Friday, July 16, 2010

So Long, New York City

Today we are in the Champlain Canal nearly 10 miles away from lock #5. We ran aground just south of lock #4. The grinding sound of rock against hull is quite possibly one of the most terrifying noises I’ve ever heard. It’s been over an hour and my hands are still shaking from it. But I’ll tell you more about that later. Let’s back up to Saturday night and Sunday morning in New York City.

On Friday Charlie, Todd and I left home in a rented Hyundai, headed south on 95. Charlie’s a good friend of ours who owns the local (and awesomest) yacht rigging shop. His shop is right across the train tracks from where I work and he said to me over a post-work beer, “You know… I’ve never got the chance to spend much time on the lower part of the Hudson….” And then Todd’s dad said the same thing.

We met up with Craig (Todd’s dad) and Tina (Todd’s mom) in Jersey City on Saturday. We took a quick cruise to the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday afternoon, and then went into the City to meet up with my cousin Helen and her new husband Jeremy.

I hadn’t seen Helen for a few years, but we pretty much grew up together as my extended family was always very present in my life. (Think “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” but only with a bunch of Pollocks.) I hadn’t yet met Jeremy, because he and Helen were living in Europe because their work took them both there.

Sunday Todd, Charlie Craig and I left the City and headed north up the Hudson. The Hudson is wider than the East River, and the buildings didn’t tower over us as they had days before. We passed under the George Washington Bridge, and the landscape instantly changed from urban jungle to forest.

We continued north and eventually passed West Point. (OK, West Point?  Super impressive from the water.)  It was just north of West Point that we anchored in a spot that could only be described as heavenly. We donned bathing suits and combated the heat in the river. Eventually the sun set, we ate dinner and drifted off to sleep after a hot, hazy 54 mile day.

We marveled at the fact that 54 miles away from the ocean the tides still have a great impact on the level of the water. It would be on Monday night that we’d learn just how drastically far the water level would drop.

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