Monday, July 19, 2010

Stardate 64545.95 - Summer Weekend

Our neighbors at the beach house are great, and Loren has had a blast playing with the little girl across the street. On a hot day in June all the kids were enjoying Popsicles in our back yard.

Back in mid-June we got into Cheryl's parents' pool for the first time this summer. Both girls had a blast, with Loren realizing that she can touch the bottom of the shallow end. We started Loren in her swim vest, but once she figured out that she can now walk around in the shallow end she quickly announced that she didn't need it anymore. She is also taking swim classes at the Y again, and doing much, much better than last year.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stardate 64536.8 - Blessing of the Fleet

We participated in the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club blessing of the fleet last year on Jeff and Emily Smith's boat. They sold Incandescent this year, and Tony and Teresa invited us out on their Pearson 303, Saga. Loren and Kate participated, too.

The sailing vessels looked impressive.

Once Kate feel asleep Cheryl and Loren sat on the bow to watch the boats jockey for position in the procession.

Tony and Teresa were our hosts.

We managed to rig up the starboard aft quarter-berth for Kate to nap in.

The boat below, Christmas, won the "Best Dressed Crew" award.

After the blessing we enjoyed some food in the cockpit.

Kate was awake for the trip in the launch back to shore.

Kate and Loren hung out on the bench near the club as we organized our stuff to go home.

New York, NY

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Stardate Unknown - x90 Service

I purchased a 40 trip pass before the service even started, I so much wanted to believe in this replacement to the MTA x90 service. For the past 2 weeks, however, the one word I would use to describe this service is "unreliable". Today, July 8, I arrived at the 67th street stop at 0736 for the 0744 bus. It never came. I have now been standing in the heat for almost 45 min while the next bus is also not here on time.

I gave these guys th old college try, but if they cannot get their act together in 2 weeks they are doomed. Unless things improve dramatically - and I mean DRAMATICALLY - this month, I will no longer be using their services. I am very sad about this, but I am now missing a meeting at work because of their crappy and unreliable service. And that is unacceptable. If you are providing transportation for people to get to work you CANNOT be unreliable. Which in a word, is what this replacement x90 service is. Unreliable.

New York, NY

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Stardate 64511.63 - Memorial Day Weekend

On Memorial Day weekend we decided to put a garden in. We had a framed box-o-weeds that was a garden last year for the previous owners and Loren was very excited about growing things. So she and Cheryl cleared the weeds, I turned over the soil, and our neighbor and Cheryl's Grandmother supplied us with plants.

Also on that weekend I took Loren sailing with me on Tony's boat. Loren was bored by the time we motored out far enough to catch some wind, but she did get to drive some.

And here Loren and I pose with the garden, now ready for planting.

We also went over to a small beach near her friend Lucca's house, where the kids took over a beached kayak.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Stardate 64511.35 - Sailing Video

Here is a video of part of the trip back to Newport from Martha's Vineyard. I like it because with the fog and clouds, you can't really see any land. It is like we are all alone on the ocean. And that is pretty cool.

Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Stardate 64511.27 - Sailing to Martha's Vineyard

So for my Birthday / Father's Day gifts this year, I took 3 days off from work and went on a nice, long sail out of Newport, RI to Martha's Vineyard. I went with Thomas (who I always do these log trips with), Terry (who I used to work with), Jay (who I have sailed to Block Island with before), Tony (a fellow member of the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club who I sail with a lot on his 30 foot Pearson named Saga), and Justin (co-worker) and his girlfriend Jackie. Tony and I left early Thursday and met up with Thomas at his house and he drove us to Newport where we acquired Summer Magic, a 42-foot Beneteau. The rest of the crew trickled in throughout the evening so we could get an early Friday morning departure for Martha's Vineyard.

I don't know if it is because I'm such a Science Fiction fan or what, but I just think the navigation stations on these bigger boats are the coolest things. Especially since I know how to operate everything.

Here is the helm, which is what I like doing best. Tony had to pry my hands off the wheel a few times so he could get some time driving the ship.

We spent the night in a small slip at Fort Adams. The company we got the boat from, Bareboat Sailing, is based there.

Friday morning we left for Martha's Vineyard. Winds were light throughout the 5-day trip and we had to motor a lot more than I would have liked but when you go before the season really starts you take you chances. At least the rain held off for the trip. Below (left to right) are me, Tony, Justin, Jackie, and Thomas.

We put into Menemsha Friday afternoon, which is a quaint fishing village. There are only two mooring balls in the harbor and we took one. Since it was pre-season we couldn't hail the harbor master and subsequently didn't have to pay for the mooring. Thomas, Terry, Tony, and I got talk-out seafood from a super fresh store (Lawson's) and ate dinner on the boat. The rest of the crew took an excursion ashore.

Here is the narrow channel I had to bring the boat through in order to reach the harbor.

And here is Summer Magic, with the dingy off the stern, on the ball in Menemsha.

On Saturday Tony, Thomas, and I (the early risers) went to Edgartown for an early lunch while the rest of the crew slept off the night before. There is a pretty good and not too terribly complicated bus system for going all over Martha's Vineyard, and we frequently availed ourselves of it.

The next stop was Oak Bluffs, which had a village within the town of these small gingerbread houses (a former Methodist camp).

We met up with the rest of the crew for drinks at a local watering hole in Oak Bluffs. Here is the entire crew (left to right)--Jackie, Justin, Terry, Tony, Thomas, me, and Jay.

Then we split up again with Thomas, Tony, and I heading into Vineyard Haven to visit the famous Black Dog Tavern (although I got the t-shirt, we didn't actually go in).

Sunday morning we headed back under cloudy skies to Newport.

Once we got to Newport the breeze freshened and we decided to turn for Block Island. Then the fog rolled in, however, and although I was game for the trip (I also had the radar going with the AIS overlay in place) most of the rest of the crew seemed to be ready for an early return to Newport. So we turned back to Newport and located our home base mooring ball where we took in a cheese and cracker snack on deck.

I climbed into the dinghy for a shot back of the rest of the crew. That evening we ate in town and Justin and Jackie departed for home.

The next morning it was incredibly foggy.

After fueling and watering up the boat, we offloaded all the supplies and went our separate ways. Well, Jay went his separate way. Thomas drove Terry, Tony, and me back to Queens where Tony got a car service to return him to the ferry back to Jersey, while Terry and I shared a car back into the city.

It was a really good trip, and I had never been to Martha's Vineyard before! Sailing someplace is way cool. I mean, day sails are nice but to actually have a destination is really, really cool. And I love sailing the big boats that I cannot actually afford to buy! ;-) And although we didn't make it to Block Island this trip, I have sailed there before back in May 2008 and October 2008.

I'm already looking forward to the next time!!

Atlantic Highlands, NJ