June 24
We passed under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge into New York Harbor. NYC was not a planned stop; we were heading to a marina further north in the Hudson River and planning to view the city skyline and Statue of Liberty as we passed, both of which appeared so much smaller from the water. But since we were disabled, we called Liberty Landing Marina and made arrangements for a haulout to check the bottom, props & shafts in particular. Luckily, the shafts were fine, but the props were damaged, so we had our spare set put on. Those spares certainly have come in handy. We get the dinged ones repaired as soon as possible, twice so far at a cost of over $600 each time, so we always have a good set for times like this. This marina is one we heard about from other Loopers as a good place to stay. It’s located behind Ms Liberty and Ellis Island in New Jersey directly across the Hudson from Ground Zero. All the marinas in the Lower Manhattan area are on the Jersey shore; it’s a very short water taxi ride across the river into the City, taking only a couple of minutes. Since we were here, we wanted to see the devastation first hand, so we rode over in the yellow taxi at the marina. It’s still a very emotional experience to see that giant hole in the ground, with the cross made out of steel beams from the towers overlooking the area. The long, gray wall contains the handwritten sentiments of thousands of somber visitors. Some nearby storefronts are still boarded up and there are skyscrapers covered in what appears as black mourning cloth. There is much activity inside the heavy metal fencing that surrounds the area, with construction workers and equipment busily working on the structure that will replace what was the World Trade Center.