Day 269: Friday, May 31, 2013
Port to Port: Manasquan to New York City, New York
Underway: 5:35 am Motor Off: 1:24 pm Miles Traveled: 46 Stayed At: Anchor
Mile 1 (NJIWW) to Mile 154 (Hudson River): After lots of planning and just as much worry, we headed out into the Atlantic Ocean at 5:30 am in the morning. The morning light was glowing off in the east. A couple fishing boats were waiting for the RR bridge to open to head out. We cast off our lines, motored against the outgoing current for a few minutes to get some maneuvering room and followed a sailboat out the Manasquan Inlet toward Europe (well, just for a little while). The inlet was moving pretty fast and some big rollers were set up just as the outlet where the ocean met the river. Aurora and Boris did amazing. Boris only left the water once – whining loudly but we never got waves breaking over the boat and we were soon out in lumpy but much calmer water. Whew. Is it too early for a drink?
The ocean was beautiful. A very light breeze greeted us as we turned north for NYC. The ocean swells took a little getting used to – they kept trying to skew us off course – but we soon got into a rhythm and were making steady progress to our destination. There were some fishing boats here and there and Freya passed us later in the morning saying hi as they cruised by. It’s nice to know you have friends nearby.
We made really good progress in the hot sun and calm seas. We were riding the tide north and were averaging 6 mph. No crab pots to hit. The water was more than 50 feet deep. We were usually a mile or more away from any nearby boat. And the wind was so light, we had to take the jib down because it was just flopping back and forth. What a gift.
We were 2/3 of the way to NYC and we were hailed on the radio by Bill on Lady Sarah. He happened to have been at the same marina as we were last night but he came in from offshore and was at the east docks on the other side of the RR bridge. We never knew. He was about an hour behind us and we made plans to maybe get together tonight.
We soon saw Coney Island and then glimpsed the Freedom Tower in Manhattan through the haze. And then we saw her – the Statue of Liberty gleaming in the distance. What an amazing experience (again) to travel to her in our own boat. A rare treat.
New York Harbor is huge and busy but we were able to go straight towards the Statue of Liberty. We turned just in front of her and turned down a channel and a few minutes later were safely anchored and ecstatic to be back again. The surrounding area has changed some (Donald Trump has built a beautiful new gold resort right next door) but we can still see the top of Lady Liberty (and the new Freedom Tower) from the cockpit of our boat. Can life get any better?
Well, yes it can. We ended the day enjoying docktails (including a special bottle of champagne from Fort Myers Beach – thanks John) on Lady Sarah with Bill (thanks for everything Bill) and watched the setting sun glint off Lady Liberties torch and the gold reflections off the windows across the harbor in Brooklyn. What an amazing end to a wonderful day.