We came through the outer harbour in heavy fog. Ahead of us, we could just see the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and as we came closer it loomed out of the fog. We still couldn’t see New York, just whiteness ahead of us.
There was a lot of traffic here – many giant prams were anchored up waiting their turn to be taken in to (un)load. The same for a number of ships. A lot of leisure activity also – a ton of motorboats and very few of them had AIS, so it was radar and eyeball.
Finally we began to see skyscrapers. And what skyscrapers! They appeared slowly, materializing out of the mists like ghostly figures. As the financial districts mastodons marched out of the mists to meet us, a lonely figure in green made her appearance – the Statue of Liberty.
There is something special about sailing into New York Harbour. It has been high on our list of places to come to on our own keel, but somehow you don’t really think you’ll ever make it. It becomes a surreal experience and I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I was choked up.
We’ve sailed almost 10,000 nautical miles since we left Copenhagen over a year ago, visited more than 12 countries and here we are. Vinni and I, alone on our Capri (thank you Capri for keeping us safe), coming up on the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
I simply can’t describe our feelings.
Vinni and I enjoyed the time to the fullest and exchanged a long kiss in front of the Statue. A mile or so further on, fight in front of Freedom Tower, we turned to port and into Liberty Landing Marina. Liberty Landing has a terrible view – just look. Imagine having to see that every time you look up.
I jest, of course. An unbelievable view and we enjoyed it to the fullest. Bente and Lars were waiting for us and we got Capri docked and settled in. The view called for an exceptionally tall and cold G&T, and I believe it ended up calling for two…………………
The next day we did some food shopping, Lars returned the rental car and we basically just got settled in. Then we took the ferry over to the city.
New York, New York – it’s one helluva town!
It certainly is. Bente and Lars had visited a few years ago and wanted to show us a place called the highline. The Highline is an abandoned elevated subway. Once the train stopped, the tracks just stayed there until someone got the fabulous idea of making it into a park. Now it stretches several miles across Manhattan 3 stories up. Replete with trees and bushes, it has become a hotspot for New Yorkers and tourists alike. It was mobbed with people, walking sitting and just wandering around.
What a great idea.
The next day was scheduled for the Cloisters. Whenever someone visits the Cloisters for the first time – they exclaim: “This is New York?” The Cloisters are 4 European monasteries that have been taken down stone by stone, with each stone numbered and then erected in a hodgepodge of styles and now host part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Surround by green park, the Cloisters look out over the Hudson. You simply don’t believe you’re in New York City.
That afternoon, Vinni and I took the elevator up Freedom Tower to the 102nd floor. The elevator ride takes 47 seconds. Just to make sure you’re not bored going up, the walls turn into TV screens and you see Manhattan as it was before even the Indians lived here – in the 47 seconds the scenes flash forward through Indian settlements, the coming of the white man, and the growth of New York and the building of the skyscrapers. Truly impressive and since it is happening all around you (the view is 360 degrees) you keep turning your head to try to keep up. All too soon it ends and you are ushered into a long hallway, where you hear a short welcoming speech and at the end, the voice says, “from here you can see forever”. At the word forever, the wall in front of you disappears and you have the view out over Brooklyn and Long Island.
Talk about blowing your socks off!
The wander around on the 100 floor is more than impressive. The views are colossal and can’t be described, but must be seen. Look at some of the pictures.
We wandered around for about 45 minutes trying to take in everything, but of course, it is all too big – much too big. But here’s a video from up top and at the end is a short video of the memorial to all those that died there that day.
The elevator down beats the elevator going up. The same screens now play a (360 degree) movie of the elevator going sideways out through the walls and floating outside in the air. It then circles the tower in a long spiral going down. This is so realistic that you feel as if the elevator is bouncing around in the wind and you actually sway a bit, just as if you are on a boat.
Safely down, Vinni and I took the ferry across to Capri and G&T’s with Lars and Bente. They will be leaving us day after tomorrow and to make up for their missing out on sailing up through the harbor, we’ve decided to take Capri down to the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, turn around and then sail back up – that way they can also have the wonderful experience it is to sail in. We dropped anchor in front of the statue of Liberty and had lunch (now how many people can say they anchored up in front of the statue?), coming back to our slip in the late afternoon.
The following day we said “goodbye” to Lars and Bente who left midafternoon to get to Kennedy Airport and Vinni and I settled back into being alone on Capri again. I has been a good coupel of weeks with them on board – unfortunately, Bente broke her shoulder blade, but that will heal and it could have been much worse.
The next morning, we took Capri out early to catch the rising tide on the Hudson. We are going north, perhaps all the way to Albany – who knows?