A really cool thing

One of the really cool things we've done lately, is sail through New York City. Not just to the city but through it. The East River runs 14 miles from the Throgs Neck bridge on the west end of Long Island Sound to the Battery on the southern tip of Manhattan. Steve did LOTS of planning for this passage. Currents on the river can reach 5 knots and we certainly didn't want to be going against them. At the midway point of the trip, where the East and Harlem rivers meet, the current can be so strong, the area is called Hell Gate. It didn't give these newbies warm and fuzzy feelings. The key was to time the currents so we could go through the city and continue on our way down the New Jersey coast.
Steve timed it perfectly and it was an amazing day.

We entered the East river, going under the Throgs Neck bridge, it was our first view of Manhattan.

                                              Sailing school, just past the bridge.

There were beautiful, expensive homes all along the river. Yes, that is a float plane in the garage.

We went under the bridge and past La Guardia airport and Rikers Island prison. Just across the river from Rikers was a maximum security barge. It had curling razor tape everywhere and a tunnel of the stuff leading to the barge. The upper left corner was a basketball court/outdoor area, also heavily razor wired.  I nicknamed it the 'party barge'. It made me claustrophobic just going by.

                  Another barge, this one looks like a residence with indoor and outdoor space.


   As we came around Rikers Island, we got our first good view of Manhattan. Hell Gate bridge is to the left.


There were so many beautiful old buildings and apartments. The rooftop gardens were everywhere.

Going through Hell Gate.

                                            The UN and the Chrysler building.

More beautiful apartments.

               River traffic, my captains course didn't cover right of way issues with planes.

                                                  Old and abandoned looking Domino Sugar mill.

                      Around another corner and our first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

The detail on the undersides of the bridges was ornate and beautiful. They don't build 'em like that anymore.

                            Brooklyn Bridge at the bottom of Manhattan.

One final corner and we were in busy New York harbor. The Statue of Liberty straight ahead. Tugs, ferries, planes, helicopters, sailboats, barges, and any and every other kind of conveyance in between.
It was a 2 hour trip through the city and one I'd really like to do again.
Tidbit: Throgs don't really have necks. The area around the bridge was name after the Rev. John Throggmorton who settled there in 1642 and it eventually was shortened to Throg.
Tidbit #2: The East river and the Harlem rivers are said to be the only rivers in the world with two mouths and no source.
I've gotten a little flack lately for not updating the blog. OK, I've gotten LOTS of flack and even a few hand grenades. but we were having so much fun at Gary and Alex's dock, time flew. We've been back in the US for about 6 weeks after our winter season in the VI's.  It's been great to use the phone and internet whenever I want, go to the grocery and find all the things on my list. Whaa hooo! It's the little things in life that are the most fun!

So we got pretty spoiled staying at a dock for a month. A dock with great friends and their great neighbors, unlimited access to a fabulous garden, gluten free bagel Sundays and use of a car. It was hard to leave. We actually stayed longer than planned because I needed a rather extensive physical and had the chance to do it all while we were there. Again, Alex, thanks a million for the use of your car.
We've been reacquainting ourselves with sailing in this part of the world. As Florida sailors we rarely had to deal with currents, tides were less than 2 feet and we seldom had fog. In New England the currents can run 4 knots, the tides rise and fall 8-10 feet twice a day (thus creating the current) and the fog just hangs around whenever it bloody well feels like it. It makes entering and exiting ports and canals a challenge: trying to figure out if we should go into a river with the current but against the wind, or against the current and with the wind, or wait for slack and motor like crazy.

Celebration on the dock behind Gary and Alex's house. We started out on a mooring ball, but the currents in the river were so strong and squirly, that we were doing wild loopdie loops around the ball. I think some of the neighbors complained that it was making them seasick to watch us, so we moved to the dock. The tide here is about 8 feet and combined with the strong river flow it makes for some serious eddies. This picture is at high tide, you can see the bridge to the dock is level.

                                                      Low tide and we all but disappeared.

           Fog in the Cape Cod canal, odd to be going under a bridge and not really be able to see it.