Saturday, July 18, 2009
Gulf Stream, Northern Edition: The East River
To get from New York Harbor to Long Island Sound, you traverse the East River. It’s rather like an amusement park ride. First, you have to time your travel so you’re going down the Hudson River on the ebb (outgoing) tide, then up the East River on the flood (incoming) tide. Check; tide and current tables work well here. Then you avoid playing bumper cars with the multitude of ferries plying the rivers, because the tides are of course timed to coincide with the weekday morning rush hour. Check; credit Chris’ avoidance skills here. Then up the East River. The water pushes through here quickly (see the eddies and roils in the water here), especially at the narrow portion named Hell Gate (not a name to inspire confidence in the neophyte river traveler), and we hit 10.1 knots briefly as we man-handled the boat through the eddies and rips that wanted to turn us every which way. All in all, it was pretty painless, although the East River isn’t nearly as picturesque as the Hudson.