The Big Apple
Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
108Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Our slip at the Cedar Point Yacht Club was still as could be, and I think we'd all agree it was a more restful night than most
The seas and wind were coming on our stern, and the winds were really light almost all day, but Hejira still manages to make some good time, even in light winds. Unfortunately, it just meant we had a day of rolling every which way, and there was a lot of experimentation with the sails to figure out how best to make way. As the winds were so light, we finally decided it was time to shake out our reef in the mains'l. As Connor and I were loosening the sail, we caught a big swell, Connor leaned onto the boom, and the buckle, which is attached to the wire that helps hold up the boom prior to the setting of the sail, snapped - the boom crashed down onto the port side of the cabin top, and Connor crashed down with it. I think Peter and I saw the whole thing happen and were almost certain we'd be firing up the engine to motor back to fish him out of the drink
We switched between sailing and motorsailing as necessary throughout the day, and we enjoyed some sunshine with a view of Manhattan way off in the distance. At times, I think we were even a bit hot - it was quite refreshing. The currents that flow through Hell Gate are much talked about, and we knew we needed to time our entrance just right. We made our way to the end of Long Island Sound and, as we were ahead of schedule, we switched back to sailing as we neared the entrance to New York. Finally, we noticed that a few of the big barges that were just hanging out at the end of the Sound were making moves. We fired up the motor and followed them in, passing Kings Point Marine Academy, LaGuardia Airport, and Rikers Island, which, we learned, even has an overflow of prisoners on a prison barge - no joke.
We saw a small sailboat up ahead of us making their way towards Hell Gate, and they were under sail, so we decided to do the same - why motor when you can sail? We knew we had the motor warmed up enough to fire up if needed, so we gave it a go
Even with the ferries, water taxis, and Coast Guard scooting around, we all remained cool headed, and the whole experience of New York Harbor was not nearly as stressful as we had imagined. We made our way around the tip of Manhattan just as the sun was starting to set, with the Statue of Liberty off in the distance. We started making our way up the Hudson River, and negotiated spending the night at Chelsea Piers over the radio. As we started to come near it, we noticed a cooler floating out in the middle of the river - so we whipped some donuts and retrieved it. Sailing through Hell Gate and whipping shitties in the Hudson - not exactly what I had expected of our entrance to New York. It was pretty fun.
We got into our slip at Chelsea Piers, and walked just a few blocks to meet up with my dad, my brother Austin, and our friend Bronwen from Woods Hole for a pre-dinner drink