Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hudson River and New York City

May 26-28, 2012

The day after The Fog, we left Atlantic Highlands, NJ in the morning and proceeded through New York harbor toward our next destination of Croton-on-Hudson, about thirty miles north of New York City. After the very rough travel day we’d had the day before, we were hoping for clear skies and smooth sailing through the busy New York harbor. It was Saturday morning, so we were lucky that there was very light traffic.

Not much competition as we approached the Verrazano Bridge:


On Saturday morning, most of the big ocean-going freighters were at anchor and posed no hazard:


But those Staten Island ferries never stop, and you’d better just stay out of their way!


We didn’t have the crystal clear morning we experienced last fall when we cruised through New York harbor, but it was still a thrill to approach the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan by boat.

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As we passed the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, we marked the spot where we finally entered new waters for us and were no longer backtracking last fall’s trip from Cape Cod to the southern Chesapeake.  Ellis Island below:


We were a couple of weeks early to catch the sight of the space shuttle Enterprise being carried up the Hudson River, but we were there for Fleet Week in New York, and the US Navy and several international tall ships were in town.

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We continued up the Hudson past the west side of Manhattan and towards the George Washington bridge.

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Very soon the beautiful Palisades of northern New Jersey lined the western bank of the river.  Spectacular! We were travelling once again with Stephen and Charlotte on Jackets II, who had anchored the night before behind the Statue of Liberty after their own harrowing day in the fog.

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About 25 miles north of New York City, we passed under the Tappan Zee bridge near Nyack, into the widest section of the Hudson.

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Just before we reached our destination at Croton–on-Hudson, we passed the infamous federal prison, Sing Sing. The prison was named for the town in which it is located, but in 1901, the town fathers, probably not thrilled with saying “we live in Sing Sing,” changed the name of the town to Ossining.  The term “being sent up the river” was a reference to the criminals from NYC being sentenced to Sing Sing prison.  They have a nice view, though!

Sing Sing prison, the buildings right on the water:


We reached our destination at Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton-on-Hudson on Saturday afternoon and stayed there for the Memorial Day weekend. It was a beautiful spot on the river, with restaurants and shops within walking distance, including one of the best gourmet/specialty food stores so far.  We stocked up!



Our first evening in Half Moon Bay, we had docktails on board our boat, with fellow Loopers Stephen and Charlotte from Jackets II and Don and Bernie from Snow Cat.  We shared stories of our fog experiences and agreed we were glad to be out of New Jersey and safely docked on the beautiful Hudson River!


Beautiful sunset that evening!                         And a half moon over Half Moon Bay!

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Lots of things up and down the Hudson are named “Half Moon,” by the way.  That was the name of Henry Hudson’s ship on which he sailed these waters hoping to find the northwest passage to Asia.

The next day, with Stephen and Charlotte, we caught a fast train into New York City’s Grand Central Station.  We spent the day sightseeing and had a wonderful time.  We visited the weekend street fair on Lexington Avenue, checked out Fleet Week and the tall ships and ended at Ground Zero, which felt so appropriate on Memorial Day weekend. The train runs right along the river, and it was fun for us to retrace by train the route we had taken the day before by boat.

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The Lexington Avenue street market. Craig loves finding cheap sunglasses!

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Craig is happy with his lunch from a street vendor:



Next we went to look at the USS Intrepid and the tall ships.  We went on board the visiting tall ship from Ecuador.  Is this what they call a busman’s holiday?  We live on a boat and go sightseeing on more boats!


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Next we went to Ground Zero to pay our respects. We learned that you need to have a ticket to get to the official memorial, the reflecting pools. Unfortunately, the only tickets available that day were for 7:00 p.m., too late for us.  So we walked around the site and marveled once again that two such enormous buildings could come down like they did and especially that more buildings weren’t taken down with them.  Everything is such close quarters in Manhattan.  The new One World Trade Center is about two-thirds completed and is an impressive, imposing structure – no coincidence there, I’m sure.


We also visited St. Paul’s Chapel, the little church directly across the street from the World Trade Center that incredibly suffered no physical damage. This is the church where George Washington went to pray after his inauguration as our first president.  His pew is still there.  The chapel also served as a relief center for the rescue workers after 9/11, and the inside perimeter of the sanctuary is lined with exhibits and memorabilia from those weeks.  It is very well done and extremely moving, and we doubted whether the official memorial would have made any greater impression on us.  What history that chapel has seen!

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We took a subway back to Grand Central Station, Craig looks to be in his element, what do you think?


The next day, Memorial Day, we took a bike ride to Croton Point Park, just beyond the marina. It is a beautiful park on a point that juts out into the Hudson.  Great bike trails and a really nice swimming beach.

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At lunch time, we were joined by Cincinnati friends Greg and Jan Matney, who were vacationing nearby and drove to meet us.  A surprise and a great treat!


Another beautiful sunset concluded a great holiday weekend in Half Moon Bay!


Next, continuing north on the beautiful Hudson River.

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