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Old 23-08-2007, 15:40   #16
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Not sure if my last post made it?
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Old 23-08-2007, 16:16   #17
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Heron-
I'm a native, just waiting (and wondering) for all the *ing tourists to remember that they are supposed to LEAVE AND GET OFF MY ISLAND ON LABOR DAY. They've just no common courtesy any more.

"I went through Hell Gate a long time ago but we turned up the Harlem River as we were trying to get up the Hudson to Vermont. We did hit slack tide and had no trouble. That was back in the late 80's." If you tried that now, I think you would find the bridge clearance something like 26' feet and the city has cut back on bridgekeepers along the Harlem River. There's one (ONE) and if you call ahead, he'll drive along as nest he can from one to the next, opening them for you. Assuming traffic allows.

If that's been improved, I wouldn't know about it, I decided long ago that wasn't a navigable route for anything with a mast on it.<G>

The East River's a bit better, but watch out for the standing square waves and really odd gussets of wind between the skyscrapers. It honestly CAN be sailed, legally sailed, but those huge black fuel lighters tend to sneak up on you real fast, too.<G>
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Old 23-08-2007, 17:16   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
You'll want Eldridge or WXTides32 (free software to download) to check the slack CURRENT in the Hell Gate on any particular day.
Hellosailor is of course one of the most knowledgeable about the area as well. How could I forget him??

He makes a very good point above that I was going to make as well. Be aware that the "tide" and the "current" are very different things at this particular bend. They do not coincide.

If I remember correctly (and I'm foggy at best on this):

The current runs EASTWARD between Rikers Island or so and the Long Island sound when the tide is falling. At the SAME TIME, the current runs SOUTH in the East River while the tide is falling.

Reversing all of the directions above, you can see the general behavior if the tide is rising. It's not quite a straight forward current/tide relationship, anyway.

I think I used to time it so that I was leaving Long Island Sound (bound for New York Harbor) at slack water or a little bit after slack so that the tide would be falling by the time I came down to Hell Gate. If you do that, the East River becomes a wonderful white water rapids ride... dodging bridge pilings, sea wall construction areas, commercial traffic and ferries from every angle is fun! If you really catch the current well, and there is a lot of traffic on land, you can make better time than the southbound traffic on the FDR!! ha ha

Take a little time to read up on the area from a guide book if you can. The islands that blur by are fascinating as you head from Riker's Island down the East River. They have an incredible history. Some were used as quarantine islands during small pox outbreaks. Others, mass grave yards. Some have prisons (you'll see that one). There are old, weird abandoned buildings on them. I'm always in awe in that stretch of water, even if I lived on the big island (of Manhattan) for years. Those little ones to your port (away from the big island) are like little bits of history broken off from NYC.
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Old 23-08-2007, 17:29   #19
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Originally Posted by hellosailor
If that's been improved, I wouldn't know about it, I decided long ago that wasn't a navigable route for anything with a mast on it.<G>
Ha ha ha! I was thinking the same thing.

As you pass through Hell Gate, take a peek to the right to see what awaits you as you try and go North into the Harlem River from there. Not sailboat land.
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Old 23-08-2007, 18:15   #20
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Going up the Harlem river was a bit of culture shock for a Vermonter. We were heading north on an Albin 25 motorsailor with mast down. We had a heck of a time to get the bridges to open and really got stuck at the last railroad bridge just before entering the Hudson.

I guess by chart, the Harlem looked like the right way to go but we did have a lot of problems with the bridge openings. As least we didn't see any bodies floating around and wondered if anyone would take a couple practice rounds at us as we were the only vessel on the river.

Perhaps the bridge tenders were afraid to man their positions which is why there was so much delay.

I'll not make that same error this time!

HERON
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Old 23-08-2007, 18:35   #21
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Make sure you give yourself at least an hour after slack to get through, the current will add a few knots to your speed.

Also if you decide to anchor at Sandy Hook a nice spot is horseshoe cove on the west side. I have anchored there a few times, the current moves a bit but it is comfortable.
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Old 23-08-2007, 18:40   #22
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Originally Posted by Heron
As least we didn't see any bodies floating around and wondered if anyone would take a couple practice rounds at us as we were the only vessel on the river.

Perhaps the bridge tenders were afraid to man their positions which is why there was so much delay.
Naaaa... you got NY all wrong. It's a heavily patroled "police state." The residents are taught from an early age to follow the law and keep things orderly. (Note: This does not apply to business/corruption)

The ones that didn't learn to keep it orderly? You'll pass then as you go by Riker's Island.

There are many MANY more guns per capita right here in Maine. Plus... I notice everyone here (in Maine) walks around with a folding knife in their pocket.

NYC is tame compared to Maine - I know most Maine folks don't believe that, but it's true. We were just having this discussion with someone from Maine who was scared to go to NYC because they thought they would get shot.

They couldn't believe that NYC was not a place of guns, violence and mayhem.

I'd say there are more guns, more violence (people FIGHT in Maine - in NY you just yell at everybody and walk away) and more mayhem in Maine than in NYC. (per capita of course)
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Old 23-08-2007, 19:22   #23
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I second Sully's comments. The places where tourists go are completely safe. Well, may not as safe as the Green zone... but close.

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Old 23-08-2007, 20:35   #24
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Went through Hell's Gate with the tide when bringing Andante up from Annapolis - GPS said we were doing 9 knots at times! Some whirlpools around but otherwise no troubles.
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Old 24-08-2007, 06:49   #25
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Sean,

I guess you are right about Mainers and guns. Seems like there is a gun shop every 20 miles, right next to the convenience store and instant lottery ticket vendors.

As they say on the billboard when you come into the State: "Maine, the way life should be"

If any of you see a Westsail named HERON along our trip, give me a call!

Thanks for all the advice.

HERON
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Old 24-08-2007, 12:01   #26
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Originally Posted by Heron
Sean,

I guess you are right about Mainers and guns. Seems like there is a gun shop every 20 miles, right next to the convenience store and instant lottery ticket vendors.

As they say on the billboard when you come into the State: "Maine, the way life should be"

If any of you see a Westsail named HERON along our trip, give me a call!

Thanks for all the advice.

HERON
Ha ha ha! Funny comment about the gun stores being next to the convenience stores (liquor stores) and lottery ticket vendors.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I'm *not* one of those guys who has a gun on his boat (I do), but they are very common here. I'd be afriad to keep a gun on my boat in NYC, since you can get serious charges and a great "all expenses paid" stay at Rikers Island for such an offense. Yes... you can't even *have* a gun in NYC.
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Old 24-08-2007, 12:45   #27
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What do you use a gun for? Fishing?

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Old 24-08-2007, 13:46   #28
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What do you use a gun for? Fishing?

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I'm hoping to use it for bird hunting soon, but haven't been able to yet. Also, it's there just in case - but I don't anticipate ever having to use it in that fashion.

So as of right now - it's completely unused.
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Old 24-08-2007, 17:33   #29
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I hope to use it for bird hunting when I get a little spare time. The way my luck has been going (or lack of skill) with fishing, I'm sure tempted to try it.
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Old 24-08-2007, 17:34   #30
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Whoops. Sorry about the second post there... the first response to Def Jef's question wasn't showing up when I arrived to check on the thread. Odd.
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