Great Kills Yacht Club (GKYC) – Staten Island, NY – Friday, 6/4
Today we had lots of work to do but before getting started, Denise went for a short walk around the neighborhood. The road which GKYC is located on is about a half mile long and houses 2 other yacht clubs and a marina, along with some homes and town homes. Here are a few pictures from her walk:
We spent the majority of the day working, planning our future stops, and talking with some of the GKYC members, many are in awe of our boat and come by to complement us. Although it was mostly partly cloudy most of the day, it did not rain. However, around 3:30 pm a large Florida-like thunderstorm blew through the area, but only lasted about 30 minutes. The good news was it washed a lot of the salt off of the boat, and some dirt with it.
Having eaten on board the last two nights, we decided to go out for dinner. There are several choices in the area, but we stuck with our “usual” spot at Cole’s Dockside. We usually take advantage of their fixed price menu option as it is always a good value. However, they have now changed their offering time and we were not able to take advantage of it as we arrived too late. This was disappointing as it is usually a good value, and although our food was good, we thought it was not as memorable.
We walked back to the boat after dinner and were amazed at how calm and peaceful it was.
Great Kills Yacht Club – Staten Island, NY – Saturday, 6/5
As usual, Denise was up with the Canadian geese, ducks and other waterfowl squawking since before sunrise. She was able to get in a run this morning; the first one in a week. It was tough because of the hills, and the lack of running in the last few days, but at this point all she is interested in is maintaining some level of fitness. Venturing to a new area to run, she discovered two small parks tucked in between a few neighborhoods and adjacent to the GK harbor.
After breakfast we met up with some other loopers Louis & Jody (“Wanderer”), and Pat & Marcia (“Boyle-in-Water-IV”) and walked to “Frank & Sal’s”. This is a favorite ‘must-see’ Italian market with great meats, cheeses, fresh deli salads, bakery and prepared meals. It is not big, but was enough good things to temp us to put in our basket, including some deli meat, Italian cookies, and crab-stuffed salmon for dinner onboard tonight.
Since we finally had favorable albeit warm weather, we took advantage and stayed around the yacht club to clean and polish items on the boat. Mark scrubbed the outside while Denise did major chrome and stainless steel polishing. We socialized with some of the other locals and got visited by Pat & Marcia (“Boyle-in-Water-IV”) who were exploring the harbor in their dinghy.
During the day our new friends on “Wanderer” left and other Looper boats came in, including one in a slip next to us. Jon and DeeDee (“War Eagle”) pulled in and after a quick tie-up, we introduced ourselves. Here we discovered they were from Orlando, now living in Winter Garden but formerly from Audubon Park. After more discussion we learned Jon was born and raised in Miami and DeeDee was a 1990 graduate of Bishop Moore High School; Denise’s alma mater. What a small world it truly is. We left them to settle their boat and did not see them again until much later in the day, and then only briefly. We never got the chance to connect with them much, but hope to see them further up the Hudson River.
That evening we cooked dinner on board (the salmon was delicious) and then walked the docks, talking with a few of the locals on the dock next to ours. It is always through the locals that we get great ideas of things to do and see in the area, so we always try to engage such folks along the way.
In the evening we first attempted to stream a movie (“The Age of Adeline” – very intriguing) with GKYC’s Wi-Fi, but had to eventually switch to our own hotpot. One of our disappointments in this visit is that they still have not upgraded their WI-FI, and it has gotten even worse than it was on our last visit. John C has told us they now are working on the infrastructure of the club and it will be better shortly. We are hoping that it will be improved should we return in the fall. The cell coverage is also spotty, but we have been able to make it work when needed and then use it for WI-FI. But this consumes much of our available bandwidth, and it is a frustrating first-world problem.
Great Kills Yacht Club – Staten Island, NY – Sunday, 6/6
Today was a very hot day and one full of activity and fun.
We started by walking a mile to the Church of St. Clair for 8:30 am mass. This is a lovely parish in a small but upscale neighborhood, so the walk was pleasant among the tree-lined streets.
After mass we continued walking up the street to the little ‘downtown’ area of Great Kills, and to the train station. Our intent was to take the train all the way to the Staten Island (SI) Ferry. However, they were doing scheduled maintenance which we didn’t know about, so we were only able to take it half way. Then they had a “courtesy bus” that took us the rest of the way. This added more time to our trip, but it was still early enough in the day that it was not an issue. The bus dropped us off at the SI Ferry terminal.
But before catching the ferry, we walked to the Staten Island September 11 Memorial, located along the waterfront near the terminal. Here there is a sculpture and parkland that pays tribute to those SI residences who lost their lives on 9-11, as well as the victims of the first World Trade Center bombings in 1993. Part of the memorial also includes a section of the first responders involved in the recovery efforts on 9-11, many of whom became ill from the effects and have subsequently died. It has two “wings” to represent postcards and with the right angle you can see the Manhattan skyline between them. You can learn more about this memorial here.
After the memorial, we walked back to the ferry terminal and caught the 11:30 am ferry to Manhattan. It was a nice day to be on the water, and we were not really interested in going into Manhattan, we just wanted to stay on the ferry and ride it back to SI. However, due to security reasons we were forced to get off.
Since we were in Manhattan we figured we would get some lunch before heading back to Staten Island. We really didn’t want to venture too far into the city, (it was already approaching 90°) so we stayed close to the financial district. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday few things were open. However, we managed to find a small sandwich shop and took our lunch to a nearby park to eat it. Called the “Queen Elizabeth II September 11th Garden”, this particular park provided a perfect respite from this hot and noisy day. It is true that NYC is the city that does not sleep and on this Sunday, there were several construction and road utility works underway right nearby.
After lunch we turned down Wall Street and took it to the water, figuring a walk along the East River may be cooler than along city sidewalks. This was partially true, but eventually we had to move out into the sun. The pathway was crowded but we didn’t have to take it too far before we ended back at the ferry terminal. We only had a short wait for the next ferry, and grabbed spots on the East River side for our return trip. The ferry was crowded and we welcomed a spot near the window where we could watch the boats out on the water. We even got to see quite a display of sailboats enjoying beautiful conditions.
Once back on Staten Island we had to reverse the bus-to-train excursion. It seemed to take much longer than in the morning, but it was probably because we were hot and tired. Once we finally got back to the GK station we stopped at the Top Tomato grocery store to pick up a few items. This is a local chain and has some pretty good produce prices, as well as a seafood and meat counter.
Finally, we arrived back at the boat, stowed our purchases and fixed an ice cold drink. We had walked the equivalent of 6 miles today and that was over 10,000 steps.
We went over to visit Marcia & Pat (“Boyle-in-Water-IV”) on their boat to discuss departure plans for tomorrow. They are also leaving and we wanted to coordinate for picture taking of our mutual boats in front of the Statue of Liberty. We were excited as we have not had an opportunity like this in all the times we have been through NY Harbor on our Island Office.
In the evening, we prepared and ate dinner on the boat, and spent time talking to family members on the phone. Once again we had a fun time at Great Kills Yacht Club, but we would be leaving tomorrow for our adventure up the Hudson River.