Moving up the Hudson River, Bridge Music, and a train ride

63 Days Looping
1,090.3 Nautical Miles Total (1,254.7 Statute Miles)
86.8 Nautical Miles This Week
10.8 Hours Underway This Week
8.0 NMph Average Speed
0 Locks This Week, 2 Total Locks

Monday – June 10th – 0 NM – In: Croton-on-Hudson, NY
It was raining most of the day on Monday, so we basically just hung around on the boat relaxing. I was expecting a package from Amazon on Saturday that was not delivered, so I walked up to the Marina office from time to time to see if it had been delivered. Around 3:00 the mailman came but didn’t have my packages, so I walked the 3/4 mile to the post office to pick it up. It was just drizzling, so it was not a bad walk. When I got to the post office, they looked around and found them. The note on the box said, “two many steps” (yes that’s how it was spelled). To get to the marina office, you have to go down about 2 flights, then walk 10 ft, and back up one flight. So, the round trip is 6 flights. I guess the Saturday postman wasn’t that physically fit!

I walked back to the boat and unpacked the box. We had ordered a few accessories for the boat, and a hand fishing reel. It’s an update on an old design, very compact, and closes up to secure everything including the hook.

Fishing Reel

I pulled out the reel, baited the hook with a small piece of bologna, and threw it over the side to see what I’d get. Within 3 minutes, I had a fish! I reeled it in, and it was a nice-sized catfish. Maybe 18″ and a couple of pounds. Brenda took a picture of it, and I threw it back. (Marina fish, especially bottom feeders, are not safe to eat. In marinas, there is always some gas & oil in the water, and frequently, someone has illegally “flushed” overboard rather than pumping out.) I re-baited the hook and tossed it back in. I don’t think it had even hit the bottom when another catfish grabbed it. This one was about the same size. After releasing the second one I quit. It was too easy! No fun.

That evening we had dinner on the boat and got ready to get back on the water in the morning.

Tuesday- June 11th – 34.7 NM – To: Poughkeepsie, NY
Tuesday morning the wind was blowing at close to 30 mph from the north. The seawall at the marina was helping, but not near enough and the boats were really rocking. There was an impromptu Looper meeting on the dock around 8:00, and most decided it was too rough to leave.

We waited until about noon, and the winds had calmed down a bit, but with the water sloshing around in the marina, it was uncomfortable on the boat, so we made the decision to head out. If we were going to get rocked, better moving than on the dock! We cast off and headed out into Half Moon Bay. We were expecting it to get really rough when we cleared the sea wall, but it was actually smoother! When waves get into the marina, they tend to bounce back and forth between the shore and wall which can make it rougher in than out.

We headed across the bay, and when we turned into the more sheltered Hudson river channel, the winds and waves died down quite a bit. The Hudson River is BEAUTIFUL! There is a little bit of everything to see with railroads, on both sides of the river, mountains, cliffs, high-end real estate, industrial sites, nuclear power plants, and so much more.

We cruised past the Stony Point lighthouse where the river narrows down quite a bit. All-day long, we had cargo trains on the west side of the river, some were several miles long. It was amazing to see how much freight travels by rail. On the east bank, we went past the Indian Point nuclear power plant and crossed under the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Just before the bridge, we passed a tug pushing a number of barges upriver, then passed a Canadian sailboat just as we came under the bridge. As we turned the corner after the bridge, we saw a couple of Jet Skis towing rescue boards, and a bunch of boats with flashing lights, and kayaks in the water. As we looked through the binoculars to see what was going on, we saw that next to each kayak, was a swimmer in the river. It looked like it was a long-distance swim. I checked the water temperature: 65 degrees! God bless them! The swimmers were spread out over about 3 miles, so we had to go very slow in this area as we didn’t want to create any waves that would interfere with them. A couple of the escort boats had military insignia on them, so we’re assuming the swimmers were from West Point, which was just up the river.

We then cruised by West Point. It’s a very impressive structure that wraps around a large bend in the river. The buildings were beautiful!

After passing West Point, we went through an area where the river is fairly narrow, and the cliffs on both sides rise up. It’s cool to boat up the river like this, and it reminds us of the inside passage in Alaska.

Past the cliffs, the river opens up a bit, and on the eastern bank, is a place called Pollepel Island. There are the ruins of a castle on the island. It was a private armory for a New York City entrepreneur who bought war surplus ammunition and explosives and stored them on the island. He also built his home there to keep an eye on his warehouse. You can probably guess the rest of the story. One day, there was a fire and the warehouse blew up! Fascinating history at

After Pollepel Island, we passed under the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge and were just a short cruise from our final destination of Poughkeepsie NY. As we approached Poughkeepsie and Shadows Marina where we were staying for the night, we could see two bridges in front of us, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, and Walkway Over the Hudson just in front of us. We docked into Shadows Marina, which is a fairly new marina that caters to people who are boating into a very popular restaurant and event center on the waterfront called “Shadows”. When they have space, they open to transient boaters. We tied up around 3:30 and settled in.

We were stopping in Poughkeepsie because of the bridge “Walkway Over The Hudson”. The bridge is an old railroad bridge, that has been converted into a walking/biking path. There is a path that starts in front of the marina, that goes for about 5 miles along the waterfront, through Poughkeepsie to the start of the bridge, across the Hudson River, connects to a park on the west side of the Mid-Hudson bridge, and then back along the sidewalk on that bridge, and re-connects to the path back to the marina. Our plan for Wednesday was to take the bikes and ride the loop!

Panorama of the marina

Shortly after we arrived, we saw a bunch of emergency vehicles on the bridge. A Ryder box truck failed to stop and ran over a car on the bridge. It caused a HUGE traffic jam, as the next possible crossings are several miles up or downstream.

In the evening we walked up to the Shadows restaurant and had a nice dinner overlooking the marina, river, and bridges. After dinner, we walked up the path along the river to the foot of the Mid-Hudson bridge where there is a park. Seems that in the evening, this is the local pot-smoking hangout, so we turned around and went back to the boat. As the sunset, the bridge lit up with colored lights and became more spectacular as it got darker.

Wednesday- June 12th – 16.1 NM – To: Kingston, NY
On Wednesday morning we woke up early to a beautiful day. Sunny, and not too hot, a perfect day for a bike ride! We got out the bikes and headed out to do the Walkway Over the Hudson loop. We’ve been using the bikes more than we thought we would, however, we’ve been in pretty flat spaces. The vertical climb from the Marina to the start of the walkway was about 350 feet, and in some places quite steep. Our bikes are single-speed, so we ended up walking them up the steep parts. We got up to the level of the main city streets and stopped near the train station for some breakfast.

After a nice breakfast, we finished the climb up to the start of the rail trail and rode over part of the city, and out over the Hudson River. The views were spectacular. We could see the boat below in the marina, and great views up and down the Hudson River. We stopped frequently to take photos and chat with some of the other folks walking and biking across the bridge.

When we got to the other side, we coasted (nice after riding uphill for so long), down to the park on the west end of the Mid Hudson Bridge, which is a suspension vehicle bridge. There are sidewalks on both sides that allow you to do a loop, but they are narrow, the railings are not that tall, there is an open grate between the sidewalk and the roadway, and the bridge bounces! We decided to WALK across! As you cross, there are two towers supporting the bridge. At each tower, a “Sound Artist” has done an installation, where they “Played The Bridge”. Using drum sticks on various parts of the bridge, recording the sounds of traffic crossing, and wind blowing through the cables, the artist created 12 musical selections. As you cross the bridge, you can stop at the support towers, press buttons, and listen to his music play through speakers as you continue across the bridge. Very cool! Check out:

After crossing the bridge, and looping back to Shadows Marina, we untied the boat and headed out at 11:00. Our next destination was Kingston, NY only 16 miles upstream. We said goodbye to Shadows Marina, and crossed under the two bridges we’d just crossed over!

There were some very large houses along the Hudson, and some cute lighthouses including the one at the entrance to Rondout Creek, where our marina for the night was located. Rondout Creek is the eastern end of the old Delaware and Hudson Canal that brought coal from Pittsburgh, PA to the Hudson River for shipment to New York City and beyond. We went by the lighthouse and traveled about 1/2 mile down the creek to the marina. Along the way, there were remnants of the city’s 200+ year maritime history, some still floating (barely), some not!

We passed the dock we were going to be staying at, to go upstream to another marina to get fuel. Our tanks were at less than 1/4 so it was time to fill up. Unfortunately, it was the most expensive fuel so far on the trip $4.00 per gallon, and we took on 240 gallons! OUCH! That hit the budget! After fueling up and pumping out, we headed back downstream and tied up behind “Rip Van Winkle,” a tour boat. Our slip was between two bridges, one modern, and one from the 1930s. Also, just upstream was an active railroad bridge that carries freight trains. The marina is on the waterfront in a public park, about 30 ft off of the main street. If we were any closer to downtown, we’d have had to feed the parking meters!

After tying up, we checked into the office then walked to the Visitor Center to pick up some brochures, then up and down the main street along the waterfront. There are a number of restaurants, a maritime museum, a trolley museum, and some antique shops. We scoped out the neighborhood and met some of our fellow Loopers who were also in Kingston.

In the evening, we met up with Golden Daze, Our Time, and About Time and went to dinner at “Mole Mole” a Mexican restaurant, while we were there we met up with the two couples on Kiwi III who were docked just in front of us, then went back to the boat exhausted from our bike ride and a full day of activities!

Thursday – June 13th – 0 NM – In: Kingston, NY
Thursday we planned to do some sightseeing in Kingston and to pick up a package from Amazon and some parts that I had ordered. After a lazy start, we walked to the Hudson Maritime Museum and looked around at a nice display of the history of the area and the Hudson River. They had a large number of ship models, as well some very interesting displays about the riverboats that ran between New York City and Albany NY.

After the Maritime Museum, we walked down the waterfront reading the signs about the history of the area, climbed up one of the hills looking for a Geocache (which we never found), then went back to the boat.

Our dock is home to a flock of ducks. They hang out near the park because people feed them. At night, they climb up on the docks to sleep (and poop).

At 3:00 we got a notice that our Amazon packages had been delivered and that FedEx had “returned” our parts because the phone number was not on the box. (They got all the way to the delivery location with it, then sent it back. I HATE FEDEX!! They used to be the best game in town, but now are just falling apart.) The Amazon packages were at a UPS store downtown so we grabbed an Uber and rode into town (about 4 miles away), picked up the packages. When we got back, I spent an hour or two on the phone with FedEx trying to arrange delivery of the parts for Friday.

To top off the day, I got a notice from our credit card company, that our card had been compromised. Marina’s in general are pretty loose from a security standpoint, and they frequently write down the number on slips of paper when you make reservations or as a security deposit for access keys. Also, we use it several times a day at restaurants, shops, etc. I sort of expected that we would have an issue sometime on the trip so was not surprised. We called and arranged to have a replacement card sent to our next stop.

Friday – June 14th – 0 NM – In: Kingston, NY
Originally we had planned to leave Kingston on Friday morning, but with the missing package, we opted to stay. Also, we found out that there is a scenic railroad that runs on Saturday, so we spoke to the dockmaster and arranged to stay until Sunday morning. Friday morning we were greeted by 200 screaming school kids who were taking an end-of-the-year field trip on the Rip Van Winkle tour boat.

We walked up Broadway to “Dolce” a crepe shop and had an excellent breakfast, then continued on up the hill past some small local shops then just wandered around some of the side streets looking at the old architecture in the Rondout waterfront area. Kingston is actually several small towns that were incorporated under the name of Kingston. The town on the waterfront is called Rondout after the creek that creates the waterfront, Kingston proper is a larger town that sits upon a hill, and was burned to the ground by the British in 1777, then re-built. At the top of the hill, there are 5 churches within about a 2 block area. I guess they built the churches on the hilltop to be closer to god.

After our walk, we went back to the boat and took the dinghy down off of the flybridge. We had not used the dinghy yet on the trip and I wanted to test out the davits (arms that stick out off the back of the boat to carry the dinghy). The Davits came with the boat, but we had never used them, and the hardware was cracked, and the paint was peeling. This winter, I had the davits refinished with powder-coat paint, and purchased replacement hardware to attach them to the boat. When we tried to put them on, we found that between the extra thickness of the paint, and slight changes in the hardware design for mounting, the davits would not fit. So we spent a couple of hours making modifications so that they would work.

When we finally got them on, we dropped the dinghy down off of the flybridge and got it started. It cranked up on the second pull! We decided to give it a good run to blow out all the junk from the carburetor, so we jumped into the dinghy and took a ride up Rondout Creek to see where it went. As we mentioned Rondout Creek was the end of the Delaware and Hudson canal, and as we went upstream, we could see the remains of its shipbuilding and other industrial histories in ruins on the banks.

We went under the huge railroad trestle, and as we rounded a corner in the river were surprised to see two working shipyards on either side of the creek. One is a tugboat repair yard. They were working on several large tugs some in dry-dock. On the other side of the creek, was a shipyard building large flat-barges. Good to see that the area is retaining its shipbuilding history.

We rode up the creek about 3 miles up the creek past small marinas for mostly fishing boats and came to a bridge and small dam across the river. The dam is the site of the old lock for the canal which is just a ruin next to it, so that’s as far upstream as you can go by boat.

Our friend Dave has been in the hospital after having some health issues, and he had texted us earlier asking us to send photos of our dinghy trip. We called him on face-time and gave him a tour as we headed back toward town. When we got to town, we kept going past the marinas, museum, and derelict boatyard, back out to the Hudson River to the lighthouse on the point. Having been cooped up for the last few weeks, I think that he appreciated the “time on the water”.

After turning around at the lighthouse, we went back to the boat and hauled the dingy up onto the davits. We then spent another hour figuring out how to strap it down.

In the evening we walked down the waterfront beyond the museum to the “Old Savannah” BBQ restaurant for dinner. We had a good dinner and fed the ducks that cruised back and forth in the water off of the restaurant deck begging for food. We ended up taking half of our dinner back to the boat! On Fridays the waterfront has live music at the restaurant next to the marina, the tour boat has a sunset, dancing cruise, and in general, it’s a big night out. There was a “Carnival Food” food truck parked in the park, and we got Brenda a Fried Dough for dessert.

Saturday – June 15th – 0 NM – In: Kingston, NY
Saturday morning, we met up with Peter, Lynn, Mike, and Mary from the boat Kiwi III, which was parked in front of us, and took the city bus into Kingston to go to the Catskill Mountain Railway. It was a 20-minute ride into town, and it dropped us off at a big plaza right next to the railroad station. We had about an hour before the train ride, so we walked around the Tru-Value hardware store, and I found the part that I had missed from FedEx!

At 11:00, we all boarded the train, which was an old Diesel Electric, and had an enjoyable, but loud (we sat in an open car right behind the engine and they blew the horn at every road crossing), trip up into the hills along an old railroad line. The railway appears to be more of a hobby (they only run on weekends) for a bunch of guys, and they are working to re-furbish about 2 miles of track a year. Our trip was 4 miles up toward the Catskills and the end of the line, then back to the station. It was a fun hour-long ride. For our friends who’ve ridden the Conway Scenic Railroad, it’s similar to the short ride from North Conway to Conway.

We got back to the plaza and went to Walgreen’s and Hannaford grocery store while we were waiting for the bus, then rode back into town. Kiwi III had to move their boat when we returned as a 68-foot yacht was coming in later in the day.

Brenda and I had not had quite enough trains, so we walked down the waterfront to the Trolley Museum. Again, it’s a weekend-only museum, where they restore and run old trolley cars. The feature is taking a trolley ride, up main-street to the marina, then back along the waterfront and out to the site of an old amusement park near the lighthouse. It was a fun little ride and the trolleys were very interesting. Among others, they have one of the NYC Subway cars that were trapped under the World Trade Center when it collapsed on 9/11.

When we got back to the boat, the large yacht was just arriving, and we stood bye as they docked in front of us in case they got close, but boats of that size typically have professional captains rather than the owners and all went well.

That evening we had leftovers and got the boat ready to head out in the morning.

Sunday – June 16th – 36 NM – To: New Baltimore, NY
Sunday morning we woke up early because rain was forecast for the day, with heavy rain in the afternoon. We cast off at 7:30 and headed up the Hudson toward “Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina” in New Baltimore, NY. As soon as we were past the Lighthouse at the end of Rondout Creek and turned into the Hudson, it started to rain, so we went down to the lower helm to run from there.

We passed under the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge, adjusted our speed to 7 knots, and set the auto-pilot. The rain was just a light drizzle and wasn’t constant, so it was a nice ride. We passed lots of stately homes on the shores, several dedicated kayakers paddling in the rain, then under the Rip Van Winkle bridge, passed a lighthouse, and some large cement factories.

When we were about a mile from Shady Harbor marina, it started raining hard. Great timing! We called in, and got our dock assignment. Because we had the dinghy on the back of the boat, we were longer than the slips (47′ instead of 42′) and the docking was quick and easy. We tied up, settled in, and the rain went back to a light drizzle. After checking in at the marina office, we went back to the boat and I tried a little fishing, while Brenda made a batch of Blondies. I got another catfish. 3 lbs, 19″ long. And on my second drop, caught something large enough, that it snapped a 17 lb test line.

At 5:30 we walked up to the restaurant at the marina and had a very good dinner. Brenda got the prime rib, and I got the pasta bolognese. We went back to the boat, had a blondie for dessert, then I fell asleep in the chair.

Next Week: Next week, we enter the Erie Canal!

Kiss Some Frogs To Find Your Prince
Thanks for visiting! –Tom & Brenda

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