We made plans with Chuck and Sandra on s/v Eliora to go down to the Hook and back. Having similar sized boats, it's great fun to sail together.
Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. We didn't need the motor at all. There was another interesting fact. Usually when we reach the point of Sandy Hook we get attacked by these biting bugs. For some reason on Saturday though, they left us alone. Last August they were there biting at us along with huge jellyfish. Not this year. What a pleasant surprise.

We arrived in the afternoon and found some tight quarters to anchor in. I had just started a forum earlier that morning on SeaKnots on anchoring. I thought how funny it would be if today ended up being an experience worth writing about. It was non eventful. We strategically anchored close by to two power boats that were rafted up for the afternoon. There were so many kids that we figured there was not enough room for everyone to stay overnight. And, as planned, right before dusk, they headed home. We had enough room to swing any which way our boat - or the wind - desired.

We got a call from Chuck and Sandra to invite us over for some wine, crackers and cheese. We haven't purchased our dinghy yet so they came over to get us and brought us aboard Eliora. Wow, did they spoil us! We thought, okay, some cheese and crackers nothing fancy. Well, they pulled out all the stops. Sandra set up the cockpit like a 5 star restaurant. We had silverware, beautiful serving dishes, place settings and then there was the food! The cheese and crackers...I cannot even describe it. The cheese had 3 layers of different cheeses with sun-dried tomato crumbles on top. This description does not do it justice. There were also walnuts that she had from South Carolina I believe. They were the freshest walnuts I have had. Sandra sprinkled in the olive we brought back for them from our last trip to Barcelona. The wine was the one that we loved so much on a recent vacation we were on that we wrote down the name and bought is when we got back. Sure enough they were serving it on Saturday evening!

We were serving dinner that evening and now I was not so sure it would live up to their standards but we'd do our best to make it memorable. It ended up being such a fun, funny evening. I don't think I can remember the last time the 4 of us all laughed so much in one evening. We both have such busy schedules, I wish we would have more time to spend together. They are a great couple.

We were invited over for coffee the next morning. That, as you can guess it turned into a gourmet breakfast. Sandra did a fantastic job pulling the weekend menu together.

Shortly thereafter, we headed back. The timing was perfect. As we cast off, we set up the sails...and didn't have to touch them again until we had to put them away to dock. We made it back on one tack. The winds were strong and constant.

We were also very lucky. That day much of the area got hit with severe thunder storms. We just escaped them. They hit the hook but remained to our south. We were prepared just in case but didn't need to put the rain gear on.

On the sail back we relaxed, kicked back and enjoyed the true spirit of why we bought our sailboat. Sailing with Eliora another 43 foot sailboat naturally turns competitive. We have a friendly, unspoken competition. For the day we came out in the front. We'll see about next time since Eliora was carrying a dinghy. :-)

Great times!

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Comment by Charlotte Radford on August 30, 2008 at 6:45pm
What a fabulous trip you describe! The food makes me want to experiment and try it pics..thank you for sharing.

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