Manhattan Yacht Club
Upper Bay, New York, N.Y.
When I moved to Manhattan 20 some years ago, I thought it was the center of the universe. But in the last few years I have come to realize that the center of the universe is actually a few miles to the south, in New York Harbor surrounded by Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
After a long absence, recreational sailing—and racing—is back and alive and well in the harbor. Every Tuesday and Wednesday night, from May through October, about 100 sailors gather to race a fleet of J/24s. Just a few short miles away from 8,000,000 other people, it’s the best secret in New York. We sail between Ellis Island and Governors Island with the Statue of Liberty to the south and the towers of Manhattan to the north. It’s best not to get distracted by the sights; in addition to 25 boats on the line, we also have the Staten Island Ferry, the Circle Line, and the occasional tug and barge to contend with.
On this Wednesday we had low hanging clouds, but the rain had held off, at least where we are—it looked like Brooklyn was getting a pretty thorough soaking. In addition to my friends Pete and Kate we had some subs in the crew tonight, Mary and Sophie, making for three red headed women. We had a good breeze, a strong outgoing tide, and the usual winner in a collision right before the start. For once, the top spot is up for grabs and everyone went for it. At the first mark the chutes go up—an amazing sight against the backdrop of the New York skyline. A few more roundings and we head back to the docks for a cold Dark and Stormy—another great night on the water.