Manhattan by Sail
In the middle of a punishing New York heatwave, it can be tough to will yourself to be outdoors for long periods of time. When Laura suggested the idea of taking a sailboat cruise around New York harbor, in the middle of the afternoon—on what turned out toone of the hottest days of the year, no less—I begrudgingly said yes.
But my concerns about the heat where allayed when I found out one
important crucial detail: this wasn’t any sail—it was a craft beer sail, put on by Manhattan by Sail.
Upon boarding the boat at the South Street Seaport, we were given our first beer of the afternoon, an Ithaca Apricot Wheat, a fruity, refreshing ale perfect for a hot day. The breeze off the water was already downright chilly compared to the breeze coming off the hot concrete of the city.
As we set sail, we forgot about how hot we had been just mere minutes earlier. The air was much cooler on the water and shade from the schooner’s giant sail made even this day feel like a perfect summer afternoon.
At one point, the crew asked us to help hoist the sail. This really made us feel like we were out sailing with a group of friends versus sailing on a big commercial vessel with strangers. The entire crew was friendly and laid-back; even the captain didn’t mind my quizzing him about the ship.
As more beers were served—all local to New York state—the small group on board became more relaxed; people laid out in the sun and chatted with one another, while others stayed under the canopy of the sail, snacking on charcuterie and cheese. Some people posed for photos with Manhattan’s dramatic skyline or the Statue of Liberty—which we sailed quite close to—in the background.
By the time we had arrived back at the dock two hours later, we were hardly ready to face reality again. The generous farewell cup they poured for us certainly helped, and we relished a few minutes spent wandering the seaport, pretending to be tourists, and savoring the last sips of our cruise.