Statue of Liberty that is.

And our weird conversation with the Coast Guard

Start: Great Kills, NY
End: Half Moon Bay Marina, Croton on the Hudson, NY.
Moving Time: 10:01 (including an hour for lunch)
Distance: 48.3 NM
Average: 4.8 knots knots (5.3 if you don’t count the hour for lunch, but I can live with it).

We slept in this morning. The tide wasn’t going to be with us until very late in the morning and we didn’t want to fight the Hudson river all the way to Croton, NY. Sorry. Croton on the Hudson, NY. We got up at 7ish, which is late for us given our wake up time the last three days. I took Lucky to the dinghy dock at the park and there was no police man to give me a ticket. The park was really quite nice–there was a rustic beach on the back side and Lucky got a chance to run after seagulls. Last night AJ and I came in to bring Lucky and the park was full of people parked and looking out over the bay. And parked and doing things in the car that I had to explain to AJ as we walked along. Education. But this morning it was quiet.

Last night we also came up with a ‘end of day’ and ‘beginning of day’ checklist to help us walk through all the tasks that we had to do before leaving and after arriving. This morning we were using our checklist and it helped immensely. We were on the way out of the harbor by 0810. Which was too early–we would get into IMG_0248New York Harbor by 1000 and the favorable tide was not going to start until 1130ish. So up got the sails. We figure that there isn’t much breeze and we will bob along until we got until the Verrazano Bridge and then motor through. And the plan works for about 20 minutes. Then our speed begins to climb from 3 to 4 to 5 knots and we are in the harbor, passing under the bridge (under sail mind you!). We took a peek at the amount of traffic screaming in front of us and dropped both engines, fired them up and puttered into New York City.

Tide was against us, so we were not making much headway. There were a TON of ferries and other water craft screaming around the harbor. My AIS alarm was going crazy and it was only showing 1/3 of the traffic we were seeing so I shut off the IMG_3081alarm. Jan was pointing out the next great thing that was trying to run us down. The Staten Island ferries were, and I’m not kidding, BOTH trying to knock us over with their wake. And at the same time we were looking slack jawed at the skyline we were (slowly) moving through. It was fantastic.

Because we were fighting a tide with two very small engines (wind had died down in the harbor and the sails were flapping so we took them down), we decided to have lunch behind the Statute of Liberty and wait an hour until the tide was helpful. Because we could!! So we headed around the security cones and dropped our anchor behind Lady Liberty.

IMG_0613No sooner had we dropped the anchor than I heard on Channel 16, “Sailing Vessel Serenity, this is the New York Coast Guard, over.”

Oh hell.

My midwest up bringing kicked in. We did something wrong. We anchored where we weren’t supposed to . There were clearly marked cones delineating the security zone. We were outside. We were out of the way of the ferries. What could be wrong?

We got asked a series of questions about documentation, border control numbers and then we were told we would be called back. We had lunch and in 20 minutes a very nice coast guard called back and said their confusion stemmed from the fact that our AIS was broadcasting that we were Canadian! Whoops! They (now) understood that we were, in fact, Americans, and that perhaps we should look at that and to have a nice trip! It turns out, that this was a case of two sailboats having the same name (Serenity) and I answered when they were calling other bubba. Fun!

After we relaxed for an hour or so and enjoyed the sights, we puttered back out into New York Harbor, turned left (North) and began moving towards and up the Hudson River. We passed our buddy the “Penelope” at 72nd street harbor. Our speed was a paltry 4 knots as we started but as we left the city, the tide and wind began to freshen and we climbed up to a steady seven knots north over the next couple hours. We transitioned from the city to the Hudson valley proper with huge rock walls and wide river valley. Jan took over driving for awhile and got the top speed of the day at 9.9 knots just before we passed under the Tappenzee bridge.

We were moving to Croton on the Hudson and the Half Moon Bay Marina. Steve, the manager of the marina, was on the phone with us as we got in close and met us at the poo dock for a pump out. Nice way to meet someone! Then we moved into the marina itself for our dock assignment which was between two other boats. I was going to parallel park my 36 foot catamaran.

IMG_9396/sarcasm on
/sarcasm off

Thanks to some masterful rope work by Steve and an able bodied helper, we got into the dock successfully by 6:10pm. Trip to the shower and then we walk 15 minutes into town and eat some great Indian food. Then back to the boat and to bed. Long and good day!