Our position is: 40:41.711N 74:03.749W
After the storm it was bright and sunny the next morning as we prepared for the overnight sail up the coast. Attempts to find somewhere to stay there made us question the viability of visiting New York around July 4th as the first marinas we contacted were all fully booked, but the helpful man in the IGY marina suggested that Lincoln Harbour on the New Jersey side might have space and after some anxious minutes waiting for them to ring back to confirm this we were able to reserve a berth for 3 nights including 4 July (at an extortionate holiday rate) and continue as planned. As we left our berth it appeared we were on the bottom but most of the seabed round here is soft mud so we were able to push through it and were soon floating freely as we made our way out of the marina and through Cape May Harbour.
The winds were favourable and we were able to shake the moths out of the cruising chute again and make good use of it until mid afternoon, when the wind freshened and Ted’s repair to the pole started showing its weakness, so it was replaced by the jib as we sailed inside the traffic separation lanes leading into Sandy Hook and the New York approaches. We were able to sail through the night but the wind fell away as the sun came up and there was a frustrating period of starting and stopping the engine as it came and went. During my watch I was radioed by a boat I had been monitoring on the AIS. It was a tug with a very long tow to a barge and I was happy to accede to his request for me to make a small alteration of course to give him some extra sea room as he headed South.
It was mid morning as we closed the coast at Sandy Hook and picked our way through the many little boats enjoying the sunny Sunday morning by going fishing. There appeared to be a naturist beach close to the point of Sandy Hook but we were a bit far off to confirm this even through binoculars! Then it was into the Hudson River estuary and full concentration as firstly all the separation lanes came together and then we passed through The Narrows and under the Verrazano Bridge and the ferry traffic began in earnest as we dodged among the anchored ships. The ferries travel at speed and expect to go where they want regardless of any yachts in the way. A few people really take their life in their hands by sailing dinghies (we saw 3 small catamarans) or even kayaking (we saw 2 of these as well), but for us it seemed quite scary enough on Moorglade. As we motored up Upper Bay towards the impressive Manhattan skyline stretched in front of us the traffic increased and finding a good moment to take the main down became a priority.
Before long we were approaching the Statue of Liberty (and all the tripper boats taking people out to it!) and our intended destination, the anchorage alongside the Liberty State Park, close to the Statue. The approach channel is narrow, with shallow water to either side, and the anchorage is small, although there were only 2 other anchored boats there already, but there appeared to be a small sailing school operating in the basin and we were greeted by pontoons laden with Optimists and a group of youngsters racing (and capsizing) Lasers, which severely tested the anchoring routines, already stressed by the gusting winds. However, eventually we managed to get ourselves pinned to the bottom (without running over any dinghies) and were able to retire for a rest. It was low water when we arrived and from the anchorage we could only see the top of Liberty’s head and the torch above the trees, but as the tide went up more and more was revealed.
The calm after the night before – leaving Utschs marina Just to prove we use it sometimes
Some of the boats encountered on passage
Going under the Verrazano Bridge at The Narrows First view of the New York skyline and the fast moving ferries
Approaching the Statue of Liberty
The anchorage at low water (only the torch visible above the trees) and at high water