For those of you just checking in for the first time, I’m a scarlet macaw and my name is Scarlet. I’m writing a travel blog of my experiences travelling from Toronto to the Bahamas with Diane and Ted Greene the owners of the Boatel I.
Last time I wrote we had just arrived in NYC…the Big Apple. It was only a week ago that we left Toronto – time flies when you’re travelling by boat. We were docked at Liberty Landing Marina and it was right next door to the Statue of Liberty and directly across from Manhattan. The first night the crew went to the Liberty House. The restaurant was full so they sat at the bar. They even brought me along but not before my chance to catch an amazing sunset. I watched the bartender make some fancy sangria drinks that should have a warning label on them and I even got a chance to hang out with the band that was playing on the patio with a view of NY in the background.
On Sunday Diane and Ted headed out to Jersey City, NJ to explore and find an AT&T store to get a new phone chip so that we could get back online with all of my fans. They took a ferry called “The Little Lady” that costs $2 to go from one side of the canal to the other side which is less than a 1 minute ride, but the ferry also goes to Manhattan.
You would think that Diane had her own grocery store on board if you had a look at her pantry and freezer, she even has everything inventoried down to how many boxes of crackers and toilet paper rolls she has. It’s a good thing she is organized because when we do stop at a small town there hasn’t been any grocery stores close by, so when she finds a grocery store she stocks up on fruits, vegetables and dairy.
Everyone was in bed early, they call it boaters midnight which is 21:00 hours because everyone is always up around 05:30 – 06:00 so that we can leave dock by daybreak which these days is around 07:00. Monday October 20, 2014 we left our dock and headed for points south. If you’ve ever been to NYC then you know it’s busy on land, well on water it’s no different. There are water taxi, fast ferries, cruise ships, freighters, tugs, barges and other cruising boats like us. My favorites are the big yellow Staten Island Ferries that go really fast, well in fact they all go really fast. These boats are coming at us from every direction. We saw everything but warships, but don’t worry we will see those in Norfolk. It kept the crew busy just trying to keep track of all the boats and where they were going so we didn’t get in their way. We did however get a good look at The Statue of Liberty. OH MY. I wanted to go up there but we didn’t have time to go because we had a good weather window to leave today so I will hopefully get chance on my way back – it’s on my bucket list now.
Two and a half hours later we were finally out of New York harbour and headed south. Winds were forecasted at 10 to 15 knots and seas 2 to 3 feet in a southerly swell. The guy on the VHF radio keeps saying that the waves are measured from trough to crest and the captain explained it to me but it was difficult to tell the height of the waves. It was pretty comfortable so we all settled back for some offshore cruising except that we weren’t that far from shore – usually 3 to 7 miles.
It was time to read, write and relax because the cap had the Boatel on auto pilot, but of course someone was always on watch for any float on the water. Those are dangerous because they could get wrapped around our prop. It’s happened before and the cap likes to say “if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there”. He’s a big fan of this guy captain Ron. The winds increased in the afternoon and so did the waves. It wasn’t much fun for a while but we got into Atlantic City safe and sound in the dark which wasn’t an easy feat because they don’t have a lit channel. That just means those red and green markers don’t have lights on them. They used docking lights and a search light to find their way in the dark. They have obviously done this before. We had dinner and I was invited to play cards but I wasn’t allow to go the Golden Nugget even though we were docked at Trump Marina.
We left Atlantic City on Tuesday morning with a bunch of Mega Yachts docked with us. I betcha I counted a 100 million dollars in boats. There was a 106 foot boat that came in after us last night called Lady Sylvia – kind of makes me want to meet Sylvia and see if she needs a bird but I am just happy to be here on the Boatel. Tuesday morning’s ride to Cape May, NJ wasn’t as bad as last night but it was sure nice to get into the Cape May canal. It was a little hairy to watch the cap navigate the boat through a narrow rail bridge with current but again he did it like a pro. I even moved over to get out of Captain Ted’s was. We came out of the Cape May canal and head up Delaware Bay to Delaware City. It’s amazing how different the water was. We went from 5 foot waves to barely a ripple on the water. The crew enjoyed this much more and I even took my scarf off and caught some rays.
We were fighting the currents again going up the Bay for most of the afternoon which meant we were getting to dock again at dark. Diane and Ted call the dock master at Delaware City Marina the best dock master in the world. Dock Master Tim gave Captain Ted step by step instructions of what to do to parallel park the 65 foot Boatel on 80 feet of dock with boats in front and back, in the dark and with current running. Amazing job. We’re staying in Delaware City, Delaware for a few days because of a couple of fronts causing a lot of wind on Cheapeake Bay.
That’s it for now friends. Stay tuned for more of my adventures as we cruise south. Don’t forget to write comments for you.