We can’t believe we’re in Manhattan! It feels so much more significant than it probably should. I mean, why is New York more of an accomplishment than Mindelo in the Cape Verdes or San Juan in Puerto Rico? Its probably just that world-famous skyline.
We were anchored 10 miles south of Manhattan, in Sandy Hook. It was a bumpy night, the wind changed direction and we were right in the wind and waves. There was a thunderstorm passing very close by, and the almost lost the dinghy again in the strong wind (we had hoisted it up from the deck to be able to open the window above our bed). That dinghy just keeps trying to escape from us, its probably not keen on another Atlantic crossing.
We had an appointment in a ship yard to put Scehawk on the dry for a couple of days for some Atlantic crossing preparations. The ship yard in Manhasset Bay (Port Washington) was the cheapest in the area, but a bit of a long sail from New York. From where we were anchored, it was another 30 miles, which is a whole day. We couldn’t leave until 13:00 to have the current with us. The current in the East River runs up to 4.5 knots in Hells Gate, which is way too much to motor against.
It was one of the prettiest sails of our whole Atlantic Circuit, just getting closer and closer to the skyline everyone knows so well. We passed by the Statue of Liberty, took a right and motored along the whole Eastside of Manhattan. It was a super busy stretch, especially just under Manhattan. We instructed our families which webcam to monitor (there are webcams at the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge), tried to watch the traffic, take pictures, keep on course and of course enjoy this unforgettable moment. We already can’t wait to pass again on our way back.
Further up the river the current got stronger and luckily we didn’t encounter other boats until we were in the Long Island Sound. The day had turned into a fantastic summer evening, with little boats everywhere enjoying a calm and sunny after-work sail. It wasn’t difficult to find the bay and the shipyard, where we tied up to a free mooring ball. We had a drink on the amazing day and watched yet another beautiful sunset.
The next couple of days, we worked on Scehawk on land. She got hoisted, cleaned and thoroughly checked by a mechanic. He found a couple of minor things he wanted to fix before our crossing, and we used the opportunity to check all the seacocks, clamps, renew the anodes and put an extra layer of antifouling on her (which wasn’t allowed do yourself at this boatyard, shhhhh!). We also needed to order a part for the boom, which was squeaking badly. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it drives us mad after a couple of hours. Just imagine listening to squeaking for 3-4 weeks straight! The bad new was that this part was expensive and it took a week to get fixed, so we would be stuck in Port Washington for the week.
From Port Washington its only a 40 minute train ride to Penn Station in the middle of Manhattan, so we took the opportunity to visit ‘The City’ a couple of times. There happened to be a heatwave with temperatures ‘in the upper nineties’, which means 35+ degrees. It was almost unbearable during the afternoon, so we hid in the shade in Central Park, different bars and supermarkets until the worst was over.
We saw a jazz concert in Harlem in the living room of an old lady who organises a concert every week to memorise her son who passed away. She has been doing this for 25 years, and must be 80 already! She rocked the piano like nothing else and it turned into an awesome afternoon. After the last song she made a little speech which had everyone in tears. If you ever happen to be in New York on a Sunday, visit Marjorie Eliot, you won’t regret it!