Thursday, May 25, 2017


We stayed at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club April 30 through May 17. The sails and mast were removed in preparation for our upcoming travels under low bridges, through locks, and narrow canals.  Thanks to help from club members, the mast was safely stored in the club barn.

The sails are stored in Ernie Klopping’s workshop until our return. It was a helluva lot of work!!  John and Paul spent two days sewing new heavy-duty zippers on the boat’s vinyl cockpit enclosure. The zippers were worn out after John’s 6000 mile loop trip around the USA  --  and his sail-maker’s sewing machine helped get the job done. They also crafted a canvas closure in an attempt to keep Sadie, the wandering dog, on board. She had jumped off the boat and followed Juli’s scent along two docks, into the club, and down the basement stairs to the laundry where Juli was doing wash. (Dogs are not allowed inside the club – whoops!) We travel with two dogs Sadie is Juli’s dog (20lbs) a Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Bichon Frise) and Skipper is John’s dog (60lbs) from the Poughkeepsie ASPCA he is a Lab Boxer ???? mix. Normally Sadie needs to be lifted on and off the boat while Skipper can leap on and off with ease.
We finally left the Club on May 18 and made a short trip to Kingston.  John wanted to stop there in remembrance of his career as City Engineer.  The stop was costly, however, at $2/ft in the Kingston Municipal Marina. There was another CSY parked nearby. It appeared to be the original layout as opposed to Dutchess which John redesigned and upgraded over 8 years under a tent at PYC.
On May 19, we cruised to Catskill and got a free slip at the Catskill Yacht Club under the reciprocity agreement among members of the Mohawk Hudson Council of Yacht Clubs. Juli and John had a good dinner of fish and chips at the Creekside Restaurant located next door. Skipper and John spotted a beaver eating weeds along the shore of the Catskill Creek.
On May 20, we cruised to Waterford NY via Federal Lock #1 on the Hudson River where the Erie and Champlain Canals begin.  We happened upon CANALFEST celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal. There were many vendors, music and food on the Village docks. It was very crowded and festive with beautiful weather. We ate at a Greasy spoon in the village and John and Paul returned for breakfast the next morning (Juli declined). We stayed two nights on the free docks and spent our time walking the dogs and enjoying the scenery.
On May 22, we travelled on the Champlain Canal and passed thru Locks 1C, 2C, 3C, 4C, 5C, 6C to Fort Edward. Juli learned how to secure the boat in the locks using the ropes or pipes which are part of the lock; Paul was the teacher. We tied up on the free wall in Fort Edward which includes free electric. Free is good. It was a dreary day but Juli and John walked to Stewarts for ice cream after supper. We walked the dogs in the rain- not pleasant to have wet dogs on board.
On May 23, we sailed to Whitehall NY by going thru locks C7, C8, C9 and C11 (there is no lock # 10 ????). We tied up on the free wall in Whitehall. Whitehall claims to be the birthplace of the US Navy (Boston might have an issue with this designation) because Benedict Arnold assembled his fleet here in preparation for the Battle of Valcour Island.  He lost the battle but succeeded in delaying the British for a year which gave the States the upper hand to win the war. Juli met Elizabeth, a volunteer with the Chamber of Commerce. She graciously offered a ride to a nearby market for provisions. We saw a statue of Sasquatch and Skipper growled at him.
On May 24, we went thru the last lock of the Champlain Canal #C12 and motored on to Chipman Point Marina near Orwell, VT. It has very old stone buildings still occupied by the female owner. Paul took the loaner car and bought 2 beautiful big steaks which he grilled outdoors – YUM! The weather report said we were to get high winds in the afternoon of 50 to 60 mph. This delayed our planned departure for Burlington. All the dogs here run loose so Skipper took his freedom seriously and went to visit the neighbor’s chickens but did no harm. Paul caught up with him and brought him back to the boat.

                                                                  Writing the blog

Friday, May 5, 2017

Despite the chilly, rainy, foggy weather Apr. 23-27, we did some exploring of Atlantic City and enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Chart House.  John and Paul walked the Boardwalk on a very rainy day while Juli got soaked to the skin and frozen while walking the dog. A couple of days later, John and Juli went to the Boardwalk as well. John had trouble with his left knee on both outings and is concerned about being able to continue with the trip as it was planned. There was rough weather outside with small craft warnings which kept us in the marina longer than we had expected (5 days).  None of us cared to gamble so it was a quiet visit to AC.  Of course, the extended stay in an expensive marina added to the cost ($459 total).  The facilities are good and clean however.
On April 28 the offshore reports were greatly improved so we headed towards Manasquan, NJ.  We made excellent time, however, and the waves were lessening so it was decided to travel on to Sandy Hook (Atlantic Highlands), NJ.  We arrived at 1845 after 11hrs 35 min on the water. The engine reached exactly 2000 hrs of operation on this run (Lotto anyone?)  We took a mooring but were unable to reach anyone at the marina.  Evidently it was too early in the season so we lucked out with a free mooring for the night!  John met a fellow Dutchman, Johan , who was moored nearby.  He visited our boat and learned he would be  leaving soon and his next stop would be the Azores on his way home!  We wish Johan and his crew fair winds and calm seas.  (His wife is flying home – smart lady) 

We left at 0630 on Apr. 29 in heavy fog. We carefully navigated by radar and avoided shipping channels. We travelled under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and could only see the bridge towers until we were virtually under the bridge deck. We were then greeted by a total white-out of fog and we utilized the fog horn. Therefore, we crossed through the anchorage for large ships knowing there would be no traffic. We passed at least 5 or 6 ocean-going ships at anchor.  The fog soon began to burn off and we had excellent views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Manhattan, and Freedom Tower. The current changed here and we rode it almost all the way to Poughkeepsie. On the way we passed Hoboken, NJ where John stepped off the boat as a 12-yr-old immigrant from Holland in 1953.  We passed under the George Washington Bridge (where we saw the Little Red Lighthouse), the Tappan Zee Bridge, the Bear Mountain Bridge, Newburgh/Beacon Bridge, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Other sights along the way included West Point and Constitution Island, Indian Point Nuclear Plant, Culinary Institute of America, Marist College, and Pete Seeger’s boat, “Clearwater,” a replica Hudson River Sloop.  We rolled the jib out in heavy west winds (20-30 knots) and travelled 8 – 9 knots with the engine at only 1600 rpm’s. After 12 hrs 45 min. we finally arrived at Poughkeepsie Yacht Club - this is Dutchess’ home berth.  The dogs were so happy to see grass after being onboard with no relief for 36 hrs! John addressed the knee issue here and was given a cortisone shot and some anti-inflammatory meds which has given him great relief – the trip will proceed!