We left Manasquan just after sunrise for our last run on the open Atlantic, and arrived safely into Great Kills Harbor on Staten Island about 5 hours later. Beautiful day, beautiful voyage. Even Hunny didnt appear to be as miserable as we’d expected! It is becoming abundantly clear that Hunny truly hates boating. Sometimes she’ll come back to the boat after doing her business and just stand on the dock, refusing to re-board until we drag her on board, claws scraping as they try to dig in to the fiberglass. Poor thing.
The day following our arrival, Bruce, Janet, David and I put our bikes together and biked a mile and a half up to the Great Kills train station.
After a 25 minute ride, train stopped at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, we all boarded the FREE Staten Island ferry
and were deposited a half hour later into the bowels of Manhattan. We discovered the bike trail we’d read about immediately upon exiting the ferry terminal, saddled up and began riding. What a glorious feeling—surrounded by throngs of honking cars, tall buildings, and crowds of busy people, we sped right past on our separated bike path (theoretically even closed to pedestrians, but only the ones who can read), cycling along the water and through the heart of the city. We could’ve circumnavigated the entire borough on that particular path (there are many others, too) had we had the time. Unfortunately David and I, not realizing how long it would take us to actually get to and from Manhattan, were itching to get back to check on Hunny, who we’d left roaming the boat unattended. Yes, she IS the good dog. We had thought of hiring a dog sitter, but realized it wasn’t necessarily safer to lock her up in the potentially stifling cabin. So we just closed the skimpy wire gates (which she could easily crawl under if she wanted), left the door to the cabin open for access to food and water, told her “stay”, and headed off to New York. SCARY. Upon our return, we were a bit nervous when we didn’t see her lying in the shade on the deck as expected, but after calling out a few times, she ambled to the doorway, sleepy eyed and disheveled–she had obviously been sleeping on our bed in the stateroom. Our neighbors Jim and Susan Merritt, whose PDQ was moored at our stern, said she showed no inclination to get off, and seemed content. So now we have a safe option for the question of “what shall we do with Hunny?” when we go bike riding or sightseeing!
The next day, David and I took the express bus into the city (again leaving Hunny on guard) and saw a Broadway play–The Book of Mormon. Singing and acting was incredible, and we were glad we made the trip. On the third and final day of our visit to NYC, we took Hunny into the city with us, and visited the 911 memorial and museum, which was a somber, but worthwhile experience.
Monday (Memorial Day) we left Great Kills at 5:30 am, mainly because we wanted to avoid the violent wakes and stress of boat traffic, which we’d been told can be horrendous at busy times. We checked the tides nearby, predicted we’d have about 2 hours of sailing with the incoming tide, and then were resigned to fighting the outgoing tide the rest of the way. Well, for once our ignorance worked in our favor because, as we realized later, the tide continues to come in all the way up the river long past the high tide nearer to the mouth. To make a long story short, we rode a 2 knot current all the way to our next stop 45 miles upriver! We were lucky.
On the way, we took time for a photo op. Some fellow Loopers (Jim and Susan) were leaving at about the same time that morning, so we pre-arranged to take pictures of each other’s boats on the way past the Statue of Liberty and the shoreline of Manhattan. Here are some:
As we continued up the Hudson River, the scenery began to change. The Hudson is unexpectedly (for me at least) BEAUTIFUL!
We arrived at Half Moon Bay in Croton-on-Hudson at about 11 AM. I’d heard about laundry service there that was reasonably priced, so took advantage. They drove to our marina, picked up our laundry, and delivered it back to us within an hour–for $20!!!! I assure you, they did a lot better job than I do–even folded my underwear! Felt good to be clean again. We then walked to a grocery store and re-provisioned, and on the way back, found a lovely swimming beach for Hunny.
So for the next two mornings, Hunny happily chased squirrels (on the way) and swam after balls in the river. Nice to see her tail up again rather than drooping between her legs like usual while underway.
Here’s me on same beach–iphone in hand of course:
Tuesday morning we decided to stay and do some sightseeing. We rented a car ($40 for 24 hours, free gas!) and started off. First saw the Croton Dam, the second largest hand hewn stone structure in the world, second only to the pyramids! Impressive.
Above is picture of spillway. David and Hunny are enjoying the spray.
Then drove on to West Point, high on a hill overlooking the Hudson. West Point began as an important fort during the Revolutionary War, then became a military academy under Washington. Here’s a view from West Point overlooking the Hudson.
If you look closely, you’ll see our boat–Janet and Bruce visited the area the day we headed upriver, and just happened to see us passing by. I admit I enjoyed visiting the Naval Academy at Annapolis more, but that may be because of family connections.
From West Point, we proceeded north to Hyde Park, home of the Culinary Institute of America, where we had dinner reservations. Since we had time, we decided to stop in at the Franklin D Roosevelt presidential library and museum (and FDR’s Hyde Park home) and that experience was the surprising highlight of the day. To begin with, I had a very minimal knowledge of FDR’s life and presidency; by the end of our tour, he was one of my heroes. He had character. He had morals. He had vision. One may not agree with all of his policies, but he truly believed in what he was doing, and definitely set America on the path out of the Great Depression. It was one of best museums I’ve ever been to.
Below is a picture of FDR’s study, from which he gave multiple “fireside chats” (NOT a re-creation–he actually worked in the library whenever he was at Hyde Park):
Hunny went with us on our tour and was bored.
She really only enjoyed reading about Fala, FDR’s beloved dog:
OK, then we went on to the other highlight of the day—EATING. We’d missed lunch, so we were very ready for a gourmet meal when we arrived at one of the four restaurants run by Culinary Institute of America students–Ristorante Catarina De’ Medici. We did not hold back–ordered a bottle of good Sicilian red wine AND a glass of homemade beer (don’t worry–only drank half the wine). We each ordered appetizers (salads), a pasta course (gnocchi for me, wild mushroom tagliatelle for David), shared grilled scallops in a lemon/wine/butter sauce as an entree, plus dessert for each. Perfect serving sizes–we were pleasantly, not uncomfortably, full when we left. Very good day.
Today we’re on the road, I mean water, again–headed about 50 miles up the river.