The Route South

Monday, June 25, 2012

Up the Hudson River

OK.  Most of you know where New York City is.  But we know some of you are shaky on geography after that.  (You know who you are!)  So here is a map showing the area of our cruise this summer.  We will leave NYC and head north on the Hudson River, much like we did in 2007.  Waterford is located at the junction of the Hudson and the Erie Canal.  We turn left and travel out the Erie Canal until we meet the Oswego Canal.  At Lake Ontario, our course will take us across to Kingston, Ontario.  From there, up the Rideau to Ottawa, the capital of Canada.  The Ottawa River will carry us to Montreal where we will join up with the St. Lawrence River and travel on to Sorel.  From Sorel we will travel down the Chambly Canal and Richelieu River to Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal, returning back to Waterford.  Its about 750 miles out and back.  We could do that in three weeks but we intend to take most of July and August and then get out of there by Labor Day.  OK, now that that's over you can click on the map and see the enlargement.  Go know you want to.

Wednesday June 13, 2012
It rained all day yesterday so we just hung out on our mooring in Great Kills.  Today we are up early and underway shortly after 0630.  By 0800 Verrazano Narrows Bridge looms over us and the current is against us.  Our speed is down to 4 knots, likely for most of the day.  There is just no avoiding it. Lady Liberty slid by on our port side an hour later and two hours after that the 79th St Boat Basin is on our starboard and our speed is down to 3.3 knots!
Just as we were eating lunch and approaching the George Washington Bridge, the skies opened up.  The rain was really coming down and our visibility was nil.  We had the running lights and radar on as we slowly felt our way along.  Fortunately, it was short-lived and by 1330, as we passed Yonkers, the rain was over and the sky was improving.  By 1500 the current was done with us and we were making 6.3 kts. passing under the Tappan Zee Bridge.  An hour later we were abeam Croton Point at Ossining, where we had a front-seat view of the infamous Sing-Sing prison.  Scary place!  Larry and Jeanne Bateman on Sea Dweller (KK44) had a short day running up from Tarrytown so they were already anchored when we arrived at 1620.  Although we don't like to raft together overnight, we did so for two hours so we could share a glass of wine.  We haven't seen each other since Stuart so it was good to catch up and do a bit of travel planning.  Larry and Jean are also heading to Canada but heading in a different direction when we get to Lake Ontario.
46 NM

The Space Shuttle "Enterprise "aboard the retired aircraft carrier" Intrepid".
One of the supersonic Concord airliners is also on display to the left.

Thursday June 14, 2012
Its pretty easy to get an early start up here.  The pre-dawn twilight begins shortly after 0500 and the sun is fully up by 0530.  So a 0615 start-up is pretty easy.  Just as we were preparing to pull up the anchor the VHF radio squawked with someone calling "Morning Star, Morning Star".  The voice wasn't Larry's but it was vaguely familiar.  When I answered back, it was Rick Smith on Broulee (KK42)!  They were in a nearby marina and had us in sight!  They were leaving the boat there and going to do family things before chugging for Maine and had seen us come in yesterday afternoon. We haven't seen them in  at least two years and our chat was too short.  
The wind was gusting over 30 kts. as we passed under the Bear Mountain Bridge at 0745.  The mountains on each side of the river are beautiful but they act as a wind tunnel so we don't expect the wind to hold all day.  But it was still strong as we passed West Point, the US Military Academy.  Cindy served lunch shortly after we passed Poughkeepsie, the home of Vassar College (who knew?).  We pulled out of the river at Rondout Creek and tied up at the Kingston City Marina just a bit before 1400 - an early day.  We spent the afternoon getting Sea Dweller's mast and boom lowered in preparation for the Erie Canal.  Two winters ago we cut 5 ft. off Morning Star's mast to get the overhead clearance down to 17' so we don't have to lower the mast for this trip.  Jeanne and Cindy made reservations for dinner at the little restaurant by the harbor.
48 NM

Larry and Jeanne Bateman will be our traveling companions until Lake Ontario aboard "Sea Dweller".

The imposing fortress that is the US Military Academy at West Point.

Friday June 15, 2012
By common agreement, we pull away from our slip at 0545 and head up the river.  Shortly after 0900 the two boats passed under the Rip van Winkle Bridge at Catskill, NY and by 1145 we were steaming past Castleton-On-Hudson.  I'm always surprised to see the ocean-going ships docked 100 miles up the river at Albany, the state capital.  We passed there shortly after lunch and arrived at the Troy lock at 1400.  Also known as Federal Lock because it is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, this will be the first of many, many locks this summer.  It only took fifteen minutes to lock through and it was a short trip from there to Waterford and the beginning of the Erie Canal.  We are going to take the weekend off, relax and play tourist.  The crews of Morning Star and Sea Dweller plan to rent a car and go to see FDR's home at Hyde Park and have lunch at the CIA.  No, not that CIA, the Culinary Institute of America.  The meals are all prepared and served by the students as a part of their curriculum.  Yumm!
57 NM

On the "wall" at Waterford.  The lock ahead is the beginning of the Erie Canal.

Jeff and Linda aboard the Pilgrim 40, "Vagabond", in the first lock.  Going Up!

The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, NY

The American Bounty dining room at the CIA.

Good lunch with good friends.
The guys even had on long pants!