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Log Hudson River – New York Harbor October 18-20, 2005
arrived in New York City the weather was glorious. It was a perfect crisp
fall day with clear blue skies. We were fortunate to find the 79th
Street Marina. Most of the Marina’s in New York City charge
very high rates for slips. Here, we found a mooring ball for $30/night. We
walked from 79th and Riverside Drive to Soho. It took all day but we found
great restaurants and discovered that Rana’s favorite grocery store Balducci’s
doesn’t exist anymore. Rana attended graduate film school at NYU. Wandering
through the Village, we walked the campus and had a snack at Dojo’s. We watched
the “Dance of the Sperm Men” by DK Hollywood, a Japanese dance troop in Washington
Square. Then, we dashed to Freeman’s Alley, off of the Bowery, where we met
Lem Huntington, a friend from Chicago, who now lives in NY. Then later we
found Spring St. Natural Restaurant which had amazing food.
On a cruising
boat, power management is always an issue. When renting a marina slip, we
are usually connected to shore power. But when anchored or moored as at 79th
Street, we generate power with our wind generator. It provides plenty of power
for our lights, computers and radios. But, we must watch how often we run
the refrigerator, our biggest power hog. We intend to add solar panels when
we get far enough south to make them economically feasible. The wind and current
were such that we spent a bumpy and noisy night. Mike went on deck at 3:00
am to check on the mooring connection and to re-secure the dinghy on deck.
We have an inflatable
dingy that we lift onto the foredeck every night for security
reasons. Many of the surrounding boats leave theirs in the water, but we feel
better in these high winds and rapid currents to have it tightly strapped
to the deck. Although we have not heard of any theft in the area, it simply
seems wise to protect from that as well. We have developed a system of a simple
harness for the dingy which we hoist with the spinnaker halyard on the main
mast winch. Rana cranks the winch and Mike directs the dingy over the edge
of Raven. This has provided us with an effortless way to handle the boat even
in high winds. We have not yet attached the 6 HP outboard motor. All of the
other boats in the mooring field use outboard motors. But we are close enough
to the dingy dock that we can easily row there and we enjoy the exercise.
day we spent wandering in Central
Park. This is probably the best and most beautiful park
in the country and the first major park in America. In 1853, Fredrick Law
Olmstead and Calvert Vaux began to create their vision of the Park. The space
was little more than marshy hollows, tangled vines and rocky hills. There
was blasting, trenching, tunneling, bridging used in the transforming process.
It is 843 acres and is more than 2 and ½ miles long and half a mile wide.
The rock outcroppings are a metamorphic rock called Manhattan schist and are
450 million years old. We went to Strawberry
Fields, the memorial to John Lennon, and surprisingly,
we both got choked up.
went to the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. A fun jazz band was playing near
the Terrace called the Blue
Viper. We visited Alice
in Wonderland and saw some sprites and fairies and
then we went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
At the Met
was a special exhibit of the works of the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
He is the architect of the Milwaukee Art Museum which is brilliant and beautiful.
The Museum looks like a sail boat with sails that open and close. His work
is graceful in his use of engineering. Another special exhibit was of Van
Gogh sketches. They were marvelous examples of his work, from studies leading
to his paintings, to completely independent works of exquisite detail. The
Met contains one of the world’s finest collections of art. Now, all of the
permanent collection can be photographed. We spent some time collecting images
in the modern sections. There just isn’t enough time to do everything one
wants to do in NYC.
Wilma terrorized the Caribbean and is now sweeping up the east coast. It was
a category 5 storm and said to be the strongest in recorded history in the
Atlantic. It appears that global warming may be causing more frequent and
more severe storms every year. We were exposed at our location on the river
and had to seek shelter before Wilma arrived. Our next move is to be offshore,
so we had a serious decision to make. We need to assess the best port in which
to weather what may be severe conditions. Most of the harbors near New York
are not very well protected. The alternative would be to retreat up the Hudson.
However, in the areas we covered, there was little in the way of safe harbors
since the Catskills. We passed past the City on the way down to the mouth
of the Hudson. On the way, we encountered freighter traffic and passed the
of Liberty. We the selected the secure bay of Great
Kills on Staten Island in which to wait out the passage of Wilma. The bay
is near the offshore jump off point of Sandy Hook. It is nearly landlocked,
and as a result, is very well protected from storm surge. We were lucky to
run into local sailor, Steve Hasner, who shared very helpful details of the
course ahead, gave us a ride to market and generously supplemented our library.
time, we have battened down the hatches and are enduring the noisy storm.
After Wilma passes, we plan to jump down the coast to Delaware Bay.