We’ve been making some decent progress since leaving Coecles Harbor one week ago. First we went to Mattituck, and then we stopped in Port Jefferson where we spent the afternoon doing a few boat projects.
Our initial plan was simply to install the cockpit VHF microphone which we wanted to have available before going down the East River. However, earlier that day while we were enroute I went down below and saw some water on the floor in the head. Hmmm. That’s not good. A quick taste confirmed that it was saltwater. That’s really not good. We prefer to keep seawater on the outside of the boat.
I traced the water to the hanging locker and it appeared to have come from the chainplate (which we had rebedded three years ago). We had taken water over the bow several times that morning, so after we dropped the anchor I rebedded the chainplate again and tightened the bolts on the hull-to-deck joint in that area. Hopefully that will take care of the issue.
The next day we raised the anchor and headed to Oyster Bay, NY.
This was a lovely harbor and we initially planned to spend two nights here. We wanted to tour Sagamore Hill (Theodore Roosevelt’s “summer White House”) and see a few other things, but unfortunately it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and we had arrived Sunday afternoon. O.k. We’ll spend a few days in Oyster Bay next year instead!
We spent the afternoon relaxing in the cockpit, enjoying some much needed downtime, and watching the boats go by. We knew that Billy Joel has a house on the water in Oyster Bay, and at one point a helicopter flew towards us. Jeff joked, “Look, it’s Billy Joel’s helicopter.” We watched the helicopter get closer and then land on the front lawn of the house across the bay. It stayed for a few minutes and left again, and we could see a golf cart sitting next to where it had been. A quick Google search led to the discovery that it was Billy Joel’s house. I guess Jeff was right. It WAS Billy Joel’s helicopter!
The next day we raised the anchor with Port Washington as our destination. One thing we decided to do differently that morning was to raise the sails while we were still in the anchorage. The very sporty conditions of the past few days had made it rather difficult to raise them while we were getting tossed around, so we figured we would try a new strategy. It turned out to be MUCH easier to raise them in the anchorage, and we decided that’s what we would do from that point forward.
We had read that Port Washington was VERY cruiser-friendly and it did not disappoint. Port Washington is a popular stop for people getting ready to go down the East River, and after spending three nights there we can see why.
Port Washington offers free transient moorings for 48 hours, and $25/night after that. There is a dumpster and water hose at the town dock, and there is a separate dinghy dock just a bit farther away that is literally across the street from a Super Stop and Shop. 1/2 mile further up the road is a laundromat, a West Marine, a True Value hardware store, a Rite Aid, and a Target. The only thing it lacks is showers. Other than that, it’s the perfect stop.
The days passed quickly as we took care of chores like laundry, picking up a few items at West Marine, replenishing our food supplies at Stop and Shop (we had run out of chocolate – the horror!), and changing the oil on the engine for the first time.
After we changed the oil we checked the zinc (the manual said we should do it at 50 hours) and much to our surprise it was almost gone! Unfortunately when Jeff went to put in a new one we discovered that the spare supplies kit we had ordered had the wrong size zinc in it. Uh oh.
We called Beta and they said they could ship some zincs to us, but with plans to leave the next day we were hoping to find a local source so we could take care of it that day. We spent a few hours calling marinas in the area, and we thought we had a lead with the local Brewers Marina but after we dinghied over we realized it was too small.
After debating what to do I called the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina in New Jersey (our next stop) to see if they would accept a package delivery so we wouldn’t have to hang around Port Washington for an extra day. We were planning to anchor, but I was hoping since it was a municipal marina they would accept it anyway. Fortunately it was no problem at all, so we called Beta and ordered four zincs to be shipped overnight. We figured one more day with the old zinc wasn’t going to kill the engine. And with that, all systems were go to head down the East River the next day!