UPDATE #9 06/01/06 - 06/07/06
#9 06/01/06 through 06/07/06.
period 4/1 thru 5/31 has been covered in Updates 1 through 8.
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06/01/06 Thursday Statue of Liberty to the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, Hyde Park, NY
This morning marks two full month of this wonderful cruise.
We have traveled over 3000 miles to date according to our GPS trip log.
We have added more that 400 hours to the engines and about 70 hours to
the Generator. We are grateful for
the generally cooperative weather that has allowed us to progress in a timely
manner. We have been fortunate to
see all that we hoped for and much, much more.
We are comfortable, relaxed, and really looking forward to even more
wonderful experiences along the way. Our
interest was in seeing, feeling, and enjoying what the waterways and nautical
areas could offer. This is being
fulfilled well beyond our expectations. Much
of the inland and city sights are being left for another time when we might
travel by land. For this trip,
places, people, and experiences that are accessed by water will continue to be
of most interest to us.
At 5:30 am, Judy and Donna worked to clear the dark, dirty, and muddy
anchor. The fog was so thick that
we could not see the Statue standing only a couple hundred yards away.
With the GPS plotting and the radar antenna turning to display markers
and traffic, we headed north in the busy New York Harbor and Hudson River.
Our main concerns were the numerous, fast commuter ferry boats that
crisscross the waterway between New Jersey and Manhattan.
It was an all-hands on lookout situation and required constant vigilance
from everyone. We would see a blip
on the radar and soon there would appear the ferry zipping along.
We followed a course to hug the navigation aids and the NJ coast that is
continuously lined with piers, buildings, warehouses, docks, condos and even
restaurants. We felt reasonable
safe in our situation, however, we were denied the wonderful views of one this
country’s most populous cities. Oh
well, thankfully we had such a good view yesterday afternoon.
By the time we reached the George Washington Bridge (the second deck is
called the Martha Washington bridge), the visibility had improved to where we
could see from side to side and ahead to the bridge.
The water traffic had subsided to almost none.
If you look at the next picture, in the center, you will see a dome.
Now you must answer this question, “Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?”
The western shore is a continuous wall of high rock with lots of huge
green trees. The Palisades, as they
are known, run for many miles along the Westside that is now New York State.
Donna really enjoyed passing under the Tappan Zee Bridge since she has
crossed over it numerous times.
scenery became more rugged and we were literally surrounded by large,
mountainous terrain through which the river wove its way.
AMARSE glided under the Bear Mountain Bridge.
This bridge was the highest suspension bridge in the United States back
in the time it was built.
A little more than 50 miles north of New York City lies the famous US
Army Academy at West Point. Its
rugged fortress-like structures stand perched on the western banks of the
Hudson. This area has some of the
deepest water in the Hudson River. The
massive stone structures exude a bold forcefulness that echoes its long, proud
Very large and opulent mansions are prominent along the eastern banks.
These massive residences are reminiscent of the industrial era when the
wealthy built huge places emulating the aristocracy of Europe.
The skies continued to darken in the afternoon foreshadowing the stormy
evening. We chose to pickup a
mooring ball at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club.
The club is actually in Hyde Park, NY and is about 7 or 8 miles north of
its home city. Shortly thereafter,
the rains, lightning, thunder, and winds began.
It would continue to rain for the entire night.
We were secure and comfortable without the worries associated with
anchoring in the storms.
Tonight’s menu was salads, tuna sandwiches, and chips served in the
comfort of the main cabin. This
location is just about half way up the Hudson River section at mile 77.
Yacht Club to Kingston, NY
forecast for the upcoming weekend indicated that rains, very heavy at times,
would be prevalent throughout the Hudson Valley.
We opted for a secure harbor and chose the Municipal Docks at Kingston,
NY. We dropped the mooring at 8:40
am and soon encountered one of the famous Hudson River lighthouses.
The Esopus Meadows Light stands mid-stream and is quite beautiful.
I maneuvered AMARSE in close for Donna and Judy to photograph.
We continued north and soon entered the Kingston channel.
Standing guard is another of those famous lighthouses.
The girls snapped away with the cameras as we idled through the protected
The docks were floating with only 20 foot finger piers along this narrow
slough. We eased back into an empty
one and tied up. We were held in
place with crossed stern lines, two mid-ship breast lines, and forward and aft
spring lines. A little shaky but
adequate in these very sheltered conditions.
The area is pretty neat and located in a historical district with
numerous restaurants, a maritime museum, trolley museum, and a variety of other
We strolled around and tried the little Chinese place for lunch.
We had made arrangements for a rental car but the office was out of cars
and we would have to wait till later. The
car agency informed us that they would not be able to pick us up and that we
could taxi over to their alternate location for the car.
OK, we called the cab and waited and waited and waited.
Several calls later, the cab arrived.
The driver made a couple of other pickups on the way.
One was a particularly odiferous guy with several bags of extremely
stinky laundry. Judy and Donna
kinda held their noses and I probably should have.
A half hour later, we were dropped off at the Ford dealer.
The rental went smoothly and we were off to do some shopping.
My cell phone was giving me problems so we attempted to make changes at
the various competitors. No one
could help us keep my San Antonio number. We
gave up in frustration. We
accomplished our grocery re-supply, had a fast food dinner, and made it an early
Saturday Kingston, NY
Today’s chore list included laundry duty.
We had located the Laundromat the day before during our taxi ride when
Mr. Stinky was dropped off. We
dreaded the thought that we might be using the same machines as he did.
As a mild defense, we opted to use the laundry’s drop-off service for
wash n’ fold. This allowed us
extra time to chow down at the local diner.
They feature wonderful food at reasonable prices.
After unsuccessfully trying to locate some navigation charts, we decided to go sightseeing. Our first location was the lighthouse at Saugerties. This is another of the Hudson River’s treasured locations. Most of these historic lighthouses has been taken over by a conservancy. To raise money for the upkeep, the lighthouse is rented in Bed & Breakfast style.
the east side of the Hudson, we visited the Vanderbilt mansion,
mansion and presidential library,
the Mills family mansion.
During the Industrial Era, the wealthier folks of the east built large
estates and attempted to live like the European aristocracy.
Each sought to outdo the other in opulence.
We enjoyed our visits very much even though the weather was drizzly and
cool. The Hollywood Nights Diner
was, again, the perfect choice for mealtime.
Sunday Kingston, NY to
Schodack Creek anchorage
After breakfast, the weather was improving so we decided to move on.
Even though we had rented the car until Monday afternoon, the chance to
move ahead intrigued us more that staying here in town.
By 11:20 am, the remaining 62.1 miles of this section were still ahead of
We detoured into Schodack Creek to check out an anchorage area that we
had read about. We had also read
that we could get dockage a few miles further north.
At Coeyman’s Landing, the docks we sought were not in place.
The local marina was closed and all the dock space was occupied.
As we turned out to return to the anchorage, the vessel “Madora”
hailed us on Channel 16. On a
working channel, they informed us that they had just completed the “Loop
Cruise” the day before. Congratulations
Madora. They also recommended the
anchorage that we were heading for. At
6:45 pm, AMARSE was firmly anchored a couple miles up Schodack Creek.
The inclement weather forced us to have dinner in the cabin.
It sure is nice to have this nice area to relax in.
Position N42 26.621 W073 46.387.
Monday Schodack Creek
anchorage to Waterford, NY
As we silently slipped out of the anchorage at 5:35 am, we left Robert
Neely and “Rhumb Line” behind. They
were the only two others there for the night.
From mile 24.5, our northbound course took us past Coeyman’s Landing
and Castleton-on-the-Hudson. Cameras
snapped away at the beautiful Athens-Hudson Lighthouse.
Several sailboats at the Castleton Boat Club had taken down their masts
in preparation for the canals and low, fixed bridges ahead.
NY marks the 0.0 mile mark of the Hudson River since the 154.0 since the Statue
of Liberty. We had expected to get
fuel here in Troy, however, the new operator was not yet supplying diesel.
Oh well, we’ll just have to see what lies ahead.
The federal lock at Troy was experiencing extraordinarily high water that
produced currents of three to five miles per hour.
The resulting turbulence and eddy currents tended to toss AMARSE around
like a toy. It took a lot of
concentration and wheel turning to keep any kind of course.
To complicate matters, the lock opening was becoming clogged with logs,
wood, and debris that could be hazardous to the hull and propellers.
We managed to maneuver into the lock chamber where all became calm.
This was Donna’s first experience at a lock.
I think all the excitement made her wonder what the heck she had gotten
herself into. As the upstream gates
opened, the water was tranquil and the sun was peaking out again.
2.3 miles later, we came to the confluence of the Erie Canal and the
Champlain Canal at Waterford, NY. The
city hosts a large dock facility complete with water and electrical power for
the transient boaters. Every space
except one was occupied. We hastily
prepared our lines and eased into the compact opening.
Several helpful boaters assisted us with the docking maneuver.
It was as if we had joined a big party.
We soon learned that the upstream Locks from 8 to 13 had to be shutdown
because of high water and debris. No
one was moving out until things improved. I’m
so glad we got an early start. When
secured, we chatted with fellow cruisers and walked to the nearby business
district. Don and Paul’s
Restaurant puts out one of the best breakfasts for the money that we know of.
The rest of the day was taken up with socializing and boat chores.
Barbara from “Beta Omega” organized a Pot Luck Dinner for the
evening. Soon each boat crew was preparing some special dish to be their
contribution to the community event. It
turned out to be lots of fun. Judy
made a delicious peach cobbler. Most
people were delightfully surprised and enjoyed our tray of salsa and
Texas-shaped tortilla chips. Most
had never seen anything like it before. Rounds
of cocktails and genuine camaraderie made this a special time for all.
this group is known as “The Waterford High-Water Yacht Club”
Tuesday Waterford, NY
We anticipated staying here again today.
I had to wait for my new cell phone to arrive via FedEx.
After breakfast at Don and Paul’s, Judy and Donna set to work to spiffy
up the boat. The exterior had
accumulated a lot of dirt and stains from the muddy anchorages and silt laden
water. They worked most of the day
and the results of their efforts were readily apparent.
Thanks, Thanks, Thanks. I
worked on navigation planning and other stuff.
Many cruisers have left today as the locks upstream have resumed full
operation along the Erie Canal. This
is the route most traveled. We
moved up on the docks to a better location.
Soon, additional boats arrived to fill the docks.
We met a real nice guy, Wayne Roberts, from “Opelousas”.
Lee and Katie from “Good Bye Joe” are also fellow Texans.
Wayne drove us around to see some of the locks and flood gates as a small
cruise ship passed through.
When my new phone arrived, I occupied too much time setting-up and
activating the thing. At least now,
we should have some improved communication while in Canada.
Dinner at Kielty’s Irish Pub featured Yuengling beers and wonderful Cod
dinners. Wayne and his brother,
Doug, joined us soon.
Our plan to travel north along the Champlain Canal has run into a
problem. A discussion with the
Lockmaster confirmed that high water was impeding vessel traffic.
They could only provide 16 feet of bridge clearance.
I had removed the radar antenna, the TV antenna, the anchor and steaming
lights, and lowered two ribs of the bimini top.
We can not get AMARSE down below 16.5 feet.
We will try to wait out the water levels that hopefully will drop in the
next day or two. Oh well, this is
quite a nice place to wait things out.
at Kielty’s Irish Pub featured Yuengling beers and wonderful Cod dinners.
Wayne and his brother, Doug, joined us soon.
Wayne has been single-handing his Ponderosa 42 and Doug just flew in to
help him with all the locks ahead.
Wednesday Waterford, NY
We awoke to a morning with light rain.
The forecast has been altered to include more and more rain for the next
few days. The odds of the water
levels dropping along the Champlain Canal are narrowing.
If these rains continue, waters will rise and the bridge clearances will
departed with a morning lockage westbound along with several other vessels.
Lynn and Wayne from “Skinwalker” shared the coffee table with us this
morning and a plan was developed. We
would all go to breakfast and then Wayne and I would catch buses to the West
wouldn’t be quick or easy, but we had nothing better to do on this rainy day.
From Waterford, Bus 85 took us to Troy center.
After nearly an hour wait, Bus 70 took us to Latham Farms mall.
Thanks goodness for my new cell phone and we were able to get better
directions. We bought more
navigation charts and waterway guide books to enable our journey.
A few more items and a visit to Home Depot had us waiting again at a bus
stop. Maybe a half hour went by
before Bus 90 brought us back to Troy. Twenty
more minutes and Bus 85 took us on the 30 minute trip back to Waterford.
The bus trip turned out to be a good thing for Wayne.
He noticed the time and date on the bus sign and it jogged his memory
that today is his wife’s birthday. Luckily,
he was able to get a card, a cake, and some candy to surprise her with.
I worked on the logs and we just kind of lazed around.
Hot, homemade soup warmed us nicely on this cool, rainy evening.
Late cocktails onboard “Winnie the Pooh” hosted by Mark and Joyce
topped off another day.
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Reed and Judy Law
Fred H. Reed
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