Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NYC Here We Come

Oyster Bay to NYC.
Had a great sail over from Greenwich to Oyster bay. Raced with a classic boat series on Saturday and Sunday in increasing winds. Won both races, across the line first on Sat and Sun. Sailed with different schooner girls both days. Had a nice tour of the Whaling Museum. Interesting bifurcated mission there. History and ongoing species preservation.
As usual meal planning is interesting since you never know what the weather will be and how many people will be there. This trip we had varying lunches because of the racing, but breakfast and dinners were mostly just the crew. I cooked breakfasts of blueberry pancakes, canadian bacon, tomato & egg sammies, and western scrambled eggs with tomato coulis. Dinners included salad, veg, starch and protein along with a bit of dessert each time. We had chicken and noodles, with snap beans, pumpkin chili and rice and broccoli, pasta with chicken, mushroom and onion gravy Of course snacks and fruit every day in the afternoon.
Rain began Sunday night and persevered all day on Monday while we we sailing, finally clearing on Monday evening.The wind was good and blowing our way. Sailed off the mooring ( we had picked up the mooring unter sail twice, made us proud, then muffed it on the last try. 2 out of three) and tacked out of the harbor ro head to NYC. Visibility was not great, constant mist or rain all day, kept the nav lights on. When you are so self contained like we are, it is easy to think you are alone in the world until rational thought reminds you that there are tugs and tows out there to watch for. It was the seas that made this trip memorable. The swell overpowered whatever meds were left in the patch and I wasn't up to my usual jovial self. JS'Back is amazing kind and always says something nice at these times. The waves were fun to watch though and the guys had a workout steering in the morning.
Did I ever mention that MAID will "surf" waves in a kind of seven ton volume vessel way. URCHIN will do the same thing. It is exhillarating. There is a moment where the following wave picks up the stern of the boat and she starts to accelerate down the slope. Steering is critical here. The wind is up; we have two or three reefs in because she is all ready pressed to hull speed. She throws a wide white roll from her bow and then the wave moves ahead of her and the incline reverses. She slows a bit, does a little round up as the breeze presses her over, and the helmsman gives her a little shimmy to get back on course. This action repeats over and over as we run down the Sound against the tide. At Execution Rock light the action diminishes as the sound narrows and the land blocks and absorbs some of the energy. It is still raining quite hard, we are all wet through and through so I make a hot lunch of grilled swiss and turkey sandwiches, mac n' cheese, and chicken noodle soup. We kind of eat in shifts underway like this, and I wash up as the food dissapears. If we were going to be racing, I would have made lunch at breakfast time, so it would be ready to hand out on the downwind leg, but underway we just kind of wait and see, so the food can match the moment.
We get into the East river and begin the transit under all the bridges to Manhattan Island. At the upper end the ebb starts so we have the tide with us. I am feeling much better as the swell has dissapeared and the water is almost flat. Reefs come out leaving us with one in. We try sailing alone, but the squirrely current and shifty winds deny, so SILENT MAID becomes Not-So-Silent and we motor sail past Rocking the Boat (hope they did well with the "Round Manhattan" fundraising row.) Past South Street Seaport and the financial district. We drop the sail in front of Lady Liberty and motor past the ferry traffic to Jersey City to the marina and disembarkation.

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