The One With The Coolest Experience of Our Life, Boating In New York

We all have those moments in life that we will never forget. Without a doubt, the one that tops our list now is boating in New York City.

Truthfully, I could probably just post a bunch of pictures and let them speak for themselves. I don’t need to convince anyone how cool this experience was for our family.

However, I’ll address some of the random tidbits of information that I didn’t know until we actually experienced boating in New York.

First of all, you just do it.

I thought for sure we’d need a permit or some kind of special permission to take our boat into New York Harbor.

But no. It’s a waterway, like any other.

You do have to be aware of the MANY ferries. The ferries all have the right of way and they will not stop or swerve off course for boaters who don’t know what they’re doing. (I say that nicely. I’m sure they would if they had to…but we didn’t want to find out!)

Likewise, the tour boats think they own the water. They do their thing and it’s best to steer clear of them no matter who actually has the right of way.

In other words, people boat in New York the same way they drive the streets.

Being a tourist boat is just as intimidating as being a tourist car. (And you know everyone can spot you from a mile away!)

One of the best pieces of boating advice we received when planning a trip to New York was to go with other boats. I assumed this was a safety precaution. But I quickly realized it’s all about the pictures!

Traveling to New York with buddy boats allows you to take turns taking pictures of each other with the various city backdrops (without having to use a drone.) We literally rotated positions with 2 other boats in order to get all of our awesome pictures.

Another major thing to consider when boating in New York is where you plan to stay.

Hands down, the most amazing spot is anchoring right behind Ellis Island. However, it’s known for being very rocky as there is a lot of boat traffic in the harbor all night.

Along with the unfavorable water conditions, the other negative with anchoring is that you don’t have access to the city. Under normal circumstances this might have been an issue. But we had already decided to bypass going into the city on this trip.

*Side note: I will do a post in the future on how we’re traveling and dealing with Coronavirus. With regards to New York, we made the decision to skip going into the city because we’ve been there twice recently and it just wasn’t a top priority right now.*

The alternative to anchoring is a handful of marinas in the area, but none with the exceptional view that the anchorage provides. Not to mention, they charge an arm and a leg…as you might expect!

After some debate with our buddy boats, we all agreed that roughing it anchored in the Harbor for 1 night was totally worth it.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Yes, we were woken up almost every time a ferry passed. But that also meant that we were awake to watch the sunrise from behind the skyscrapers.

Here are a few other tidbits about our time boating in NYC:

  1. Coincidently we were there on Mary Grace’s 13th birthday. In a million years, we never could have planned it as perfectly as it worked out. I can’t imagine a more memorable or special way to celebrate.
  2. Everyone always wants to know what you ate when you were in New York. Although we didn’t actually set foot in the city- we ate REALLY well! Our friends smoked salmon (Mary Grace’s birthday dinner request) on their Traeger. Brent put together mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. And our other friends made a yummy salad. We ended the dinner with birthday cake and ice cream.
  3. Leaving New York City we traveled on the Hudson River towards Albany. I couldn’t believe how quickly the landscape changed! It was absolutely gorgeous.

As always, thanks for following along on all of our crazy adventures!

And, if you’re new here you may enjoy going back and reading:

The One Where We Decided To Live On A Boat

The One Where We Rewind Our Boat Story Back To The Beginning

All About Our Family

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