LAT: N 40° 47.3'
LON: W 73° 59.1'
60's, mostly sunny, 5 - 10 kts
|Friday, October 31, 2003
Little Slowly Meets the Big Apple
910 - Late start from Stamford Harbor, after Tim spent the morning working in the engine room
1011 - Short detours lead us around Greenwich Harbor to see the unbelievable mountain sized houses. The Sound is glassy and the weather absolutely perfect.
1203 - Just entered the East River under the Throgs Neck Bridge. We haven't run over any dead bodies yet.
1304 - Hell Gate. All the stories make it scarier than it is, but there is a strong 4 to 5 knot current against us. It takes a firm hand on the helm and a wary eye looking out for big commercial traffic.
1403 - Under the Williamsburg bridge, we pass the Domino sugar factory. Oh yeah!
1510 - After going down around the bottom of Manhattan Island, we've come up the Hudson and are safe and sound at the 79th St Boat Basin on the upper west side.
arggg me maties, it's a slow tour of a fast city.
The Cappy says: "Click here to see a chart of our progress."
The debut of the first item in our line of Slowly merchandise! This one-of-a-kind trucker hat will surely turn heads when you pull into truck stops on your own slow journeys. More exciting items are on the way. Keep tabs at click here.
A New View of a Familiar Face
Slowly and the Excellent, Awesome, No Bad, Very Good Day
Derek Jeter - guest Editor
Wow. What can we say? It was the best day yet. Taking off from Stamford, CT, we were floored by the tame nature of old man ocean. If not for the gentle 5 knot breeze, the water would have been a mirror to reflect Slowly's aged beauty. It was a blessing because we were anxious about taking on Hell Gate (with its strong currents) and the East River (with its moving maze of high speed ferries).
We cruised over for some superb Mansion gazing in Greenwich Harbor. Uncle Doug told us of a scale replica of the Brooklyn Bridge that was installed in front of a mansion on the harbor. We couldn't find it, but there were enough majestic estates to please out binocular clad gawking eyes.
After our detour, it seemed a short trip to the Throg's Neck Bridge while we studied all the charts and guide book information on cruising the East River. Once under the bridge, we went up to the flying bridge to increase visibility for any nearby vessels. We anticipated getting stopped by the Coast Guard since the Security in New York Harbor is now so high. Luckily, we were spared the nuisance of getting boarded. In addition to keeping our eyes peeled, our ears were stuck to Channel 13 on the VHF, monitoring the chatter of the commercial traffic on the river. In a close call, a Tug Boat might call us on 13 to give us instructions. No boats called us on the radio (though we were later given a personal five whistle heads-up from the Staten Island Ferry).
The East River Tour began with the eerie Riker's Island. Passing the island on our left, we saw the massive blue and white Riker's Prison Barge on our right. It was at once beautiful as a stack of colorful blocks, and frightening as a barge full of people.
Hell Gate is the tight meeting of currents from Long Island Sound, the East River, and the Harlem River. We came through at a less than perfect time, but the only penalty was slow progress through a messy bowl of whirling waters. Slowly is a big enough boat with enough power that we weren't so easily pushed around by the bully currents.
On the other side of the Gate, breathing a sigh of relief, we found ourselves between the upper east side and Roosevelt Island. In many ways surreal, we were recognizing landmarks inside giant life sized postcards hung all around us. The landscape hit home [duuuhhh... when does the uhhhh... baseball part come? I think I am great. -Ed]. We were giddy with the overwhelming sensation of arrival, sitting on our house, floating up against Manhattan, people waving from passing ferries. Just to think, in 9 days on Slowly, we'd accomplished what most can do in 4 hours on the Fung Wah Bus.
Looking up at the Brooklyn Bridge, out next obstacle was the busy Battery, the "Cape Horn" of Manhattan Island. A multitude of ferries enter and exit from the southern terminus of the island. Coming face to face with an any on coming vessel, our only desire is to get out of the way. The only trick is guessing which way is away. All to often, we would choose one direction (the same direction desired by the ferry) and would have to cut back the other way. The Staten Island Ferry gave us it's warning when it was turning across our path to go to its pier. It was a excellent view of the historic orange ferry.
Rounding the Battery we started our venture up the Hudson on the other side of Manhattan. More ferries and more striking views greeted us. The wide Hudson River made our new favorite game, "Avoid the Ferries," easier than in the East River. We happily continued taking pictures and staring at new oddities, such as the Chelsea Piers Driving Range where four stories of golfers hit balls into an enormous net hung over the Hudson.
The 79th St. Boat Basin was our final destination. With Riverside Park creating a natural buffer between the water and the city. The mooring field offered a wonderful oasis in the melee of hectic urban waters. The buoy was an easy catch and we completed our day's journey proud and satisfied.
As we utilized today, boats can communicate with each other with toots on a horn or whistle. In an oncoming passing situation, a single blast means to pass each other on the port side (like driving in the US), and two blasts means to pass on the starboard side (like driving in the UK). One boat will give the signal, and then the other will give the same signal to agree (which we forgot to do earlier). A five blast signal means "danger." You will most often hear this from large commercial vessels mixing company with smaller pleasure boats in harbors. In this case, it means, "Get the *$%@ out of my way!." In practice, it is wise to live by the unoffical rule that the big boys get to do whatever they please.
Animal of the Day
Seabiscuit and Red Pollard otherwise known as Sarah Hirzel and Jake Hendrickson.
With all attention on the tasks at hand, we made do with lunch of cold pizza and warm wine upon arrival, with warm pizza and cold beer for dinner.
Wine Review- Crane Lake, California, Cabernet Sauvignon 2001. This is a solid $4 California Cab-Sav. Perfect for celebrating!
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