Heading up the Hudson River for our third, and likely final time. June 5 – 11, 2019

Departing Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, NJ

After a slow morning, we finally left Liberty Landing at 9:40 am.  We weren’t in any rush, as we were only going 37 miles to Croton-on-Hudson, where we planned to throw an anchor for the night in a peaceful cove of Haverstraw Bay.

I do have to share this shot of a cool building next door to the enterprise rent-a-car in Jersey City, my view as I waited to depart after the car return!

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We love the trip up the Hudson River, as it’s super easy boating, and there’s spectacular scenery around every corner.  But first, there’s the rest of Manhattan!

Before you hit the Palisades, there’s still plenty of Manhattan to see, not to mention the Great Gray Bridge and the Little Red Little Red Lighthouse.

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The new Tappanzee Bridge is done, and the demolition of the old bridge is nearly complete.  The new bridge, and the Palisades along the river framing it, is absolutely beautiful!

We spent a peaceful night on the hook just outside of Half Moon Bay Marina in Haverstraw Bay.  We saw lots of looper boats going in and out of the marina, but we stayed there once, and it was definitely enough.  The bay outside their break wall is wide, deep, absolutely beautiful, peaceful and crazy Steve from Half Moon is on land.

As you venture north on the river, it begins to open up and reveal even more beauty!  We particularly love the stretch approaching the Bear Mountain Bridge.  The mountains and park are beautiful, and the bridge provides a picturesque connection across the river.

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Another one of our favorite sections of the river heading north is rounding a bend and seeing the sight of  majestic West Point dominating the shore, high on the hill, keeping watch over the river.

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The approach to West Point, and turning the bend continuing up the Hudson

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Medieval castle replica built by munitions dealer Fran Bannerman on Pollepol Island, 1900-18.

There are two big bridges in Poughkeepsie:  The Mid-Husdon Suspension Bridge and The Conrail Railroad Bridge. Heading north, you pass under the 134 foot Mid-Hudson first.  The bridge opened in 1930, and is one of the oldest bridges spanning the Hudson River.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge

Shortly after passing under the Mid-Hudson, you’ll go under the massive 212-foot old (with a 167-foot vertical clearance) Conrail Railroad Bridge, which has been in place for more than 100 years, and made Poughkeepsie an important railroad center.  It is now the 1.28 mile pedestrian Walkway Bridge Over the Hudson.

Walkway Bridge over the Hudson

Poughkeepsie was the temporary capital of New York in 1877, and is home to Marist College and Vassar College.  FDR’s birthplace and home, Hyde Parkis a short drive away, as is the Culinary Institute of America.  The area is also dotted with historic 19th century Guilded Age mansions, many of which are open to the public.  A few of these great Hudson Valley spots can be viewed from the river.

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Marist College

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The Culinary Institute of America

The Vanderbilt Mansion peeking above the trees

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Esopus Lighthouse, fondly nicknamed “Maid of the Meadows”, 1871, Saugerties, NY

We were excited to reach our next stop, as our dear friend Mike McKean was coming for an overnight visit in Kingston, NY, about a 90 minute drive from his home in Milford, PA.

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Rondout Lighthouse, Kingston, NY

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Thanks to Susan Costa Blais from Lucky Me for this shot of Misty entering Rondout Creek, Kingston, NY

Mike was a bachelor this visit, as his lovely wife Lori was off galavanting around Greece and Italy with their daughters Sarah and Rachel, celebrating Rachel’s graduation from The University of Miami’s Medical School.  We had a lovely visit on the aft deck, and wandered over to Ole Savannah for a delicious dinner of fried chicken and shrimp and grits on their patio overlooking the creek.  We ate there when we passed through here last summer and loved it, and it was still great!!

Great Visit with Mike and dinner at Ole Savannah

There are several areas to explore in Kingston, but due to Nancy’s gimpy foot, we stuck to the old part of town around the Rondout Creek, and didn’t venture to Uptown, where there are a lot of great shops, restaurants and murals around town.  There are a number of cute shops and restaurants clustered in the blocks around the city dock. Since our kids live in Vermont, the Hudson Valley is an area we’ve explored fairly well, and will continue to do so once we’re back on land, so we don’t feel that we missed much.

Kingston Waterfront Neighborhood and shops

It was, once again,  a great day to be on the water.  We had a fairly short run up the river to reach Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina in New Baltimore.   We began connecting with fellow loopers back at Liberty Landing, and again in Kingston, and are now bouncing up the Hudson River with many of them:  Lucky Me, Bella, Steadfast, Bella Gatto, Justified, Wild Goose and Insallah.

Some Loopers on the Hudson

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One last beautiful lighthouse at the top of the Hudson, Hudson Athens Lighthouse, 1874

There are some magnificent homes along the river.  As usual, the best views of these homes is from the water!

Our 41 mile journey took 5 hours, but we arrived at Shady Harbor at 1:15, giving us plenty of time to settle in and relax before the 5:00 docktails for the group.  

Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina, New Baltimore, NY

There was quite the weekend planned, as it was the annual Donovan’s Pig Roast!  Brian Donovan and his wife Kathy own the marina and the on-site restaurant, Boathouse Grille.  They, and all of their staff, are the consummate hosts.  This weekend officially kicks off the boating season for all of the yacht clubs along the upper Hudson River, and they are kind enough to include the AGLCA members heading north on their Loops in the celebration.  There were “Docktails” under the tent every night, along with live music and bonfires.  It was fun to see some familiar faces, and meet some new people, most especially those heading up the Champlain Canal.

Shady Harbor Docktails

We had a great time, but kept a bit of a low profile, as Nancy is still very much in recovery mode with her foot.

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Shady Harbor Sunset

On Saturday, there was a lovely ceremony to raise the American and Canadian flags, both with the appropriate anthem, followed by the raising of the Awenke Yacht Club and AGLCA flags, and a blessing from the Rt. Rev. Jonathan Gray, Acting Chaplain of AYC.  After the ceremony the Reverend and the Commodore of the Yacht Club walked the docks blessing all of the boats.  They were great guys, and it was a lovely way to kick off the northern part of the Loop.

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The blessing of the fleet and the raising of the flag ceremony

The whole weekend was beautiful, with warm temperatures, sunny skies and light breezes.  Sunday was the big day of the weekend, starting with a ladies brunch on the restaurant deck.  The Looper Ladies shared boating stories, the things they can’t live without, what they found easiest to give up, and much more.  Susan Costa Blais from Lucky Me organized the brunch, and had prepared questions and prizes.  Nancy won a pack of cocktail napkins for being the Lady who’s been on the Loop (or living on a boat) the longest!

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Looper Ladies brunch on the deck of The Boathouse Grille

There was a big crowd, a great band, tons of yummy food, and yes THE PIG, which was delicious!!!

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Good times at the Shady Harbor Pig Roast with fellow Loopers

While our slip for the weekend was a bit of a walk to the heart of the marina, we loved our solitude, and we had some great wildlife sightings.

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It was a great weekend, but it was time to leave and tackle the Champlain Canal!  The weather for our departure on Monday, June 10, was beautiful, and while rain was predicted for that night, it was expected to clear on Tuesday morning.  This was great news, as it’s not pleasant to do the locks in the rain, as we did coming south last summer.

Heading north through Albany, Troy to the Troy Lock…after the Lock, The Champlain Canal!

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