charting a long row

FIRST THINGS FIRST…choose a date or a location and go with the flow, once you’ve figured out all the variables as outlined below:

when plotting a long row, determine:

  • Sunrise & Sunset timing
  • Hi & Low Tides at the Battery
  • Add 1.5 hours to low tide at the Battery for low tide at 96th Street launch point
  • Add 2 hours to high tide at the Battery for high tide at 96th Street launch point
  • Destination
  • Destination’s tides
  • For NYC, approximately every six hours, the current changes (in cycles of 12 hours from high tide to high tide)
  • Assume a conservative one knot/hour for sustainable pace (1 knot=1.15 miles)
  • Resources:
    1. Information about Tides on the East River
    2. NYC Harbor Currents
    3. U.S. Rowing
    4. NYC Water Trail

sunrise & sunset


Locate your destination then look at that point on each of the 12 charts from Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book. Somewhere you will find one chart with the current pointing toward your destination, and the next chart (one hour later) the current arrows are pointing away from your destination. That is the time (in hours from high or low tide at THE BATTERY, NYC) you want to be where you are going.

Then you can use the tide TABLES in Eldridge, the 2012 Battery tables from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or online* at the above resources to find the times of high and low water at THE BATTERY, NYC, either for the day you are interested in OR the time you are interested in, or [hopefully] both.

planning a trip


  • Sunrise/Sunset/Ebb/Flow
  • Determine Time of Departure
    1. 1 knot/hour sustained pace
    2. Add together with water current
  • Identify possible destination and determine what time the tide turns
  • Select possible rest/meal stops in between
    1. Give one hour lunch with 15 minutes extra on either side

* ELDRIDGE is a book that includes harbors from Maine to Florida has so many interesting things in it, and some features are different each year. Although the CURRENT CHARTS stay the same, the TIDE TABLES are always different due to the lunar influence on the tides, and they consist of info from NOAA. Eldridge also has ever-changing articles: in 2011 for instance there is an article about catching and cooking bluefish and others too.