Wednesday morning, we left Brewer Yacht Haven at 9:05 AM for the 34 nm run to Jersey City, New Jersey. We timed our departure based on the current at the notorious bend in the East River known as Hell Gate. Our goal was to reach the Throgs Neck Bridge at 11:07 AM, which corresponded to slack tide at Hell Gate. Theoretically this would provide a favorable current all the way from Connecticut to New Jersey.
For once, we timed our departure perfectly. We had over a knot of current in our favor in the Long Island Sound and reached the Throgs Neck Bridge at 11:09 AM. We dodged a few boats and a barge or two, but largely the passage to the bridge was unremarkable. We continued under the bridge, past the Bronx Whitestone Bridge and headed for the North and South Brother Islands. Usually we go between the two islands, because it is a slightly more direct route. However, as we reached the islands, there was a slowing moving sailboat wandering in front of us and a barge coming up the East River through the narrow channel in the opposite direction. Not wanting to be part of the confusion that was about to happen between the sailboat and the barge, we opted to go north of North Brother Island. On previous passages through this area, we had seen a number of barges use this route. With the current behind us, we were soon around the island and entered Hell Gate before the sailboat and after the barge had passed. Perfect.
The current was ripping in Hell Gate. We had sustained speeds of 12.9 kts and briefly hit 13 kts, and we were not even at maximum ebb. Despite the squirrelly currents, Adrienne had no trouble keeping us on the straight and narrow. Soon we were at New York Harbor. I guided us through the ferries, and by 12:52 PM we were docked on M dock at Liberty landing Marina.
Though we have been to Liberty Landing a number of times, we had no idea how big it really was. Usually we dock at D or C dock. This time we kept going way back into the marina to M Dock. We had a large T-head, which was great, but we were half a mile from the marina office. Adrienne hiked to the Marina Office to check us in while I began washing the boat. By the time she got back from her trek, I had almost finished washing the boat!
We were running low on a few provisions, so we decided to hike over to a Shop-Rite that was about a mile away. One advantage of being so far into the marina was that we were very close to a footbridge that crosses the little inlet where the marine is located. Because we were so close we decided we did not need to take the ferry across. The ferry dock was at the opposite end of the marina beyond the dock office. So, with our foldable shopping cart in tow, we took off. Jersey City along the Hudson is slowly being gentrified; the area we walked through was still in transition, but was full of beautiful old brownstones. It was good to stretch our legs, and we were able to re-provision relatively easily. Soon we were back on the boat.
For dinner, we went to Liberty House Restaurant, a very nice upscale restaurant right on the marina grounds. One of my favorite dishes at the restaurant is deep-fried olives; as weird as it sounds, but delicious. Alas, they were no longer on the menu! I was sorely disappointed. So Adrienne and I started with fried calamari, which were good but a little tough. I am not sure if they were overcooked or if the squid were a little too old. Our entrees, however, were excellent. Adrienne had an artichoke crusted salmon fillet with an oyster chowder sauce. She loved it. I had a Flat Iron steak with pee-wee potatoes and Cipollini onions. It was cooked perfectly medium rare and was delicious. For dessert, we shared a peach and blueberry crustada. The crustada was good but could have used some more fruit. Overall a very good dinner, made even better by the fact that it was Restaurant Week in Jersey City, so the appetizer, my steak and the dessert were part of a three course dinner that cost only $40. A steal in the New York area.
Tomorrow, we are heading up the Hudson River. We have never been up the Hudson, so we decided to do a little sightseeing.