine and barbecue along with providing some wonderful jazz performances.

On Times Square

On Times Square

Times Square

Times Square

We arrived early to get the best seats and ended up with stage-side seating to soak up the music of Cecile McClorin Salvant and the Aaron Diehl Trio. Salvant is a 26-year old, grammy nominated French-American Jazz Vocalist. She and the band were wonderful. Salvant’s voice is big and beautiful and full of rich blues tones. She is a throwback in many ways, reminiscent of Billy Holiday and Bessie Smith. It was a wonderful night of food, drink, jazz, as wells as time spent with family. What an incredible conclusion to a memorable day in the Big Apple!

At the Jazz Standard

At the Jazz Standard

Ready for Jazz

Ready for Jazz

At the Jazz Standard

At the Jazz Standard

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Salvant

Salvant

The Aaron Diehl Trio accompanying Savant

The Aaron Diehl Trio accompanying Savant

On the Path train back to Beatitude after the concert

On the Path train back to Beatitude after the concert

A nice photo of the gang in front of a "fake background"

A nice photo of the gang in front of a “fake background”

New York, New York!

Beatitude at her slip at Hoffman's Marina

Beatitude at her slip at Hoffman’s Marina

After our docking fiasco on Monday evening, we arose a little extra-early on Tuesday morning so as to have our departure coincide with slack water. By 6:00 a.m., we were pulling from the slip in a very unexciting manner (thankfully!). The sun was still a few minutes from rising. Manasquan inlet was quiet and peaceful. We made our way between the jetties and back out into the Atlantic. We then continued northward in anticipation of entering New York Harbor sometime around noon. We approached the city full of excitement which was tempered with some trepidation. New York Harbor is, of course, one of the busiest harbors in the world with large container ships making their way in and out of port, ferries criss-crossing the harbor, mixed in with other commercial and recreational vessels, to compound the challenges.

Leaving the Manasquan Inlet pre-sunrise

Leaving the Manasquan Inlet pre-sunrise

Sun breaking through a mostly-cloudy morning on the Atlantic Ocean

Sun breaking through a mostly-cloudy morning on the Atlantic Ocean

One of the many container ships/tankers entering and leaving NYC

One of the many container ships/tankers entering and leaving NYC

One of the many ferries which we successfully avoided

One of the many ferries which we successfully avoided

We were so pumped to be bringing our own vessel into New York Harbor. As we made our way beneath the Verrazano Narrows bridge which opens up vistas of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan, we could not help but feel some camaraderie with thousands of immigrants in former days, likely even our own relatives, who made their way over this same body of water and, after 1886, caught sight of the lady in the harbor welcoming them to America. Just a little while after passing beneath the bridge, we were approaching the Statue and bearing to the left just before reaching her, leaving the Lady to our starboard. We passed through a narrow inlet past the Statue of Liberty ferry docks and into a small basin situated behind the colossal structure. We joined two other sailboats and dropped anchor in about 15 feet of water. Lady Liberty stood proudly in full view from Beatitude’s cockpit.

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge  behind me, connecting Staten Island with Brooklyn

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge behind me, connecting Staten Island with Brooklyn

New York, New York!

New York, New York!

Approaching Lady Liberty

Approaching Lady Liberty

Two Beautiful Ladies

Two Beautiful Ladies

Approaching the Statue of Liberty.  We turned to the left just in front of her to reach our anchorage for the night.

Approaching the Statue of Liberty. We turned to the left just in front of her to reach our anchorage for the night.

En route to our anchorage.

En route to our anchorage.

(left to right) Ellis Island, Manhattan, Liberty Island

(left to right) Ellis Island, Manhattan, Liberty Island

Lady Liberty in my rearview

Lady Liberty in my rearview

As we approached New York Harbor, I could not get the gospel song of many years ago out of my head:

“In New York Harbor stands a lady,
With a torch raised to the sky;
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me.” – Statue of Liberty, Neil Enloe

The view of the Statue from our anchorage

The view of the Statue from our anchorage

From the stern of Beatitude at anchor

From the stern of Beatitude at anchor

The anchorage behind the Statue does not have access to land nearby, but we were content to relax and spend the evening on board. We sat out on the trampolines for a while enjoying the cool breeze blowing in from the harbor. We grilled steak for dinner and paired it with a nice red California zinfandel. This was followed with watching one of our favorite movies, “Pride and Prejudice.”

Lovely dinner in the shadow of the Colossal Statue

Lovely dinner in the shadow of the Colossal Statue

Sunset at anchor in NYC

Sunset at anchor in NYC

Our anchor held fine overnight. This morning we slept in a little later than usual (7:15) and decided to dedicate the morning to boat work and cleaning. Cindy did most of the cleaning and I went about doing some minor electrical repairs, among other things. After devouring some delicious pizza Cindy made for lunch, we weighed anchor almost twenty-four hours after dropping it. When we pulled up the anchor it was covered in the most disgusting black goop you can imagine. The chain was also entangled in fishing line and numerous pieces of black plastic garbage bags it had accumulated and drug up from the bottom. Yuck! But, despite this, it was a perfect location to spend our first day in the Big Apple. We made our way out past Lady Liberty once again and into New York Harbor on the way to our next stop. As we did so, we felt again the sense of awe and wonder that we had navigated our own vessel up the east coast and into this famous city’s harbor. It’s a feeling I can’t really describe, but I’m thankful we were able to experience it.

One of several shots of Lady Liberty from different angles as we leave our anchorage this morning.

One of several shots of Lady Liberty from different angles as we leave our anchorage this morning.

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Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Manhattan

Manhattan

One World Trade Center:  The tallest skyscraper in the  Western Hemisphere, measuring 1,776 feet tall!

One World Trade Center: The tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, measuring 1,776 feet tall!

Posing with a Manhattan background

Posing with a Manhattan background

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Piloting Beatitude through all the traffic in NY Harbor

Piloting Beatitude through all the traffic in NY Harbor

After about an hour of cruising up the Hudson River, we arrived at the marina at which we had made reservations four days earlier. Unfortunately, when I called the dock master sounded like he didn’t have a slip for me, despite multiple phone conversations previously. He had one slip, but he didn’t know wide it was. Our beam (width) is 24’ 7”. Well, after trying to fit into it, I can tell you that the slip wasn’t that wide. The entire time, I had to beg him for information as to where I was going and what the plan was. I’d definitely not recommend the Lincoln Harbor Yacht Club Marina. The entire experience was distasteful and unprofessional. But, maybe it was for the better because the place looked pretty run down on top of everything else.

Skyscrapers in my wake

Skyscrapers in my wake

The Scary Marina.  As we rounded the corner an old rusty ship was swaying and creaking and clanging in the swell of the Harbor.

The Scary Marina. As we rounded the corner an old rusty ship was swaying and creaking and clanging in the swell of the Harbor.

The main reason we’re getting a marina in NYC is because our daughter, Julie, and Tracy are coming to see us this evening! They’ll be staying through Sunday. We’re looking forward to a great time in the city with them. But, unfortunately, at this point, I was scrambling for a place to dock Beatitude. The first marina I called had no slips that could accommodate us. Fortunately, the second did. A few moments later we pulled up to the dock in Newport Yacht Club Marina. What a difference between this place and the first. This place is much nicer, run much more professionally, and was actually cheaper!

Beatitude at the dock at Newport Yacht Club Marina

Beatitude at the dock at Newport Yacht Club Marina

After docking, we did some laundry and some more cleaning in anticipation of our anxiously-awaited guests. We had a quick bite to eat at a nearby Chili’s and now sit at Starbuck’s for wifi. We can’t wait for Julie and Tracy to arrive.

A view of Manhattan from our marina

A view of Manhattan from our marina

Cape May to Atlantic City to Manasquan, NJ

On Sunday morning, August 23, we weren’t quite sure what our plans were. Should we stay and explore Cape May for another day or should we head out a few miles off shore and continue northward? Finally, we decided we’d continue north since we have decent weather. We raised anchor around 9:15 a.m., and slipped from our spot just off the Coast Guard Station. We would be heading directly into a relatively light wind all day. But, conditions still seemed somewhat benign.

Looking back as we make our way out the Cape May Inlet

Looking back as we make our way out the Cape May Inlet

Out into the Atlantic Ocean.  Straight ahead - Africa!

Out into the Atlantic Ocean. Straight ahead – Africa!

Our outside passage of thirty-six nautical miles was just fine. Seas were a little choppy with 3-5 waves from our starboard bow quarter. Cindy felt a little queasy and laid down for a little, which helped a lot. Thankfully, neither of us have had a bad case of “mal de mer” since starting cruising. I dropped my fishing lines in the water for the first time in months, but we had no fish to show for it at the end of the day. But, we really weren’t in very deep water (40-50 ft most of the day) so my disappointment was negligible. Around 4:00 we pulled into the Atlantic City inlet, and by 4:30, had dropped anchor in about 17 feet of water just off the inlet. It was Sunday afternoon, and recreational boat traffic was horrific. Boats and their wakes everywhere!

We passed this cat heading southward flying his gennaker in light air.

We passed this cat heading southward flying his gennaker in light air.

Approaching Atlantic City.  Trump's Taj Mahal is the white building on the left

Approaching Atlantic City. Trump’s Taj Mahal is the white building on the left

After making sure the anchor was secure, we quickly showered and jumped into Dalí for a quick 1/2 mile trip around a corner to the Golden Nugget Casino and Marina. They provided a free courtesy dock to tie up to while we patronized their establishment. Our first order of business was to head up to the third floor of the marina, on which is found a Chart House restaurant. From our table by the window, we could actually see Beatitude at anchor. My sea bass was among the most delectable dishes I’ve ever eaten. Cindy’s favorite, the short ribs, was outstanding as usual. After dinner, we made our way across the skybridge to the casino, where we played the quarter slots for a little bit. It took me maybe 3 or 4 minutes to lose my $20.00. Cindy, on the other hand, played for about 30-45 minutes and walked away with $45.00. So, fortunately we left $5.00 ahead for the night. (I know, we’re hight rollers.) I then used the excellent wifi lounge to do some blog work before we headed back to our home vessel for the night.

Dinghying to the Casino.  Beatitude at Anchor.

Dinghying to the Casino. Beatitude at Anchor.

Taken from the Chart House Restaurant at the Golden Nugget Casino.  Beatitude is visible at anchor in the background.

Taken from the Chart House Restaurant at the Golden Nugget Casino. Beatitude is visible at anchor in the background.

The skyway between the casino and the Chart House

The skyway between the casino and the Chart House

Sea Bass with Mango Rice.

Sea Bass with Mango Rice.

The 155' Triumphant Lady docked at the Casino Marina.  It can be yours for a mere $9 million!  We may buy it for a dinghy.

The 155′ Triumphant Lady docked at the Casino Marina. It can be yours for a mere $9 million! We may buy it for a dinghy.

Atlantic City type scenery at anchor: taken from Beatitude.

Atlantic City type scenery at anchor: taken from Beatitude.

On Monday, we were up early. We weighed anchor at 6:15 and bid Atlantic City a fond farewell. I sometimes feel like pinching myself to see if this is all real. What a blessed life we lead! As I write this paragraph, we are three miles off the New Jersey coast in gorgeous sunshine and beautiful undulating ocean waters. There’s not a soul in sight. It’s just us and God’s great creation. I can’t think of anything else that is like being out on the sea on a glorious day. (The only thing that could make it better would be if I was sailing rather than motoring. This morning the winds are light and variable, less than five knots).

Goodbye Atlantic City!

Goodbye Atlantic City!

Atlantic City in our wake.

Atlantic City in our wake.

Sunrise over the open ocean.

Sunrise over the open ocean.

Good morning!

Good morning!

Cindy at the helm for a while.

Cindy at the helm for a while.

The journey up the Jersey coast was uneventful and offered stunning scenery. Fishing lines were in the water once again, but once again, no action. We were able to relax throughout the entire 53.5 nautical mile trip parallel to the sandy beaches of the Garden State. It was a good thing the trip itself was relaxing, because the docking was anything but. We were instructed to pull up to the fuel dock to check in and get a slip assignment. The current through the Manasquan Inlet is horrendous. As we pulled up to the dock the swiftness of the current was obvious. I was offered one of two slips: One was a T-head, but I would have to navigate a narrow railroad bridge opening with the drawbridge only opening half way in this treacherous current. The other was a narrow slip right off the fuel dock. The 2.5 knot current would be pushing me into the slip and the 10 knot wind would be pushing me to the right toward other boats. I was excited about neither, but I chose what I thought was the lesser of two evils, the nearby slip. I still think I chose correctly, although docking was not without incident. On my first approach of backing into the slip. I could see things were not going well, so I abandoned this effort to try again. My second attempt was going a little better, but it was an exercise in futility. The current pushed and the wind blew me away from the slip and toward the other boats. Fortunately, I was able to bring Beatitude to rest perpendicular to the slip on two pilings which marked other slips. Although their was a slight bump of a fishing boat, no damage was done. I tied up to those two pilings to wait for the current to diminish. After a little while, and with assistance of more dock hands, we corralled the wild mustang known as Beatitude and put her in her stable. Whew! In retrospect, (and lessoned learned for future adventures) I should have refused both offers and asked to stay at the fuel dock for an hour or so until the current decreased in intensity. If nothing else, I should have left for a while and come back. But, all’s well that end’s well.

Motoring through the calm ocean waters.

Motoring through the calm ocean waters.

A few dolphins are playing in the smooth waters.

A few dolphins are playing in the smooth waters.

Entering Manasquan Inlet

Entering Manasquan Inlet

Acting along the jetty at Manasquan

Acting along the jetty at Manasquan

After the adrenaline rush subsided and we were all tied up, we refueled some jerry cans with gas and diesel, bought some ice for the cooler and freezer, and walked to dinner at a nearby restaurant, making stops at the FedEx drop box and the post office to take care of some business matters. We are now resting for the evening in our slip at Hoffman’s Marina. Tomorrow, we leave early (mainly in order to pull out of our slip around slack water) for the Big Apple. Unbelievable!

Beatitude (finally) in her slip for the night in Hoffman's Marina.

Beatitude (finally) in her slip for the night in Hoffman’s Marina.