So how do you get to Lake Champlain? From Westbrook, CT on the north shore of Long Island Sound, here’s the route- if you are in a boat that is: head west- oh wait, first head east and then up the Connecticut River to Old Lyme for the best fuel deal around and pass under the decrepit Old Lyme Draw- twice without needing an opening.
Ok, so now head west. Make a right hand turn into the East River, riding a favorable current of course. At the infamous Hell Gate you have a decision to make, which hopefully you made before you got here; continue on the East River and hang a right at the Hudson, or be daring and hang a right up the Harlem river with its winding ways, barges galore and a very often closed train swing bridge at the north end which dumps you out into the Hudson.
No, wait, there’s more. You don’t think I’d write that teeny paragraph when I could tell you all about our first few days, do you?
Sunday, July 30 was a lovely day and just perfect for a final boat and cushion washing and getting everything put in its place and ready for heading out into the big blue water. The batteries got equalized, the dry packets got cooked in the oven (they eat moisture), lights and sounds tested, bridle re-attached and charts reviewed. I’d read about a product on The Boat Galley, called Concrobium, which was touted as being a near miracle killer and preventor of mold and mildew, two determined nasties on a boat. Sprayed it on our exterior cushions, dinghy life jackets and the horribly mildew prone VHF radio cord on the flybridge. Maybe I’ll remember to let you know well it works.
After two months of not moving, except to turn the boat around with lines and one very short test run, would we still remember how to do everything? Let’s hope so.
Come Monday leaving the slip was easy-peasy in a no wind morning kinda way. After that two hour detour for diesel we cranked up the RPMs and the watermaker and zoomed down LIS toward the skinny west end, anchoring in Manhasset Bay near Port Washington. Ok then, Day 1- check!
Tuesday ended up being a 10-hour, 90 nm day and no we did not go up the Harlem River which would have saved time. Instead, we chose the bustling, scenic, wild ride route around the tip of Manhattan. We had a favorable current carrying us along in the East River but once we turned up the Hudson, wow we got a major slap back, making only 5.5 kts at normal 2000 rpm, aka 8kts!
Before the Hudson and the spot of Sully’s Miracle, we watched a seaplane touch down near the United Nations on the East River, probably scaring the crap out of the boat behind us who swerved to avoid what he figured would be a collision.
Well, that’s a first.
So yes, the Hudson was a busy place- did I mention that? Ferries crossing left and right, boats leaving marinas, tour boats- the old Circle Line was alive and kickin’ and we watched for the general vicinity where Cap’n Sully performed his miracle… and I think it’s right about here….
The George Washington was a sight to behold and one we had never seen from the water. No tolls or traffic jams this way. A bit further north is the Tappan Zee which is a better choice if you are in a land vehicle. Three years ago we crossed over on our way to a small RV Show and saw the very beginnings of footings for the new bridge.
Now the bridge is nearly complete. Just need that one span- kinda important.
Continuing north, you find Sing Sing Prison on the eastern shore. A rather large and imposing complex.
The trains,oh the trains! Little red caboose, boose, boose…. Blowing that horn, all night and day!!
And there’s West Point- hard to miss.
And then we anchored- yes, close to shore and thus the train tracks. Hey we needed to get going in the morning, so why not get a wake-up whistle every few hours???
Next stop Waterford, NY. We will pass through Albany, Troy and our first lock. Not looking forward to locking through 12 locks before arriving in Lake Champlain, but at least we aren’t doing the Erie Canal!