Baja Boys Sail to New York City
Port Chester - New York City (Sept 24)
This is the leg of our journey that we've all been waiting for. Weather was cloudy with mild temps (low 60s) over night. We're up early and anxiously cast off early (8:30) with winds at 15kts out of the south west right on our nose for heading down the sound to New York. Rain is threating but temps are in the 70s and very pleasant. The forecast is for possible sever thunder storms later in the day so we decide to motor for the first 3 hours to make it to city before the storms. As we approach the Bronx, before the first East River bridge, winds move more south allowing us to hoist the sails. Sailing into New York seems like a better ending for the cruise. We all take turns at the helm to enjoy the pleasure of sailing with the New York skyline surrounding us. Awesome!!
Richard and Kerry sail in Sydney harbor often but are very excited about this experience. Richard has his new GatoLocoSailing t-shirt for this big event. Bill and Lowell below with the New York skyline behind them.
Before heading south towards "Hell's Gate" (where an arm of the Hudson river meets the East River) we decided to take the sails down. Yes, we survived "Hell's Gate". To our surprise we have the river to ourselves. Looking both directions there's no boats .
East River view of Manhattan with the Empire State building in the middle.
Without planning we lucked out with favorable river currents, our water speed is 4.5kts and speed over ground is 8.5kts. Winds up to 20kts and weather is approaching from the south.
We approached the United Nations building pictured right and didn't know there was minimum distance restriction. It didn't take long for this coast guard boat with machine guns ready to escort us down the river. I was going to take a picture during our discussions but better judgment prevailed. We later found out that there was a big UN session the previous days with lots of world leaders in town. Good thing we weren't fired on!!
United Nation Building and US Coast Guard boat standing on patrol.
Our original plan was to sail around the Statue of Liberty but 25kt winds and light rain arrive as we round the south end of Manhattan. Maybe tomorrow. Finding a secure dock is more important. Turning north up the Hudson with the wind at out back is much better.
Manhattan's financial district is in lower Manhattan with a small (but very nice) marina just north up the Hudson with a large Financial Center setting along the marina water front. With weather still threating, we decide to give the marina a try. Good News, They have a slip and it's just below our threshold of pain on price. With this weather, the security of a slip feels good. It's hard to believe we're at North Cove Marina in the heart of the financial district.
The Financial Center palm atrium separates us from the World Trade Center "ground zero" site. The marina is behind the trees in the above photo. We walk up stairs to windows overlooking ground zero for an emotional first view. Life seems to be moving on for the locals and lots of tourist visit the various memorials. Fire station 54 is at the corner of ground zero with a memorial for fallen firefighters. It's just hard to believe this could happen in such a huge vibrant city.
Time for more sightseeing and exercise, historic City Park, China town and on to Soho to rest our tired feet. Australian friends, James and Trudy joined us in Soho and helped us plan our evening. Note the Status of Liberty to the left of James in the photo below.
Monday Sept 25th
A very busy and short day in New York. The Baja Boys depart today at 6 PM so we try to pack in as much in as possible. Lowell's friend David joins us with his car, giving us a true Manhattan driving experience (hang on). After a brief drive in lower Manhattan we try to find a parking spot to have lunch. A big challenge was solved by a tiny parking lot at a rate of $35 for 2 hours. ouch! Interesting enough we're parked in Tribeka and the apartment that JFK Jr lived in is across the street. Great lunch in a french spot in Soho and then back in the car to drive to Central Park up 6th ave. David would never make this drive except for sightseeing. One hour and no more than 3 miles we make it to Central Park. We say our goodbyes to Richard and Kerry at the Central Park so we can begin our way to the airport and they can enjoy a more relaxing afternoon in New York.
Richard and Kerry will be joined by their friend Michael to sail with them on the remainder of the cruise to Annapolis Maryland.
Lowell and Bill (the Baja Boys) want to thank Richard and Kerry for the wonderful cruise to New York City. It was a great experience seeing beautiful New England by sea and especially getting to know our new Australian friends. We all agreed that our paths should cross sometime in the near future. Until then.. Cheers...
Until the next cruise,
The Gato Loco Baja Boys.
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