Shiny New Tank

The guys at Luther’s Welding did a fantastic job of making the tank – it’s a work of shiny aluminium art. And they made a pair of stainless steel brackets and donated some aluminium bar so that we could install more solar panels (we bought three more from Home Depot).

The Bristol Marine folks collected the tank from Luther’s, collected Lady Jane and us from our swinging mooring, and set about installing the tank. Within two days, Brian and Jared had finished. Brian had worked out a way of connecting the existing metric fittings (metrification never did take off here in the 70’s), polished and pumped back the old diesel, tested for leaks, put Lady Jane’s internal doors back on, and checked the engine and the heater. 

Then, Greg (the yard manager) arrived with the invoice. 

And to our surprise, it was less than quoted. Happy days for the crew of Lady Jane. With our leak-free tank, the boat smells fresher and so do our clothes. And we no longer worry about the small leak becoming a flood of diesel; that would completely ruin our day – and most of the soft furnishings too.

Destination New York

We left the Bristol Marine dock early next morning to head towards Port Washington, stopping along the way at Fishers Island and Port Jefferson to anchor overnight. The cold we experienced in Maine is creeping south now. So, until we get much further south, it’s thermals, three layers, and sailing boots for the crew of Lady Jane. We’ve stowed away our t-shirts and shorts. And the thought of barefoot sailing brings on an attack of the chilblains. 

Our arrival in Port Washington felt a little like coming home, such is its familiarity. And because the sailing season is over for most of the local folks, we had plenty of Port Water Taxi mooring buoys from which to choose. So, we grabbed one as close to the town dock as possible, to reduce the distance of the dinghy ride.

We had a few things to do in Port Washington. On the practical side, we wanted to install the old panels, find out why the rudder sensor was no longer working and fix it, and get another propane tank (we can’t find anywhere here to fill the tanks we brought from Europe). 

On the less practical side of things, we wanted to explore more of New York, revisit Maria’s Auntie Jane, and call at the Apple Store to buy some new stuff. 

We’ve Got Gas

On one of our treks up the hill to get the train to New York, we stumbled into Shields Hardware store. They had a truck full of propane tanks outside, and we thought we could be onto a winner. And we were. Although the non-rusty variant of the 10lb tank we wanted was empty, we preferred that one over the one that looks like it would burst apart at any moment. So, we came back a couple of days later to hand over $80 for the tank. That’s a bit more expensive than Home Depot but considerably less than West Marine. 

Gas bottles can’t be filled anywhere in the area around Port Washington, so we had no choice but to get an Uber to Big Valley Nursery at Glen Head. So, it was $30 round trip for the taxi, and just $10 for the refill. Expensive, but at least we won’t be eating cold food out of a can. 

Gas!

New York Revisited

One of the least-publicised attractions New York City has to offer is the Highline. It’s a park built on the old West Side Railway Line. And it’s possible to walk along the entire 1.45 miles of the old spur enjoying the changing scenery, art installations, sometimes music, and always places to stuff your face as you go. We strolled along the full length of the park from north to south, stopping at the Venezuelan hot dog stall for lunch. 

We also took a stroll in Central Park, found Strawberry Fields and the Imagine Mosaic. This is an area for quiet contemplation, or it would have been if the busker wasn’t singing John Lennon songs while people contemplated having their photos taken on the mosaic.

Not far from Strawberry Fields is the hotel in which we stayed when we got married in NYC. The Lucerne is just as we remembered it, although the surrounding area is much jazzier now. We couldn’t find the pub with the pool table or the NY equivalent of the greasy spoon serving breakfast. It’s all restaurants and wine bars now. But it was nice to reminisce and great to see that the hotel hasn’t changed much at all. 

Our tech supplies were updates after a visit to the Apple Store with the glass staircase. We picked up some less-expensive souvenirs at a tourist shop and some essentials at the tardis-like Home Depot. And we paid a couple of visits to Jane’s apartment to collect more things we had delivered – and we can’t thank her enough. 

Around the Highline
Central Park and Around Town

Who You Gonna Call?

On our ramble around, we browsed around the excellent Chelsea Market, tried on sunglasses that fit our faces (and some that don’t) from Warby Parker and RayBan. And we took a stroll around Soho, where we came across the Ghostbusters fire station, just as Ladder 8 was coming back to base. There’s no sign of Bill Murray, but the Ghostbusters sign is still on the wall and the floor outside. And they are hugely accommodating of fans of the film – as you may be able to see in one of the photos. 

And that was it for our Bristol and New York Odyssey. We finished all the jobs we set out to complete. We have propane, a working rudder sensor, and a brand new diesel tank. And now, with 810 watts of solar panels fitted, Lady Jane has taken on the appearance of a solar farm. But it’s great for the batteries.  And we should now be able to run the watermaker whenever we want to, without having to run the engine.

So our next mission is to look for a weather window to head towards the Chesapeake. There are no trade winds here – we’ll have to grab the opportunity while we can and make a dash for it.

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