Friday, June 30, 2017

June 24-30 Great Kills, NJ to Whitehall, NY

June 23rd A new boat pulled in,  Miss Lily (Kevin and Anne from Texas).  We met at the bar and decided to go to dinner together at Coles.  They are very experienced boaters who are now doing the loop.

June 24th  One of the younger boaters, John Scarcella at Great Kills, did the loop with his family a couple of years ago.  He is very generous in loaning his vehicles to loopers.  We were able to borrow his Chevy Silverado Black Widow Special on tires making it so high I had trouble getting in.  We were a real site arriving at church in this truck and then taking a handicapped spot.  Following church, we went to Top Tomatoes, a fabulous Italian grocery store where they had wonderful produce, meats, baked goods and deli.

June 25th  We decided on an early morning departure today (Sunday) 0630.  The weather was perfect with calm seas and minimal wind.  Although we had to wait for a couple of ships to enter NY Harbor under the Verrazano Bridge, there was little boat traffic.

We saw only one tour boat and one Staten Island Ferry.  Once north of the city, the boat traffic was limited.  Upon our arrival at Half Moon Bay at 1245, we were placed on the "big dog" dock.  Big dogs over 30 pounds are not allowed on the main docks because the exit to land is through a condominium complex which does not allow dogs.  Owners with dogs under 30# must carry their dogs out of the complex.

June 26th   We left at 0830 for Kingston.
It is always emotional to see West Point!

Since we were in Kingston in 2013 many upgrades have been made to the museum and docks. There is a new River Port Wooden Boat School and there are new single boat slips available behind it. Wooden boats are under construction and line some of the sidewalks.    We were placed behind the Clearwater sailing vessel where the crew was using pine tar to refurbish the deck.  It smelled wonderful.

When we docked, a young dock hand helped us.  We mentioned jokingly that we were back to pick up the grill that our large entourage (stuck for 3 weeks waiting for the Erie to open) had left behind. He said, "Oh, we've heard about that group".

After dinner we walked along the waterfront and found a jam session.  This "senior" group meets 2 times per week.  I did not have my dulcimer with me!  The group had a variety of instruments:  fiddles, flute, keyboard, mandolin, an ocarina.

I was motivated to play when we returned to the boat.

A couple came by in a rowing vessel and she sang along as I played.  She said she had built her own dulcimer.  Then she asked me to help them get out of their boat because they were new to rowing and we're stuck. I helped them out with capsizing their boat.

June  27th  Kingston to Shady Harbor 38 miles
This was an easy day with limited boat traffic.  We love Shady Harbor.

 It is a beautiful marina with a great staff, pool, laundry, nice showers, and a good restaurant.  We got the laundry started and went for lunch before the torrential rain hit.  There were several loopers there and we met at the tent for docktails. (Paul and Taffy on Catalina, Terry and Dorothy on Magic, and Jean on Time Out).

June 28th  Shady Harbor to Fort Edward
This was a really long day. (58 miles, 8 locks, 9 hours)  We arrived at Fred's dock for free dockage.  He and Ron have communicated the last few years.  Fred owns Tug 44, an American Tug.

June 29th  Ft. Edward to Whitehall 28 miles.
 Fred had recommended a local bakery/breakfast stop, so we took advantage and walked a few blocks for breakfast before our departure.  Today was short, only 3 locks.

The canal is narrow and straight. This house caught our attention as did a mother deer and her fawn.

We pulled up to the free wall before any other boaters arrived. This is a great location with 3 free power pedestals.

There is a museum nearby, groceries within 1/2 mile, and a hair salon 5 minutes away.  The house on the hill, east side of the canal, is Skene Manor.

Three other boats pulled in after us.  One of them was Terry and Pat on Happy Happy.  Raining!!  Since rain and storms are predicted the next two days, we are staying put.

The other three boats took off this morning and we're replaced later by three other boats, one of which was Dirk and Pat on Wandering Star.  We had met them briefly in Brick, NJ.

While I walked a few blocks for a $10.00 haircut, Ron took the bike to the grocery store. Since the rain had not started as predicted, we walked across the bridge and up the steep hill to Skene Manor where we had lunch and a tour.

By the time we returned to the boat the rains had begun, but were not constant or severe as predicted.  We will leave here Sunday morning when better weather is expected.

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