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Atlantic Highlands at Sandy Hook:

When our new sailing friends, Jim and Christine on Midnight Sun, told us about Atlantic Highlands at Sandy Hook, NJ, where they once stayed to weather out a hurricane, we had no idea what a nice little town it was. Eight hours motoring (no wind again) from Barnegat Bay, the Atlantic Highlands at Sandy Hook offers a wonderful marina and safe anchoring spots behind a good long breakwater.

We spent three nights here anchored in 10 feet of water with good holding. Yesterday we went shopping and scouting around and had a wonderful Thai lunch after Norma finally got her hair cut at a little shop right near the marina’s long and scenic walkway. The town offers a little movie theater, SmodCastle Cinemas, owned by Jay and Silent Bob's own Kevin Smith, and one super-duper thrift emporium run by several women who shared the duties of manning the shop. We found a great card for our friend Connie and spent almost an hour there while Allen got Norma a Mother’s Day gift.

A Play With Dessert: Later that night we went to a community theater play which served dessert and all the coffee and soda patrons could drink. It was a small but comfortable little dinner theatre setup, and the comedy Moon Over Buffalo was raucous and funny buffoonery, just what we needed. The director went around to each table and introduced herself, and she and Allen and I had a nice gab while we shared frosted carrot cake and luscious lemon curd cake with vanilla cream swirls. After the play, we walked back to the marina, but unfortunately, just as we were to walk down to our dinghy, the theater folks called to let us know that they had found my wallet (which had slipped out of my bag). That meant another mile or so walk back to the theater, but it was such a warm night, we didn’t mind. It was good to walk off those extra cake calories.

Allen catches the "big one": Early Saturday morning, Allen went fishing in his fishing kayak and caught (or got caught by) a clam which had closed his shell tight around one of sharp hooks of Allen’s lure. He unhooked it and threw it back.

Several fishermen around us caught several large stripped bass, and earlier yesterday, we watched one man at a fish cleaning table fillet three big bass. That inspired Allen to go out this morning, I think.

The whole Atlantic Highlands community had yard sales on Saturday, they even had a map to the houses having the sales. We motored over to the marina dinghy dock and got another turn at the emporium. Allen is determined to get some great smears at their bagel shop (lox and whitefish), and went to movies at 1:00 p.m. We did and really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy #3 which was pretty all right. Next, on our way to NYC!

"Old Bones" at Coney Island Creek: After three nights’ anchorage at the Atlantic Highlands, we motored across lower N.Y. Harbor to Coney Island Creek for one night, trying hard to stave off the $300 per night (or $7 per foot) marina fee at New York’s marinas. The Creek is what makes Coney Island an island, says Allen. Our first image of this place was yellow sandy beaches and a policeman on horseback parading along the beach, his badge glimmering in the sun.

Coney Island Creek was an enjoyable overnight anchorage if your nerves can withhold disbelief that you really get that close to shore on the way in. We followed the green cans as suggested by Active Captain, and we had no real problems. Twelve (12) feet is what the charts say, and they were right.

Nevertheless, Norma stared at the sand bar jutting out toward the entrance to the creek, but soon she relaxed when it became a scenic view once we were inside the center of this small waterway.

The creek is filled with old wooden piers and wrecks of old wooden vessels, lined of course, with seabirds of all types. Swans with goslings, cormorants, five egrets and lots of fishermen on the nearby rocks, bridges, and fishing piers were just some of the sights just a quarter mile away from looming brick housing units and basketball players and runners on pathways off bushy trees and greenery.

We kayaked a bit so Norma could collect her Coney Island sand sample and had a relaxing time to read, eat salmon, watch a movie and sleep well, a rather nice Mother’s Day was had, along with lovely earrings from Allen, phone calls and a gift card and best wishes from both friends and family.

It's Brooklyn Baby! Norma took several pictures of Lady Liberty off in the distance as we motored into upper New York Harbor. Once upon a time we loved the Brooklyn One Marina and were herein 2015 when it first opened. Since Allen wore his 2015 marina tee shirt and wrote them a good review on ActiveCapitan back then , they gave us a nice discount but still very very pricy. As soon as we could, we walked into the city and enjoyed ice cream cones and shopping at a Mideastern grocery store and later a bagel shop (of course!). There went dinner plans for tonight. Allen loves salt bagels but knows how bad they are for you. he and smeared it with our newly purchased taramasalata. Yummy! Time to read and enjoy the Manhattan skyline from our boat in the marina. We will be getting together with our son Todd a little later today in Manhattan's Financial District.

Next Stop: Long Island Sound: Tomorrow afternoon we plan to sail (motor actually) with the flood tide through the East River and enter Long Island Sound. We are not sure of our next few ports of call but City Island is our next likely anchorage. We will probably visit Port Washington and Oyster Bay on the Long Island side as well. We are really hoping for wind so we can finally do some sailing! The ports in the Sound we are really looking forward to are Essex, Mystic and Sag Harbor in the Hamptons.

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Marcelo Britto
Marcelo Britto
May 18, 2023

Hi Allen and Norma! Great to see you sailing!


Lovely, interesting posts. Seems like you are having a great time - you deserve it. Keep it up - I look forward to your posts.



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