Alexandra Yacht Club
Founded 1906

Escape from New York - Yvonne & Mike Serecin ... 9/11/2001

Kemily Going South
"Kemily", a Mason, 32' Pilot House Cutter
Under way somewhere in the Inter-Coastal Waterway, N.C.

Introduction

Yvonne emailed this to her friends a couple of weeks after 9/11:
We were gone from August 2001 to August 2002, a one year trip, and happened to be in New York on 9-11.
We saw the second Plane fly right over us in Nyack anchorage, just north of the Washington Bridge, morning of Sep. 11th.
This was my second trip, and this time with Yvonne.
I did the same "Eastern Seaboard/Bahamas" trip in 1994-95, single handed, on our 1982, steel boat, full keel, Mason 32' Pilot House Cutter - "Kemily".

New York 1
New York 3
New York 4
New York 5
Statue of Liberty

Sep 11, 2001

Let me tell you about our 'Escape from New York'. We had been hauled up on Nyack, New York, 30 miles from Manhattan. There was a lot of conflicting information - was the Hudson River open or closed, even the police and coast guard gave different stories, or simply said they didn't know. On Saturday, we heard it's open so we left Nyack and 4 hours later - CLOSED. We were stopped, turned back and told to tie up at a marina (owned by a New York cop!) right on the edge of the 'no go zone'. Jeff, the cop, agreed with rumours that the river may be possibly closed for a month!! We thought about renting a car and driving back to Toronto, or taking a trip elsewhere. That evening, via VHF, we heard a fellow Canadian cruiser friend appealing to the coast guard for a little compassion to let him and his two small children (who had witnessed the entire tragedy from a marina directly across from the World Trade Centre) to leave. To our surprise his request was granted. He and 5 other boats could leave, under escort, on Sunday morning. We jumped on the band wagon and called the coast guard, and asked for clearance too. Even more to our surprise, 'Kemily' was given clearance to transit the Hudson and out of the New York Harbour. All vessel willing to leave could do so between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We've never moved so fast to get going, waiting at the George Washington Bridge, then it seemed we've never moved so slowly against the tide, what would they do at 10:00 am? There's no way to make it on time past the Manhattan, as the tide was against us. We saw no one else on the river (our friends were two hours ahead of us), it was like a ghost river! We were unchallenged until 10:00 am, when a 'gun boat' approached us. They said they would escort us past the white military hospital ship. No sooner had they left us - 3 coast guard boats stopped us directly opposite the WTC and asked us turn back. We had to radio again to the coast guard cutter H.Q. and beg permission to continue on. Eventually granted! We turned down river again. With an armed escort on both sides, I wept as we passed the utter devastation, smoke still rising from the rubble. The coast guard left us and a police boat took over! Only half an hour to go to the harbour limits, and past the Verrazano bridge, we were free to continue our cruise

We heard that the East River had been closed, the Hudson was closed also. We were the FIRST and ONLY boat that transited the entire restricted 'no go zone'. We were lucky... we have friends who were behind us that missed 'the window' - who knows when they will be allowed to transit down river past the WTC. We are just so happy to be out in the Atlantic, heading south to Delaware Bay. Next stop - Cape May.

Sep. 20, 2001 - We are in Chesapeake, heading to Baltimore tomorrow.


Kemily Bow

The Continuing Story


Well, we are in the Chesapeake, and for the last couple of days anchored in Annapolis. We are hoping to get on the way tomorrow and sail to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore. Mike is reading the book Chesapeake by James Michener, as Yvonne already has. It is nice to be able to go up these rivers and somewhat understand and visualize what might have been a couple of hundred years ago here. The weather has been quite good and only occasionally we have to dress in sweatshirts, mainly at night. The New York incident seems to be slowly behind us and most people talk about other things again. Let's hope nothing horrible happens. (Although a killer tornado passed us a mere 30 miles away!!).

We did make it to Florida, celebrated New Years in Miami, and in January crossed over to Bahamas (Bimini, Barry Islands, Nassau, Exuma Cays, Abaco Islands), where we spent three months. Fantastic cruising.

We arrived back to Toronto Mid-August 2002.

Ready for Erie Canal 1
Oswego Yacht Club - ready for the Erie Canal
Ready for Erie Canal 2

Florida Anchorage
Florida anchorage
Florida Anchorage

Lunch
Lunch somewhere?

Morning Coffee
Morning coffee

Bimini Beach 1
Bimini Beach, Kemily anchored out
Bimini Beach 2

Bimini Beach 3
Bimini Beach, Kemily on anchor

Nassaur Harbour
Nassau harbour and anchorage


Exumas 1
Exumas
Exumas 2
Exumas 3
Exumas 4 Exumas 5
Exumas 6 Exumas 7
Exumas 8 Exumas 9
Exumas 10
Exumas 11 Exumas 12
Afternoon Nap Five O'Clock

Normans Cay
Norman's Cay, Exumas

Iguanas
Iguanas, Exuma Islands

Nassau Town and Harbour Bridge
Nassau town and harbour, bridge to Paradise Beach

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