Up the coast to New York

Our Looper flotilla headed out from Delaware and New Jersey and traveled to New York to visit the city that never sleeps. On the way, we picked up one more traveler at Cape May, so now The Lower Place has rejoined our group.   We last saw Charlie and Robin McVey in Washington DC.   Once we conquered the Jersey coast, with only a little drama on the Atlantic Ocean from contrary wind and waves, we set our sights on New York.

We stayed at the Staten Island Yacht Club then traveled by car, train, ferry, and subway to get around the city.   We were able to visit many sights and locations.  One of the most moving and difficult was the 9/11 memorial.  Everyone usually can tell you where they were the day 9/11 happened.  Steve was just across the river watching events unfold, so seeing the memorial was extra significant.  We also saw the bull on Wall Street, the NY stock Exchange building, Battery Park, and this was just the first day.

One of Teresa’s goals was to visit the “Today Show” so we worked out a plan to make that happen.   The owner of the local restaurant at Great Kills knew a guy and put us in touch with Carl who willingly drove us right to Rockefeller Center at 4:15am to get in line for the show. We were right up near the front of line and secured a spot on the rail in the center of filming.   Moon Shadow made signs for us to hold along the railing.  One sign highlighted our 6000 miles on a boat and the other promoted Teresa’s book. What a treat to have our friends see us on TV!   After a mid-morning breakfast at a local diner, we rode up to the top of the Empire State building with Enterprise.   The New York library was a stop Teresa could not skip.   The huge building is very ornate and noteworthy to tour.   She loved seeing the vast reading areas, books, and architecture.

Once back on Staten Island, we visited Nonna’s—a local pizza place which came highly recommended.  The recommendation was absolutely right. The New York style pizza was fantastic and our Looper Group of 10 enjoyed the food and company very much.

Leaving Great Kills Yacht Club meant we were going to travel by the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.   We planned for our Looper group to travel togather and take pictures of each other in front of the Statue of Liberty.  What a treat to see the statue from our own vessel!

Once past the lady and the city, we kept traveling north up the Hudson River.   The planned destination for the night was Half Moon Bay Marina at Croton on the Hudson.  We saw the new Tappan Zee bridge construction passing under the new spans along the way.   The river scenery quickly turned from dense high-rise city scape to hills and trees.  The hills cliffs and trees are scenic north of the city.

On the way into the marina, we passed by the anchorage and park we were at when we purchased Sanctuary in May 2014.  Sanctuary has passed by her own wake, but is continuing home to finish the Great Loop and receive her Gold Flag.

From Croton on the Hudson, we rode the train back into the city to Grand Central Station.  Exploring that huge facility was overwhelming.  You could look around and see the locations from many movies in the building.  We walked from Grand Central to Times Square.   Street entertainers, yellow cabs galore, lights, horns—it is all there.  We found a great lunch spot just off Times Square and then made our way to the Majestic Theater.  Teresa had planned to see Phantom of the Opera when it was in Grand Rapids, but had to go out of town.   While in New York, if possible, she wanted to see her first Broadway play. Phantom of the Opera was available as a Saturday matinee, so we were able to attend.  The theater, the sounds from the orchestra, the organ, the costumes, and the whole show were fantastic!  A couple we met on the way into the theater saw Phantom in Toronto.  They said this version was 100 times better than the Toronto one which was very good.

After the play, we walked and took a cab to the High Line, an old elevated railroad line converted to a park.  We returned to Grand Central Station, explored that area a little more, and then took our train back to Croton on the Hudson.   From the train station, it was a short cab ride back to the marina, where this group of very tired loopers crashed for the night.  One more night in this marina, then we plan to continue traveling north on the Hudson River.

Teresa and the Bull on Wall Street

 

 

New York Public Library

 

 

Today Show

 

 

Times Square

 

 

St Patricks Cathedral

 

 

NY Stock Exchange 

 

 

Empire State Building

 

 

Hudson River passing NY

 

 

Statue of Liberty

 

 

Freedom Tower

 

 

 

9-11 Memorial

 

Grand Central Station 

 

 

Majestic Theater – Phantom of the Opera

 

 

Lady Liberty with Sanctuary

 

 

On to Annapolis and Swan Creek

From the Potomac River, we re-entered Chesapeake Bay and traveled toward Annapolis.  Not too far into the bay, we caught up with our looper friends on Southern Cross and Moon Shadow. We followed them the rest of the way into Annapolis.   Earlier, we communicated with them and set up to meet in Annapolis Landing Marina.  We had a great stay as we toured Annapolis, celebrated Steve’s birthday, and visited the Naval Academy.

The Naval Academy was extra special because we attended Sunday services in their chapel.   The chapel is a beautiful building with many stained-glass windows, each of which depict a biblical story.  Below the chapel is the crypt of John Paul Jones who is considered to be the father of the US Navy.  The staff were friendly as the chaplains and pastor greeted us as we were seated. Afterwards, we shook Pastor Bart Physioc and gifted him a copy of Teresa’s book. We were pleased to receive an email from Pastor Bart the next day saying it was good to meet us and thanking us for the book. He had already began to read it and found out that he and Teresa have something in common. They both have had brain surgery—what a small world!  This stop on the Great Loop and attending service at the Naval Academy was definitely a divine appointment.

Water Taxis are available right from the Annapolis Landing Marina where we stayed. Our marina office staff gave us $1 off water taxi rides, so we used them to take us to Ego Alley dockage in downtown Annapolis (our first water taxi ride). A special parade to celebrate Steve’s birthday (most people thought it was for Memorial Day) also took place that day.  The parade opened with an amazing Navy band, continuing with brightly colored dancers, more bands and music, yellow fire trucks, classic old cars, and much more. On the Water Taxi returning to our marina, we met Peter VI. Just a young tyke still being held by his mother. On the boat also was Peter V (young Peter’s dad) and Peter IV (dad Peter’s dad). What a nice family and quite the legacy! The dad Peter V graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis and the family decided to meet here.  Two other loopers caught up with us later while we were in Annapolis, Last Call and Aqua-Fennatic.  We ended the day celebrating with a special dinner for Steve with about 12 Looper friends.

While in Annapolis, we visited a Target.  The Looper crew was impressed with the special escalators for your shopping cart after you load it up with supplies.   The Target was on the second floor of the building with its own attached parking ramp.  To enter the store from the parking ramp, you ride an escalator up. Then when you leave, you push your cart onto the special cart escalator and ride next to it on the people escalator.  Amazing: modern technology!

From Annapolis, we traveled across the bay to Swan Creek where the town of Rock Hall Maryland is located.   There is a very nice marina we found while exploring with our dinghy flotilla of four. We anchored out in Swan Creek and traveled to Harbor Haven marina by dinghy, docked the dinghys, and borrowed bikes to go into town.  The town has a nice grocery, ice cream shop, and a West Marine store. What more could you ask for?

After our dinghy trip, it started to rain. The rain shower finished with a beautiful full rainbow from left to right.  One of the boats traveling with us, Enterprise, looked like they were at the end of the rainbow … but they did not find the pot of gold.

We now have 4 boats in our Looper Flotilla: Enterprise, Moon Shadow, Sanctuary, and Southern Cross.   The Looper Flotilla plan to head for Cape May, New Jersey next as we make our way toward New York City. That will mean that we traveled from Maryland, next night spent in Delaware, and the next day in New Jersey—which will make our total add up to 14 states.

 

Naval Academy at Annapolis

Scenes from Annapolis

 

Happy Birthday Steve

 

Happy Birthday Steve

 

 

Memorial Day Parade in Annapolis

 

Shopping at Target in Annapolis

 

Scenes from Chesapeake Bay

 

 

Rainbow at Swan Creek with Enterprise

 

 

Moon Shadow at Swan Creek