I never expected to get pulled over by the Westchester County Marine Police on the Hudson River with their lights flashing and a loud speaker voice calling “Captain, put the boat in neutral and keep a straight course, we’re pulling along side”.
We were cruising south on the Hudson River outside the main channel, taking a short cut into Nyack harbour and I wondered if that bothered them – I couldn’t think of another reason for them to pull us over. Turns out, they pulled us over as were a foreign flagged vessel and because the Hudson River is technically a coastal border and they wanted to make sure we’d checked into the country legally.
They tossed Tim their lines and secured their boat to ours and requested permission to board. The answer was “yes” – of course! They turned out to be two of the nicest cops around, so friendly and polite. They checked our official docs (registration for the boat, passports, cruising license), made sure we were reporting in each night and checked our safety gear. I was completely horrified when the officer said my safety flares were out of date! (What does that fine cost!!!!) He kept going through the packages and saying “these are expired, and so are theses….” I told him they were not! I was trying not to raise my voice, but I had checked all our flares very carefully before we left Canada. I knew that half of them would expire in November, but not before. All of a sudden he said, “I’m sorry, I was reading the manufacture date, not the expiry – they are all good.” Whew.
After admiring our wood burning stove and showing Poppy some love, the officers asked where we were headed in the next couple of days – I told them New York City! He turned a bit stern and said we could not have picked a worse time to enter NYC harbour. You see, the Pope was coming to town and so was the United Nations – security was tight and he suggested we might not be able to get a spot at the 79th Street Boat Basin. He had us worried that we might have to skip NYC or spend the next 5 days in Nyack! As they cast off, they wished us good luck and safe travels.
We headed for Nyack and make an urgent call to the Boat Basin to confirm they would have availability. Since they don’t take reservations, I asked if they thought there would be room with the Pope coming to town – she kinda laughed and said “I’m sure there will be space.” Disaster averted.
So here we are after 7 days on the Hudson River, moored in NYC, just steps from Central Park.
Other sites we saw along the Hudson…
Barges and Ships…
Next up is the New Jersey Coast! It looks like we’ll finally be sailing again after almost a month of motoring – we can’t wait.