Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New York, New York!!!

After a restful night at Sandy Hook, we gave ourselves about 2 hours to hit the Verrazano Narrow Bridge at slack before the flood, and our timing was perfect.
The New York Harbor can be a little intimidating but we have boated here for years, and arriving was like tucking in with a warm blanket. We motorsailed up the Harbor and into the East River, at one point seeing 9 knots of speed over the ground.

Transiting the NY Harbor and the East River is an amazing experience. No matter how many times you see it, the Statue of Liberty never fails to delight. It is awesome to look up and see all the buildings at the Battery, the absence of the World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, and on and on. I remember sitting at my desk on the morning of 9/11 while the towers were burning watching a lone sailboat motoring up the Hudson River, wondering if they had any idea what they were about to approach.

We hit Hell Gate at the confluence of the East and Hudson River with the favorable flood current right around max, and saw 11 knots. For each of the years Peter and I have passed through Hell Gate we have never failed to crack open a bottle of champagne, initially to calm my nerves and then to celebrate our long standing tradition. With only one bottle remaining aboard and reserved for a planned get together with my friend Kristin, we transited without incident and without bubbly.
For those that have never passed through Hell Gate, there is absolutely nothing to it if you ride the favorable current. At max, it can be exciting with a few whirlpools, so I prefer to avoid max. Having said that, it seems that is when we always arrive to the Captain's glee.

This picture gives you an idea of how fierce the current can be. Never approach Hell Gate with an opposing current any more than an hour after slack.

We had a nice ride up the East River and ended up at the City Island Yacht Club, which we used to call home for First Edition. From here we will support the medical profession back in NJ before I head off to Florida to visit my aunt and Peter continues to do boat chores.

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