New York City, when viewed from the deck of a boat, gives a vastly different impression than the one formed by flying-over or driving through on the highways. From the water, you don’t really sense the vast megalopolis of its many burroughs and the endless suburbia. You come upon Manhattan through the Verrazano Narrows and there it is…the skyscrapers and office towers on the Battery monumental in scale. From this perspective it inspires a collective awe that just can’t be appreciated from the street.
The Statue of Liberty presiding of the hustle and clamor of the frenzied traffic in the harbor….pleasure craft like ours, dodging and weaving to avoid the barges, ferries, container ships, tour boats and cruise ships. And whoever said New Yorkers aren’t friendly…just look at the welcome we got!
We had timed our transit of the harbor and up the East River to be at Hell’s Gate (aptly named for its ferocious current) at slack tide. Past the ‘Gate’ we came upon Riker’s Island (the city jail for New York), a forbidding place where the jailed can watch the rest of the world come and go continuously through La Guardia…
Some squally weather encouraged us to seek shelter in Oyster Bay (site of Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill) not far up the Long Island shore and then again (same weather reason) in Port Jefferson. We had a destination in our sights (our gateway to New England) – the Great Salt Pond on Block Island. Not an original idea, we anticipated the need to find a good spot to anchor before the crowd showed up for the weekend. We pulled-in on Thursday afternoon and dropped anchor in this well protected lagoon. With its gingerbread cottages, sandy beaches, clean water, fun eateries and spectacular sunsets, the appeal of Block Island is undeniable. And they know how to make a buck.