7/9/18: We woke Monday morning with mixed feelings about leaving Kingston. We had some sadness because we really enjoyed our stay at Rondout Yacht Basin. And Kingston grew on us with each passing day – we were sad to leave it behind. We were anxious at the unknowns ahead: tides, currents, the ocean, and unknown marinas and places. But we were happy and excited, too. Happy because we were finally on our way after weeks of delay, and excited for the upcoming experiences we knew were coming our way.
Our first challenge was the bridge. The charts said we had 56 feet at high tide, and other people claimed it was closer to 60. Our boat plus mast was 53 feet, and we knew we came in this way at low tide, so we chose mid-tide for leaving: 8:00 AM. We approached slowly, kept looking up, and just slid under the bridge. The worst part? Coming out the other side we heard a small “clunk” in our cockpit. We both looked at each other before looking on our cockpit seat – a small piece of concrete from the bridge came loose and landed on our deck! A small parting gift from the bridge we dreaded going under!
Our first stop was Poghkeepsie, about 15 miles down the Hudson. We had a rising tide, so the current was against us, dropping out boat speed from 6.3 knots to about 5.5 knots. But with only 15 miles, we knew we only had three hours of travel anyway, so that didn’t bother us much. The stretch of the Hudson between Kingston and Poughkeepsie is pretty stunning. High hills rise on either side of the river, with tons of mansions, huge homes, a gigantic monastery, and even a castle! The Vanderbilt mansion is in this area, as is the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
We made it to Poughkeepsie with no issues, and Keith, the dockmaster, helped us tie up and gave us suggestions on how to set our lines for the reversing tides and currents. We found out what good advice it was, as we watched the current rip by the boat, first in one direction, then several hours later in the other! As we were talking to Keith, he took a call and we overheard him say, “OK Gabriel, we’ll see you at noon then”. We knew Bob and Phyllis, two more friends of ours from the Erie Canal, were on their way back from Florida and were in the New York City area. Could this be them on their way through? Sure enough, about an hour later, they came motoring up to the marina docks! We got together for some drinks and appetizers at the marina restaurant and talked about both our adventures over the past several months. They talked about some of their favorite places along the way, and we talked about our stops along the North Channel, which they were going to see before they went home. It was really good to see them again!
Tomorrow we set sail for Haverstraw, about 35 miles downriver. Once again, the tide and current is against us, so it’s looking like a 7 hour day. Stay tuned…