Sources conflict over the true meaning of the name Hell Gate. The Dutch rendering, Hellgat, is translated as “open passage,” and in this context refers to the East River as it opens into the Long Island Sound. Formed by a fault deep under the surface, the water, at over 100 feet in depth on the Manhattan side, is among the deepest sections of New York Harbor. Hell Gate earned its reputation as a difficult waterway with tricky tides and many obstructions with colorful names such as the Frying Pan Rock, Hen & Chickens, Shell Drake Rock, and Bald-headed Billy. Native American legend held that at low tide it was possible to jump from reef to reef and cross Hell Gate without swimming.