Because we are leaving early in the morning, it makes no sense to pay for a marina tonight. Nannie and Mike depart around 3 pm and we leave Milford Boat Works at the same time to anchor off Charles Island. It is right outside Milford and we’ve been looking forward to exploring it. We anchor the boat and then all pile into the dinghy. The last time we really used it is almost a year ago. We take the oars and Matt tells me and the boys to row while he figures out the motor. The boys and I attempt to row toward the island but are slowly being pushed backwards. I tell the boys to step aside. I paddle harder but the dinghy is big and I have to keep jumping from side to side to keep it going in the same direction. I keep hoping Matt doesn’t look up as he fiddles with the engine. He finally does – and frowns when he sees we are at least 50 yards from the boat and nowhere near the island. “When,” he asks, “were you going to tell me we were floating away?” He helps me row and we tie up to the boat again until we get the motor running. We dinghy over to the island and see signs that it’s a protected bird nesting ground and visitors are prohibited. We landed the dinghy on an 80-foot long spit of rocks and shells so, technically, we are off the island. After examining shells for a while, we motor back to the boat, make dinner and go to bed.
Matt’s mom (the boys call her Nannie) and her husband Mike come to meet us in Milford, CT. The plan is for me to have some work time while everyone else does some sightseeing. We are secretly thrilled at the thought of some time off from around-the-clock parenting. The highlights include the Trolley Museum, the Nathan Hale Park (Matt’s great-great-great …. uncle), the Pez Museum, and the Nathan Hale House. One afternoon the boys run to me and say Nannie invited them for a sleepover. They beg to be allowed to go. I act like I have to think about it. She brings them an origami set and art materials and teaches Joshua some new painting techniques. They have a wonderful time. Continue reading
Today is our last day in the city. I have plans to catch up with friends so Matt takes the boys to Central Park to sail the small sailboats. I meet A. (a best friend from grad school at Columbia and my ‘man of honor’ at our wedding) at his Time Warner office which has an amazing view of Columbus Circle and Central Park. Continue reading
Matt tends to be anxious the night before we leave and he’s up at 4 am (by extension, so am I). We leave Liberty Landing Marina at 6:30 am, with the sun rising behind NYC. We pass the financial district and midtown, going under the many bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan, 59th Street, Tri-borough, Throgsneck, Whitestone). Continue reading
Coming back to NJ and NYC returns us to the sites of our previous lives (me at Columbia and Pfizer, Matt in NJ with clients in the twin towers). On Sunday, we take the PATH train over to Hoboken, the town where Matt and I each lived for about 7 years and where we met. We tour our old haunts. Matt tells the boys stories – how we met, where and how he proposed, where we used to live, etc. They express interest only when we talk about where we used to get ice cream. Monday is spent working on the boat and fixing the water tank. Continue reading
We pull into an anchorage at Sandy Hook, NJ at 11 am, 28 hours after we left Lewes, DE. The mid water tank runs out so I switch to the smaller, forward one which should last about 4 days. After being anchored for an hour, there is no water and we realize there must be a leak somewhere. It makes no sense to stay longer with no water. We head up to NYC and arrive at 3 pm. We stay on the NJ side at Liberty Landing Marina. These are Matt’s old sailing grounds – he learned on the Hudson River in his 12-foot Laser and was part of a yacht club at this very marina. The marina is gorgeous – not only does it have great showers but it also has a 24-hour access lounge. It is situated near a huge park and has an amazing view of NYC. I tell Matt I could stay for a month.
It’s our first overnight sail. Both Matt and I are a little freaked out – it will be about 30 hours, weather depending, with both of us taking shifts. We leave at 7 am and start off sailing but only go 1-2 knots. At this pace, our 30-hour sail might turn into 3 days. After giving it a few hours, we end up motor-sailing. Shortly after leaving the Delaware Bay and going offshore, we have our first whale sighting. Matt spots the spout. In the distance, we see the tail and the spray from its blowhole. We all cheer – an early and unexpected gift from the sea. Joshua throws his little arms into the air and yells, “Yesssss!” Continue reading