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Section 4

The Hudson River

(June 5 - 15,1999)

Saturday, June 5, 1999.  We decided to start this day leisurely since the day before had been very long.  By 9:00 AM we were pumping the holding tank, and fueling for the run up the Hudson River to Troy, New York.  We needed 800 gallons of fuel, as we hadn't taken on new fuel since Annapolis.  At this marina, you fuel from a barge that also services commercial craft.  The barge had fast fill nozzles (200 gallons per minute), unfortunately we don't have fast-fill connections, so we had to be content with 30 gallon per minute hoses. (By comparison, fuel pumps for automobiles typically run at five to seven gallons per minute.)  We were done in less than an hour, and not a drop spilled.

The start up the Hudson is very easy, and almost doesn't require charts for the first 50 miles.  Today we are going only as far as Tarrytown, less than 30 miles up the River.  So we aimed the pointy end of the boat north, and followed the coast.

We arrived at 1:00pm and tied up.  The sights of upper Manhattan, the Palisades, and the towns of the Hudson River valley are a treat for the eyes.  At one moment, looking forward, the Palisades lie on the western shore, almost pristine. At that same moment, you can look to the stern and see the George Washington Bridge, and the skyline of Manhattan.  A memorable experience.

Sunday, June 6, 1999.  We get up at 4:45 AM, pack, and head to the train station that is adjacent to the marina in Tarrytown for a 30 minute ride to Grand Central Station.  From there, we take a taxi to Laguardia and a plane to Columbus.  Jan has a board meeting at Capital University, and Bill has some errands to do.

We leave Interlude well secured to the wobbly dock, but the power situation is dire.   We shut off everything that isn't an essential system so there will be adequate power to run the battery chargers, bilge pumps, etc.  Let's hope it is a cool couple of days.

Monday, June 7, 1999.  We fly from Columbus to Memphis for a Sterling meeting.  We hear it was 99 in NYC.

Tuesday, June 8, 1999.  We hear it is 99 in NYC again today.  Hope everything is OK at the boat.  Lisa is meeting us at Laguardia and together we'll return by train to the Interlude.  She will stay with us until Friday evening--which is most of the time we'll be on the Hudson.

We ate dinner at one of Bill's favorite spots--the Oyster House in Grand Central Station.  This noisy restaurant is probably four levels underground, huge, but totally unique; and they have great seafood.  After a leisurely dinner, we took the express train home to Interlude, where all was well, except the interior was very hot. From the stern we could look back under the Tappan Zee Bridge and still see the lights of Manhattan, 27 miles south.  [Dear readers, knowing that you are avid historians, I (Bill) have ascertained the etiology of the name Tappan Zee. It seems that immigrants from Ireland were so homesick for the home land that they developed metaphors for all the wonderful things in Ireland.  So instead of kissing the Blarney Stone, they did the next best thing--they tapped the bridge at Tarrytown. Hence the Tappan Zee Bridge.  Just thought you would want to know.]

Wednesday, June 9, 1999.  Bill was up early and installed a replacement CD drive in the navigation computer on Interlude.  The old one had failed.  They are used constantly in the process of navigating from point to point.  The installation was a success.  Then it was time to install the replacement bimini that had arrived by mail.  Much less success...it doesn't fit properly since it was repaired.  Rather than sending it back to New Bern, we will have a canvas shop sometime in the future perhaps in Buffalo work to modify it to fit better.  It's too hot to be outside today, anyway.

About 1:00 PM we passed West Point, home of the U.S. Military Academy for the Army.   It is a magnificent sight on a high bluff in the river.  We passed very slowly to soak it all in.  See the photos we took elsewhere in the web site.  It is beginning to get cloudy, probably indicating a front and cooler weather.

Arrived in the Kingston area about 5:00 PM and our marina called Rondout Yacht Basin.   It is located about a mile up a creek and is probably one of the neatest marinas so far on the trip.  We are surrounded by hills, large trees, and calm water.  It is so wooded that you are only slightly aware that you are in the middle of two towns, one on each side of Rondout Creek--Kingston is the larger of the two.

For dinner we arranged to be picked-up by the "Capri 400" restaurant and driven there (six minutes away).  It is a large Italian restaurant, probably seating several hundred, but at 8 PM we were the only people there. One needs to pause and consider both the reasons and the consequences, but we did have good service and the food was fine.

Thursday, June 10, 1999.  Walked into the village to find a newspaper and was told by the only person out and about that it would be about a 45 minute walk to find a convenience store and a newspaper.  Decided we could live without it. 

Today didn't end up as planned. Originally, Bill was to meet with a client while Jan and Lisa did some sightseeing.  But the client cancelled the meeting, so it turned out to be a free day for all three of us.  That's not all bad.

By 10:00 AM, the Enterprise driver arrived, and we finished the paper work on our rental car.  Spent the day along the Hudson, first stopping at Hyde Park and the Vanderbilt Mansion.  It is a beautiful mansion with all of its original furnishings and worth a visit.  It is situated on 600 acres of beautiful grounds on a bluff over the Hudson.

Next we saw the F.D.R. home and the home of Eleanor Roosevelt before driving further south to West Point.  We drove through the Academy and stopped at the visitor center. Frankly, it is more impressive from the River

Next, with some time left in the day, we did outlet shopping so that Lisa could find a dress for an upcoming wedding in Chicago.  Finally, we did a stint at the supermarket, since we had a car to bring it back easily.

Friday, June 11, 1999.  Our 32nd anniversary!  We spend the day moving the last sixty miles up the Hudson to our destination at Troy.  The afternoon is spent cleaning up Interlude, and meeting the Arends.  Together, we take Lisa to the airport, and then back to Interlude for an evening of catching-up on the last 25 years.

Saturday, June 12, 1999.  We leave the boat about 9:00 AM for a tour of the Adirondacks and a visit to the Arend Camp.  Most folks would call their camp a cottage, but in the Adirondacks, it is a camp.  First we drive to Lake George, which is beautiful and totally serene, except that it is Biker-week, and there are thousands (no, tens of thousands) of motorcycles around.  Quite an interesting group of characters, too.  Next, we drive to Lake Placid and the home of the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics.  We tour the museum, take a chair lift to the ski jump, and an elevator to the top.  While we're there, there are some skiers practicing the great jumps using material like Astroturf.  Later we see the skiers--they can't be more than 10 or 12.  Unbelievable!

Finally, we drive to Blue Mountain Lake Inn for dinner.  The views today have been wonderful with clear blue skies, cool weather, and deep blue water. After dinner we arrive at the Arend's camp overlooking the lake, for a night of stars, cool air, and wonderful sleep.

Sunday, June 13, 1999.  We spend the morning on the water paddling the Arend's kayak, then join Chips and Ann in their new Flying Scott sailboat.  It is a perfect day of leisure on beautiful Lake Piseco.   We have a picnic lunch on an island, then finally a drive back to Interlude, after a great dinner of grilled chicken and fresh corn.  It has been a wonderfully different kind of water/vacation  experience than we've had the past few months.                       

Monday, June 14, 1999.  We have some maintenance done on Interlude including switching out an air conditioning fresh water pump, and attempting to identify an elusive problem with a generator. The AC problem is fixed with the replacement of a pump, but the generator problem continues to plague us.  This is the problem we thought we had fixed several times--most recently in Baltimore.  Bill also uses the time to walk to a hardware store, buy fiberglass screening, and re-screen all six large portlights on the boat.  As we move north, the nights are cooler, and we may want to leave windows open.  At the same time, we're noticing more and more bugs and mosquitoes.

Bob and Trisha Birkenstock arrive late afternoon just as Jan is heading to a walk-in clinic to have a doctor prescribe some some medication for an infection.   She had called her regular doctor in St. Petersburg but he would not prescribe over the phone.  The NY doctor gave her medication and cultured the infection "just in case".  The dockmaster had  recommended a walk-in clinic, and a local boatman offered to drive her to the office. Typical of the nice people we find along the way.  Jan came back with medication and the advice that the culture might show a resistant strain of bacteria so she should be prepared to change prescriptions.  She's to call in 48 hours.

Tuesday, June 15, 1999.  We start the morning in preparation for departure and entering the Erie Canal. Preparation consists of inflating and hanging three large fenders on the port side of the boat. Each fender is more than three feet in diameter and made of thick rubber-like material.  We use the air compressor on Interlude to inflate them.  

We also used the time to run errands including a visit to the local wine store to stock up on New York State wines that we hear are good, but with which we have little experience.  We'll try to become more educated during the next week or so.

In the afternoon, we lower the arch of the Interlude so that we can pass under the 20 foot bridges common along the Erie Canal.  The arch folding exercise should be relatively simply since Bill worked out the details with the folks at Viking Boatworks before we left.  The arch component of the exercise takes only a short time, but the folding and stowing of the bimini frame is another problem and the entire process takes a couple of hours.  In the end, Interlude is lowered from 36 feet tall to about 19 feet.  We should be able to negotiate the bridges without problems.

Finally, about 3pm we leave for the Erie Canal which is only two miles away.