Time Flies – 3 month back

It has been 3 month now that we are back in Jersey City and it seems like a long time. Reason might be that we have done so much. We were so happy to meet our friends again. Right after we got back we got our vaccination shot, so we were ready to socialize again:

Jolanda getting her 2nd vaccination shot

Also we did two obstacle races here in Jersey City with our good friend Roland, the three of us managed to get through the entire course together. It was a fun event and we got some got workout in as well.

We started our sailing season, with Jolanda sailing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with the Manhattan Yacht Club and I’m sailing with our friend Rich and also going out with friend and his little one.

Also I’m back skydiving, Jolanda decided to retire from skydiving after 750 jumps in 20 years, as she is not jumping that much any more and sailing is taking priority in her free time. We agreed that the amount of jumping she is doing is not really safe as she is not able to stay current. So now i can go on a weekend day to Skydive at the Ranch and Jolanda can have her “Jolanda” day and relax 🙂

Also in June there was Jolanda’s birthday, on her birthday she wanted to go sailing (what else) but we organized a surprise party afterwards and the next day I organized a trip to Maine, Jolanda always wanted to go. She was very nervous as she did not know where we are going. Only when we left the airport in Bangor she realized were she was. The birthday was also our 20 years we know each other, so I planned a romantic getaway. During the vacation we meet up with our friends Loony and Shake, who we meet on our trip in Savannah, at Islesboro.

Here are some impressions from Maine:

On 4th of July we went out with our boat to see the firework over New York City. Some of our friends came along and we enjoyed delicious food, drinks and a relaxing time on the boat. In the morning the current was making our boat rolling so much that we decided to get back as soon as possible to get some more sleep in. So we found out why not more boats are anchoring in the cove with the beautiful view over Manhattan.

For the last 2 years we are trying to run the Napa Valley Half Marathon, unfortunately this year again it was cancelled. We still decided to go with our friends Alies and Roel to do some running and a bit more wine tasting. The first day Alies and Roel rented tandem bicycles (that’s what the Dutch do) as our main choice of transportation. On the next day Jolanda organized a convertible limousine to bring us from vineyard to vineyard.

From North California we flew to the southern part of the Golden State, where Jolanda had some business meetings and also was catching up with old friends we have not seen for a while. Her friend Monique organized a wood painting and Ana a hike at the Laguna hills, afterwards we had a nice picknick on the beach. Despite Jolanda getting sick for a few days (initially it was suspected to be appendicitis, but luckily the emergency hospital did not find anything and it was nothing serious) we had a great time. We meet up with our friend Bob and his wife and I also got some flying in by booking some aerobatic lessons at the local flight school.

Last but not least we have a new member of our Hudson Point Marina community, Marco was born about a month ago and his proud parents invited us along on his first sail. Marco slept most of the time but we all enjoyed the day on the water. Congratulation Dragana and Kjartan.

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Journey Back North – Ahoy Home – May 8th

After exploring Atlantic City for two days it was time for the last leg home. It was good fun to dingy over to the aquarium at Atlantic City and then use the scooters to explore the “town”. 

On Saturday the forecast looked reasonable with 10 kts of wind and seas at 2 feet with periods of 6 sec. We expected it to be a little bit wavy but were we wrong!

We started very early in the morning with a nice sunrise and calm seas. We estimated about 9.5 hrs for the journey. After about 2 hours the wind and waves picked up and smooth sailing was finished for the day. We got hit broadside the entire time. Wind about 20 kts, waves 4-6 feet and all from the starboard side. I had to change the course frequently so we were facing the waves in a better angle. Also every hour I had to go down to the engine compartment to manage the diesel levels (somehow the equalization line between the two tanks got blocked). Without equalizing the diesel levels, one tank might run dry and the engines would stop. Restarting a Diesel engine which has air in the supply lines is a challenge to say the least.

So there we were, trying to keep the boat upright and holding on. Downstairs cabinet doors flipped open and the inside was scattered over the floor. It was a mess, Luna our poor cat right in the middle. A glass bottle fall on our induction stove and broke the top surface, Jolanda’s favorite fondue set was disintegrating. On top it started to rain.

When we passed the Manasquan Inlet, we saw blue skies over Manhattan this gave us strength to continue. Once we got close to the Verrazano Bride, we had our smiles back and we were just worried that it might be too windy to get back into our slip. After 11.5 hours of torture, we approached our marina, people greeted us from far and we also saw a couple of people coming to our dock to help us with the lines. We were concerned how we could dock as we didn’t have any lines set up which we normally do when leaving for a few days. Thanks to the wonderful help from our Dock family returning to our slip was easy. We were happy we made it.

Jolanda continues the story: Our neighbors could tell we were a bit horrified and invited us for a coffee, sherry and some appetizers. We started to defrost outside and inside as this beautiful welcome warmed our hearts. We shared our stories we experienced the last 6 months apart.

I didn’t feel like going back to our boat and face the mess. We spontaneous decided to book a hotel room for the night. What an awesome heavenly idea! A hotel room with unlimited hot water, big clean bed and downstairs a nice bar for dinner. The hotel we stayed is called Canopy, which is in the Arts District in Jersey City and part of the Hilton Group. The staff is super friendly and we felt treaded like royalties. We will definitely be back. 

On the way to the hotel – the hotel was in walking distance – we bumped already into friends and neighbors. It felt incredible to see all these beautiful faces. I was first sad to leave the South as I fell in love with. However by today I must say I didn’t realize how much I love where we live! The neighbors, the friends, the sailing club next door, the Jersey City atmosphere with a lot of Restaurants, stores, markets etc.

I also didn’t realize how much I missed sailing with my wonderful boat 10 sailing team at Manhattan Yacht Club. Practice for the race season started this week and we went out twice already and we also joined a running club (Jersey City Runners) and the Calisthenics training with MRCalisthenics at Tompkins Square Park. On Saturday we signed up for our first City Challenge obstacle race in Jersey City.

One thing which suffered a bit when we were away was to do our beloved sports and we feel a bit rusty. We decided not to drink until Memorial Weekend and do a lot of sports. If any around us likes to join to do something sportive, please hit us up!

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Journey Back North – Bye bye Annapolis

Hallo Chesapeake City

Hallo Cape May

Hallo Atlantic City

As you might notice from this blog after leaving Annapolis we were on a mission….

Chesapeake City
The great news we had very peaceful, easy legs.
Hardly any wind, space at the free Dock in Chesapeake City Maryland. Nice other boater from Canada helping us to get into the small space left on the free dock.
Dinner at our favored Tiki Bar, wonderful sleep and another smooth ride to Cape May

Our way to canal near Cape May

Cape May
We anchored at our favored spot besides the Coast Guard Station. In the evening we took the Dingy to find a place to do our Mr Calistenic work out at the beach. One thing about Cape May is there are not many places for Dingy’s to dock. After cruising around for a bit and seeing again wonderful dolphins we found a Marina with a Restaurant with a lot of free space – perfect for a work out. I tried to find a Dockmaster but nobody was around so we just set ourselves up to do our workout after not having the opportunity to do so for sometime….. we felt very rusty….

After a great workout we made our way back, happily cruising along and admiring the sky which showed a storm was coming. Suddenly the engine of the Dingy made some strange noise and we realized we were in very, very, very shallow water 😯 and killed the engine… Marcus tried and tried and tried but the engine wouldn’t start….we were going against current and wind and I tried to help with rowing but neither of us made any progress. So Marcus got into the water and pushed us until the water got deeper again. Slowly we made progress towards our boat, but the wind was increasing and you could really see that the storm was not far away. On top we didn’t take the radio with us…ALWAYS bring your radio – lesson learned! We had boats passing us but either they didn’t understand my waving or were scared to help those strange looking people… By now I had looked up the BoatUS number just in case… The forecast said the bad weather will hit us in about 15 minutes – we saw a boat again and I waved like crazy thinking it was kind of our last chance and by a miracle they came and agreed to tow us to our boat which was by tow 5 minutes away…we never would have made it without this amazing samariters – so grateful!!!!!

The crazy thing the next day by another miracle the engined of the Dingy started right up….

The next evening we wanted to explore a new Restaurant for us called the Lobster House – our wonderful boat neighbors from New Jersey Pam, Don and Pat drove recently 5 hours to eat there so we thought we better check it out while we are so close and it didn’t disappoint. It had a Dingy Dock and easy ride from our boat. Another lesson we learned even if we go with the Dingy now we open the Navionics app or stay in the channel to make sure we don’t drive aground again….

Atlantic City
The next evening we had perfect condition to make our first open ocean leg to Atlantic City
Another beautiful easy journey
We anchored in front of the Golden Nugget Casino again. By now I drive the boat when we anchor and Marcus handles the anchor. Love it this way around much more. Hope one day I feel confident enough to dock the boat.

This time we had time to explore Atlantic City
Interesting place – saw a lot of people looking sick – drugs? Some run down houses…some very new looking casinos, some closed looking casinos, a lot of fishing, beautiful boardwalk, no cute coffee shops, some tacky looking restaurants on the casino mile. At the end we had dinner at a place called Back Bay Ale House. Cute place with good reviews far away from the casinos and near the free Dingy Dock. I had one of my best garlic shrimp with crab dish and because it was so cold the hot soup tasted extra wonderful.

Our next and last post from our Journey Back North we will post later this week…. after we recovered a bit more….it was the trip from hell….and just glad we made it….stay tuned

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Journey back North – Annapolis

After a great time with our friends in Solomons Island we went to Annapolis. This was only a 5 hour easy ride. Jolanda wanted to do some pampering time and I was asked to participate in a Regatta with the team I raced with last year in October. When we arrived a lot of sailing boats were already out in the bay practicing. If you like sailing this is the place to go.

To go racing, this time I did not need to travel all the way to Annapolis and back as we were already there in the mooring field right across from the Severn Sailing Club. We arrived on Wednesday and on Thursday the sailing team arrived with the boat on a trailer. I went over to help to set up the boat.

Also Jolanda got a chance to sail with a local team who was looking for extra crew for Thursday practicing and Friday racing. After setting up the boat with my team we were looking forward to a long sailing weekend. Unfortunately Friday was so windy that the first day got cancelled. Therefor Jolanda and I explored Annapolis with a brief shopping tour and some coffee. In the evening we had a nice BBQ on our boat with my sailing team. Saturday and Sunday was all sailing, we did 8 races finishing 4th overall, which we were very happy with. I’m very grateful that I could be part of the team and like to thank Josep (the skipper and owner of the boat) to ask me to join. He is an amazing sailor, teacher and friend. Thanks again for the great memories. See if you can spot me on the pictures, I was wearing a red jacket and dark pants (I borrowed the pictures from the official sailing site.

It was so much fun and even that legs suffered a bit, I would go straight away again.

On Monday morning we left Annapolis to continue our journey north.

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Journey Back North – Celebrating Friends and Boat improvements at Solomons Island

We arrived at our next location Solomons Island MD to meet with our friends Rebecca and Joseph. They were in the progress of selling their house and moving onto the sailboat full time. We are forever grateful that they still took the time to help us with teaching us boat improvements and be part of our adventures. The week started with beautiful weather so we dropped the dingy in the water and explored the islands. Luna was very interested as well. There are lot of restaurants with water access, one just has to pull up.

Exploring with our Dingy “Ugly Duckling”

On top of all the stress from selling the house, Josep and Rebecca had another challenge. One morning their dog Pike was trying to jump down the stairs of the sailboat where he fell and hurt his leg, Joseph picked him up to bring him to the vet, when he carried Pike up the stairs he slipped and broke his ankle. So both of them had to go to the doctor the same day and both got casts…. You can’t really make that story up, but have a look at Pike and his face how proud he is to share the injury with his “dad”.

Two days later Josep had an medical appointment in Washington DC so we took him on a “road trip” to explore DC.

Then it was time for boat improvements, working on the fiberglass and wood was our top priority, also we wanted to install our new water heater (replacing the one which prematurely started leaking). Rebecca was teaching us all about fiberglass, gelcoat and treating wood. She is amazing and such a talent. We could not believe how good it turned out.

We had so many great dinners to celebrate our friendships

Don’t worry we did not leave Luna behind….

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