On Sunday, September 30th, 30 rowers in six gigs circumnavigated the island of Manhattan. The flotilla left Pier 40 at 8:30 AM, made its way down the Hudson, rounded the Battery and caught the flood tide up the East River. Then, approaching The Brooklyn Navy Yard, it got exciting when the fleet encountered headwinds, crazy currents, and sloppy, choppy water before making it to Hallets Cove in Astoria, where rowers stopped to rest and wait for the tide to turn.
While crews were picnicking in Socrates Park, a rogue wave smashed over the beached gigs, filling one gig, Storm Queen, with water and throwing her onto the rocks. The valiant crew bailed her dry and discovered a hole, which was patched with duct tape. Then, a little bruised and battered, the fleet set off through Hell’s Gate and up the Harlem River. After a brief and refreshing stop at Swindler’s Cove in Inwood, we began the last and most arduous leg of the journey—passing Spuyten Duyvil and entering the mighty Hudson where the wind shifted from north to south. The headwind made the 12-mile row down the Hudson a challenging slog. In addition, wind against current created huge waves, which made the going tough and slow. All boats made it back to Pier 40 with navigation lights lit by 7:00, well past dark. After nearly eleven hours on the water, the rowers were exhausted—but still managed to party!