15 October 2021: The Iconic NYC
15 October 2021
Port Washington, NY, USA
Great Kills Harbor, Staten Island, NY, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
Could not ask for a better lady by my side for one of the more nerve wracking parts of the trip but also one of the most rewarding!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
Minimal, but today was not a day about sailing.
Occasional clouds but nothing to ruin a great day!
Perfect for hanging outside all day soaking up the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dry, thank goodness!
Up early for some breakfast and a planned 5:30am drop of the mooring ball to be on our way. Essentially departing on time!
Since it was dark, we just followed our tracks coming in last night until the point where we had to turn left to go to New York City. Though it was not light yet by that point. It gave me comfort that the route we were on was a relatively major thoroughfare so not likely to be stray fish pots in our way.
We arrived to Throgs Neck Bridge on schedule and enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on the way. Incredibly orange behind us, lighting up the city skyline in front of us.
Shortly after the bridge, Carolyn made a wrong turn. It was an easy mistake to make if you are not used to following chartplotters nor used to the buoy marking system. It did not help that I did not run through any of this with her beforehand. Lesson learned as a skipper! Luckily I noticed quickly as I was not expecting a turn and it was a dead end so it was obvious to me up on the bow, and we quickly ‘banged a U-ey’ to get back on track.
We passed by the airport and my memory was jogged from 2018 almost immediately of how close these big planes feel like they are as they land and takeoff over top of you. We got a few good thrills before we were passed their flight paths.
We made it to Hell Gate at 7:47am, two minutes shy of the goal! YEAH! And the transit of the East River from Hell Gate through to the Statue of Liberty was easy and uneventful, in the way of the sailing considerations that is – which is what you want! Only a bit of ferry traffic and current to worry about, with max speeds for us of 10 knots with the current pushing us by the end. However, in terms of iconic views and photo worthy opportunities, the morning was very eventful!
I wish that we could have anchored at the Statue of Liberty anchorage where I have spent the night before, mostly so that Carolyn could experience being anchored next to Lady Liberty at night while she is lit up! But there were unsettled winds coming and we had carefully selected a much more protected anchorage, so choice was a luxury we did not have.
We did wind up at once of the friendliest marinas I have ever visited. Richmond County Yacht Club on Staten Island, a reciprocal yacht club to my newly approved West Bay Yacht Club membership in Rhode Islasnd. We were escorted to our mooring ball as anchoring options were limited, had warm and relaxing showers and went to wander to town including a quick lunch at a seaside restaurant.
Though Carolyn had two more days to sail with me, I would just be sitting and waiting out the storm. Not very exciting and with lots going on at home and us being at a great location to catch a bus to the train station, she decided to head home early. The biggest struggle was ensuring we had a enough coins for the bus and ironically when she went to pay in coins, they had changed the system and did not accept coins and she got to travel for free. Then the driver, due a detour missing her stop and requiring a connection, decided to just drop her off right outside Penn Station to catch her Amtrak back to Rhode Island. I was glad it was not too hard to get home as I appreciated her help so much and she put so much effort in already to get to me. Such a huge help onboard and a friend to share an amazing experience with. New York City was a highlight on the last trip and a definite highlight getting to experience it with a dear friend this time around. How can a day with that smiling face not be enjoyable!
After Carolyn left I found out the price – $55 USD/night – yikes! So decided to drop anchor in the small designated area to save some money. But I think the yacht club dockmaster was worried about me and had someone come out and tell me to just stay on the mooring one more night for free. Very appreciated as I was really not in an anchoring in tight quarters groove yet!
I decided to leave early the next morning for a quick motor to Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey to wait out the weather there as it had not yet arrived and I had successfully made sure Carolyn got home from Great Kills – much more convenient than from New Jersey! And once I was in New Jersey I could better prep as there was better access to water, fuel, West Marine and groceries.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
– Emma Lazarus