Oh no, it just dawned on us that today is Friday the 13th. Maybe it will bring us some good luck for a change!! We got up early to get out of the Ellis Landing anchorage before the ferries started zipping here, there, and everywhere. The forecast for today is to be light winds in the morning and they are suppose to pick up as the day progressed. We just want to get out of NYC Harbor and across Sandy Hook Bay before the weather diminishes.
Of course we beat most of the ferries but now we have to contend with the barges being pushed by tugboats down the river, barges being pulled by towboats up the river, huge freighters coming in and going out of the harbor as well as out of their anchorages! As soon as we motored under the last bridge out of the harbor, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, we should be able to route to Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club on Sandy Hook, NJ...of course steering clear of 2 small islands and getting free of the shipping lanes. The morning was sunny and less than 1 ft waves....yeah!!
We past numerous floats with flags and nets belonging to commercial fishermen and some type of small lighthouse out in the middle of the bay. However, we still had ferries with commuters from New Jersey to NYC and back.....and they fly. When we got close to Sandy Hook, we came upon the jetty that juts out into the bay from the shoreline. It had two Naval ships tied up to the dock. Of course we were too close to the pier which turned out to be a restricted area. It didn't take too long for a naval dinghy to chase us down and yell at us for being in restricted waters. Oh well, we motored outside their white cans and everything was okay.
Once we entered through the east side of the wall to Atlantic Highlands, we decided to fuel up and fill our water tanks, free, at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal dock so we'll be ready to take off weather permitting. We then contacted the Yacht Club because we wanted to stay on a mooring ball for the night and the mooring field belongs to them. The water taxi escorted us to ball H3, which cost $50 for the night. That's a little pricey to moor out but it also included the taxi lift as often as you needed until 10 pm, showers, the yacht club bar/restaurant and wifi....we were anticipating a nice hot shower! The mooring field is quite large and there is also an anchorage to the east which under certain conditions isn't too secure.
As soon as we got settled in, we called the taxi and walked into town and to a grocery store. After spotting a Burger King across the street from the store, we decided to eat a juicy hamburger. Then it was back to the boat to unload our provisions. We both just couldn't wait to pack clean clothes into our bags and head back to shore for our shower. It was hot and wonderful! Everytime we used the water taxi, we met such interesting people, both cruisers as well as the locals and their pet dogs. Some of the marinas do not allow animals but Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club is definitely a pet friendly club.
This area was also devastated by Hurricane Sandy last October. The one gentleman we talked to said that almost every boat in the club had to be replaced, as well as the docks. Some of the docks with boats still attached floated all the way into the town of Atlantic Highlands. And their docks....they are the nicest we have ever seen. Their cleats sit in a track that allows a dockholder to reposition their cleat to wherever they would like them! Nice.
Dinner time found us walking to the 'On the Deck' restaurant right next to the Yacht Club. They have seating inside as well as out on the deck. The view of the mooring field is spectacular as well as the view of the ferry unloading and loading the commuters to NYC. I ordered a crabcake sandwich, while Chuck ordered a flounder sandwich. My sandwich was one of the best I've ever had but after a few bites Chuck found out he was served a chicken sandwich....no once but twice before they got it right!! He was tired of waiting so he ate the 2nd sandwich and the manager, himself, cooked the flounder for Chuck. So needless to say, his meal was on the house and we took the fish home to the boat and ate it the next day.
|View from On the Deck|
What a night...again the winds were gusting at 22+ knots. I know we were both glad to be on a ball. Chuck went to sleep without any worries but I stayed up a bit until the winds calmed down at around midnight. Our thoughts are to tag along tomorrow with a group of sailboats heading down the coast. They are leaving at 11:00 am, sailing 20 hours to Cape may. That sounds like a tiring trip! We'll decided once we are out in the ocean and the condition of the waves and winds will make our decision for us.
|On the mooring ball at Atlantic Highlands|
3 hours today and approximately 20 miles