Sandy Hook is exactly what the name indicates - a sandy hook of land at the end of the cape. Therefore, I suppose, it should not have been a surprise when Atlantic Highlands turned out to be - high. Not mountains, of course, but much higher than the surrounding areas and very pretty. Old Victorian homes perched up on the hills overlook the waterfront and across the harbor to New York City.
|The view from our mooring ball at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor|
We were treated to that same view from our mooring ball at the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club. We could have anchored far out at the end of the breakwater. The proximity to town and the launch service included with your mooring ball convinced us to spend the money. Launch service is handy - especially if you are planning laundry and grocery runs. Basically, they have little open boats, often very cool ones, that will come out to your boat and deliver you to the dock. This one was also very dog friendly. As such, we didn't even need to drop our dinghy throughout our three day stay. The launch drivers were very responsive and extremely courteous. Unless, as we witnessed, you happened to be an idiot and get in their way at their dock. In that case, you could expect a full dose of Jersey attitude.
The harbor there is quite busy during the day as high-speed commuter ferries run into New York regularly. The mooring field is full of sailboats (and only sailboats) most of which are long term rentals. Transients, like us, are actually paying to use a mooring that belongs to somebody who isn't there at the moment.
|Tilly - always relying on cuteness to keep her out of trouble.|
As usual, we had accumulated a mountain of laundry. Laundry is something you take for granted in a house. There, the washing machine just runs all the time so the mountain is kept at bay. On a boat, it just piles up in the mesh bags until it starts to take over a large part of the aft cabin. Which is Tilly's cabin. And she resents the intrusion. And, occasionally, drags out a sock or something and destroys it to reinforce her displeasure. Lucky for her she is cute.
Lucky for us that the Atlantic Laundry is only a short walk from the marina, right on Main Street and right next to several restaurants. Consequently, we were able to combine laundry and breakfast by sitting at an outdoor table at the cafe across the street. Tilly got water and attention, we got pancakes and omelets and we could run across the street to check loads in the dryers. Very efficient.
|Tilly chilling outside Charlie's Atlantic Laundry.|
On the last afternoon, I left Junie and Tilly on SeaClearly and made the hike to the Super Foodtown. It was a little over a mile each way but we scored some good stuff. We have a couple of fold-up rolling carts tucked away in the cockpit lockers that are absolutely indispensable for these shore-side trips. I carted back a case of bottled water, soft drinks, a large cold bag and three other bags of groceries. Carrying all that for a mile would have been impossible.
Now, we were all staged to head through New York City. We worked backwards from the time we needed to be passing through the high currents at Hell Gate to determine our departure time from the marina - 7:00 am the next morning, Friday, June 24th.