Reflections on New Jersey and New York legs

Throughout this time away, we have been very mindful of our family and friends back home in Australia, who are never far from our thoughts. Even though our time in New England was not “Bushranger time”, we hope we have provided some light entertainment through our travels and helped you to forget the loneliness of covid restrictions, if just for a short while.

And now for a few reflective thoughts:

Boats: Everyone in New Jersey owns a boat and sails them on weekends and holidays. Sailboats are out; motor boats are in – big/little, fast/super fast, loud/deafening! They drive motor boats like cars – cutting the corners, coming at you fast and swerving at the last minute, overtaking to beat you to the next channel marker or pier.

Everyone in New England has a sail boat and they are left bobbing on moorings or in marinas not being used. There is an amazing number of masts acting as sentinels in harbours.

Most places (tourist spots, cafes, marina restaurants) close after Labor Day, usually mid-September, even if the weather is still beautiful.

Road Rules: Red lights are advisory. In fact, two or three cars may proceed through a red light. If red light cameras were used in NY, the road budget would be covered. A daring pastime is the jostling for take off after a red light – the car turning across the traffic tears across the oncoming onslaught. It makes for “Oh My Gosh” moments!

Weather: I had previously told Mark he would never, ever, ever again get me back on the Chesapeake in summer… and he didn’t listen. We had really hot and humid weather right up until we reached Long Island Sound, where it was just warm without the humidity. 

We had lots of wind, especially in New Jersey. Wind and Atlantic waves slowed us down and made us take shelter in Cape May. Wind usually increases in the afternoons. Likewise, wind and rain delayed us in the Chesapeake. The long term effects of Hurricanes Ida and Larry frustrated us a little and meant we had to alter our sail plan.

Covid: The effects of covid – far reaching. Several places researched and on the sail plan, were affected by covid and closed, which meant a superficial visit or in some cases, abandonment. In the states of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey mask wearing was almost non-existent. We were given the eye on a number of occasions when entering businesses. In New York and the New England region, masks were mandatory when entering shops and restaurants. We even had to show proof of vaccination in one instance.

Coffee: The pursuit of coffee is forever on the agenda.

People: The people we met along the way are the true delight and best resources of our travels. From the occasional crusty greeting to a deep and abiding friendship, from a casual or urgent need for help resulting in a selfless and all-giving response… the people we have met are salt of the earth.


Distance travelled – 363 miles

Hours underway – 55 

Weather affected days – 10

Road substitute miles – 400 

Road substitute days – 6 

States visited – 7

And now? We are off to Tennessee to spend time with grandkids (and their parents) whom we have not been with for over two years. 

Such is Life!

Driving Around…

Our time in New England has come to an end. We drove along the southern shores of this lovely region, sampling the flavoursome and eclectic cuisine, ogling the amazing architecture, visiting iconic sites and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Newport, Rhode Island, was an eye-opener. On arrival, we took the trolley tour to gain an understanding and overview of the city. I knew about the iconic sailing history and the historic mansions of the Gilt Age, but was very ignorant about the rich colonial and immigrant history – especially the Irish. Amazing buildings and streets dating back to the late 1600s have been lovingly restored. We explored the International Tennis Hall of Fame, home of the first US Open, hidden away in an unlikely corner.

Now Newport’s main industry is tourism, and with the advent of Covid, has been hit hard. 

I thought I would help them out by touring the Vanderbilt mansion, named The Breakers. Whilst I learnt how the uber rich spent their summer holiday, Mark took the air in the gardens.

Perhaps our favourite stop was Mystic, CT, a seaport on the Mystic River. We stayed for a couple of nights in a delightful BnB, surrounded by lived-in homes dating back to the 1700s with plaques stating the names and dates of captains, sail makers and ship builders. Over 600 wooden ships were built here from 1784 until 1909. We dined in the Daniel Packer Tavern which opened in 1756. Unbelievable! The small town, itself, is a snapshot in history. The slim Main Street meanders down the side of the cliff, bordered on each side by single-fronted shops. A bascule bridge crosses the river in the centre of the village. We enjoyed walking all over this village and its surrounds, discovering delights around each corner.

Whilst in the area, we visited Groton – the home of the US nuclear submarine museum. We toured Nautilus, the first US nuclear submarine, commissioned in 1954 and decommissioned in 1980. 

We also took in a little Revolutionary War history when we visited Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park, site of the 1781 massacre led by the traitorous Benedict Arnold. These were not nice times!

The days of touring were finished off by a visit to Yale University. What a stunning place! What breathtaking buildings of learning! What a vibe! We were unable to enter any buildings due to Covid – “No Visitors”, but no matter, we soaked up the atmosphere.

Now, we are in our hotel close to LaGuardia for our flight to Tennessee tomorrow. The view is not as pleasing!

Such is Life!