She has wanted to make the swim ever since she read about Emilie Muse, a daredevil woman who did it in the 1920's.
She wants to go inspect at the area to see how hard it looks. I told her that I think there might be a few minutes when the tide is slack in Hell Gate. But my undisclosed mission is to try and talk her out of it.
The best way might be to go have a closer look.
We take the boat on our bikes over into Queens .
Hell Gate. From up here it looks calm, but you can see strong eddies and changes in the current.
And imagine trying to swim out of the way of that.
We inflate the raft and wait for slack tide.
An hour and a half after high tide, the current looks completely still. This would be the time to swim if you were going to do it. I want to get the boat out into the channel and see how long the current remains slack - how much time would a swimmer have to cross?
A few minutes ago the water was rushing around these rocks.
We wait for another tug and barge.
And slip across the Hell Gate channel
On the way back, we can feel the current pulling west at a few knots.
I think a swimmer could make the channel in about 40 minutes if you timed the tides like we did today. And assuming there were no boats. Now it is up to Birgit's husband to talk her out of it. Rick - tell her its against the law!