Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maryland, New Jersey and New York

We had a nice visit with Tom’s family in Ocean City, Maryland.  His mother lives 15 minutes away from the marina and we spent all but two nights sleeping off the boat at her home.  All three of us luxuriated in baths almost every night and really slept soundly in her beds. We played cards or other games each night and it was like we had never left.  She had a small list of things to do mostly in her kitchen area that was being updated.  Most items were completed quickly and we were happy to help out.  We also did some other little items and some cleaning but brother Jeff has been doing most of this work for the past six years.

While we visited, a local mechanic sorted out problems with a generator (new raw water and coolant pumps) and lugger transmission (reverse plates missing and damaged seals from Africa repair).  The work was more expensive than we have grown used to but the work seemed to be done right and higher prices, I fear, are going to be the norm from here on.

As a bonus, Tom got to see his brother Mike working on the kitchen and brother Jeff and sister-in-law Peggy and two of their 6 kids.  Emily really enjoyed playing with Brian who had latched on to her and never tired of playing games. We enjoyed being paraded around to my mother’s bingo and AARP clubs and we even got interviewed by Ocean City Today for an article about the circumnavigation.
After two weeks, we headed out to sea and after two quick stops in Atlantic City and Sandy Hook, we found ourselves anchored just off Liberty Park in New Jersey just across from New York City.  We still cannot believe that there is a free, protected anchorage near this city where most marinas charge about $200 per night for dockage. The half-broken dingy dock that was here in 2008 is now gone and we now have to dingy right under the Statue of Liberty torch and by Ellis Island to leave the dingy at the expensive marina.  From here we can take a $7 ferry right to the World Trade center in Manhattan.  

We stayed here for 5 nights exploring the city for two days. On our first day, we saw the 911 memorial that was quite moving and the new World Trade Center building (Freedom Tower) that was built while we were traveling. 


We then took the subway uptown to spend the day in the Museum of Natural History. We spent a full day exploring the museum and barely scratched the surface.  The pterosaur exhibit and the exhibit on poisons were particularly well done.  

One exhibit worked by standing on a special pad and flapping your arms, you could control a live video of a flying and hunting pterosaur.  Emily understood that all the information was being transmitted though her feet to the computer.  The foot pads could detect arms flapping by the fluctuating changes in foot pressure.  Pressure on the toes would cause the bird to dive for fish and pressure on the heels would make him soar higher.  Left and right turns would be directed by the differences in pressure caused by leaning…very well done.

Emily found it interesting that many of the poisons like the tarantula, manchineel tree and poison dart frogs had been seen (and handled) first hand! We also saw the Mysteries of the Unseen World in their IMAX theatre.

Day two kept us closer to the boat and we spent the day inside the Liberty Science Center which was about a 10 minute walk from our anchorage.  Although many of the exhibits and interactive displays were geared toward kids younger than Emily, there was still plenty to keep us amused all day.  A high cool factor was given to the 3D simulator that required remote operation of two robotic arms to do delicate tasks like moving and transferring small objects.  Emily was much better at this than Dad.

We also saw two movies (Great White Shark and Island of Lemurs: Madagascar) in the nation’s largest IMAX dome theater.  The domed screen is 88 feet in diameter and seats 400 which is just a tad bigger than the 17” screen on Emily Grace.


After a quiet Sunday aboard doing homeschool and a few boat repairs, we headed back to the city. Although the subway was crowded with morning rush hour traffic, we did not experience 105 dB music, smell any stinkfruit (durian) or see anyone carrying live goats or chickens.   

The first stop was FAO Swartz (toy store) uptown near central park.  Emily experienced culture shock with 3 floors of toys.  We next wandered around central park seeing the Handsome cabs and did some people watching around the pond. We found authentic Maine lobster rolls for lunch at Luke’s Lobster in the Plaza food center.  

We strolled down 5th avenue enjoying the elaborate window displays.  St Patricks’ Cathedral was covered with scaffolding for renovations and Rockefeller center was converted into a restaurant, so things were less impressive than we remembered.  Not discouraged though, we rounded the corner a turned into a LEGO store.  Emily has not tired of LEGO and we even found a couple of bargains.  She hand built 3 mini-figures and filled a container with all the special pieces she could fit in a special cup.

We were back on the boat by late afternoon and slept good again in the Liberty Park anchorage.  Tomorrow we will ride the 3-4 knot current up the East River through Hell’s Gate and into Long Island sound.  Our plan is to slowly work our way back towards Groton and our old yacht club in Pine Island by early July.  Our old car is still being revived after sitting for 6 years and we are uncertain where we will find dockage while we unpack the boat.  Any Readers with dockage in the area are encouraged to let us know.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved seeing a picture of the reunion between Grandma and Emily- always a special relationship!
Looking forward to hearing that you are back in CT and hope you are on the Thames for the annual fireworks show- a great "welcome home" and hope to catch a glimpse of you coming up the river!
Phyllis Gruskin