Saturday, May 29, 2010

"15 Miles on the Erie Canal"

What a great time we had in Kingston. As I mentioned in our last post, Anna and I took a long walk through the town after dinner. The heat had finally subsided and it looked as if the entire town had the same idea. Walking along the river wall, we had a great time looking at all the boats, we where accompanied by countless couples and families all out enjoying the beginning of what so far seems to be a great start to summer. One thing that has become very clear to us since we headed inland is that the style of boats is much different than that of Nantucket. We are in the land of Cruisers and these people love to cruise. Every other boat seemed to be set up as a weekend retreat. I can only imagine the good times that must be had on these docks in the high season. The next morning we woke early and made a dash for the showers. We had been warned the night before that the showers are on a timer and take quarters to activate. Anna and I joked that a truly frugal couple would surly shower together. Needless to say this idea never really got off the ground floor. During our morning cup of coffee we spotted a man swimming his tender into the dock next to us. He had just flipped his boat and was madly trying to get the the water bailed out. I went below grabbed my tools and offered to help him get his engine running. An hour or so later we had cleaned the carb checked the fuel and gotten his little iron jib back in action. I was happy to help the guy, when he swam into the dock he looked as if his world had come to an end. With good vibes and hopes to increase our karma, Anna and I pushed off for Hudson. Hudson is not a popular destination on the river, we chose it because it was suggested to us by my Cousin Diana. She and her husband Tom teach at the Hotchkiss School and offered to meet us there for dinner. Upon arrival in Hudson, we discovered that there was no real municipal dock. The guidebook had lead us to believe that there was a marina there, but what was listed as a marina was truly a local power boat club. Hoping the karma thing payed off, Anna and I pulled in an asked if we could stay the night. We were greeted by a local man, whom after a ten minute conversation offered to have us stay as his guests. Members can have guests for a dollar a foot a night with free power amenities it was a great deal and greatly appreciated. We had a few hours to kill so Anna and I took the time to catch up on the bills and various other unpleasantries. Not knowing anything about Hudson we did what everyone should do, we Googled it. Here are a few things we learned. Believe it or not Hudson was once a whaling town, and was founded by Nantucketers. At one point Hudson was only three votes short to become the Capital of New York State. As a mater of fact the rarest U.S. half dollar is the coin depicting Henry Hudson on one side and the seal of Hudson on the other. It seems that Franklin Roosevelt had the coin minted as a thank you to Hudson for being the first democratic organization to endorse him for President. It seems that later Hudson feel on hard times and is just now beginning to make a comeback. In the late 40's and 50's it was known to be a haven for prostitution and gambling. With the collapse of much of the industry on the river Hudson went into a deep depression which it is just now seeming to pull itself out of. As we walked through town later that night we all enjoyed looking at the many Antique shops and galleries that have moved into town. All and all it was a great evening made all the better by having one to many margaritas with Tom and Diana. The next morning we made our way towards Waterford where we will stay through the memorial day weekend. The trip through Albany and Troy was filled with big barges and container ships. The Hudson got quite narrow as we approached Albany and it became a marvel that these massive ships can navigate their way up and down the river. Upon our arrival in Troy we met our first lock. Anna and I had spent the previous half hour preparing ourselves and the boat for this evolution. Having dawned our life vest, bumpers, knives, and work gloves we called the lock operator and were instructed to enter. It was something when they close the lock walls behind you and you begin to feel the boat shift as water is allowed in. Five minutes later we were off. We are now in fresh water, where we will remain until we enter into the gulf of Mexico sometime in December. Tomorrow it is forcasted to blow in the mid thirties out of the northeast. For the first time in our boating lives we say let it blow.

The far end of the Kingston Docks

Bad Boys Bad Boys what you gonna do.

The Athens Light at Hudson NY.

We must be getting close, the sailboats have lowered their masts.

We had a nice conversation with this tug Capt. on the VHF

It has got to be 15 feet from the water to the top of the rail.

Good old Blue catching some ZZZ's for tomorrows run to Watertown.

This group of swans seemed to want to join us as me made our way up river.

Albany as we approached from the south.

This Cutter was tied up right outside of the city of Albany.

I can't believe it but we are finally at the entrance to the Canal.

What the heck the cart won't move!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Anna & Pete,
    Have a great Memorial Day in Waterford,
    love Jeffrey, Chris & Deirdre.