This online document is a means of sharing the adventure of traveling on America's waterways with friends and family. Last Dance is continuing to take her crew to historical, natural, beautiful, and interesting places. Enjoy the ride.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

New York

A story of New York, gathered while aboard a boat, must begin with a photo of the skyline.  Lower Manhattan on a gray day.

Last Dance berthed at the Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island.  There are only a couple marinas on Manhattan, rocked with ferry and commercial boat wakes, priced to match their rarity. So, the crew became knowledgeable in public transportation.  It took a train, ferry, and subway to reach desired destinations.  Of course, a ride on any boat is usually a good experience.

Walking the streets of the City is a study in architecture, both old and new.  The crew believes the old has more character.

All is not concrete.  Some green spaces have been preserved and are well landscaped and maintained.  Brooklyn Bridge Park is in lower Manhattan.

The best known, of course, is Central Park, 843 acres in the middle of Manhattan Island.  The need for green is demonstrated by the throngs of people who congregate in the park on a weekend day.

The experiences in Central Park extends further than the experiences with the flora and fauna.  This instrument created a very different, sweet sound.

Friends and family reunions continued in New York City.  Mark Gordon, a colleague from St. Johns River State College, is now at a private boys school in the City.  Conversation was shared over a wonderful Italian dinner, with his wife, Angie.

The crew spent two days with Jon Onyiriuka.  The first concluded with an amazing meal at Rosa Mexicana, a restaurant unlike any other Mexican.  The final course was a Tres Leches cake with a fruit sauce that was truly mouthwatering. Jon is auditioning to become our son, dating the youngest, Brittany.

After food shopping at the Chelsea Market, a picnic was enjoyed at the High Line Park, constructed on an old elevated railroad bed.  Spending time with Jon, his positive attitude reflected in his ever-present smile, was a joy.  Jon already addresses us as Second Parents.

The High Line does provide a different view of things in the city.  A creative rendition of Eisenstaedt's The Kiss adorns one side of a building.

Continuing the journey into Long Island Sound involved a trip through New York Harbor on a foggy Monday morning.

The waters were shared with many ferries, tugs, freighters, and even a float plane landing.  Made for an exciting time.

New Jersey

After a long passage down the Delaware Bay, two stops were required to get around New Jersey.  Traveling in the often rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean takes a keen eye on the weather and a lot of luck.

The first stop was in Cape May, at the southern tip of the state, the only protected spot at the end of the Delaware Bay.

A long day north of Cape May, found Last Dance in a protected bay at the Barnegat Light.

Chesapeake - Maryland

Solomons Island

Bill and Jean Wright, who cruise aboard their 43 Selene, Chapter III, invited the Last Dance Crew to share a spot at their dock in the protected bay formed by Solomons Island.  This is a great boating destination, with the water's edges filled with marinas and boatyards.

Bill is a volunteer at the Calvert Museum, a great marine museum in Solomons.  He restores old watercraft and builds replicas, one of which sits on the front lawn of the museum.  Bill took the Last Dance crew on a behind the scenes tour of the boat building shop, an enjoyable experience, even if it was sans camera, and thus, no photo essay of the experience.

More great times shared with cruising friends.

Next to Bill and Jean's is a home built on a point of land.  The boathouse behind the home is one of the most interesting on the east coast.  Room for your classic antique Chris Craft runabout, and another boat on the other end, and a guest suite on top.  Architecture along the water is often interesting.

St. Michaels

The other great Chesapeake Maritime Museum is in St. Michaels, on the eastern shore.

St. Michaels' main street is filled with gift shops catering to tourists.  Some were stocked with unique items, enough to encourage the crew to participate in the economy of the town.

Off the main street are interesting, old homes on quiet streets.

We chose an anchorage on the San Domingo River behind St. Michaels, rather than the busy harbor on the other side.  Anchorages do provide more sunsets, a rewarding part of cruising.


The crew stops at local libraries to find low-cost books sold by Friends of the Library.  The small Oxford library had a few books to add to the collection aboard Last Dance. Small is one part of a definition of Oxford.

Historic, quaint, friendly, marine-based economy could be other descriptors.  The town is located on a narrow peninsula about 3 blocks wide.  The main street dead ends at a dock served by a 4 car ferry.  A peaceful and beautiful place.

Historic homes line the main street, all well restored and beautifully landscaped.  A walk through town is an architectural tour.  One resident described the architectural style as Fisherman Gothic.  Homes along the western side of main street have a bay in their backyard (a peak can be seen to the right of this home).

Many of the homes have a picket fence with a unique design that is referred to as the Oxford picket.  The community has an art contest and fundraiser, displayed along the streets and at businesses, of original art on Oxford picket fences.

At the end of the main street is a working piece of history, the Robert Morris Inn, built in 1710.  It still functions as an inn and has a restaurant with a well-deserved award-winning reputation.

Oxford residents seem to compete for the most colorful flowers adorning their yards, particularly roses.

Wye River

On the eastern shore, surrounding Wye Island, the Wye River retains most of its natural shoreline.  One of the few homes on the river is the oldest brick home on the eastern shore.

On the other side of the peninsula is a cottage that must be the guest quarters. It would look at home in an old English village.

Wye Island is mostly a wildlife preserve, with some areas leased to be used as farmland.

The creeks and coves off the Wye River provide many secluded anchoring opportunities, perfect for exploring and watching the wildlife.

Corsica and Magothy Rivers

Gerry and Joanne Buckley, Annapolis residents and Gold Loop cruisers, joined Last Dance for part of the cruise on the Chesapeake.  They anchored Morningside next to Last Dance in a cove off the Corsica River.  The plan was to cruise up the Chester River to Chestertown to participate in a large weekend festival there.  But, high winds changed the plans and the boats remained anchored on the Corsica.
An interesting house sits on the point where the Corsica and Chester Rivers join.  Red is the appropriate color for the current owners.  It was built by John J. Raskob in the 1920's.  He was vice president of finance at DuPont and General Motors, at the same time.  He was also a leader in the design and construction of the Empire State Building.  The 45 acre property is now owned by the Russian Embassy as a retreat for their staff members.

A trip across the Chesapeake to the western shore and up the Magothy River brought the crew to Gibson Island.  Gerry and Joanne have a friend with a home on the island and a dock large enough for both boats to dock.  The large outdoor areas of the home made for a great retreat.  One interesting story is that the front yard was once the 9th hole on the golf course.  The green can be seen behind the group.

Located just off the mouth of the Magothy River, the Baltimore light still provides navigation assistance.  Note the facility located off the walkway to the left.

Rock Hall

The tiny town of Rock Hall seems to have just two factors in its economy, marinas and restaurants.  Rock Hall also provided the crew an opportunity to catch up with friends Jeff and Suzanne Wright, from Treasure Island, FL, who keep their boat, Kathleen, in Rock Hall.  Of course, most of those conversations were conducted in the best restaurants.  Boats and good food, our kind of place.

Chesapeake City

. . . located on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, is the last stop in Maryland before cruising down the Delaware Bay.  The bridge over the canal towers over and dominates the town's skyline.


The anchorage at Chesapeake City had many families of Canada Geese that would parade by the boat.

This Blue Heron posed at the marina in Rock Hall.

Osprey on their nests observe Last Dance with suspicion.