New York Harbour, Second Time Around
13 July 2008 | New Y ork City
Hooey! What a thrill! New York is easily navigable, but you do have to have your wits about you.
As we left Atlantic Highlands on July 7, it was hazy with about 1 ˝ miles of visibility, and then to complicate matters a bit, our GPS cut out. Those red and green visual markers are very handy things, as are paper charts, so we made our way under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and along the channel almost to the Statue of Liberty in the old way - pre electronics.
We never did find out why the GPS fix disappeared - military playing games? - but with our charts and three sets of eyes, we had no difficulty - even with the multitude of ships crisscrossing this harbour. It was a thrill for me to be at the helm both coming in and leaving the city this time. Last time, Jim had the wheel while I took pictures and acted as spotter. This time we traded roles - and oh it felt just grand to steer our little vessel through the harbour.
Timing is everything in New York and the tides were with us and we traveled with the flooding current through the Narrows and up the Hudson River to the W 79th St Boat Basin. Once again, they had room for us - perhaps it helped to arrive early on a Monday afternoon, and this time we were lucky enough to snag a mooring very close to the dock. Last time we were far up the river - a very long dinghy ride when the current was against us.
We oohed and ahed at the Lady standing so high on her island, at the skyscrapers lining the Hudson River, at the man-made waterfalls we could see in the Harbour - a current art installation.
When we left on July 12, we timed our departure with the tide again. We hoisted our mainsail, rode the tail end of the ebb tide down the Hudson and, in company with 10 other sailboats, rode the current (making about 9 knots) up the East River, through Hell Gate and out into Long Island Sound - no sweat at all. We laughed when we remembered how much planning and anxiety had gone into the trip down the river in the fall. We met a couple of big boats but there was always room, and this time we could use the east channel by Roosevelt Island, eliminating any need to stop for a bridge.
Once again, it was a thrill to be at the wheel. Thank goodness the other captain on this boat is a believer in sharing the joys! (Did you notice the haircut??)