Transiting the East River past NYC at night

We stayed on our mooring at AYC in Rye for a couple of days until Lee passed by. It was kind of a non-event, which is really the best you can hope for, as far as hurricanes go! We spent some time getting things better organized on the boat, including repacking Cecelia’s toy/activity bins in her room.

We also saw some friends while we were at the club, and we met up with another boat who will also be joining the Salty Dawg rally to the Caribbean in November–Harry and Tyffanee, on Off Piste, a HH50 catamaran. We’re looking forward to seeing them in late October in Hampton as we all get ready to make the jump! We got to enjoy a pretty sunset with them from the club patio.

Now that we had come all the way to Western Long Island Sound, we needed to plan for a transit of the East River past Manhattan, and we were generally thinking we’d do that on Sunday. However, we happened to hear from Harry that because of the upcoming U.N. Week in NYC, and Biden’s associated visit, the East River would be closed on Sunday on the west side of Roosevelt Island. Heading down the east side of Roosevelt Island would be the alternative, but 1) there is a bridge on that side that is too low for us to go under, so we’d have to call ahead for it to be opened, which usually requires 2 hours notice, and 2) there’s always a possibility that the Coast Guard could decide to close the whole river without any notice, and then we’d be stuck in a ripping current with not much ability to turn around. Patrick called the office that handles the river closures and found out that the bridge would be opening with 15 minutes notice on Sunday…but we still decided to play it safe and do a nighttime passage on the Saturday night tide, instead of waiting until Sunday when the closure would be in effect.

We dropped the mooring around 10:30 on Saturday night, said goodbye to AYC once again, and headed for the bright lights of the big city. It was a clear night, and the city sparkled.

Hell Gate is the spot where the current really starts to move as you are heading down the river. Our speed isn’t all that crazy yet, but you can tell we’re getting pushed.

I took a bunch of photos as we rocketed down the river.

It was a fast trip past the skyline, but really nice to see the city looking like so many jewels scattered across the horizon. Felt like a good farewell wave to the area we’ve called home for so long!

Then we looked ahead to the Verrazano Bridge, which we had to head under to head to Atlantic Highlands. I think this was the last picture I took that night, because the rest of it was fairly stressful, and dark without the city lights. First we had to pick our way through the anchorage between the city and the Verrazano, which included several unlit humongous barges tied up to equally humongous moorings. Big dark hulks suddenly appearing very close to you is rather unnerving!

Then south of the Verrazano, there are so many lighted buoys and signals, you have to really determine what each one is in order to decide if you need to pay attention to it or not. It took both of us really looking closely at our surroundings (as closely as you can in the dark) and the charts to make sure we were on track.

We eventually made it to our destination, Atlantic Highlands, NJ, and managed to find the mooring our friend Donna said we could use for the night. We flopped into bed, pretty dang tired!

2 Replies to “Transiting the East River past NYC at night”

  1. Rather daring trip in the dark ! I think we did in daylight, almost the same route in 2009 with Patje his dad & me as a novice πŸ™‚

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