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post #11 of 21 Old 10-05-2008
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Be wary of submerged floating telephone poles in the East River.

A local gave me this advice over breakfast the morning before we went through, and sure enough we ran up on one!


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post #12 of 21 Old 10-05-2008
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^^^^^Thats priceless but typical nyc ive heard of all sorts of things people get there anchors hooked on in there and then loose there gear

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post #13 of 21 Old 10-06-2008
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Chris - VTS is channel 11, they have told me not to call them as I'm less than 60 feet. You might give a security call on 13 leaving LLM and then at the Battery turning north. Suggest you monitor 13 to learn about commercial traffic heading W through Hell's Gate. The pushing and pulling tugs do appreciate if you let them know that you see them and will pass Port to Port (1 whistle) - they are grateful of communication as the summer's experience with sailboats can be fairly chaotic for them.

Stay in the west channel of the East River (leaving the UN to Port and Roosevelt Island to Starboard.) If you try the east channel, you will have to contend with the Roosevelt Island Bridge (channel 13) that will need to be raised for you.

If you leave at the turn of the tide it will take you about 7-9 hours to Branford.


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post #14 of 21 Old 10-06-2008
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I've seen everything including pieces of houses coming down the Hudson after floods and rains, but never a phone pole in the East River. Not to say that there aren't any, deadheads are everywhere but they're not a special problem here.

Anyplace where ships have been anchoring and piers collapsing and people dumping debris in the water for 400 years, you can foul an anchor. Typically any cove or spot inside the bulkhead line is fouled, and marked as such on the charts.

The bigggest problem coming up the East River and through the HG with the flood, is that if you have an engine failure you will lose steerage, and sailing can be quite a handful in the odd winds that bounce off the buildings, and the square standing waves that pop up in the East River itself.

A good engine, a fast hand, a little situational awareness...and there's nothing to worry about, you can enjoy the scenery.
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post #15 of 21 Old 10-06-2008
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In the unlikely event that the west passage past Roosevelt Island is closed due to UN activity it's not a big deal calling the lift operator on the east passage and having them raise the bridge. We made the trip from Chelsea Piers on the west side of Manhattan to Stamford, CT on Tuesday Sept. 23. The UN was in session and as we passed the Brooklyn Bridge I heard the Coast Guard announce that the west passage was closed to traffic. (The entire east river in the area of the UN was closed later that evening)
As we neared the security zone, a NYC police boat approached us and directed us towards the east passage. The phone number for the lift operator provided in our guide book was incorrect, but they responded promptly on channel 13. Others on the board may know the best procedure, but we just hailed "Roosevelt Island Lift Bridge", gave them our position and direction and they instructed us appropriately. They requested we let them know when we passed under the Queensboro bridge as this gives them the time they need to go through their opening procedures.
Turned out to be a fun experience, though if the west passage is open that is obviously the easier option.

We went through at about 1:30pm, and made it to Stamford by about 6:30pm, so if you're going through at 9:30am you'll have no trouble making it there before sunset. We went as far as Branford that week to wait out the weather including seeing which direction TS Kyle was going to take. I'm sure there are many places worth exploring along either the North or South shore of LIS, but we really enjoyed our time in Branford.

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post #16 of 21 Old 10-06-2008
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As per NOAA, tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/get_predc.shtml?year=2008&stn=5324+HELL+GATE+(off+Mill+Rock)+&fldavgd=050&ebbavgd=230Tidal Current Predictions[/url]
the slack at Millrock tomorrow is at 1023 withe max current at 1329 of 2.8 knots. If timed right it is a lot of fun. I saw 10+ knots on my GPS when we went from Raritan bay to Rye in July. I wont take my Sailboat on the east side of Roosevelt Is.
Have fun!
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post #17 of 21 Old 10-06-2008
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All options available, I'd have preferred the west passage around Roosevelt Island as well. However, since it was closed by the coast guard our option was to either take the east passage or wait for another day later in the week after the UN was out of session and the passage was re-opened. We were trying to get a head start getting home before the weather systems that were developing and opted to take the east passage. The experience was that contacting the lift operator to have the bridge opened was very simple and posed no delay or issues. I would not hesitate to take the east passage again if it was the only option besides waiting for another day.

I would offer that it's even more important to pay attention to the tides as it felt like the current flowed even stronger at the point of the bridge than other parts of the river, but with enough advance notice to the operator they'll have plenty of time to open the bridge. (15 minutes or better is suggested)

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post #18 of 21 Old 10-08-2008 Thread Starter
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We got through just fine... it was somewhat of a letdown! Here we were expecting to be surfing through rapids and when we got there I didn't even realize it! When we left Liberty Landing we had an issue with our batteries - our engine wouldn't start off the starting battery (slow crank and then nothing). We combined the banks (house/start) and were able to get the
engine going. The toughest part was circling Lady Liberty (for a bit of tourism) and trying to figure out where the tour boats/ferries/water taxis were going. Some of the wakes were huge and I felt like I was playing a game of frogger. We headed up the East River, dodged a bit of traffic, and then egressed into the sound. We sailed to Stamford (leaving the engine on just in case) and we're staying at Brewer's Yacht Haven East for the night. By the way - they are incredibly helpful here, and very nice. Tomorrow we head for our last hop to Branford. Hopefully our engine starts in the morning

Thanks to Jim Malkin and Killarney_Sailor, both Sailnet members, for their hospitality at Liberty Landing.

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post #19 of 21 Old 10-08-2008
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I am not surprised that you got through it 'just fine' as the more the current goes your way the faster you go. I am also not surprised to hear that it was a bit of a 'let down' as even the standing waves and other tidal miscreants are not so bad in normal conditions, IMHO.
I am just sorry to have missed you at LLM as it is so close to my home.
At least the wind seemed to be cooperative for you to reach Stamford as it was out of the NW. I hope you had a good reach or close reach all the way there.
I would sill like to meet you on your way back up next Spring.
Congrats on your passage around the 'Horn' of Manhattan.
Glad you made it safe and sound.
CalebD

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post #20 of 21 Old 10-08-2008
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LOL...glad you made it fine. The "letdown" is a common reaction to doing things right!!

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