Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's The Best Way To Navigate New York's East River Hells Gate Near Roosevelt Island - Watch Out For The Commercial Traffic Too

You Tube Video of Sailing East River Past Roosevelt Island

A question was asked on SailNet regarding the best way of going through Hells Gate on the East River just north of Roosevelt Island. The answer:
For going north through Hells Gate, I usually start 1-2 hours AFTER low tide at the battery to ride the SLACK water across the 'gate'. Leaving the battery 1-2 hours 'after' the low (at the battery), you will have only slight to moderate current against you as you travel northward up the East River but the tide/soon will soon change and 'release' you northwards through the 'gate'.
This will keep you moving instead of 'circling around' and become a hazard to the sometimes large amount of commercial traffic already 'stacking up' to wait to get through the 'gate' at SLACK water.
I usually 'buck the declining current' until at the south end of Roosevelt Island (staying in the large area just south of Roosv. Island along the Long Island Shore) until the current begins to go slack and then make a dash along the WEST side of Roosevelt I. to the 'gate' .... you pass between Roosevelt and the UN building, not the eastern branch of the East River where there is a bridge that is usually lowered....
Here's an example from a few days ago of the commercial and recreational boating traffic sharing the East River just off Roosevelt Island's Subway Pier.

Image of Commercial and Recreational East River Boat Traffic Passing Roosevelt Island


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