The crew departed NYC back on May 23 to launch their Down East Circle Loop. With their arrival back in NYC on Friday the 13th they bring the adventure to a close. Thanks to all who joined along the way to make this trip special. For those who are thinking of making this trip, the crew encourages you to throw off the lines and experience the fun for yourself. You will not regret the decision, in fact, the trip will probably exceed all your expectations. It did for our crew. If you have any questions about the trip, please contact the crew, they would love to pass on what they have learned.
The crew spent the week making way down the Long Island Sound from Portsmouth to New York City. Along the way, they made stops at Groton, Port Jefferson, and Port Washington.
Click on the Still Waters II Travel Map to see detailed Voyage Logs.
To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site. The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.
The crew shoved off from their hurricane hole at Pirate Cove Marina and started their final run towards New York City to complete the Down East Circle Loop. The weather was great and the waves were calm as the crew returned to the big open water made up by the Rhode Island Sound.
Some of the 400 miles of Rhode Island coastline
The waters might be big, but Rhode Island holds the claim to the smallest state. The colony got its start from Roger Williams when he was banished from the Massachusetts Colony in 1636 for pushing his views on religious freedoms.
A Few Fun Facts:
The crew stopped and took a mooring ball at the end of the day with this view.
Not much later, the crew was rewarded with this beautiful sunset
The run from Groton, Connecticut to Port Jefferson, New York was smooth and relaxing as the crew crossed the Long Island Sound. The crew dropped anchor across from Setauket Harbor. This Harbor was anything but calm between the years 1778-1783 though.
Setauket Harbor where the Culper Spy Ring operated from
The Harbor was ground zero for the Patriot’s first spy ring. George Washington had to evacuate New York City and moved his army to New Jersey. He desperately needed to know what the British were up to, so he had the Culper Spy Ring created. The spies had an elaborate method to pass on information to George Washington as depicted below.
Anna Strong’s laundry signal was ingenious. She would hang a black petticoat on her laundry line to send a message to Caleb Brewster that there was information to be picked up. Then she would hang white handkerchiefs beside the black petticoat to indicate which slew that Woodhull would meet the whale boat and pass on the message. They had six potential coves that they could rendezvous in, so the number of white handkerchiefs determined the particular cove for the exchange.
The spy ring has been credited for discovering that Benedict Arnold was switching sides in the war to become America’s first traitor. They also identified John Andre as Benedict’s handler, which led to his hanging when the Patriot’s caught him in Tarrytown.
The crew continued their treck down the Long Island Sound and pulled into Port Washington where they took a mooring ball for a few days. With the New York skyline on the horizon, it was a grim reminder of the events that took place here 18 years ago.
The skipper was at work at a Nuclear Power Plant that day. He was in the Emergency Preparedness Department, at the time. Turned out to be a crazy day at work to say the least. You may not know it, but there is a ten mile No Fly Zone around the plants. Shortly after the first tower was hit, the Feds put out an increased heightened awareness bulletin to the 56 nuclear sites, as well as grounding all air craft.
Just as things began to settle down a bit in the afternoon, a pilot took off in a private plane from a local airport just outside the plants 10 mile No Fly Zone. Fearing the worst and a direct attack on the plant, the Department of Defense scrambled a few jets into the air from Carswell Air Force Base and forced the private plane to the ground. That was a few exciting moments in life wondering what was about to happen. Turns out the private pilot claimed he was unaware of the grounding of all aircraft.
So the private pilot probably can easily recall where he was on 9/11. How about you, where were you on that day?
Jersey City 9/11 Memorial
One of the best presidential speeches ever delivered took place on this date in Houston, Texas in 1962. Kennedy outlined his plan to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade and officially launched the space race.
Most people from that era are very familiar with the speech. But there was a last minute addition to the speech that is not in the recorded original. Kennedy called an audible and made a one line blue pen and ink change just before he delivered the speech that day in Houston. From the speech….
“But why, some say, the moon? Why choose as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic?
Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
That audible has turned out to be a bit prophetic. Since the speech, Texas is 30-1 against the Rice Owls. Begging the question, Why does Rice play Texas?
Hopefully Texas extends the record to 31-1 on Saturday and recovers from that gut wrenching loss to LSU last weekend. Go Horns!
Today was the day that the crew brought the Down East Circle Loop to a close. They left Port Washington and made way to New York City. The skies were clear and the crew could easily see the skyline some 6 miles away.
After rounding Rickers Island, they turned south and saw some of the iconic buildings in Manhattan.
Just south of the UN Building, the crew watched as a plane came under the Williamsburg Bridge and landed in the water. That was pretty exciting to watch.
After rounding the tip of Manhattan, the crew could see two more iconic New York landmarks. Lady Liberty and the orange Staten Island Ferry.
After crossing the Hudson River towards Lady Liberty, the crew officially crossed their wake and completed the Down East Circle Loop. They travelled 2,752 miles on this adventure and had the time of their lives.
The crew took the Liberty Landing Ferry from Jersey City to Manhattan. While waiting for the ferry, the crew started a conversation with a man named Steve. He is a commercial diver and plans to retire in two years and buy a boat. It was a pleasure to get to spend some time talking with him. Hope to see you on the water in the future Steve.
After the crew landed in Manhattan, they spent the day roaming around a lower Manhattan park and taking in the sights.
The crew then took the subway to Uptown to find the Halal guys for a late lunch.
With their stomachs full, the crew then took the subway back to lower Manhattan to visit St Paul Chapel. The Church has a long and distinguished history. For starters, it was built from 1764 and 1766. At the time, the Church was the tallest building in the city.
Following George Washington’s inauguration on April 30, 1789, the new president and congress held a special service at the Church and prayed for the future of the new country. The Church was picked because it was the largest public building that survived the Great New York Fire of 1776, and was also where the President attended worship services while in New York.
The Church happens to also be the home of the first monument commissioned by congress. The monument honors Richard Montgomery, a patriot from the revolutionary war. The monument was commissioned January 25, 1776.
Most recently, the church survived the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 even though the church was just two blocks from the tragedy.
May you and yours be like this church. Facing a little adversity from time to time, but always surviving the close calls and rising to new heights.
This week the boat name is in tribute to the skipper’s ole fishing buddy Bill Nix. This was one of his favorite words.
The crew will start their south bound journey towards the warm waters of Florida. They hope to find fair winds and following seas which will allow them to make it down the New Jersey Coast and then up the Delaware Bay by the end of the week.
However, with the crew completing the Down East Loop, and re-cruising grounds they have been through several times, they will suspend the weekly blog updates.
If you would like to continue to follow them south though, then add the following link to your home screen and check the progress of their Voyage south.
Congratulations on completing your down East Loop adventure! We enjoyed being virtual crew and loved all of your pictures and educational information. Looking forward to seeing you in FL waters this winter
Wow what a time to be back by NYC. Great pictures!!! Safe cruising as you venture to the warmer weather! Great tribute to Bill too!!! 👍😃