One of the things Libbie and I had struggled with was naming our dinghy.
We didn’t like what we had come up with so far.
Baby Selkie. Selkie Junior. A Little Dinghy.
None really had the panache we were looking for.
A tradition in my family has been to name a boat after a family member. That is, unless you are a duck hunter, in which case you name it after a duck.
We met someone on the Loop who named his boat after his wife, hoping it would make her want to be on the boat. As far as I know, he’s still waiting for his wife.
I must admit, it is cool to have a boat named after you. Especially an Aircraft Carrier. But that won’t happen in my lifetime, at least for me. It might happen for Libbie.
We started thinking about our grandsons. We have 3 so far, and maybe another one might come along some day.
We struggled with naming the dinghy after one of the grandsons, but we didn’t want to make the other boys jealous.
Albert. Pete. Finley.
How can you work with that combination of names?
So we did what any sane set of grandparents would do to sort it out.
We called their mothers.
After some discussion, we had success.
The dinghy has been been named PF Albert.
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It was a long two days coming up the Jersey shore.
After arriving at Atlantic Highlands Marina, we decided we were going to launch our dinghy and try to sail it.
When we first purchased Selkie, I inspected the dinghy (now named PF Albert) with all its components. There was a sailing setup for her, which had Libbie excited. The sailing package had never been unwrapped.
It was up to us to figure out how to not only rig the sail, but also how to launch the dinghy and put the sail kit together without rolling the dinghy over.
Typically small boats are rigged for sailing on shore, but we needed to do it off the back of Selkie in the water, a much less stable platform.
Suffice to say, after trial and error and only one of us (ok, me) getting partially wet, we had a dinghy that sailed!
PF Albert sailed beautifully. It was a light wind morning. In a heavy wind afternoon, it might be a little different, but at least the sail has reefing points to reduce the sail size in higher winds.
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One of my objectives of this trip was to hook up with old friends who live on the east coast and elsewhere around the Loop.
For example, I went to a Prep School named The Hill outside Philadelphia.
When I graduated from Hill and went home to Northern Michigan, I really never had the opportunity to come back into the area or hook up with any of my buds with a very few exceptions.
I have good memories of all of my high school classmates.
I had lost touch with many of them for decades…until recently.
Even though I haven’t been a big fan of Social Media lately, I’m happy that it brought many of us back together.
On the way up the Jersey Coast, a classmate, Jim, had reached out and urged me to come to Atlantic Highlands, close to where he had grown up and now lived.
That’s why we chose Atlantic Highlands as a destination.
Jim and his wife, Mindy, had stayed with Libbie and me in our home at Lake Tahoe, and were eager to reciprocate.
Jim came down to the boat and picked us up. Mindy and Jim were excellent hosts in their lovely home, and took us to Bahrs Landing for dinner. It was a wonderful evening.
Check the box. Big time.
The next day was one of the anticipated highlights of the Loop: sailing through New York Harbor and up the Hudson to a marina close to transportation that would get us into Manhattan.
The trip was in beautiful weather. The harbor was as expected. Busy.
We passed by the Statue of Liberty.
We passed by Manhattan.
We went under the George Washington Bridge.
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Libbie wanted to see a Broadway play, and I wanted to pay tribute at the 9/11 Memorial.
We tied up at Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton-on-Hudson.
We went into New York the next day via train.
We walked from Grand Central Station to Broadway and purchased matinee tickets to Music Man.
We walked to Macy’s and had lunch.
We walked back to Broadway and saw the musical.
Libbie and I agreed that it was a great production.
Hugh Jackman, Sutton Foster and their supporting cast were amazing, the orchestra was spot on, and the general production was fabulous.
Check the box.
We then hopped on the subway and headed to the Memorial in the rain.
It started to rain, and as the Memorial closes at 5, we arrived after closing. There was no one else around, and the Reflecting Pools had been surrounded by a barrier to prevent people from getting too close.
That was ok with me, as it was very quiet and peaceful and beautiful despite being in NYC. We stood under a tree in the rain and reflected on that terrible day in 2001.
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We then returned home to continue our journey up the Hudson. We enter the Erie Canal tomorrow. “Low bridge, everybody down!”