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North Bound and Down

 Hello Friends and Family!

        We apologize for not updating the blog last night, however, after a 15 hour day on the water we were more than ready to turn in for the night. We spent the night just south of Jones Point on the Hudson River at anchorage near Peekskill, NY last night. Don’t let the moniker “anchorage” fool you however, this is basically just anchoring on the side of the river in a spot that is known to be somewhat calmer than the main channel. Throughout the night we did not get much sleep as we were worried that the anchor would drag and have us either in the main channel in the line of fire of a commercial ship or in the rocky faced bank. We “woke up” in the morning to the boat in the relatively same spot and headed out at 5am. Despite the sleepless night and the early start, when we rounded the bend the sunrise met us at the Bear Mountain Bridge and rewarded us with a stunning view to start our Saturday voyage. 

View in front of Bear Mountain Bridge near anchorage
Commercial Traffic along the Hudson River
West Point, NY

        Just up the river a little bit we also got to see West Point which was followed by a stretch that resembled a canyon somewhat and was whipping the New York wind directly in our faces. As we continued up the river we made it to Newburgh, NY where on the left we got to see George Washington’s house that he lived in during the last year of the Revolutionary War. At this point once we passed Newburgh we went under the Newburgh-Beacon bridge and the current was against us steadily, not only causing us to slow down, but also creating smaller waves every 3 feet that left the boat smacking the water for about an hour straight. In between Newburgh and Poughkeepsie there wasn’t much worth writing home about other than a tide against us and a long day ahead. Hyde Park followed Poughkeepsie where FDR’s house is as well as a 54 bedroom Vanderbilt mansion. Following Hyde Park there were 3 or 4 mid sized towns, however, in the last quarter stretch of the day we finally didn’t have the tide against us. This last minute pace landed us at Shady Harbor Marina near Ravena, NY. The second we docked we had a Vietnam Veteran named Terry who goes by “Captain Crusty” (not a good sign) begin to talk our ears off in his weathered voice that sounded exactly like John Madden. Somewhere within his distinguished personality, we gained quite a lot of information about the road ahead and we headed to bed later that night incredibly tired from the prior sleepless night. This morning we had to hand move the boat over to the fuel dock to grab some diesel and pump out our holding tank. After this, we pushed the bow out and headed towards the New York State capitol, Albany.

        After Albany we knew we had our first lock ahead in Troy, NY where the Hudson River runs into the Mohawk River which runs into the Erie Canal. As we rounded the corner into Troy, NY we hit the lock right when they were closing it for a group of boats that had already entered. This timing sadly set us back around 30 minutes by the time we entered the lock. Entering the lock first in line actually helped us a lot as we didn’t have to worry about any boats ahead. To explain the difficulty in the lock with a 34 foot boat I will let the pictures do the talking. 

Troy Lock in Troy, NY

After we made it through the lock two mini yachts decided they were going to leave us a couple of 6 foot waves right out of the gate which made things interesting. After the lock we continued down river until the Mohawk River turned into the Erie Canal. The left turn towards the Erie Canal is marked by a blue sign right at the point where we turned left and tied off at the public dock in Waterford, NY. 

View from the boat tonight (first lock at the entrance to the Erie Canal)

Tonight we ate at a local restaurant and plan to get an early start in the morning. We will have 5 locks in a row pretty much right away here at the start of the Canal. The challenge is to see if we can make it to the other side of Oneida Lake in two and a half days which runs about 100 miles with 26 locks. Wish us luck and thanks for reading. 

– Written by Jackson