Monday, July 12, 2010

The New York City Leg Part 1

It’s Monday night and I am aboard Sabine, anchored on the Hudson River north of Poughkeepsie, NY. (Notice I didn’t say moored, or docked. Anchored. As in, using the anchor. As in, staying somewhere safely for FREE. I love having a functional anchor windlass. A lot.)

We’ve seen so much already in the last few days, and I can’t wait to tell all of you all about it. I haven’t even had the chance to tell you about the RI to New York City leg. So, settle in. Once upon a time…

The plan was that Todd and Sean would sail down to Jamestown during the day. By the time Heidi and I got out of work, they would already be there waiting for us. And then the radar system bailed on us. It up and stopped working. I guess that’s what happens when you install just the dome and let it sit on the mast for several years until you get around to installing the rest of it. We bought a whole new radar system. Todd and Sean took Sabine back to Brewers Marina, and had the mizzen mast taken down. By the time I brought them sandwiches for lunch at 12:30 they were almost done putting the new dome on the mast. I went back to work, left there at 4 and picked up Heidi.

By the time Heidi and I pulled into Jamestown I saw Sabine just pass under the Newport Bridge. A few errands and we were on our way. The night before we had established the watch schedule for the next 24-26 hours that it would take for us to arrive in New Rochelle, NY— just east of New York City. The plan was that each person would spend a 4 hour stretch in the cockpit. The first 2 hours were spent assisting the person at the wheel. Then the next 2 hours were spent at the wheel while the next person assists.

I settled in for a nap while Todd and Sean were in the cockpit. I set the alarm for 10:45, because I was due to assist Sean at 11 PM. We motored the whole way as we headed west, and Sabine’s diesel is screaming loud in my stateroom. Fortunately I once slept through a tropical storm aboard. I was soon asleep.

Before I knew it, the alarm chirped and I was awake. I rubbed my eyes and dressed in my layers of denim and fleece; it was cold when I’d left the cockpit. I grabbed a diet coke out of the fridge, which I’d hoped would wake me up, but only left my teeth feeling hairy.

I sat in the cockpit for Todd’s last 10 minutes at the wheel. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston came through the speakers while I watched the phosphorescent jellyfish glow in Sabine’s wake. The moon was bright, the sky was loaded with stars, and Long Island Sound was dead calm. In the distance I saw the faint light of a few other boats. They showed as blips on the radar screen. The fully functioning radar screen. I can’t describe the joy I felt sitting there in the moonlight aboard my boat bound for New York City. It truly was more than a feeling.

I kissed Todd goodnight as his watch ended. I checked the level in the bilge and pumped it out. I recorded the log entry at the top of the hour, and settled in next to Sean behind the wheel. We watched other boats, few and far between, come into view on the radar. I chatted to keep him awake. Eventually Heidi came up to assist me at 1 AM, and she kissed Sean goodnight. We chatted while I struggled to keep my eyes open for the last few minutes of my shift. I kissed Todd goodnight, Heidi slid behind the wheel while I feel into a deep sleep as Sabine’s diesel roared.

When I woke at 7, the sun was high over the horizon as I assisted Sean and tried to keep him awake. I regretted missing the sunrise, but was too damn tired to wake up to see it. I understand it was beautiful.

My morning watch ended at 11, and was blissfully uneventful. I expected worse for the 4th of July weekend, but luckily we didn’t end up having too much go on. We tied up in New Rochelle at 3 PM, and high fived each other for a successful crossing. The anticipation of crossing through Hells Gate in the morning down the East River and into New York City built up in the 4 of us..

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Blogger Taoist Biker said...

This is so awesome!

July 13, 2010 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

You bet it is.... next installment coming soon!!!

July 14, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

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