“Maitre D” let us know about a little spot they’d found along the Hudson at Kingston, NY. The Kingston Maritime Museum had a dock and the report was that the museum was worth visiting. Of course, we were trying to make time heading south, but it seemed as good a place as any, and about the right length day. The day started out warm and sunny, but slowly turned to a cool rain, so only I remained on deck, not wanting to repeat the four sets of dripping foulies on a cool night. Arriving after dark, and unable to raise anyone on the radio, we pulled into the dock just behind “Maitre D” and found someone who was just leaving let us know she’d work it out in the morning.
Talking with Sylvie, from “Maitre D,” we learned that the museum was having a Halloween party of sorts and that they were still needing volunteers. So, in the morning, I negotiated for the boys to volunteer in return for our dockage fees, thinking this would be more fun for the boys than just staying in a deserted marina one day down the river. We took the opportunity to grocery up, launder clothing, and get some work done.
One of the side benefits of going here was that an old friend of mine works just across the river. So, Gabe and I fired up and headed out of the tributary and across the river to a boat launch on the other side. Little did we know when we left just how rough the river would be. We fought across bigger waves than I thought possible in such a small bit of water. On the other side, we could not find an safe wall to tie to, so returned to the museum without luck. Perhaps we’ll see him on the return trip.
The boys fulfilled their obligations, helping with game tables and such. Unfortunately, not many came. So, it was not a busy day for them. However, on the upside, they were the recipients of all of the leftover candy, cookies, and doughnuts that had been intended for the visitors.
Kingston was a nice place to stay, and looks to be a great place to visit in the summer, with lots of little shops and restaurants. The museum is very cool, and one of the only steam tugboats to have remained a steam tug (others were refitted with diesel engines) is on display.
Intro to heavy fog
Leaving Kingston early the next morning to try to take advantage of the tidal current rather than fight it, we hit a wall of fog shortly after exiting the tributary and getting on the Hudson. This was our first experience with really dealing with fog. Two sets of eyes on deck at all times, and the use of the radio to help electronically “see” at least the larger vessels, we made it through without incident. We did learn one important piece of information about the AIS collision alert system on our radio: one should always check the info about the ship the system is warning you about. We kept getting alerts about a certain vessel ahead of us. So, naturally, we were wary and tried to give it much room to move. But, if I’d looked at the info, I would have seen that not only was it still a long way away and I should have changed the sensitivity of the alert, but that it wasn’t moving. It turned out to be a vessel moored in a marina that still had it’s AIS transmitter on.
We tied up to a mooring at the West 79th Street Boat Basin in Manhattan. The plan was to visit some friends, pick up an order sent to the West Marine, then move on as soon as weather permitted to get to Sandy Hook, NJ and be prepped to make the outer passage. However, upon dropping the dinghy and trying to fight the current with our 1970’s era Evinrude, barely making headway, I decided it was probably not going to be safe to continue with that kind of fight. So, I called around several places and eventually found a new outboard, but had to rent a car and drive to Long Island to get it. How I wish I would have made that purchase at home! But, we now have a shiny new outboard that makes the dinghy get up and go at least as good as my original Nissan that was stolen did.
Manhattan was, of course, great fun, frenetic, and expensive. We had dinner with Lucy, whom we met in Vienna and hadn’t seen for years, and were taken on an extensive tour of China Town, and Little Italy at least with Melissa and Anevay, eating and drinking our way through haunts including a tavern that George Washington delivered speeches in, a vegetarian dim sum restaurant, and a take-away order of egg rolls the size of burritos that was at least double what we could eat. The kids were quite bored with the last place we ended up, so they went back home while Melissa and I stayed out. On the way to the subway after we decided to call it a night, there was a little club Melissa knew, and we were admitted without the $25 cover charge because the concert was just about to finish up. It was Anevay’s favorite band. A super fun night.
Prepping for passage
We moved south, past the Statue of Liberty, through Arthur Kill, to Atlantic Highlands, NJ. This is the base of the hook that juts out from the south forming New York Bay. We caught up with “Maitre D” and gave them the old outboard. I was really pleased about this. Justin will, hopefully, be able to fix it up and make good use of it. In the mean time, it’s at least something workable that is a little easier than the rowing they’ve been doing. They left the following morning for Cape May. We were all prepped to do the same, going as a group to have a little safety in numbers. But, I did one last check in at work before heading offshore and found an emergency. Additionally, the weather was a little questionable. So, we stayed there for four days, pulled in to the marina for power and so people could come and go easily. I did a lot of work in the nearby restaurant, and we went to a couple movies at the local theater. The weather was pretty bad throughout the week, causing the boat to pull at her lines inside the harbor, creaking and groaning all night. I was glad not to be out in it, but was certainly wondering if our buddies were making it safely south.