Friday, July 17, 2009

Transiting the East River at 200 knots

I lived on board BIANKA in New York City from April to December from 1996 until 2002. Every December they closed down the marina and I had to leave. During the time at I was never bored watching the river traffic on the Hudson from the big ships heading up river to the workings of the tugs. I started to get to know some of their routine schedules. Like there would always be one or two hanging out in front of Chelsea Piers early on Saturday mornings waiting for the cruise ships to arrive. I sit up on the bow of BIANKA with my coffee and watch the captains gam as the tugs slowly drifted until the cruise ships came into view. The tugs also had other jobs too moving barges and other craft around the area. These were mysterious trips to me as I heard snatches of conversation on the VHF of the tugs and where they were bound etc... Happily Captain Brucato at NYTugmaster takes us on some of those trips with these two videos of recent passages he has made through the East River. It reminds me that I need to bring BIANKA back into New York and see how she does through Hell Gate now that she is powered by electric propulsion. Though I have transited the East River many times on BIANKA and always found it a very interesting trip (as long as everything on board was working) I have never done it on a Tug or barge. Capt. Brucato's videos make it a beautiful and interesting trip if you never want to put on your sailing shoes. You can make the trip going down the East River from College Point:

or you can head up the East River (below) all the way to Execution Rocks. Either way it is an enjoyable and visually pretty trip. As long as you are not the one at the helm with the responsibility of making it a safe passage.

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