Hi Girls & Guys:
The Tern & I had a guest aboard to start our passage south! Alex Maranghides, a native of Greece! He works for our government as an energy expert on fires! He works out solutions on how to prevent fires from consuming our ships, homes, buildings & forests! It is an extremely intense job and he needed a stress reliever, so he flew north on a jet airplane and helped fly the Tern southto Atlantic City! Now some of you may think how can that be a stress reliever sailing a boat down Long Island sound into New York City one of the most stressful places on earth? Heck when we got to the East River Passage it was closed due to the United Nations Meeting. Going around Roosevelt Island going under a cable driven draw bridge was the most stress-full part of the passage. With four knots of current pushing us into an unknown height as the bridge was marked Closed on the chart plotter. Both of us stood in the cockpit looking up at the open span, with Alex at the helm saying “it’s your call Mike”. I replied “it’s too late to call we are going under”! We both looked up our collective hearts beating loud enough to be heard over the engine. The Tern’s mast is 45′ off the water, the bridge 48′ but you have to be up the mast to see the difference, from the cockpit it looked like a sure collision!
I am happy to report that since this blurb was written Alex has purchased a new sailboat, left work at age 45 and intends to sail the world for a few years with his wife Cheryl. Alex arrived at T.F. Greene Airport on Wed. evening at 1849 hrs. (6:49pm lubbers time) at T.F. Greene airport in R.I.. My friend Jen Gri Gri and her fiancé Marty met him at the airport and brought him to the Coasters Harbor Navy Yacht Club on the Newport Navy Base. The Tern was tied to the dock so all came aboard for a Buon Voyage toast. Alex is on a gluten free diet so Jen made him three days of food for the trip (what a lady)! I am still eating it 4 days later and there are 2 days at least still left! Because of his importance to the United States Government Alex could only devote three days. We stayed up most of the night commiserating about life in the USA and the times we had spent sailing after we met in Charlseton SC in 2009 on a cold November day. We left the Navy Base around 0800 hours thursday morning and headed for Block Island. The night before all the weather programs were calling for noreast winds, but when we awoke at 0530 hours the wind was light & variable! The decesion was made to go to Block and sniff the air, look at the sky, check the barometric pressure. A few minutes after we dropped anchor the decesion was made to sail at night down Long Island Sound to Great Kills Harbor on Staten Island NY. We quickly weighed anchor and hit the Race in Long Island Sound before sunset. Having Alex onboard the Tern made the passage possible. Without him we would have had to go outside and with a southeast wind. That meant I would have stayed in Block Island to await the next weather window and put Alex on a ferry boat back to Washington!
We arrived at the East River shortly after dawn, after a long night with ships & boats coming out of nowhere. Alex manned the Furuno radar set below and called out distance, speed, headings & bearings of boats, tugs, ships ferries to me at the helm. There were so many of them it was pretty much a sleepless night for both of us. This kind of passage is a large nightmare for a single hander. All this was happening as the Tern was scudding along at times hitting over 8 knots as we flew through the Race in Long Island Sound. Our wet, windy trip from Newport to the first bridge in the east river took 24 hours with a distance of 130 nautical miles for an average speed of slightly over six knots. This is great when you consider in the sound the tide is against you every six hours! By the time we arrived NYC the pic taking was not good either as the skies had finally opened up with a deluge of water. There were few picture taking opportunities in the dark, rain soaked overcast skies.
After dropping anchor around 1400 hours in Great Kills Harbor, Alex & I summoned the Richmond County Yacht Club to bring us ashore. We had a delightful Italian meal, bought some creamer for our coffee and returned to the Tern. No showers, no talk just sleep, ready far a 0100 hour 1am departure out the narrow channel through New York Harbor with Alex again back on the radar set bound for Atlantic City NJ a mere 80 nautical miles away! More on this passage in my next blurb.
I’ll bet some of you are wondering how the words “Holy Moly Guacamole” came to be in the subject line? That is what Alex would yell out when things got hairy in Long Island Sound. There will be more of this extraordinary man in my future blurbs!
Hope you enjoy the pics! From here on out I will include a few pics of the Tern’s restoration. The following is the Tern’s SPOT for you newcomers that want to follow the Tern’s Travels http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0bSOdm4GL866smKtuIfbPRYennRmvNZv2
Ciao! For now,