Cruising the Hudson River offers a new adventure every time we do it! From first entering the river by hanging the left just after the Statue of Liberty in the middle of NYC Harbor until making another left some 135 miles north, after the federal lock in Troy, NY to enter the Erie Canal, this amazing body of water provides beauty beyond compare, and when it chooses, weather beyond description as well! In our earlier trips, we experienced everything from a living Technicolor travel poster to torrential rain, white caps and 20+ mph wind gusts! And this trip proved to be no different-
The Hudson River stretches northward for some 300+ miles, and the lower half of the waterway is a tidal estuary. Its depths average 25-60 feet, except at a place aptly called “World’s End” just north of West Point, where the depth exceeds 200 ft. A short day’s cruise north from NYC passes by the NJ Palisades and under the George Washington and Tappen Zee bridges to Haverstraw where at its widest, the river stretches over 3 miles across! One wonders what Henry Hudson must have thought as he explored this incredible river over 400 years ago!
We left NYC very early to avoid the rush hour ferry and water taxi traffic on the river only to be greeted by an ocean liner returning to port! The morning overcast skies remained until passing West Point, where the clouds suddenly parted and the sun shone brightly the remainder of the day. We had stopped at Haverstraw before and decided to try a new marina across the river, at Croton-on-Hudson. What a find! About a mile walk from the marina, Croton is a charming little town, with both a classic diner and a gourmet grocery store! The former served Carolyn’s favorite: rice pudding and the latter was a combination of Fresh Market-Whole Foods-Trader Joe’s, but crammed in about half the typical sized store, and with a definite Italian flair! What more could boaters want??!! Rain, cold and fog extended our stay for a couple days, but weather did not keep us from exploring the area.
Perhaps our MOST favorite marina anywhere on this multi-year journey was the Catskill Marina on a creek of the same name right in the heart of the village of Catskill. In addition to offering the quintessential small town, NY village setting, the marina staff was terrific, AND the marina put us within a short car ride of our friends Susan and Slade of Sojourner NY whose land base is a beautiful, lakeside home in nearby Athens, NY. One of the many tragedies of Hurricane Irene’s surprise visit to central NY last year was the flooding and rerouting of Catskill Creek and with that, the total destruction of the marina [see it on YouTube].
So our next stop was new as well. And again, we found a gem: Kingston, NY, once the termination point of the Delaware and Hudson Canal connecting the coal fields of Pennsylvania and the Hudson River. We docked at the Hudson River Maritime Museum and found ourselves right in the middle of a restored historical waterfront of a truly historic river community. Our chosen dockage brought several bonuses: 1) we tied up right next to Mathilda, a massive old tug now preserved on land; 2) a year’s membership in the Museum which, in turn, offered us free rein of a truly fascinating collection of Hudson River artifacts and information; and 3) a front row seat as the mayor of Kingston boarded a kayak and rowed out to greet visiting dignitaries whose river trip was being filmed by the Discovery Channel!
We would have enjoyed staying in Kingston for a couple days but decided to push on while the weather was good. We left very early the next morning for an extremely windy and long day’s cruise along a gradually narrowing river, leaving the riverside mansions, quaint villages, stunning forests and rich farmland behind and moving on to a more industrial river, especially the crowded commercial Port of Albany just before the Federal Lock at Troy. By the time the Hudson gets to Albany, it is quite narrow and so, when we had to share it with the Hajin Albany, a massive ocean freighter heading to NYC, the passing was quite “up close and personal”!!
We haven’t been able to keep ourselves from taking pictures, though we probably have many duplicates from our earlier cruises on the Hudson River. For additional pix from this trip, check out this (hot linked) Flickr set. For info on our earlier adventures on the Hudson, see our first Hudson River blog posting: Let’s take a Kayak… (8/6/09) and related pictures; as well as paragraph 3 of the Heading back south… 9/20/09 posting and related pix; and finally, paragraph 6 of From VA to NY 7/17/2010 posting and related pix.