The Roof of Africa

Six days – five days of climbing and acclimating and one day to get down.

Kilimanjaro has no technical aspect to it and thus enters the debate of being labeled either a climb or a hike. If I had my way, it would just be called a hike, but “climbing Kilimanjaro” has a better ring to it than “hiking Kilimanjaro.”

Regardless, in the end you still end up at 5,985m (19,341ft) atop Uhuru Peak amongst the receding glaciers and upon the highest point in Africa, not to mention, the highest free standing volcano in the world.

Narragansett Fog

USCGWe sailed overnight, a full day and overnight again, not quite totally without incident. We found what looked like a nice abandoned pier around 90th Street to tie on to and wait out the ferocious ebb tide before trying to motor our way through Hells Gate. This is essentially where the North River (the Hudson), the East River and Long Island Sound all come together. It’s a narrow passage where a lot of water flows at speeds up to five knots with the tide.

Shawn and I were below on his 27-foot Bristol sail boat just chatting it up when we heard what sounded like a bilge pump engaging automatically. We didn’t have an automatic bilge pump. After cocking our heads at each other trying to sort it out, we popped our heads out of the companionway only to see we were being boarded by the Coast Guard.

It turns out we’re not allowed to tie up on this unmarked pier and we ended up with a citation – a boat parking ticket – before our trip began. The really interesting part was the NYPD floated up shortly afterwards (while Shawn was up the mast in the rigging clearing a line) and couldn’t believe we got a citation. The cops gave us some floating key chains and their condolences.