Today was going to be interesting. The trip down the East River needs to be carefully planned. You may prefer to leave early in the day so you may get to Cape May the following morning, and hopefully pick up a favorable current into the Delaware Bay in order to get to the Reedy Island anchorage at the top of the Bay before dark. This is what I did in 2013. But you really don't want to go down the East River with the current against you. At Hell Gate the current can run at more than 4 knots and with an average boat speed of 6 that does not leave you with much speed over the ground. Ideally you want to be at Hell Gate just before the south going ebb starts. Today that was predicted to be at 1437. Leaving at 1215 would give me plenty of time to get there at 1430. So I motored towards the first of the many tall bridges that I needed to pass to get back to the Atlantic. First Throgs Neck Bridge where Long Island Sound ends and the East River begins. Then the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, passing LaGuardia airport and the prison on Rikers Island to port. Then around Rikers Island and between North and South Brother Islands, under the Hell Gate railroad bridge and the Triborough Bridge into Hell Gate, which was quiet and had no current to speak of. Leaving Roosevelt Island to port and Manhattan Island to starboard. There was not much commercial traffic, but lots of pleasure craft stirred things up with lots of wake. I had forgotten that it was a weekend. Under the Queensboro Bridge and the cable car that ferries passengers from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. There were lots of people strolling, walking and jogging along the river side. And people always seem to feel the need to wave to passing boats. I started to feel like the king of England. (But it does make you feel good.) Next the Williamsburg Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Approaching the Manhattan Bridge
Approaching the Battery the river traffic became very heavy and I had to avoid several cruise boats, tugs and ferries. Finally through the Buttermilk Channel around Governors Island and we were in New York Harbor. Passing the last bridge, the Verrazano Bridge, at 1630 and we were, almost, in open water. At 1730 we rounded Sandy Hook. Although there was no wind I raised the main, just in case. We had a beautiful sunset over the New Jersey coast.
The forecast was for a SW breeze to pick up later in the evening, but it did not get there until
Monday 9/15 at 0015, when I finally shut down the engine. Later the lights of Atlantic City lit up the sky.
The wind was now from the west, at 8/10 knots, just enough to keep us moving on a close reach. Main, yankee and staysail all set. At 0300 the wind veered to the NW and increased to 12 knots. This was great sailing, on a full reach, in smooth water, until 1005, when the wind became very light and from the north. I started the engine and motored to Cape May, where I dropped anchor off the Coast Guard station at 1210. It was too late to round Cape May into the Delaware. The favorable current into the Bay would end soon and I would not make it to the Reedy Island anchorage before dark. And I discovred that Cape May has an urgent care health clinic close by Utsch's Marina and I thought it would be wise to have a professional look at my injured toe. Dinner at Lucky Bones.
In the morning I launched the dinghy, zipped to Utsch's Marina, bought 12 gallons of diesel to compensate for the use of their dock and limped to the health clinic. A nurse and a doctor looked at my toe, said that it looked painful, but OK; told me to soak it in warm water with anti-bacterial soap, treat it with Bacitracin and keep it covered with gauze. They then gave me a tetanus shot and I was done. While in the waiting room I had been reading on a Kindle. When they moved me to a treatment room, I picked up my Kindle, but it had suddenly died. The screen was partially frozen. I have not a good relationship with Kindles. This is the third one that died. I like them on board, because, unlike an iPad or a Samsung Android tablet, you can read on a Kindle in full sunlight. Ah well. No more Kindles for me. Back on board a Cabo Rico 38 had anchored nearby and I met Janice and Chris on Kalisto. They were starting their cruise south. Perhaps I will run into them somewhere, when I take the tug down south through the ICW.