The boys stayed behind & washed on their boats & prepared to move further up the Hudson River while Mary & I took the ferry over to Jersey City for a quick morning tour. By 11am we were back on the boats & pulling out for one last Manhattan drive by. The Coasties were out in force. We are not sure if they are always here or if security is heightened because it is 4th of July week. They boarded “Good News” for a safety inspection (which they aced) & would have done the same with us except that we have that really fresh yellow inspection form that was completed just 4 days ago after our “emergency”. Then we were on our way and once again, the scenery changed. High cliffs & trees on our port side while we pass little NY bedroom communities, with parks and commuter trains right beside the Hudson on our starboard. Hard to believe that this is where they had to land that airliner last year. We arrived in Tarrytown, so named because farm wives’ complained that their husbands tarried to long at the village tavern. We will tarry here only one night! Dinner on “Good News”!
We pushed away at 7am and headed due North up the Hudson River. Although some Italian explorers were the first documented in this river (late 1500’s), Henry Hudson, an Englishman working for the Dutch explored it in 1609! Happy 400th Anniversary to Henry’s trip & the river that bears his name. They are celebrating with Tall Ships making the same trek. We passed West Point on the western bank and saw ruins along the river that looked old as Methuselah. We also passed Hyde Park, home of FDR and will visit it tomorrow. We cruised past Poughkeepsie & docked at Rondout Yacht Basin in Kingston, NY just 15 miles from Woodstock. How fitting to be here the week of the 4th. I bet you could here Jimi Hendrix’ rendition of the “The Star Spangled Banner” from here in 1969! There’s a storm front passing through. Brad may have to hold an umbrella over Andy’s head while he grills our steaks!
Mary & I went to pick up the rental car early so we could make the most of our reprovisioning opportunity! If we can’t get it at Walmart, we must not need it. We are stocking up because this is our last chance with a car to load supplies into the boats before we go to Canada. Like the Bahamas, it’s much better to have what you need than it is to have to buy at inflated prices. By lunch time we were ready to head out and sightsee. First we visited Hyde Park, NY. Now run as a National Park & Museum, we visited the birthplace, home & grave of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our 32nd President. Then we toured the CIA. It was really top secret there. They could have told us the secret to whipping up great sauces, but then they would have had to kill us! (The CIA in this instance is the Culinary Institute of America). So we just settled for taking the tour and then dining at one of their 4 student run restaurants! Nice.
We took a day off! Forecast for rain most of the day, we return the rental car early and come back to enjoy a day on our boats & around the marina with absolutely nothing on the agenda. We needed this. A lazy, rainy day, we cooked a little, cleaned a little, napped a little, did some route planning, and Mary and I watched a movie on our aft deck. Not sure why the guys didn’t want to join us to see the new “Sex & the City” movie. The sun came out in the afternoon and we grilled marinated pork chops, fixed Lemon kissed fresh Spinach & Mary did a wonderful Corn Soufflé. Headed to Catskills Marina in the morning, but not too early. It’s only 20+ miles up the Hudson.
Bought ribs & watermelon for the 4th. Not sure if we will stay in Catskills for the celebration or move on the Troy! Will wait until after the holiday to move into the Erie Canal because they do not take reservations for the canal walls where you tie up at night and the holiday crowd might make it difficult to find somewhere to stay.
Woke up to a beautiful sunny morning. Shoved off at 9 & and had an enjoyable cruise up the Hudson to our marina at the foot of the Catskills Mountains. Passed one of the oldest Hudson River estates, the home of Robert Livingston, negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase. Now I would have liked being his broker!!! He was also co-inventor with Fulton of the first steamboat! Yes, we are cruising through history here. This marina is lovely with a pool, lots of trees, picnic tables & BBQ grills that will come in handy tomorrow. Main Street is one block over & this town has a symbol. Like Norfolk had mermaids everywhere, guess what Catskill, NY has!! CATS, of course!! Mary’s night to choose, we are having fajitas so I will do refried beans.
It is a special Fourth of July for us! We have spent the last months visiting so many places with national historic value that we are probably more conscious than ever of what it means to be an American and how blessed we are to live in this country. Here we are in Up State New York, with our friends the Sarvers and it is a beautiful, glorious day, sunny with a nice cool breeze blowing. Apparently it has rained here about 30 of the last 36 days, so we have convinced them all that we brought our good weather bubble with us. They like us here and are begging us to stay!!! (They were really ready for a little summer weather here). We went to the Farmer’s Market this morning, started our ribs by 2pm this afternoon, had a nice afternoon BBQing under the trees and a wonderful dinner. We managed to stay alert tonight to see the fireworks at 9:30pm. That’s like midnight to Looper’s!!! This year has been full of memories that we will keep forever. This will be another holiday different from those of our past. We miss our family & friends; we look forward to being back with them. But this has been a special "one of a kind" July 4th celebration for us. God Bless America! And God Bless Us Everyone!
We got up this morning with a plan to make it to Troy. The weather was perfect for our 4 hour cruise further north on the Hudson. We passed Albany, the capital of NY and arrived in Troy shortly after. Before we enter a marina we call the Dockmaster for permission & slip assignment. Those things are important to make sure we get a slip that can accommodate our LOA (Length over all),beam (width) & our draw (how deep we sit in the water). We tried without success to raise the dockmaster on the VHF & cell phone and were only able to leave a message. Maybe he was still celebrating the 4th but rather than take a chance at his docks, we pushed on up river. The Troy Lock is the 1st lock on the NY Canal system. The Lockmaster laughed at us and said we “Talk funny”! Can you imagine? He was the one that sounded like one of the Sopranos! Once through the lock we are officially “out of tidal effect”! No more brackish water! A final farewell to the salt water portion of our trip and our link to the ocean. The 1st town inside the canal system is Waterford. They have nice (and free) town docks but we weren’t suppose to get here until Monday. They sponsored a “Steam Engine” (salute to Henry Hudson) Boat Show for the 4th of July weekend and they had no room at their town “wall” until the boats were pulled out of the water toward the end of the day. So we tied up on the battery (w/o power, etc) until around 4pm when there was room at the regular docks. Then we climbed the pathway up the hill to buy our $50 pass to use their canal system for the next 10 days.
Had a glass of wine onboard “Finally Fun” (remember Andy & Sharon from the Abacos & Charleston?). We passed them at Albany Yacht Club & they followed us up today.
It was Mary’s night to fix the entrée and she did fabulous pork tenderloin with cherry sauce & rice pilaf. I did fresh green beans. When I get back home I am not sure I will be capable of cooking a full meal by myself! And I know it won’t be as much fun cooking it! We were so late getting in and set up that we have decided to stay an extra day here to see the town.
The weather continues to be amazing, highs in the 80’s, low humidity & a nice cool breeze. It was perfect for biking so we did the town tour and found the old, original Champlain Canal. Unlike some cities between here and Canada who used the old canals for landfills, Waterford has maintained their original canals and the old paths beside them are used for walking and biking trails. There are historic informational markers along the way showing where the weigh station and locks were located. We met a gentleman at Lock 5 who was resting from his bike ride and enjoyed chatting with him about the history of the canal. He showed us a picture on the marker of the boat called “Robert Weightman” that was owned by his grandfather. We will start our own trip up the Erie Canal tomorrow. We are told that in the first 2 hours we will go through 6 locks. There are some marinas, but mostly we will be tying to the town walls. We have no schedule and will stop and explore when things look interesting. My turn to cook tonight. We’re having Italian!