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So much has happened since we left Catskill on September 26th! The trip from Catskill, NY to Annapolis, MD has been filled with excitement, adventure, fun, and family, with a mixture of waves and weather thrown in to keep it even more interesting. This has been the most unusual part of our journey yet!
Scenes along the Hudson River
As we described in our last blog post, the trip off the coast of New Jersey was to be a challenging one. We waited in Catskill for over a week, as the offshore waves in New Jersey were bigger than we wanted to deal with, but it appeared there would be a break on Wednesday, September 30th. Our son, Jeff, planned to join us for the crossing and we were ready to get underway. John and I started down the Hudson on Saturday and made it to Poughkeepsie Yacht Club where we picked up a mooring and settled in for a nice night. It was a beautiful warm day with calm waters and it was difficult to believe that we might soon be in large uncomfortable waves.
Along the way, we spoke with Jeff, who agreed to meet us at Liberty Landing in New Jersey. I came up with the idea that I might like to leave the offshore navigation to John and Jeff and drive Jeff’s car back to Maryland where I could spend time with the grandchildren, Walt and Rush, and with Sarah, our daughter-in-law. While I thought everyone would criticize me for taking the easy way out, it actually seemed that this plan made it easier for Jeff, who was having trouble finding a rental car that could be dropped off near the marina. Jeff and I really love being on a boat together, but the thought of being seasick for the planned 12 hours stretch really overshadowed the fun.
Sunday morning began with a little more excitement as the men conferred about the trip. It was apparent that the Wednesday weather window they were hoping to catch was no longer going to be safe. Jeff asked how soon we could make it to New Jersey, and he and John agreed that we would be there the next day, Monday. I became increasingly happy I would be off the boat as the waves were predicted to be 4-6 feet building to even more as they were out there. They were convinced it would be safe, though, and they agreed to try to make it all the way to Annapolis by Wednesday going almost non-stop. This meant they would have to go from Liberty Landing Marina, right behind the Statue of Liberty, to the Chesapeake Bay before stopping for a night’s rest.
Culinary Institute of America
The sun’s rays through the leftover fog
Company along the way
Mount Saint Mary College (Hi Jess!)
Cold Spring Harbor
A gray day is still beautiful
A new milestone for us. Over 2000 nautical miles now!
From our mooring in Nyack. It was just beautiful there.
Shortly after moonrise, Nyack, NY
We continued our trip down the Hudson River Sunday, again with the river calm and beautiful, and arrived in Nyack, NY where we picked up another mooring at a boat club. I was thrilled that the skies were clear, as I had anxiously been waiting to photograph the super moon and its eclipse. Ideally, I would have been able to set up a tripod on land, but the current and winds were not conducive to a night time trip to shore on the dinghy, so I handheld my camera, set the timer to go outside every ten minutes, and I shot away. Except for the time of the full eclipse, I was able to get some pretty good shots. This was great news as it will be over 30 years till this event happens again!
The George Washington Bridge
New York City
Preparations for the crossing began on Sunday with John taking down all of the canvas on the fly bridge and tying down dinghy to be sure it was safe. Monday morning, as we made our way from Nyack to Liberty Landing, I scurried around and made sure everything that could possibly tip over or fly about the boat during heavy seas was secure. This meant taking lamps off of tables, putting away decorative items, and finding spots for small appliances that are usually on the galley counter. Under normal conditions, nothing moves around much inside AfterMath, but we had not had her on big waves yet, and wanted to make sure nothing broke and no one was hurt during the transport. Once everything was safe, I enjoyed the scenery re-entering New York. I loved seeing the city again, but the skies were gray and hazy. By the time we reached New York Harbor, it was rough and not pretty enough for me to grab a camera to photograph the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island, so I was really happy that I had gotten good shots at the beginning of our adventure.
We pulled into Liberty Landing around 12:30 P.M. and made the quickest crew change in history. When John called to ask the marina if we could stop for Jeff to get on and the dogs and me to get off, he was told it would be $3.50 a foot for the dock. Although he explained it would just take a few minutes, the dock person was not impressed. We really didn’t want to pay $175 for a matter of minutes! Jeff came up with the good idea that we could pull up to the fuel dock and buy something if need be, which was the perfect solution. John tooled around the busy harbor while we waited for Jeff. When we saw him walking down the dock we stopped, tied up, I hopped off with the dogs, Jeff helped me to his car with my bags, he went back and hopped on the boat and off they went. The whole process took just a few minutes.
Kirby, Jake and I traveled back to Jeff and Sarah’s house and arrived around 6:30. I was so happy to see Walt and Rush! It had been almost 6 months since I last saw them and they had grown so much. The boys loved having the dogs to play with and the dogs were happy to have a fenced yard to run around in.
Walter and I love to bake together.
Rush has grown from a baby to a truck loving little boy!
AfterMath in Mill Creek, Annapolis, MD
Sarah and I kept in close contact with John and Jeff while they were offshore. They did amazingly well, but, unfortunately, they didn’t take any pictures at all. The waves were big, they said, but they were more rolling than pounding, and the stabilizers on AfterMath apparently made a huge difference in their comfort level. Taking turns at the wheel and sleeping, they traveled 34 hours without stopping. Then, in Town Point, MD, they anchored, grilled a good dinner, and got a great night’s rest before leaving again early on Wednesday morning. It was such a wonderful sight to see AfterMath entering Mill Creek, the waterway on which Sarah and Jeff live here in Annapolis. They made it back just 5 hours before bad weather arrived here. On Wednesday morning as they were making their way to Annapolis, there was news of an upcoming hurricane that might strike the area. So, instead of a restful return, preparations for that event started taking place. We brought in all of the furniture from the patio, Jeff and John took downs sails and added lines to Jeff and Sarah’s boat, Prerequisite, and plans were made to take his ski boat out of the water. As soon as Jeff got home from work Thursday, the boat was driven to a boat ramp, placed on its trailer and brought back to the house. Thankfully, the storm has now gone out to sea, but it has still been very windy and rainy here. Jeff and family are off to a wedding in Connecticut this weekend so John and I will watch over the house, the boat, and their dog, Ally. It’s been an eventful week since we left our quiet dock in Catskill, NY!
So, now John and I, along with Kirby and Jake, are staying on AfterMath during our visit here, but we have had lots of time to be with the boys and to share mealtimes with the family. We expect to be here a couple of weeks and we hope to tear out AfterMath’s carpet and replace it with wood flooring. Other projects include making a fiberglass table for use when we sit on the seat at the bow. It’s wonderful to have time together with the family and to still be in our home. As Jeff says, “It’s very nice to have visitors that bring along their own house!”
The geometry of bridges
Along the way, I can’t help but noticing the beautiful geometry that goes into the bridges