Hanging out in West Palm Beach

We ended up staying in West Palm for just over 2 weeks waiting for a weather window to the Bahamas. To cross the Gulf Stream you don’t want Northerly winds so we patiently waited. Not to worry, there was plenty to do in the area including lots of great activities put on by the city and bars and restaurants, which kept us entertained.

There was a celebration for the lighting of a 600 tonne sand sculpture in the form of a Christmas tree. Yes can’t believe its that time of the year again. It was amazing watching them create the tree.

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Streets were closed down, tents erected selling all sorts and bands playing on a stage erected in the street. Great turnout of people and the tree looked amazing once it was all lit up. The Palm trees were all decorated, so festive.

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Free concert with 3 great bands

There were other creative sculptures placed along the waterfront.

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P1070584P1070576P1070579Looks like our weather window is here so we are off with all the other boats that have been waiting.

Back in West Palm Beach, Florida

We decided to stay in Isle of Palm, SC for a few weeks relaxing, getting jobs done and meeting some great locals. When you have to buy a heater for the boat to stay warm you know it’s getting cold and we need to head further south. The weather was great for sailing on the outside (Atlantic Ocean) as opposed to sticking to the Inter-coastal waterway (ICW) so we decided to hit the ocean. We got to use our new screecher, which was great.
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At Hilton Head we stopped to check out this golfing mecca. On the way into the dock this dolphin met us and escorted us in swimming along beside us; such beautiful peaceful animals. Ended up riding our bikes out and along the beach. Perfect weather for cycling but still we needed jackets.
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We stopped at St Augustine FL and moored just off Castillo de San Marcos. Perfect spot to get ashore and to watch all the tourists out enjoying the boardwalk and riding around in the horse and carts hearing the stories of Old St Augustine. We cycled and walked all about the town area. Got our fill of exercise that’s for sure!
Can you spot us anchored off the fort at the end of the cannon.
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In St Augustine we organized a new flag for our boat which won’t fade and shred.

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Once we entered Florida the wind seemed to disappear so we decided if we were motoring why not have something to look at, so we re-entered the ICW. Peck Lake just south of Fort Pierce was a very pretty area where you could walk thru the rolling sand dunes to this Sandy beach. Yeah warm at last!
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We went through 9 ICW bridges on our last day to reach West Palm where we entered the US nearly 6 months ago. The ICW changed from this natural beauty to being built up with condos and big homes. P1070568

Isn't Florida meant to be warmer?

Isn’t Florida meant to be warmer?

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Our home in West Palm Beach at the waterfront

Our home in West Palm Beach off the waterfront

Time for some big food provisioning and final jobs before heading to the Bahamas and West Carribean/Central America.

Charleston, SC

We have had fun with Audrey & Grant seeing various sights around Charleston and the Isle of Palms where we stayed.

For one we have entered alligator country and yes have spotted these guys in various lakes in the area we are staying. We are not used to seeing alligators and so they definitely intrigued us.

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At Fort Moultrie on Sullivan Island we learnt a little about the civil war and toured through the Fort which was built to protect the city of then named Charles Town. It is an impressive structure at the harbor entrance to Charleston.
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We visited the Drayton plantation including Drayton Hall. The land was originally purchased in 1738 and the main house built on soon after, staying with the Drayton family for 7 generations until being sold to the National Trust in 1974 for Preservation. The house stands still with no electricity, water etc.
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The community we were in had 2 golf Courses so…..why not.
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Brett and I caught the water taxi into Charleston one day to wander the town and see the various style of homes in town. Halloween is coming up so some of the homes are decorated ready to scare.
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Grant & Audrey went to see the USS Yorkton aircraft carrier built during WWII. It looks amazing from the harbor and had some interesting tales i.e. It served as a recovery ship for Apollo 8 and has a interactive presentation of the Apollo mission to the moon.
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Of course a day trip into Charleston Harbor on Seismic Wave ended up being a great day out.
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Thanks for all the running about Grant to our favorite and needed stores. It was a great to see you both.

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Time to continue heading south.

South to Charleston

We have had a great trip South, even managed to catch up with lots of friends along the way.

Entering Norfolk there are a lot of different Navy ships and you hear them warning you away on the VHF. They are huge! After seeing these huge ships we decided we had to go to the Nauticus Museum and tour the battleship US Wisconsin which has been retired.
P1070313P1070314P1070318While in Norfolk we caught up with David & Sherl, who we originally met at Block Island, CT.
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Norfolk was the start of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) a inland waterway system that is made up of a series of rivers and bays connected by man made canals to form a protected waterway from Norfolk to Miami: 1,089 miles.

There are a lot of different bridges along the way, some of which you have to have opened and there are restrictions on times that they open so you need to watch the clock. A lot of bridges are fixed at 65ft but of course this changes with tide and when you go under them you feel that the mast is going to hit the bottom because of how close it feels.
Some of the many bridges we passed through to get to Charleston.
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Yes the barges and tugs go through the bridges too.
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We went through 1 lock where we tied lines to shore cleats with images of Panamas canal. No not quite the same!
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The scenery along the waterway constantly changes from raw natural beauty to being built up with golf courses and beautiful homes along the shores.

very barren with dry brush in NC

very barren with dry brush in NC

Alligator River canal, NC

Alligator River canal, NC

the trees are beautiful, the logs not so much

the trees are beautiful, the logs not so much

Homes along the banks in the Neuse River, NC

Homes along the banks in the Neuse River, NC

 The Live Fire Range signs at Camp Lejeune, NC

The Live Fire Range signs at Camp Lejeune, NC

Some of the many wrecks or targets on the shores at Camp Lejeune

Some of the many wrecks or targets on the shores at Camp Lejeune

More home with docks for small boats start to appear

More home with docks for small boats start to appear

homes start getting bigger

homes start getting bigger

Wrightsville Beach looked busy and a great stop

Wrightsville Beach looked busy and a great stop

Myrtle Beach, SC area

Myrtle Beach, SC area

 Very large homes in Myrtle Beach

Very large homes in Myrtle Beach

one of the many golf course around Myrtle Beach

one of the many golf course around Myrtle Beach

Nice! Cable car from the parking lot to the golf course

Nice! Cable car from the parking lot to the golf course

This golf course looks pretty from the canal

This golf course looks pretty from the canal

Back to nature on river ways to Charleston

Back to nature on river ways to Charleston

the wildlife are great to watch

the wildlife are great to watch

2 bald headed eagles perched high in the tree

2 bald headed eagles perched high in the tree

Catching up with bob, Judy and Leo from Adastra in Morehead City, NC who we have seen a number of times since leaving Grenada was a surprise. They were in the same anchorage as we had planned to stay.
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We made a road trip to see Jen & Richard in Annapolis for the sailing boat show. Wow what an amazing show with lots and lots of boats and yes toys for your boat. Lots of familiar faces in Annapolis.

Town of Annapolis is very cute

Town of Annapolis is very cute

Boats crammed in at the show

Boats crammed in at the sail boat show

In Southport, NC we caught up with Todd and Susan who we met in Pedasi, Panama and had a fun night out.

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We have arrived in Charleston where we are catching up with Brett’s Mom & Grant.

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The Capital; Washington DC

Wow what a place. So much to see and do.

Our trip to DC started with catching up with friends Andy and Kim, who took us out on the town for dinner and to see the sights of downtown at night. Fun night out.
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Culture we came for and culture we got. There are 19 Smithsonian museums in DC all of which are free to enter. Amazing! We only made it to 2 Smithsonian museums which were interesting with lots of information.

Thanks to the Wright brothers aviation has evolved

Thanks to the Wright brothers aviation has evolved

Orange plane below was the first plane that flew faster than the speed of sound in 1947, White plane won a $10m prize as the first private returning passenger space ship. Space ship 2 will soon be offering planes into space for $250,000. You ready?
P1070166Interesting stats in this exhibit…Wonder why wine consumption has increased over the years??
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We also went to the Museum of National Geographic which had an exhibition on the Sinosauras, the largest dinosaur to roam the Earth.
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The hop on off trolley was great for getting a feel for things to do later and to see all the main sights in DC.

Arlington Cemetry a peaceful place for those who served in times of war. There are approx 7,000 services a year.
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President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington

President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington

The hill at Arlington overlooks the Washington Monument

The hill at Arlington overlooks the Washington Monument

There are a huge number of memorials in Washington DC starting with the Lincoln Memorial at one end of a very long park, through the National Mall with lots of Museums on each side, to the US Capitol at the far end.

Looking back at the Lincoln Memorial from the WW11 monument

Looking back at the Lincoln Memorial from the WW11 monument

Abraham Lincoln inside the Memorial

Abraham Lincoln inside the Memorial

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From Lincoln Memorial along Reflecting Pool to Washington Monument

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Washington Monument along the National Mall to the US Capitol

From the Washington Monument along the National Mall to the US Capitol

From the US Capitol through the National Mall to the Washington Monument

From the US Capitol through the National Mall to the Washington Monument

U.S Capitol up close

U.S Capitol up close

The White House has great views out to the Washington Monument and is a busy area which is well guarded.

White House, see guard on top of roof

White House, see guard on top of roof

Georgetown and DuPont Circle are funky areas to wander around with lots of shopping & restaurants. In Georgetown the buildings in the area have to maintain the look of the area so it has a great feel about it.

Georgetown a desirable and expensive area to live and play

Georgetown a desirable and expensive area to live and play

Old warehouses are converted into lofts

Old warehouses are converted into lofts

Love the Cobblestone streets in Georgetown

Love the Cobblestone streets in Georgetown

Shops in Georgetown; no neon signs

Shops in Georgetown; no neon signs

Food truck alley by the look of things…. No not in Georgetown!
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We heard there was a hockey game on so went to see the Capitals vs the Boston. Bruins. Long time since we have seen a game.
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Our bikes once again came in handy to ride the tidal basin and go back to some places we didn’t have time to go into on the trolley tour and see some of the suburbs.

Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson stands inside overlooking the Tidal Basin also out to the Washington Monument.

Thomas Jefferson stands inside overlooking the Tidal Basin also out to the Washington Monument.

The memorial for Franklin Roosevelt was impressive with some of his speeches from his terms as president on the walls in the area

During the depression

During the depression

During WW11

During WW11

We tripped on a couple of markets Andy & Kim had told us about which were packed! The veges were great so we had to shop and restock the boat.

If only I could get some of this fish back on my bike....

If only I could get some of this fish back on my bike….

Brett went thru every row at this mkt and this is only 1 tent by the way! Can you spot him.

Brett went thru every row at this mkt and this is only 1 tent by the way! Can you spot him.

Eastern Mkt; great veges

Eastern Mkt; great veges

4 days and there was more to see but we are heading South.

Trip South to Washington DC

We had an awesome downwind sail down the NY and New Jersey coast to Cape Henlopen at the Delaware Bay entrance. It was nice and calm behind the breakwater. The sunset was amazing.
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The winds changed and once again were behind us up the Delaware. We anchored very close to a nuclear plant before going thru the C&D canal, which is a 400ft wide channel that you drive through; yes no sailing! Why because these big guys turn up doing 16 odd knots and there are all sorts of bridges along the way.
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We caught up with Jen & Richard for a night, which is always fun and bid farewell until the Annapolis boat show.
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The Chesapeake Bay gave us a great sail down to the Potomac River. Coming up the Potomac River was interesting with some beautiful homes on the shores, the military base and its testing areas, Fort Washington sitting on one of the corners of the river, The Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge spanning the river into DC, planes flying over head to land at Washington National Airport and the Washington Monument standing tall near the riverfront.

Gun placements that the military use for testing on the river

Gun placements that the military use for testing on the river

Fort Washington

Memorial bridge on entry into Washington DC

Memorial bridge on entry into Washington DC

Planes & helicopters everywhere

Planes & helicopters everywhere

Washington monument on the skyline

Washington monument on the skyline

We arrived at our marina ready to see some culture in DC.

Lovely Long Island Sound & Block Island

We have spent approx a month in the Long Island/ Block Island Sounds enjoying the many anchorages and towns in the area.

Long Island Sound is located between Connecticut (CT) to the North and Long Island, NY to the South with many rivers emptying into the sound. This is the first place where we have come that has a lot of sailing boats and people getting out and using them. Every weekend there are people out racing smaller sailing boats looking like they are having fun. Even came across a Tall ship with youth sailors who had been out sailing.
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There are many places to anchor or moor throughout the sound so makes it great grounds for cruisin’. The houses along the coast of Long Island are huge. Who lives in these mansions?
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We enjoyed The Thimble Islands, CT, which is a group of small pink granite rock islands with homes on them. Each island varies in size and number of homes. We were invited onto Money Island where there are 32 homes packed onto the small island. Everyone we met on the island was so friendly.
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Money Island

Money Island

Noank/ Mystic, CT area is a nice area with a lot of historic buildings and a working seaport museum with some very old wooden boats that they restore and still use. Really interesting place to wander around.

The seafood at Fords in Noank is fresh and the location on the water great

The seafood at Fords in Noank is fresh and the location on the water great

 

Swinging Rail bridge on way up to Mystic

Swinging Rail bridge on way up to Mystic

Town of Mystic down to the Mystic highway lifting bridge

Town of Mystic down to the Mystic highway lifting bridge

bridge opening

bridge opening

A small part of the huge nautical Museum

A small part of the huge nautical Museum

The Charles W. Morgan built in 1841 at the museum

The Charles W. Morgan built in 1841 at the museum

Enjoying the Mystic food festival with Graham & Fi from Kairos

Enjoying the Mystic food festival with Graham & Fi from Kairos

Watching the Mystic Rowing Regatta just off our perfect anchorage

Watching the Mystic Rowing Regatta just off our perfect anchorage

Block Island is at the far eastern end of the Long Island sound and is a beautiful serene area with a very protected harbor. The island was great to bike around. It was amazing how many people came in on the ferries each day to enjoy the many beaches, shops, restaurants and bars on the island.

the parade of boats up the channel to the anchorage, yes popular

the parade of boats up the channel to the anchorage, yes popular

Mohegan's Bluff with its 200ft cliffs and 100 steps down to the popular beach

Mohegan’s Bluff with its 200ft cliffs and 100 steps down to the popular beach

Spring House Hotel with its enormous veranda and great views

Spring House Hotel with its enormous veranda and great views

At the Beachhead ordering $1 oysters; yum

At the Beachhead ordering $1 oysters; yum

We stopped at Watch Hill for the Labor Day long weekend to enjoy the sandy beaches and town. On arrival there were yachts out racing in the sound. The Ocean House is pretty impressive up on the hill overlooking the sound.
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Croquet is set up on the perfect lawns

Ocean House: Croquet is even set up on the perfect lawns

Aphrodite a 74ft motor launch passed us in the Watch Hill anchorage. Wow, nice looking boat and when it picked up speed and took off you could see the power. The boat was recently restored and you can read stories of it on the Internet.
P1070024AShelter Island and the Hamptons’ area on Long Island, NY was an interesting area with some cute towns to wander around and all sorts of people from all walks of life. Shame the weather wasn’t better to get some good photos but we have realized we need to head south, its cold (relatively) here.

Brett fancied this lighthouse off Orient as a home...ah I don't think so.

Brett fancied this lighthouse off Orient as a home…ah I don’t think so.

Sag Harbor town was great to walk around just a little breezy

Sag Harbor town was great to walk around just a little breezy

On our way! Brrrrrr.

The East River, NY

Coming through the East River passing all the sights and under the 7 very high bridges was pretty amazing. The current through the river gave us a boost of about 4-5 knots so we arrived in the Long Island Sound on the other side pretty quickly. Thank goodness we weren’t going the other way!

Lower Manhattan start of the East River

Lower Manhattan start of the East River

Manhattan right up to the water edge

Manhattan right up to the water edge

The famous Brooklyn bridge

The famous Brooklyn bridge

Under Brooklyn bridge with Manhattan behind

Under Brooklyn bridge with Manhattan behind

Chrysler Bldg highest one

Chrysler Bldg highest one

Float Plane landing on River

Float Plane landing on River

Back along the river

Back along the river

more bridges and more float planes taking off around us

more bridges and more float planes taking off around us

The UN Bldg; when in session this part of the river is closed

The UN Bldg; when in session this part of the river is closed

 

New York, New York

Wow what an amazing place with so much going on. We had such a good time. It has obviously taken years to create this machine. There are 9 million people living in NYC and 27 million in the greater area of New York within 75 miles. Wow! Truly feels like it with all the tourists in Times Square.

Times Square during day

Times Square during day

Times Square at night

Times Square at night

New Jersey and a kiwi?
On our first afternoon here we rode our bikes down from the marina along the walkways of New Jersey to Liberty State Park to admire the views over to Manhattan Island and the sun glowing on the towers. Freedom Tower is just so huge standing at 1776ft significant because it was the year that America was founded.

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We ended up at a bar on the river where we met a kiwi, Pete and Vito an Italian New Yorker. Turned out that they both had boats at our marina and had come in on Vito’s boat. After a very late night we all hit the Hudson River in Vito’s boat and found we were the only boat out there admiring the skyline of Manhattan. Amazing.
P1060601aP1060603Highline and Greenwich Village
The walking/ food tour along the Highline and through into Greenwich Village was interesting. The Highline is a park built on a section of the elevated former NY Central railroad along the lower West side of Manhattan through arches that used to lead the trains to what used to be the old factories. The park has been so successful they are extending it. There are great views along and down to the streets and you can see the development over the years and change in architecture.
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Greenwich has great little streets with interesting homes and restaurants around each corner. A very expensive and desirable area.

Outside Friends TV series apartment

Outside Friends TV series apartment

Garden tucked away behind a gate

Garden tucked away behind a gate

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Washington Square

 

 

The food portions at the various stops were generous so we were full. Some of the places we went to:

Bantam Bagels

Bantam Bagels

Faicco's - Italian sausage sandwich

Faicco’s – Italian sausage sandwich

Best pizza ever

Best pizza ever

Rocco Pasticceria - wow!

Rocco Pasticceria – wow!

 

Central Park
We rode our bikes to and around Central Park. The bike system is amazing in NY with bike paths and special lanes designated on roads. You mainly have to watch out for pedestrians who walk out in front of you, not traffic. Never thought we would ever ride in NY.
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People hang out everywhere throughout the park. Great place to people watch.

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle

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Brooklyn

Our bikes once again got a work out as we rode our bikes down through Battery Park on Manhattan Island, passing close to the Freedom Tower. There were a group of kayaker’s out on the Hudson, off Battery Park, crazy. Ferry’s are flying around all over the place and the current can be crazy.

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Looking over to New Jersey

 

Over the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn Heights by bike was a great decision given the crowds of people on the bridge. There is a separate bike lane so that was a bonus for us.

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Great views at the top over to the Manhattan Bridge and along the East River. There are a lot of bridges in the New York area and they are huge! We will be passing under these bridges when we go to Long Island Sound on the boat. 

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It was so nice and relaxing over in Brooklyn Heights with locals running about their normal lives.  The promenade in Brooklyn Heights has great views back to Lower Manhattan.

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A lot of nice streets in Brooklyn Heights

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Lower Manhattan

It was a beautiful day to walk the sights in Lower Manhattan including the World Trade Centre site which was so different from my last visit 12 years ago. Busy!
P1060741P1060744Photos at the  reflecting pool in the footprint of the original twin towers. Above Metro being built in background. Right base of Freedom tower.

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There are sculptures all over New York. This red cube sculpture is on Broadway down near the Financial District.

The financial district reminded me of London, England’s bank district with all the suits and hype.

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Charging Bull – A little less crowded than what we saw

Stock Exchange on Wall Street

Stock Exchange on Wall Street

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Stock Exchange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Near Wall Street
Near Wall Street

 

 

 

Found a great bar in the area called Fraunces Tavern which originates back to 1719. Lots of stories here from the past. This was also a great dark bar with a huge variety of craft beers to enjoy.

 

 

Midtown

We hit all the sights in midtown admiring the architecture and shear size of the buildings including; Madison Square, Flatiron, Empire State, Chrysler, Grand Central Station…..with every other tourist in NY I think.

Empire State Bldg

Empire State Bldg

Flatiron Bldg, you can see why

Flatiron Bldg, you can see why

Madison Square Park - great for a break

Madison Square Park – great for a break

 

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Grand Central Station – Outside

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Grand Central Station inside – impressive

 

The views from the Observation deck on the Empire State Bldg were almost worth the wait. So that’s where all these people live… Buildings go on forever.

Along East River, Brooklyn in distance

Along East River, Brooklyn in distance

Over Midtown and Chrysler Bldg to East River

Over Midtown and Chrysler Bldg to East River

Central Park in middle

Out to Central Park

To Hudson River & New Jersey

To Hudson River & New Jersey

to Lower Manhattan; East River Left, Hudson Right

to Lower Manhattan; East River Left, Hudson Right

Shows

When in New York you just have to go and see a show or two. We went to one on Broadway and one off Broadway. Kinky Boots, on Broadway was fabulous and a must see. Loved the whole show.

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Shopping
What can I say…. Something for everyone. Crazy crowds out shopping!

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Parking?  

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Parking’s a premium perhaps

It looked like parking was still cheaper than in Calgary.  Alternatively people take one of the many bikes for rent scattered throughout the city.  $99 per year and they are everywhere.  For the non-snow months these would be the way to get around.

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Overall we had a blast in NYC.

 

Back in the water and up to New York

We got back to Jarrett Bay and finalized things at the yard and put Seismic Wave back in the water where she belongs.
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We decided to hit the seas and head up to New York. We had 3 days at sea and this was our view coming into New York and up the Hudson River to our marina.

Coney Island

Coney Island

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Verrazano-Narrows bridge

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New Jersey Left & Manhattan Right

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Manhattan

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Hudson River

Hudson River

Midtown

Midtown

Lincoln Harbor Marina

Lincoln Harbor Marina – our home in NYC