Friday, August 28, 2015

8/28/15 Anchorage to Great Kills Yacht Club

As we left the anchorage, we had a great view of the new World Trade Center and Lady Liberty.

  The temperatures were cool this morning, in the low 60s but it was clear and calm.  The waters in NY harbor, even on a calm day can be daunting because of all of the wakes from ferries, ships, barges and pleasure craft. 

Once under the Verrazano Bridge, we made a sharp turn to starboard and headed for Great Kills Yacht Club.  We have been here 3 other times and really feel welcomed by the members.  When Super Storm Sandy hit two years ago, this was one of the first marinas rebuilt because of the members' hard labor. We were greeted on the dock by John Calascibetta, the AGLCA Harbor Host

and two other members.  It is because of John that AGLCA members are able to use this marina.  He said that they have had 50 loopers this year.  It is a good mutual relationship, providing safe harbor for boaters and revenue for their club.

We are waiting for the right wind/wave conditions before venturing out on the Atlantic for the 30 mile trip to Manasquan Inlet.  The first time we traveled this route (Manasquan to Great Kills) three years ago, the conditions were terrible.  We learned our lesson and will only venture out with west winds 5-10 knots or less and seas under 3 feet. 

For dinner, John recommended Coles, about two blocks away.  If you go before 6pm, you get a special deal which includes entrée, dessert, and a bottle of wine.  We didn't make it until 7pm, so we missed the special pricing, but had really good meals.

8/27/15 Ossining to Statue of Liberty anchorage

We waited for the sailing school kids to leave the harbor before heading over to the main dock for a pump-out.  The harbor master was not in the office, so we left him a note with our names and phone number.  Each day we were at the yacht club, we tried to sign a form so that we could pay for our slip.  He shrugged us off every time.  Our boat was placed on a very rickety dock with a fair amount of traffic going past us to the harbor and the restaurant next door.  It wasn't an ideal location, but we certainly thought we would be paying the $2.00 per foot advertised.  So far we have not heard from him.

By 1030 we were headed south on the Hudson River.

 Vigilance is key to traveling in NY harbor.  There are Circle Line boats that make a loop from the Harem River, Hudson River, East River and back.  Ferries are delivering passengers on both sides of the Hudson.  Ships and barges are often encountered going north and south and once you near the Statue of Liberty, ferries loaded with tourists are prevalent. And of course there are pleasure craft like ours going every which way.   Traffic on the river today was not bad during our 2 1/2 hour trip.

After rounding the Statue of Liberty, we followed the marked channel to an anchorage.

 At first we had difficulty getting our anchor to hold in the muddy bottom, but after a few tries, we were set.  Ron and Duke visited the shore via dinghy a couple of times.

ere is a nice dinghy dock not too far away and the seven anchored boats seemed to be using the dock to go ashore. 

With a full moon overhead, we had a lovely view of the back of Lady Liberty. 

8/26/15 Train into NYC (Beautiful, Carole King Musical)

This was the second day in a row on the train, this time on the express train which had fewer stops.  Today's train was packed, and we realized why when we arrived in the Bronx.  Many people were on their way to a game at Yankee Stadium.  I cannot imagine spending an hour and a half on a train each day commuting to work, but the alternative of having a car in NYC would be worse!!

Once off the train, we walked through Grand Central and took a picture from upstairs.  I was hoping for a flash mob, but none materialized. 

Since we had about an hour and a half before our matinee, we looked for a place to eat and ended up at the same diner on 47th street that we ate at last time we came in for a play.  We walked through Times Square looking for the controversial "topless men and women" that the mayor has vowed to remove from the street.  Today, however, they were scantily clothed but still posing with tourists. 

The line was unbelievably long for the theater...a couple of hundred people already in line. 

We opted to sit and wait on some nearby benches since we had picked up our tickets before lunch.  Ron did a great job selecting our seats online.  We were 6th row center!!! Best seats we've ever had!!!

  If you have not seen this musical starring Chilina Kennedy, get tickets now.  She was fabulous.  The entire cast was superb. Paul Anthony Stewart played Don Kirshner, the head of the recording studio.  As soon as I saw him, I knew I had seen him in something before.  He was on the soap, Guiding Light....which I watched faithfully until it was taken off the air. 

Back to the train station for ice cream and the 6pm train.  After walking Duke when we got back to the boat, we went to the yacht club for a drink and then next door to the restaurant for dinner. Served with our meal was a wonderful loaf of bread.  After asking if we could purchase another one for the boat, the waitress said, "I'll just give you one."  Our lucky day!

Monday, August 24, 2015

8/25/15 Train to NYC (9/11 Memorial & Museum)

A great advantage of staying in Ossining is the proximity to multiple trains into the city.  We wanted to end up at Grand Central Station, so we took the Metro North train into the city.  45 minutes later we were in the train station.  We had a slice of New York pizza (I still prefer Chicago style pizza) in the train station.  I was amazed when I saw a lady who had on a "little black dress" and nice shoes lurking around the garbage cans.  Yes...she was homeless.  She had perfected the ability to unobtrusively go through the garbage, put the food in a container, and walk away.  We forget how blessed we really are!

It was a good distance to the 9-11 Memorial (2 miles).  We had several choices:  walk (too far), Uber ($27.00), Taxi (even more expensive) or subway ($3.50 senior rate), so we opted for the subway.  The train itself was clean but packed with commuters.  We both had to stand most of the way.  The regulars on the train seemed to handle the abrupt stops and starts better than Ron or I did. The underground subway platforms are hot, dirty and smelly.  Can't imagine having to travel that route on a daily basis.

After walking around a bit because we headed the wrong direction (passing the NY Stock Exchange and Trinity Church),

we finally ended up at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.  The fountains, where the footprint of the north and south towers stood, are impressive in and of themselves, but the museum will give you chills. 

You are led through the events of the day by timelines along with audio and video footage.  We finally emerged at the end,  3 1/2 hours after we entered. 

There are probably a hundred restaurants near the museum, but it was close to rush hour, so we opted to return to the train station for a bite to eat before boarding the 6pm train.  We fortunately got on the train a few minutes ahead of time, because it was packed and some people stood during the entire trip.

8/24/15 Ossining, NY

Sailing school each morning

The blog according to Duke:
"I hate noise and am scared of garbage trucks and trains.  Loud noises are not my friend!  The train tracks run right next to the marina, so I have refused to get off the boat today.  Yep.  Ron and Jan have tried all morning, but I am NOT GETTING OFF THE BOAT!  It is 1:30pm and I haven’t gone potty since yesterday!  How long can I hold out?  We’ll just see.
This is what I do when I'm stressed:  I chew on my blanket.

 If I wait long enough, I think Ron will lower the dinghy and take me for a ride to the beach.  It is a little quieter there!"

The blog according to Jan:

Well we waited all day for Duke to go for a walk and take care of business.  Finally at 7 pm, a full 24 hours after his last time on shore, he reluctantly accompanied Ron on a walk. 

 Evening sunset:


8/23/15 Kingston to Shattemuc Yacht Club, Ossining, NY (58 miles)

Leaving Kingston

It was a pretty day on the river.  Since it was Sunday, there seemed to be a lot weekend boaters out and about. 

Just before West Point we passed Pollepel Island also called Bannerman’s Island or Bannerman’s Castle (home of an abandoned military surplus business in the early 1900s).  Tours are currently conducted of the ruined castle.  In the 1920s, 200 tons of munitions went off there and ruined the much of the castle.  A group of kayakers coming from the island crossed near us.


We passed West Point on the right descending bank.  On the roof of one of their buildings is a sign that says “Beat Air Force”.

Two years ago we stayed at Croton on Hudson, but this time opted for Shattemuc Yacht Club in Ossining.  It is right by the train station, so we won’t have far to walk when we go into the city on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Ossining is home to SingSing Prison.  

As we came near the harbor, the harbormaster came out in a dinghy and lead us to our slip.  That is service!!

Right across the dock from us is a restaurant and outdoor bar.  Tonight there was a really good guitarist/singer playing.  We sat on the back of the boat and enjoyed a cool drink!


8/22/15 Shady Harbor to Kingston NY-Saturday (41 miles)

It was another nice day, with cooler temperatures.  We have a good view of the Catskills from the river.  Tides are now an issue so we scheduled our trip downriver with slack and low tides.  We left early (0710) so that we could get to Kingston and attend church.  We arrived at 1230, in plenty of time to make 5:00pm church. 

Math was never a favorite subject for me, but life on the boat is one “story problem” after another—tide tables, estimated time of arrival, fuel range, setting a course, etc.  I’m glad that I’m in charge of the blog and Ron is in charge of the math problems J

We were excited to learn that a folk music tribute to Pete Seeger was scheduled at the museum from 3-5pm today.  When we got there, we learned it had been rescheduled for Sunday. (We’ll be gone)
St. Mary’s church is directly up a big hill from the marina.  Since our last visit here, they have a new young priest in charge. 
We have good intentions of eating more meals on the boat, but we are often lured away by good restaurants.  Two years ago, a bunch of us loopers went to Armadillo Restaurant and loved it, so we headed there after church.  We shared a meal and it was just the right amount.  The same hostess (very, very friendly) is still there. 

When we first met Kenny and Jeanne Beach two years ago in Kingston, we drove to the grocery store in our rental car.  When we got back, I insisted on helping her carry her grocery bags and immediately dropped a large, expensive bottle of real maple syrup. 

Here is a memorial to that event.  Mrs. Butterworth Memorial!!


8/21/15 Waterford to Shady Harbor (25 Miles)

It rained during the night and early morning, so I slept late.  Ron always gets dog-walking duty in the morning, so he was up early.  We finally departed at 1015.  The Troy Federal Lock was different from those on the Erie Canal.  No lines were hanging down, so we were required to wrap lines from our boat around a pipe built in the wall.  As the water recedes, the line slides down the pipe, holding us in place. 

Finally we have less humid air!  We arrived in Shady Harbor (New Baltimore, NY).  Verizon cell service here is poor!  This is a really nice marina in a rural setting and the locals are very friendly. 

We had dinner on the boat.  After dinner, I moved to the rear of the boat with my dulcimer and began playing.  I looked up and had gathered a small audience on an adjacent dock.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

8/20/15 Waterford

 The temps are still in the 90s, but at least today there was a strong southerly breeze.

Today was a workday!  Ron washed the boat, which was covered with muck from the locks and lots of spiders and webs.

There is a very nice Laundromat just a few blocks from here and I took advantage of it and did several loads. After returning from the laundromat, we headed for the grocery store across the Hudson River (1/2 mile away). 

 Hannaford's Grocery Store allows boaters to bring a carts back to the marina.  The carts have an electronic lock on the wheels and cannot normally leave the parking lot.  In order to take a cart, one of the employees accompanies you to the edge of the parking lot and then uses a scanner to de-activate the lock. 

Ron pushed the cart back and I got a few pictures.  Some Facebook friends wondered if he was homeless:)

We had dinner at the Angry Penguin, fish and chips.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a stormy one, so we will probably be confined to the boat. 

8/19/15 Scotia to Waterford

We have had no wifi for a while and our data plan was almost depleted, so we haven't posted for a while.

The 24 miles we traveled today included 8 locks.  Between lock 6 and 5, we were notified that the lockmaster couldn't get to the lock house because of road construction.  He was covering locks 3 and 5 today.  It took him a while, but he finally arrived and let us through with another boat, Egg-Sighted.

We pulled in to Waterford at 4pm. It is HOT, HOT, HOT!! Our first power pedestal wasn't providing us enough electricity, so we moved down the wall.  We are one of the few boats with AC, but I'm certainly glad that we have it!

After dinner on board, we walked a few blocks to find the Laundromat.

8/18/15 Canajoharie to Scotia

We wanted to get a few more groceries at Peruzzi's meat market, but the owner told us last night that he opens at 9am after having breakfast next door.  So we went for breakfast in town and then picked up a few things at Peruzzi's before leaving on the boat.

Our arrival at Scotia  Docks at 5pm put us in town just prior to the beginning of the waterski show which is held every Tuesday night throughout the summer.  We took our chairs about 1/8 of a mile down the Mohawk River toward Jumpin' Jacks where the show was taking place.  We watched about 1/2 of the show before seeking out a place to eat, finally settling on Scotia Diner.  Of course we returned to Jumpin' Jacks for ice cream, where it seemed that everyone in town was eating.

8/17/15 Little Falls to Canajoharie

We took off for lock 17 before the other boats, so that we could lock down first.  This is the biggest drop on the Erie (40 feet) and has a guillotine style lift door on the eastern side of the lock.  You get wet going under it!

On the glassy water, we saw hundreds of water bugs dancing on the surface.  At St. Johnsonville Redneck Marina, we stopped for 30 gallons of fuel.  Since prices are much lower in NJ, we will fill our tanks later. 

At Canajoharie, we were the first boat to tie up on the small dock.

 After hooking up the AC, we walked in to town for dinner at Mercato's, one of the local Italian restaurants.  It was very warm inside (no AC) and there was only one other couple there.  The food was good, and there were enough leftovers for both of us to have another meal tomorrow. 

Ron walked across the bridge (away from town) to Stewarts to pick up ice cream and a few groceries.  We remember Stewart's Ice Cream from our trip up the Hudson in 2013.

8/16/15 Sunday

No church today.  We were concerned about leaving the boat unattended since we were the only boat on the dock.(marginal people were milling, swimming near our boat). There was no power here, so it was a very warm night in the current heat wave. 

It was too foggy to leave early.  This was the first fog of the season.  Ron met a man and his wife bicycling in the park.  The man was from Bayonne, NJ, very near where Ron grew up.  When the retired, they moved to Rome.

Finally at 1020, we left the dock.  This was my least favorite stop on the canal.  Along the way, we saw people in long rowing boats.

 We were alone on the water most of the day.  We pulled in to Little Falls at 1600.  There is a very high wall here.

  It was so high that Ron had to lift Duke up each time he went ashore.  I exited across our top deck which was even with the wall.  All together, there were 6 boats tied up here overnight.

Power allowed us to hook up the AC and cool off.  The town was a distant walk, so we stayed onboard all evening. 

The 1918 barge terminal building has been turned in to the harbor master's office.  It was very nice with a lounge, showers, a selection of free books, and a person on premises from 8am to 9pm.  Contrast this with an identical building at our last stop in Rome which sits empty.  The town of Rome is losing out on tourists' business!