Well here it is folks – the one you’ve all been waiting for, I hope…
This is the closest I’ve ever got to being a full paid up member of the explorers club! I know that for some this adventure is just another average summer trip but for me it is the longest journey I have ever made by water and the memories of this journey will live with me forever. In fact, if I had any grandchildren, I would definitely sit them on my knee and tell them all about it, again and again and again!
This journey epitomises what having a boat and going exploring is all about – do it now, is my advice!
I’m going to serialise the adventure, as it’s too long to put up in one hit, so keep popping back to make sure you get the latest instalment as it’s posted.
‘1000 miles’ that’s what I was told. Take the F48 from Norwalk in Connecticut down to Fort Lauderdale in Florida, it shouldn’t take long, 5 days maybe…
In the end it took a little longer than that and it was a few more miles too.
Much planning and preparation later, the day finally came to set off. It was a little bit of an anti-climax actually. There was only Neil left to see us off and we nearly took him with us. I thought he was off the boat as I pulled away from the dock we’d occupied during the Norwalk boat show but after much shouting and gesturing I realised we had a stowaway! Once I was certain he had left the boat we motored out of the mooring and waved goodbye.
We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day to start our epic journey. The sun was shining, there was a light breeze on the nose and as Long Island Sound is fairly well sheltered from the west the waves were hardly noticeable.
New York City was our destination, as we had a journalist with us, who was trying the boat for an article he was writing about cruising. The trip to New York City would be the perfect opportunity to get all the experience he needed. There was just one small hitch… The UN Assembly was in town and our ‘best laid plans’ had to be changed to plan B. The East River was closed and we had no choice but to pull up short and wait for the next day to pass through the city. A stuttering start if ever there was one – hopefully, not an omen of things to come!
The World’s Fair Marina in Queens found us a berth for the night and we bade farewell to our journalist friend. He was quite sanguine about being dropped off short of his intended departure point but I did feel sorry for him as I knew the trip down the East River was going to be spectacular – if only those folk from the UN knew how they’d inconvenienced us, I’m sure they’d be suitably contrite…
Well, here it is; the view that greeted us as we made our very early way down the river the next morning.
Chris, also a skipper, although in the States they would call him a captain, was on the VHF checking with the USCG (United States Coast Guard) that the closure was no longer in force and we could, in fact, transit the river. Whilst he was doing that, I was up top clicking away for all I was worth on my camera.
Sadly, we had to go down the east side of Roosevelt Island, as the police were still preventing people from getting too close to where the UN Assembly was being held. Mind you, it did prevent my camera from almost catching fire!
Even so, I managed to snap a few shots of the sun’s early rays painting the Manhattan skyline.
And the odd iconic piece of advertising too
But this shot of the ESB really took the biscuit for me
The next shot I wanted was of the Statue of Liberty as we left the city and from this angle, which could only have been taken from on the water, this special landmark looked spectacular…
Then finally, after all the picture taking we picked up speed, headed out into the channel and set our sights on Ocean City in Maryland for our first overnight stop.
One last look over our shoulders, one last shot and we were off…
At the end of the channel, waiting for us, was the Atlantic Ocean. From where we were sitting it looked fairly flat but as we got closer it soon became apparent that the rest of the day’s journey was going to be less spectacular and more bouncy…
Keep an eye out for the next instalment, when we work our way down the New Jersey coast and end up having to go inland!