Thursday, May 17, 2018

Statue of Liberty Anchorage, Great Kills YC, Jersey City, NJ, Verplanck, Kingston & New Baltimore NY. May 7-17, 2018

Tides and currents.  Something we do not deal with in the Great Lakes (well some currents) and they are definitely a force to be reckoned with.  So we planned our departure for the flood tide going through the Narrows into NYC. No need to buck a 2 knot current if one has time to wait for a favorable tide. We plan to anchor behind the Statue of Liberty

if we can tolerate all the wakes there.  Thanks for the photo Sherri and Randy (Priorities).  We anticipate that the City lights will be phenomenal.  Only a about 16 miles so a couple of hours.
Following Priorities under the Verrazano Bridge.

We stayed outside the security zones, dodged ferries and sightseeing boats (oh, and the Staten Island Ferries needed to be dealt with too....we sped up to get between the two approaching ferries from either side of the harbor!) and dropped a hook behind Liberty Island.
Our anchorage behind Lady Liberty was great.  A little rolly (maybe a lot rolly is a better description) but the view was fantastic.  It is really hard to believe one can anchor so close to such a historic site.  On that note, we read in a publication a few days later that anchoring there was no longer allowed.
Hmmm, lots of Police and Fire boats went by and never challenged our being there.  I do not think it would be an anchorage I would choose again as it was none too restful, but it was a once in a lifetime experience.  
A screenshot of our anchorage location (just outside of the cable area noted on the charts).
The views were phenomenal.

Dropping the hook.

We left early on Monday to backtrack 16 miles or so to Staten Island to the Great Kills Yacht Club as Sarah is going to meet us there on Wednesday. 

John C, the AGLCA Harbor Host of the Year in 2017, was prompt and efficient to work with as we confirmed our three day stay.    Here is what I wrote on the AGLCA website for a review of the marina.
We stayed at GKYC for three nights.  John C is such a great host!  Even though he hurt his leg a day before we arrived, he arranged for another club member (thanks Jim and Tony) to guide us in, catch lines and give us the rundown on our stay.  John showed up later and made sure all was in order.  We ended up with 5 Loopers there one night! They took us to get MTA cards so we could ride the express bus into NYC (BTW this was a great way to get to the city...about 1-1/2 hours each way and $6.50 one way).  Newly remodeled restrooms/showers, hiking and biking trails, numerous restaurants in walking distance, a great local market (Frank and Sals), good access to NYC, floating docks, 50A power on the t- head and friendly / helpful club members.  Consider this stop, you will not be disappointed.
It was a great stay.

Our daughter Sarah joined us  as planned on Wednesday morning.  I was at the clubhouse when she arrived and by the time I had walked the length of the dock back to Sum Escape, three club members informed me "your daughter is here!"  Such a friendly and welcoming club.  One could say this visit was three years in the making as before we ever departed on the Loop Sarah said she wanted to join us for the NYC portion. We are so happy that she could arrange her schedule on short notice to join us.

We (Sherri and Randy from Priorities also joined us) quickly headed out for NYC on the express bus only a few blocks from the marina.  It was a great way to go to the City. 

We started out our day going to the 9/11 memorial.  It is very well done and is quite impressive.  I was there on business at the site of the tragedy about two weeks after the actual event and to see the area today is such a contrast.

Then we went up to floor 102 of One World Observatory.  A less than one minute ride up 102 floors! We could not believe how smooth that elevator was.  No sensation of motion at all....except for the video images they project during the ride.  It was quite a view!

Liberty Island where we anchored to the left.  Liberty Landing to the right is where we will be going on Friday.

The Oculus.  It is designed to look like a dove and will open up each year on 9/11 in remembrance of those lost to this tragedy.

We also visited Central Park, the Plaza Hotel, Rockefeller Center, St Patrick's Cathedral and Times Square before returning to Staten Island via express bus.
Getting lunch.

This will be auctioned off for charity.

We also rode the express but back to Staten Island.  The driver was fabulous.  He made sure we were on the right bus, picked up the microphone and gave us an impromptu tour and even suggested we get out one stop later than Google suggested.  Not the image of a stereotyped gruff NYC bus driver at all.  That is why we are enjoying this adventure so much, we meet the nicest people.

When we returned
we had dinner at Cole's Dockside.  Wow, really a great place!  I think we could have split the dinner three ways it was so large.  
We took a nice walk around the harbor on Staten Island on Thursday as well as another visit to Frank and Sals for some rib-eyes to grill. It was so nice visiting with Sarah!
Getting a little laptop tutoring...

Friday we bid farewell to Sherri and Randy (Priorities) as they moved on toward the completion of their second Loop, yes they will be Platinum Loopers later this Summer in Port Sheldon, MI. 

We left a little later with Sarah aboard for a short trip to Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City. The tides were more favorable later in the morning and we also had a 1PM check in. 

We took a little cruise around Governor's Island on the way too.

Liberty Landing is not a place I would want to afford to keep the boat  too long ($5.40 a foot per night!) but as a once in a lifetime stop it is a fantastic place. Attentive dockhands, welcoming check in and first class facilities.  And the view cannot be beat as the lights of the city come on at dusk.  We had a great late lunch at Liberty House on their deck overlooking the City.  Very good food too. 

The restaurant where we had lunch, the Liberty House.

One "tradition" with Sarah has been baking pies together.  So here we are keeping the tradition alive hard at baking a blueberry pie!  It turned out very good.

Our slip neighbor here was very interesting.  Here is the boat.

He is going to attempt to solo row to Scotland.  He is here awaiting favorable winds to help get him to the Gulf Stream.  Last year he was staged awaiting weather and he gave up after six weeks of waiting for the right weather window.  Hopefully this year is more favorable for him.
Sarah departed early on Saturday.  It was so nice to have you aboard for a few days Sarah.  Thanks for coming so far and also for being our tour guide in NYC. Too bad Joe could not have gotten away too.  

Timing was good (strong tidal push up the Hudson) so we got underway as soon as Sarah had departed. We had a nice cruise through NY harbor without all the hustle and bustle of a weekday ferry schedule.  We did not even see another boat moving for quite a few miles.  That seemed so odd for such a large waterway.  But hey, no complaints, it makes for easy piloting.  I will say that all the warnings on navigating NY harbor seemed a bit overblown.  Yes, one needs to keep situational awareness and realize just how fast some of the very large vessels move.  But there is plenty of room to maneuver.  I would say Grand Haven harbor on a sunny Sunday summer afternoon is way more nerve wracking!  But maybe we were just early in the season and were just fortunate.

The construction zone where they are tearing out the old Tappan Zee Bridge.

We arrived at our anchorage, Greens Cove, 40 miles upstream fairly early on this cold and rainy day. 

It is off the main channel near the entrances to a couple marinas.  Only had one large inconsiderate sport fish come off plane just before the marina channel (right where we are nearby anchored) and wake us pretty good.  I did broadcast a "thank you" on the VHF but of course that went unanswered. Had he slowed 50 yards sooner there would have been a reasonable wake to contend with.  I guess we are in NY....
Generator was run quite a bit for heat!  Highs were only in the 50s but it is going to warm up in a couple days.  
Sunday we headed out for Kingston where we have a car reserved and we plan to do an oil change, laundry, re-provision a bit and hopefully visit West Point one day too.  The Culinary Institute is also nearby but we hear that reservations are only available with weeks of notice.  
We passed West Point along the way.  Depths are 175' in the Hudson near WP.  There are many beautiful homes with fabulous vistas from on high.  It was a cloudy dreary day but still a beautiful trip.  We also passed the Culinary Institute of America and we hope to go there for dinner from Kingston.

One of the roofs had "Beat Air Force" emblazoned on it....clever!  Couldn't get a good picture of it though...

We got into Rondout marina in Kingston on Sunday and settled in.  It seems so different to get into a port and not have to wash salt off the boat!  We passed the "salt line" of the Hudson a yesterday/today and with all the rain we had last night the boat looked great.  This is certainly a good way to rest my elbow!  No more salt for over a year now.

We have to break out a new guidebook now!  The Erie canal is included  here.

Monday we picked up our rental car, got some diesel engine oil and new AGM inverter batteries at Sam's Club, did some grocery shopping then got ready for a day of exploration of the area.  We drove to West Point and took a tour.  What a storied and fabulous place!  We were thinking about you Scott F!  (Scott is our nephew who graduated from West Point).

The famous chain across the Hudson.  It would have never stopped any British ships but because they knew it was there perhaps it was a deterrent.

The new visitor center recently opened.

We were also able to get a reservation at the Italian Restaurant at the Culinary Institute for 6PM. The food was great but the service lacked.  Not sure what happened with our main course order but it took almost an hour after our appetizer and first course were served.  They did make an adjustment on the tab but that was certainly a little disappointing.
What a fabulous facility the CIA is.

Tuesday was work day.  Julie spent a number of hours re-provisioning.  I spent a number of hours in the engine room.  Oil change on genset and mains,

4 new AGM batteries for the inverter bank, strainer checks, etc.  I gave the old flooded cell batteries (one was almost new) to a marina worker who helped me take out the old and drop in the new batteries (65 pounds each and I could not do it with only my left arm).Then a trip to drop off drain oil at Auto Zone and return the car.  While I was out we had two separate tornado warnings!  So Julie and I kept in contact via text.  Julie experienced hail at the boat along with downpours.  I waited in the car at Enterprise as it was raining so hard.  Got back between storms and had one more warning before the storms passed.  All was good.  Rondout Yacht Basin is not an elaborate place so the boat actually seemed safer than the old buildings here!  I would say yacht basin is very misleading.  The place is old, there are people living in trailers on site, but it does have a pool as advertised (not open yet) and the folks are very friendly and accommodating.  Some deer down at the water for a drink from our starboard side view from the marina.

That is Sum Escape in the distance between all the boats still on the hard at the Yacht Basin.

Next trip though, we will stay on the wall in Kingston.
Wednesday we left at slack tide so we would catch the flood tide on our cruise to New Baltimore Shady Harbor Marina.  

The marina is very nice.  We fueled then took a slip that was unfortunately 90 degrees to the currents.  So it was a bit of a chore to get up against the dock with the current pushing us away.  We will plan to leave at slack tide, although we are a bit apprehensive as our next stop, Waterford wall is full with boats waiting for the Champlain locks to open on Friday.  We'll call along the way and stop short in Albany (hopefully) if still full.  No hurry, the Erie only opened on the 15th so we are early. Additionally, our headsets stopped working a day ago in Kingston so we will be doing the docking and locking communications the old fashioned way...yelling.  Not pretty.  We sent them in for warranty repair...
More soon.