June 24 – June 30
Had her hauled out first thing this morning to check the damage done by whatever we hit in the ocean. Shafts are fine, but props had to be changed…again. We didn’t know a spare set would come in so handy so many times. Left Liberty Landing Marina and the Lower Manhattan skyline behind to head up the Hudson. There’s so much water taxi and other traffic that it’s really rough here in the mouth of the river. We passed Upper Manhattan with the Empire State Building and busy ports and noted the contrast with the residential New Jersey side of the river. During our brief visit we met a number of people who live in Jersey and commute by water across to the city every day to work. Once out of the city, the Hudson opened, unexpectedly, into a wonderful waterway. The water in the river is salt at the city, then becomes brackish, which is part salt and part fresh, and then becomes fresh water further inland. We were happy to be in fresh water again; salt water requires cleaning, or at least hosing down, the boat every time you run in it. We were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the Hudson River, and also surprised that with all we had read and all the people we had talked with about this trip, nobody had ever mentioned the Hudson as something special. On the down side, there was a lot of debris in the river. There are beautiful homes tucked in the hills and a commuter train runs on the east side all the way along the river to Albany, with short tunnels in the sides of the mountains. And what mountains they are! This middle section of the winding river runs through the Appalachians, with breathtaking mountain views. West Point is located in this area, a rather impressive sight. Unfortunately, even though there is a dock at the foot of the academy, pleasure craft can no longer dock there to visit. In one section of the river just north of West Point the water depth measured 150 feet. Our first overnight stop was at Rondout Creek Marina in Kingston, NY. There are some unique lighthouses here and barge traffic that reminded us of the inland waterways. We towed a young, thankful family who ran out of gas in their small boat to Shady Harbor Marina, which we noted as a good possibility for a future stopover. The upper part of the Hudson is again different, with small towns and small marinas here and there along the water. Albany, the state capital, is also located on the river. The city of Troy has free town docks where many tie up before beginning the adventure into the Erie Canal System. Since we were leaving our boat for a few days, we chose to dock at the Hudson River Marina in Troy. We made arrangements here to have our damaged props repaired, and then left for a few days with sister and brother-in-law from the Keys, who are building a summer home overlooking Lake Champlain. We would have liked to cruise up the Champlain Canal to Lake Champlain, but there is a low fixed bridge in the canal that made that route impossible for us. This first lock is the Troy Lock, not an official part of the Erie Canal; the canal system actually begins with Lock #2 in Waterford.