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.


The Tappan Zee Bridge

The Tappan Zee Bridge

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.

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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