Wednesday, August 8, 2018

TI: Shattemuc NY to Home

Wednesday 8/8/2018
Depart: Shattemuc Yacht Club 8:50
Arrive: Rumson, NJ 2:40
Distance: 54 nm

We got a much later start today than we intended. Having arrived too late in the afternoon to check in and pay, Clark needed to settle up this morning. Only problem ... he could not find the dock master. That plus a locked restroom caused him to take much longer than planned to get ready to leave the dock.

After yesterday's fiasco on the water, today's ride was uneventful, which was a very good thing. Once again we got to enjoy a cool breeze on the Hudson River while our phones indicated temperatures in the 90s off the water. This time, thankfully, we were not interrupted by a disabled boat. Clark said he was so cool when passing under the Verrazano Bridge, he felt he might want a jacket.

Given the number of times we have boated in the waters around New York City, I was amazed to see that Clark had taken over a hundred pictures today.

Tappan Zee Bridge (now renamed the Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge)...

Little Lighthouse at Tappan Zee Bridge
Neither of us knew existed.

Down with the old and up with the new

Modern Architecture

"Under the bridge" shot

Remains of the old bridge - being dismantled.

The Palisades ...

George Washington Bridge ...

NYC -- Hazy Day


NYC, Hoboken, and Jersey City ...

Cruise Ship in NYC

Lackawanna - Hoboken Terminal
Historic "Intermodal Passenger Station"

Colgate Clock - Jersey City


Statue of Liberty

Staten Island Ferry

Verrazano Bridge

Once we pass under the Verrazano Bridge, I feel like we are home. We have been up here often enough that it is very familiar waters. Crossing the bay from here to Sandy Hook can be rough, but today we had a calm ride. We only had rough waters when Seastreak sped past us.

Seastreak bound for NYC

We arrived home mid-afternoon and then the hard work began. After helping Clark tie up the boat and get power connected. I collected laundry, stripped the bed, packed up the clothes and food from the trip, and did some chores (dishes, clean bathrooms, etc.) I lined up all the bags at the door, and Clark got the hard work - carrying it all up the hill to the house. Even in the air conditioned boat, I felt overly hot. With the air outside over 90 degrees and humid, Clark had it a lot rougher than I did.

After I thought I had everything transferred to the house, we ended up making multiple additional trips as one of us or the other remembered yet another item we had mistakenly left on the boat. I love boat travel and living on the boat, but I hate transitioning from home to boat or boat to home. Twice now I have suggested to Clark that we not bother unloading the boat and just live there in our backyard. So far he has not taken me up on the suggestion!

No more boat travel for a while now. Clark has to do oil changes and has his on-going list of needed fixes / repairs for the boat. For once we did not have to repair anything while traveling - what a treat for Clark (and me)!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TI: Kingston to Ossining NY - disabled boat on the Hudson

Tuesday 8/7/2018
Depart: Kingston Municipal Marina 8:25
Arrive: Shattemuc Yacht Club 3:20
Distance: 52 nm

We decided to try to make it all the way home tonight if weather and current allowed and set out as early as we could get ourselves on our way. The day started out being a perfect travel day. Part way home we encountered a disabled boat that drastically changed our day and our plans.

Pictures of Kingston as we prepare to move on to our next stop ...

Leaving the Kingston Municipal dock

On Rondout Creek

As we traveled through the Hyde Park area on the Hudson River, we saw several very large homes. After miles along the water covered in thick forest, we saw a nicely manicured lawn. I could tell it would be a large home that had decided to cut a swath through the trees to get a view of the river.

Boat House to go with the home above

What other properties looked like ... surrounded by trees!

In the Poughkeepsie area we passed under the Walkway over the Hudson and saw people strolling along enjoying the view. Surprisingly, we saw a car crossing over the pedestrian-only bridge!?

We saw boat as well as train traffic traveling on / along the Hudson.

Freighter on the Hudson River

Freight Train on the edge of the Hudson River

As we approached West Point, we were making good time and had decided that we would make a try for home given the pleasant weather and swift current going our way.

At West Point

Our plans changed abruptly!!! Clark noticed a boat drifting in the water and the woman on board waving her hands as if in distress. He slowed the engine and motored over to see if they needed assistance. Oh my, did they ever!

I figured this might prove interesting when we got ourselves close enough to yell over to them. I asked if they needed help, and they replied, "Do you know where we can find a tow boat?" "You need to call Sea Tow", I told them. They had no VHF radio, so Clark called on our radio and got Sea Tow. We gave the distressed boat Sea Tow's phone number, and we gave Sea Tow their number.

The folks on the disabled boat said that their engine had belched smoke and then just stopped. The woman kept asking if she should try to restart the engine. Both Clark and I told her that was a bad idea unless she had figured out what was wrong and addressed the problem. Eventually she ignored our advice and tried to start the engine. It did nothing! I was worried it might do something regrettable!

As we approached their boat, we saw a line hanging from the side of their boat, so we assumed they were anchored. When I asked them to be sure, they said, "No. We don't have an anchor." Damn! We couldn't leave them afloat in the Hudson drifting towards the rocks along the shore.

We had to stay with them until they were safe or else tow them to a dock. They wanted us to tow them to Newburgh. We were going in the opposite direction. Clark said that would take us hours out of our way. We offered to tow them south. They balked at the idea. We found ourselves at an impasse.

While we figured out a plan of action, I found a long line to throw to them to secure their boat to ours. We needed to tow them away from the rapidly approaching shore to further out in the Hudson. They had no idea what to do with the line I threw.

The woman that apparently owned the boat sent her male companion, who appeared to know less than nothing about boating, out to the bow of the boat to grab the line. He wrapped it around the cleat per my direction. Unfortunately, he did not tie it in any way; he just sat there holding it in place with his hands over the cleat.

Meanwhile, the woman who owned the boat talked to Sea Tow and nearly had a fit when she heard how much they would charge. She told them she would call them back, and more discussion between us and them ensued regarding what we would do with them.

Clark was calling every place he could find to see if he could drop them somewhere. We sat directly in front of docks at West Point and could see Garrison Yacht Club on the other side of the river. Clark talked to someone at West Point who said he would have to contact security and get back to us. When he tried Garrison Yacht Club, he got no answer. He continued to look for alternate places.

While Clark looked for a viable solution, the woman decided that we should tow their boat to "Billy Joe's" on Front Street. When I looked it up on Google, it came up as a barbecue restaurant with a deck overlooking the Hudson. We had never heard of it, and Clark could not find it listed as a marina anywhere. (It turned out to be some place in Newburgh. We had already told her we would not go to Newburgh.) We tried to explain to her that we could not go just anywhere in our boat since it has a 4' draft. She had no idea what we were talking about and clearly thought we were being unreasonable.

To tow them somewhere, Clark decided to tie them to our starboard side (as opposed to towing behind us) to give us more control over depositing them at a marina. Because of the direction of the current, Clark maneuvered their boat to our starboard side by walking the boat around our bow - all the time worried about fending off their boat to prevent it scraping the paint off the side of ours. Finally we got them tied to our side.

I noticed as we did this maneuvering that the woman who owned the boat had disappeared into their small cabin space in the bow of her boat. It took me a while to figure out that she went in there because she was seasick. Crawling into an enclosed space with no view of the horizon and very little airflow is about the worst thing she could have done.

She must have felt pretty poorly because at one point she announced that she was going to call 911 for help. Her male companion told me her plan, and I warned that, with no life threatening situation, it was a very bad idea to call 911. While hiding inside her boat, she did call Sea Tow and agreed to pay their exorbitant rate to tow her someplace.

As I stood fending their boat away from our boat (I worried that their bouncing would rip our fenders off our boat), I talked to the man a bit. I asked if they had life jackets on board. He said, "No. Not even them." I said, "You need life jackets and an anchor." He replied, "Why do we need an anchor?" Totally amazed, given their current situation, I said, "To stop the boat from drifting onto the rocks!" "Ahhh!" was his reply. I dug out two of our guest life jackets and gave them to the man. I said he could keep them.

Meanwhile, Clark got a call back from the Garrison Yacht Club. That person suggested, as did the dock master at West Point, that the boaters drop an anchor and wait for Sea Tow. We had to reiterate to everyone who made that sage suggestion that the boat in distress had no anchor. Given that bit of unwelcome news, Garrison Yacht Club reluctantly said they could tie up to their face dock but could not come into their marina for liability reasons.

Given the news that we had a place to deposit them, Clark set out across the river at the slowest speed our boat could travel to get there. Even so, their boat bounced along beside ours like we were speeding. We had three fat fenders holding them off the boat, but I gave assistance and held their boat rail to keep them away and relieve the stress of the wave action and prevent the action from ripping the fenders off our boat along the way.

When we got to the bulkhead where the yacht club said they could tie up, I had to talk the poor man on board through every step of the way - moving fenders (and tying them to the cleat - not just wrapping the line around and leaving it), tying a line to the wall, and walking it up to the front cleat of their boat. It did not help that English was pretty clearly not his first language.  As he finally got his line secured, I untied their other ratty line from our boat and threw it onto their deck.

As we pulled away, the woman on board looked quite sick and weakly thanked us for our help. I stressed that she needed to call Sea Tow to tell them we had dropped them at the yacht club because Sea Tow had been told they were waiting in front of West Point for a rescue. Watching her lack of action, I seriously doubted that she would make that call. Regardless of that, we waved goodbye and went on our way.

Later, I did not notice as I was below, but Clark said he passed Sea Tow and spoke to the captain on the radio. He knew that the distressed  boaters were at Garrison Yacht Club, so they either called him or he saw us towing them across the river. Either way, we at least knew that help would be there for them soon.

I thought that we had spent well over an hour with these folks. Clark said no - just a half hour. "If so", I said, "that was the longest half hour of my life!" Clark checked his ship's log and saw that it had been about one hour of time we spent bobbing with them on the Hudson. It felt even longer!

Since we lost that hour of precious travel time assisting these people (I hesitate to call them boaters.), we decided we had no choice but to find a place to stay for the night. Clark had selected a place in case we decided we could not make it all the way to Rumson. We stopped at the Shattemuc Yacht Club where they offered an MTOA discount.

Approaching Shattemuc Yacht Club

View of the Yacht Club with our boat docked at the visitor's dock

We noticed as we approached the yacht club that the skies were darkening in preparation for a rain storm. We got some lightening and eventually rain. Afterwards we got a nice sunset show.

Monday, August 6, 2018

TI: Waterford to Kingston NY

Monday 8/6/2018
Depart: Waterford Free Dock 8:05
Arrive: Kingston Municipal Marina 2:55
Distance: 57 nm
Locks: 1 (Troy Federal Lock)

With our trip today, we completed our locking adventures as we exited the Troy Federal Lock. I calculated some statistics and noted some "fun facts" from our trip.

  • By the time we arrive home, we will have traveled 883 nautical miles which translates to 1016 statute miles.
  • We docked at 8 Lock Walls / Town Docks (only one town dock charged a fee of $20 docking + $10 electric).
  • We docked at 9 marinas along the way.
  • All told, we transited 60 locks -- 
    • the Troy Federal Lock, 
    • 22 locks on the NY State Erie Canal, and 
    • 7 locks on the NY State Oswego Canal.
  • The thirty locks each way lifted us up and dropped us down a total of 595.1 feet for a total round trip lift / drop of 1190.2 feet. 
    • Troy Lock - 14'
    • The combined, "Flight-of-Five", locks at Waterford lifted us 169.1'.
    • Lock E-17 is the deepest lock we transited with a 40' lift.
    • Total Erie Lift is 462.5'.
    • Total Oswego lift is 118.6'.
  • We reached the Erie Canal Summit at Rome, NY at 420' above sea level.
  • The Troy Lock has no hanging lines, and the pipes to tie to are spaced such that only one can be used for locking through - tied at midships.
  • The Erie and the Oswego Canals have a variety of options
    • all have hanging lines
    • some also have cables to tie to if preferred
    • some have pipes to tie to instead of cables
  • Some locks have mandatory sides to use when locking (port or starboard).
    • (The NY Canal Website provides lots of useful information on locking rules.)
  •  Going down in a lock is much less turbulent than a lift, i.e. a smoother ride
  • Tying to a cable or pipe on a "going down" lock can be hard and is sometimes impossible.
  • Locking Essentials
    • 2 or more boat hooks (3 is a good idea in case one is lost overboard during locking)
    • 3 "short" lines - for our size boat: 25' at bow and 15' midships and stern preferable. 
    • Work Gloves for grabbing and holding slimy lines hanging from the locks
      • (we like the ones sold at Home Depot that have plastic on palm side and breathable fabric on the other)
    • Fenders
    • Fender Boards
    • Sun Protection
    • Rain Gear
  • For the Eastern Erie, a vertical clearance allowing for a 19' bridge clearance is required.
    • (we modified our mast to allow us to lower it for our canal travels)
Although my phone told me that the air temperature registered above 90 degrees today with a heat index well above that, on the Hudson River, with the wind blowing in our faces, it was cool enough to require a jacket to keep the chill off. Nice!

We passed through many familiar places on today's voyage - Troy, Albany, and Kingston to name a few.

Troy ...

Dam at Troy Federal Lock

Power Plant at Troy Federal Lock

Albany ...

Albany, NY

Highway Interchange at Albany, NY

Old Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building
(Now SUNY admin building)

U-haul Building in Albany
(I love the full-sized truck up in the air)

Kingston ...

Rondout Lighthouse

Tug - "Gowanus Bay"

Hudson River Maritime Museum

"Riverport Wooden Boat School"

A replica of the 141', 17th Century tall ship, "Kalmar Nyckel", is visiting Kingston and docked at the Maritime Museum until August 12th.

"Kalmar Nyckel"

So much rigging !!!!!


When we got off the Hudson River and onto the Rondout Creek, the heat found us. We quickly tied up the boat and prepared to kick back with air conditioning. Sadly, no sooner did we have ourselves all set to relax, than the dock master came and told us we had to move the boat forward several feet to allow for a boat coming in. 

Although there appeared to be plenty of space, the dock master was concerned because the 45 footer coming in did not have thrusters. I hate tying up multiple times (in the heat) when once would have served. He should have put us all the way forward to begin with!

I looked at the list of restaurants in the area, but nothing struck my fancy, so ultimately we ate on board. After dinner Clark said he wanted to go to an ice cream store. Only one was open. The dock master told him that we could find ice cream at the top of the hill. Anyone who has walked the streets of Kingston know that it is a pretty steep climb to walk through town.

We walked "up the hill" to the edge of the downtown - no ice cream. A check of Google maps revealed that the store was another .4 miles away. We kept walking - all the time climbing the hill. Finally, towards the summit of the hill, we found the ice cream store. It was indeed "at the top of the hill" just the hill was much taller than we expected.

As we approached the ice cream store, we found a pleasant surprise. We got to see the sunset! I asked Clark if he had us walk up there just to find it! He said, "No".

Sunset in Kingston, NY

The ice cream store turned out to be a "Stewart's Shop" where they had scooped, hard ice cream. I decided to pass on the ice cream, and Clark had one of his favorites - cookies and cream. When I asked him how he liked it, he said, "It's not bad."

Of course the walk back to the boat was all downhill. Although I was glad that I was not pushing a bike going up the hill, I did think about what a great bike ride it would be going down. On our walk, we passed the St. Mary's Catholic Campus. Some of the architecture made me think of "The Sound of Music" movie. (For some unknown reason, my photographer was on vacation as we passed this spot!)

Once back in downtown, we saw a monument of the Rondout Lighthouse.

I guess the 1.2 mile walk / climb to the ice cream store was not enough for Clark because when we got to the bottom of the hill, he wanted to walk around the streets at the riverfront. I certainly got some exercise which is good after sitting on a boat for hours.

Kingston, NY