Turning Eastward to Head Home

Sunday’s plan was ambitious, we would leave Croton at dawn around 5:15 am and go all the way south around Manhattan and then up the East River to Port Washington, 53 miles. By leaving that early we would have a favorable current with us the entire trip. And it turned out to be an interesting ride.

Just past dawn at 5:30 am.

When we leave that early the only thing that gets made is the morning coffee. Breakfast will have to be a little later.

6:15 am and the sun is above the hills.

The cliffs along the Hudson are one of the best views from the water.

The new Tappan Zee Bridge is coming along nicely, although slowly.

Wow! We’re going 9.7 knots down the Hudson River without increasing our rpms. (6:45 am)  Pretty impressive for a trawler that averages 7.2 knots.

A panorama shot of the cliffs.

At 7:00 am on a very quiet Hudson River, we saw a small white dinghy drifting ahead of us. As I took Kindred Spirit over to it, Al went down to check it out. Our first concern was that someone might be in trouble and need assistance. No one was in the boat. Could someone have fallen over board? Al hopped in the dinghy to check for information – nada. His inspection of this Walker Bay dinghy led to the conclusion that it had broken loose from somewhere – the shackle on the bow was broken.

Al plays rescue again. Good thing he is still pretty agile!

After securing it to Kindred Spirit, Al put out a call on the VHF radio, but received no response. Later he looked up the Walker Bay website and contacted them by email and phone call with the registration number he found on the hull in case the owner had registered it for the warranty.

The Walker Bay is secured to our transom and tows very nicely.

Manhattan is an island, right? When we first discussed making this trip to the Hudson River, we briefly considered finding the northern passage that must go above Manhattan since it is an island. That waterway is the Harlem River.  All accounts indicated that this was not a good idea for cruising boats. There are height issues if  you cannot clear 24 feet and some claim it is simply not navigable.

Going north we hadn’t noticed where the Harlem River enters the Hudson, but this morning we spotted it.

We couldn’t help but wonder how we missed this on the way north.

A closer look shows the low railroad bridge at the very beginning.

By 7:45 am we were approaching the George Washington Bridge. The support structures are attractive from this vantage point, certainly at odds with the view when driving by car on the bridge!

Two sailboats on the river with lower Manhattan as their backdrop..

We had a dual purpose for our morning traverse through New York on that morning. Another Mariner Orient (40, not 38 like us) was traveling from Florida northward to do the “Great Loop.” We had met Jan and Dave on Optimystique in Bradenton, FL when we were visiting the Bakers on Magnolia. Sailors and now “trawler-ers”, Jan and Dave have a terrific blog called Commuter Cruiser. Facebook and AIS told us they would be heading north up the Hudson as we were going south that day. One thing led to another and we made plans to take photos of Optimystique in front of the Statue of Liberty. This is becoming a habit for us! Everything went as planned and at 9:30 am we were both there.

Optimystique and the Statue of Liberty. Note: Real cameras take better photos than phones. Period. Even small idiot-proof cameras like mine.

A new photo of Kindred Spirit, thanks to Jan.

This Lady deserves another photo in the blog. Of all the sights in New York, she is my favorite.

The Statue of Liberty’s arm and torch in Madison Square Park, 1876 -1882.

 

Here’s another bit of trivia that I found fascinating. That book I was reading, Time and Again, also mentioned the Statue of Liberty. For 6 years (1876-1882) the statue’s arm and torch sat in Madison Square Park to raise money for the rest of the Statue. Who knew?? I found an old photo on “The Bowery Boys.”

 

I had the helm from the Statue of Liberty all the way up the East River, through Hell Gate and Throgs Neck Bridge. My first time!

I had the helm from the Staue of Liberty all the way up the East River, through Hell Gate and Throgs Neck Bridge. My first time!

The Empire State Building. This may be my first photo of it.

The tramway to Roosevelt Island – it took 6 trips through here to finally catch it in the air!

I had to take another photo of Rockefeller University with the morning sun lighting it.

The churning water of Hell Gate, and it wasn’t even maximum flood yet. Al took the photo because both of my hands were gripping the wheel.

13.8 knots at only 1500 rpm!! WooHoo!! That is quite speedy.

We settled ourselves on a mooring in Port Washington after our 6 hours down and up both sides of Manhattan. After a brief respite, we dinghied to town for a repeat visit to Douglas and James Homemade Ice Cream to cool off, and yes, to enjoy the ice cream (no photos this time!)

On our dinghy ride, we passed a very familiar looking boat, Navigator, previously owned by friends of ours from Maine that we met int eh Bahamas in 2013, Laurie and Peter. In fact, it was Navigator that led us to search for a “Europa-style” trawler.

Navigator, a very handsome boat.

We invited Dennis and Julie over for a happy hour. They have just embarked on a year-long journey to do “The Loop.”

I have to include this because my Captain Al is the ultimate rescue guy in so many ways. On one dinghy ride back to the boat, he noticed that this little sailboat was not moving at all. Turning back he inquired if they needed assistance. You bet! They were grounded in the shallows. Al gave them directions and pulled them off the sandbar and to a mooring. He is a sweet man always ready to lend a hand.

After a day relaxing and trying to stay cool, our next leg took us from Port Washington to Port Jefferson, 35 miles to the east.

Beautiful morning + calm seas = nice easy ride!

In the past, we enter the channel and hang a right, but Al wanted to spend the day in “The Sand Pit” to the left, ready to relive his childhood boating memories.

Entering Mount Misery, also known as “The Sand Pit.”

It’s not possible to capture the circle of sand dunes that surround this cove, even with panorama mode.

Kindred Spirit on a private mooring. When Al was a child this cove was all anchorage, but it is now filled with moorings. Fortunately for us, it was pretty empty on this quiet June Tuesday.

Now this was fascinating to watch. A group of very buff and fit guys arrived on the beach at the base of the dunes and repeatedly ran up and down doing some sort of drills. We let our imaginations work overtime, wondering what their purpose was. Lifeguard, SWAT team, Navy seals, Black ops, just fun???

Al had his own fitness program – rowing around the Sand Pit in the Walker Bay, revisiting childhood memories.

Phase 2 of his workout included some fancy twists as he cleaned the side of the boat.

Ok, not exactly a fitness program, but weaving outdoors is more fun than weaving inside!

Port Jefferson’s Mount Misery was anything but misery and, as our last stop on the trip, it was a restful, relaxing day in perfect weather.

Another 53 miles would bring us home. Once again we decided on an early start to get a good push from the current.

What a picture to begin the day, especially if you begin at 5:00 am.

We departed as the pinks deepened to orange, gold and red.

Turning east and heading home.

 

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