First Boat Vacation August

We were so excited to have our first boat vacation. Actually we tried to have a mini vacation before and failed….in July with our neighbors Pat & John we wanted to go to Port Jefferson, but we only managed to get to the the Statue of Liberty Ferry Terminal and then one engine over heated….. and we had to return….lucky we made it safe back to the marina… by the way the water pump belt broke…another great experience for Marcus to learn how to fix it – thanks to our other amazing neighbor Don…. Did we mention that we live at the best marina one can dream off…

Back to our vacation. We started on August 19th to City Island. We moored the first night near our friends Noelva and Alex place and enjoyed a most delicious dinner together.

On August 20th it was Marcus Mom 80th birthday and our 15th Wedding Anniversary. We were very sad that we couldn’t celebrate with Marcus Mom in person, but did a video call instead and Noelva provided us with a cake, candle and wine to celebrate in style.

Then we took Noelva and Alex to a little trip to Oyster Bay where we continued our celebration.

Next day we explored Oyster Bay and drove our lovely friends back to City Island. We moored another night at City Island and then went all the way to Port Jefferson.

The mooring balls at Port Jefferson were booked out so we had to anchor… We did before during the weekends a few over night trips and anchored and I thought it was a piece of cake…super easy….but didn’t realize that we always received very detailed advise where and how to anchor….so we arrived in Port Jefferson – by the way soooo gorgeous….and had not idea where we should anchor….it does say on the map, but it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea…..we saw some other boats anchoring and thought hopefully they know what they are doing and anchored nearby. A bit to close for my taste to the shore….I had better night sleeps… but we made it without any issues throughout the night. The anchor warning app helps…The next day some boats left so we thought we are smart and move away from the shore to the place the other boat was, but not long after the Harbor launch boat came and told us we better move away as in the night boats drop off gravel onto the near by barge and the barges might swing around…. and possible hit us…

Anyway we didn’t need much convincing and moved a second time… the last spot was my most favored one….

We absolutely loved Port Jefferson…visited the town – so cute with many Restaurants, shops and even the cutest market where I bought the most delicious self made cake and honey. Hiked up the beautiful dunes and watched the most magnificent sunsets…

By the way we could anchor the Dingy at the Harbor in town as much as we liked for 10 $ for 24 hours…

After two nights we sadly started our way back, stayed a night at Port Washington – mooring was free the first night and $25 a night from the second night on….we will remember this for the future. In Oyster Bay the Mooring Ball rental was $86……

I had to be back on Tuesday August 25th for my Tuesday night races…It was very windy that day, but we made it back with our kind neighbors help to Dock with only a minor scratch at our neighbors boat….

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Give love to the bottom of our boat

Almost 2 years ago when we picked up our boat we hit in the C&D canal something…. it was the most scary experience we had still as of today on our boat.

Shortly after we arrived in Jersey City in 2018, we had a diver looking at the bottom and he saw that one prop was severe damaged and we exchanged it. However we still had a slide vibration when driving the boat.

We have been investigating different marinas which haul out boats of our size and have a decent reputation.

After our 6 months delay being able to pick up the boat because of bottom repair, we were super nervous to let anybody touch our bottom again.

We also checked with a diving company, if they could come and have another look. The pricing was only a couple of $100 difference between the haul out and the diver. There was also a chance that the bottom would needed repaint and if we would haul out we could do this at the same time.

However where would we stay and this during Covid…. I dreamed to have a vacation away from the boat, but Marcus wanted to be near the boat and inspect everything on a daily basis. Lucky we knew a couple of people which didn’t use their places full time and we could stay with them a few nights, if we couldn’t go right away back into the water. We ended up staying overnight at a little cute studio apartment walking distance to the boat yard owned by a very nice couple who has also a boat in our marina.

Thank for your hospitality Dragana and Kjartan

… But what about if the marina would find something serious damaged and it would take weeks to fix it…..

The boat is our home, to do a haul it out is very scary…..

On Sept. 14th we drove the boat to Liberty Landing Marina.

Watched in awe how it got hauled out.

First impression – the pain didn’t look too bad and they told us the paint would last for another 6 months or so.
Checked prop and second prop had a bent too which the diver missed – needed replacement – but we have back up props – easy
Checked zincs – all gone and needed to be replaced which is no big deal
Shaft – our biggest worry – was NOT damaged – what a big relieve.

So it looked like we could go back in the water the same day…. I wanted to start dancing…but lucky I didn’t…..
Don our wonderful neighbor who is super experienced boater for many years agreed to come over to have a look. He agreed with the assessment of the marina, but said if you anyway have the boat out, you might as well do the paint so you don’t have to worry for another 2 to 3 years….

Our boat Mentor Don with Luna

So we decided to get everything done mentioned above including the paint. The Marina told us, if everything goes well we will be back in the water on Thursday Sept. 17th…. all went super well according plan…which is not a given in the boating world and we were the happiest back in the water…

We stayed during the day on our boat… funny feeling to sit on your boat on a dry dock and went to our friends place at night.

Luna in the mean time was on vacation at our friends place Yazmin – she loved to follow Yazmin everywhere.

Luna with Yasmin (she has broken her foot)

We haven’t received the final bill yet, but so far this has been a hopeful experience. Thanks again to Dragana, Karjtan, Yasmin, Don and the crew from Liberty Landing Marina for their help.

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Twice 25 – a big mile stone during Covid

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!!!

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Happy 4th of July

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.

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Skydiving 2020

FINALLY, the skydiving season has started.

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.

Take care everyone and stay healthy.

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Escape from NJ – two days at Sea

Two weekends ago I got the opportunity to deliver one of the 1986 America’s Cup boats ( from Newport RI back to NJ. If you have seen the movie WIND ( the boats are featured there.

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.

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Social Distancing boating style

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.

Please all stay healthy and safe…

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It can affect anyone ….

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.

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Easter Still Connecting

What a difference…..

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.

We hope you all stay sane and healthy…….

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Quarantine, busier than ever

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.

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