June 1, 2010
Bill & Nancie (Watauga), Russ & Cindi (Lady Bug), and Ken & Brenda launched their dinghies and went over to downtown Atlantic Highlands. While there we met John & Ellie (Adios II) returning to their boat. They recommended lunch at Cafe 77 which we did and thoroughly enjoyed. We then walked around the downtown and made purchases at both the local hardware store (one of the best we have seen on this trip) and the marine supply store. We dinghied back to our boats just in time as it stormed shortly thereafter. We charted our course for the next few days of travel as we plan to depart in the morning.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Our departure was later as we wanted to take advantage of the current in the Hudson River. While we were at our anchorage we could see the Verrazano Bridge approximately 10 miles away and today we passed from the lower bay under this bridge into the harbor of New York and what an experience that was - where to look first? We passed Coney Island to our starboard and Staten Island to our port. Since it was the end of Fleet Week there were several warships leaving port, all of which had the right of way. In addition to these ships, there were tugs, barges, and the Staten Island Ferries and New York Ferries whizzing back and forth. We followed the lead of Adios II who have done this before and we appreciate them guiding us through New York.
Soon we could see the majestic Statue of Liberty in the distance and before long we were cruising by her and then Ellis Island. What a thrill to see these landmarks so up close. Still to come were Jersey City on our port and the Battery and Manhattan to starboard. New York is one large city with buildings of every size everywhere you look. We were surprised to see green belt areas along the shoreline.
After we passed under the George Washington Bridge we left the city scape behind us and entered a section of the Hudson River known as the Palisades which are high cliffs with rocky faces but with trees all around and on top of the cliffs. When we passed under the Tappan Zee Bridge the Hudson River widened out into the Haverstraw Bay which is 3 miles wide. We arrived at Haverstraw Marina before long. We were not overly impressed with this marina but for 1 night it was fine.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Not long after we left the marina, we passed West Point which is a U.S. Army training center for commissioned officers. It is a very impressive, large, sprawling edifice that overlooks the Hudson River.
The scenery along the river remains spectacular. For approximately 10 miles on ourjourney today, the river cuts through the Appalachian chain. Marking our entrance to the city of Kingston Marina is the Rondout Lighthouse, one of 8 different lighthouses on the Hudson River.
Kingston has done a wonderful job of restoring its historical waterfront and we did a brief walking tour to acquaint ourselves with the area. We notice that Fortuity who we met at Cape May was here. We had an excellent dinner at Savona's, an Italian restaurant.
Friday, June 4, 2010
We decided to stay another day as the guys had some boat issues to resolve. Nancie and Brenda did their usual 1-hour walk and then also did boat chores (same as at home: laundry, vaccuming, etc). Since we were not sure if we would depart tomorrow, we decided to take a taxi to Walmart and reprovision. The downtown marina where we are staying is right along the downtown waterfront so we are within walking distance of restaurants, shops, etc. Also, people are constantly walking along the waterfront and there always seems to be something going on such as music in the park.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Because there were warnings of possible tornadoes we decided to stay in port for another day. We took the trolley uptown to the Farmers' Market and to visit the historic Stockade District. The Farmers' Market was one of the best we have visited as they truly had locally grown produce, meats, cheeses, baked breads, etc. We then walked to the historic Stockade district. This area has many of its original residences and public buildings such as the Senate House. Both the Dutch and English settled in this area so their influence is evident in the old buildings. The streets of the original village remain laid out just as they were in 1658. The intersection of John and Crown Streets is the only intersection in the United States with 18th century stone houses on all 4 corners. Some locals suggested that we have lunch at the Hoffman House, a pre-Revolutionary War stone house Circa 1711, which we did and it was excellent.
Speaking of locals, they have all been so friendly and helpful. At 5:30, people gathered at the waterfront to watch the the Henry Hudson fleet replicas arrive; because of the uncertain weather forecast only the Mystic Whaler and Clearwater came into port. Apparently this is an annual event whereby the sailing ships leave New York and stop at designated ports as they make their way up the Hudson River to Albany, NY. Local pirates were onshore firing shots as they arrived and of course the ships responded in kind with booming full black powder cannon broadsides.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
The weather was questionable with the rain and some fog but by 9 a.m. it was clearing up so Tellico Lady, Watauga, and Lighten Up III decided to depart. All was well for the first 2 hours. Then tornado watches were issued for the area we were headed to. The wind started to increase in intensity with gusts to 22 mph so we decided to anchor sooner than we had originally planned. Lighten Up travels much faster than we do so they went on to Albany. The storm front passed through about 3 p.m. and we had some rain and some wind with very dark clouds but it passed quickly and all was well. We continued to get the odd gust of wind but it was sunny with a few clouds for the remainder of the day and the humidity has decreased. We were pleasantly surprised when we were contacted by John Houghtaling, a fellow MTOA member, who saw us come into our anchorage. His boat is moored at the shoreline nearby and he reassured us that we would be fine at this anchorage and that he would be available if we needed any assistance. Also on the shoreline is a replica of the Half Moon the ship that Henry Hudson sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and up the Hudson River in search of a passage to the Far East. John (Adios II) phoned and provided us with this information.
Monday, June 7, 2010
This portion of the Hudson River reminded us of the Tennessee River with its tree-covered hillsides and shorelines. It is a beautiful river. Liten Up was just departing Albany as we arrived there, so Watauga, Liten Up, and Tellico Lady all went through the Troy Lock together.
Shortly thereafter we turned to port into the Waterford Visitor Center and the beginning of the Erie Canal while Liten Up continued to starboard to enter the Champlain Canal. Patty & Don Wolf (Seabourne) who we saw early this morning departing their anchorage also arrived at Waterford. We walked to the lock master's office and purchased a 10-day pass for the Erie Canal; this pass must be purchased to transit the canal and it allows you to tie up free at lock walls above or below the actual lock. We then walked about Waterford which is a quiet little town with mostly empty stores.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Today we went through 10 locks; the first 5 locks were within a 2-mile stretch. All of the locks lifted us up, sometimes 20 feet and sometimes only 8 feet. The locks on the Erie Canal have either ropes, cable, or pipe to move your boat up or down. With the cable or pipe type, you run a line from your midship around the cable or pipe back to your boat and as the water fills the chamber, the rope slides up. With the rope type, one person stands at the bow holding a rope and another person holds a rope at the stern and as your boat rises up you pull in more rope. After the many locks today, we felt as if we had been through an aerobic program. Tellico Lady, Watauga, and Seabourne travelled together and all 3 boats are tied up on the west wall of Lock E-11 for the night.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
We went through 5 locks today (more aerobics!) but now we feel like pros as regards the procedure. Some lock masters let the water in slowly and our ride is smooth and others seem to let the water in more quickly and bounce us around a bit. So far the Erie Canal has been in the Mohawk River bed and the waterway is fairly wide with buoys marking the channel. Once past Herkimer, the Erie Canal becomes a true canal and is more straight and narrow. It is very quiet, peaceful, and scenic. Today it has been cooler and felt even more so with the rain. By the time we got to our tie-up at the wall at Lock E-16 we were all feeling wet and cold. We think we are in an Amish area as we did see an elderly couple dressed in the usual Amish garb and just as we got to our tie-up we saw the typical Amish black horse-drawn wagon drive out of sight. Our tie-up tonight can be described as quiet, scenic, and rural. We had a potluck dinner on Watauga tonight.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Today's travel on the blue highway was much like yesterday - leisurely and pleasant. We only went through 4 locks. We passed by the little towns of Little Falls, Herkimer, Ilion, and Uticia before arriving at our wall tie-up at Lock E-20. When we arrived at the lock there was a group of school children who watched the boats lock up. Our 10-day pass allows us to tie up at lock walls but there are no amenities (power or water) so in that regards it is like anchoring out. However, it does allow us to get off the boat and explore by foot. Happy hour was aboard Seabourne.
Friday, June 11, 2010
When we passed by Rome we were at the highest point in this section of the Erie Canal. We went through 2 locks and each one is now locking us down which is much easier as there is less turbulence. The weather was perfect with very little wind (the kind of day we will be looking for to cross Lake Ontario to Kingston). The water on the canal was as smooth as glass. When we arrived at Sylvan Beach we tied up to the town wall. Adjacent to the wall is a delightful seaside-type of town complete with amusement park, restaurants, antique shops, ice-cream shops (all those tourist type businesses). Apparently this area was the center of summer entertainment in years gone by and today it is a tourist town. The nice weather has brought people to the waterfront; some are walking about, others are patronizing restaurants, many are on the beach, and others are boating or fishing. We all plan to go to Eddie's for dinner. It is an old 50's style family-run restaurant that apparently was patronized a way back when by famous people such as Frank Sinatra, Desi Arnaz, and Liza Minelli. At this point, tomorrow's weather does not look conducive to crossing Lake Oneida so we may be here for another day or so.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
This was an indoor day due to the weather so we did some Trent-Severn planning and reading. Dinner was potluck on Tellico Lady with Bill & Nancie and Don & Patty.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Since it was foggy we had to delay our departure time so we all walked into town and had breakfast. We then travelled across Lake Oneida without incident and arrived at Winter Harbor Marina. This is a small marina with very professional and super nice staff. They are masters at maneuvering boats into tight spaces. There are quite a few looper boats here who plan to attend the 'looper' gathering that is being sponsored by the marina on the 16th. Amazingly, there are 4 boats here from Tennessee - Tellico Lady, Watauga, Tennessee Rover, and Silver Moon. We borrowed one of the courtesy cars and got our Walmart fix and at the same time saw some of the town of Brewerton. Seabourne decided to travel farther on the canal today so we will meet up with them again around Oswego.
Monday, June 14, 2010
We used the courtesy car to go to Wegman's and Home Depot. Noreen (office staff at marina) told us we should not miss a visit to Wegman's. Brenda also recalled that our neighbor, Fran Smith, said that Wegman's was a fantastic grocery store. She was right - we loved it! Again, we got to see more of Brewerton which is another one of those charming small towns of America. When we returned to the marina we visited with some of the other boats at the dock including Mike & Mel (Tortuga), Bill & Carol (Tennessee Rover), Art & Sandra (Magoo), and Bill & Laura (Monkey Girl). We had met some of these loopers at Cape May, NJ. There was also a huge boat here from Toronto; they were getting some repair work done before travelling on.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We decided not to stay at Brewerton for the looper gathering. As you can see we had a short travel day. We went through our last lock on the Erie Canal and began our journey on the Oswego Canal. We stopped at Phoenix because we had read about the Bridge House Brats which is a group of teens that will run errands for boaters. However, we did not know until we got there that the program does not start until school is out at the end of June. The wall we tied to was right downtown with a lovely waterfront park complete with pavillion, picnic tables, and a hotdog/hamburger stand. This is a popular place at lunch hour. It is also used in the evening when locals come by to socialize. We found the people here to be very friendly and helpful. The downtown area is very small and you can easily do the town in 15 minutes.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It was overcast when we departed and before long it started to rain and get quite windy and continued to be like this all day for the most part. By the time we got to our last 2 locks the wind had increased and this made it difficult to get secured to the lock wall. By the time we arrived at our destination on the wall tie-up between Locks 7 & 8, we were drenched. Tying to the wall was also a challenge as the wind and rain were working against us. A little later in the day, Seabourne arrived and then Elan after that. We all plan to stay here until Friday morning when we hope the weather will be suitable to cross Lake Ontario. There was a break in the weather, so we and Patty & Don walked into the section of Oswego on our side of the canal. We stopped for an ice cream cone and while in the store, the skies opened up again. The owner gave us large garbage bags to serve as rain coats to get back to our boats. We were confined to our boat for the rest of the day due to rain. It rained and was very windy all night long.
Thursday, June 17, 2020
In the afternoon we walked across the bridge to visit the portion of Oswego on the other side of the canal. While there we visited the farmers' market and bought some fresh produce. When walking over the bridge we could out and see Lake Ontario which was still showing some fair-sized whitecaps. The lockmaster it had calmed down from earlier when waves were breaking over the breakwater wall. During the afternoon 3 other boats arrived at the wall between the locks. Seabourne and Watauga joined Tellico Lady for a potluck dinner. We are planning to go through our last lock at 7 a.m. and head out into Lake Ontario tomorrow morning if the weather permits.
Copyright(c) 2008 Ken Bloomfield, All rights reserved.