Narrative of Captain Andrew Snape Hamond,
HMS Roebuck

[H.M.S. Roebuck, October 3 to October 9, 1776]
3d Octr The Daphne arrived from England with Burgoyn[e]'s Regimt of Light Horse:    They had 10 weeks passage, and gave account that the Hessians had sailed about the same time, so that they were now hourly expected.
[5th] As the Rebel Army was chiefly supplyed by the North River, and placed great dependance upon it, they had taken a great deal of pains to throw a Boom a cross, by sinking Vessels & frames of Timber, to prevent our ships from passing up.    They had placed these obstructions in the narrowest part, where the
9th Octr River is about 12 hundred Yards wide, between two High Lands, having Fort Washington on the Right, and Fort Constitution [Fort Lee] on the left, each containing several batterys of heavy cannon, placed at some distance along the shore, and six row Galleys with each a large Gun in their prow guarded the boom in front; so that, we understood, they looked upon it to be perfectly secure: and it is possible, from seeing the great preparation they had made, we might also have thought so, if a deserter had not informed the Admiral that there was a passage open between two of the sunken Vessels (which his Brother the Ferry Man had given him marks for) and offered himself as a Pilot. This intelligence was exceedingly agreable to both the General & Admiral, concieving, that if ships could be got up the North River, the Rebels supply's would not only be cut off from Albany & that country, but even their Communication with the Jerseys would become very uncertain & unsafe which could not fail of distressing them, and would very much assist in the intended opperation of surrounding their Army as soon as the Hessians should arrive.
9th Octr The Phoenix Tartar & Roebuck were therefore ordered upon this service, when after waiting a few days for an opportunity they passed through on the 9th Octr without the least obstruction, and with but little loss, considering they were an hour & a quarter within the Enemys fire. The Galleys made the best of their way up the River, but two of them, with sevl other Vessels that came with supplys to the Rebel Camp were soon over taken, and fell into our hands; the former of which was a great acquisition to us, as they never after dared to shew us their Galleys again. Much praise is due to Capt Parker on this occasion (who led, in the Phoenix) for his steadyness & good conduct -- when they drew near to danger, the Pilot, in great confusion told him, that the marks which then appeared were not those that had been described to him, and he was totally at a loss. upon which C. [Captain] Parker, very prudently, imediately determined to take his chance where he knew the deepest water to be, which was Close to the eastern Shore, and which was the passage he came through when he passed down, before the obstruction of the Channel were said to be completed.

1Taken from Naval Documents of The American Revolution, Volume 6: American Theatre: Aug. 1, 1776 - Oct. 31, 1776. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1972. Source document: Hamond, No. 5, UVL.