Silver Maple Blog

Retirement adventures Canadian style

Our first experience with the Atlantic (New York City to Brielle, NJ)


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th — DAY 17 (Liberty Landing, NJ, across from Manhattan, to Brielle, NJ)

When we pulled out of the Liberty Landing Marina, across from Manhattan, the city had soft haze over it.  It gave the skyline an eerie feel and was quite beautiful. As we entered the harbour, we turned south and passed Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It was just before 8AM and we were on the water. Once again, the ferry traffic was intense. But, the winds were calm and the waves on the harbour were low (other than the wake from the large number of boats of all sizes — freighters to small pleasure craft).

Morning coffee overlooking the New York skyline

Passing the Statue of Liberty as we go through the New York harbour

Staten Island Ferry on a beautiful morning

Managing the traffic

Heading towards the ocean!

As we pulled further from the city, the boat traffic abated. The winds began to pick up a bit and turned from being directly on the nose of Silver Maple, to something we could sail.  We put up the sails. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough wind to move much, so we went back to the motor.  As the day progressed, the winds picked up, but unfortunately they were again directly on our nose.

Finally, we are sailing!

Checking the rigging — all good

Seas start to get choppy

We figured we had about a 5 hour trip to Hoffman Marina on Manasquan inlet in Brielle, NJ.  But the head winds continued to build and the seas got rougher and rougher as the day progressed. By the last 2 hours, the waves were pounding us. Poor Leo was hanging his head over the side of the boat feeling sick. Randy took the boat off autopilot so that he could turn Silver Maple and slide sideways down the back side of the waves instead of pounding the nose of the boat into the trough between swells.  Lee sat at the back of the boat holding on to the dinghy to stop it from swinging around too much with one hand and  Leo with the other hand to keep him sitting in one place. It was intense, and although it seemed to go on for hours, it was probably just a couple of hours at its worst.  Unfortunately, along that stretch of the New Jersey coastline, there are no harbours we could fit into other than the on we were heading to in Manasquan (Brielle, NJ).

Leo doesn’t like the big waves (neither do we)

By the time we reached the opening to the inlet, were well-jostled and worn-out. But the boat functioned well and nothing seemed to be seriously out-of-place. The generator we had sitting on the bench at the back of the boat fell off the seat (no damage), but other than that, we were in good shape.

As we entered the inlet (which Randy did an incredible job threading the needle given the waves we were in), a small boat was fishing in the middle of the channel. We couldn’t believe that we were now having to manuever around them. Ugh!

The Hoffman Marina has nice new docks, but they don’t float so we got some pointers from the staff on how to tie up to them to allow the boat to go up and down with the tides. After settling Silver Maple into her spot, we sat for a bit and settled our nerves (a glass of wine for Lee and beer for Randy, rounded out with some potato chips for comfort food).

Weather the next day, was expected to be horrible with thunderstorms, so Jacquelyn and Dave drove down to get us to stay with them in Whippany, NJ for a couple of days. With Friday night traffic, the trip was an hour and a half. Ugh!  We picked up sushi at their local place and had a great evening with them. Leo, enjoyed playing with their dog, Sam’s toys.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th — DAY 18 (Jacquelyn and Dave’s in Whippany, NJ)

Very nice visit with our friends, Jacquelyn and David, son James, and dog Sam. We took the pooches for a walk through their neighbourhood on Saturday morning. It was hot humid and thunderstorms were rolling in. We watched the weather channel and saw that tornadoes were hitting New York. The rain pounded down. But, on the bright side, the forecast for Sunday was looking good for us to continue south and make our next stop, Atlantic City, about 8 hours away.

Out for a walk with the pooches

Great hosts, Jacquelyn, David and Sam at their home

We had a fabulous home-cooked Saturday dinner with Jacquelyn and David, and then they drove us back to the boat so that we could get an early start the next day. When we got back to the boat, there were no issues. It survived the storm fine. Before bed, Randy checked the weather forecast for the next day. Unfortunately, the prediction was now for 4 to 6ft seas. Wasn’t looking good.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th — DAY 19  (Brielle, NJ)

When we got up today, there was a small craft advisory, so we decided to stay put and work around the boat.  When we were in Haverstraw, Randy noticed that the bilge pump that pumps any water out of the bottom of the boat wasn’t working. So, he spent the day trying to decode the issue with that and the stereo, which also seemed to quit around the same time. It is now Sunday afternoon.  We are going to head out to an Italian place for dinner, recommended to us by the marina. Then, fingers crossed we will be able to get out tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Our first experience with the Atlantic (New York City to Brielle, NJ)

  1. Welll hello there sailors- was thinking about you when we heard about the bad weather in NY/ NJ. US Open was delayed a day too! Sounds like you handled everything very well and so did Silver Maple. Hope Monday proves ti be a good day to head out.

    Take care, n

  2. What an amazing transition in weather from the time you left NYC to the cruel Atlantic. Glad you made the trek safely. It must have been memorable to say the least.

  3. Lee – I was in Albany last week for work and took the train down to Manhattan with good views of the Hudson all the way along – I waved at you guys! Hope the trip is going great!

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