We’ve now traveled by trawler some 15,000 miles. Plenty of time to work out the basics of navigation, one reasonably might expect. Meh. We still do enough boneheaded things to justify our constant fear that Kim Russo is going to stop by and repossess our gold burgees. Like, say, that time we wandered off into the drainage ditch on Lake Okeechobee. And yesterday.
Gorgeous morning in Kingston yesterday. Five easy hours to Coeymans. Dana had time to get a run in. Doug had time to get the drone up. We’ll leave around 9. No stress.
At about 8:30, it finally occurred to us to check the tide at Coeymans. Last time we were there, some friends we wouldn’t dream of identifying publicly (Ron and Debbie on Bucket List) went aground going in at low tide, although at the time they hadn’t yet earned a gold burgee so weren’t afraid of Kim. So we called Coeymans. “If you get here by 2, you probably can get in. Don’t get here after 2.” Hmmm, that’ll be tight, but at eight knots we’ll just make it.
Hey, let’s also check the current here at the very last second, rather than, say, the day earlier when we were deciding to sleep in. Hmmm, max current against us the entire way. Insert sound of clanking monkey wrench and bilateral inward-directed cursing. Yup, at normal rpms we’re doing about 6.5. That’s knots good enough. At 2100 rpms we’re burning double the fuel and eking out about 7.3. Albany Yacht Club has room but nobody to help dismantle the stuff that’ll be grotesquely scalped by the 17-foot railroad bridge if we don’t clear it off first. We could drop an anchor out where Forever Friday did it a couple of years ago, but the helper dudes ain’t coming out there.
We managed to pass cute Miss Lily, but pretty much nothing else besides time.
About Miss Lily. In Jersey City we ran into YOLO, a boat with a liveaboard couple from Scottsdale. Crazy coincidence, right? Turns out Miss Lily also is from Scottsdale. We don’t know the exact math, but gotta be long odds against three Looper boats from the same town in Arizona—a landlocked state that any day now won’t even have enough water to drink—meeting up on a river in New York. That’s even more coincidental than that streak we had where we bumped into things relating to The Big Lebowski and that time Jim Tucker turned out to be related to Glover Wilkins.
Anyway, at the end of five-and-a-half panicked hours we made it in, with not enough water under the boat to feel good about ourselves again. We churned up silt at the fuel dock and when trying to edge into our spot. Now there’s a boat-full of morons at Coeymans, but at least we didn’t have to wait for the tide to float us.
Ok, that’s enough self-flagellation. Back to a few days ago and the good stuff. Until we hook a left on the St. Lawrence in a few weeks, we’re re-plowing turf we’ve exhaustively addressed in prior posts. But there were a couple of new things back at Liberty Landing to keep us on our toes.
First up, L Dock was littered with Hinckley jet boats. At least six of them, at about $2 million per. Nice boats. Each of them staffed with two full-time captains.
Turns out Barton & Gray is an outfit that owns about fifty of them around the east coast. For the low low price of about $120,000 a year, members can go ride around in a Hinckley for a few hours. One of the captains said there are 700 members, which totes up to some $80 million per year in revenue. Some people just have lots of money.
The other thing that was new this time was seeing the lady on the bike get run over by a Jersey City Public School truck. She was about twenty feet behind us in the crosswalk when he rounded the corner. The worst part was when he stopped with his rear tires directly on top of her knee and sat there for a minute or two while she screamed. Dana called 911 while Doug kept yelling for the dude to move the truck, until he finally did. Gruesome, but noteworthy.*
The Liberty Landing highlight, however, was when Dave and Becky showed up. Until eight months ago we hadn’t seen or spoken with them for about 25 years, but they’re the kind of folks with whom it’s easy to reunite. Best weather day so far as we took them up the Hudson to Croton-on-Hudson.
Hey look! The Tappan Zee Bridge construction finally is done!
Croton-on Hudson is an odd little town—and Half Moon Bay is a quirky little marina—but we like them both.
Loopers were piled up in the marina like dead squirrels on the tables at fancy Alabama restaurants.
After a glorious day our guests took off by train, but we’re hoping they’ll meet us in the Bahamas next spring. Or they may not meet us in the Bahamas next spring, because if they do, nobody will be around to take their kid his shoes.
Out the next morning when we headed to Kingston. New York, not Jamaica. For some reason the Hudson was full of debris, which meant Doug couldn’t employ his usual level of distraction. But some folks had it even worse. For example, somewhere some poor slob is wondering what happened to his telephone pole.
Yet another awesome day on the river. Once again, however, we’ve used up all our material about West Point, and the CIA, and Roosevelt’s Home, and the other cool stuff, but everything was right where it was supposed to be. So here’s a photo of one of the scenic spots.
Hey, here’s something else crazy. It’s the Walkway Over the Hudson State Bridge, which is the “world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge.” At least that’s the claim.
When built as a railroad bridge in 1889, it was the longest bridge of any kind in the world. At least that’s the claim. The crazy part is that not only have we been under it twice before, last time through we stayed at Shadows Marina, from which we damn near could’ve hit the bridge with a whiffle ball. And yet we only now learned of its record-holding status. Oh well.
On our way up Rondout Creek someone took a picture of Dana expertly setting fenders, and posted it on the AGLCA Facebook Page. So we stole it.
Now a little history. The Huguenots were French Protestants who fled persecution, and apparently at least a few of them ultimately relocated to these parts. Becky said that her ancestors were in that bunch, so we should visit the Huguenot Museum in Kingston. Becky also said that sometime well before her ancestors made their way to upstate New York, New Jersey was next to what now is Africa. To the chagrin of the one of us who scoffed, it turns out that in the whole Pangean sense of things she basically was correct on the latter, so we assume she’s probably right about her family history as well. She wasn’t right about the Huguenot Museum though. All of the Huguenot stuff isn’t in Kingston—it’s in New Paultz—so we skipped it and had a delicious meal instead.
Once we got settled in the mud at Coeymans, time to walk up the 20% grade to Halfway Tavern, so named because it’s located halfway to St. Louis. Actually it probably just seemed like it was further than the less than a mile Google promised, but either way hanging with Miss Lily and New Horizon was fantastic.
Today is all about getting the bridge clearance down to a workable number. Brent and Karen might not come if we have to do the Erie Canal, what with all the drama at Lock 22 last go round.
*This footnote is to document Dana’s objection to including a crime scene photo.