A Low Carbon Fourth of July Weekend


A fishing trip to the ocean, an evening listening to surf on a secluded beach, barbecues with friends, and our local fireworks display all on 50 pounds of CO2!

One nice thing about having a sailboat is that traffic is not an issue, usually,  But weather and tide is, so we waited Friday night until the tide was ebbing, the wind had shifted to the northwest, and the thunderstorms had passed through. We slipped out moorings at around one thirty and sailed silently down the river until the wind died and the tide turned, near the Englewood boat basin north of the George Washington Bridge. We slept soundly until the tide turned back to the ebb in the morning, just as the north west wind filled back in, for a delightful sail through New York Harbor out into the open ocean

We sailed along the coast on the brisk northwester as far south as Monmouth on the Jersey Shore.  We trolled the whole way, and changed course a couple of times to pass near the fish slicks, but no luck!  The fish were active, but my lures were not (anyone know where I can find a red and white rat-l-trap lure to replace the one that big bluefish swam off with?).


We anchored Saturday night on the ocean side of Sandy Hook, ten miles south of the entrance to New York Harbor.  With the wind from the west, this open anchorage was quiet, and secluded – just the sound of the surf and gulls on the deserted beach.  We only rolled a bit when the container ships went through the Ambrose Channel.


Sunday morning we got up at dawn to make the morning flood tide, and got lucky with the wind, so we were able to sail up through the Narrows and right up to the Battery in Manhattan before losing it and starting the engine. We had to motor for four hours — about three gallons of diesel – to get back to our mooring in Nyack.  This was most of our carbon footprint for the whole weekend. Note to self — I have to look into  running the boat engine on bio-diesel on occasions like this. We might have waited for the evening tide and a better wind forecast, but we had a barbecue in Cold Spring to go to  . . .

Sunday afternoon we drove our electric Smart for Two to Cold Spring to a Fourth of July barbecue at Andy Revkin’s house — great people, great food, great music.  It was at the edge of the car’s range, but we brought the power cord just in case.  Monday, the Fourth, was a lazy day at home with nothing planned, and time to catch up on yard chores.  We were invited to another barbecue that evening (my CO2 footprint for the weekend includes the beef in the hamburger), then went back to our boat to watch the tail end of the Nyack fireworks from the water.


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