The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,...

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

We cannot begin to describe the emotion of entering New York harbor past Lady Liberty.  Recently, I researched my Italian family's path to America.  My great uncles Leo and Pietro, and my Grandmother Dina and her husband to be, Francesco, all made their way (along with millions of others) to America by this route.  All that I could think of as we approached was of them; what they must have thought and felt at the moment they first glimpsed this welcoming beacon to their new home.  They had left everything for the dream that was, and is, America.

We had had a long cruise up from Atlantic City under perfect sea conditions. 

It just doesn't get any better than this...

Nevertheless, we were tired after an eight hour cruise.  Still, we lingered around the Statue of Liberty like a couple of schoolkids, just Once Around and the tour boats. 

Here she is up close and personal.

Here is the Lady with the Lady.

And here is me too.

We then passed Ellis Island, where the immigrants were put through immigration "check-in".  Carrie and I had made the tour of Ellis Island a few years back, but we both remarked that we had not recalled the buildings being so unique and beautiful.

We stayed at Liberty Island Marina, within view of the Statue of Liberty, for the next three nights.  This was on the Jersey City side, but it was a short water taxi ride into Manhattan, straight across the river.  We had been to the site of the World Trade Center Memorial a few years back, when it was a big hole in the ground.  This trip, we got to see the new buildings going up, one of which will be 1776' "Freedom Tower", and learned about the two fountains that will be in the precise location of the original two towers. They will be the largest man-made fountains in the country when they are complete.

The Freedom Tower under construction.

When we arrived back at the marina, we noticed the flag of Texas on a 32 Albin trawler.  We had caught up with Terry and Lauren on Blue Highways.  They had been there for a few days staying in a hotel in Manhatten with some family and were preparing to leave the next morning.  However, after a couple of beers on our flybridge, my computer wizard wife and Lauren managed to secure four awesome seats at the Yankees vs Red Sox game the next night.  So Blue Highways stuck around for another day and the four of us had a great time taking the subway up to the Bronx and watching the game. 

On the subway platform with Lauren and Terry.
We decided that "When in Rome" we all acted like Yankee fans for the night.  I even bought a Yankee cap for me and a Yankee T-shirt for my first mate.  However, when the Yankees went down 6-3, Terry admitted to being a closet Red Sox fan, and I owned up to the fact that I had hated the Yankees since they beat the Giants in the '62 Series (I was 9, but Italians never forget).  So everybody left the game happy!  For the record, if "A-Rod" had had any kind of a game, the Yankees would have won.  He went 0 for 5 including striking out to end the game with 2 men on. 

Outside Yankee Stadium

And inside the "House that Ruth built"...

A packed house at that!

Carrie thought this sign on the back of the seat in front of us meant we had really good seats!

And, despite his bad performance at the plate, Carrie took this shot and said, "He's got great...ankles!"

We then decided to take a (private?) cab back to Jersey City.  You don't have time to hear about it, believe me, but "Julio" needed me to program his (Spanish speaking) Magellan and even then couldn't follow the green lines too well.  Long story short, we got a very interesting ride through Jersey City and the surrounding...County???  Anyway, we eventually did make it back to the marina, and Blue Highways left the next morning.

Lauren and Terry and their boat, Blue Highways

We kind of hung around waiting for the new mattress to be delivered...but I think you already heard about that...

Later that night, Carrie and I were hungering for another Italian meal, so we took the water taxi back to the City and a cab to "Little Italy", where everything seemed a bit touristy. We turned to Yelp, but some of the fancier places we called said our shorts and flip flops were not acceptable (Screw them!  I've been in shorts now for six, seven weeks and don't plan on anything else soon).  Even better, we found a great little highly rated hole in the wall a few blocks off the beaten path called, "Emporio" and enjoyed another outstanding Italian meal.

On the walk there, we did get an idea for a new business venture.  What do you think Bobby?

Today we had a short cruise of 32 miles to Croton-on-Hudson, at Half Moon Bay Marina.  We are in the middle of  a heat wave in New York, and it was 102 degrees here this afternoon.  We made a quick trip to the market for provisions and took a dip in the pool (yes, some marinas here actually have swimming pools). 

Then we invited Ron and Jan from Jolly Tolly for drinks and all hell broke loose!  As we sat sipping on our fly bridge, Carrie pointed out into the river and said, "What is that?"  Well, that turned out to be a thunderstorm whipping across the river at a high rate, and what followed was hail, 30-40 mph winds, rain and our boats rocking sideways in 2-3 foot seas even though we were lined off at a dock!  We lost the crackers and cheese on the way down to the salon...but, never fear, we cocktailed on...

Off tomorrow headed north on the Hudson.

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