Tuesday, September 11, 2018


We got onto the C& D Canal on 7Sep. We spent the weekend hunkered down, anchored in the basin at Chesapeake City riding out the winds and rains of tropical depression Gordon as it went across the NE. On Monday we moved down the bay getting as far as Rock Hall. The weather forecast was not good, so we planned to go to Rock Hall with Worton Creek as an alternate bailout location if the bay was too rough when we got to the open areas. It was not that bad, so we made Rock Hall easy. Probably could have gone farther. We tried to find a place to put SummerTime on the hard in the Hampton Roads area, but struck out. Tuesday morninng we got up to dense fog. So much for getting to the Severn River by Wednesday evening as a possible place to take SummerTime out of the water on Thursday.  We checked locally, and took SummerTime from Rock Hall to Lippincott Marina in Grasonville, MD. All of 14 miles. SummerTime will sit on the hill here until the Atlantic settles down with hurricane breeding. We are going to SE Virginia.
      Our relatives in coastal NC need prayers, as will everyone in that area. We do not think Barbara's brother will leave Carolina Beach. But a cat 4 classification on Florence may change his mind. Barbara's older sister will stay in her house as it is high. My younger sister & her husband are going farther inland to stay with friends in their brick house. My other sister is struggling. She is just getting back in her trailer after Irene flooded it in 2011.
     At any rate, Barbara and I are safe. We will start our blog back up after we resume our journey, most likely early October.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Little Triangle Loop, Week #10, 25-31Aug018, NYC AND CONNECTICUTT

      We are not in much of a hurry to get out of this marina this morning. It is low tide when I get up, and I well remember the problems we had getting in to Cornetta's Marina and Restaurant in Piermont. We are ready and get underway about 10. The tide is about 3/4 way up now. We back out of the slip easily versus the dragging we did going in this past Friday. I had watched other boats going out this morning, and change my route out to parallel the pier, and stay closer than what the charts would imply you should do. The water appears to be 1-2' deeper this way, even given the tide difference. After we clear the end of the dike or "Pier", we slowly pick up to cruising speed. We come to one of New Jersey's State Marinas and I call them on the radio. They do not answer until I get in front of the opening of their bulkhead. The attendant states their depth is only about 2' at the service dock. We proceed farther down the river. We are in front of the NJ Palisades in this section of the Hudson River, but NY City can be seen in the curve beyond them.
Most of the traffic this morning is fisherman and high speed boats headed, I presume, to the city. About 10 miles past the first New Jersey marina, we come to the second one, Edgewood, and they can take us in. We get a pump out and then top the fuel tank off. An hour later we are headed up what is called the "East River" through New York City. The current is falling out of the river and I have to run at 85% power to make 5-7kt, or about half the normal speeds for this given rpm. If we had thought the traffic around the Statue of Liberty was bad, this is twice as bad.
There are more water taxis with more docks to pull up to, the same big sight seeing boats, dinner cruises, and of course the pleasure craft transiting through. We pass one sail boat, and I am thinking that he is going full power to make 1-2 knots against this current. This "River" has a reputation, and passing through it is recommended only on slack tides. It even has an area where the Harlem River breaks off, where the reputation is bad enough that the name is "Hell Gate" for this curvy intersection. It takes over an hour and a half to get to Rikers Island where the current has decreased to about half what it was. The current has not really slowed, the river is just twice as wide here to pass the same volume of water. In another 30 minutes we have passed La Guardia Airport, and are at Worlds Fair Marina. There are actually two docking areas here, and they put transient boaters in the first one which is being rehabilitated. The dock master comes from the other location and gets us checked in.
We are across the Interstate from CITIField where the Mets play. We need to do laundry, so I go to the site of the other marina to check out the laundry. It is 3/4 mile away, with one washer and one dryer. The only consolation is that they are free. Back at the boat, I get our collapsible wagon out, as we decide to postpone dinner and get laundry done first. We do the most critical things, underwear, shorts for me, lightweight shirts for both of us. It is well after dark when we get back to SummerTime. Barbara fixes a quick dinner, and we both retire. The clean clothes can wait to be put away.
       This Sunday we will not get to a church. I had "Googled" "churches near me", and the closest one was nearly a mile away. Walking that will mean more like a mile and a quarter at least. I have learned that "Googles" first distance measurement is "as the crow flies". When you actually ask for the directions, then you learn that there a few twists and turns in the route, making it longer than the search stated. About 12:30 we head over to CITIField to see the NY Mets play the Washington Nationals. We are in our seats well before the 1:10 game start, even though the walk off of the pier is 1/4 mile. Lunch is a ball park hot dog, "Nathans" in this case. The first 6 innings are slow, and then the Nationals, who have been dominated by the Mets up to this moment, wake up. At the end of 9 innings, the Nationals win 15 to 0. We retired to SummerTime to rest for Monday's journey. We have decided we have some time before we have to be back in Hampton. We are going to go into Long Island Sound and do some touring.
       Monday morning we secure everything and head out from Worlds Fair Marina. We follow a tug out of the channel thinking that he will guide us through the rocky areas on the charts. This plan works to just before the last bridge before the sound. The tug is pushing an empty barge, and moves out of the main channel over to an anchorage to tie this barge to another empty one that is staged in the anchorage.
So much for that plan, as the rocky area is just ahead at the beginning of the sound. We proceed on into the sound with the route I had input into  the chart plotter earlier in the morning. We are headed to Norwalk, CT. There is an old town shopping area there as well as an aquarium. There is little wind on the sound, so our ride is smooth. There is no commercial traffic, but a lot of fast pleasure craft and sail boats. There is also a lot of fishermen on the sound trying to catch fish.
We are pretty close to being in the middle of Long Island Sound so there is not a lot sightseeing. You can see both sides, as the sound is narrow in this lower part, but not see the shores good enough to sight see. As we near Norwalk, we start to see some big boats commercial fishing. There are a number of islands off of Norwalk, and the first one has a lighthouse on it. It is easy to tell you have come to the right spot with landmarks like that to navigate to. We follow the channel on up to Norwalk Cove Marina, just inside and off of the mouth of the river. The dock hand meets us and helps us tie up in our assigned slip. It is warm and we visit the marina store as we wait for SummerTime to cool. After dinner, Barbara does the laundry she could not do with the 1 machine restriction at Worlds Fair Marina.
       Tuesday we take advantage of the Marina's shuttle to the business district of South Norwalk (SoNo). The driver drops us at the Post Office, we mail our documents, and then walk the street back to the aquarium. It is a nice aquarium, geared mainly on local salt water life. They do have some harbor seals swimming in a pool, as they are a native species here in the winter.
 I am disappointed to read the seals are only here from September to March. The guide book stated you could see them around the Sheffield Islands so I was planning to see them going out by the Islands leaving Norwalk. This aquarium also has a lot of jellyfish, and many species. I learn more about different species of jellyfish, and their lives, than I ever thought was possible. I thought they were a colony of one cell animals that sting people. They do not have a brain, but they do understand their environment and how to work together to survive in it. The Norwalk aquarium has been studying jellyfish since before the turn of the century, and they actually breed and sell jellys to other aquariums. We leave the aquarium to go get lunch at a Mexican Restaurant across the street. The menu is not the typical taco and burrito fare, and the unique dishes are very tasty. We hurry back to the Aquarium as it has an Imax theatre and entry to one show was part of our admission. We watch a documentary on "Great White Sharks". Why not, we are closer to Amityville than we have ever been before. After the film, we go to the downtown area to check out the shops. We walk on two streets, but do not see anything that interests us. We go to C-town grocery and pick up some items for the coming week. We call the marina for our return shuttle ride.
       On Wednesday morning we have to make a decision. I originally wished to go at least to Mystic Seaport, another day and a half at SummerTime's cruise speed. Thursday is the last day weather wise in the coming week to make the trip from NY harbor to Manasquan, NJ. This stretch has to be done in the Atlantic Ocean, there are no sheltered passages. The forecast is for this coming Friday to the Tuesday after Labor Day to be high winds and some rainy days. If we proceed to Mystic, and the weather stays bad, we could be stuck in Long Island Sound area until another weather window opens up. If we leave today (Wednesday) we can get to Sandy Hook, and be ready to do the Atlantic travel on Thursday in relatively calm conditions. We decide to turn back towards the good weather crossing. We will have to see Mystic by car on another day. We depart Norwalk Cove Marina, and go out between some of the Sheffield Islands. We pass by commercial fishing boats dredging for oysters. Oysters are one of the resources that made Norwalk prominent along the Connecticut coast. This boat has what looks like a small mountain of oysters on the fore deck.
When I ate oysters a lot, I do not think I could have eaten as many in a lifetime as i see on the deck of that one boat. After getting outside the islands, we head SummerTime towards the East River entrance off Long Island Sound. We meet a ship, which surprises me to some extinct. It is a small freighter, probably carrying freight to some smaller New England port from NYC.
I should not be surprised, as the LI Sound is suited for vessels like this to travel in. We get to the East River, pass by La Guardia Airport, and the tide is falling. Today we will be traveling with this strong, swift current. There is a lot less traffic today on this route through the City. The water taxis are all still rushing around, but a lot of the excursion and personal boats are gone.
We hit NY Harbor much quicker than leaving it this past Saturday. As we turn south down the Hudson, a car transport ship pulls away from the dock in NJ. They are easily recognized as they have tall slab sides, and a heavy ramp folded flat against the stern of the ship. It is headed to the open ocean for a crossing. They sit high out of the water all the time, so you do not know if they are empty or loaded. When you see one of these car transporters coming into this country, you know they are most likely loaded. When they are leaving, you do not know if they are empty, as there are some vehicles shipped from the US to other countries.
After this transporter gets under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, he picks up speed. We continue on to the south to Raritan Bay at Sandy Hook. We are plotted into the marina at Atlantic Highlands, NJ. We are careful on entry as the US Navy has a pier extending way out into the bay. We take care not to encroach on their space. Atlantic Highlands told us when we made reservations we would be at a fixed dock. It did not prepare us for what we got. The pier itself is substantial, but the height is way more than we have had in past partially due to the 6' tide range. Also, a lot of piers after Hurricane Sandy were rebuilt higher. Sandy came in on high tides, and the storm surge caused a lot of damage due to boats being above the piers they were moored to. At any rate, there is a ladder there that we use to get off and on SummerTime's deck.
We eat on board, though there is a nice little developed downtown area by the waterfront. After dinner we walk along the wide walkway to the downtown area. There is a new creamery with reviews boasting good their ice cream is. It is bout a 1/2 mile walk, but worth it. I get a mocha with chocolate bits in it on a waffle cone. I do not think the flavor I get is any better than Stewart's Brew Ha Ha, but their homemade waffle cone is very tasty. We walk back to SummerTime on the other side of the street to check out the other restaurants and antique/art/gift/souvenir shops that seem to be in all these little town waterfronts.
       Thursday morning the weather is nice as forecast. We get away from Atlantic Highlands and go the short route to the point at Sandy Hook. We pass by the CG station where there small boats are, and there is one of the bigger 80' boats anchored just a short distance from the station. On the point of land that separates Raritan Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. There are boats next to the breakers on this point fishing as well as people up on the beach casting into the surf.
After we clear the point, I put SummerTime on the initial heading parallel to the beach to get us back to our re-entry point at Manasquan Inlet, NJ. We ride along about 2-3 miles off shore, enough to be in good water depths, but still able to sight see what is on the shore. Off the beaches between Sea Bright and Belmar, NJ, I see a sight I have never seen from one our own boats in all of my years of boating. The small bait fish are all balled up in several groups. At one of the farther groups I see what I am pretty sure is a whale feeding on them. I yell for Barbara to get the camera. She does, and manages to get several pictures as it surfaces while feeding and breathing.
WHALE FEEDING OFF NJ COAST (bottom left in photo)
We do not try to get too close as Federal laws regulate how close one can get to marine mammals, in particular whales. We discuss this sighting, and think it may be either a minke or finback. We saw both on a whale watching trip in Nova Scotia several years prior. We learned on the Nova Scotia trip that photographing whales is very hard. They disappear, you do not know where they are going to come up, when they do surface it is only for seconds, and they are gone again to come up who knows where. The best way to capture one in pictures is to use video. We can not do that today as I did not clear the card on the camera with the video feature. The rest of the outside passage to Manasquan Inlet is kind of anti-climatic. We enter the inlet with several fishing boats and one crew vessel from an offshore dredge. One boat is in a hurry and passes several boats moving slowly in the confined channel of the inlet. When we get the approximately 1 mile in, this bigger boat is waiting like everyone else, but in the middle of the channel. Even the crew boat captain is unsure of how to approach him. While everyone is milling about trying to see what this big boat is going to do next, the railroad bridge closes to boat traffic.  This is a tough inlet to be coming in on a boat. There is a railroad bridge which serves the NYC-NJ commuter trains so that the bridge closes to boat traffic every so often. There is a warning siren, and down it goes.
It is scheduled train service, so boats that transit the inlet daily can make their transits around the train schedules. About a quarter mile after the R/R bridge is a highway bridge which has to be opened for any traffic taller than 30', which is all sail boats and fisherman with tuna towers. We go down the Pleasant Point Canal into Barnegat Bay. We go slow in Barnegat Bay as it is shallow but even at our slow speed we get to the Toms River  Marina well before the closing time. We stop in at the main dock at Lighthouse Point marina for a slip assignment, and then move to the dock they have assigned us to. This is a nice marina with plenty of resident boaters. It reminds me of Brands Marina where we kept SummerTime for 3 years while living in Ohio. We are told that there are restaurants close by, and "Google Maps" shows that there are. One of the regular boaters here comes over as we walk off SummerTime. He introduces himself as Luis, and notes that our boat is from Carolina Beach near where his "new to him" boat came from. He also inquires if we are doing "The Great Loop" as he has another boating friend interested in it. We converse a few minutes, then we walk to Rocco's pizza for dinner, and end up getting a box to bring part of our pizza back to the boat. We also walk to "Sundaes" two doors down and get an ice cream. They have no inside eating area, so we sit outside on a bench and hurry our eating so we can consume our ice cream before it melts.
        Friday finds us doing small things on the boat. I try to arrange a car rental so we can go visit our niece who lives a little over an hour away in western NJ. I have no luck, and am surprised that the  rental car companies locally have no vehicles available. We call our niece and cancel our planned Saturday trip to her home. This also throws a kink in our plans to provision SummerTime. Barbara and I check "Google Maps" for groceries or Convenience stores nearby. There are no grocery stores, but there are other sources for small grocery items nearby. We walk out to Dicky's Dogs for lunch, which is only 450ft away walking per Google. This confirms what I have always thought, that the original directions you get from "Google" are "as the crow flies". We can not walk across the canal to get to Dicky's, so we walk the 1/4 mile around by land. From there we walk on to the other business area farther down the street. There is a Rite-Aid here where we can buy milk and bread. Also there is "Two Sisters" ice cream parlor just past the Rite-Aid. They make their on ice creams, and buy their sherbets and ices. Barbara gets peach ice cream, which totally surprises me. She always gets the strongest chocolate flavor available. But the one sister running the place says it is their last fresh peaches, and it will be the last batch of peach they make for the year. Barbara is persuaded. I sample the cherries in chocolate ice cream, but the chocolate is too strong, overpowering the cherries. I get a chocolate covered cherries in vanilla dipped into a waffle cone. We get our few grocery items at the Rite Aid and walk back to SummerTime. For the rest of the day we pretty much spend our time in the AC of  the boat.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Little Triangle Loop, Week #9, 18-24Aug018, SLOW TOURING ON THE HUDSON

     We spend Saturday trying to do some chores. It has showered some when we get up, and is going to shower more. We move SummerTime over to the fuel dock and get the holding tank pumped out. The water tank is near empty, the boat lists to starboard, so the pump out connection on the bottom starboard end of the holding tank is the low point of the tank. Then we fill the water tank so that the boat lists to the port (left). This puts the fuel tank vent on the high side (starboard now) of the boat, and we are able to fill the fuel tank. We just get the fuel tank filled when the bottom falls out of the sky. We wait for about 30 minutes before we can move SummerTime back to her slip. In the late afternoon the sky finally starts to clear. I re-organize our charts and guide books. Putting the ones not needed any longer back in their storage area, and getting back out the ones for the Hudson River and south. On Sunday we get up and use the courtesy car to go to church, sort of. We are getting dressed when Jim of Ping (arrived at Shady Harbor on Friday) arrives knocking on our hull. He asks if he can drop us and pick us up from church with the courtesy car. They wish to use the courtesy car in the same time. I think that this is a good option for all, so I agree. We meet Jim by the courtesy car at the appointed time, and he drives us to The New Baltimore Reformed Church. It is the same church we attended 5 weeks earlier, and the pastor and congregation remember us. Jim is there to pick us up promptly when church is over. We get back to SummerTime and prepare to leave to Saugerties, NY.
      The guides only have two marinas for Saugerties. We have not been able to get in touch with one for a slip reservation, but decide to leave anyway. We can always find a cove to anchor in. Part way down the River to Saugerties, one of the marinas finally returns our phone call. We make arrangements for a slip for two nights, though the marina operator warns us that a lot of debris is coming down the Saugerties River from the recent rains.
We are aware of the debris he is talking about as we have seen several trees and branches coming down the Hudson in the short time we have been on it.  After about 3 hours we have the Saugerties Light in sight. It is privately owned, has been restored, and is currently operating as a Bed & Breakfast, so it looks very good.
Our dock at Saugerties Marina requires careful tie-ing of our lines as the river current is swift. The marina owner is very good and offers to drive us downtown to "Miss Lucy's Kitchen". It has good reviews in the guide books, and we wish to try it out. It is one of the reasons we chose Saugerties to stop at going back down the Hudson. The food and service at Miss Lucy's does not disappoint us. The food is labeled Comfort in the guide, but it is done as "New Eclectic" and very tasteful. The restaurant is an old building in downtown. Saugerties has one of the first registered "National Historic Business Districts". 
Also there is a number of art sculptures decorated and on display in the business district. They are similar sailing boats that businesses have artfully decorated and placed in front of their establishment.  We catch a taxi back to SummerTime. Stagecoach Taxi only charges $5.00 for local rides.

      On Monday, we call Stagecoach and get a taxi ride back to the heart of the village. We saw a number of interesting shops while in the village for dinner on Sunday night and wish to go back and visit some of them. We have lunch at Dallas's Hot Wieners. Their hot dogs are very good, and inexpensive. My father would have loved their dogs, as the rolls are steamed, his preference. They also make their own meat chili to go on them, very tasty. There are a number of specialty stores and antique stores we browse through. One book store has a very quaint coffee shop in one corner, with a very mixed selection of books. The "Second Best Ice Cream Shop" in NY is here, but we do not get any ice cream here on this day. They are only open Wednesday through Sunday. We do get a cone at another ice cream shop nearby. There are 3 ice cream shops in the same block. On our walk out of town we stop at Krause's Chocolates. Krause's is our other reason for visiting Saugerties. They have been hand dipping chocolates since 1929. We have some gifts for others and chocolates for us. We have a light dinner back on SummerTime and discuss plans for the week.
      On Tuesday we leave Saugerties headed for Poughkeepsie, New York. We made a reservation on Monday  for a Wednesday lunch at "The Culinary Institute of America". The ride down the Hudson to Poughkeepsie is almost as impressive as going down Lake Champlain. The Catskills come almost down to the river's edge at some points. There are a number of interesting little towns along the way, but we pass through them all, albeit at a slower pace than in the past.
We get to Poughkeepsie in the middle of the afternoon. We are met right before the River Pedestrian Crossover bridge by a NY State EnCon boat. They ask to board and do a safety inspection. We oblige, and after Barbara gives the officer about a  5 min tour of what he wishes to check, we are released to continue on our way. In 5 more minutes we are at our dock at Shadows Marina in the river. I opt for the a space on the inside of the dock, hopefully to reduce the waking that I know will occur on the outside of the dock. This is a relatively new, nice, floating dock utilizing sliding adjustable cleats and plastic lumber. After being secured to the dock, I am amazed at how easily the dock sections rock. Wood and concrete capped floating docks are apparently heavier an less subject to floating on waves than these plastic boards. On Wednesday, Enterprise shows up at the marina to pick us up for our rental car. We have rented a car to get to the sites in Hyde Park that we came to neighboring Poughkeepsie for. We go to the Vanderbilt National Historic site for our first stop on Wednesday. This is one of the mansions built in the early 1900s, well before the Great Depression, that exudes the wealth of some, and the craftsmanship they could hire to build a palatial residence.
 In this case, it was a summer home for the Vanderbilts. Mrs. Vanderbilts niece inherited the home, and donated it to the National Park Service in the 1930s at the request of her neighbor. We leave here to make our lunch appointment at the Culinary Institute.
       They have 5 dining facilities at the CIA, and we are at the "American Bounty Restaurant". The students are the servers as well s the cooks. They rotate their job positions every few weeks so that they get experience in all aspects of a restaurant. The service today is very good considering students are just coming back from summer break and starting new class assignments. We are the first customers for our waiter, and nervousness shows. We have a five course meal: appetizers, soup, salad, entree, and of course dessert. While it was billed as lunch time by the Institute when I made reservations, the menu items, and portions are all normal sizes. Everything is excellent as you would expect it to be.
Our table even is in front of the window into the kitchen. After lunch we head for our next destination, the FDR Library and House.
      We have used our NPS Senior Cards now twice today for admission. A good deal when you  are old enough to buy one, as every park is free. We get processed just in time to start on the next guided tour. The Ranger starts with a talk in the main lobby of the Welcome Center, and we move out from there to the Library, a separate tour.
We go by the house gardens, and on and into the house. The tour guide explains that everything is as it was when FDR passed away while President of the US. He had already donated this house and grounds to the NPS before he passed. He also had talked his neighbor into donating the Vanderbilt house when the niece could not sell it. The FDR house is impressive for its special furnishings to accommodate FDR, and all the visitors. We leave out the front door on the upper floor, and the view of the Hudson River Valley explains why Franklin D Roosevelt liked this place more than the Whitehouse.
We tour through the gardens and head back to SummerTime. After dinner we go to a grocery store with the rental car and do minor re-provisioning. We stop at a Dairy Queen on the way back to SummerTime for a Blizzard. We both had voted on this option as we had not had a Blizzard since leaving Hampton in June. I text my daughter that "I am slumming" eating at a Dairy Queen. Not true, but after all the other special creameries we have experienced, it seems that way. We get up Thursday, and decide to keep the rental car another day. We are near Rhinebeck, NY where the Rhinebeck Aerodrome which I have wanted to visit since the 80s is located. We drive out to the Aerodrome to see the plane collection.
All of the planes are pre- WWII. In fact, a good number are pre WW-I when aviation was in its infancy. Most are fabric and wood and in very good shape considering construction materials and age.
There is also the fact that they are all stored in period hangers with no environmental control. There are also cars and motorcycles from the same periods exhibited with the planes. There are engines for planes from the period displayed around the buildings, and one can not help but wonder how some of these engines stayed running long enough to get a plane across the country. There is one main building with a gift shop which is kind of modern. There are three quonset hut style hangers with planes of the same vintage decade in each hanger. Across the parking area and county road is an airfield with more hangers and planes. This area is used on weekends for vintage air craft flying and mock dog fights between the WW-I era planes. We take a tour of this field and the planes also. We take a different route back to SummerTime as the route we came over on in the morning was the road the county fair entrance was on. The Duchess County Fair was in progress and there were delays in transiting the area due to fair attendee traffic.  We got back on SummerTime late afternoon.
       Friday morning I awoke to noise outside our port hull. When I looked out from behind the curtain, I could see a white steel hull with depth marks on it. I got Barbara up and told her I thought a research vessel must have come to the dock. When we later opened the curtains, we could see an 80' USCG patrol boat, the "SHRIKE" on the other side of the pier. I finished getting ready, returned the rental car to Enterprise, and they brought me back to SummerTime. When I get back there are two more USCG boats at the dock, and the USCG Auxiliary has a tent set up at the end of the dock. The USCG and the NY State Department of Environment and Conservation are doing a local water safety program. There are now dignitaries on the dock, and they are boarding the "SHRIKE".
The "SHRIKE" pulls away with its passengers, and we ourselves complete getting ready to leave. There are still Coast Guardsman on the dock, including one press officer with a camera. I make sure to make a good departure from the tight area I am in. There is no wind this morning, and the current is near slack, so it is easy to look good backing away from the dock.
      We head down river to find a dock. Not long after we get away, the dockmaster at Tarrytown texts us that he is not able to provide dock space for us this night. I call another marina farther south and get a slip arranged. This changes our plans to stay a day in Tarrytown and tour. Cornetta's Restaurant and Marina in Piermont has space for us.This area is supposed to have a shopping area also, so maybe it is not too bad that we are not going to Tarrytown. We continue down the river. Everything looks different to us. We have been North on the Hudson twice, but never south. When we get to West Point, we are looking at it from a whole different perspective. We see some things we have not seen before. A cut set of stone steps leading to the river in one place. A hill with what looks to be an informal amphi-theatre in front of a small band shell.
It is still an impressive place to look at even from the opposite direction. We pass by Peekskill where we driving in the rain only a month ago. It looks much better in sunlight. As we pass under the Tappan Zee Bridge, we can see that the cranes have removed more of the old bridge structure in the month since we have passed. From here we can see the peninsula that is Piermont jutting out into the Hudson. This is a shallow bay on the charts and we slow down to creep in as there is no marked channel. I show 4-5' of water, and though the bottom of our keel is about 3', the prop still stirs the mud when we are in the 4' areas. There is no marking on the marina walls, so we go to the wrong marina first. We turn around, stirring mud with our prop wash. At Cornettas, just south of the Tappan Zee Marina we pulled up to, it is even shallower. The person on the phone tells me to stay out at the last piers, and just pick "an empty slip" and be able to to tell the number to the barkeeper where I check in. Here in this channel the keel actually seems to be touching. Backing and turning takes a lot of effort. We get tied up, and I go in to register. The dining area off of the bar is very nice, with white table cloths on the tables. After cleaning up, Barbara and I come back to Cornettas Restaurant for dinner.
     This has been a good week that we have traveled down the Hudson. We have taken time to see some of the sites on the River, and we did the river in 5 days instead of 2. Along the way we ate at some restaurants with impressive foods. From hot dog restaurant, to diner, to white table cloths, we have sampled some prime eating spots in the Hudson Valley.