Thank you, Hudsonian for your response.
Could you clarify a couple of points?
1. I failed to mention that I was transporting a sailboat; 36 footer with a 40 hp diesel. If I have to wait for the lift bridge on the east side of Roosevelt, are the currents too strong to maintain position?
2. Where are the "Plum Gut" and the "Race". You may know that sailboats are not known for their steering capabilities in strong currents. Any suggestions about the whirlpools? How strong are those currents, 3-5 knots?
3. Is the closure of the west channel common? I spoke with the Coast Guard for N.Y. Harbor and they just cautioned that I stay 175 yards away from the bank of the East River between 59th and 35th streets.
Thanks for the local knowledge, it's vital.