Friday, June 22, 2012

New York City…By Boat! YIKES!

Ok, I’ll get through the mundane stuff quickly. We left Manesquan. Conditions were great on the ocean. Weather was wonderful…blah, blah, blah.

Now, about New York City.

About 11:15 am we rounded Sandy Hook, NJ which meant that we were actually in Lower New York Harbor. So far so good. Plenty of water and great conditions particularly the seas which were near calm. We were surprised at all the fishing boats out there. There were lots of small craft as well as larger party boats. The skyline of New York was very visible off to our starboard and starboard bow. Keeping on course to head up to the Hudson River took us first under the Varrazano Narrows Bridge. From that point everything changed. All of sudden we were in commercial boating land. There were several large container ships entering and leaving and we had to bust some very big wakes to keep the dry side up and the wet side down.
NYC from the edge of the lower harbor

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge from the lower harbor. This bridge is the gateway to the upper harbor.
Lighthouse in the lower harbor
After the big boats cleared out we could easily now see Manhattan. Each mile it got larger and larger. Then off our port bow Lisa cried out that she spotted the Statue of Liberty. There it was, big as life. It was awe inspiring to know that this was the same view that so many of our ancestors had when they were entering New York. Just past that was Ellis Island. The sun was now shinning and Manhattan sparkled. Now that’s all the good part.
Trouble ahead.


Some big statue. ???

Uh oh.

Ellis Island

The bad part of all this is that Upper New York Harbor is the biggest piece of garbage you would ever lay your eyes on. There were dozens of excursion boats and ferries all over the stinking place. The rules of the road say that they, commercial vessels, are the stand on vessels all the time. That made us the give way vessel all the time. So I was bobbing and weaving all over the place trying like crazy to not get in anyone’s way. And the water was incredibly choppy. Actually saying it was choppy is not a strong enough term. It was sloppy! Holy cats!

But we did make it up into the Hudson away from all the garbage. Soon the river quieted down nicely. The modern mega towers of Manhattan gave way to taller older buildings. Then more moderate buildings. We passed under the George Washington Bridge and except for a small sailing boat we were the only boat around. It was pleasant. The only downer of the river up this far is that there was a pretty tough current going down to the ocean and even at 1900 rpm, which is up there for Why Knot, we could only manage to squeeze 6.5 or 6.6 knots. That’s pretty slow. 

The Hudson River Valley is beautiful with lush, thick forests on both sides. The river is very deep so the valley is more of a canyon. The western shore is steep and hilly with only a scant few signs of population. There are some bare rock cliffs where in several spots they have tumbled down into the river. The eastern shore is not as steep but there are several towns along the way where buildings are built up and staggered along the vertical geography. There probably isn’t a straight road anywhere. We passed towns like Riverdale, Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown and Ossining. If Ossining sounds familiar it’s because it is home to the Ossining State Prison, otherwise known as Sing Sing, right there built up from the water. It may be hard time but at least the prisoners have a nice view. Our marina is on the east side of the river in Haverstraw Bay near the town of Croton-On-Hudson. Like I said it is very beautiful up here.
Sing Sing
We shall take a few days off here as we have to catch up on some chores, namely routine maintenance on the boat including giving it a good cleaning, laundry and provisioning. It’s a short walk to the town but it is very hot right now with temperatures in the 90’s. We’ll see how we deal with that.