June 22nd….mosquitos kissing me and keeping me awake…thinking how sad to have such a special birthday during lock down… then thinking I am in charge of how I feel and TOMORROW I’m choosing happiness and ….. …. really what was I thinking….. Marcus had spoiled me already with little surprises every day in June with poems, reading to me, romantic dances, massages and even playing games with me…
June 23rd It’s barely 8am and Marcus tells me I have to hurry up…. It seemed we are getting ready for yoga….but he makes me sit down in front of the computer…and there are people popping up from all over the world…..what a surprise….our so missed friends from around the world ❤️❤️❤️. I never thought that a zoom call could produce so much happiness. I can’t tell you how much it meant to see everybody from Australia (10pm) all the way to California (5am).
After a wonderful breakfast – more memorial zoom calls followed Thank YOU ❤️!
The rest of the day we took it easy with visiting the Liberty State Park with yoga and picnic.
In the evening I had to go sailing and when I came back Marcus organized a couple of surprise guests for the after sailing celebration and the BEST- the most wonderful cup cakes (Swiss made by Esther) I ever ate.
The next day Marcus took me out for drinks and I looked forward to a romantic dinner, but we had to pick up something on the boat….and when I arrived at the Pier I was speechless…..I didn’t see it coming………………………. Everybody at the dock kept for themselves the last couple of weeks and I never imagined I would be able to celebrate with our most wonderful neighbors …. What a party and what a cake….. Wow this year was the year of birthday cakes….
Next day I got up and I had to pack….the next thing I know Marcus was picking up a Mustang wonderful Convertible….I LOVEEEE Convertibles – just in case somebody doesn’t know yet 🤩….Marcus drove us up near New Paltz to Mohonk Mountain House – which is one of the most romantic stay I had the pleasure to experience….
Next day we took a ride and ended up at a river. I hoped to see our friend Roe, but there was nobody – still loved that Marcus was taking me kayaking as it always was on our bucket list to do so in New Paltz…. Marcus saying to me: can you paddle a bit faster… Me: ..but then I have to paddle all the way back again….. Suddenly I see some creatures…with balloons, glasses and funny hats….. I couldn’t believe my eyes and could cry what a surprise to see Roe, Ewa and Bill….
The wonderful week was rounded up with a beautiful visit in City Island crashing our beautiful friend Edna’s birthday party….Thank YOU for having us despite a few hick ups!!!! We never will forget!!!
We had a great weekend with our friends Alies and Roel taking the boat up the Hudson River to Half Moon Bay.
We spend the weekend socially separated from all the crowded beaches but still enjoyed the celebration with firework and BBQ. We so appreciative to the country we call home – Thanks for having us – our American Dream came true. HAPPY 4th of July.
Yesterday I went the first time jumping this year (of course with a lot of restrictions and in compliance with all the current regulations implemented at the dropzone). As you can see the smile on my face I had a blast. This was the only time you could see my smile the entire day.
Thanks so much to Christian who gave me a ride to our favorite skydiving place and jumping with me. Also Christian produced a video from all the jumps in 2019. I contributed some footage and you can see me in some of the sequences as well (see if you can spot me). We all hope that we will be able to do more of these jumps this year.
This was a unique experience and I’m so grateful that the Manhattan Yacht Club gave me that opportunity. Both of the boats will be sailing all summer for races and charters out of Jersey City. First challenge was to get the entire crew up to Newport (5 of us). We rented a car and wore face masks to keep the potential infection concern to a minimum. When we finally got going we realized that the battery charger was not working so we had to visit the next marina to get that repaired. We arrived at 11.30pm in Old Saybrook the first night and the biggest challenge was to get a taxi to our hotel. Finally the hotel manager woke someone up to give us a ride (7 miles). The next morning we planned an early start (5am = 3.5hrs of sleep), unfortunately the keel was stuck in the mud until 830am. On the positive side we could enjoy our McDonalds breakfast and get some fuel. Due to the delay we hit the worse current when we reached NYC, but we got rewarded with a nice cruise down the East River with all the lights on.
It was an unforgettable trip with an amazing crew. See below a quick video of our trip I took.
Mid April is the time when the new season for the marina starts, so a lot of boats leaving and arriving. Since most of the marinas were closed until last week, no new boats came but some left already. So this is Social Distancing boating style, currently we have no boat on either side or behind us (our boat is on the far right).
Last week a friend flew his drone around our boat and took some pictures from us having a sunset cocktails. I’m hoping we can hire him in the summer to take some pictures of us on the boat in front of the Statue of Liberty.
We are still trying to make the best out of the situation and stay as active, healthy and connected as we can. Last week though was terrible weather with cold temperatures and rain (exactly the opposite from Europe). Saturday was the day which brought us finally sunshine. I can tell you we enjoyed every second of it!
It stared at 9am with a 5k virtual run with friends from London/UK and a coffee afterwards from our favored coffee place as reward. The wind was calm and we took the boat out on the Hudson for a spin and also to practice to operate the boat with just the two of us. Jolanda is getting better handling the lines at the dock. In the afternoon two friends asked me if I want to go out with them on a sunfish to practice some racing (I have a lot to learn, in the picture below I’m usually the last). In the evening we had a catchup video call (cocktail happy hour) with friends from Florida we have not spoken with for some time, afterwards we had a romantic Raclett dinner. What a beautiful day – grateful!
Sunfish is perfect in the social distancing times – one person per boat and we do need our activities to keep motivated during this difficult times.
Last Friday we received very sad news that the husband of our helper and Julia passed away due to the COVID-19 virus. Even that we taking all necessary precautions and trying to stay positive, we will be reminded how real this pandemic is. Julia was helping us to keep our boat clean (even the small one we had before) she is a very kind and generous person. Her husband was only a couple of years older than us and they have three teenage children. With all the financial burden Edna has set up a gofundme webpage and Jolanda is trying to help to raise money to support the family to cover the hospital and funeral costs.
I can only say that this family really deserves all the support they can get.
Please all stay healthy and care about the people around you.
Easter 2019 celebrating with our NY / NJ friends in person on our boat
Easter 2020 spontaneous zoom catch up with friends from our Singapore days
This time Easter we celebrated over 5 time zones (Wyoming 7am, New York 9am, Switzerland 3pm , Koh Samui 8pm and Singapore 9pm). Looking at a bright side, before Corona we probably would never managed to get together like this! We are still trying to make the best out of the situation and these kind of things bring us closer together.
Some decorations Jolanda and our neighbor Lori did for the festive season:
Also this was the first official week without a job in finance for Marcus. It was a tough decision to resign but if you don’t enjoy your job any more you have to find something else. He got promoted to technical advisor and assistant of Jolanda. The office is much closer and the dresscode is more appropriate, just waiting for my first paycheck 🙂
Besides the work we also got out to get some fresh air, of course with the necessary safety distance and facemasks. On Thursday we ran a virtual 5k with our friend in the UK. And we took the boat out to check if everything is still working and training for a two crew journey.
P.S> last week was my first time shopping in Trader Joe’s after standing in line for about 45min to an hour keeping a secure distance of 6ft, as soon as we went in the store no one cared about the distance any more. Instead of waiting to let people shopping and then go to the shelf people just stood shoulder to shoulder and were spending ages to decide what they want to buy. This does not make sense.
In the last two weeks we were so busy, we couldn’t believe it. I had to finish up some work for the bank, before leaving and Jolanda got a new exciting client which we think has a lot of potential.
We consider ourselves extremely lucky as we have a lot of outdoor area and the park is not too far away for a run. We are keeping our distance to others (even boaters) and do not go shopping unless we really have to. The restroom of the marina closed so we have to have the pump out boat coming every other week to empty our waste tank. One project I finished is the gage on the fresh water tank, finally we are able to see how much fresh water we still have on our boat. This can come in very handy especially in winter when we have complicated ways to fill up our water tanks. The old gage was not working anymore, as you can see from the picture below.
Also Jolanda discovered mold on our boat and she is on a mission to get rid of all of it on the window frames (that might take a bit longer).
Last weekend was quiet eventful. Our nice neighbor Mark (who was a tenant at our marina for 20 years) left. We really hope we getting a nice neighbor again. See below a picture from our boat with the slip in front empty. Also we removed all the winter covers and celebrated with our first outdoor fondue on the flybridge. As it was so nice weather we took two Kayaks from our friends (thanks Franco and Frank) to explore the Morris Canal. The wireless headset (called marriage saver) – came very handy. With this nice weather we are doing Yoga and Workout session on the dock, for our fitness and also as entertainment for our neighbors. In the evening all neighbors gathered at the dock for a little happy hour – of course with the required 6ft safety distance.
Our cat Luna got a new job, we are using her as a homing pigeon. Attaching little notices on her collar for the neighbors and they reply as well. Luna loves to visit the neighbor boats and stays for a while.
Today we learned that all parks in New Jersey were closed down including our favorite Liberty State Park. Luckily we still had the chance to smell the flowers last week. Hopefully this situation is over soon and we all can get back to our normal life’s.
Just before all the COVID-19 craziness brought our lives to a hold, we got the chance to fly to Bermuda to bring back Arabella, a 157-foot mega yacht, to Jersey City. We were concerned that we get in and out of Bermuda, but everything worked out well. This was an experience like no other before. We had 12ft waves, 40kts winds and rain. You can see how happy we were when we got back home.
Thanks again Michael Fortenbaugh and the the Arabella crew for such an opportunity.
Let’s see what other Lemon’s life throws at us we can turn into Lemonade.
A few years ago Jolanda was diagnosed with high calcium and high PTH. In the long term this condition would be damaging to her bone density. After a 2nd and a 3rd opinion – she finally decided to schedule a surgery to remove one of her parathyroid glands which was responsible for her condition. The surgery was scheduled for March 10th and this was just the start of the COVID-19 crisis in New York. We had long discussions, but eventually decided to go ahead.
Early in the morning Jolanda went with the Ferry to Manhattan and was scheduled for 10am. Ready for the procedure:
After 4 hours Jolanda woke up from the general anesthetic and I picked her up. We had a very nice trip home again with the ferry. As you expect she was soon back and in working mode.
Now two weeks later she managed to do her first small run and the follow up doctor visit will be a first – a virtual visit online only later this week.
In the meantime we experienced already our next adventure. I will soon post the most spontaneous boating adventure we have ever done…. Stay tuned