Agreed..Weather is a key consideration...
Also cutting between the brother islands is pretty easy...if you happen to be following a tug or large commercial
vessel down, keep in mind that they will go around...and may come out from behind big brother... behind you....
Last time through, I slowed to let a composite tug and barge go past ahead..then caught up to them again in Hell Gate....luckily I got there at slack and could slow down..as he manuevered through HG....( it's a sharp turn for them)
And it was the only time that has ever happened in many transits....
channel 13, 9, and 16 and you should pick up the all relevant information.
You can cut through the bay ridge flats heading for the Verrazano, unless you want to get up close and personal to the statue..
If you stay to the west of the green cans..through the anchorage.. and east of the main hudson
channel ...you'll be out of the way of the fast ferries coming from the Highlands..etc..