Sunday: We have a short 22 nautical mile cruise today to get to Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City, New Jersey, but we have not yet received confirmation of our Dockwa request for a slip. There is time though because we planned for an 11 am departure to coincide with slack tide at Hell Gate, so we may hear from them prior to our departure. In the meantime, we made arrangements with the town sponsored pump-out boat yesterday for him to pump us out this morning and he shows up at about 9:10 am and by 9:30 we are pumped out. We take a leisurely pace thru the rest of the morning and start prepping Kailani for departure by 10:30 am and we are shoving off at 10:50 am. The weather and the seas could not be better and as we come out of Manhasset Bay there is a tug and barge crossing the channel slightly ahead of us and we fall in behind the tug Hudson. I guess that because he has so much horsepower and is only pushing one barge, he is able to stay one half mile ahead of us for the entire journey.
Our cruise today includes the landing approach zone for LaGuardia Airport, Riker’s Island Correctional Facility, Hell Gate, the Statue of Liberty and other well known landmarks. Again, all is going smoothly until we encroach on the playground for the New York ferry system and they let everyone know they have the right of way regardless of pecking order. This is their pond and we’re merely uninvited guests! The crossing ferries do end up causing quite a wake zone as each wake crashes into another series of ferry wakes. Oh well, welcome to boating in the big apple.
The spectacular views sort of make up for the wave action and exactly three hours later, we are all tied up at slip E16 at Liberty Landing Marina. We have numerous left-overs on board, so lunch is our best attempt at freeing up some Rubbermaid containers, and we do a pretty good job on that score.
Another interesting item regarding Liberty Landing this weekend is that it’s the end of leg 8 for the 11th Clipper Round the World Race. This is the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who was the first person to sail completely around the world solo. It is designed to allow ordinary people from around the world to participate so you’ll have a sous chef from France next to a CEO from a Fortune 500 company as teammates during the race. All aa 70 foot sailing yachts are virtually identical with professional captains and these 700 per year inexperienced racers who go thru extensive training after being selected. So leg 8 was just completed last week and Liberty Landing is the. Landing port for the leg that took the ravers from Seattle, Washington to the Panama Canal, then north to New York City. Next week on Monday, June 25th they will start on their last leg of this 40,000 mile journey from New York City to Liverpool, England. Quite a spectacle and we were fortunate to get views of these sailing vessels.
Later in the day we decide to take a stroll over to the Liberty State Park for some sightseeing. We walk thru the Sky Memorial which is a double walled tribute to all the New Jersey victims of 9/11.
We also end up meeting a super family of brothers and their children. The three brothers are originally from Kenya and the two younger brothers Duke and Geoffrey came here in the eighties and got married here. The older brother came here for a visit and to see Geoffrey’s wife graduate from medical school. Geoffrey lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina so we will try to contact him when we go thru North Carolina next spring.
Back aboard Kailani, we make our plan for the cruise up the Hudson to Half Moon Bay Marina tomorrow and Kim’s last cruise day with us.
Monday: With Clipper sailing ships pulling away from the docks for some practice work, we are preparing our lines for departure. We are leaving the dock at 9:30 am for our 32 nautical mile cruise up the Hudson to Half Moon Bay Marina. We will pass all of the west side of Manhattan and pass under the George Washington Bridge and the brand new Tappan Zee Bridge. We also expect to get great views of the USS Intrepid and Sing Sing Prison today, so expectations are for a great cruise.
At the outset, currents are fairly strong against us and we are only making 6.7 knots at times, however, after a few hours the tide changes and we find ourselves doing 9.8 knots, so it’s all good. In fact as we are passing under the George Washington Bridge it almost felt like we were going faster than the traffic on the bridge! Immediately after the GWB, we could see the Cloisters on the hill to our right and the beautiful cliffs of the Palisades on the New Jersey side. As we were about 6 miles from the Tappan Zee I started to see a tug and barge ahead of us and as the knots worked down and we got closer to the new bridge, I heard the Captain announce he was setting for his approach to the span, but he was also slowing down as he announced this, so I looked ahead to the Northside of the bridge and saw a southbound tug and barge moving towards the bridge, so I call the northbound tug Captain and asked if he was slowing to allow the southbound tug to pass first and he confirmed. So we sat behind him and followed him thru the center of the new bridge. He also told us to favor the west side of the pass as construction crews were still removing stand of the old bridge on the east side of the center span. So we both hugged the west side and passed safely thru the spectacular design of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Once thru the bridge, it was only another hour and a half to pass Sing Sing Prison, sail around the Croton Point and head towards Half Moon Bay Marina. HMB has been one of my favorite marinas to dock at ever since we joined AGLCA and started reading about the sponsor marinas. From aerial photos and descriptions, it seemed so inviting and easy to navigate and we were not wrong. As we approached, there was another looper boat waiting to enter past the break wall into the marina so Steve Plotkin asked us to kindly wait as he helped the forward boat dock and tie up. Then he walked over to where he was going to place us and it was a spot right in the middle of four other looper boats and a finger dock with piers on each side of the slip, so it didn’t matter for port or starboard tie. So with Steve and five other loopers waiting on the dock, we eased Kailani into the slip and as soon as two lines were secure and I turned off the engines to help with the lines, Steve realized that we had a dog and we would have to move over to the docks lining the inside of the break wall. So off came the lines, we said our hellos and goodbyes to the loopers that helped us land and off we went to tie up on what turned out to be a better spot for convenience to the on-shore amenities. Steve had another boat to attend to so he ran off and just as he was leaving, Dave showed up to pickup Kim.
We finished tying up Kailani, connected all the utilities and Dave offered to take us into town before they left and we decided to go to A & S Fine Foods, a local Italian market. We got some fresh sandwiches and went back to the boat to enjoy the meal. By the way, today has to be the hottest and muggiest day so far this year and we had turned the air conditioning on before leaving so the Salon would be nice and cool when we returned.
As we entered, we could feel the coolness, but couldn’t hear the compressor or water pump running, so upon further investigation we determined that one of the 30 amp cords was not delivering power to the vessel and the AC had shut down. Kim and Dave got their stuff plus some items that Tracy had asked them to take back that we don’t need and off they went while Tracy and I dove into the power problem. We determined that our splitter was not functioning properly and we were eventually able to bypass the splitter and hook up each of the two 30 amp power cords to individual 30 amp plugs rather than use the splitter into one 50 amp plug. That seemed to work and the rest of the afternoon we enjoyed cool temperatures on board. The evening called for some severe weather so we prepared Kailani for rain, lightning and potentially high winds and then relaxed. Of course Tracy took this opportunity to drown some worms and this would be the first time we are in fresh water in quite some time and we will now be in fresh water for the next six months as we move north into Canada, then south on the inland waterways.
At about 7:00pm our great friend Diane Dowling stopped aboard to visit. If you recall, she had come down to visit us last November when we were in Staten Island and had to drive about 90 minutes to see us because she lives in Croton-On-Husdon. Well now we’re in her hometown so she’s only 1.5 miles away! Tracy whipped up a very filling salad for us all and we had a great time talking politics and My Cousin Vinny! We had such a great time, Diane didn’t walk out until after 11:30pm!
Tuesday: Today, we do some chores around Kailani including a nice long walk for Frankie, who’s been boat-locked since last Friday. This is our first day of rest since we left Chester also. We walk around the marina and meet some loopers and realize that Leland and Karen aboard Tiki Queen are here. We haven’t seen them since Oriental, MC so we spend most of the morning catching up with them. In the late afternoon, there’s a rather large gathering of looper docktails and we have a great time sharing experiences and stories with eleven other looper couples. Then we return to Kailani and decide its time to reward ourselves with a pizza from the locals and they deliver to the boat, no less! After dinner we set our plan for tomorrow’s 49 nautical cruise up the Hudson River to Kingston, NY
Wednesday: The dock space is not available at Hudson River Maritime Museum until 3:00pm so we set ourselves a 9:00am departure for the six hour cruise and the plan works out perfectly. As we leave Half Moon Bay, we are in a caravan with Reality, Blue Heron and Nine Lives, Makin Memories had left earlier and was ahead of us. They all travel across the bay to Panco’s for fuel, but we’re still nearly three quarters full so we just continue north.
Today’s cruise is quite picturesque as we pass by majestic mountains that create the winding segments of the river as it passes between. Also we cruise right past the United States Military Academy at West Point, the John D. Rockefeller Home and the Vanderbilt Mansion.
Shortly after the Newburg Bridge (I-84) we see Makin Memories u ahead and we fall in behind them for the remainder of the cruise, since we know they’re heading to the same dockage at Hudson River Maritime Museum. The dock manager had emailed me yesterday and told me there would be three 45 foot boats docking on the west wall today, so it would be Makin Memories, us, then Nine Lives pulled up behind us completing the trio.
Dinnertime came and we walked a short distance to Savona’s Italian and the food and service were without a doubt, the absolute best we’ve had on the entire cruise. On the way back to our slip we saw that Blue Heron was also in town but docked at the municipal docks. Back aboard Kailani we enjoyed a nice relaxing evening and went to bed looking forward to exploring Kingston and the Museum tomorrow.
Thursday: Uber comes to our rescue as Tracy needs to upgrade her communications electronics. She’s thinking possibly a new phone and a new tablet. So I open the Uber app and after some GPS misguided directions on Dave’s GPS we get picked up. Dave, the Uber driver actually lives right across the street from the Hudson River Maritime Museum, but for some reason, his GPS took him over the river and thru the woods before arriving to pick us up. Anyway, we have a nice short 10 minute ride to the Verizon Wireless store and we are shocked at how expensive cell phones have gotten. I was thinking buy the phone outright, but most of the ones with the features Tracy is looking for cost $800 to $900! So after looking at every option in the store, she decides to just buy a new tablet and keep her existing phone. We also need to talk with them about cell and data service in Canada along with upgrading our data plan. Lo and behold the upgraded data plan includes calls and data service in Canada and Mexico, so ‘win-win’!
Another Uber ride back and we get Dave again who is a really nice guy. We decide to make Savona’s an encore performance and we walk over again for some more great service and food. Back at Kailani, I get into conversations with Jerry and Jean Coleman about air drafts and we end up getting out the measuring tape and re-confirming the heights of Makin Memories and Kailani. Now they are confident that they can clear the low bridges on the Champlain Canal. We retire to the salon and complete our plan for tomorrow’s cruise.
Friday: Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina is a four hour cruise and we have some incoming tide working with us in the mid morning, so the cruise is extremely pleasant and nearly exactly on schedule.
This section of the Hudson River changes as we are entering the Mohawk River Valley. This valley marks the end of the striking Catskill Mountains and precedes the Adirondack Mountains, so the beauty here comes from a more traditional looking river bed with bridges, towns, and train tracks continuing to follow the east and west banks of the river.
Donovan’s Shady Harbor is right on the river and we’re anxious to get there because they are an AGLCA sponsor and we really enjoy supporting the organizations that support us. Additionally, they have a pool and it’s about 85 degrees today, so after safely tying Kailani up to the tee dock, I throw on a swimsuit and head for the refreshing pool. Forecast calls for some rain tomorrow, so today is our best chance for this activity.
Saturday: As forecasted, there is occasional rain and it’s considerably cooler than the past four days, so we make arrangements to borrow the marina’s courtesy car and head over to the Super Walmart for stocking up. We end up shopping for so long that I have to call the marina and let them know that we’ll be longer than expected and hopefully, there isn’t anyone waiting for the courtesy car. They confirm the everything is fine and to take our time, making sure we get everything we need. It’s nice to deal with people that are friendly and cooperative.
After Walmart it’s time for some cleaning chores and since the weather is not cooperating, the cleaning is all indoors. I also make my long thought-over boat poles for locking since tomorrow, we will be entering the Federal Lock in Troy, NY. I fashioned the poles out of six foot long closet rods with a plastic coated utility hook at one end and a tennis ball at the other end. Once I added the baseball bat gripping, I had two poles for line grabbing/boat pushing to be used on the one hundred plus locks we will transit on this journey. The best part of these poles is that I’m into them for about $15 dollars each and they should last a good long time.