North to Cold Spring

We are in totally new boating waters, different bodies of water, different views, different history, which makes for a nice little adventure at the start of the season. Although we have had more gray skies than sunshine, the mountains and hills rising up from the river can still capture our attention.

The Hudson’s Indian name was “Muhheakantuck” which translates to “the river that flows both ways.” That’s for certain; we are constantly checking which way the current is going. And then we mostly disregard it and go ahead anyway, albeit at a slower pace. 😉

Lawrence Zetilin’s Hudson reference states “Cold Spring, at the 55 mile point and slightly north of West Point on the east shore, is in my opinion, the most interesting river town to visit on Hudson River trip.”  With that recommendation, on Thursday, June 7th we left Croton-on-Hudson to head north to Cold Spring, only 16 nautical miles north.

As we followed Magnolia out of the cove, we were treated to a view of Anthony’s morning routine. While Annette pilots, he chats on the headset and drinks his coffee. Haha!

Stony Point Lighthouse is nestled in the trees above the Hudson on the west side.

Built in 1826, Stony Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. Following the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, it was constructed to safely guide the increasing river traffic. The light house was decommissioned in 1925.

We passed the “Spirit of Jefferson” tour boat on our starboard side.
It was recently auctioned off for $165,000 in 2017. There were some men roaming around on the deck. A fixer upper?

You can’t help but notice occasional graffiti on both manmade and natural structures. Time and Love?

Early on, Al pondered these stone walls along the river, so very close to the water. Why were they there?

Aha! TRAINS! Passenger trains and freight trains

It is impossible to capture just how long these freight trains are! Al counted 100 cars on one  freight train.

Bear Mountain Bridge ahead -the “entrance to the Hudson Highlands”

Shortly after noon, with great anticipation, we saw West Point up ahead. We would have considered stopping here and taking a tour, but from everything we read, it is not easy to do by boat. Just seeing the complex from the water and knowing even a little of its history and purpose is still quite impressive.

The United States Military Academy,  established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802, stretches several miles along the river.

That dock at the base has been closed to visitors since 9/11 unless you are a retired general.

It was originally established as a fortress overlooking the Hudson River during the Revolutionary War. The Norman-style buildings are constructed from gray and black granite. West Point has been called the “Gibraltar of America.”

Around the northern point of West Point we had a glimpse of this bench sitting on rock. A place for contemplation?

Around the bend of the north end, is a view of  West Point’s athletic fields and buildings.

Messages on the roofs — “SINK NAVY” and “BEAT AIR FORCE”

Arriving in Cold Point, we anchored in Foundry Cove. I’ll admit that I was concerned about anchoring here given the depths on the charts and cautions about deadheads and shallow spots, but both boats found a place to drop the anchor.

Overlooking Foundry Cove is small Greek Revival Chapel. Designed in 1833 by a 16-year old architect, first Catholic Church north of Manhattan. Abandoned in 1907. Restored as nondenominational chapel.

Kindred Spirit, anchored in Foundry Cove, Cold Spring

Trains once again formed the backdrop of sound and sight in this anchorage as well.   Commuter service to New York City is available via the Cold Spring train station, served by Metro-North Railroad. The train journey is about an hour and ten minutes to Grand Central Terminal

This freight train was unusually colorful as it raced by on the opposite shore.

That first afternoon in Cold Point was also chore time on Magnolia with an assist from Captain Al. Annett’e newly sewn front window covers needed additional snaps. Al is the snap guy with the snap tool, but it looks like he is just “supervising” in this photo. 😉

They earned their relaxation time!

Friday was designated “explore Cold Spring day.” We all confirmed that Lawrence Zeitlin is correct – Cold Spring is truly a charming place, easily reached from the boat.

We dinghied to the Cold Spring Boat Club where they allow you to use a dock for a visit and to sign their guest book, available in the mailbox.

The Boat Club keeps a nice record of visitor statistics asking you to record your visit’s purpose – breakfast, lunch, dinner, shopping, ice cream, overnight. You know that we definitely checked off one for certain!

The village was given the name “Cold Spring”  because George Washington liked the cold water from the town’s spring. We searched for this spring thinking this must be marked, given its significance. We did find a marker in the bushes near this gazebo on the property of a restaurant.

Is it true???? Or just a local yore?

The main street of the village is on the National Register of Historic Places due to the many well-preserved 19th-century buildings, originally constructed to house workers at the nearby West Point Foundry. The streets are now lined with antiques and collectible shops, and a variety of eateries. Take a walk with us as we meandered around.

This tunnel takes you from the waterfront area to the upper village area under the railroad tracks.

The Cold Springers have a sense of humor —     “HELL YEAH WE’RE OPEN!”                             “VOTED BEST BURGER IN TOWN BY SOME GUY WHO LIKES BURGERS.”                               “LIFE IS EPHEMERAL. DON’T WASTE IT LOOKING UP BIG WORDS.”

My favorite sign with my favorite guy.

Speaking of ice cream, the last item on our Cold Spring exploration was to find the ice cream shop, “Moo Moo”.

Really, really good ice cream! They had one of my favorite flavors – Mexican Chocolate (dark chocolate with cinnamon and a hint of chili)!

Cold Spring’s waterfront park, perfect for watching the river flow by. Al and Anthony enjoyed a peaceful moment.

When Al and Anthony got up from the bench, I read the memorial plaque. I don’t know who Toby was, perhaps a faithful dog, but this message evokes a Hudson River picture in my mind.

 

 

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Croton-on-Hudson: Dam & Ice Cream!

With northwest winds predicted for the night, we chose to anchor in Croton-on-Hudson’s south anchorage for protection. We could still see the Tappan Zee Bridge behind us and a large complex just south of the anchorage on the east side of the Hudson — the Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in the village of Ossining, NY. The original name  “Sing Sing” was derived from the name of a Native American tribe, “Sinck Sinck”. Attempts in 1970 to change the name to the “Ossining Correctional Facility” were unsuccessful so the name reverted back to “Sing Sing” in 1985.

Looks like a nice place with a great view of the river. Does crime pay?                                              Have you ever heard the phrase ““They sent him up the river”?  This phrase originated with the Sing-Sing Prison, back in the 1890s and then was broadened to apply to any prison. Do the younger generations know these old phrases?

I googled famous prisoners of Sing Sing, but I only recognized three names – David Berkowitz, the serial killer “Son of Sam” and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the married couple tried, convicted and sentenced to death for espionage in 1953.

On to more pleasant topics!

We were definitely out and away from the city and now in the Hudson River Valley.

The next morning we leisurely moved the 2.6 nautical miles north, around the Croton Point Park to the north anchorage for better access to town. We needed to stretch our legs!

Annette and I have both been reading Lawrence Zeitlin’s Hudson River Guide (2015) for information. Although he said you could dinghy to the town dock, we could not find that location. A guy from the Half Moon Marina assured us there was no places for a dinghy, but for $15 we could go there. Yeah, right.  Resourceful boaters that we are, we found a dinghy dock at the Croton Yacht Club with a welcoming attitude. I am including this information in case anyone reading tries to find a place for their dinghy here.

Not fancy, but safe and friendly!

From the yacht club, we had to cross the train tracks by walking up and over on a passenger bridge.

Lunch at The Tavern, definitely a local place.

There are a few things to do in and around Croton-on Hudson. With just the afternoon for exploring, we decided to visit the Croton Dam, about 4 miles away (thank you, Uber.)

We started above the dam. Impressive views!

Croton Dam is part of the water supply for New York City (up to 19 billion gallons of water, which is only a small fraction of the NYC water system’s total storage capacity of 580 billion gallons. WOW.

The most curiously interesting fact we learned is that the dam is the 3rd largest cut stone structure in the world (#1 Great Wall of China and #2 Great Pyramid of Piza). Italian, Irish, and Eastern European stone cutters were hired to build the dam in the late 1800s. Many of them were sculptors and artists on the side which led to Croton’s reputation as an art center.

The NEW Croton Dam (Built 1892-1906)
Depth of foundation below river bed = 124 ft
Height = 297 ft above foundation
Length of dam = 1168 ft, Length of spillway = 1000 ft       For a total of 2168 ft
Thickness of base =  206 ft Thickness at top = 18 feet

Finding a path to the park below proved to be a challenge, but we did find a park access road.  We became the  guides for a younger couple who obligingly took a photo of the older folks!

Croton Gorge Park is lovely, wooded and green accompanied by loud tumbling water from the  dam.

Looking down at the gorge and park area.

After walking around the park and dam, it was time for afternoon ice cream so we ubered back to town to find “The Blue Pig.” A little shop with homemade ice cream using “local dairy, fresh produce, and environmentally-friendly practices.”  The owner states it clearly and succinctly, “Your ice cream can only be as good as your milk.”

The Blue Pig. I should have asked why the name is “The Blue Pig.” Pigs don’t provide the milk, but I could become piggish if I lived near here!

Ice cream lovers!

We all agreed that the Croton Dam and The Blue Pig made Croton-on-the Hudson worth visiting.

Magnolia and Kindred Spirit anchored off the Croton Point Park.

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Good-bye New York City, Hello Hudson River

The morning was so lovely, we just had to take more photos of our boats with Lady Liberty before we headed north into the Hudson River. You simply do not pass up an opportunity like this.

Magnolia with the Statue of Liberty.

Kindred Spirit with the lovely Lady of Liberty. Thank you, Anthony!

In my humble opinion there is no other more beautiful and meaningful statue in all of the United States.  Officially known as “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” she was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886  and designated as a National Monument in 1924.

Hold your torch high, Lady Liberty. We will get through these times.

 

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 – Emma Lazarus

 

Need I say anymore?

We say good bye to her.

We usually turn east for our boating in the summer, so this is a new adventure in new waters for us.

Liberty State Park on the New Jersey side.

Ellis Island. My grandfather, at age 7,  arrived here with his family from Sicily.

Jersey City on the west side of the Hudson River has some pretty impressive buildings.

Skyscrapers under construction as we motored northward past the west side of Manhattan. Look at those cranes on top!

There on the Jersey side was a little red-and-white striped lighthouse nestled among the city buildings. I wasn’t able to find out anything about it, but it so reminded me of the Hope Town lighthouse.

Looking back, lower Manhattan on the left and Jersey City on the right.

The Hudson seemed busier than the East River. Ferries are zipping north and south and east and west transporting people in and out of the city.

Tried a panorama shot to capture more of the view.

The Carnival cruise ship “Horizon” at dock on the west side.

Not only massive cruise ships dock on the west side of Manhattan, but there was a marina with smaller recreational boats as well.

Ahead of us we could see the George Washington Bridge and shiny blue boat.

Hmmm, she looks BIG.

It was the yacht, Aviva, owned by Joe Lewis,  a British businessman; she is his third yacht of that name.  A few details: 322 feet with a beam of 56 feet. Aviva runs most comfortably at a zippy 16.5 knots, despite an official cruising speed of 14 knots. Just for comparison purposes, we cruse at our “zippy” 7.4 knots but we can push it to 9 knots for a short burst. Aviva can carry 16 guests in 8 staterooms with a crew of 25 in 11 cabins. Just for comparison purposes, Kindred Spirit carries her 2 passengers/crew in 2 cabins, with one unused. 😉

Side by side in the Hudson River, 38-foot Kindred Spirit and 322-foot Aviva. Wish I could have gotten a photo side-by-side!

We have never been under the George Washington Bridge, only on it, in crazy traffic! So much nicer down here on the water!

The infamous double-decker George Washington Bridge is just ahead.

Tucked under the east side of the bridge’s support, right near the water is a tiny “little red lighthouse” and that’s exactly what I called it. Googling later, I found that it really is known as the “little red light” and has a sweet story to go along.

“The Little Red Lighthouse,” officially known as Jeffrey’s Hook Light

The Little Red Lighthouse, officially Jeffrey’s Hook Light, is a small lighthouse located in Fort Washington Park on the Hudson River in New York City, under the George Washington Bridge. It was made famous by the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift, illustrated by Lynd Ward. The lighthouse stands on Jeffrey’s Hook, a small point of land that supports the base of the eastern pier of the bridge. I think I may have to try and find that book (Note – I found a new 2003 edition on Amazon! I can read it to my grandchildren.)

The current slowed our passage up the Hudson, averaging only 5.5 knots. We passed under the George Washington Bridge at 10:30 am, 2.5 hours after leaving the anchorage at Liberty Island. Once through there, the cityscape fades away and the landscape becomes greener. We didn’t reach the next bridge, the Tappan Zee Bridge, until 12:30 pm. The word ‘zee” means sea in Dutch and Tappans were a local Indian tribe. We use this bridge much more than the GW on our car trips back and forth to Pennsylvania and Delaware to visit family.

The new Tappan Zee Bridge, connecting Nyack  and Tarrytown.

The Tappan Zee Bridge has been under construction for several years now. All traffic is on the new portion as they deconstruct and remove the old bridge with enormous cranes and barges.

Ahh, geez, another rain cloud opened on us. DOWNPOUR!

After the short deluge of rain at the Tappan Zee we had only a short way to go to our first anchorage at Croton-on-Hudson. Al is clearing the rain from the plastic.

Tarrytown Light, also known as Kingsland Point Light and Sleepy Hollow Light, is a sparkplug lighthouse on the east side of the Hudson River in Sleepy Hollow.  It a conical steel structure erected in the 1880s.

Magnolia joined us in the Croton-on-Hudson anchorage, just a short way north of the Tappan Zee.

Annette cooked a lovely dinner onboard Magnolia for the four of us. (Thanks Anthony, for the photo!)

I think we are going to have a very good time on this trip!

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