But when we paddled out into the current we could see large eddies and whirlpools.
Usually when I look at photographs that I took from the boat, the water appears much flatter and calmer than my experience of it at the time.
But I think this one gives a good indication of the huge forces at work just under the surface of the river.
We decided to turn South and ride the current back to Greenpoint along Roosevelt Island.
We were quickly intercepted by the Coast Guard. They had received a call that four people were headed into Hell Gate in an open rowboat. "We weren't going to go into it," we said. "Just close to it. Now we are going to Greenpoint."
The Coast Guard said they would follow us in case we ran into trouble.
And they did.
All the way past the 59th street Bridge.
Past the Water's Edge club.
We told the Coast Guard that we would get to Greenpoint before dark (because I don't have running lights on the boat).
And now it was like a race against time.
What would they do if we didn't make it back?
But at the mouth of the Newtown Creek the Coast Guard said goodbye and asked us to call when we made it home safe.
Once we were out of sight,
Duke opened a bottle of wine,
and we headed up the Newtown Creek,
to the Schamonchi ferry.
That is the old Martha's Vineyard ferry parked up past Pulaski Bridge on the Newtown Creek.
We rowed up to her in the dark.
And climbed aboard between the deck and pier.
Constance came across the ferry schedule,
and Duke pointed out where he grew up in Cape Cod.
Duke, Constance, Eric, and me.
We decided to row back around to Huron Street and take the boat out on the dock.
Under the Huron Street Pier.
This is the last picture ever taken of the Tide and Current Taxi.
Because I left her on the dock at Huron Street and when Duke and I came back with the truck, she was gone.
I think someone must have come down there after us, and pushed the boat out to sea.
If you see her out there, let me know.
She means so much to me.
When Constance and Eric learned that the boat was lost, they agreed to help me make another.
The design is a little different, more simple.
But I think it will make a good Tide and Current Taxi.