Thursday, July 31, 2014

At Poughkeepsie Yacht Club - That's All Folks!

After passing all six barges, we got a chance to enjoy the scenery
After looking at the tide and current charts, we decided to leave Manhasset at 5:30 am to catch the last of the ebb tide at Hell Gate and then the beginning of the flood tide up the Hudson River. If everything went according to the charts, we would have current with us all the way from Manhasset to PYC (ha!) So I rolled out of the bunk at 4:30, took Hoolie ashore, returned and got the boat ready and we did get off by 5:25.

On the way a large barge passed us by the Throgs Neck bridge doing 9 kts. Okay with us, we dropped in behind. But then he suddenly slowed down to 3.5 kts. We hailed him on the radio and he said that six barges all in a row was coming up the East River to pass through Hell Gate at about the same time we would have gotten there. He slowed to allow them to clear Hell Gate. However, in order for us to utilize the flood tide up the Hudson, we had to press on - so we did.

Freedom Tower is now completed
We met the six barge convey right at Hell Gate! I squeezed over to starboard as far as I could, carefully watching the chartplotter and my depth sounder. The first barge appeared to head right for me but I knew he had to make a hard turn to starboard to make the Gate. Well, he did and I did. Now I was lined up for the East River and saw the rest of the barges, all in a row. Except, what was that on the right - it was another barge, a rather small barge that had pulled over to my side of the river to let the larger, faster barges cross. Now the narrow East River had two barges side by side headed up river with one of the barges headed right at me! So I move over even more, just 20 feet or so from the morning joggers along side the river. Happily, the small barge moved over just enough for me to pass. I'm sure he was just as unhappy to see me as I was him!

After passing the last of the six barges, we entered the wider section of the river by the UN building. Nothing like a little excitement in the morning. Now we had to contend with the multiple water taxis that have seemed to proliferate these past few years, a couple of dozen going in all directions not to mention the ever present Staten Island Ferries. Rounding the Battery - where was my flood tide!? I saw a 2 kt current against me instead of at least a slack tide. I didn't see a favorable tide until the George Washington bridge. After that it started to build. By the time we reached West Point, we had our 2 kts of current with us.

Work continues on the new Tappan Zee Bridge
Coming into PYC, we called for help and was greeted by the Steward, a very welcomed sight. Ann was at the helm and managed the boat but had to contend with a kt of current behind the boat along with 17 kts of wind, also on the aft quarter - and, by the way, we now have a boat just ahead of us on the end dock, about five feet away from our bow, not much room for error. However, Ann has been doing all the boat handling recently and I handle the lines. She's as good as anyone I know, experience pays off plus she's cool under pressure. Richie, the Steward, caught our lines and we secured the boat! We made the trip from Manhasset to PYC in 11 hours, 30 minutes.

To celebrate we treated everyone to dinner at Eveready Diner, lots to eat. It is now calm and we'll turn in for the night. Friday is unloading day and over the weekend we'll get the  boat ready for hauling and fixing up for the trip south in September. The job done by McDonnell Marine was outstanding on the engine, no more oil leaks and the engine is smooth when put into gear (damperner repair). We are ready for the ICW. Join us on September when the regular blog will restart for our trip to Key West and return.