We left our last unremarkable Connecticut anchorage on the Long Island Sound and headed to New York City on Friday morning. The wind was coming straight out of the Southwest where we needed to go, so we motored the whole way there. We could see the smog and the skyline of the city from hours away.
We passed City Island, where we had originally planned to anchor, early in the day and saw just how far it was from Manhattan. When we started out that morning we thought we would find a place to anchor for the night to await the right time to pass through Hell Gate without any problems. Ideally we would need to go at high slack tide, either around 7:30pm (in the dark) or the next morning at 7:30am, so that the current would help push us the rest of the way down the East River. But since we were only about an hour and a half away from Hell Gate and low slack tide, we thought we would just go for it and could always turn back if the current was too strong against us.
Of course it took longer to get there than expected, and though we did get through Hell Gate without incident, we crawled down the East River at a snail’s pace. We watched people walking faster than us on the path above. One old man walking next to us started frantically waving at us to move along, as if we were part of some conspiracy to keep an eye on him and he had us figured out. If we could have gone faster, we certainly would have to avoid the police and fire boats that kept running back and forth making huge wakes, not to mention the ferries and barges. Though we burned through a lot of fuel to go about 2 knots for 6 miles, we exited the East River at the right time for the current to push us quickly up the Hudson another 6 miles.
We were quite pleasantly surprised when we found ourselves on a mooring at the 79th Street Boat Basin, which we had found in a guidebook given to us by friends in Maine. We weren’t sure what to expect, but for $30/night or $180/week and a semi-long row in, we had access to free showers, laundry, and a doorman in the center of Manhattan. We considered that if we just stayed there forever we would probably be paying the cheapest rent in town.
We spent Friday through Monday hanging out with Jon’s friend Erin and his brother Cody, and making the most of our New York City experience. We walked around Central Park, ate pizza, went to the Met, rode the subway, got lost in the crowd at Times Square, ate vegan breakfast in Brooklyn, and visited Cody’s sweet dorm at Pace University. On our last night we accompanied Erin to an AcroYoga class in Soho, and I wished we would have tried it sooner back in Denver at Awaken. So much fun!
On Tuesday morning we conquered our indecisiveness and headed toward Sandy Hook, NJ. It felt almost as if we were leaving home; we enjoyed the city so much. It was especially tough to leave knowing that we would most likely be spending the next few days stuck in a much less exciting harbor waiting for good weather for our dash down the New Jersey coast. But all it took was a quick calculation of the amount of money we would be tempted to spend if we stayed and the choice was made. Hopefully we will be back someday to see some of what we missed.