Today was one of the hottest October 2s on record in this area. But since October 2 usually is cold, it turned out sort of comfortable up on the flybridge when we took off for our last stretch of the Down East Circle.
The Throgs Neck Bridge marked the entrance to the East River.
Two things. First, Throgs Neck just sounds cool. Throgs Neck. Second, the East River has no source, because it’s a tidal estuary and not a river at all. Although it acts like a river.
Among the sights along the river that’s not a river is Rikers Island, home of the notorious New York City prison.
Lots of famous folk served time or awaited trial here. Son of Sam. That crazy dude who shot John Lennon. Plaxico Burress. Lil Wayne, before he got the man crush on Lane Kiffin and then started polluting Neyland Stadium with that stupid third-down pump-up song that NEVER worked.
Just past Rikers is North Brother Island, where Typhoid Mary was quarantined before she was released and started infecting other people and then was quarantined again and died here.
Know why typhoid isn’t a thing in the U.S. any more? Vaccines.
Where the East River which isn’t a river meets the Harlem River which also isn’t a river, the two non-rivers collide at a point called Hell Gate. This is at least the third Hell or Hell’s Gate we’ve encountered. This one might’ve been the most aggressive, as we hit almost fourteen knots even at reduced rpms, and the rapids were worthy of rafting.
At the end of Roosevelt Island sits the ruins of another abandoned hospital, this one for smallpox patients. Know why smallpox isn’t a thing in the U.S. any more? Vaccines.
There’s other stuff on Roosevelt Island, and a bridge to get people there. The cable car, however, would be way more fun than taking an Uber.
Back when the U.S. had the respect of allies and the moral authority to effect positive change, the United Nations complex was an important place in the world.
Now it’s about as useless as a smallpox hospital, except if people stop vaccinating their kids the hospital may become important again.
Dana’s favorite buildings along the shoreline are part of a new apartment development.
That’s it. We crossed our wake for the second time. One of eight boats to finish the Down East Circle this year.
Then past the 9/11 memorial and into Liberty Landing.
Hell of a view from the pilothouse tonight.
Tomorrow we’re making the short trip backwards to Port Washington, leaving Misty Pearl, renting a van, and driving south. We moved aboard on March 12, 2018, but we bought her in 2017. That’s 216 blog posts since The start of it all. Nearly 9,000 miles. Hundreds of locks. Hundreds of stops.
The point is, we’ve not spent more than a few days sleeping on a stable bed in a loooong time. No time for stuff like dentists and doctors and vets and daily pickleball. Important stuff.
Now that we’ve closed the loops we started, Misty Pearl is going into hibernation. We’ll pick her up again next April or May—after the snow and ice melts—and spend at least the summer cruising somewhere. Maybe we’ll go north again. Maybe we’ll go south again.
We’ll keep the website activated and add new maps and pins as we go, but 126,480 words are enough. (Yes, WordPress keeps a word count.) If anyone cares to keep up, when we start cruising again we’ll try to post more photos on the Instagram account our more-hip kids set up. We’re @douganddanaandaboat there as well.
All we know is that exploring by boat now is in our blood. Sort of like the late great Chris LeDoux with his horse. “As long as there’s a sunset, we’ll keep riding for the brand. You just can’t see us from the road.”
After quite a few unexpectedly glorious days, it was about time for some gloom, and we got it. Toss in a few drizzles as well. But we have places to be.
The ferries across the Sound come and go every hour and their path is directly across the path we needed to take out of the marina. The one this morning was the P.T. Barnum. There may be a sucker born every minute, but we’re smart enough to time our departure. This time we left in front of the ferry, however, rather than waiting. Brent would’ve been proud.
As a bonus, the Sound was smooth all the way to City Island. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to see through the haze. Hey look! It’s Stamford, Connecticut!
And Oyster Bay. Teddy Roosevelt’s house is back up in there somewhere but we couldn’t spot it.
The sun started creeping out just as we passed Execution Rocks Lighthouse.
We looked it up. Maybe early Americans executed some prisoners by chaining them to the rocks at low tide. Maybe the British chained up some revolutionaries. Maybe a serial killer dumped bodies there. Maybe none of that happened. There isn’t a consensus. At one point it was a B & B but that seems to have gone by the wayside.
Just before City Island—our destination—sits Hart Island, former site of a Civil War prison.
Those poor brave Sons of the South. New York is nice to visit but we wouldn’t want to live here.
The clouds were gone by the time we tied up at Minneford. Bronx, New York.
We immediately could tell we were in New York by the crime wave.
Up here, even the wildlife are pushy. When Doug was hosing off the salt, a goose stopped by and demanded a fresh-water shower.
The photo sucks because it came from about fifteen minutes of shaky phone video we took, but the dude kept swimming back and forth and fluffing his wings in the spray. Doug was afraid to stop but then we got hungry.
One last highlight. From the boat we can see the New Rochelle skyline.
New Rochelle is famous for being the home of Rob and Laura Petrie and their zany neighbors Jerry and Millie. And their not-funny-at-all son Ritchie, who was the complete weak link in an otherwise all-star cast.
Tomorrow a short trip down the East River to the Hudson to close the Down East Circle.