Thursday, July 26, 2012

Liberty welcomes Freedom, part 2

We cruised right up to the lower tip of Manhattan, The Battery, and around the bend past the quiet ferry terminal into the East River. First bridge, the Brooklyn bridge, is undergoing a facelift. There are many more fantastic old bridges with beautiful iron work all the way up the East River.

This is where the tidal flow begins to pick up. We throttled back to high idle to save fuel and enjoy the ride and still did 6 knots. We passed the UN and the upper east side with lots of great old buildings. The Empire State & Chrysler buildings looked fantastic.

Half way up Manhattan, the East River turns 90 degrees right toward Long Island Sound. This is the infamous Hell Gate. The current is very fast here and there are huge rock outcroppings deep below that cause numerous whirlpools. We were doing 10 knots through here without much effort. It's a blind corner so I called ahead on the bridge to bridge VHF channel 13 that the large commercial ships use announcing our position & course. As expected, no response. "As expected"? I have a great ap on my Droid called Marine Traffic. It gives me real time AIS reporting that all commercial ships are required to use. It shows position, speed, direction, size and pictures of the ship. A fantastic tool!

So our trip through NY harbor, with proper planning (back slap), was uneventful. I spent most of my time shooting video (to be released soon on youtube) while Chris did most of the piloting. Maybe next time through we'll stop for a brief visit. But viewing from the water was pretty satisfying.

Posted by Ed aboard S/V Freedom

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