Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The East River Shenanigans

After 11 days in Port Washington, we weighed anchor to sail into the Big Apple Oct 27th in the indian summer warm afternoon air. We prepared ourselves for more strong current, a different kind of NYC traffic and to test our shiny new power supply. 

We motor sailed (sails up, motor on) out Manhasset Bay into Long Island Sound, propeller and power supply humming along nicely and didn't encounter too much traffic along our route, well, not until we entered the heart of the East River after Rikers Island, NYC's main jail complex (it's the NYC Alcatrez). If you look at the MooreBetter Map, you can imagine the importance of timing the current properly with all the twists and turns. In these narrow waterways, strong currents are an understatement. 

As we floated through two stressful 90 degree turns just after the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge towards Roosevelt Island, we had Aletheia whitewater sailing through the river at nearly 7mph! This was also at the strongest point of the current (about 2-3 hours after the start of the ebb current (or current in our favor) according to dear Eldridge!). It was a phenomenal site to witness the water white cap and boil over due to the current's direction and the narrowness of the water's path. We cruised past the streets of NY, waving to all the high rise buildings, watching the sleepless city dance about her business as if no one was watching, and observing the movement and noises from a much different, slow-paced perspective. 

After passing under the Brooklyn Bridge, hearts pounding, we felt like a cork bobbing through the river, being thrashed between the wakes of tugboats & barges, ferries and water taxis too numerous to count, carefully avoiding a Norwegian cruise ship and watching the armageddon-like helicopter tours entering and exiting the city right off one of the many piers lining FDR Drive. Slowly making our way through the East River and across the Hudson River into New Jersey was a very over-stimulating experience, one we'll not soon forget!

Hopefully some of the photos will do our trip justice. Although being there in the moment is a much different experience than seeing the water frozen in time through photos, here are some pictures from our sail through the city.

First site of NYC outside Manhasset Bay

Lighthouse at the start of the ebb current
Entrance into the East River at Throgs Neck Bridge
Prison Boat across from Riker's Island
Riker's Island - NYC main jail complex
Approaching the Queensboro Bridge
Crazy entrance into Hell Gate! Do you see the water boiling here on the flat surface?
Whitewater sailing under the Queensboro Bridge 
Approaching the north end of Roosevelt Island. Do you also see the water boiling here, flat surfaces to the left?!
Roosevelt Island on the left, NYC on the right
East River on a beautiful day
Down the river we go

Trash barge we are staying far away from!
Manhattan Bridge and the Freedom Tower to the right 

Edge of Lower Manhattan
Staten Island Ferry and one coming right at us!
And of course, a cruise ship!
Our destination...Lady Liberty!

Approaching our serene anchorage and made it across the Hudson River
Famous Wall Street
Today's line at Trader Joe's - wowwee!
Love to all,
Jenn & Nate


  1. Wowie! Just imagine that hustle and bustle all day, every day! Blech! Very cool to experience that, I'm sure. Watch out for those SI Ferries. Ellis Island and Lady Liberty visits a few years ago are like experiences I had as a kid but appreciate even more as it was done with Ellyn, Jacob and Sarah. Enjoy the Big Apple.

  2. I am exhausted, zigging when you should have been zagging...etc. Choppy waters would not be my friend. But, in the end, look what the two of you have accomplished...memories and exciting adventures...xoxo mama