Today we escape the intensity of New York Harbor by entering the East River en route to Long Island Sound. We time our departure from Newport Marina at slack tide to ride the favorable current north under the Brooklyn Bridge, through Hell Gate and into the Sound.
Hell Gate is a short, twisty and notoriously challenging section of the East River located at its confluence with the Harlem River. Here, the tidal current can reach up to six knots. When wind opposes tidal current, the water churns into a frenzy. Fortunately, the weather was calm today and we enjoyed a 3 knot boost from the current.
Just beyond Riker’s Island, departing aircraft from La Guardia buzz the top of our mast. Leaving King’s Point and the Throg’s Neck Bridge astern, the East River gives way to the more relaxing, wide open waters of Long Island Sound.
Because we are still feeling the effects of a late night out on the town and an early start this morning to catch the tide, we opt to overnight in Manhasset Bay on the north shore of Long Island, a short leg of 21 miles. Manhasset Bay is home to the town of Port Washington, which offers free overnight moorings to transient sailors. By 2:30 PM, we are already enjoying the relaxing feeling of a town mooring snugly attached to our bow cleat. No need to set the anchor today or retrive it in the morning. Just slip the mooring line and we are off to a quick getaway.