After the thoroughly enjoyable dinner with Tom and Susan last evening, we checked the conditions again. Sunny and warm. A good tide and current window if we left at about 8:30, so not too early. Wait, wind at 20 knots gusting to 30 knots? That’s nots for us.
We awoke to the sound of wind and waves, confirming that it’d be a scary day to travel. Doug returned to sleep. At about 8, however, Subject to Change met Dana on the dock. They’d talked to a friend up the Hudson, they said. The wind was bad at Half Moon Bay but no place else, they said. No wind at Kingston, they said. We’re going and you should join us, they said. Twenty minutes later we were on our way out of Half Moon Bay.
We thought Half Moon was the shape of the harbor. Turns out Half Moon was Henry Hudson’s boat when he explored the Hudson River in search of a northwest passage to Asia. Of course, it probably wasn’t called the Hudson until later. It seems unlikely that Hank would be exploring a river someone already had named after him, but who knows for sure?
Half Moon Bay really was blowing, but things calmed down pretty quickly. We fired up some NGDB and urged High Cotton to leave as well. Spread the love, right? Things started off great. We were congratulating ourselves on a shrewd decision as we reached West Point again, this time by water.
And that’s about where everything turned to crap. Just past the place where we took the scenic photo in yesterday’s post, the wind whipped the river to an angry froth. Subject to Change’s anemometer registered gusts of 38 knots. It felt like 60. We passed through what the Waterway Guide said was the prettiest stretch of river in the country. We didn’t notice, and dang sure didn’t take any pictures. After about 2 hours of terror, however, things calmed down a bit. The CIA main building appeared right where it was supposed to be. Still impressive.
The Esopus Meadows Light may be the coolest lighthouse we have seen so far. And it’s fairly important. It sits right in the middle of the river. Going upstream, immediately to the right the channel is about 80 feet deep. Immediately to the left, the water is about 1 foot deep. That’s a big deal when Misty Pearl has a 5-foot draft.
Fortunately we guessed correctly and made our way to the Kingston City Marina.
When we landed, Kingston seemed like an artsy town with a cool vibe. The museum already was closed but looked interesting. After dinner with Second Wave, Subject to Change, High Cotton, and Nautical Dreamer, however, the vibe had changed to ghetto. We may sleep with the flare gun out tonight.