Almost Out of New York
01 November 2010 | Great Kills Harbor, Staten Island
If it were warm enough to anchor we would be out of New York State tonight. But the low is still in the 30's, so we opted for a marina again. Looking at the chart, we decided it would be less overall distance if we went to Great Kills Harbor, on the south shore of Staten Island rather than down to Atlantic Highlands behind Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Besides, this marina (Nichols Great Kills Marina) was $.50/ft less. So as much as Bud wanted to get out of New York, he agreed to come here.
We had quite a ride down the end of the Hudson. At one point we were doing 9.9 knots with the current and ebbing tide. That's the fastest we've ever gone on this boat, and we didn't even have the sails up.
The ride down past Manhattan was beautiful. I took a few pictures of the city and have posted them in the gallery. There were a few barges around, but most were anchored. It looked like the up-bound barges were anchored until the tide changed. We passed one other traveling sailboat. It was probably less than 30 feet and was from Juneau, Alaska. I hope he sailed it from Alaska, I find that reassuring.
Once we got below Manhattan things got interesting. We installed an AIS, Automatic Information System, receiver. It's supposed to receive information automatically broadcast from commercial vessels. The first time we encountered a barge on the Hudson we were pretty happy to have the alarm go off and "Dangerous Target" come up in a huge box on our chart screen. Once we got to lower Manhattan the alarm was going off constantly. The AIS is supposed to be able to give us detailed information about each vessel. We weren't getting anything but the alarm and the box, so we'll have to figure that out later. There were ferries and barges, cruise ships docked, freighters, Coast Guard vessels, dredges and more. It was a challenge to sort them all out and stay out of everyone's way. The picture for today is of the Statue of Liberty with two ferries crossing in front. That sort of sums up sailing through New York.
Our paper chart ended at the George Washington Bridge. We have the chart on our chart plotter and we have electronic charts on the computer. I went down to the computer and planned a route to our marina. It worked pretty well after we figured out that the green buoys numbered "23" and "21" on the computer chart were "21" and "19" on the chart plotter. I determined a point to head for that would take us safely across some relatively shallow flats (16 feet for most of it) and put that in as a waypoint on the chart plotter. We steered to the waypoint and from there to a light and a buoyed channel that took us into the marina. I know this seems pretty simple, but to do it for the first time and to have all the systems work together correctly felt like an accomplishment to me.
So Earendil is back in salt water and tomorrow we go to sea!