September marks the change in seasons and we usually welcome the autumn colors — except when it’s red tide.
The Coast Guard is warning swimmers and boaters to stay clear of the red waters that have infiltrated New York Harbor.
Also known as “red tide,” it signals the growth of potentially toxic algae which can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and breathing problems. The red tide is spanning from the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum all the way down to the waters in our neighborhood.
Although reports say that it was first seen at 7am this morning, we believe the red tide was first spotted yesterday by reader Jay Fine, who had posted images of the tide on our Facebook.
The algae’s proper name is phytoplankton, which are known to steal oxygen supplies away from both fish and shellfish.
Although most people don’t usually swim in the Hudson River down by our parts — sailors and people visiting the North Cover Harbor should not touch the waters if close enough to the red tide.
Tom Jones wanted to do something to raise ocean awareness.
(No, not sing “She’s a Lady,” that’s a whole other Tom Jones)
Tom Jones of Huntington, California wanted to take a 1,500 mile trip along the Atlantic Ocean from Key West, Florida to Battery Park City, New York to raise ocean pollution awareness.
“Going out in the ocean and doing this campaign was a way for me to see how bad the situation was out there, Every day I was in the ocean I would see plastic bottles, food wrappers, all type of trash. It’s incredible given the volume of the ocean,” said Jones to the New York Daily News.
During his journey, Jones encountered sharks, horse flies and an unfortunate circumstance with an alligator after hitting the animal’s leg with his paddleboard.
A crew drove along the coast with Jones, and another colleague floated along with him to pass him food and water.
Jones traveled in 15 miles stretches a day and finally landed in Battery Park City after 90 days of paddleboard travel.
According to his approach to the narrow waterways of New York City, “Coming into New York City,Â where the waterways are tighter, the plastic is so dense,” he said. “There’s plastic forks, 5-gallon plastic buckets, bags, cups, all of that.”
If you’ve happened to pass by the Winter Garden you may have seen a stage set up for the New York – Transoceanic Sailing Record. Like so many of the random events occurring amongst the palm trees, you might have wondered what was this about? It really wasn’t until they screened the promotional video this week, did you realize the magnanimity of the event.
Apparently, two teams of sailboats sponsored by W Hotels and Estrella Damm, are in a race against themselves to make the journey across the Atlantic Ocean pond to be the first from New York to make it to Barcelona, which would be a new world sailing record. Each have three sailors from both nations. No matter which team wins, the recipe for the record will always go down asÂ 2 Parts Spanish: 1 Part American.
The race commenced today with the Estrella Damm, co-skipped by Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer, and the W Hotels, with Pachi Rivero, Tono Piris and Peter B. Becker led an inaugural departure at 11:00am (ET) in front of the North Cove Marina, where the boats were located since their arrival in New York two weeks ago. From there, they sailed through the Lower Bay and towards the Verrazano Bridge to their starting point: the Ambrose Light Meridian that they crossed in unison at 14:33h local time when the World Sailing Speed Record Council judges set the official chronometers that will record each boat’s time.
The improvement of the weather conditions, with southwest winds between 25 and 30 knots, has determined the departure date in order to achieve the best conditions to complete the record in the best possible time. According to Marcel Van Triest, official meteorologist of the New York â€“ Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record, the conditions are ideal for the boats to sail at very high speeds during the first few hours.
According to the official website, the aim is not only to achieve this amazing record but “to strengthen the connection between New York and Barcelona with a strongÂ socio-cultural, educational and sporting program.” What they probably didn’t tell us is that Soccer was their first choice sport, but would undoubtedly fall upon ambivalence on the United States side.
Sailing could not be a better choice of sport for our neighborhood, and an excellent way to kick off the spring sailing season in the North Cove Marina.
On a side note, we can’t help but mention that the 2:1 Spaniard ratio makes a heck of a lot of sense. I mean Ponce de Leon, Cortes, Balboa were experts in navigating the Atlantic pond — it’s in their Spanish blood!
We wish them well on their endeavors and if you’d like to find out more about the race, including a GPS tracking of their routes — check out the official website.