by Kyle Small
Last week AYA (Atlantic Yachting Association) generously invited us out for an unforgettable four hour sail around Manhattan. Accompanied by Captain Miles and Alexander Pincus—both extremely friendly and knowledgeable about Manhattan and the water that surrounds it—the sail started on Manhattan's Upper West side as we traveled down the Hudson, breathtakingly close to Lady Liberty, past a few of Olafur Eliasson's waterfall installations and found ourselves parked front and center for a fireworks show.
We brought, food, drink and tunes for a little private sail that proved to be surprising, exciting, but most of all, refreshing—no pun intended. We tend to forget that we are surrounded by water being in the office sometimes, but getting out offers a new look at the city and skyline you can't get from any of the boroughs or bridges.
If you are thinking of getting offshore for a moment, now is the perfect time. It's summer, it's hot and these sails present a breezy and relaxing alternative to sitting in an air-conditioned building all day (it's several degrees cooler out on the water). And, believe it or not, the Hudson is at its least polluted state right now as currents pull in water from the Atlantic.
Another reason to go now are Eliasson's waterfall installations (also reminders of NYC's ignored geography) which will only be up until 13 October 2008. For those of you that don't know, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, Eliasson built four man-made waterfalls around New York City. You can see them from various points around the city, but getting up close on the water is simply awesome.
If that's not enough, every so often in the summer, the city puts on a fireworks show that looks absolutely spectacular from the river. We were fortunate enough to be surprised by one of these showings.
While such an experience will cost you, the friendly people at AYA are offering Cool Hunting readers a discount. Just use the super secret password "Cool Hunting" to get 10% off any service provided by the Atlantic Yachting Association or $100 off the Waterfall charter, which can range from $799 to $899 (depending on when you schedule, weekend or during the week respectively). Undoubtedly popular for engagements and a no-brainer for team building and parties, more info is available at AYA. They also offer sailing classes for both adults and kids along with a summer camp. We highly recommend you check it out, I for one can't wait to get back out there.