July 15-31, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 July 17 - We left Cape May and headed offshore to Atlantic City. You can see the picture of Atlantic City above as we approached it from offshore. There isn't an inside passage so after listening to the weather and checking it on-line we were set to go. Winds were supposed to be northwest at 5-10 knots. Right!!! They ended up being north northeast at 10-15 and sometimes higher. Problem was that meant they were right on our nose and once the built up, we pounded into them for more than half of the day. Water coming over the bow and Deb was ready for mutiny. The only good news is that everything comes to an end.

Let me back up a bit. A friend we met in the Bahamas about 3 years ago had talked to another friend and found out we were in the area. Mark, pictured with Jill and Deb on the right, gave me a call and wanted to know our schedule. Ends up we were able to get together thursday evening after we arrived. We put the engine on the dinghy and went in and met them at Trump Marina. We had fun catching up and then we found out the Deb and Jill have something very much in common. They both love slots and the casino. That gave Mark and me more time to catch up while they had fun. Bottom line after the first time in the Casino was Deb had put 45 bucks in but won 50. So we were up 5 bucks. I guess we have to try and give it back on Friday. We said bye to Mark and Jill with plans that Mark may be joining us in his boat on our trip down the east coast.


Friday, we went in for lunch and to try and find a way out to the boardwalk. We ate lunch on the Deck at Trump Marina since they are letting us tie our dinghy up there. Then we found out you can catch the #2 Jettney bus for $2.25 each and ride to the other casinos. We arrived at the Trump Taj Mahal and I left Deb in the casino while I went out to take pictures of the happenings on the boardwalk. It seems the boardwalk is endless and it connects all the casinos along the ocean along with all the other places trying to attract your money.

I took a bunch of pictures of the Taj Mahal just because it was interesting. Although I have to say it did show clear signs of lack of maintenance. It was news on Friday because the sale of the Trump Casino's here in Atlantic City we finalized on Friday. The new group will be trying to turn it away from a non-performing asset into a performing asset. I don't know much about casinos but I do know you could quickly identify millions of dollars worth worth of repairs and I was walking around on the outside. It makes you wonder about the rest of the facility.

One of the big draws is the ocean and the beach here was busy. Surf was up and people were loving it. The picture to the lower left is of the games on the pier. This isn't much different than any circus that comes to town. Lots of games you pay for with big prizes but almost impossible odds to win one. Great way for the kids to spend mom and dads money while learning about gambling so they can promote the future for the casino. Why they don't watch and see very few people carry prizes but everyone practically gives away their money I still don't know. But enough of Jim and gambling.

Below right you can see the boardwalk.

Like I said, surf was up. In the next sequence of pictures you can see a surfer heading out. Then after picking his wave paddling to get on the leading edge. And then success, we're surfing.
I went back in and found Deb then we headed over to another casino. This one was the Showboat. As we were walking around they started up a show in the lobby. Since it is a showboat then the show was around the theme and times of a real showboat from years ago. In addition to the singing and dancing, they had a girl who could do things with her body that you shouldn't try at home.
I just had to get a number of pictures of these positions. The flexibility of this lady was amazing to me perhaps because I have little to no flexibility anymore. She showed great strength and determination. She even smiled during the performance when I would be grunting and falling.
I caught a few pictures from our boat of the lights. It is hard to take a time exposure from a moving boat so I had to make some more adjustments on the camera. Regardless, you get the idea. Lights everywhere.

We left yesterday morning heading up the inside for an anchorage. There was no way I was going outside since I really wasn't interested in Deb's mutiny at this particular time. We got a call from Mark who wanted to know where we were and after a bit of explanation, he said we would see them in about 10 minutes. They were waving from a pier and came out to wave us off to New York and Boston.


We anchored last night on the inside bay slightly protected from the wind but that was fine since there wasn't much wind. We are going to be able to sail today and will head up a short distance to another anchorage. I'm shooting for heading back outside on Tuesday and the winds and tides should be perfect for our trip up to New York. We will anchor and then on Wednesday time the passage up the East River and through Hells Gate, yes that is the right name, and into Long Island Sound. I'm pretty excited because we are in striking distance of our goal for this summer. I'm also excited because we are going to be in places for great pictures. More later.

 July 17 2nd Edition - Oops, I forgot some stuff this morning. First, what happened when we went back in to the Casino's on Friday? Good question! You already know we found out how to get to the Boardwalk but what you don't know is the results of our big gambling adventure. While I was out taking pictures, Deb lost a big $5 to the video poker games. It took her an hour so that wasn't too bad. Then when I picked her up to head over to the Showboat, we invested another $5. I know, big spenders! She would take her 20 quarter credit down to about 8 and then we would switch the game to blackjack and I would build it back up to 20 credits. The guys there were giving us free drinks and Deb received two in our adventures and I received one. So you have to include that price in our final result. She took it back down to 8 quarters and said it was time to go. Once again we switched back to black jack and I was able to get it up to 36 quarters which means 9 bucks when we cashed out. So our total loss for the day was 1 buck with 3 free drinks and of course I tipped well. But the gambling was that we won a total of 4 bucks in our trip to Atlantic City. They were trying to track us down to join the low rollers club but we evaded them.

The picture to the right is a small score of the war that was occurring between me and the green head fly's on our trip through the marshes. Dead fly's were everywhere and I was hoping a conservation officer wouldn't stop us. I don't have a hunting license for this area.


This is a picture of the light house at Barnaget Inlet. We had a great night at anchor and at this moment we are anchored all the way up the Tom's River. We had to in order that we could get away from all the boats. You couldn't tell that there is an economic problem in this area. Boats spending money on gas everywhere. It reminded me of Lake of the Ozarks on a holiday weekend.

We did have a great sail today but the real story is the surprise races that we stumbled on when we got to the end of the Tom's River. Pictures on the next update.

We have the A/C running to cool off because it is so hot but soon I'll be putting the dinghy engine on to head up to a Lobster Shack for dinner. I'll bet it's pretty good food too.

Weather still looks good for us to head into New York on Tuesday. We have 3 possible anchorages and it looks like we are perfect to anchor behind the Statue of Liberty. Stay tuned for those pictures from Freedom.

 July 19 - I just had to get you some pictures of the boat race they held in our honor. I'm sure that was really the truth. They knew Freedom was heading up the Tom's River so they decided to have a memorable event.

To the right you can see the divers ready to go down and save the racers and then you can see some of the boats going at it head to head. We saw boats blow up their engines and some really good races too. It was a great time and it all ended about an hour and a half after we arrived. Sorry we were late, if we had only known..... Right!!!


 This morning we headed out thinking it would be a fairly short day after a morning of some rain. Deb got sick last night and we thought it was from the clams she ate. Today she if feeling better so that means we will be leaving tomorrow morning based on the weather forecast and Deb's feeling better.

We headed up through 7 bridges and anchored in Glimmer Glass bay which meant we had to go through the draw bridge you see below. This bridge when up doesn't open all the way. It gives you about 5 feet between the left side and the bridge to get through without taking off your mast. Sounds like fun doesn't it! It was.

Weather looks good so we are off at about 6 am tomorrow and should be anchored to the west of the Statue of Liberty tomorrow at about 3 p.m. Wind and tides should be with us. Can you feel the excitement?


 July 21 - We pulled anchor yesterday morning at 5:40 a.m. and headed for the drawbridge leaving Glimmerglass Bay. They were great and pulled it up for us so we could escape to the Atlantic Ocean. Heading out the pass, the current was opposite the rollers coming in but I knew as soon as we cleared the pass all would be good. And it was. We had about 3 foot average swells but essentially no wind waves so it was a real calm passage heading up to New York Harbor. We had only planned a 42 nautical mile day so it was going to be a good day.

To the right you can see a picture of Coney Island as we were rounding Sandy Hook, NJ. You can already see that this arrival to the city wasn't going to be as beautiful as I had hoped because the temperature of the air was only 2 degrees different than the temperature of the water. That means pretty hazy conditions. Regardless, it was a wonderful experience heading in to one of if not the busiest harbors. I lost count of large ships after 25 so that gives you an idea of how much fun this was for me.

Below you can see we are running just outside the channel so we don't have to worry all the time about those big ships. Below right you can see a couple of them that I quickly figured out were anchored. You can also see how bad the haze/fog was.


 The picture to the left shows some ships coming at us. Doesn't this look like fun? Visibility was good enough for us but I was really hoping it didn't get worse. Radar would have been nice here!

I didn't doctor the pictures to the left because I wanted you to see the real conditions. In many of them that follow however, I was able to adjust a bunch of settings in a program I have that allowed us to get better pictures.

 We were getting ready to pass those two anchored ships and the visibility did not get worse so we were looking forward to going under the bridge, turning the corner and seeing Manhattan along with the Statue of Liberty. Today would be the first time Deb has seen the "Lady."

 Above I just had to get a picture of the private yacht heading into New York, just like us. Oops, one difference. Because of their size, they require a harbor pilot. You can see the picture to the upper right where the pilot boat has pulled up alongside to offload the pilot. Deb thought we might need one too but I assured her I could find my way.

In the picture to the right you can see a cargo ship, a sailing schooner, and that private yacht. Then below is a picture of a tow with his hawser pulling the barge behind, and then of course that schooner.

As we passed under the bridge and looked back, we noted an old fort that I'm sure was loaded with cannons and guarded New York Harbor. For the long time readers, you will understand the humor when I asked Deb if she wanted to tour the fort. Of course the answer was NO. You see we have toured, in her opinion, way too many forts.

I know it's been awhile since our last video so here is one as we could see one of the most anticipated sailing destinations. VIDEO It should play when you click on the link.

To the lower left you can see Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. As we were passing a bunch of anchored barges, the Staten Island Ferry was making it's run too.

 And there she was, light shining and everything. It actually brought a tear to Deb's eye and I was just having the time of my life seeing everything, taking pictures, and of course making sure we avoided a few boats.

With the horrible visibility, we were perfect on the current, and it was so early I couldn't believe that Deb suggested that we just go ahead and go on instead of anchor. She was right and I was thinking it so we decided to simply pick up the day in moving rather than anchor and not be able to take good pictures. So our plan changed, welcome back to cruising, and we would continue up the East River and through HELL's Gate.

Below you can see a better picture of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

 The picture to the left is a helicopter landing pad. Actually, five helicopters at a time can come and go and they were pretty much continuously. I guess it helps to have money if you want to get from Long Island to Manhattan quickly.

The bridges in New York are amazing. They were designed long ago but maintained well. Each seems to be a bit different with an architectural flare to them. That was the day when things weren't just functional.

Then below is a picture of the Pier where Deb and I had lunch on the one day we went to New York together about 8 years ago.


 More bridges.

The pictures below I really worked on in post processing. I tried some fun stuff in the picture to the lower right. I thought it looked pretty cool although not what it looked like in real life. Drab and hazy.

 And more bridges.

Of course, another bridge. But wait, there's more. How about the Empire State Building. Deb said it couldn't be the Empire State Building because there wasn't a gorilla on top. I assured her the gorilla had gone out for lunch.

We were passing Manhattan on our left and Long Island on our right. Actually, we were passing the town of Brooklyn on our right.

 And more bridges.

 The picture to the left is actually one of Hell's Gate. Who names this stuff anyway? From what I read, it was named because ships would get trapped in the eddies here back in the day. In our case the current was with us at a peak we were traveling 10.4 knots through this section of water. Not bad when you consider our boat travels 5.9 knots with no current at the R.P.M. we normally run it at.

Then I just had to get the picture of the yacht to the lower left. It made me feel pretty good that I tow our dinghy most of the time and I must be in pretty good company. But I'll bet he can't fold his up!

Rikers Island was on our right (starboard) after we passed Hell's Gate. Perhaps they place a prison here on purpose.

 Then another fort but in this case there was one on each side of the river as we entered Long Island Sound.

 One thing I've noticed here in Long Island is that these people have a boating problem. I mean a BIG boating problem. There are moorings everywhere and boats everywhere. The other interesting thing is most of them seem to be sailboats. Long Island is a wonderful body of water and obviously good for sailing. We are going to have fun over the next month.

We are on a free mooring ball at Port Washington after a 59 nautical mile day and have no clue where we are going tomorrow. Isn't it great! We are heading to town later today so we can pick up some provisions and also do laundry. Time to find propane too.

Thanks for following us and we will have more pictures soon.

 July 21 - Today was really a nothing day. I worked for the first 4 hours on a course I've been writing and then updated the website. Next Deb and I went in for lunch and she did laundry while I walked to the hardware store then to the grocery store then back. Like I said, a nothing day. Then there were tornado's just east of us and thunderstorms heading around us. Things are starting to get interesting! While I was talking to my friend Bill from Green Turtle Bay who is right now in Florida I said, that is a picture. We finished up our conversation and then I took a few pictures. The ones below have been processed a bit after the shot but I thought they came out pretty good. Just what I saw in my eye when I took them. I hope you enjoy.

Tomorrow will be another nothing day with me cleaning New York Harbor off the sides of our boat along with doing a bit of bottom scrubbing. Then off for a walk in town. Hopefully something interesting will come up because you know I'll have the camera along.

  July 25 - Not to much to update. We did go ashore at Port Washington but no really great places that jumped out at you to take a picture. Even the band shell in honor of Souza wasn't much to speak of although it was good for sound. We went on to Oyster Bay where there were another gazillion boats on moorings then we arrived at Mattituck yesterday afternoon. I got in the water and cleaned our hull, first time since we painted it in October, and we went in for an excellent dinner at Matt-a-Mar. The food was absolutely first class too. Today we will be able to sail across the sound looking for some more interesting areas. We will end up around Mystic, CT depending upon where a couple of Gemini friends happen to be anchored.

 July 27 - We crossed Long Island Sound and of course watched for the bigger boats heading back and forth across the sound. The two above are ferry boats that carry cars and people off to work or play.



There was also this little ship anchored out in the sound awaiting a filling spot where he will fill his ship with a pumped product from a fill station. He was next in-line for that fill station.

We had anchored back at Mattituck and I caught a few pictures of Deb deciding to feed this little guy. She said that when he took the cracker from her fingers, it felt like he had teeth.

The light house you see to the right is marking the entrance to New London. This, it turned out, is where those ferry boats originated from. At least on this side. Below left is the lighthouse marking the shore side. And below right is the channel leading up to the bridge which had to open for us to get to the anchorage off of the Coast Guard Academy.

It was pretty clear where Bill and Tom were anchored. We saw them as soon as we came through the bridge and picked a spot in about 6 feet of water to anchor. This is the first time we have seen them since we were in the Bahamas this spring.

We all got together for happy hour then went in for dinner when the rains quit. The next day we toured this schooner which was parked at the town dock. As it turned out, if they gave free tours then their dockage was free. They weren't too interested in having us there for free tours however.

This is a very interesting ship. It isn't an old schooner, rather it was first built in the late 1980's and no rigging at that time. The guy's wife fell ill and he evidently lost interest. The people who purchased the boat, are actually part of what they call the Twelve Tribes. They live communally, which means they have a "common purse" and they are highly spiritual although have no traditional church affiliation. This "community" all lives together on the boat and have renovated and completed the ship to the level you see in the pictures. They were able to get the masts fabricated and installed with appropriate rigging in 2007.

They support themselves by giving free tours, donations, selling the items they make aboard, and at times they work for others and contribute their earnings to the "common purse."

We couldn't go to all the spaces such as below decks where I would have really enjoyed seeing the mechanical installations. Also, and I did ask, they wouldn't let me call up to the look out stations at the 2/3rds point of the masts.

This is a big boat since it is over 150 feet long and 33 feet wide.

We then took off for a walk through town looking for a Post Office and just to see what was out there. I loved this church although they weren't open for tours. Darn. It was built in 1650's and that means it was built about 125 years before we had our independence. It's holding up well for the aging.

We also ran across this statue prominently displayed in town. It was donated to the town in memory of the service men and sailors who lost their lives to help attain freedom and to defend that freedom.

The jelly fish here are also very prolific.

Winds were up when we headed back from our town tour and the coasties were out learning sailing skills. I think today might have been the day to practice righting a small sailboat because they were all getting knocked down.

The Coast Guard Academy was pretty cool and they did enjoy their workouts every morning and afternoon.

Bill and Margie, below, left on their boat with Tom following along. Bill and Margie were off to rent a car then drive back to Illinois to celebrate Margie's birthday. Tom went over with them so they could secure their boat to a mooring for the week and a half and then the next morning Tom brought them back to a dock where they could load up the car.

The next morning, Deb and I headed up the big hill towards a farmers market that was in town. Even though there were only 3 booths, they had great veggies. We picked up one of the biggest heads of cabbage we've seen and that means you know what we are having the next few days.

We also saw the New London Library which was really cool.

About noon, we took off with Tom following for Mystic. The path to our anchorage was about 3 miles and took us through more and more boats. I'm telling you these people have the boat sickness so bad I would call it a disease The cool thing was I recognized 3 different boats we've seen over the years while out and about on our boat.

Today, Wednesday the 28th, we are heading into Mystic to explore. We are anchored very close to the Mystic Seaport and plan on visiting there tomorrow.

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