It was early afternoon on September 16, 2017 when we arrived at Seaview House Marina in Stamford, Connecticut. We were greeted at our temporary slip by the dock master, Vinny, who welcomed us to our “new home” and tied our dock lines.
The dogs were anxious to put their paws on dry land, so we hitched them up and went to find the grass. On our way, we met our neighbors Jay, Susan, and Lily (their sweet fluffy white pup). As we were at the far end of the marina, we got to see the lay of the land on our way to the yard. The property consisted of five floating docks (one with fuel), a parking garage that was shared with an office building, two full bathrooms with showers, the marina office, and a very large yard used for dry storage and dog walking.
We decided that we needed some groceries, so Glen and I walked to Shop-Rite which was just around the corner. The walk there was a breeze, however after buying more items than we intended, we ordered an Uber to take us home.
We were only in our slip for a few days when we moved to our permanent slip right next to the fuel dock. This put us as close to the yard as possible which we were very happy about. The fuel dock would only be open for another couple of months before closing for winter.
Our truck was still in Fort Lauderdale at this point. Our neighbor, Susan, offered to drive John to the train station…the first stop on his flight out of La Guardia Airport. He managed to pick up the truck and make it back to Stamford in two days. He was exhausted!
When we were all settled in, we ordered a new outdoor freezer. Our indoor freezer is more of a second refrigerator; freezes one popsicle at a time, placed directly on the freezer plate, while running the motors ALL DAY LONG. We were so excited to be able to buy ice, ice cream, etc. once again. We purchased this particular freezer because it can run on shore power or 12v.
John was all set to start his new job at Bronx Lebanon Hospital by mid-October. We decided to take a little drive over to NYC to see the location and check on parking. The boys oohed-and-aahed on the drive through the Big Apple. John briefly thought about taking the train to work, but the cost was significantly more than tolls and parking.
Boatschool was in full swing by now. We were still working out kinks, but the boys were getting used to the new schedule. When we weren’t schooling, we explored the city. There was a West Marine and quite a few restaurants within walking distance of the marina. We found a decent pizza place called Tomato Tomato that we would frequent. We always ordered a pie called “The Point” (a chicken pizza) and a pepperoni for Erik. The tables were covered with white paper, and crayons were provided. This kept the boys busy while we waited on our meal, and Glen taught everyone how to draw a Mahi-Mahi at our first visit. From there on, our tables were covered with Mahi-Mahi drawings from everyone.
Thursdays became laundry day. It was almost unreal to be able to wash/dry our clothes and linens in actual machines instead of the bucket and stick technique that had become second nature. The laundromat was only a couple of miles away, and we learned that if we timed it just right, we could be there before everyone else got started for the day.
Our dinghy had taken some abuse being that it was used by a charter company. John had hopes of refurbishing it as the cost to replace it for the exact same model was more than we wanted to spend. So, he found a small rigid dinghy with oars to take the place of our larger one for the time being. The boys would take the dinghy out on the water right by the boat and paddle around.
On one of our many side trips out of Stamford, we came across this grocery store called Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk. It looked interesting from the road, so we decided that we needed to go in and check it out. We ate lunch at their outdoor cafe area and then headed inside to the Disney World of grocery stores. There were characters and gadgets and moving displays. We only purchased some steak, but the store entertained us for quite some time.
There are many more family adventures to come for us in Stamford as we made this our home for seven months. We learned a lot about ourselves, a lot about our boat, made new friends, had many new experiences, and made some decisions about our sailing and live aboard future.