Saturday, June 29, 2013

Learning A Lot

I'm glad to report we haven't been swept away by the current yet.  I've never been in a flood area before and with this little taste of what it might be like , don't ever want to be.  The locks are still closed and the water from the flooding in the Mohawk River Valley is spilling down the Hudson bringing with it lots of tree debris, logs, entire limbs, small branches, anything that was laying along the shore is being swept down here.
The water is a murky brown, on the bright side it's kind of like sitting in a sea of really chocolaty milk!  Except you don't get the Yummm factor looking at it. 
The water was up two feet this morning at 8:00 and when we checked high tide wasn't until 11:00, so it was definitely flood water.  It has been really moving all day with an added opposing wind for a little fun!  
We decided to stay here tied up to the dock.  A boat left this morning to go up the Champlain Canal (which is open) and came back three hours later with a damaged prop from hitting something in the Troy Lock.  With all the debris in the water we are better off paying docking fees than damaging our props. (Gee, I wonder where we learned that lesson???)
The Albany Yacht Club was honestly the cheapest per foot of any Marina's we checked on the way up, so even though we may be crazy, we aren't stupid!

They still have not as far as we know opened the locks to drain them. The twitter here from the locals is that the NY Canal System let go all of its (too expensive) seasoned full time lock masters and have hired a bunch of inexperienced part time people.  Evidently someone who didn't know what they were doing made a mistake and it snowballed from there.  Now they have no one that has the experience to open the locks in this situation and the people that were let go when asked to help said,  NO WAY!  At least that's the story on the docks at AYC

The day they start draining them  ought to be a real interesting day. The Hudson was running  at 75,000 cubic feet a second this morning, when usually it's about 10,000 according to the dock master and that's just overflow water.  Most of the marinas on the Hudson are ON THE HUDSON,  mostly  long face docks along the shore very different from the marinas we are used to.  At least the wall we are on at the yacht club is an area between two pier docks and we are somewhat protected.  Although we have heard numerous hits on the hull from passing debris and they have been cleaning out the stuff that piles up along and under the docks to keep it moving, although it may be back tomorrow.  Because of the tide we have been told that everything that flows travels down river ten miles and then back eight miles.  So that's a total of two miles a day forward movement.  
So the upside to this situation we find ourselves in is we are learning a lot about an area of the country we knew absolutely nothing about.  
And THAT is what it's all about!

            Although this isn't the Hudson but a pond inland this is what the water looks like.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Treading Water

You know how I keep saying we don't make plans because plans change?  Well we broke our rule, and guess what?????
This trip started with one thing in mind and three possible outcomes.  
The thing in mind:  Head North for the summer.
The possible outcomes:  Long Island Sound, the Hudson River & Lake Champlain, the Great Loop.
We slashed Long Island Sound when we got to New York because of the incessant SW winds, the size of the sound and the miserable time we'd have rocking and rolling....when we reached NYC we were "with the tide" so it just makes sense to let the current and tide sweep you along.  Went fine.  That left Champlain and The Loop.
The Loop was at the bottom of the list until we reached the Hudson and thought, "gee we're almost halfway", why not just do it.

This map shows the loop route in black.  We are at the top of leg 6.  To finish the entire Loop you must cross your wake (where you started).  Many do it in a year and others do it in segments and take 2 or 3 years. Some go to the Bahamas, some do the Michigan Shore, some the Wisconsin shore.

Since we love to keep moving and see different things we decided now is the perfect time. So,
here we are so excited, ready to go, thinking, " this is it we're going to do the big one, the loop, we may never get another chance."
Turns out we may not get the chance period.  We have been at the Albany Yacht Club with about 20 other "Loopers" ( with hundreds at marinas south and north of here) waiting to start transiting the Erie Canal and because of  high water and flooding the locks  have been closed for three weeks.    
Looking at the weather the entire East Coast is in a dismal weather state.  So what do we do, wait, turn back, who knows.
Taking things day by day is the only plan of attack at this point.  Whatever happens, happens..

Albany Yacht Club...reasonable rates and great people.  Seems the yacht clubs are very welcoming to transients....and there is a camaraderie amongst the staff, yacht club members, and slip dwellers that  is easy going and comfortable. There is even a higher up in the NY canal system here so every day we get an update.  "Canal will open on Friday, no wait maybe Saturday, ummm, might be Sunday.  With the way it is raining right now may be June 2014!!
Tie a Knot beyond the green top on the pontoon boat.

Ozel and Maryann's Belgium Water Dogs

Gary on Broadway in Renssalaer

Downtown Albany from the bridge walkway.

This building was so fabulous.  We thought it was the capital building (Albany is the capital of New York State) but it was SUNY, the State of New York University headquarters. It was originally owned by the Delaware & Hudson Railroads.  It is a fabulously restored building.

The Capital Building...completed in 1899 at a cost of $25 million dollars.

Home of the best corned beef sandwich I've ever had...melt in your mouth tender!

USS Slater museum in Albany
Canon Class Destroyer Escort  from WWII
Out of 563 Destroyer Escorts the USS Slater is the last remaining Destroyer Escort afloat today.
All of the D.E.s were named after sailors killed in the early years of WWII.


The Rensselaer Amtrak Bulding

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

West Point and Catskill Creek

Well NOAH (further to be known as Ma & Pa Weather due to their computer male and female forecasters) has come through this time.  Tonight it was rain, thunder, lightening, hail, wind, we've had it all and so far come through it fine if I might say.
So,  I figured it would be a good time to keep this blog thing rolling along.  We travelled 10 hours on Saturday from Croton-On-Hudson and anchored just south of Catskill Creek where we planned to meet Elaine and Lawrence from Elle &I.

The next morning we got a slip at Catskill Marina where we met up with our great chauffeur (thanks, Lawrence) who took us to Wal Mart, where he waited probably 40 minutes with his 15 items for us to find and check out our 73 items, dropped me at the laundromat (the one at the marina was in-op of course) and came and picked me up 2 hours later!
The bright side of doing the laundry was Gary had to put away all of the purchases from Wally World, some things just work out.

Later we were invited to dinner on Elle & I and it was fabulous.  Elaine is the Iron Chef of the Magma Grill.  She whipped up a sauteed chicken dish and grilled lettuce with balsamic/maple glaze that was to die for.  It pays to have friends who can cook!!!!  Thanks again, Elaine.

This morning we filled up with water, took showers, washed down the decks, and tossed the lines at 11:30.  Then we traveled a whole 2 hours to our next anchorage, whew, what a day!!

The sky is now brightening and hopefully this is it for today. Well, I took a break for dinner and that wasn't it for the day!  Things are heating up again.  Is this global warming???  We have thunder, lightening, cars, and trains....quite the cacophony of noise.  I'll have to break out the new earplugs tonight.

Here are some more photos....I'm beginning to feel like a travel log of photo ops....but it's just beautiful up here...

 Bear Mountain Bridge..north of Peekskill

The Hudson has railways on each side...the west side has freight trains and the east side is the Amtrak route..

Idyllic setting......

Another Vintage Beauty nestled in its aerie on the hill

West Point....
Ok, my first thought was "If the way you entered West Point was by the water, I'd say, " Umm, I don't think so,sorry, changed my mind" ....Does this not look like a maximum security prison?......
Gary said that's probably exactly what the cadets feel like.....we were very underwhelmed with West Point.  Go NAVY!! 

But they do have a sense of humor....  notice the roof..."Beat Air Force"

Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island..  If you're interested in it's history click the link. It is short but informative.

Just upriver from Pollepel was the City of Newburgh where the topography flattened out

Then in another hour or so (which means about 10 miles :-) in Tie A Knot talk) the hills started again.

Esopus Light

He flew right over us turned, landed and pulled up to a house on the hill.

 Another Great Lighthouse


We were north near Stuyvesent when we saw this old brick building nestled in the woods.  Have no idea what it was but it has vegetation growing out of the stack..I looked but couldn't find any info on the net.

 The largest debris we've seen entire tree trunk.  Lots of debris in this river.  But at least it is usually spread out enough that playing 'dodgem' isn't too taxing on the pilot.

Our current anchorage.  You can ignore the 'just ok' that's me being too lazy to get a new arrow!  

 Anchorage view to the West

We are very close to the Amtrak track to the East and the road beyond it.
 Luckily traffic on either this far north is not heavy.

The BUG of the week....the Cicada.  At Catskill Marina they told us they only come 
once every 17 years. We heard them before we saw them.  I kept saying "what is that noise", when Gary finally heard it he thought a bearing was going and ran down into the engine room. It was kind of like the palmetto bugs or crickets in the trees but louder. Then they started to land on the boat.
Lucky us!  They were about 1 3/4 inches long and were very attracted to our
white boat.  If we picked them up (yeah, I'm not scared) and threw them over board they would just fly around and landed back on the boat.  Kept me busy.  They're like the Florida 'Palmetto Bug' in that if they land on their backs they can't right themselves.

And finally....Ricky Bobby....notice the cut on the arm...he said "you know if I didn't bleed I wouldn't get the job done right"!  


Friday, June 21, 2013

A Stellar Day


Yesterday was a long but fabulous day!  We left Silver Lake at 7:30am and did the next 10 miles of the Jersey ICW without incident. Houses on the Jersey Shore are so close together they almost run into each other. Sandy damage was evident just about everywhere. Some lots were completely empty, some houses were falling apart, and I'd say three out of every five were being worked on.  

You could see where the sand from the beach had made mountains in some places and completely washed to the bay side yards in other cases.  What a lot of heartache for the people who live in these lovely homes. You could see in places where the older houses took the hardest hits. The bay side was as bad as the ocean side where we could see.

The ocean side damage got worse the farther north we went.  There were hundreds of crews working on houses and beach damage.  I'd say they're doing an awesome job with such an overwhelming task, trying to get the Jersey shore back on its feet.

                                               Mountain of sand from the ocean

Making our way through the Point Pleasant Canal we saw this bridge.  The center lifts up by cables and then lowers back down the same way.  It was tall enough for us to go under so we didn't get a demonstration.

 One house that was in the right place...on the Point Pleasant Canal there wasn't much storm damage.
Manasquan Shrimp Fleet with the water as shallow as it is it's a wonder they can get out.

We got to the inlet and found the ocean to be much more agreeable today so out we went.  The winds had died down the seas had calmed a bunch and we had a nice ride for the 20 miles north to New York Harbor.

A very unusual breakwater.  It  looked like a big pile of concrete jacks!!

 The following pictures are Ocean Side Sandy damage and the equipment 
working like crazy to put it all back together.

                                  Lighthouse before the Verrazano Bridge

                    The Verrazano Bridge and the entrance to New York Harbor

                     Looks like we're not exporting much this container ship is virtually empty
Our goal was to anchor behind the Statue of Liberty but when we got there it was much to small for our space hogging Tie A Knot....and the tide had just started to come in so we headed north on the Hudson to get a good push up it.  This picture was taken as we came back out from the anchorage.  A disappointment but stuff happens.  By the way the statue is closed for renovations.  So it was only workers out there.  I think it's supposed to reopen July 3rd.

   The Hudson north of the, boats and more boats.  A navigational nightmare!

                    We got a BIG LAUGH out of this sign....not going to happen!!!
 Kayak School on the Hudson downtown NYC
 Water taxi meets tour boat
                        This cathedral was near the George Washington Bridge.  
 Train from the city bustling up the coast...

                               This old girl looked so sad to be out of commission.

                            Ever wondered what that bridge looked like from underneath? 
Sure wish I could remember where this was...

                                  The vista on a hazy day of the Hudson River
 Sing Sing Prison, 
Ossining, N.Y.  

Just north of Ossining is a 'hook ' of land where we are anchored on the recommendation of friends Lawrence & Elaine from S/V Elle & I.  It is a lovely spot and we decided to stay an extra night.  Today we walked into town from Half Moon Bay Marina where we met another boater from  Sarnia, Canada. After talking to him for a few minutes he said he had kept his boat two years ago at the marina in Algonac that Gary's Dad, Bub, used to own.  Small world. He let us tie our dinghy up behind his boat and showed us how to get into town.  We had lunch at the 'Croton Deli' picked up some needed supplies. 

Our beautiful sunset last night at Croton-On-Hudson anchorage.

Time for some R&R, but tomorrow is another day....