Lock 16 to Hudson River Croton Bay

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Populated areas along the canal are fun.  We ride along looking into back instead of front yards of passing homes.  The variety runs from run down weekend shacks with rusty grills and weedy yards, to mac-mansions with neatly trimmed lawns and fancy grilling stations

Our necks always turn as an oncoming boat passes by and we look back to read the name and hailing port on the stern.  Seeing the distinctive blue and yellow canal work boats is always a treat.   Long stretches of the canal; however, are green, tree lined banks and although very pretty, they can be somewhat boring.  It’s during these stretches that our reading to each other makes the passing scene more interesting.  This passage we are working on The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam, a fascinating account of the people and the decisions made getting us into the tragedy of Vietnam.

Canal equipment; a dredge crane, tug and barge looked like they took up all Lock 7’s wall.  The lock tender assured us there was space.  We eased in, docking for the night.  I talked with the dredge crew before they headed home for the evening and then watched a few fishermen try their luck as we enjoyed a pleasant sunset in the cockpit.

 

Flood gate

 

The dripping flood gate used to seal off the flight of locks at Waterford immediately starting closing as we cleared.  I half expected to hear a spooky voice say ‘Got yah’  as we proceeded toward Lock 6 and the flight of 5 locks (no lock 1) down to Waterford.

 

Down Time at Waterford

 

Over a delicious dinner and a bit of Jack Daniels and wine on Down Time, a sister ship to Odyssey, we swapped notes with Jim and Diane about their summer poking along the northeast coast and our Erie Canal experiences.

Intrigued by a bit of blue water and a trail indication on our canal map we hiked what at one time been the original start of the Champlain Canal.  A historic marker described remains of a weigh lock off to the side of the canal used to weigh loaded barges to determine the toll.  Hiking further the pleasant canal trail gave way to a climb up a landfill and a bleak industrial view.  The trail continued but we turned back.

Martin on Dyad, a Canadian sailing cat was interested Georgia ICW anchorages.  He’s always sailed offshore past Georgia and was happy to see our charts with each anchorage we’ve used marked.  It was a kick filling him in and a good refresher review since our last passage south was in 2006.

 

Coxsackie anchorage

 

Working our way in behind Coxsackie Island we found a spot affording a great view up the Hudson, but far enough down behind the island that passing freighter wakes didn’t reach us.  Enjoying the quiet of swinging on the anchor won out over a dinghy ride to shore to explore town.

 

Improvising a dock tie up

 

Riverview Marina in Catskill was unexpectedly busy and out of dock space.  We improvised and tied off across the mouth of the haul out slip with the bow secured to one dock and the stern to another.  The next day a boat left, and we relocated to a more conventional tie up.

Catskill is a great staging point for exploring part of the Hudson Valley.  Steve and Linda came to visit.   For three days we went off wandering, concentrating on one point of interest each day.   Pictures and a bit of description about each of our explorations can be read by clicking on the links below:

  • Olana, the historic stunning Persian styled home of Fredric Church one of the Hudson River School painters.
  • Innisfree Garden, inspired by Chinese landscape design referred to as cup gardens.
  • Kaaterskill Falls double water fall highest in NY.

One evening we found a trail leaving the park behind the marina and heading up hill.  A bit of a climb brought us directly to a quiet street filled with beautiful historic homes.  In the fading light we walked around the area enjoying the beauty of the well-maintained homes from the 1800’s.

Steve and Linda headed back to Newark after yet another of our fun adventures,  and we headed on down the Hudson.

Croton Bay provided a nice protected stopping spot and we tucked in as close to shore as the shallows would permit and got a good hold.  A passing kayaker circled us a couple of times. We invited Todd aboard.  He’s a NYC policeman, counting down to his retirement in a few years and is considering living aboard as a possibility.  We had a fun time talking, learning a bit about him and filling him in about our life style.

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