Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hudson River Highlights

September 20-27, Waterford, New York to New York City
We’ve been quiet without much to report for a while, but here are a few highlights from the past week:

• Completing the last five locks of the Erie Canal, the “Waterford Flight.” This set of locks, the biggest in the world, dropped us 169 feet in less than two miles. We spent Friday and Saturday nights in the historic town of Waterford, the oldest incorporated village in the United States.Loren and Clairice had left a car at the home of his cousin Laurie and her husband Jim. They drove it over and we enjoyed their company over a delicious dinner complete with warm and funny conversation.

• Restepping the mast at Riverview Marine in Catskill on Monday, September 24. Our beautiful Pelican is now restored her to her normal state of grace. Loren and Clairice worked hard on the tasks involved in the process and then left the next morning without reaping the rewards of their labor. We’re so glad they could share the experience of the Erie Canal with us, and we’re very thankful for all of their help.

• Meeting John and Ann Ross, a charming couple from Sarasota, Florida, who trailered their 1946 Chris Craft to the Hudson River to cruise with twenty-seven other classic wooden boats. Their runabout, Añejo, was in mint condition, varnished and polished to a showroom shine. We complimented their boat profusely, they appreciated our enthusiasm, and soon they offered to take us for a short spin on the river. What a treat! And what a lovely couple.

• Seeing such a variety of sights along the river: Cliffs, mountains, and wooded banks. Castles, monasteries, and genteel estates. Five lighthouses. And West Point, standing guard like a massive fortress with the river as its moat.

• Anchoring two nights on the Hudson and eating dinner in the cockpit under a full moon. One of those nights, we jumped in for a quick swim and got our first taste of salt water on this trip. The Hudson River is an estuary, and tides flow north as far as Troy, 150 miles upstream. According to the Indian name, it’s a “river that flows two ways.”

• Arriving in New York harbor, greeted by a chaos of wakes from every kind and size of boat. The marina where we are staying has a “wave attenuator,” but it can't quite keep up. We're happy that the water traffic has diminished and all is quiet now. When the ferries and water taxis were scurrying back and forth, though, our mast would swing like a pendulum. Ah, but the view! In late afternoon the skyscraper windows mirrored the light of the setting sun. At night, the city lights twinkle like a galaxy of stars. Tomorrow we'll play tourist in the big city.

1 comment:

  1. John Ross-Ann RossOctober 7, 2007 at 5:47 PM

    Hi Keith and Joanie, This is from the "older couple" with the woodie that you encountered in Catskill NY. I don't know about Older! I don't feel a day older than 40!

    We're back in Sarasota after 3300 miles over the roads and a good holiday under our belts.

    Its great to read of your travels and know that you are continuing to have great weather and good sailing. If you are near the Gulf Coast 60 miles south of Tampa, this is an invitation to come to our place in Sarasota, where we have a deep water dock behind our house that can accomodate the Pelican. We'love to show you around our beautiful town. Cheers, John Ross