Finally some boating experience for our boating friends!
Wednesday November 24th Marcus and I took the train to Providence, Rhode Island where our friend Malisa picked us up and brought us to their sailboat which was at the dock from Mattapoisett Town Wharf.
The plan was to sail / motor their beautiful sail boat Cerulean (a Southerly 38) 170 miles to Hudson Point Marina NJ which is the same Marina as we live in. We thought it will take about 30 hours + for the whole journey down the Sound through Hell Gate down the East River.
Our trip started at 4am on Thursday Thanksgiving. It’s a bit nerve wracking to drive through the dark. However Marcus had a special lamp and was instructed by the skipper Todd to look out for Crab pots, buoys or anything else which could be crossing our path on our way out from the marina. I was stationed between our skipper and his first mate Malisa and Marcus and related the messages between Marcus and Malisa/Todd and also helped to watch out for any obstacles.
We have done one delivery before and my favored time of the day is the sunrise. We were incredible lucky and had the most beautiful sunrise on this gorgeous Thursday.
We were able to sail for a little bit with the wind blowing from the perfect direction.
Our Thanksgiving menu was the most delicious hot soup one could dream off on a day like today!
Then we got gifted by a magical sunset
We discussed to sail only through the day or also about the possibility to continue during the night. We knew that there was a storm warning for Friday late morning so it was decided to get as far as possible until the storm would start. We took turns Malisa and me and the boys. I so appreciated to sail with Malisa. By the smallest challenge, I wanted to call for the boys, but Malisa said we can figure it out and we did! I also loved the conversations we had – the time flew!
Before we knew it, it was getting light again this time without sun as it was cloudy – the first signs of storm.
One thing though I didn’t sleep much the last two days so by the time the boys got up, I was so tired that I fell asleep in the galley. I was woken up shortly before we arrived at Oyster Bay Marina where we wanted to get shelter from the storm. We made it just in time before the storm arrived.
I was ready for my next nap after that we enjoyed the most delicious coffee in town and got a clean up. We were a bit short on water and couldn’t refill because everywhere the water pumps were closed. This is normal by end of November in this region of the USA. The showers were also closed, but they had big restrooms with the nicest hottest water – we all felt like new born after a wash down and new cloth.
In the evening we had a beautiful meal and made the best out of the weather hold!
On Saturday we enjoyed a lazy day and tried to sleep for a few hours. We were about 6 hours away from Hell Gate and needed to be there at 3:30am. Hell Gate has super strong current and with a sail boat it’s best to be there during slack tide which was at 3:30am on Sunday morning. So we had to get up at 8pm on Saturday evening…
Again we had to be super careful to drive out in the dark, but by now we knew what to look out for and again we made it without any issues.
This time it was a bit more “exciting” to drive down the sound at night. Suddenly we saw some boats on our AIS(automatic identification system) … I learned that the AIS is a great tool to know that there is a boat, but it’s not super accurate. You really have to use the radar to get the exact location. We had some huge barges coming our way. Because the Easter River current was going up the barges used the favorable current…..
After cold long 6 hours we made it! We could see Hell Gate… and the best, thanks to the slack tied, we made it easy through and it was beautiful driving down the East river. We made it before sunset to Hudson Point Marina.