It is the site of the oldest known Native American settlement in Manhattan,
and it is believed to be the place where Peter Minuit, Director General of New Netherland 'purchased' Manhattan from Indians living along the banks.
It all happened right here. There used to be a tulip tree here that was a hundred and sixty five feet high and considered to be the oldest living thing in Manhattan. Now there is just this rock.
One of the very first things that happened on our trip was that I dropped my camera into the river and it sunk right to the bottom.
Craig held the boat in the current while i reached down and felt around for the camera. But it was gone.
Luckily, Craig had a camera too, and he said that I could use his pictures.
He likes to take pictures of bridges,
and signs of waterways - the original waterways of Manhattan that now enter the rivers in places like this.
In fact one of the main things that he wanted to see on our trip was the place where the original path of the Harlem river enters the rerouted shipping channel. Here it is. Now a Target parking lot.
We headed down the Harlem with the intention of making it back to Roosevelt Island where Craig lives with his wife Stephanie and their two boys, Erik and Ayler.
Sometimes that river doesn't even look like New York City.
Like here at the Flotilla 51 Yacht Club.
Never name your boat Titanic, Craig says. Its not funny and nothing good can come of it .
The truth is, when I was planning the trip, I didn't look very closely a the tide.
I was more concerned with getting out early on what might have been the last sunny and warm day this year.
We ended up rowing against the tide most of the way.
But there was plenty of interesting things to see.
Like this phone book, sailing along a few knots faster than we could row.
And a place above the Yankee Stadium where someone is raising hunting dogs.
More forgotten waterways.
Finally around Randall's Island, there is a clear shot of midtown Manhattan in the distance.
It was almost time for the current to change. not a good time to be in Hells Gate.
But crossing south of Millrock Island was the only way back to Roosevelt Island.
We paddled as hard as we could against the shifting currents and slipped in between two of the biggest ships I have ever seen in the East River. We landed safely.