October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013  Day 138   DOWN EAST LOOP COMPLETED
Great Kills Yacht Club
Staten Island, New York

On Sunday, October 6, we left our anchorage just before daylight and traveled in fog (1 mile visibility) much of the day and in seas 2-3 feet in the Long Island Sound!  Not the best of travel days, but we persevered. We only wish it had been clear for better photographs and to enjoy the NY skyline better!

Passing this beautiful sailboat in the fog
on Long Island Sound
We entered the East River at 1:15, passing under the Throgs Neck Bridge.  We passed the runway for LaGuardia with planes landing every two minutes. The strobe lights on the runway were visible in the light fog.  We passed Rikers Island but no one came out to greet us.  Soon we were going through Hell Gate. Timing here is critical because of the strong current. We went through at high tide and received quite a boost in speed, flying through there at 13+ knots!  The water was swirling around us!  We saw a small sailboat coming towards us and we still wonder 

We are flying at 13.8 knots!
if it made it, or did the captain turn around and wait? There was no way for him to fight that current.  We continued on the East River, passing the United Nations Building and went under the Brooklyn Bridge.  We could not see the World Trade Center because of the fog, even though we knew where it was!   We entered the New York harbor, and we were welcomed back by Lady Liberty in all her glory as we officially completed the Down East Loop.

Swirling water of Hell Gate
We maneuvered around several ferries and other boaters to work through the harbor and out into the Lower Bay. 

We had reservations at the Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island.  We arrived there at 4:15 and were greeted by three helpful club members to get us secure.  We chose this location because they discount to AGLCA members, it is a protected harbor, and we can get into New York City easily (bus, or combination of train and ferry).  Shortly after we arrived another boat arrived and docked in front of us.  Bill exclaimed, “You are not going to believe who this is!”   We were shocked to be standing face to face with Jerry and Linda Taylor.  They are the professional delivery captains and instructors who helped us bring our boat back to VA from SC when we first bought her.  We owe them so much for their training!  They are on their way south to deliver a boat to Virginia!
View of the United Nations from the East River
The World Trade Center is here in the fog!
The Lovely Lady
We walked to a nearby restaurant and had a very good seafood dinner to celebrate our completion of the Down East Loop.  We were exhausted but very happy! 

This trip has been an amazing journey and we have been thrilled at all the whales and other wildlife (seals, puffins, gannets, etc.,) we saw; we loved the small fishing villages and the big cities; the people have been incredibly friendly everywhere we have gone; the coastal scenery is varied (cliffs, beaches, rocks, trees) and beautiful.  We rose to the challenges of high tides, swift currents, fog (did we mention fog?), and lobster pots but we loved the trip so much, we would recommend it to all boaters!