So long Lake Champlain. Hello Sandy Hook.

Eagles.  Note the leaves have begun to change

Departure day (Sept 5 ) was a short one that enabled a shorter day to Whitehall. Getting spoiled with half days of traveling. 🙂 This half day allowed us to stop off Crown Point Park for the night, which was on our bucket list.

Crown Pt left, Chimney Pt right. Overcast all day, by 5pm the sky began to clear

Wednesday’s travel down to Whitehall, NY; in a word- glorious. Eagles, herons, egrets, few other boats, no commercial traffic and only one lock right at Whitehall.

Headed South to Whitehall. Egret waits for the right time

Twin Sisters snugged up to her old spot at the north end of the terminal wall. With visions of breakfast at Historic Grounds with a side of laundry and a haircut for Russ, we felt fortified to handle leaving the Lake and family behind.

Unexpected entertainment at Whitehall, added to the fun. Until the pouring rain and thunderstorms arrived that is.

Kingfisher at Whitehall Terminal wall. Looks like a youngster.

 

Kingfisher didn’t have good luck fishing from the wall, sooo

That didn’t work out, so he had one more spot to try.

Bird’s trying every perch! Maybe up high he could see the fishies better.

A generous block up from Historic Grounds (yes I gorged on a popover!) is the cutest darn laundromat all decorated with vintage laundry/cleaning items. Next door is a tanning salon with a space occupied by an experienced hairstylist/barber.

The one-woman town welcoming person, Elizabeth, had stopped by the evening we arrived and tipped us off to the salon; she also took our bag of trash as the park next to the docks is “carry in, carry out.”

Waiting for Russ at Prime Cuts, looking next door into laundry

We taunted the rain and took a daring walk across the train tracks to the other section of town and look who we met!!

Sasquatch and friend. The question is: “who’s got the better stance?”

 

Who remembers S&H Green stamps?  My grandmother collected them and I think I ended up with a full book.

We stopped again at Fort Edward despite the rickety, low floating docks. We had to scare off a flock of ducks which I was able to do with great success using my new Sasquatch moves.

Good morning fog at Ft Edward

 

Green Heron on old lifting thing at Fort Edward

Only once on the combined trip north and south, did we meet up with a barge underway while in confined waters. Easy peasy when it’s coming out of the lock, we had warning and a spot to wait.

Glad we met up here where had pullover room.

More foggy the next morn at Mechanicville, NY

 

Mechanicville- some creature, a racoon? -took that welcome mat literally

Paddle tour boat stopped briefly at Mechanicville.

And off she goes

Next to Lock C5 at Northumberland. Sorry, out of order as this is north of Mechanicville. Oh well.

Between Mechanicville and Waterford there’s only two locks. M/V Gypsy was also at Mechanicville, headed south so we had company in the locks.

We found that dropping down in the locks was always smoother than going up. This made the trip south less stressful because eight of the eleven locks between Whitehall and Waterford drop you down.

Lock C1. Our 2nd and final of the short trip to Waterford

 

m/y Gypsy from AZ did Locks C2 and C1 with us, docking at Waterford. Both trips we had another power behind us in C1 and C2

Our one night stay in Waterford (intersection of the Erie Canal and Hudson) was very productive. Lunch at Don & Paul’s, then Hannaford for provisions and McGreiveys for outdoor dinner.

In the “small world” category, one the boats docked closer to the lock (E1) walked over and asked if we’d been hauled out at Seaport Marine last summer. Well, yes! I’m not sure if we spoke to one another then (maybe he and Russ did) but he remembered we’d been there “a while.”

We gave m/v Gypsy some tips about the old canal towpath and museum and headed off the next morning once the fog cleared.

We’d been keeping a slow pace thanks to the ultimately destructive Hurricane Irma.  A window showed itself for mid-Sept and we intended to take it. Sandy Hook is only a two-day trip from Waterford in Twins; three in Ortolan unless we did loonnggg days. If the window shut we had two backup plans.

One more lock south of Waterford and that’s the Troy Federal Lock. This time we were prepared with a boat hook to grab the ladder and a line for Russ to put around the vertical pipe.

These lock walls are much smoother than the Champlain Canal lock walls.

Imagine our surprise to come upon m/v Real Mountie anchored at Albany. Don’t think we’d read reviews of a single anchorage or mooring field that didn’t contain one written by Real Mountie. They weren’t super recent nor old and most contained some history or back story which is just great to have. Sometimes that’s enough info but in some cases Russ searched for more and that made it even better. So, the surprise was to see the boat at all, not that she was anchored . 🙂

Albany: we spot m/v Real Mountie– the helpful writer of tons of Lake Champlain ActiveCaptain reviews

 

Eye-catching in Albany. Think we’re gonna need that Uhaul in November.

 

On the Hudson, 2 hrs N of Kingston we pass this tug and barge. So long the tug wouldn’t fit in the photo

 

Hudson, heading south. Approaching Bannerman Arsenal- the first Army/Navy surplus warehouse.

On the trip north I took a close-up of the arsenal but didn’t know much about it. As we passed by this time, Russ checked Wikipedia and boy what an interesting read. You can click here for the whole story but here’s the short version:

Francis Bannerman VI, was born in 1851, in Northern Ireland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1854.  The family moved to Brooklyn in 1858 and began a military surplus business in 1865 purchasing surplus military equipment at the close of the Civil War.  The business bought weapons directly from the Spanish government before it evacuated Cuba; and then purchased over 90 percent of the Spanish guns, ammunition, and equipment captured by the United States military and auctioned off by the United States government.  Bannerman’s illustrated mail order catalog expanded to 300 pages; and became a reference for collectors of antique military equipment.

Francis purchased the island in November 1900, for use as a storage facility for his growing surplus business. He began to build an arsenal on Pollepel Island. Bannerman designed the buildings himself.  He also built another castle in a smaller scale on top of the island near the main structure as a residence, often using items from his surplus collection for decorative touches. The castle, clearly visible from the shore of the river, served as a giant advertisement for his business. On the side of the castle facing the western bank of the Hudson, Bannerman cast the legend “Bannerman’s Island Arsenal” into the wall.

Construction stopped when he died in 1918. In 1920, 200 tons of shells and powder exploded, destroying a portion of the complex.  After the sinking of the ferryboat Pollepel, which had served the island, in a storm in 1950, the Arsenal and island were essentially left vacant.

The island and buildings were bought by New York State in 1967. After the old military merchandise was removed, tours of the island were given in 1968. But in 1969, fire devastated the Arsenal and the island was placed off-limits to the public.

Since then, more walls have collapsed, such damage reported by a motorist and Metro-North officials. Remember how close the tracks are to the shoreline.

But here’s the very interesting tidbit of recent:

On April 19, 2015, the island was the destination of a kayak trip taken by Angelika Graswald and her fiancé, Vincent Viafore. Vincent did not return, and Angelika was charged with his murder. On July 24, 2017, she pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide. 

I remember the story and seeing the recent news story about her pleading guilty. Never had any idea where on the Hudson the kayak trip took place.

Kingston- once an active commercial port

Fuel was needed before heading offshore to Cape May so we stopped at Rondout Yacht Basin in Kingston for diesel.

Tour boat Rip Van Winkle at Kingston. Was about time to see a reference to old Rip.

The Tappan Zee was coming together nicely with more spans in place since early August.

Watch out for that spinning crane !

And when isn’t New York Harbor a bustling waterway? The city that never sleeps, right?

Lower Hudson closing in on Miss Liberty- sailing club, tour and dinner boat (far left), ferry and tug & barge

Seems that everyone wanted to be on the water.

Daring paddle boarders in the harbor

 

Ellis Island

 

Ms Liberty and a Park Police boat as we motor by

 

Anthem of the Seas- wow! Not my idea of attractive.

We’d gotten word from m/v Tapestry (a 58′ Kadey-Krogen) that the offshore conditions just sucked today. That agreed with the forecast though and we hoped that Friday, Sept 15 would be better as “promised.”

Heading out of NY Harbor toward the Verrazano Bridge and Sandy Hook NJ

 

 

 

 

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