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Sailing Towards New York City

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Log Book: Ocean City to Sodus Bay - July 1-3, 2004

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Happy and well rested we got up 6 am on Canada Day, ready and eager for more sailing! On the way to Cape May Tobs was reading her book and did her magic in the galley. I know I really shouldn’t use such venerable nautical terms for a rusty camping stove, which incidentally was falling apart and refused to finish our magnificent dinner that included beans and corn and unidentified by skipper ingredients. We eat it cold and lived the day, so it couldn’t be that bad. Apple Sponge cake she made this day was pretty good too, I think. Don’t remember anymore, but Tobi was an absolute genius when it came to food, for sure and had several other magic powers outside of the food prep area as well. When we were chugging our beans on the anchor outside of the Coast Guard slash Naval base, the already cold air was filled with uniformed man’s singing, practicing for some military parade. I guess we were North enough to catch up, in a reverse order, with colder weather, even Tobs chickened out and opted out of her usual evening swim.

Next morning we had another early start. Cold tuna and tomato wraps for lunch. That’s how Tobi remembers her days in her journals: what did we eat... Some people use Gregorian calendar, but that would be so uninteresting. Food always makes better memories.

We sailed towards Atlantic City, which we were going to by-pass but decided to stop for gas and take a short brake. We were going towards New York and I still remembered our ordeals last time Johannes and I were trying desperately to get some fuel in the unfriendly city.

After filling up our gas cans we stop in Trumps's Marina, across the inlet, which usually has docking available but it was the BIG weekend and they didn't want us there for too long. We scooted into the Trump Casino and were saddened by the throngs of old people there blowing their retirement not looking very happy doing it. We walked around a little and then had slice of delicious pizza. At last we remembered why land can be fun too. On the way out of the marina we got some overpriced groceries, but what can you do, they have transients by the nuts. We spent $15 on three items: piece of cheese, bread and mayo. Do your shopping elsewhere if you can.

We took off from the dock late afternoon and a strong breeze got us out of the inlet - back into the ocean for another overnight trek. We were quite used to sailing at night by now, but it was still more tiring. It was however very special to keep sailing late in the day, watching the sun colliding with the Ocean and not having to hurry back to the marina, but just keep sailing - confident in the boat and finally having some experience that allowed me to relax and enjoy the sail. This night’s winds were shifting around, clocking to Northeast and I kept readjusting the sails keeping poor Tobi awake. What a girl, eh? She was sticking up with me for the rest of the trip even though the Bahamian islands were but a warm memory. When Tobi had her turn on tiller, the wind veered even more to the north and I just wanted to sleep and didn’t want to deal with anything at the moment unless it was a grave emergency so she was on her own. Not sure if she was impressed with this or not, but she sailed into the fog and let me had my rest steering further and further away into the Ocean. The eerie fog engulfed our little sloop, lonely on those black waters, sleepy captain resting below and fearless Tobs watching ghostly moon shining bleakly while winds were getting weaker and weaker, soon barely moving the boat at all, and in the wrong direction! Tobi decided not to turn on the motor, lest the noise muffle the sound of an approaching ship.

Tobi: “I needed all my senses this night. I went for 2 hours in the easterly direction, then tacked and went north towards where the shore was for 1/2 hour, but get freaked out that I'll run aground because i can't see anything still and so I tacked again. One comfort comes to me in the night, a pod of dolphins break on my port side and leap through the moonlit water towards me. I can still hear the honk of the foghorn, like a mother cow calling her young, coming through the fog and mist.... Maciek gets up for his shift and I explain it all to him - he's not concerned. I went down below to get some sleep, shivering. Even with the wetskins on it was freezing. I slept my three hour and was up again at 6 am to take my place at the tiller. We were motoring for awhile, because our course now was head to the wind, but the motor quits on me… I raised the sails but I got them flapping wildly back and forth and the boat wouldn’t tack properly. Maciek gets up and takes over and again I try and fall asleep.”

We were motoring again for the most part of the morning. We had only 20 miles to go to New York City and it was July the third! We both were really looking forward to tomorrow’s fireworks - the biggest in the nation, right from the water. In the afternoon we finally made it to our anchorage - Sodus Bay was filled with enough boats already in it to make it look like Georgetown. We were in good moods all day, but both were also very tired and we went to sleep early in the shadow of the city that never sleeps.

NEXT (4th of July in NYC)


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