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Driving through New York...

Atlantic City rolled out the carpet for us – fog, casinos galore, boardwalk wonder, sun, thunderstorms and a new crew member!. We entered the harbour with less than 50ft visibility, thank goodness for radar, gps and a well marked channel. In the morning we took a stroll down the boardwalk and watched in wonder as very large folk ate enormous pizzas and funnel cake. Of course we had a flutter on the roulette table and managed to loose our $20 in the casinos in less than 2 mins.

The best bit about Atlantic City was gaining the lovely Lori, an experienced sailor, and friend of Maggies, joined us from Key Biscane. Lori had a baptism of fire, – straight out for a night sail north, the worst thunderstorm I have ever been in, and a good swell to equal a rough Ardrossan departure...

Saorsa looked after us well contending with winds varying from 4 kts to 44 kts and some hefty lightening. As dawn broke we were approaching Sandy Hook and by 8am we were anchored safely at Atlantic Highlands harbour. The rain was hammering on the decks and it was time to get our heads down and recover from our night expedition.

Just as we were dozing off at 9 am, we were woken by the Coastguard – they boarded us! Scrambling out of our Pjs we welcomed them on board. It turned out to be a fun encounter, they were very pleasant – answered all our questions and seemed very interested why three girls were out in a sailboat. We gave up on sleep, maned up to the horrible rain and went for a big breakfast ashore.

This was not to be our last encounter with the local officials...

The next day we had some friends of Mum on board. Marilyn, Bill and Dene joined us for a day sail upto NY harbour and what a day it was. Beautiful blue sky, flat seas, and NY harbour here we come. It was a perfect day for a picnic anchored next to the Statue of Liberty.

Despite the best efforts of the tug drivers, who clearly do not adhere to power gives way to sail, we soaked in the NY skyline, and with the full approval of NY harbour authorities we dropped the anchor just outside the security zone for the Statue of Liberty – it was spectacular.

Now we knew what “security zones” are…. Earlier in the morning, when passing a US Navel pier, we were greeted with a high speed armed reaction from the Navy patrol

boat… some rather good looking sailors, promptly encircled Saorsa and instructed us to turn our boat around. After we apologised profusely, – they cracked a smile, and advised us we had a very nice looking boat!.

The following day we sailed into NY harbour again and treated ourselves to a night at Liberty Landing Marina ( the most expensive marina I have ever stayed at $320 a night), but it was worth is – the view was fabulous and my friend Dee joined us for a night out in downtown New Jersey.

It was now time to cruise down the East River, through Hells gate at 11 knots ( we got the tides spot on!) and upto Port Washington to anchor for free. It was from here we got the train into Manhattan, had a pre dinner cocktail with these guys, loved the Jersey boys, and danced the night away at a roof top bar. – NY tick….

The highlight of our cruise along Long Island was our visit to East Hampton – boy is this a contrast to Atlantic City – they are poles apart. East Hampton is an upmarket village where people obviously care a lot about their beautiful homes all set in tree lined countryside. It was stunning. It was also very hospitable. Anchored in three mile harbour ( three miles from East Hampton),we rolled up at the local marina in our dinghy, announced we were enroute to New Zealand and were taken under the very generous wind of “John”.

He loaded us into his very nice truck and took us for a tour of the local area. – Wow, how lucky are we.

East Hampton has some lovely local shops along with some effective sales staff. After 30 mins of chit chat and cream application we all exited the Orogold cosmetic store at least two wrinkles less, and $400 bucks worse off!

A splendid week – the highlight for me was driving Saorsa through New York Harbour – the stuff dreams are made of…..

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