Day 12 – The Saga Continues at the Tappan Zee Bridge
Sept 2nd, 2008, A mooring under the Tapanzee Bridge
So the saga is just about complete for this leg of the trip….
I headed down the Hudson River in the darkness of night at about 9:30PM. A large barge and containership went by (these ships came within 1 knotical mile of me, or less). I checked the paper charts for depths and obstructions, and charted a direct course to where I thought Peterson’s boatyard was. I did this in order to stay out of the shipping lanes. I was monitoring the shipping VHF channel 13, because they announce regular security calls (notifications of shipping traffic). I also had the luxury of using a radar which comes in really handy at night. With the radar, I can pick up not only ships and land masses, but also the bouys and large debris such as logs floating in the water. Our boat is also equipped with AIS, this will plot right on my chart plotter large vessels, their speed, direction, size, and name of the vessel, should I wish to hail them in case of an emergency. Of course, we have a GPS chart-plotter, but the radar verifies the accuracy of the GPS.
At about 10:30PM, I made it to what I thought was Peterson’s boatyard. I was near the Tappan Zee bridge. Upon my approach, I saw hundreds of boats moored here. Gary the GM, told me to tie up on a mooring, in the river, and spend the night. A mooring for my non-nautical friends, is usually a large concrete block sitting on the riverbed, that acts as a secure anchor. There were 2 lines floating up to the surface attached to a ball, and a mooring bouy marker. Now I had to navigate between dozens of boats, that are in close proximity to each other. Finding an empty ball was not easy. When I spotted one, and I approached slowly into a current from the tides. I was single-handed, so I left the helm, and walked up to the bow. With a boat hook in hand, I tried to catch the mooring line. I missed on my first attempt, so I turned the boat around to try again. Second attempt brought “great success” as Borat would say! I never moored before, so I wasn’t exactly sure of the proper way. I tied 2 of my own mooring lines to it, and tie them off on either side of the forward cleats. The boat was secure, so I headed down below to watch David Letterman! For several hours I ran up to the deck, trying to figure out what the noise was tapping on my hull. It was the mooring bouy making an annoying noise. I tried different ways to tie up my lines to prevent this to no avail. In the morning, looking at how other boats tied up, I realized that I did not need to use my own mooring lines, I could have just simply attached the provided two mooring lines to my forward cleats. This would have also prevented the annoying tapping on the hull from the mooring bouy.
The evening was very calm and uneventful. However, in the morning at about 6AM, a nice gust was blowing through, and the tides were changing, the boat was swung all around the mooring, and tossed a little bit. I looked around and everything still looked secure. I went back to bed, lying there I could hear the boat creaking, and sweaking back and forth on the mooring and I wondered if it really was a good idea to plan to leave the boat on a mooring for 2 months? I started to think that this would cause too much wear and tear on the boat, not to mention the marine growth! In the morning Gary called me to ask where I was, I explained my position and he said that I was not on ‘his’ mooring. It turns out that I was at the Nyack Yacht Club next door. That would explain why I had such a hard time finding a mooring, as they were mostly occupied. I eventually made to Peterson’s which was just next door.