Thursday, November 29, 2012


Before Hurricane Sandy distracted me and ended the sailing season I was going to chronicle a recent cruise I made with BIANKA.  Originally I had planned to do this cruise to New York back in September. But, a little repair snafu with the Honda Generator in September curtailed that plan. I just about gave up on doing the cruise this year but, a nice weather window opened up in late October and I thought why not head out for a fall cruise. So I did.

I headed early out to take advantage of the flooding current into Long Island Sound winds were light for much of the trip so I electro-sailed BIANKA for forty nautical miles. It was after sundown as I sailed into Port Washington and picked up a free town mooring. Before I did  I had a gam with a fellow sailor already on another mooring. He was a 38 year old fellow who quit his job in September bought a 24 foot boat and was heading south for the winter. He wanted to do it now since he was single and the flexibility to do it.  Certainly sounds like a plan. We had a nice discussion about life, getting through Hell Gate and other things sailors might talk about. I wished him fair winds and then  motored off in the dark to find a mooring. One nice thing about fall cruising the mooring fields are pretty empty so it was pretty easy to pick one up. The next day had some nasty weather coming through. It was windy and wet so it was a lay day for me.  Sometime during the following night the other fellow headed off to travel down the East River through Hell Gate in the middle of the night. He wanted to make it to the Sandy Hook area during the day and meet up with friends. I can only wonder if the fellow made it through Hurricane Sandy which would hit the area a little over a week later.

After the weather cleared I headed toward New York.  Upon crossing under the Throgs Neck Bridge BIANKA left Long Island Sound behind and entered the East River which is actually a tidal strait. I made a video of the trip from Port Washington to the Battery via the East River:

I rounded the Battery a little after sunset and headed over to an anchorage a little north of Ellis Island. I had never anchored there before. It was getting dark and the winds were blowing 10 to 20 knots out of the west. I got as close to western shore and dropped anchor for the night. There was a little roll from the harbor traffic at first but, it calmed down later except for a 4 am roll that woke me up for a bit. But, the holding was good plus I had a real nice view of the lights of lower Manhattan:

Though in a little over a week all these lights would be plunged into darkness after Hurricane Sandy hits the area and knocked out power to all of lower Manhattan. Though  this night it was a very pretty scene from on board.

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