From the vee-berth, presently happily occupied by Peg Guilfoyle
We pulled out of New London, CT this morning early, wanting to make some miles downcoast toward our Lady Liberty goal, the free anchorage behind the Statue of liberty. The day started out gray and cool-to-brisk (translation: Peg wearing everything she brought with her, plus wind pants borrowed from Sally), but the sun came out in the afternoon and warmed everything up, sufficient to lie on the deck and watch blue sky and clouds over Long Island Sound swing back and forth over the mast.
We saw many monarchs today, fluttering toward the south, flying in some cases into the wind and outpacing the boat. On the starboard side, over Connecticut, a cloudbank that must have been a hundred miles long, and on the port, a more mobile sky that formed and shifted as we watched... a rampant horse, an enormous cat face with alert pointed ears, a Redwall mouse carrying a spear and proceeding toward the continent. The sea was extraordinarily calm, so much so that its surface could be watched and speculated on.... this dark line approaching is the shadow of a cloud racing over the Sound, that change in the surface marks an underwater ledge and change in depth, that buoy marks rocks. The expanse of water and sky is tremendous and hypnotic; the wake behind the boat extends forever, with nothing to disturb its perfectly expanding lines.
We were on the water traveling today for five hours or more, right along the edge of the continent, where the undersea geography drops away invisibly beneath the boat. Sunday regattas were off in the distance and we passed the occasional red bell buoy rocking gently. Conversation is desultory, and we touch on oysters, what we remember about American history, Sally's Uncle Ben, plans for tonight and tomorrow, and shipwrecks in the Sound, thinking of the things we are passing over. 3G and Google are employed as tools, but it too fine a day to look at screens, so we mostly concentrate on the sky. Sally knits... she is working on a beautiful scarf... at one point, she goes below and soon Jeff and I smell brownies baking. Really!
Right now, in the salon, with a squall approaching, Jeff and Sally are working out the approach to Hell Gate and the East River in NYC for tomorrow.... samples: "enter one hour and 45 minutes after high tide at the Battery" "what about tidal current and tides proper? much reading of tide tables and perusing reference materials. "on a seven knot boat, you have an approximately three hour window to make the passage",
"Let me look at this other source", "and don't forget that these printed tables do not correct for daylight savings time..the online tables have been corrected..." The wireless here is not great, at least so far, so Jeff is on the laptop, Sally is on the Ipad, and I hear a bit of sprinkling of rain on the hatch. The squall is arriving but, snug aboard, we can watch it come, as they do their calculations to prepare for a safe passage tomorrow around what the history books call New Amsterdam.