Last Friday we packed up all of our stuff and headed to the “country house” for the weekend. If you all could have seen us laden with our bags and bikes and helmets getting on the train, you would have been cracking up! We looked just a bit ridiculous. But it was worth the effort when we got to our new home!
We woke up Saturday morning to brilliant sunshine and the makings of a gorgeous day. We had our coffee in the cockpit, which I think might become something of a regular thing because it’s such a nice way to start your day. A couple of our new neighbors swam by to introduce themselves: a pair of ducks we’ve dubbed Lucy and Rico. So cute! After breakfast we decided to ride our bikes around the waterfront. Some Open 40 sailboats were getting ready for the New York to Newport, Rhode Island, leg of the Atlantic Cup in New York harbor. They have these funny-looking squarish mainsails, but apparently they work pretty well because they’re designed for round the world races.
Toward Newport we passed a pretty red-and-white striped lighthouse and a Starbucks (I know it’s not a popular sentiment, but we love Starbucks coffee).
We also saw a lot of baby birds: Not two but three flocks of fuzzy new goslings were being herded around by their parents. Adorbs!
On the way home, we stopped at a little green market a block or two from the marina where we bought a few things for lunch. They had a nice selection so we will be hitting this place on the weekends from now on for sure!
At around 2 o’clock we headed out to Long Island with our friend Vicky who had invited us to join her for Commissioning Day at Glen Cove Yacht Club. We met and instantly fell in love with Vicky’s friends Herve (who happens to be the commodore) and Lauren (who is awesome!). They’re both chefs so there was really great food at the party (especially Herve’s flan, or what we would call “bread pudding” and Lauren’s delicious salad that I will be copying soon) and we really enjoyed hanging out with everyone. Their friend Dan entertained us for a bit on his Bristol 29 Let It Be, which looked especially pretty decorated with flags for the big day. Another yacht club member who was bailing water out of his dinghy beckoned me over to show me something: a pair of eggs whose mama had mistaken the dinghy for a cozy nest. Uh-oh. Judging by the cool temperature these eggs were not going to hatch.
Back in Jersey City we stopped for dinner at a cute spot near our house called the Lighthorse Tavern. Folks close up shop on the early side in Jersey City, so since it was after 10, we were thrilled to be able to get a bite before we headed home for the night. The burger and fries we shared was pretty darned delicious so I have a feeling we’ll be back.
The next morning I made french toast (on a boat?) with a garnish of fresh strawberries that were left over from the farmer’s market. Interesting that I can’t get motivated to make anything in our fully stocked kitchen in the city, but here on the boat making breakfast in our tiny little galley with whatever we have in the cupboards feels very inspired! And as I believe I’ve mentioned, everything does taste better on a boat.
After breakfast we rode our bikes to Home Depot looking for a tarp to provide a bit of protection from the rain until we can get all the leaky hatches fixed. We have a bimini, which is basically a little shade cover for the cockpit, but it doesn’t cover the whole area so a tarp would also double as a bit more protection from the hot summer sun when we’re in the marina. Home Depot had tarps but only blue ones and Rich was thinking a lighter color would be better for our purposes so we’ll have to try someplace else. Since we hadn’t gotten connected to shore power yet and our phones were both completely out of juice we also stopped at Best Buy to pick up a car charger. Funny the things you don’t even think about when you’re a landlubber, huh? Just flip a switch to turn on a light or plug in your phone and everything’s groovy. But unless you’ve got shore power, you have to rely on electricity from the boat’s batteries, which you don’t want to run down since you’re going to need them the next time you want to start the engine.
On the way home we passed a Target, which I’m a tad embarrassed to admit made my heart sing just a little bit. In the East Village we have a Big K, but it’s just not the same as Target. We also passed a warehouse wine and beer place that we’ll probably be coming back to soon since we’ve heard good things. Right now we’ve been buying beer and wine at the deli across the street from the marina (yes, one of the benefits of living in New Jersey is that you can buy wine at the deli!), which is fine, but it would be nice to have a bit more selection and better prices.
Taqueria Downtown was probably the best find of the day, though. As some of you may know, Rich and I pretty much live on Mexican food and could eat tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (at least I could). We stopped in and picked up a sampling and took them back to the boat to enjoy in our cockpit. The fish tacos were very good and the steak were OK, but the carnitas were the bomb! We will definitely be back. (And yes, I asked if we could go back for dinner that night but Rich shut me down.)
After lunch we talked about making a list of all the things we needed to do on the boat, but it was getting pretty hot in the cockpit with the sun beating down on us so we decided to take a bike ride out to Liberty State Park to cool off. Liberty is this gigantic park that winds around behind Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
A lot of families and couples were taking advantage of the spot to stroll and picnic so it was a pretty fun vibe. Of course, it never would have even occurred to us to come to this place if we weren’t moving to Jersey City. Yet another bonus of this new adventure we’re embarking on!
When we got back to the marina we ran into Rene who kindly offered to help us with a big piece of scrap wood Rich wanted to use to build us a step from the dock to the boat. Turns out he’s friends with the owner of the marina and helps him take care of the place so he had access to the keys for the electrical boxes so we now have shore power! Woohoo! Now we can charge our phones without running down the engine batteries and maybe even keep our food refrigerated without buying bags of ice. It’s the little things, people!
Like a lot of the sailors we meet, Rene is a pretty interesting dude. He used to coach the Princeton sailing team and is in the middle of fixing up one of his boats (a Cherubini design), which got a lot of water damage during Hurricane Irene. He’s also started a foundation to light the Statue of Liberty with renewable energy, so we’ll be interested to see how that turns out!
Of course, I had all kinds of ideas about the things we were going to get done this weekend, but what really ended up happening was a whole lot of relaxing and getting to know our new neighborhood, which we really are loving! Incidentally, we’re not the only ones who love Jersey City. We recently learned (from our aggravated neighbors) that Snooki and JWoww are filming their Jersey Shore spinoff in our new town. (And yes, we will probably be watching!)