Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why do they call it Hell Gate?

Late on Sunday night Anna and I made a decision to take advantage of the weather and make a run for NYC in one day. Having checked the forecast throughout the day it seemed that we would have a clear day with no wind. I could not have asked for better conditions to head down the East River. Getting up around 6 we made a dash for the wash rooms, fired up the engine and tossed the line. As I ran the boat out of Branford I saw that the harbor had taken on a whole new dimension in the early hours. Yesterday upon our arrival the harbor was filled with people all having enjoyed one of their first summer days on their boats. Let's just say by the time we got docked it seemed that the party had been in full swing for some time and the drinks were in no danger of running out. This next morning the harbor had a quiet calm to it. As we made our way past the Mermaids, two rocks that mark the channel, I sat and took it all in. Suddenly my senses were turned to a more powerful sensation, BACON! Anna decided to take advantage of this calm morning and cook us a full breakfast while underway. What a treat! Our passage down Long Island Sound took seven hours. Not once in that time did a wave break over the bow. It was for a lack of a better word majestic. A few hours into the trip the skyline of NYC appeared over the horizon. The feelings of excitement and tension filled our bodies. I have all my life wanted to take a boat down the East River. To see New York from the water I was sure would be a top ten memorable moment. Their is one hurdle that must be passed in order to achieve this sight, we would have to navigate our way through Hell Gate. Hell Gate is a fork in the river where the Sound, East River and Harlem River all meet. I had been told that boats had been know to spin in a circle as the currents converge. In the end Blue did great. The best way to describe the sensation on moving through the gate would be operating your boat right behind the Steamship in its prop cavitation, or driving a motorcycle on grooved pavement. Sometimes the boat just goes where it wants, demanding a quick correction of the wheel to get back on track. Once through the gate and south of Governors Island the views were as expected. We put the boat up for the night at Liberty Landing Marina. Being Part of Liberty State park Anna and I were able to pull the bikes off the boat and get an unbelievable view of Lady Liberty. It was truly a day I will never forget.

Leaving Branford, "Is that Bacon?"


Check out this Monster Heading into New Haven. The name was fitting.

' This is now my Chair!'


These Cruisers gave us a big wave and a toot of the horn as we passed.

I think I can see the City.


Wow!

They Call this Execution Rock.
Another ominous sing before the gate.
This abandoned prison gave us the answer.

These Bridges are just to cool.
"Honey I have been through the gate hundreds of times just get me a new beer. Anyway we got the autopilot what could go wrong?"
Good luck guys.


There she is Lady Liberty!


Once again I marveled at the construction of these bridges.




South St Seaport. Anna and I will hit this place tomorrow.


The Staten Island Ferry. Can you believe it, it didn't crash.


The Battery.


What a great end to a long day.

And what a view from the Marina







Enjoy this video of our trip through Hell Gate and the East River.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pete & Anna, I had to ferry a 39' Gulf Star from Annapolis to Marblehead and was amazed to see how different Manhatten looked from the water, and watch my depth finder go from 30' to over 100' in such a short time. We envy you two, we have been boaters for many years and never did "The Loop". (oh by the way I do drink scotch and Linda and I will be dining with your parents this evening, I hope he remembers) Enjoy!!

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