Was it Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C for our departure from Port Washington???
Monday morning brought a dreary dawn so we decided to skip Plan A and wait to see if the day might improve. By noon it was clear that Plan C was definitely a “go.” We made a quick grocery run and prepared to leave by 1:00 pm.
We have made this particular passage south through the East River twice before, 2013 and 2015, but that doesn’t matter. Traveling past the “Big Apple” on the East River is still one of the most exciting trips you can make by boat. So, although I have plenty of photos from the earlier trips, I simply could not resist taking more photos of my favorite sights and adding something new.
After leaving Port Washington, we always remark about the sweet red lighthouse but never knew its name. Now I do – the “Stepping Stones Lighthouse.” Built in 1876 in the Victorian Second Empire Style, it’s purpose was to warn boats of a shoal and rocks that extend into Long island Sound. Although modernized in 1944 it is now in poor condition and needs to be repaired. I hope that can be done.
The trip from Port Washington to Hell Gate has several notable landmarks, all of which I have photographed before. And I did it all again…..
Rikers Island on port side and and the floating jail barge, “The Boat” on starboard side.
We certainly timed our passage perfectly for “slack” at Hell Gate, exactly 3:00 pm (1 hour 45 minutes after High tide at the Battery.) No current to fight against or to assist us. Although a very calm and uneventful trip, we did miss the thrill of riding with a strong current as we have done in the past, reaching 11-12 knots of speed!
This little adventure is happening because our friends on Magnolia,who are embarking on a westward trip to the Great Lakes on their Kadie Krogen 42, asked us to join them on the Hudson River section. When we departed Port Washington, they departed from Staten Island.
I lived on the east side of Manhattan way back in 1978-1979, which adds an another element of thrill to this day. I love seeking out the places I knew.
As we cruise down the East River I am always on the lookout for my first sighting of Rockefeller University, just after the hospital. The Rockefeller University is a center for scientific research, primarily in the biological and medical sciences, and provides doctoral and postdoctoral education. Rockefeller is the oldest biomedical research institute in the United States. I worked part-time in a neurophysiological lab for a short period before Ryan was born, while his father completed his post-doctoral work in microbiology. In the midst of the city concrete, Rockefeller’s campus was a tiny oasis of green.
I was confused as we sailed past – where was Rockefeller?? What is this modern glass structure hanging over the highway? A little googling told me that the university is expanding in the only way possible – OVER the FDR Highway! “…..will straddle the busy highway and will include adding a two-story building as well as two acres to the 14-acre campus. The university also plans to repair the sea wall along the East River and improve the public esplanade adjacent to the campus.”
We were fortunate to live in housing provided by Rockefeller University at a nominal rental fee (for NYC). Back in the 1970s our apartment on the 6th floor had a nice view of the East River. Just like on our previous trips, I am a bit disappointed to see the big high rise apartment buildings that now drwarf our building on York Avenue.
The boat traffic on the East River that afternoon was typical, but not awful. The city water vehicles are as unique as the architecture and the street scenes. Our heads twist and turn from one side to the other as they speed by.
Magnolia and Kindred Spirit reached the Brooklyn Bridge at the same time!! This is where the fun really began — when you travel with a boating buddy, there are awesome photo opportunities!
We both traveled down the west side of Governors Island.
Anthony had a dream and a request for a photograph of Magnolia in front of the statue. Although the lighting was poor, I did my best to fulfill that wish (just in case the morning was foggy.)
We have passed by Lady Liberty four times, going south and going north, but this is the first time we ever anchored behind Liberty Island. The anchorage is very, very rolly from all the passing ferries and river traffic.
The setting sun and night sky provided a beautiful show for us.