Hi all. Several months ago we were asked to submit an article for the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons Spring 2016 edition of The Port Hole. The piece entitled “Reflections on a Simpler Life”, highlights our adventure aboard R.E.D. last summer.
We are proud to finally be able to share it with you in its entirety in both French and English as it appeared in the April 2016 edition of Canadian Yachting and L’Escale
We hope you enjoy.
Well, dear friends,
another chapter is closing on our little odyssey.
The side trip to Long Island Sound was amazing!
It wasn’t a part of our original plans
but had we missed it,
it would have been a shame.
We didn’t realize the geographic magnitude
and after four days,
had covered just a fraction of it’s wonderful locations.
The plan is to return someday to complete our visit.
Yesterday we crossed from Connecticut back to the New York side
in dense fog,
visibility barely one mile.
Sailing in the light winds proved far too frustrating
but we made it at least 1/3 of the way across before motoring.
Our achorage for the night was a treat in North Port Bay,
quiet and protected just behind this sand spit…
Today was an entirely different scenario.
20 knot winds,
more tide and current challenges…
What a great way to finish our last day on the Sound!
Now safely at anchor just past Throgs Neck Bridge
with another view of the New York skyline…
…we plan for tomorrow’s trip through Hell Gate…
this time it will be scheduled.
R.E.D.’s salt water experience has been unique for our little fresh water lady.
(Francois would kill to be able to power wash right now)
We too are crusty and crinkly (no shower for at least four days).
But what an experience this part has been!
While I poured us an evening cocktail,
Captain barbecued us dinner R.E.D. style
that could rival any New York Pizza (Galley Kat’s Recipe)…
(our story and we are sticking to it)
Check back tomorrow to see if we survived the gate from Hell…
It was with sadness that we left our home for the past four days.
And it really felt like a home.
Such great people that treated us like family.
We have a deal with John,
Great Kills Yacht Club’s National Treasure,
that when we close the loop
on our Great Loop Adventure,
he will meet us in NYC
and take a picture of us aboard R.E.D.
in front of the Statue of Liberty
holding up our Gold Loop burgee.
A gentle breeze made sailing into New York harbour really pleasant.
We sat in the cockpit and discussed things in general,
places we wanted to visit,
working on a plan after we ran out of plans.
I even connected with my son through a video Skype call
and chatted away with my grandkids
showing them the beautiful Manhattan skyline.
(this all will be significant later in our day, so pay attention)
We even made a little detour briefly down the wrong channel
of the East River, by accident,
but thought this building was photo-worthy…
like a scene out of Mad Max…
The view of Manhattan
is as impressive from the East River side…
…so many different architectural styles…
Aside from the Freedom Tower,
there were things we hoped we could see from the water…
…the Empire State Building…
…the Chrysler Building…
…and my favourite,
the Brooklyn Bridge…
there were many other bridges we passed under
on our journey down the East River.
…many cruises boats
with tourists enjoying a leisurely Sunday on the water…
…and this one that really made François’ day…
At this point our leisurely trip took a turn.
Remember when I mentioned earlier about that leisurely sail?
It kind of threw off our well-planned tide calculations.
We had reached Hell Gate,
the confluence of three bodies of water.
We had passed the tide’s slack time
so hit the full force of the tide going to the sea at this juncture.
It was a good 45 minute battle with motor at 4000 RPM
and barely progressing 3 knots.
There was so much turbulence,
it looked like the water was boiling.
You’re just going to have to believe what I am describing
because honestly, that camera wasn’t coming out for any photo op.
It was life vests on and grabbing the lifelines.
Past La Guardia airport
we located a safe anchorage for the night at
Little Neck Bay,
and thankful for calm waters.