Danish SV Capibara - Looking out for hurricane Arthur
On Manhattan, there are only marinas on the west side of Manhattan on the Hudson, and the more south on Manhattan you are, the more expensive are the marinas. £1,500 - £2,000 Pounds is a normal price for our little 30 foot boat – a month!
The cheapest options are on the Jersey side of the Hudson, where we would have to pay around £1,000 Pounds a month, but then we would have to take the ferry across as well. The cheapest marina on Manhattan is on W 79th Street, which is a part of the state parks. Our American cruising friends have spoken keenly about a staying at a mooring here, but I have mostly been in favour of staying at a dock. If we were staying at mooring, we would be very dependent on each other, unless we got an extra dinghy (and I learned how to operate it). A visit to the 79th however that we could stay four months at a mooring for less than the monthly price of a Jersey marina, plus we would save the ferry ride. So in expectation of all the fun we could have with the money instead, we decided on the mooring. Besides, the floating docks in the marina are old and constantly beating into each other because of the current, so we think we’re better off staying at a mooring, even though it sometimes is a long ride in the dinghy (of which we still only have one that only Henrik can operate).
A hurricane on its way
We hadn't been at our mooring for long, though, before we considered moving the boat. A friend sent us a mail telling us to look out for Arthur: This year’s first hurricane that was on its way up the American east coast. We followed its progress that went from a tropical storm to a hurricane of category two, and we wondered where we could keep the boat, if we were hit by it. While we followed the development of Arthur, the weather got worse. One night we had to go to the boat in the dinghy against the wind and current in heavy rain and thunder and lightning. Another evening we had the wind and current with us, but the waves were so big that we surfed down the Hudson in the dinghy. The waves were rolling into the
boat basin and lifted some of the bridges, so the dinghies ended up bottom up. Luckily, we only saw the outskirts of Arthur, since it went east instead of west, but I thought it was a bit uncomfortable anyway. We've been told that during the hurricane Irene, a part of the docks was lifted up by enormous floods and thrown down again, and later Sandy ripped it apart. So in that perspective, a couple of turned around dinghies are not much! I do still hope though, that we've seen the bad weather we need to see for the next couple of months.
Signe Storr freelance journalist and friend of Boatshed