Jul 31, 2014

New York City

Our exit through the Cape May inlet was much more calm and pleasant than our entrance. We even spotted a few bottle nose dolphins on our way out.

Instead of day hopping up to NYC, we decided to go from Cape May to NYC in one jump.

The wind was light from the south east. Big rolling waves were left over from the strong north east wind we experienced a few days before. I wouldn't call them waves really. They were big, moving masses of water, similar to the "waves" you create when flopping down on a water bed.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day, but with less than 10 knots of wind we were motoring.

Plenty of time to kill reading

Hobie goofing around

Mommy feeding Hobie a snack while underway to NYC.

Checking our position on the iPad as we pass Atlantic City
The day was pretty uneventful. We continued heading north and the wind started to pick up as the day went on. By the time the sunset we had the engines off.

Sunset on our way to NYC

LeeAnn's mom Ellen going on her first night watch

We ran 3 hour watches during the night. It being Ellen's first time on a night watch, she took the first watch because it was the watch that was least likely to encounter any complication. LeeAnn took the second watch, and I took the third and final night watch because that is when we would be getting close to the busy NYC harbor.

I ended up on deck during Ellen's watch because of some funny lights that she couldn't figure out. It took a long time for use to realize it was a tug towing a barge. They had a lot of extra lights on making it difficult to figure out which direction the tug was heading.

By the morning the wind was a nice 10-15 knots and we were making 6 knots as we entered NY Harbor. The plan was to anchor at Sandy Hook, but I didn't see the point. We were only a few hours from NYC and I figured after 24 hours, what's a few more?

LeeAnn dodging tugs in NYC harbor
A big boat leaving NYC

We headed to the 79th street basin and picked up a mooring ball. Then I got in the dinghy to go find and pay the harbor master. I was unfortunately informed that our catamaran was too heavy for the mooring ball, which is doubtful considering there were plenty of monohulls in the mooring field that weighed more than our 16,000 pound cat. Alas, rules are rules. We were told our only option was to stay at the dock.

So instead of paying $30 per night, we were stuck paying a whopping $130 per night. We hadn't planned to hang around NYC for long, but the increased cost definitely motivated us to move along.

We did still stay a few days though. It is New York City after all, a place LeeAnn and I had only been to once before in our lives, and we don't know when we might ever see it again. I also justified the high cost by comparing it to what hotels in the area were charging for a single night. We were staying just a few blocks from Central Park, and from that perspective $130 per night felt kind of like a deal.

The day we arrived in the city was mostly spent figuring out the docking situation and recuperating from the overnight sail. That afternoon we just walked around aimlessly for a bit, taking in the sites.

The next day LeeAnn and Ellen went to see Ellis Island. They had a good time, but LeeAnn said it felt a little too much like cattle being herded.

Hobie and I set off on our own. Our first stop was a pizza place. It was $5 for a huge slice of delicious 3-topping pizza and a drink. Hobie and I split the meal.

Getting pizza in NYC

We then headed off to find Central Park. The last time LeeAnn and I were in NYC we went to Central Park and entered it from the south. It was very quiet and peaceful. I thought Hobie would enjoy a little quiet time running around in the grass. We got way more than we bargained for.

As we approach Central Park, I recognized what I thought Dakota building, where John Lennon lived and was shot. I walked closer and found it was indeed the Dakota building. I overheard a father say to his teenage daughter "yep, this is it." I followed them and they walked to the main entrance of the building.

People converging on the Dakota building the day after Lennon was shot
I got goosebumps. I've seen multiple documentaries that told the story of Lennon being shot, and it was incredible to see the place in real life.

Next we walked across the street to Central Park, where it turns out is "Strawberry Fields", a John Lennon memorial. The place was packed with people, and there was a guy playing Lennon tunes on an acoustic guitar. It was an amazing experience, and I marveled that after all these years people are still coming to this place.

Hobie loved laying on the "imagine" mosaic.
We continued our walk through central park. The place was busy with people and street performers. We got ice cream at this touristy place over looking a pond and found a cool little courtyard that we had all to our own.

I had just planned for a quick stop in central park, but we ended up spending the whole day there. By the time we got back to the boat Hobie had zonked out in the baby carrier.

Hobie sleeping after a long day exploring central park

The next day we basically did the same thing but with Ellen and LeeAnn. Again I had only planned to spend a little time in central park before moving on to other tourist spots, but again it ended up taking all day.

That night Ellen watched Hobie and LeeAnn and I went out for a night on the town. We got dinner at a sushi place, then went to this cool little theater where we thought we were going to see a risqué variety show. Turns out that show had stopped running, but they were having a drag show that night.

We didn't know what else we would be able to figure out on such short notice, so we thought "what the hell? Let's see what a New York City drag show is like!" It wasn't very good, but we still had fun.

The next day in NYC was our last day. LeeAnn and Ellen stayed near the boat. I went and picked up some groceries. It was fun to go get groceries alone because I got to pretend that I lived in NYC. Two things tourists don't do: 1. go places alone. 2. get groceries.

I headed back to the boat with a full back pack and several bags of food, and a bulk pack of paper towel under my arm.

We pulled away from the dock and headed up the Hudson River.

Here is a video of our entrance to NY harbor and a few pictures of the time we spent in NYC. 


  1. So far I haven't seen many comments since you guys set forth on you new journey, so this one's just to cheer you on and let you know that you've got at least one fan in Warsaw (as in Poland, not Indiana;) who can't get enough of your reports.

    Also, the new vids that you're putting together are in a class of their own!

    Best of luck and keep the posts coming ;)