Dinner at Port Liberty

With Sally Paul

August 29, 2007

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Sally Paul and I wanted to paddle across to New Jersey, but the wind was up on Wednesday, so we drove across instead. I imagined all that water overhead as we went through the Holland Tunnel.

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We went out to the Liberty State Park to meet some local boating experts.

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Peter grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey.

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When Peter was young, his dad, Paul, would drop the kids off at the water with a rowboat on his way to work. And pick them up in the evening on the way home. They would explore the bay all day.

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“Before you give a kid a motor, he should learn how to row a boat.” Said Paul. Here is Paul with a beautiful rowboat that he made for the kids, 47 years ago!

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We took the boats down to to the water.

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The wind was still up, but we decided to set out and see what we could see.

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It was hard for Sally and I to paddle into the wind, so Peter gave us a tow.

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The canals of Port Liberty are shielded from the wind, and we head in to explore.

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“Not many people can say they have been in the canals of New Jersey!” said Peter,”Venice, maybe, but not New Jersey.”

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There is a restaurant at Port Liberty. Peter had been there by land, but he had never pulled up in a boat before…

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He tied up the boats so they wouldn’t hit against each other or the dock.

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Here we are!

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We decided to have dinner while waiting for the wind to die down.

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The view is first rate,

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and so is the food!

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The ma├«tre d’ lent us a pair of powerful binoculars.

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And we looked out across the bay. That is Redhook over there somewhere.

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We came back to the boats. Safe and Sound.

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But the wind had not let up.

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Each time we crashed over a wave,

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I could hear the plywood seat in the boat cracking away from the frame.

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But as we came around the breakwater, we were running with the wind.

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“Can we get a little closer to the Statue of Liberty?” asked Sally. She said that when she was a kid her family took a ferry to the statue. When they arrived at Liberty Island, her mother wanted to stay on the boat. “This is close enough, girls.” Her mother said.┬ And they turned around and rode the ferry back.

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“The wind is too strong,” I said “If we made it there we would never get back to Jersey.”

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“You’ll have to come back another time.” said Peter.

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There is something else I want to come back for too.

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Out there are two barges where the Corps of Engineers puts all the floating wreckage that they find in the Harbor.

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Peter said that when he found out I lost my boat last year, he paddled out to see if it wound up on one of those barges. It had not, but I wonder what other kinds of things might be out there.

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Sally and I started to get blown off course again and Peter threw us a tow rope.

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We all made it back in one piece.

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Sally helped dump the water out of the bottom of my boat.

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Peter’s Dad’s boat was as dry as can be. Ship shape after 47 years!

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We packed up the boats as the sun was setting,

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and had some ice cream.

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The tide was coming in and the lights were just coming on along the horizon.

Thanks for a great day Peter!

-Marie Lorenz

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