Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Today's leg was the first time that I felt the stirrings of what die-hard sailors feel for the sea. We left Cape May, NJ at sunrise and glided our way up the Delaware Bay with the light gathering behind us. The autopilot worked beautifully, and the green water was smooth. Evan and I went through a couple of chapters in Huck Finn. A few seagulls bobbed in the water, far from shore or sandwich (although one hovered overhead, casing our boat for some bait or catch then moving on to the trawler behind us).  Clouds filled the sky in interesting patterns, casting an opaline light over everything. Waves, sunlit from behind, looked silver and black, like a jeweled necklace splayed across a Hollywood Regency table.

All sorts of memories breezed in and out of mind while staring at the clouds and the waves, all of them of times, like today, when I felt most free and alive.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall in Cape May

Biking under fall-turning trees and cloudy skies in town yesterday reminded me of biking to a new school year as a kid (and again as an adult in law school). Fall in France is known as "La Rentree," which is when everyone comes back from summer holidays and gets to work or a strike. Here, we have "Back to School," but it only applies to students. Still, it does seem like the change in season brings with it a pressure to reactivate and reload.

I wonder if it's because, as we get closer to the end of the year, we feel that time is running out to accomplish something in 2010 that we will feel proud about come January 2011. Or maybe we already have accomplished a lot in 2010, so we rewarded ourselves with a summer lull and now want to get back and carry forward that earlier momentum?

Amidst this speeding up of activity around me, I am still adjusting to a lifestyle that is all about slowing down and taking everything day by day. I am most anxious and displeased with sailing when I expect that we will leave a certain day or time, and a front appears and messes it all up. I guess I am learning to let go of expectations in favor of hopes.

Horsepower and Plotting (or is it Plodding)

An average Honda Civic today has 140 horsepower. In 1983 it had 55 horsepower.

Our boat has 25 horsepower.

Now, when I hear "25 horsepower," I imagine 25 horses pulling a giant stagecoach over American prairies or something. And even though this is not is not an accurate way to think of horsepower, (apparently, it's more like 25 mini-horses on individual treadmills powering our engine), it does illustrate the fact that traveling by sailboat is a little like traveling by horse. Actually, it might be slower.

A walking horse goes about 2-3 miles an hour and a trotting one about 8-10 miles an hour. A horse can trot for hours. Our boat's average speed is 5 miles an hour. (It might be a draw.) A horse can canter at about 10-17 miles and gallop at about 30 miles an hour. Our boat's top speed is 6-7 miles an hour. (Horse wins.) A horse that was conditioned for traveling in the old days could go an entire day and cover 50-60 miles. Our boat can, theoretically, go 24 hours a day. (Boat wins...but only in theory, see last.) A horse needs to rest every now and then and munch on some oats and drink some water. Our boat does not need any rest, but it does need wind or fuel. We have enough fuel on board for 56 hours. The crew needs rest and food, but we can take turns sleeping, and the boat continues to sail even while we're eating. (Boat wins.) A horse can go out in almost any kind of weather and over pretty rough ground. Our boat is weather- and current-finicky. (Horse wins.)

So how does this affect our course plotting? Let's look at this morning.

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pitter-pattering overhead and an excited Evan plotting this week's itinerary aloud. If the weather forecast is accurate, we might be able to leave in the next day or two and cover the 110 miles to Annapolis, MD by the weekend. Then I got excited, because Annapolis is near Baltimore, where my good friend Lesley lives. Easy to hop on over to Baltimore from Annapolis, right?

Wrong. It would be at least 6-8 hours of travel-time on the boat. Why? Baltimore is 36 miles away, and our boat goes, on average, 5-6 miles an hour. Then add in another hour for channel traffic and navigating.

Then I looked at the map and wondered why we don't just go to Baltimore ahead of Annapolis, since we'll be coming down the Chesapeake Bay towards Norfolk, VA. The answer is that Baltimore is 15 miles away from our channel route in the Chesapeake. That may not sound like much, but consider that the distance from downtown Manhattan to the open Atlantic (just past the Verrazzano Bridge) is 8 miles and took us around an hour--and that was with the tide. So, sailing to Baltimore instead of Annapolis would add on around 4 hours (and navigating a current) to our travel time down the Chesapeake.

At the end of this tortuous process, we concluded that we will be going straight to Annapolis, then renting a car for the quick drive back up to Baltimore. But all that is days away. In the meantime, we have more rain, the Delaware Bay, the C&D Canal, and Chesapeake City.

The tiny blue line between the tops of the Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay is the C&D Canal we'll be going through.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First overnight offshore--Check!

We set out from Manasquan at 11pm last night into a waning full moon over the glittery Atlantic. I had put on my Seaband, taken ginger capsules, prepared a Thermos of ginger tea, and taken Dramamine. No way was I getting seasick again!

It--or all of them--worked, and I felt invincible going up and down out of the cabin, even as the waves built later in the night and rolled the boat side to side for interminable hand-steered hours.

Here is our first sunrise on the water... More later...A good night's sleep in Cape May calls.

Last Post in Manasquan

Yesterday, it looked like the wind would finally be favorable enough to leave Manasquan and head on an overnight offshore leg to Cape May, NJ.  Evan and I started our last day by skipping cereal in the boat and heading to the local breakfast mecca called Breakfast.

This is what remained after we labored at our plates for an hour. Their version of huevos rancheros: beef chili (of course!?), potatoes, green peppers, and eggs. The plus side of this weird breakfast was that we wouldn't have to cook for at least two meals!

Later, on the way back to the boat, we saw a house with what looked like a Halloween TP hangover. Turns out it was just an example of the bizarre suburban high school practice of cheerleaders "decorating" varsity football players' houses the night before a big game. (The cheerleaders are not being mischievous or tongue in cheek at all; this really is meant to be decorative and a morale booster.) My best friend was a cheerleader in a suburban high school in Jersey, and I bemoaned then, as now, how sexist and lame it is to make cheerleaders spend hours baking brownies and crafting lawn decorations for football players. Pity the poor parents too--may they pass the chore of cleaning up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Arrested Development

Yesterday came and went. Tuesday, the day we were supposed to be out of Manasquan. Yet we are still here. We got the fuel filter we were waiting for, but now we are going to be here until Saturday because, Thursday, professionals will come clean and polish the fuel tank, and the wind isn't forecasted to be good for us until Saturday. This sailing business can really be a test of patience. We are catching up on "Arrested Development" on dvd.

Manasquan, and the immediate town of Brielle, are pretty towns with porched houses and American flags galore. Some homes without flag poles just stick the flag straight into giant tree trunks on their lawns. Many homes wave both the Italian and American flags. Others fly their favorite sports teams or family slogans next to the stars and stripes. These towns appear affluent, but the abundance of Sotheby, Prudential, and (local realtor) Richard I. Wood signs on front laws belies the appearance. On one stretch of Brielle Road, which runs straight to the dunes at Manasquan Beach, three modest bungalows in a row, and a lot, were for sale. The house directly across the street was a multistory, turreted, shingled wood mansion that stood in stark contrast.

In town, almost everyone I encountered was under the age of 20. The salesgirl and cashier at VNA Thrift Shop (where I bought an even wider straw hat than the one pictured in an earlier post) were no older than 14 years old. The cashier at Bit of Paradise deli reminded me of my 17-year old cousin, all stormy curiosity. It was a surprise to find myself sitting next to a pair of women in their 50s at lunch. Naturally, I eavesdropped as I ate my sandwich in the sun, and, listening to their slow, raspy and tremulous complaints, I had the impression that these were women who had never had much time to themselves and only themselves, that these women had perhaps gone straight from taking care of younger siblings in their childhood homes to taking care of husbands and sons and daughters. At my next stop, though, it was back to the young and the restless; the barista at the local coffeeshop--Sweet Tease--was college-age and taking advantage of the mid-afternoon lull to blare Ani DiFranco-esque music.

Another notable thing about this neighborhood: in five days (and 1000+ people, by Evan's estimations of the giant supermarket, marine stores, hardware stores, town center, two restaurants, and docks that we have frequented), we have seen three African-Americans, a handful of Hispanics, and a couple of Asians. Why are there so few minorities in such a beautiful area? Hm.

Perhaps it's a reaction to my environment, but I have been craving and cooking up a storm of Korean food these days. Alas, we have just run out of kimchi, the nearest Asian supermarket is a 25-minute drive away, and we don't have a car. Come Maryland, I will be stocking up, stink and space be damned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Manasquan, NJ

We are here until at least Tuesday, while we wait for a fuel filter to come in. A local named Gary, who has sailed up and down the East Coast and in the Caribbean a bunch of times in his own Cape Dory, spotted us our first day here and came by to say hi. What a nice guy: he's driven us all around the area to the supermarket, the hardware store, and a bunch of marine supply stores. He's full of great boat and cruising advice, which he dispenses in the least pedantic manner I've ever experienced from anyone who says "Here's what you need to do..." I think part of this effect is created by his nodding gently while you talk, then repeating back your last few words in a ruminative but affirmative tone before he tells you what you're doing wrong. One of his favorite expressions with us is: "Weeeeell, you live and learn..."

Here is the marina we're staying in. Technically, it's in Brielle, which is right next to the town of Manasquan--which we'll explore later today--and on the Manasquan Inlet. It's a quaint little place. The lavender bathroom is straight out of the 50s.

I've taken a liking to the colorful hoses on dock.

And to prove that not everything is boat maintenance and provisioning, here are some pics of the Point Pleasant boardwalk and our ride on the Manasquan Water Taxi. Kitsch galore!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Detour in Manasquan

We left Atlantic Highlands yesterday and headed down along the Jersey Shore in high spirits, Evan, Vanessa, and I. It was sunny and warm out, and Hurrican Igor-spawned swells were gentle and far apart. Unfortunately, the light wind was directly behind us. This does not make for speedy sailing at all. (I know it seems like it should--doesn't it just blow us where we want to go then?--but the physics work better when the wind comes across the sails). So we chugged along on motor in order to make a minimum speed of 5 knots an hour. (This is 5.75 miles an hour, not much slower than the 7.6 miles an hour that is this boat's maximum speed. I will be posting about this in some other post soon.)

Things were going well for the first few hours, then I started noticing some of that seasickness from the other day. Newly learned lessons from the other day were put to the test. Valiantly applied as they were, they failed. A few hours after the first feeling of heartburn, I felt my mouth water, which could only mean one thing. I leaned over and puked, wondering if I had turned green just before, like I hear some people do.

We held open the option of cutting this leg short and ducking into Manasquan, which was on our way and not too many hours off.  I sat up on deck and watched for the swells and rogue lobster pots. I drank some ginger-lemon-honey tea. I thought how beautiful and strangely abstract the sea looks. I took  pictures. 

Then the decision about whether to cut our leg short was made for us: the engine cut out.

Damn engine! It came back, but died again a short while later. Evan's BoatUS membership came in handy, and he radioed in for a towboat to come pull us through the long inlet into the small harbor of Manasquan.  Night fell by the time we finally arrived at the inlet. Vanessa said she felt like she was riding Pirates of the Caribbean at EuroDisney. This boat (imagine it lit up at night), with its skull and crossbones, may have created that impression.

This is our first real stop on the Jersey Shore. We will be here for a few days, fiddling with the fuel filter, waiting for another good weather window, and checking out this town.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ - photos

Thursday, September 16, 2010


We've finally cast off our lines and left New York! I write this from Atlantic Highlands, near Sandy Hook. It is a mere 18 miles away (the ferry makes our 3 hour trip in 35 minutes), but it is a first leg under our belt, and we wanted to wait out a spell of heavy wind that was predicted here, rather than going straight to Cape May. We motored the entire way to break in the new transmission, and the way was gray and choppy. Nothing bad, but enough to make me surprisingly seasick! I've only ever been seasick once, and it was in far more heaving rolling water than this. I tried fixing my gaze on the horizon, but that gave me heartburn. The fact that my seasickness felt like heartburn and not nausea distracted me from it for a moment--but only a moment. Talking made it worse. I felt like my eyesight was deteriorating from so much straining to see something fixed and clear. Finally, I gave up on looking far away and settled for middle distance, where the waves were building in quick succession against us. This helped, because at least there was a visual in advance of the pitching or rolling sensation. It also helped to suck gusts of wind.

But the best remedy was to sit facing backwards, alternately watching the waves speed away from us, their pointy crests darting like hungry sharks, and wrapping my eyes around each letter in the name of the dinghy engine. Relaxing my vision in the soft white of the quick release life preserver box was also soothing.

Some people cope by taking Dramamine beforehand. Others, like Evan, psych themselves out of it, convincing themselves that they are not feeling sick and focusing on steering or navigating. I stopped feeling seasick when I was reading: deciphering the waves as they approached or left, grabbing visual and mental hold of every letter of a word--symbolic rocks and trees on firm land--and relaxing in the stability of a light monochrome box.

We got to Atlantic Highlands and caught a mooring. That's a heavily anchored buoy, basically, with a big rope that you attach to your boat. That way, you can stay out on the water (as opposed to being tied to a dock). Not only is it cheaper than paying for a slip at a marina, but it's also much nicer. You don't hear footsteps on the dock or get rocked against the dock by every wake of a passing boat. You just float on the water, the wind turning you in a leisurely circle around the mooring ball like a handler does a show pony at the county fair. I waited for the wind to pick up and our turns around the mooring to speed up, like a tetherball that's been given a stronger whack around the pole. Fun!

But as it turns out, the bad spell of wind and rain came and went quickly enough. We missed it entirely while watching "Get Low" in the town cinema. When we got back to the boat, we checked to see if it had passed through, never materialized at all, or was just late in coming. As Descartes might have pondered had he been here, could the storm have happened when we weren't looking? According to the weather sites we checked (and photos on the NYT website), it had.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NJ foodstamps

No, I am not on them. But I feel for anyone who does, because yesterday I lived a day in their supermarket-shopping shoes and it wasn't pretty.

It was another round of provisioning, this time for fresh veggies and fruits and whatnot. The only supermarket in the walking vicinity was...PATHMARK at the Old Colony Shopping Center.

Now, Pathmark is the antithesis of Whole Foods. I don't know if I've ever seen one in Manhattan or the close borders of the outer boroughs; they seem to exist purely where other supermarkets dare not go. Anyway, I regretted not having a rental car anymore and not being spendthrifty enough (in my new incarnation as long-term sailor) to reserve a Zipcar that would whisk me away to Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in Hoboken/Edgewater. I would have to walk to Pathmark--a solid fifteen minute walk at that. Luckily, my best friend came to visit with her baby and said she would drive me to Pathmark and back with my groceries. Yay!

I was expecting the worst: nothing but imitation Twinkies, rotten cabbage, RC Cola, and USDA Grade D meat. And it didn't help when, a minute into the store, we heard a guy on his cell phone saying, "I can't believe I'm in this ghetto-ass Pathmark." (We turned around to see a nattily dressed black guy contemptuously rejecting an apple.) But we were wrong!!! Ok, the meat selection was still not very good--not an organic, grass-fed sticker in sight. And the lettuce was sad looking. Otherwise, there were very good heads of broccoli, ripe tomatoes, green-to-yellow bananas, Paul Newman salad dressing, Mrs. Meyer's handsoap (?!), Illy coffee, and tons of great ethnic ingredients like Jamaican curry powder, made in Kingston, and coconut milk--and loads of thick-hair-friendly hair products. I was in heaven, and my friend, her baby, and I wandered leisurely up and down every aisle,

"Can't believe this is Pathmark!"

"I know, look, they have linden tree tea!"

We got to the register. Only one person ahead of us in our line. Good, because friend's baby needed a diaper change. We waited and chatted with the baby in a shopping cart that was left in our care while the mom went to get something she'd forgotten. And waited. And waited. What was going on? We glanced around. The other lines weren't moving either, and we were all checking each other out with the same purpose. (Every single person in line, apart from my friend, her baby, and me, was black, by the way. Jersey City clearly had a border, and we weren't on the historic downtown, white side.)

Half an hour crawled by with not a single item beeping across the red scanner. Computers were down. There was no answer as to when they would be back up. One Pathmark employee spoke anxiously into an ancient landline phone. Shoppers backed their carts out of line and into empty lanes in hopes that Pathmark would just open up new registers. The lady in front of me just packed up her stuff off the belt, into the cart, and pushed on out of there to where Duraflame logs usually sit. My friend and I looked at each other and thought "It seemed so different, but no, it really is Pathmark."

Finally, a cashier came over to my lane and asked if I could pay in cash. I said sure. She reopened the register and started scanning. So far, so good. A few people drifted back into my lane. Finally, as I handed the cashier my money and started bagging, someone yelled, "Credit cards are working. Cash is working. It's just New Jersey EBT that's down." Moments later, an official announcement was made: "NJ food stamp processing is down. If you are paying with NJ foodstamps, I repeat, the system is down." No word about when it would be back up, or apologies for the fact that a half-hour wait would stretch to who knows how long.

Three of the five lanes stayed blocked, with at least 4 carts in each, as people with food stamps settled in for a long wait. My friend and I wheeled my bags out in the shopping cart, only to be blocked by blue barricades just outside the automatic doors. You can't take Pathmark shopping carts to the parking lot. Because you might, what? Steal the cart? Shove the cart home because you don't have a car, and never return it? Either way, the store treats its customers like thieves and deadbeats. Glad I'm just passing through.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy dogs

Will Pflaum runs Glencadia, the country camp where Susie is staying while I'm gone. He films the doggies so that their owners can see that they're doing fine. Here's one where Susie gets some love and then proceeds to say hi to the camera. In the other, Susie romps around an open field with her new best friends.

Even if I didn't have a dog, I'd love these videos. Happy roaming dogs bring a smile to your face when endless document review or redlining cannot.

Untitled from glencadia on Vimeo.

Untitled from glencadia on Vimeo.

Call me Huck

Today was a beautiful day to stroll along this unexpected tiny strip of beach in Jersey City. I wore my wide-brim paper/polyester hat, which I will never be without from now on. After all, I don't want to end up like this: 

In other news, I've started cooking with a pressure cooker. It's fantastic! Perfectly steamed broccoli in ONE MINUTE. I'm looking forward to making a Korean kalbijim. My three attempts (pre-boat days) have been, at best, satisfactory. If anyone has good stew-type recipes--especially Caribbean ones--please share them!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting excited

A couple of seasoned cruisers, as people who live and travel on their sailboats are known, got towed into the marina a couple of days ago due to transmission failure. (Most sailboats have engines and transmissions, because it's a good backup in case the wind turns against you or just flat out dies. Also, it's easier to get in and out of docks, marinas, and harbors on low engine power than on sailpower.) Evan got to chatting with them a bit on their boat, and I eventually joined them. We told them we were hoping to leave the next morning for Cape May, NJ. When they asked me if I was excited, I couldn't lie. I paused and said "Not really."

What I meant, and explained, was that it is hard to maintain a constant level of anticipation and excitement about departure plans that are tentative to begin with and which keep getting pushed back by weather or mechanical problems. Not that I am down on our plans or situation. In fact, I am pretty content, enjoying the peaceful remoteness of boat-life and the occasional dip back into the roiling streams of activity in the city a short PATH or ferry ride away. But contentedness is very different from excitement. I am saving genuine excitement for when we are pushing off from dock, casting all lines off, and have passed the Statue of Liberty.

Which was yesterday, until we turned on the engine, put her into forward and started walking the lines off--and she wouldn't go forward. Instead of sailing through a perfect weather window to the southern tip of New Jersey, we spent the entire day with and without boatyard people, hovered over the transmission, which slips every time we put her into forward and rev her up. I learned how to change transmission fluid, which was fun. For a few hours, it seemed like we still had a chance at fixing it and getting out before the weather window closed, but things turned out otherwise. A new transmission is in the works, which has us staying in Jersey City for up to another week.

And that isn't so bad at all. If anything, these kinds of delays and unexpected developments are so commonplace with all cruisers that it isn't a big deal. But is that a good thing? Evan's friend was over at the boat yesterday when we discovered the transmission problem. When he saw our wild-haired, weather-beaten neighbors, he joked, "You don't want to turn into them. They've just let go, haven't they?" (To be fair, our neighbor was fixing something in his bilge, which is the whale's belly of a boat, where all nasty things dwell. Nobody looks good--nor should--when working on the bilge.)

Being able to go with the flow, having fluid plans, and not get bent out of shape about things that are out of your control is a positive thing. But the New Yorker in me is giving some resistance too, making me wonder whether there are also times when that attitude can slip into complacency, and things become "out of your control" by sheer virtue of your not exercising control when and where you can?

For example, we lost a few hours of our weather window while still indecisive about the transmission because the boat mechanic was MIA. The New Yorker in me wanted to go up to the marine services office and say, "Track this guy down! We can't make a decision about the transmission until he looks at it again, and we want to make the weather window!" The newbie sailor in me didn't do this, though, because every sailor and the few sailing books I've read all caution against that very "We've gotta make this weather window!" attitude. It was hard; at first, I placated myself by glaring up and down the dock, hand shielding my eyes in classic Lookout pose. Then I kept thinking that the transmission worked fine in lower revs, so why couldn't we just go? We'd be sailing most of the time anyway! Where was the boat mechanic to say that this would be an ok plan? Finally, I asked Evan why we couldn't just go with low revs. He pointed out that we might need high revs if we were going against a heavy current or drifting close to shallows or just generally needed to deal with some situation quickly.

Oh. Yup, we needed a new transmission then. That meant the weather window was no longer a viable consideration. And since the mechanic didn't have a new transmission lying around anyway, his MIA status had simply become irrelevant too. So ultimately, I had a better time squashing some tomatoes in hot oil than continuing the futile exercise of glaring the boatyard mechanic to our boat. The day's wave of excitement / frustration / desperation broke while we ate a yummy dinner, watched Ponyo, and, relaxing back into the small pleasures of living aboard, let go of our well-laid plans...this time.
The culprit transmission and coupler
Looking out of the companionway

Thursday, September 09, 2010

More strange sounds

The final boat repair item before we leave this weekend is charging the refrigerator. This entails a vacuum generator, a vacuum gauge, pressure gauges, and a combination of low evacuation bursts, crackling static, and, as Evan just showed me (via the YouTube video below, not personally), Tuvan throat singing. I wish you could compare for yourself, but I can't get my video of the vacuum generator to upload on this spotty wifi connection. In the meantime, enjoy the throat singing.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Windy evening

It is an avant-garde music kind of night, what with fitful wallops of wind blowing through the boat and twanging the halyard (rope for raising/lowering a sail) against the shroud (wire cable stretched from the masthead to the sides of the boat to support the mast), producing metallic, space-like resonances. There is also the squeak of fenders against the dock. And, throughout everything, the creakings of a wooden Cape Dory boat.

It's a good time to open up The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea. I found mine in the used bookstore on Atlantic Avenue off Court Street. The edition dates from the seventies, and it's a great reference for all sorts of nautical things that a landlubber like me doesn't know. A random flip, and this catches my eye:

"EAGRE, see BORE."
"BORE, or eagre, a sudden and rapid flow of tide in certain rivers and estuaries which rolls up in the form of a wave. Bores are caused either by the meeting of two tides, where the excess of water results in a rapid rise, or by a tide rushing up a narrowing estuary where the closeness of the banks or a shelving bottom encloses the tide so that it is forced to rise rapidly to accommodate the volume of water coming in.
The most impressive bore is probably that in the Hooghli River, known as bahu by the natives, which comes in with the sound of thunder. . ."
 Apparently, a bore can be surfed as well, as in England below.
I love when a word that is so thoroughly one thing in common usage is something completely else in another vocabulary.

Monday, September 06, 2010


I've been busy stocking up on non-perishables, especially Trader Joe's soups and chilis and Indian boil-the-packet meals. These are valuable because they will fill in on days when we're sailing offshore and can't find a floating grocery store in the ocean, as well as days when we just don't feel like cooking. They are, in other words, for times of fatigue or need. Regular foodstuffs, like things requiring refrigeration, we'll find easily enough in marina towns.

Also, I am spending most of my time now with close friends and family. It doesn't feel like I won't be seeing them for a long time, but I must be registering this fact nevertheless, because I have done more talking and eating over the past 96 hours with my favorite people than in whole weeks of regular life. I just can't seem to soak up enough of them. I'm sure that I will meet plenty of people on our sailing journey and, hopefully, make some interesting friendships and acquaintances. But it will be refreshing and comforting, too, at times, to have this great store of old laughs, stories and affection that I'm accumulating now.

New developments at the marina today: a crab leg on dock and a new kitty joins the marina cats.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Dockside amusement

The marina has two stray cats who like to hang out on this one grassy patch near the parking lot. Since Susie is at doggie camp and isn't home to greet me these days, I have latched onto these cats ever since they came out of hiding yesterday to watch Evan and me playing petanque. They go everywhere together, and they even move the same. We'll find out if that becomes the case with Evan and me after a few months...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Living aboard

I have been living on a boat now for two days. The best thing so far: I sleep like a baby after I stalk and smack dead the few stray mosquitos that make it past the screens. The worst: having to trek the two minute walk to the marina's public bathrooms. It's not far, but the minutes preceding any visit to a bathroom are precious--and one is vulnerable en route to and fro.

The kitchen is out of commission until the heat breaks a little bit, and the fridge is repaired, which is fine with me since it means more Tacqueria! Their pork tacos are the best I've had, and they carry apple soda..yumm.

Our departure is delayed until sometime next week, thanks to Hurricane Earl working its way up north this weekend, but I already feel miles away from NY. Our marina is just a short ferry ride (or a longer walk + PATH ride) to the city, but this scenery on our walk to anywhere other than the ferry makes me feel like we've already sailed and docked in the boonies.