2013 Sailing north up to New York

New York Week 1

Malua is at 40:41.810N 74:03.710W at west 79 St Boat Basin $180 a week for boats under 40ft
I have not updated the blog since I arrived in America but I feel that it is now time to update the things we have done while in New York, so here I go:

Sunday 9/10 June 2013

Statue of Liberty

 I left Cape May at 3:30 am in the morning to sail up the coast to New York. The sea had calmed after the storm but now there was no wind so I motored all the way. I chose the smaller channel to enter the port of New York thinking that smaller boats would use it. I was half way up the channel with no moon and a dark night with all the surrounding lights making it very confusing. I saw way behind me an array of lights but no port or starboard lights. I continued up the channel and heard five blasts on a horn, I looked behind to see a LARGE tanker not nore than 300 meters behind me. I turned to starboard and out of the channel as this big ship steamed passed. No danger but one must realise that even at midnight this port is busy with every form of shipping including Malua trying to find my way through the maze of navigation lights. Having two sources of charts does help. I soon rounded the corner of Cape Hook and chose a spot far enough from the beach to be able to swing to the tide and wind. Dropped the anchor, made the boat ship shape and went to sleep. Stayed here the next day because of the rain.

Tuesday 12 June 2013

There was fog on the water when I woke to motor up the roadway to the Statue of Liberty anchorage. The fog cleared and I was again in the middle of every type of shipping moving up and down the huge waterway which is New York and the Hudson River.

From Malua Upper West Side
Going to the Liberty Landing anchorage is not difficult if you follow the navigation buoys but you come very close to the rocks on the starboard side of the channel. I dropped the anchor with enough swing room between a small sailing yacht and some floating rafts with dinghy on them. I had settled down to prepare to go into NYC by ferry when it dawned on me that I was in an anchorage that could be anywhere and this was not why I had come to NYC so up anchor and I motored towards 79 st boat basin to see if a yellow buoy was free for transients.

West 79 boat basin
I motored against the current and arrived at the top of the tide to find a single buoy free. Without asking anyone I came alongside the buoy and picked up the leads and was secure in a blink of an eye. I had arrived in NYC 79 West Boat Basin on the Upper West side a few blocks from Broadway and Central Park. Walked around Lincoln Centre, Time Square to find my way and stock up on food.
Wednesday 13 June 2013 Tuesday
Took the subway downtown to walk the Financial district and to see the new World Trade Centre and the 9/11 site.

New Trade Centre

Thursday 14 June 2013

More riding the bus, subway and walking to get to know the city again. Not much has changed in the 15 years since Denny and I spent some time here except it now feels much safer to walk to all parts of the city.

Friday 15 June 2013

Again walk around but end up down south at Seaport and it starts to rain and rain. Take the bus back to 79 but get drenched in the down pour.

Saturday 16 June 2013

From Malua New jersey side
Purchased food and other supplies for the boat and finished the major clean up for Denny's arrival late tonight. Take subway 1 to To of Central Park then bus to la Guadia well in time for her arrival at 11:30pm

New York Week 2

Denny arrived at La Guadia on an American Airliner which is a co-partner for Qantas. It is not easy to find which airline the flight arrived at but after some questioning I found the flight which was late. We returned to the bus I had arrived on back to Harlem and then on the subway on 1 or 2 to 79th Street. A short walk to the Boat Basin Marina and we where on the boat. We talked till 4:00 before we were both tiered enough to sleep. Very exciting to have Denny back on the boat.

Sunday 16 June 2013

We purchased two additional Metrocards based on time – unlimited rides per day not the pay per ride used before. Set off across the Park and onto the East side and down towards lower Manhattan and the garment district. Then up Broadway to the Lincoln Centre to see an art exhibition in the grounds and the pianos for everyone to play. Not a great response because too many people were watching. Enjoyed the upmarket art and crafts but not our price range or style.

Stopped in for a drink at Ales on Amsterdam and the meat and fish shop Citeralla to get some dinner. Plenty of French wine on board.

Monday 17 June 2013

Took the cross town bus 79 to the east side of the Park and walked up to the Guggenheim. The third won we have visited. The best was in Venice. It was rather disappointing because the main ramp was closed.

Back on the subway to Penn Central Station to look at the clock but first we stop in at their Deli Market and purchase some Longres Cheese with Champagne last eaten in Longres France when Malua could not get through the canal.
On to the New York Public Library. Our first time visit to this great institution. Denny goes into to their reference section and spends more than an hour in the bibliography section – her passion. She finds book on books that even she had not knowledge of. She is fascinated and thrilled. I stand in awe of this collection which reaches up to the ceiling and of course in the basements.
Just outside there is a park – Bryant Park which was showing a film on a large screen. People could watch from tables around the edge or sit on the lawn. What a great idea. Back to Malua for sundowners, French cheese and wine.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Off to one of the great Museums of the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Always ask for a senior ticket but in this Museum you can ask to only pay a particular amount. For two senior it was about $28.00 more without seniors discount. We know our way around this and went straight to the 19 20 century art of Picasso, Mornet, Klee, Mondrian, Miro, Lezanne and many others.

Pollack, Warhol and Hopper also got a look in. After 3 hours and skipping the physical object we vowed to return.
Onto the bus and south to the UN and the lower east side to see all the rather up market town house used by the influential people of the UN. We walked the streets taking pictures but it rained so our trip was cut short. Bus back to the upper west side.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

If you thought that the Met was good then the MoMA Museum of Modern Art is even better. We had not been here before so the whole museum was an experience and what an experience.

The audio guide is an essential part of the visit. Listen to the audio description of the picture, then the background and the associated commentary. It will blow your mind. Floors and floors of recognisable art. With some rooms dedicated to just one artist. The building is in itself a work of art. We enjoyed the courtyard, fountains and art. I have seen Balzak in Paris so recognised his statue.
Walk along the Highline disused railway line in the lower west side. Not as good as Paris but it is still new and the trees need to grow but worth the visit. Stopped locally for a beer.

Thursday 20 June 2013

A quiet day. Train and walk to the Cloisters up on the far west side. Free entry associated with Guggenheim. This is a building built in the 20 c from pieces of cloisters from Europe that some rich bloke purchased after the first and second WW when the church wanted money for restoration. They were shipped to the USA and then very cleverly incorporated into a single building. Only a lot of money can do it so well. It had a exhibition of the Unicorn tapestries and other items. Very interesting. The gardens which have the original monks veg. Flowers and herbs growing in a courtyard and in an outside garden. Very interesting.
Friday 21 June 2013
Back to the Financial district to see Wall Street in action and to Ground Zero and the 11 September memorial. There were long lines to wait in to get a time based entry. Then off to the entry point. More lines to search you bags. No guns, knives and spray cans. I of course had my mariners knife so I put it in my bag alongside my camera and tablet. On to the X-ray belt but the diligent security guard was having a heated discussion with a colleague so he did not even look at the image of my bag. Why put the public through this invasive search if they are not going to do it properly?

The memorial is much larger than I expected. The flowing water gives a great effect especially as it flows into a square hole in the ground. Very good particularly when seen with the new tower rising in the background. We went on to the top of the last trade fair building so I will have to go to the top of this when it opens maybe not carrying my knife.
Took subway under the east river into Brooklyn to walk across the bridge back into NYC. Unfortunately the bridge is being painted to we where not able get a great view of the city but good enough. We stopped and watched some street acrobats in downtown area. They are great artists and wonderful performers. They got my $5.00 with pleasure. On the bus to Malua for a well earned drink.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Finally met up with Jack Tarr who had anchored at Liberty landing but the weather and dinghy dock was not good. They brought their bikes and cycled up the island to meet us at Times Square along with all the other tourist. We had lunch and then we went off to Jersey Boys to see the show. Enjoyed it very much indeed. So slick.
They rode up to 79 street to see if it was suitable for their boat. We met again at Washington Square Park and walked to a Mexican Restaurant to have a drink before they left to catch the last ferry to Jersey.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Back to Financial District to meet Pete and Carol – Jack Tarr. They were going to 9/11 and Empire State. We stopped in at the Seaport Wharf to have a very enjoyable lunch overlooking the east river.

We walked back along the east side vowing to return to Bleaker Street the next day.

New York Week 3

Monday 24 June 2013

Jack Tar came up to 79 Street to anchor but the strong wind and contra tide made it impossible for them to stay so they left. We on the other hand went off to the Guggenheim to see the things we missed the first time. Unfortunately they had not finished setting up so we saved our money.
Being on Madison Avenue we visited Dean & Deluca Deli to pick up some vinegar and spices. What a great experience. We stopped to have some lunch from their selection..... what did we have? Cant remember.
Off to the Corner Book-store. I purchased the complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway while Denny purchased Granta -Best of British Novelists. Down the road to Bloomingdales – a New York Shopping experience – not our type of shop but great to watch the locals and foreigners hand out wds od cash for high quality garments and high prices.
On the bus down to Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village – more like our type of shop but saw nothing to buy except a new Swatch watch for Iain.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Today we revisited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Pay as you wish so they got half the suggested donation. This time we walked the Greek, Roman and African galleries plus a quick tour of 19/20 C art but completely missed the Picasso etc we saw the first time. I cant leave town because I dont know my way around this museum. (I always leave a new city when I know my way around and recognise the streets!)
Back yo Bleeker street and Greenwich for a further walk around plus the Garment District. Denny found M J Trimmings so we spent some time there. Their web site only reflects half of what they have but the people are very helpful and will send small samples to you to check.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

A bit of burn out so we left the boat at 11:00 and took the bus to Times Square to purchase tickets for Motown but unfortunately they are not sold and HalfPrice Tickets so have to purchase full price. Upper mezzanine almost $200 for two all up. Great show but not as slick as Jersey Boys.

Took bus to Chinatown and found a local restaurant patronised by Chinese but they did have an English menu. We were the only round eyes in the place. The dumplings where out of this world as was the roast duck. Great experience. We then walked through Little Italy and along Canal Street but the shops were shutting up so I was not offered a fake Rolex watch.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Back on the 79 bus cross town to the Whitney Gallery which is the custodian of Hopper Collection. We joined a tour explaining his painting and how he used his sketch book to capture elements included in the final painting. The guide was very well informed and knowledgeable. It was well worth the hour after which we had to go back and see the additional paintings not discussed. The gallery had a lege selection of Calders mobiles which we have both grown to love. They had a video of some of his lesser known works. I think Nicola can still make a mobile to rank Calders.

Bus down town to the International Centre of Photography. Not the greatest but some interesting shots. One set taken from an large apartment block in Johannesburg from inside out, then from the outside in and finally of the television screens in the apartments. We recognised many elements in the shots. I must re-erect my photos especially after so many have been used to celebrate the 40 years of the Aquarius Festival and Architecture.

Friday 28 June 2013

On the subway to the north of Central Park to the English and Italian Gardens in the Conservatory. What a lovely place right in the heart of Harlem and NYC.

On the bus downtown to the J P Morgan Library. Now this is an experience not only the library but for the way the three buildings have been connected. The content of the three story – open space library with it Gutenberg and Caxton bibles is great but they have a modern illuminated bible with modern paintings and script. Who would spend such time doing that when we can print it in a flash of a laser printer?
Back to the Garment District to walk around then to the Deli for the evenings meal.

Saturday 29 June 2013

They say you can get anything in New York. Well you are not wrong. We went to the African Market on the north side of Central Park near Harlem. We were back in down town west Africa. Denny purchased a great piece of cloth from west Africa while I negotiated a good price on a cotton hand printed woven bed spread. It did smell but will mature and find a place along with our other African items.

Now for some real shopping. Off to Macy's semi annual sale. $79 shirts for $17.50 including al discounts and the 10% foreigners discount (you must apply and ask). I could not help myself so I walked away with five shirts some a bit more than the specials but great value (Note to Carol on JT I now have a wider selection than just two colours)

Sunday 30 June 2013

What would NYC be without Sunday in Central Park? We took the 79 then walked almost the full length to the top of the park to the lake to find a seat for the outdoor jazz concert featuring Howard Johnson. A great event but cut short by the rain – we did not get wet finding a seat under a tent!
Well was that a magical moment on Malua in NYC.

New York Week 4

Monday 1 July 2013

The weather had been very unsettled while we have been in New York. It has something to do with a high over Bermuda but being attached to a mooring ball in the Hudson River I have not taken much notice of the effects. Some evenings the storm clouds roll in and there is a rain down pore but you tend to walk the streets of NYC without much notice, however today we woke to the rain not just droplets on the hatch but good heavy rain, in fact so heavy we could not see the Washington bridge from the mooring. I opened the water catchment inlets and before we knew it the tanks were full. That is the upside but the downside it was too wet to leave the boat. At noon the rain let up so I put all the dirty washing in the big bag and headed off to the Laundromat. The USA has the best and cheapest washing facilities in the world. In just over an hour I had washed all my shirts, shorts and towels and had them dried and folded ready for the next stage of the journey. During the wash time Denny was enjoying Knitty City a wool shop and I was in the public library updating my system and photos on their fast Internet connection.
The day ended with the usual visit to the fantastic Deli to find some food for dinner. A great experience.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

We started a bit late today getting over the rain but this time we took the no 5 bus downtown to the Flatiron building at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue at 23rd street. It is a narrow cheese slice building at the intersection of the roads. When built the people thought it would be blown over in the wind. I must say the end apartments must have a difficulty fitting conventional furniture into the rooms.

From there we walked down Broadway past the ladies shops and the famous Beechers Handmade Cheese factory where we sampled some of the cheese and saw them making a soft cheese behind the glass partition. We passed Pres. Theodore Roosevelt's home which was open but not interesting. Then on to Gramercy Park the only private park in NYC. Only key-holders may enter this charming tree lined park it is surrounded by interesting townhouses. The National Arts Club, Players Club – Members were Mark Twain, Al Pacino and Mary Tyler Moore. Past the first cooperative apartment building and housed owned by John Steinbeck, Thomas Edison, Victor Herbert and Julia Roberts. I am sorry to say non invited us in for tea.
We then walked south to Union Square past Irving Place. And on to Washington Square Park and the streets south. Christopher Street – the famous Civil Rights protest y the gays known as the Stonewall Rebellion. Greenwich surrounds this area with its large and small townhouses and apartments of all shapes and sizes. The smallest being75 ½ Bedford Street being just 10 ft wide – now up for sale.

We then moved into the Meatpacking District and onto the Henry Hudson Park along the Hudson River. We walked north past the old Piers which have been converted into high priced marinas, skate park or indoor sport complex. On the bus to West Marine in the city and then back up the island to 79 st and the deli for the evenings meal. A long day.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

A lay day. We did not do much but get Malua shipshape and ready to sail. Went ashore to get food and use the free wifi in the library.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Independence Day – well not really. The declaration of independence was signed on the second of July but it's signing was only made official on the 4 July and the official printed version had the 4 July at the bottom so that has become the date the USA officially recognises their freedom from Briton.
We went ashore and walked south along Riverside Park which had overnight been transformed into a security zone waiting for the fireworks to take place in the Hudson River. Every movable rubbish bin had been removed. Those remaining where covered with see through plastic. There were plastic bags for trash everywhere. As we walked south the frequency of the police increased to such an extent you could almost only see blue uniforms preparing for the crowds. No backpacks or eskies allowed. Only see through bags. A complete nightmare but very well handled by the crowed control officers. We cut east into the city which was deserted for the long weekend except the tourist areas like Central Park and Columbus Circle. At 79 street the whole road was blocked off with police and their hiteck vehicles and observation posts.
We returned to Malua to wait for the fireworks but had to sit through the many many police sirens on the adjacent road moving cars on when they tried to stop to get a view of the fireworks. Not a good show or organisation or forward planning.
The show was good from our riverside vantage but some way off and not quite up to the Sydney harbour bridge display but well worth the effort of going onto the foredeck with a drink in hand.

Friday 5 July 2013

Down the Hudson to the Statue of Liberty, under the Brooklyn Bridge, through Hells Gate and into Long Island Sound.

Goodbye NYC - Hello Long Island Sound

After almost four weeks on a mooring ball at west 79 Street Manhattan it was time to go cruising again. Denny and I had renewed our love for New York by visiting the many places we had visited on past visits. We found the Beacon Hotel and Apartments on Broadway which was the place we stayed at some 12 years previously. It is also in the Upper West Side. The the memories of that visit came back: deli shopping, museums and night glasses. Say no more, say no more.
I must say the feeling in New York has changed. We were last here before the Mayor started to clean it up. It was dirty, grubby and not a pleasure to walk in certain areas. Well this time we felt safe wherever we walked and the streets were clean and the people friendly. The 4 July celebrations showed me that the NYPD can clear an area and put “a man on each street corner” with great efficiency. Their show of force for the 4 July celebrations I have never experienced before. I did however not like the multitude of signs everywhere telling you what you cant do and the consequences of doing it. The implied threat gets into the minds of the people and they accept it. I now know why the USA has such a high prison population and why they accept such an invasion of their privacy and rights under the guise of the threat of a terrorist attack.

Now for the sailing. The water runs fast in this part of the world as huge volumes rush in and out with the tide as it rises and falls so moving with the tide makes ones passage easy and fast or very slow. I had calculated that I had to be at the southern tip of Manhattan at 2:30 pm and at Hells Gate at 4:30 pm.
We set off at 10:30 about an hour early but I calculated I could spend time around the Statue of Liberty. When we reached it the tide was still running out and I had to motor to get into the East River at Battery Point which was also flowing towards the sea. I had no other option but to proceed up the East River.
The tide was running fast and despite our 6 knots through the water we where only making 2 over the ground. The chop from the many boats, ferries and large vessels in the river made our progress slow. Thankfully both Denny and I had experienced these conditions before in the Bosporus and in the Rhone River so we took it in our stride. We passed under the Brooklyn Bride with ease and then on to the Williamsburg up past the Lower East side. I had planned to pass on the east of Roosevelt Island but soon saw that the lifting bridge was down and we would not get beneath it. So take the port channel past the United Nations and towards Hells Gate where one can turn left and go up the Harlem River or right into Long Island Sound. We passed under the two bridges at Hells Gate as the tide started to slow and then proceeded between the two Brothers Islands.
Rikers island came into view. This is a huge prison island. The amount of barbed and razor wire on this island must have kept one factory busy for more than ten years. There appears to be a number of high security blocks and then even more three story blocks with fewer fences. All surrounded by wire and security cameras. I wonder what would happen if one broke down and had to go ashore.

We passed by with out seeing anyone in the water making a break for it and on eastwards right under the flight path of la Guardia airport. I felt I could reach up and touch the under carriage of the planes about to land but like the many bridges we have passed under they are much higher than you think.
The tide had now well and truly turned and we where swept along under the high Throgs Neck Bridge out into the Long Island sound. We had decided to stop at Port Washington. This is an anchorage on Long Island one can use to take a train into NYC and visit the sights. Unfortunately you have to walk a fair distance to the train but it is an easy ride into Penn Station or you can get off at a subway connecting station.
We stayed here a few days to get back into the cruising mode, stock up on some items and purchase some anti-freeze at the West Marine. The salesman asked if I had some inside information on the weather because he expected a heat wave to hit NYC over the next few day and I can tell you it was hot and humid. In fact it was so hot we moved from this pleasant anchorage further east to get some sea breeze.
A magical moment on Malua
Follow Malua to Rhode Island.