Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Quick Trip with Vicky's Parents and Tiger/Vincent

We took 2 weeks off from sailing in order to head over to San Francisco and meet up with Vicky's parents and her nephew who just flew in from China.  (You can find photos from the S.F. & Yosemite trip here.) So after a couple of days to adjust, we headed out on Seas The Day to show off our new ship.

We had arranged a blimp escort (yea, right) that interested Tiger/Vincent (her nephew has always been know to us as "Tiger" but just announced that he wants a more "western sounding" western name and that his new preference is "Vincent".  So from here on out, he will be Vincent.

We just sailed across the bay and back.  We have some time each weekend they are here planned to go sailing, so they'll get to go other places.

After the trip, we headed into town for a nice dinner at Nemo Asian Fusion (out on their deck).

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th Weekend & Tiffany's Birthday

As you might expect, we had big plans for our July 4th weekend.  We were hopeful that Vicky's friends from Brooklyn (Maggie's extended family) would be able to join us for a sail on the 4th and then continue from there.  God, however, had other plans.  On Thursday night, July 3rd, hurricane Arthur started moving up the coast of NJ - a fair bit offshore, but hurricanes are big and the wind/wave forecast was foreboding.  We hastily rescheduled the sailing date for Sunday.

Thursday night the clouds moved in... in a big way.  Some of the weirdest cloud formations we've seen here.

Friday morning it was quite choppy and clearly we weren't going out that day.  We stayed in and watched some movies, along with seeing Olsen and some guys from KYC rescuing one of our Jr. Sailing skiffs that was starting to swamp from all the rain water.

So I snapped a photo of Seas The Day to make sure she was still floating properly.

The wind and clouds died down somewhat right as evening approached and a lot of the fireworks in the area went off as planned (those scheduled for the 3rd were postponed).  We could see several displays going on in northern NJ and across Staten Island, as well as those in the East River of NYC.  The wind, however, was still blowing at 30+ knots so photos were shaky even with a good tripod.  Those going off at the Amboys were much closer... I was able to get one shot that silhouetted the Great Bed's Lighthouse (look right at the waterline).

It was still fairly windy Saturday afternoon, but Vicky and I decided to give it a try.  We sailed out towards the Old Orchard Shoal area of the bay, photographing other boats as we went along.  Out in the bay we came across two large tanker barges that were anchored out (I'm guessing either to ride out the storm, or perhaps due to the holiday).  It was a bit gusty and at one time a large 26 knot gust kicked us around a bit.  Seas The Day handled it quite well and went to weather and then drifted over into a "heave to" orientation which gave us time to think.  Even with the thinking, we had to try twice to get out sailing again.

We finally made it back, but we were too late for the dock party at KYC (200 people came).  So we headed out to find food and do some shopping to get ready for our guests to arrive on Sunday.

On Sunday, after a flurry of activity and a quick trip out to the boat to clean it up, May and her family arrived and we set out on the launch.  May and her sister, Juan (pronounced "Jen", Maggie's mom), used to live across from Vicky's parents while they were growing up.  Vicky reconnected with them in Brooklyn once she got over here.  May and her husband, Gerald, came along with her brother and his wife (I don't know their names). Also joining us was May's daughter, Tiffany (who sailed with us last summer), and May's son, Shelton and his girlfriend, Daisy.

We took the launch out to Seas The Day, which was the fullest she's ever been (9 people on board).

Now Sunday's weather forecast was for continued high winds (we measured 25 kts at the mast while we were cleaning the boat) with an increasing gusts during the afternoon leading to a small craft advisory after 4:00 PM.  I decided that we would just motor around... I didn't want a sudden huge gust causing Seas The Day to heel greatly dumping 7 or 8 people overboard.  This allowed some to go out on the fore-deck which decreased the crowding a bit.




May at the helm with me (her brother and his wife in the back).

A LOT of photos were taken...

We slowed down as we approached the lighthouse so we could round it safely (it's there for a reason... lots of shoal areas in that vicinity).

(We were not the only boat out there carrying a full load of passengers.)

As we were heading back in, the winds were lighter and we let out about half our mainsail so we could say we were "sailing"... though by the time we started heading for the Keyport channel, we had reduced that even more.

Sailing proved to be relaxing, judging from the number of passed out folks on the bow...

Finally we started the engine, pulled in the sails, and I let the birthday girl steer us back to Keyport Harbor.

 We got back to the harbor just as we reach 4:00 (the time the small craft advisory started).  Just as Vicky was leaning over to pick up the mooring line, a sudden 37 knot gust blew us all over the place.  It was an exciting few minutes with some friendly spectators in Desdemoma (why do things like this always happen in front of other people?) as I tried to get away from the ball and not hit other boats, but we got it on the 2nd try, closed up the boat and called for the launch.

 Finally we were back on the dock.  We took a couple of quick group photos, then headed back to the condo to pick up May's grandmother and Juan.

While back at the condo, I headed upstairs to work up the photos from sailing so Grandma and Juan could see them, Vicky and the young folks headed into town to rustle up some grub and we all met back at KYC with John to celebrate Tiffany's birthday as the sun set.

Sunset required some sunset portraits.  These I did with my new Fuji camera... I'm still getting the hang of it but it does OK for now.

While I'm still working to figure out portraits on the Fuji, it excels at capturing subtle color... so I grabbed a couple of sunset (and later) shots.  A great end to a wonderful day.