Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Sailing New York City

Sailing in to New York Harbour is a blast - we did it once before in the year 2000, but this was the first time in our own boat. Entering under the Verrazano Bridge the wide sweep of the harbor opens up, with lady Liberty on port side and Manhattan on starboard. With sails down, we motored around Liberty Island for the essential photo session, then headed north up the Hudson River to anchor near the 79th Street Boat Basin, passing first Governors Island (where I was a guest back in 1972) then lower Manhattan to starboard.

Heading Up The Hudson River, June 29
The boat basin provides moorings for visiting vessels, but we found they were all out of commission. We were encouraged to anchor to the north of the mooring field, which turns out to be at West 98th Street - a very long way from the boat basin. Looking forward to a meal ashore we persevered, only to find that the wind-over-tide conditions were so bad we didn't dare leave the boat, which was dancing around the anchor constantly.

One night was enough - next morning we retrieved our anchor (with some difficulty - lots of snags in the river) and headed out, determined never to anchor on the Hudson River again!

Here's To New York City - My Bloody Mary Was Perfect
So down river we went, then turned to port at the bottom of Manhattan and headed north again up the East River, timing our run to cross the confluence with the Harlem River, "Hells Gate", at slack tide. Continuing north west we moved out onto Long Island Sound within a couple of hours.

From there it was just a few miles to beautiful Port Washington, a large protected harbour that offers free mooring for two days to visiting boats.

The local town has all the required services, and we were able to ride the Long Island Rail Road to Penn Station in New York in only 40 minutes. It's a perfect way to visit New York by boat - anchored in a safe and friendly rural environment, but with easy access to the city. We visited the 9/11 Memorial in the morning, had lunch in Chelsea and toured the Guggenheim Museum in the afternoon.  By dinner time we were back in Port Washington, no stress, and no wind-over-tide. Port Washington is a cruiser friendly place that deserves better recognition.

Early Morning East River Transit

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