Sunday, July 6, 2014 (Atlantic City to Glen Cove, NY): Our destination for today is Brewer's Marina in Glen Cove, NY, some 95 nm distant. The ferry traffic at the lower end of Manhattan can be brutal. They are big and the drivers don't seem to care who is sharing the waterway. I anticipate the East River being a bit slow.
We intended to beat the parade out of Atlantic City at daybreak. The sun has just broken the eastern horizon as we ease out of our slip at 06:00. We have been here long enough! The sun bathes the cityscape in brilliant hues. We are not at the head of the parade. It seems that other folks are equally anxious to try the Atlantic 2 days after a big blow.
There are 3 other boats heading for the Absecon River directly into a blinding sun. The weather for our passage is predicted to be clear with a small chance of showers. We get a brief morning sun shower from a passing cloud. Downtown AC looks like an artists palette of pastels. Too bad it is so dead.
As we turn into the channel we can see the open ocean. The swells are hitting the north side of the breakwater without much ruckus. They will be on the nose as we head up to New York where the harbor can get quite chewed up with the traffic. We expect to be in the vicinity around 11:00. The run up is good as the wind is light and the swells not more than 3 feet.
True to form the Staten Island ferry is barreling along toward South Street. We let her go by in the distance and turn for the Verrazano Narrows.
The skyline of the southern tip of Manhattan looms before us. The Statue of Liberty is in the distance on our left as we turn into the East River. We slow down as we pass the Queen Mary 2 being tended her berth.
The Brooklyn Bridge is in sight. The city on the left looks majestic. The East River is not really a river but a tidal channel between Manhattan Island and Brooklyn. there are six bridges over the "river" and several tunnels that pass under. The channel flows like a river the ebb and flow can peak at 5 knots with swirls and eddies. The numerous water taxis and tour boats pose the only difficulties. They command the river like traffic on the streets of the city. I try not to let them "get to me" even though they have no regard for the Rules of the Road.
We mosey along at a slow pace. The waterway is quite straight and deep. I have programmed Blackthorne to take us into Long Island Sound, which he is doing quite admirably. My only job is to control the throttles, slow down or speed up to stay away from the nuts.
We pass the United Nations (Middle Eastern Debating Society) at 44th Street with the Empire State Building in the distance and the 72nd Street ConEd power generating plant on the right We have reach Hell Gate with a fair tide clipping along with us at about 4 knots. Soon we pass the last two bridges, Whitestone and Throgs Neck. Laguardia Airport is raising a ruckus in the background.
From Throgs Neck it is only a short run up to Glen Cove where we plan to spend the next 2 days. A light chop disturbs the sound marked by the East River light.
The channel into Brewer's is narrow and through a minefield of mooring balls. After fueling we go into a quiet berth by the marina's bulkhead. At the fuel dock we learned that transient boaters bypass Glen Cove. There isn't any clear reason. It is a lovely town with plenty of places to walk and explore. We take a cab into town, a short distance that is easily walkable. Barbara, the driver is very congenial and longtime resident. She points us to a Greek restaurant that is the town fave. She gives us her number and she will pick us up for the same fare.
We plan an early supper. Lunch has eluded us. There are some nice looking shops and restaurants on two street. After exploring the town we head in around 16:30. The Greek salad and veggie pizza are quite good. Or are we just hungry. our eyes exceed our hunger. We tip Barbara with the remainder of our pizza. She thanks us profusely and drops us at our doorstep. We head for the marina pool to cool off.
Today, July 7th, we walked to Sea Cliff, a neighboring town on the heights overlooking The Sound and Glen Cove. It is a steep walk uphill for about 2 miles. The main drag seems to run along the spine of the heights with views of The Sound on the left and hundred-year-old mansions everywhere set in prim gardens and manicured lawns. The town follows an old-time custom, the blowing of the noon siren, a deafening shriek from the firehouse, I think. We can't exactly locate the siren because we are standing by the firehouse. Across the street is a local lunch shop that looks busy. We walk in. Ten people filled the place and all seemed to be friends. We were definitely strangers. We listened to neighboring groups discussing everything related to family business, Aunt Bett's health challenges, when Buffy will get her cast off, and other intimate community details. I got up to pay for our sandwich and was ambushed by a "mature" gent who asked me what we were doing in Sea Cliff. "Looking around," I reply. "Where from," he asks. The Admiral, not wanting to leave detail to cryptic summary, gives Joe Krupinski, would-be deputy mayor of Sea Cliff, our life history. Joe invites us to his meet-and-greet party at the restaurant down the street before the election and offers us the scenic tour of Sea Cliff and Glen Cove. Regrets on the party but we accept the tour. He is an affable host who seems to know everyone in both towns and has no regard for traffic rules.