All we got is time until the end of time*

Call us weenies, but we generally require pleasant uneventful cruising.  We’re not fans of pitching and rolling and stuff breaking.  No six-footers on the Atlantic Ocean for us.  So basically right now we’re stuck at Half Moon Bay Marina, potentially until we scuttle the boat for insurance money.

The next potential weather window is Labor Day weekend, but every marina between here and Miami is booked, because it’s Labor Day weekend.  Our best shot may be a 125-mile overnight run from Liberty Landing to Cape May next Friday, but that’s only marginally more appealing than the scuttling idea.

Since we’re just sitting around in the rain for a while, we might as well document how we got here.  Monday took us out to the Hudson River after leaving Waterford.  We’ve now cruised this river farther and more times than Henry Hudson himself, and unlike him we’ve made do without the help of blank charts or an astrolabe.  Dude only went as far north as Albany.  Never even made it to the Troy Lock.  What a coward.  We went through the lock for the third time, which basically means they should rename the river after us.  Then on through Troy, this time by water.

Albany probably looks different today than it did in 1609 when Hank and the Half Moon crew gave up there and turned around.

Or maybe it wasn’t the lock that scared Hudson off before he could get up to Burlington for some Ben & Jerry’s.  Maybe it was a vision of USS Slater, which is the only WWII destroyer escort that remains afloat.

Red barn?  Gotta take a picture.

Marine Travelifts—which as we’ve previously reported were invented in Door County, Wisconsin—won’t impress everyone, but at 820 tons of lifting capacity this bad boy is the biggest one we recall encountering to date.

We decided to stop at Shady Harbor instead of Coeymans, in part drawn by fond memories of the marina restaurant where we reunited with Forever Friday in 2019.  Except this time we stopped on Monday.  The restaurant is closed on Mondays.  Of course it’s closed on Mondays.  But everything turned out okay, because the courtesy car got us to a good place in nearby Coxsackie.  Which sounds like a dirty word but isn’t.

That little place in the back left with window curtains is a Yellow Deli.  The Yellow Deli people—technically the “Twelve Tribes”—are part of a cult founded by Gene “Call Me Yoneq” Spriggs in Doug’s hometown of Chattanooga.  They open these restaurants around the country as traps for the easily swayed.  Our waitress grew up in Coxsackie and said she avoids them because “they’re wacky and they beat their children.”  One outpost tried to recruit Mallory when she was on the AT, but she knows to be wary because she’s seen every episode of Forensic Files.

Tuesday morning brought an even better day, because (1) Chuck the Diver had cleaned out a hundred miles of fishing line and weeds that spooled up under us, and (2) we’re done with those famous low bridges so everything is back on the roof where it belongs.  And both the river current and the tidal current were with us.  Nice.

Here’s Coxsackie from the water.  Still not a dirty word.

New York may or may not have a law requiring anyone passing a Hudson River lighthouse to take a picture even if they’ve already done it several times in the past, but you can’t be too careful.  First up, the always picturesque Hudson Athens Light.

The Rip Van Winkle Bridge was named for, well, Rip Van Winkle.  Van Winkle was a slackard who got drunk with Hudson’s crew and passed out for twenty years—which hardly seems bridge-worthy—but it all happened in the Catskill Mountains so somehow that makes it acceptable to upstaters.

Speaking of the Catskills, here they are.  And speaking of Borscht Belt comics, Jackie Mason wasn’t funny.

We do love the Hudson River and the Hudson River Valley though.

The Saugerties Lighthouse was built in 1869 and now welcomes overnight guests as a B &B.  It’s probably nice inside, but we think it would make a much better showing if they removed the port-o-potty.

Here we see what remains of the Hutton Brick Works, abandoned decades ago.  Hutton’s claim to fame was supplying the bricks used to build the original Yankee Stadium.  Right nearby is a fancy-pants resort named Hutton Brickworks Retreat and Spa, but they screwed over a bunch of people after a flood in January so we didn’t stay there despite thinking the ruins are cool.

The day’s journey ended after hooking around the Rondout Lighthouse and finding the Hudson River Maritime Museum wall, followed by a delicious lunch in town.

The museum technically was closed, but the guy who handles dockage also works inside so he took us on a private tour.  The most interesting thing we learned is that Rondout Creek—which now is navigable for about a mile past where we tied up—was the end reach of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, used from 1828 to 1902 to ship Pennsylvania coal to New York City.  108 miles.  108 locks.  Crazy.  Those folks must’ve gone through lots of gloves.  Much other cool historical stuff in there as well.

How much fun can it be to go sailing without any personal space?  The correct answer is none.

This hulk is what’s left of a New York City floating hospital.  Hard to imagine it ever meeting even pre-historic cleanliness standards, which may be why they stopped using it.  In 2008 someone towed it to Kingston to be turned into a photography studio.  Yeah, that probably ain’t happening.

The Esopus Meadows Light—the last standing wooden lighthouse on the Hudson and the final stop on our lighthouse safari—is on the edge of shallow mud flats “where cattle once grazed.”  Definitely a good idea to cruise by on the correct side of this one.

We’ve been through here so many times that it’s hard to find stuff we haven’t previously dissected.  But we did find a few things that stand out when traveling south for the first time.  Like this castle-looking place.

We looked it up.  The Mount Community is “an intentional community of families and singles” who are sort of like Amish, except they have ornate crenellations on the “Academy.”  According to their website, “Anyone who has decided to become a member freely gives all property, earnings, and inheritances to the church community.”  Which sounds a lot like the Yellow Deli.  Often the main distinction between a church and a cult is the quality of their compound.

We pass under so many bridges that we basically ignore them, which means sometimes we miss something.  Like the old railroad bridge at Poughkeepsie.  We paid it no mind—including the time we stayed in Poughkeepsie—until we looked it up last summer.  At 1.28 miles, “Walkway Over the Hudson” is The World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge, and apparently a big deal.  Better stop and walk that sucker.

On the way back from the bridge we stumbled across this plump fellow, who doesn’t look like he would chuck much wood even if he could but does look like he would bite.

The only bad thing about an unscheduled Walk Over the Hudson was that our careful plan to ride the current was for naught.  By the time we got moving again the tide literally had turned, and not in a good way.  But at least there still were things to see.  Like a cool old boat house.**

And Bannermans Castle, which still advertises the original owner’s military surplus business although the words on the wall are increasingly hard to make out.

Oh, and boats.  We passed some boats as well.

Maybe it’s just coincidental, but a few short miles from the big “Bannermans Island Arsenal” sign lies the United States Military Academy at West Point.  West Point looks about the same heading south as it does when you look behind you heading north.

That brings us back to being stuck in Croton-On-Hudson.  A nice enough place for a night or two, but not for a week.  At least it’s almost football season.


*RIP Meatloaf.

**The old boat house shouldn’t be confused with the old goat house, where Sophie stashed all three of her dads to hide them from Meryl Streep, who in a strange twist also played Sophie.

2 thoughts on “All we got is time until the end of time*”

  1. THE OLLLLDDD GOAT HOUSE??? Also I’d probably take a job from the twelve tribes if they offered me one today, regardless of my forensic files familiarity.

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