There are days on The Great Loop when it’s hard to even
start writing a blog post because so much has happened or one’s senses are overloaded. Yesterday was such a day. (Which is why I’m writing it a day late.) The story of this 75 miles is easiest told in photos and captions, because I think as I write and the photos will trigger memories. See below.
On this part of the Loop, into NYC, everyone must go out into the ocean because there is no inland passage. (The day before, we took the Intracoastal Waterway through NJ: see previous post.) We were so happy to see “blue,” and offshore winds, on the weather forecast – the primary one I use is Predictwind — because that means calm seas. This was our 2nd outing into the ocean, and it turned out to be even calmer than the first. (In which I did most of the driving because Jeff was pretty sick.)
We exited “the chute” of Manasquan Inlet on the Atlantic Ocean shortly after sunrise. It’s called that because it’s narrow and the tide and current mix things up. After so many inland rivers and the tides of Georgia and S.C., this was no big deal for Many Moons.
The rock breakwall as we exited “the chute” shows the tidal change. I forget now if it was rising or falling when we went through. On the ocean, tide doesn’t matter…but the tide and current on the other end of our route–at “the Narrows” entering New York Harbor and the Hudson River–did matter. This calculation dictated our departure time and for once I agreed with Jeff on the reasons for it. 😄 I
Seas remained calm throughout. Here, we are passing Sandy Hook, an actual sandy “hook” that reaches into the Atlantic Ocean south of New York. (Most people know the name for the massacre of schoolchildren, which took place in Conn. in 2012.)
Our path crossed the path of this survey vessel. We had the right-of-way as the starboard vessel at an intersection, but realized later that we probably should have given way since it was a working vessel. (The rules seem somewhat unclear about research or survey vessels. When in doubt, give way…..that’s my motto.)
I spent the entire day limping around the boat to ease the pressure on my left foot because of a very tender toe that got messed up somehow during the Boo rescue. (See previous post.) Weird how tiring it is when you’re favoring one side over the other all day, especially on a moving boat. I had to sit often to rest.
We were both excited as the New York skyline started coming into view. I’ve been to New York many times during Navy duty and my marriage (the “previous administration”), but it has been many years and I’ve never arrived by boat.
As we approached New York Harbor, we saw Navy ships leaving it. Navy Fleet Week had just ended the day before. It brought back memories of my own work at Fleet Week San Francisco – back when Dianne Feinstein was mayor and I sat in her office planning with her — and a small stint at Fleet Week New York too..
International cargo ships use the harbor approach too, and it’s best to give way to them. Jeff was still in the shipping channel as this ship from Japan overtook us — even closer than this at one point. I “suggested” 😄 he nudge out of the channel since it was plenty deep. (“Nagging,” on my part? I dunno. Maybe.)
As we entered “the narrows” and approached the Verrazzano Bridge, it got more real. OMG. We’re coming into New York Harbor! On Many Moons!
The Verrazzano Bridge spans the southern entrance to New York Harbor and is one of 2,000 (!!!) tunnels and bridges that span all five boroughs (really big neighborhoods) of New York City. There are 21 bridges connecting the boroughs but not all of them carry car traffic.
After the bridge, the captain of the big ship that passed us earlier called us to ask our intentions. I had heard him on the radio announcing his pending arrival at “Global (something).” A quick internet search told me he was heading for a global terminal to our port side. Jeff concluded the same thing by looking at his navigation charts, which showed huge piers to our port. “Meacham Bridge, this is Motor Vessel Many Moons,” I called back. “We will cross your stern to starboard.” (Otherwise, we would have passed in front of him as he turned left. This was his concern.) He responded, “Thank you and have a good day.” It’s still a tiny thrill to me to talk to a captain of a huge ship like this. And he was so polite!
After the Verrazzano Bridge, the New York skyline is more identifiable.
As we cruised into New York Harbor, I noticed (using the boat-tracking app Nebo) another Looper boat, Buona Fortuna – “good luck” in Italian – overtaking us. I called them to ask if we could collaborate to get photos of each others’ boats in front of the Statue of Liberty. In an Italian/New Jersey accent, they agreed.
I wobbled on our flight bridge to steady myself in the wake-tossed waters to take pictures of Buona Fortuna.
And I got several nice ones. I hope they like them.
Then it was our turn to navigate to the right “photo op” location in front of Lady Liberty. I was glad Jeff was driving, as the ferry traffic gets pretty nuts here and you need eyes at the back of your head. (I’m good at that in cars and city traffic, but something about boat traffic makes me more nervous–because I don’t have “the feel” for it, I guess.)
Jeff maneuvered into “just the right spot” in front of one of our most famous landmarks.
Did I mention all the ferries?
Notice the helicopter as Many Moons maneuvers in front of Lady Liberty. Lots of those in New York Harbor.
And here we are! A thrilling moment. I was grateful to our fellow Loopers for documenting this for us.
After our photo opp, we explored the anchorages near the State of Liberty and Ellis Island. I wanted to anchor there and get the nighttime view of Manhattan, but Jeff thought the wake from passing ferries would be too disruptive. Given his recent bout with vertigo, I understood that. So we headed into an anchorage at nearby Liberty State Park instead.
The temperature rose to 97 degrees as we sat here. (See Lady Liberty in the background, upper right?) I took out the dinghy for a short row and came back overheated and exhausted. The interior of the boat was very uncomfortable. (No electricity means no A/C when you’re at anchor.) We decided to keep moving north.
Leaving Liberty Landing and heading up the Hudson River, the views just kept coming! The tallest one is the Bank of America tower, built in 2004. (Before that, the Twin Towers dominated this skyline. Remember?)
I don’t show up often in my blog posts, so I took a selfie. My 63 years, plus the rigors of boating life, do show (few boating women bother with makeup!)…but I’m learning to go with it. When I’m feeling “alive,” appearance doesn’t matter. (Well, to be honest, it matters less. 😉 )
So many great views on this hot-but-clear day, I just had to add one more…
And the New Jersey side of the Hudson River showed more sky-scrapers than I expected.
The Twin Towers once stood here. Even though it’s 21 years ago now, I felt a deep sadness passing here. I was on active duty at the time and on assignment for the Pentagon (though not there on that day). A few years later, I was in a relationship with somebody who worked for NYPD. I will always remember his re-telling of that day and the trauma that was evident in him, even years later.
How nice that “they” are thanking us! For what, I don’t know, but it’s a nice sentiment. The Empire State Building is visible on the left, still a standing landmark in NYC. I was fortunate to get a personal and solitary tour (with my sister) of the topmost viewing platform, years ago. (Thanks to that friend from NYPD.)
What ingenuity shows up in the cities sometimes. See the greenery on top of these waterfront sculptures? That’s an an above-ground green walkway. I remember reading that NYC has done this with abandoned raised railways too. If you can’t do it on the ground, you make it happen another way….
As we cruised up the Hudson River – grateful for the breeze that mitigated the oppressive heat–the urban cityscapes just kept coming. The NYC waterfront seems to go forever.
I heard a helicopter overhead and dashed out of the cabin just in time to take this photo of it landing nearby.
The Intrepid is a WWII-era Navy aircraft carrier, now a museum on the Manhattan waterfront. Every time I see a carrier, I remember my short Navy stint on one, in the 1980s, and wonder if I should have accepted orders in the early 90s to become the first female officer assigned to one of them. After 10 years of active duty during the integration of women into the Navy, I was weary of the gender struggle. I declined and left active duty instead (staying in the reserves).
Upper Manhattan. (I think.) Manhattan is 13 miles long and is just one of NYC’s five boroughs. It took us almost two hours to pass it by boat, going 5 mph against the tide.
We started to see green along the waterfront as we continied north.
Leaving Manhattan behind, slowly…
…and we finally reached the George Washington Bridge, connecting Manhattan to New Jersey. It’s a 35-mile car drive from the Verrazzano Bridge to this one. It’s less by boat, but seemed to take forever! (Because we were pushing against the current most of the way.)
Leaving the GW Bridge and Manhattan behind us….
I think this is Yonkers, NY. It was hard to tell where NYC ended and Yonkers began.
A factory of some sort along the Hudson River as the lowering sun lights it up.
Almost 30 miles after leaving our temporary anchorage at Liberty Landing to escape the heat, we anchored on the side of the Hudson River at a town called Irvington, where passenger trains went by every 10 minutes. How can that be?? Then I remembered that NYC’s population is 8.3 million. Many of those people must commute by train.
We celebrated, belatedly, our arrival in NYC — and the quiet environment beyond! — with some mead that my neighbor gave me when I held a small party at my house two weekends (and 370 boat miles) ago.
We anchored just south of Tappan Zee Bridge, rebuilt in 2012-2017. (The first bridge was built here in 1952.) What a beautiful view, right?! Bridges are so amazing at night. The expected cold front did come through and the temperature dropped more than 30ﾟ. Yay. It was a gloriously peaceful night to end a long but memorable day. (The trains went by all night but didn’t bother us at all.)