The Amazing Grace

Let Your Dreams Set Sail

Hudson River, New York

††††††† What a great place to cruise on a sailboat.† We have thoroughly enjoyed the last week on the river.† The weather has continued to be rainy.† We have had storms every day and even hail on the first night.† The motor continues to be our way of propulsion.†

††††††† We picked a great year to sail the Hudson.† Giovanni de Verrazano discovered the river in 1524 but it was in 1609 that Henry Hudson first explored the river looking for the Northern Passage to China.† So this year is the 400th anniversary celebration along the river.† The River Week Celebrations were June 6 Ė 14.† Even though we missed them, we did meet the replica Onrust on its way back south.† (below left) *HR 1

††††††† The river and its mountains are just magnificent.† We werenít expecting such beauty and were surprised when we saw the palisades (cliffs) just outside of NYC.† (above right) The views kept taking us back to New Zealand as it reminded us of what we had seen there.†

††††††† Right as Scott was down below making chili dogs for lunch, we got pulled along side of by the New York City State Police or local sheriff boat.† They pulled us over for not having state registration numbers on our bow or seal on our mast.† In Texas we donít have to have state registration and all that is required is official boat documentation by the Coast Guard and or Department of Homeland Security.† As Scott looked for the documentation paper, Cindy displayed all required safety equipment and told the stories of our adventure so far.† The two sheriffs were very nice and seemed to be impressed that we were actually doing what so many only dreams about.† After about an hour of looking, Scott had found 3 expired documents but could not find the elusive current document.† On about he fourth pass through the documents in the lock box, he thought to open every single document and found it inside his FCC license.† Yeah, we passed the boarding and they went officially on their way.†

The chili dogs hit the spot as we motored on up the river.† We went by many gorgeous homes and our cruising guide says that we saw one owned by Rosie OíDonnell and Russell Crow.† We just donít know which one.† We anchored across from the nuclear power plant.

Old Henry Hudson Boat

Our speed hadnít been as fast as usual so Scott thought that maybe we had† fouled our prop with fishing line.† So in the water he went.† He couldnít find anything but while he was in the water he didnít taste salt.† How nice to be in fresh water.† So that explains the loss of speed.† We are now sitting deeper in the water because of the difference in water densities we arenít floating as high. Next a pretty severe storm blew in bringing hail.† If we could have caught enough we would of used it in our drinks.† Instead Scott did the middle schoolish prank of putting it down my shirt.† After the storm we saw these beautiful swans floating by.

††††††† There are trains on both sides of the river.† On the east side is the commuter and Amtrak lines (below left) and on the west side is the freights lines. (below right).

We have learned to pick out the engine sounds we hear in the distance before we can see them.† We sing with the horn blasts either Scott for the one blast or Cindy for the two blasts.† They kept woke us up the first night but now we are getting used to them.† We did see the best way to commute to work.†

††††††† Next we went by West Point established in 1802.† It is located on a bend in the river and was strategically important during the Revolutionary War.† They also laid a 500 yard chain (150 ton) across the river at Worldís End called this because it looked like the river ended.† The most amazing thing was the up to 175 feet water depths in the bend.† In Texas we used to have to go miles out to see those depths.†

††††††† We next tied up to a to the Marinerís Landing Restaurant for the night.† The locals were pretty impressed with our homeport of Texas until a powerboat from New Zealand tied up. How does a power boat get here from there anyway??† We noticed that marinas and docks look much different here.† Finally Scott and I snapped to the reason why.† The docks are all temporary or only for a few months during the summer season.† They all have to be lifted out of the water for the winter freezes.†

We were right below the 167í long railroad bridge that when it was built in 1888 was said to be the longest in the world.† It was used until it was closed in the 1970s after a major fire on the bridge.† We heard from our bartender that it was the teenage prank in his day to climb over the barriers and cross the bridge, sometimes only on the beams.† A 25 million dollar project has been in the works for 20 years to turn the bridge into the Walkway Over the Hudson.† The opening ceremony is scheduled for Oct.† Too bad we were too early; it is going to be a neat addition to the river.†

We have been pleasantly surprised at both restaurants we ate at on the river.† The menus have been very interesting and very good.† We figured out why when we went by the Culinary Institute of America.† We know that we have enjoyed meals by some of their graduates.†

Next in the river was an island with a Scottish castle built by Francis Bannerman IV, a munitions dealer, who used the island to store his ammunition.†

Also in the middle of the river there are lighthouses sitting by themselves on† islands.† We both liked this house.† We think the bathrooms were located on the left side.† (Above right) Another beautiful sight that reminded both of us of Scotland or New Zealand.†

Finally we reached the spot in the river where we had to pull into Catskill Creek to take down our masts.† Since many of the bridges on the Erie Canal are only 15 vertical clearance, you must step (take down or lift out) the masts to be able to navigate this waterway.† The only alternative is to sail around Maine and down the St. Lawrence Seaway.† Maybe we will do that route the next trip.† This is the part of the trip that we have been most worried about.† We have never stepped the masts.† We have read up on it and Scott has designed an AutoCad drawing of what we plan to do.† We were surprised to find out that our boat even though it is called a Bayfield 40 is really 49 feet long with the bow sprit and the solar panels.† So our 55í mast would not end up hanging too far off each end.† Now we talk to the experts to see what they recommend.† It took us two days to get the boat ready and to step the masts.† We had to take down all the sails.† Yep, somehow we found room for them in the staterooms.†† Next we loosened all the stays, ÖÖ.† Scott went down below and unhooked all wires, cables, and from under each mast.† Took the booms off each mast, we left the main attached to the boom and placed it on cabin deck.†

Next Scott had to build cradles to sit the masts on.† The Hop-o-Nose Marina, an Indian word, had wood available for us to buy.†† We hauled, measured, cut with his battery powered saw, put them together, and tied and ratcheted them to the toe rails.†

We were ready to move it under the crane.† First they lifted the mizzen mast, the small one in back.†

They then sat the mizzen mast on the pier and we turned the Amazing Grace around to lift out the main mast.† The only thing that held us up was a cotter pin that did not want to come out that holds on the yankee roller furling.†

But Scott and Sean, the local expert stepper, finally got it undone.† Once we had started lifting the main mast a thunderstorm hit.† So we sat and waited for about an hour until we could put the mizzen mast on the cradle next to the main.† Next we had to put brace boards in between the masts to hold them in place.† Here is what she looks like as a motor boat††

††††††† When we finished we made a run to the local Wal-Mart.† It was the first time I have been to one since Texas.† We spent well over an hour just walking around and picking up all the things we had thought of in 3 months on the water.† The highlight being solar path lights to light up the cockpit at night.†

The biggest surprise taking down the masts was that, I know it will be hard for you all to believe since I donít have a green bone in my body, that we had a plant growing inside our mast.†

It was buried in seeds that we assume were dropped by birds down the mast.†

The next morning we got up and motored the last 40 miles past Albany to the Erie Canal.† We couldnít believe this big ship up the Hudson River.

We donít know what we would of thought if we had seen it coming up behind us.† We loved this building in Albany that reminded us of the gray bricks in Scotland.†

This we think is the capitol building and if it isnít, it should. be.† Of course, right before we were to enter the Troy lock it started to pour down rain.† After about an hour of circling we were able to go on through and tie up on the wall at Waterford, the beginning of the Erie Canal.

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