Monday, March 27, 2006

Beauty And The Beast

Arguably our biggest mistake was to make the trek from West 34th Street right down to Pier 83 on West 42nd Street & 12th Avenue, amid the hottest period we had yet to experience in New York. I can still remember my aggravated annoyance at making the undeniably ludicrous decision to wear black jeans on that day. In light of this, Mrs H decided that silence was the best policy, but soon diffused the situation by buying me a nice ice cold Sprite from the beverage vendor on the pier-side.

Our primary reason for making the trip on this occasion was to provide a dummy run for our evening out on the World Yacht Cruise the following day. I also had to enquire as to the situation regarding attire. The website insisted that all gentlemen were required to wear a dinner jacket and tie for the evening. As I appear to be going off topic, I’ll cover this Cruise later on in the week...

Whilst sat down in the only shaded area available, we could see the U.S.S. Intrepid and various Liberty Tours around the Hudson. However, there was one attraction that caught our eye. It was a high speed boat ride aboard ‘The Beast’. With glaring teeth on it’s livery and promising the best sights and sounds of the Hudson, this seemed to be the one to do.

We paid for our tickets and lined up. After what seemed like an age (due to the lack of shelter) we were finally greeted by a gentleman who went by the name of Mad Dog. He was your typical theme park attraction over-acting buffoon which I happen to love. After a flurry of gags to warm up the crowd (as if we needed that in the 90 degree sun!) we were asked to undergo a compulsory photograph before boarding the boat. We later discovered that this was not for security reasons but a thinly veiled ruse to encourage you to buy it as a souvenir.

Getting on board was an attraction in itself. It may have been a glorious day but the floating decks to get to the boat were moving in all directions. Eventually we made it on board and decided to head for the front to gain the best view. The seats were populated very quickly and after some more comedy from Mad Dog and his assistant Wild Thing, who appeared out of nowhere, we were on our way.

Sitting at the front of the boat, in hindsight, may not have been the best decision. With me being 6’ 3” and Wild Thing commentating about two foot away, I bore the brunt of some of his material. I was mocked as a running joke regarding my holding on of the handrail during the entire ride!

We jetted down the Hudson at around 45mph and it took my breath away. This initiated a mini-disaster as my right contact lens made friends with a minute piece of grit thrown up by the water spray. I then decided to get the camera out to snap some skyline scenery and I dropped the bloody case which went flying down the aisle.

We eventually arrived at the Statue of Liberty and the boat came to a halt for some pictures to be taken. Wild Thing very kindly offered to take all pictures with Liberty serving as the backdrop.

On the way back we were lucky enough to see this boat ejecting coloured water in the colours of the Stars & Stripes.

Also saw this pleasure boat trip pass us by. And yes, we were all forced to do the obligatory wave to them.

The whole trip lasted for 30 minutes and set to a series of rock classics and dance music which all related to the commentary and sights we were being shown. Very professional and damn enjoyable too.

It also served as a great way to cool off...


At March 29, 2006 5:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good had time to look with Claire today she was very impressed.
Might try to get one of our freinds in Tonga,Fiji or rachel in New zealand to have a look. Clive wont have one from there.

At March 31, 2006 4:50 pm, Blogger Harmunt said...

Thanks for the kind words - much appreciated.

Get all your mates on here! I need the hits to defeat the evil MrC...


At April 05, 2006 4:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Neil me and Pav here from Singapore, we love the pictures and hope you are glad we made it onto your amazing blog. Love you loads hope you are now smiling. Loads of love. Toni and Pav xxx

At April 06, 2006 11:04 pm, Blogger Harmunt said...

Big smiles! :) xxx


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