11 – 19 July: Port Washington to Truman Beach, Long Island – 41 08N 72 20W
Cruising the Path of the Presidents
When we popped out into Long Island Sound from the East River in New York it was a total transformation from an overcrowded world of chaos to total tranquillity and wide open spaces. Gone were the high rise buildings, built in each others shadows – here it was the exact opposite, each property had acres of manicured grounds - there were stables, coach houses, boathouses and summer gazebos perched out on the ends of deep water jetties. We had found the keepers of Americas “old money”, and they were displaying their wealth in style.
We stopped in Port Washington, Port Jefferson and Truman Bay, all named for past presidents – we imagine they all had their summer homes in these areas, and why wouldn’t you?
We also stopped in beautiful Oyster Bay, can’t have been a president here and that is probably because this is Rockefeller territory – their summer home and museum are tucked away in extensive grounds on the headland, the home is currently closed for renovations so we couldn’t visit - glad we are not paying for the refit!
Last Slice of the Big Apple
Port Washington was a great stop. The anchorage is tucked away at the end of the bay and the town offers free moorings for a couple of nights, and a free dinghy dock. Then there's a laundromat, supermarket and West Marine within a short walk – all the ingredients we cruisers need for a good stopover. Now the other bonus here is that there is a train link to New York Penn Station, so we just couldn’t resist another day in the Big Apple.
We had our day all planned, a walk through Madison Square Gardens, a leisurely stroll to Times Square for coffee – and that is where our plan fell apart. While Mark queued for our daily caffeine hit I spotted the last minute theatre ticket booths and came up with Plan B, Saturday afternoon at a Broadway show. I had seen Phantom of the Opera over 20 years ago in London and Mark hadn’t seen it, with excellent tickets available for US$75 each the decision was made in a flash, we were off to a Broadway show.
Saturday in Times Square – chaos!!
So we revised our walking tour and instead walked up Broadway through all the covered market area then turned down into the Diamond District. We visited the Rockefeller Centre (yep those Rockefellers again), when it was built the lowers levels housed the largest indoor shopping centre in the world, nowadays it would be classed as rather upmarket and select. We went up and down streets, found parks and plazas and happily got lost until we found Times Square again, grabbed some street food for lunch and observed the masses.
We joined thousands of other theatre goers for an afternoon matinee and the Phantom was absolutely brilliant. Our seats were excellent, the theatre was lovely and the performance nothing short of superb. The stage sets, sound quality, acting and singing were all first class, it was magnificent and for us completed our stay in New York – a Broadway performance, it just had to be done!!
We had another great day in New York and collapsed onto an early evening train back to Port Washington, we ended the day with cocktails at a waterfront oyster bar as the sun dipped – it had been an excellent day.
New York – All Done ….. till next time!!!