13. Manhattan Sleigh Ride

Dear Diary,

The trip down from Cornwall to the George Washington bridge was calm and smooth. It was a gray, gloomy day, but comfortable enough, and the scenery in the lower Hudson is impressive. It’s entirely possible that there’s something else out there that looks like the Palisades, but I haven’t seen it. Words like loom come to mind. They’re very imposing, but just like big seas, pretty impossible to capture on camera.

I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City. I lived in the Bronx for four years while I was in college. I have a lot of respect for the place. It’s really an incredible feat of humanity. It’s just so big, so busy, and so alive. Everyone should go there at least once.

The flip side of all that vibrant chaos, is that I find the place overwhelming. It’s total sensory overload. I get anxious as soon as I see the skyline, every time. Yesterday was no exception.

By the time I got to Midtown Manhattan, the ferry traffic was biblical. I’m pretty sure that at least on two occasions, their captains steered right on me until the last second to establish dominance. The resulting melee of crossing wakes produced a ride that would have made the laundry inside of a washing machine aboard an Alaskan crab boat weep. The sun peeked out enough to grab a few pictures in between harried bouts of ferocious sawing at the wheel. I think one of my kidneys may have shifted a bit.

I had hoped to make it down to the Atlantic Highlands anchorage, but I’d gotten off to a late start, and by the time Lady Liberty had hove into view I was nearly out of daylight. We dropped the hook behind the statue, admired the view, and continued to roll our asses off for a while. Sylphide and I slept well.

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