Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New Jersey
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Re: Planning a trip up the East River, Timing?
There are two ( perhaps 3 ) calculations that people perform for the passage up or down the east river. 1 is to determine the best time to make the passage and achieve a favorable current in your direction of travel for the entire 15 mile transit. The general rule of thumb to ride the flood going north is to arrive at the battery 2 hours after low tide at the battery. Can you leave at an hour and 3/4 ...sure. You can also arrive 4 hours later and hold a fair current. These times are all best estimates.
The other calculation is to arrive at the gate at slack. They are not the same timings. If you want to arrive at the gate at slack, you should leave the battery approximately 45 minutes after low tide. One possible concern here ( beside a slower passage) is that the tugs and barges that ply the river are also likely to want to hit the gate on either side of slack. So you are more likely to find yourself in the area of the gate with commercial traffic.
Leaving the battery at low tide, is not going to be the fastest passage. And if it takes you an hour or so to get to Hell Gate from the battery. (arriving 1 hour after low tide at the battery) You'll hit a good 2 knot current against you.
The 3rd consideration is your final desitination. If you want to achieve a fair current all the way through the narrows going south You'd want to hit the ebb as early as possible.
If you wanted to achieve a fair current going east in the LI sound you might want to hit the gate around slack, to be able to carry a fair current east in the sound
I'm generally less concerned with an opposing current in the sound as I am carrying a fair current through the narrows. There's also more room above the gate to avoid large traffic.
I'm not convinced that leaving the battery at low tide fits into either strategy.. ( fast passage or slack at the gate)
Last edited by tempest; 09-02-2013 at 01:53 PM.