New York, New York!!

Experienced cruisers who go south from New England told us that the trip down the East River is a “must do.”  That is simply an understatement.  The day was exciting and emotional, which surprised me. Although I lived in Manhattan many years ago, I have had no wish to return to the big city life. And yet, as we passed so many famous city sights, from this new water perspective, I unexpectedly felt many emotions.  I cannot resist sharing all of this with you, mostly with photos.

We left Port Washington at 6:00 am before the sun fully rose, and soon encountered the first of many bridges.

We left Port Washington int he early morning light, passing this lighthouse on our way to the Throgs Neck Bridge

We left Port Washington int he early morning light, passing this lighthouse on our way to the Throgs Neck Bridge

Bridges can be very intimidating to a sailboat. The first one truly did make me nervous as we approached.  We knew we would safely pass below – the chart says 138 foot clearance and our mast is only 59 feet above the water, but still……..

Approaching the Whitestone Bridge... Are we going to make it??

Approaching the Whitestone Bridge… Are we going to make it??

And yes, we make it through under the bridge.  We knew would.....

And yes, we make it through under the bridge. We knew would….. 138- 59 = lots of space!

We drive over the Whitestone Bridge every time we visit my son, Ryan and his wife, Kerri. It‘s cheaper to pass under the bridge than drive on it!

The Whitestone Bridge - see the sign for 678, Ryan and Kerri?

The Whitestone Bridge – see the sign for 678 South, Ryan and Kerri?

After passing Rikers Island, we were on our way to Hell Gate. The infamous Hell Gate! Every boater who chooses this course knows that timing is everything. We carefully studied the charts and  information to choose the right current. Passage through here and down the East River must be timed just right so that the current works with you, not against you and not propelling you too swiftly down the river.

Approaching Hell Gate Bridge - much more attractive than its name implies.

Approaching Hell Gate Bridge – much more attractive than its name implies.

The current’s churning, swirling waters through Hell Gate really push you through. The chartplotter is proof of our speed – 11 knots!! And we are happy when we make 7-8 knots of speed.

11 KNOTS!! Does that make us a power boat??

11 KNOTS!! Does that make us a power boat??

Soon after Hell Gate we reached Rockefeller University and the apartment building on 63rd Street where I lived for almost 2 years, 34 years ago.

Rockefeller University

Rockefeller University

Our apartment is the smaller building. The newer larger one now blocks it from most of the East River.

I lived on the 16 floor of the smaller apartment building, in the middle of the photo.

I lived on the 16 floor of the smaller apartment building, in the middle of the photo.

The city shows no wear and tear, no grime and dust as we pass along.  It was amazing to see so many famous buildings as we made our way down the East River.

The United Nations Building

The United Nations Building

The Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building

South Street Seaport and Pier 17

South Street Seaport and Pier 17

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Staten Island Ferry Terminal

Staten Island Ferry Terminal

We pass by Ellis Island, where my father’s father entered the United States as a child with his family.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Next is the lady we have been waiting to see, Lady Liberty.

Lady Liberty and Al

Lady Liberty and Al

This was a special moment, to sail past the Statue of Liberty and see her torch held high and burning so brightly.

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

Once past the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, we were able to put the sails up and have some “quiet time” as we crossed the waters over to New Jersey. Ahhhh, that’s what sailing is really about – the wind in the sails and the silence! OK, almost silence. After five and half hours and 36 miles, we reached Sandy Hook, New Jersey. After anchoring behind the breakwater in the Atlantic Highlands Harbor, we went to shore for a much needed walk after three days on the boat. And ice cream!
Entrance to Sandy Hook, New Jersey

5 thoughts on “New York, New York!!

  1. Michele,
    Your photos are gorgeous. Your writing is engaging. Your spirit is contagious. I am a big fan of this blog, of your adventure, and of you. Say hello to Rehoboth Beach for me–a long time family vacation favorite. All the best to you and Al.

  2. I am so excited for you and love to see the photos! You are taking me on the journey with you and it makes me feel like I am there. I couldn’t wait to get into work today to see where you are! I have also had my “teal toes” done. I think of you often, enjoy this adventure! Michelle

  3. What a fun trip you are having. When we went on the SYC cruise to NYC a few years ago we did this same route! Left City Island Marina & headed down & around the Battery BUT we headed north on the Hudosn to 79th St. Boat Basin where we stayed for 3 days & had fun taking the subway (right up the road from the marina) downtown & walking lower Manhattan, Times Square, Battery Park, Intrepid Museum, etc. We look forward to hearing all about your wonderful journey south.

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