Day 90 and 1,568 miles into the summer cruise, yet another day of settled weather provides a fitting backdrop for the next leg of our journey. The anchor is up at 6:30 AM in Oyster Bay on the north shore of Long Island. We time our departure to arrive at Hell Gate at noon.
The notorious Hell Gate is located at the confluence of the East River and the Harlem River, where tidal currents create havoc when opposed by wind. But today, Hell Gate is calm at slack tide. We ride the favorable current south through the Upper East Side, past Roosevelt Island, under the Brooklyn Bridge, into busy New York Harbor and under the Verrazona Narrows Bridge. Similar to an extended downhill on a bicycle, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a fair tide.
Navigation is made difficult today by residual floating debris from Irene. Tree branches, pilings, logs and other flotsam dot the surface of the water. Wakes from the ferries and tour boats churn the waters and make it difficult to spot floating objects.
Cutter Loose is anchored just outside the mooring field at Atlantic Highlands, inside Sandy Hook, NJ. We last visited this harbor on June 7th en route to Maine. After sunset, the dramatic Manhatten skyline framed by the Verrazona Bridge is clearly visible to the north.
We prep the boat for an early morning departure. Easterly winds are predicted for tomorrow’s 90 mile coastal jaunt to Atlantic City.