Peace, Love and More Rain

Day 299: Sunday, June 30, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: Can you guess where we went today? Ron generously offered to drop us off in Woodstock to wander for a few hours while he visited his grandchild nearby. The famous Woodstock concert in the summer of 1969 was originally supposed to held in Woodstock but too many people were expected so they moved the venue to a farm field miles away. The original name stuck though and is now part of history. Woodstock is now a successful tourist trap/art community surrounded by expensive Catskill Mountain real estate. Kind of interesting how things work out.

We enjoyed our walking tour of all the little shops and restaurants lining the main downtown area. I didn’t realize how scenic this part of NY state was with the haze shrouded green hills of the Catskill Mountains in the background. We saw plenty of tie dye t-shirts, old vinyl records, incense burners and reproduction concert posters. Linda took the Spirit Award for her tie-dye t-shirt, long necklace and bandana. We enjoyed a nice lunch at a little bistro and sat watching a rushing waterfall hidden down a side street. Woodstock is not very big – Ron got done early and found us after wandering only a few minutes. Thanks again Ron for adding another wonderful memory to our stay in Kingston.

After hitting an ice cream shop on the way home we got back to the marina just as dark clouds started aiming right for us (again). (Not surprising, though since my phone had beeped a warning at me about a flash flood warning for this area). While we were gone, we got a half inch of rain and some nice wind gusts (pulled out a grommet on our sun shade and knocked over chairs on the deck by the marina). I decided to chance it and get some more steps in but I bet wrong and, before I got out of lowertown, it started to pour. I just sat on some steps under an awning for about 45 minutes watching the rain fall and rivers of water rush down the steep hill toward the river. I made it to the overhang on the boat barn at the marina during a short lull but then it started to pour again. After a while, Cindy came out with the big umbrella and we walked to the next marina to get ice and go back to the boat. At the rate we are going, we may not get into Canada until mid July.

Tomorrow is a huge milestone – Day 300 on the Great Loop! We will have to do something fun to celebrate. Peace out. ☮

Kicking Around Kingston

Day 298: Saturday, June 28, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: One trait important on the Loop is flexibility. We have been in Kingston for two weeks today. Eddy and Linda have been here for almost 3 weeks. We could go up the Champlain Canal and down the Rideau to Lake Ontario and then on the Trent Severn. This would add 250 miles to the trip and we would have to travel against the current for a good chunk – not fun. And right now the Champlain is flowing fast with flood waters. The current forecast is that the Erie Canal may not open for another week. Yikes. At least we aren’t stuck in a lock.

After catching up on the blog, a long walk, lunch, minor boat projects, a quiet break to read, docktails (always a blast), breakfast (ebleskivers) for dinner, a movie (Sherlock Holmes) we were exhausted and asleep in minutes. That was our day. We aren’t complaining though. We don’t need anything. We are with friends. And we are making the most of everyday.

Tomorrow is another day.

The Bucket List

Day 297: Friday, June 27, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: The good news is that the repairs are done to the locks and dams on the Erie Canal. The bad news is too much rain is causing flooding and keeping the system closed for who knows how long. The boats that were trapped in the locks for the last couple of weeks are still there – they were hours away from escaping but then this new weather system moved in and kept the system closed. All the boats that were waiting on the docks at Waterford had to move up the Hudson past a couple of locks to the Waterford Flight to avoid the flood waters expected today and tomorrow at the City docks. At least they got to move somewhere. That had to be an interesting adventure. We are resigned to the fact that we won’t be able to leave until after the Fourth of July most likely so we just need to make the most of our stay here.

We used our time efficiently this morning – we combined a trip to the Laundromat with another visit to our favorite restaurant – the Rainbow Café – for their breakfast- special – two eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast and coffee. What a deal. Eddy and Linda even squeezed in a quick dance by the jukebox in the Laundromat.

  We had no plans for the afternoon other than a walk but we spontaneously decided to the movies and see Eddy’s girlfriend Sandra Bullock in The Heat. Ron ran us up their again and we made it with time to spare. I have never been to a theatre that runs almost a half hour of trailers before the scheduled feature. We could have been 20 minutes late and still made the movie with time to spare.

After a long hot walk home, it was almost time for docktails (again). We had a great turnout and were having so much fun, we all extended the party over to the Irish pub for dinner. Who wants to cook on a hot, humid day. Cindy and I enjoyed chatting with Timmy, the Irishman we met the last time. He basically lives at the pub when he isn’t working so it was not surprising we would cross paths again. He has more stories that I will ever have in my lifetime. His life is the story of Ireland over the past 40 years. He loves Ireland and hopes to return there in a few years. Ireland is on our bucket list too. (This is another list that seems to keep getting longer the more people we meet on the Loop). Hmmm… I wonder how the boating is in Europe?


Day 296: Thursday, June 26, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

First Things First: First time enjoying a shot of homemade apple pie moonshine (it was smooth….).

Mile to Mile: Well, we were hopeful for almost 24 hours. The news today was fruststrating but not surprising. The National Weather Service has forecast the potential for flooding rains over a large area of the Erie Canal watershed. To play it safe, they are lowering the water level to reduce the potential for damage to the locks and avoid having boaters trapped in the locks. We understand the reasoning but it still is a challenge to live with the uncertainty and be in a kind of suspended animation.

Several boats left this morning (I’m sure they didn’t like this new news) and a couple boats came in. It is getting hard to say goodbye to our new friends every day. Cindy, Linda and I walked up to the Walgreens to print some pics and mail a couple letters (Eddie may or may not have napped). Without any big project, I topped off our water tank, folded and stored the jib and cleaned out the main cockpit locker (just because I could).

After lunch, Ron took us up to the grocery store to get a few things and drove us back to the marina. This is above and beyond – it definitely makes our stay here much more enjoyable. After docktails, where we shared a quart of homemade apple pie moonshine Eddy and Linda got as a gift from a friend, we enjoyed a dinner of leftover pork tenderloin and rice on Spiritus. We ended the evening with a movie (the Tourist) in the barn topped off with angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream. This being stranded is a tough life. I may need to get new pants if we don’t get moving soon.

Welcome News

Day 295: Wednesday, June 26 , 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: We finally got some updated information. The good news is the lock system is opening to traffic on Friday. The bad news is the weather forecast is calling for a lot of rain over the next week. To be on the safe side, they are lowering the water levels in the Erie Canal to be ready for any additional water flowing through the system. We have commented every day over the past week here how perfect the weather has been for travel and now we might be traveling and the forecast is all wet. Hopefully it will just be afternoon rain so we can travel in the morning and be done early everyday. We shall see.

Everyone is now in planning mode. When should we leave? Where should we stop? Should we hurry or relax and take our time? Where do we want to be for the Fourth of July? Our “plan” right now is to leave Sunday and anchor out and then go to Waterford for a couple of days to stay at their free dock and explore before heading towards the Erie Canal. This will allow some time for all the boats ahead of us to get through the locks and let things get back to normal.

  One of the boats that was been trapped in the locks for this whole time is Help Me Rhonda. They have posted about their experience on their website – it is worth checking out ( This will probably be one of the most memorable experiences of their trip.

We got an early start today to try to beat the heat. Ron dropped Eddy, Linda, Cindy and me off at Eddyville about 3.5 miles up river by a manmade waterfall. We enjoyed a leisurely walk enjoying the scenery, taking pictures of Eddy in front of the Eddyville sign, checking out the architecture and exploring some of the ruins leftover from this areas heyday. We detoured over the bridge to the Sunshine Café to get a little lunch (and/or ice cream) before getting back to the marina in time for naps (I wish). With lots of time available and nothing to do before our potluck at 5:30 pm, I decided it was a perfect time to figure out how to build a bipod to support our mast when we take it down for the locks. Luckily, I was able to get a long 2×4 right here at the marina and, with the loan of a jigsaw from Carried Away, soon had a custom made mast support all assembled and stored on Aurora’s bow ready for use in a few days.

We ended the day with another successful potluck – this time celebrating the news about the locks opening soon – and we watched the dvd “Hyde Park” in the barn on the computer. We are definitely ready to move on but it is going to be sad to say goodbye to our friends here – we will hopefully meet again but you never know.

Rumor Control

Day 294: Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: When there is an information vacuum, rumors tend to quickly fill the space. The general consensus now is that the locks will open by Friday although a separate rumor is that there is still a lot of work to be done to finish. Who knows. We also found out that the Trent Severn may have to close too due to high water although it hasn’t had to yet. It would not be fun to be stranded twice.

It feels like the dog days of summer already – hot and humid – although we had a welcome breeze today. After breakfast, we took advantage of the cooler morning weather to scrub the boat and wipe down some of our storage bags to get rid of a small amount of mildew. After our boat projects, we joined up with Spiritus and Adagio to walk up the hill to get some Sami’s Pizza. It was worth the walk. It was a little weird though when we noticed that we have been here so long that we are starting to dress alike. Weird things happen on the Loop I guess

After our long pizza walk, naps sounded good but we had a few more projects to do first. I changed the spark plugs (they really needed it although the motor has been purring along nicely lately) and I checked and cleaned out the thermostat. All looks good. Cindy put the V-berth back together after taking out all her storage bags to clean. It looks like someone had a party onboard and trashed the place.

After docktails, we enjoyed pork roast on the grill, couscous, salad and bread with Eddy and Linda on Spiritus. We chatted so long we didn’t have time to watch a movie. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

PS: The rumor now is that commercial traffic will be allowed through the Erie Canal on Thursday and everyone else will be able to start Friday. That is an encouraging rumor.

Flash, Boom, Bang

Day 293: Monday, June 24, 2013

Port to Port: Guess Where, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

First Things First: First really noisy thunderstorm in a long time.

Mile to Mile: Everyone who is stranded here is finishing up different boat projects like varnishing their brightwork, stowing water and food for the trip north, sealing leaks in their dinghys, etc. These projects tend to sit on the To Do List for a long time because impromtu dinner parties, docktails and restaurant runs take priority. All the Loopers heading north should be well prepared for the trip through the canals after, for some people, weeks parked and waiting.

Eddy whipped up some scrambled egg breakfast burritos with Spam for breakfast. Our schedule today is mostly wide open so we stretched breakfast out for a couple hours before we headed off to finish a couple projects before hitching a ride with Bruce (Miss Darlin II) up to Walmart. We were his second trip up there today and he is taking another couple of cruisers up there this afternoon (there should be some kind of Looper Award for generosity – thanks Bruce).

With nothing pressing to do in the afternoon, Cindy and I finally had time to explore the Hudson River Maritime Museum – what a wonderful place. There are displays on everything from the history of the Roundout to the discovery and commercialization of the Hudson to ice boating on the river. We spent a few hours reading and watching our way through history. It reminds me a lot of the history of Lake Minnetonka. One thing that stood out is how much the Hudson we have experienced is very similar to the Hudson of 100 years ago. The types of boats we have seen haven’t changed much in all that time – ferry’s, tugs, fireboats, pleasure craft, barges, cruise liners and even kayaks were common then as now. We are lucky to experience history from these historic waterways.

Just as we finished the museum, the skies darkened, lightning flashed brightly and the thunder made the ground shake. Torrential rains followed close behind (just what we need is more rain). It is kind of refreshing – we haven’t have many rip roaring storms since we left Minnesota. Thankfully these are localized afternoon thunderstorms – not huge multistate all day rain events. At least the temperature dropped about 10˚. We went back into the museum after sitting out under the picnic table tents when it got a little windy. We are lucky to be “stranded” here. Some cruisers were stuck between locks on the Erie with no services and nothing much to do. It will be interesting to hear their stories.

We lucked out with the rain – just a few miles away they got lots of wind that damaged some homes, blew down some trees and knocked out power. Ron, one of the volunteers here, was right in the middle of it at his house.

After a easy to make dinner of beef tips, rice and sweet corn, we set up the computer on Spiritus’ fly bridge and enjoyed a movie on Netflix as we watched a fog shrouded moon rise over the hills across the river. It is going to be hard to get back into our normal travel routine after staying in one place for so long. It looks like Friday is the most likely day for the locks to open but we probably won’t know until Friday. Que sara, sara……

It’s Finally Summer

Day 292: Sunday, June 23, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: It was hot today. It’s hard to get inspired to go on long walks or work on boat projects when the sweat pours off your forehead. I spent a lot of time working on the computer sitting at the picnic table in the shade enjoying a nice breeze. I backed up our photos, wrote the blog, fixed a couple internet problems and everything I did was invisible.

We are starting to go a little stir crazy waiting for information on the Erie Canal. The word now is that Lock 13 is the main problem and it may be back in operation by Thursday or Friday. The Erie Canal will be a very busy place those first few days once it opens. We won’t leave here until a day or two after it opens to give them time to clear out some of the backlog.

We joined Spiritus in the afternoon and walked over the bridge to the Rainbow Café where we enjoyed a wonderful late lunch and dawdled in the air conditioned confort. After ice cream on the way home and docktails after we got there, we tried movie night again. Adagio – the boat parked in front of us – happened to have “When Harry Met Sally” on dvd so we all met in the boat building barn, hooked up a DVD player to the TV and finished our movie from last night.

Everyday is a surprise. Tomorrow, we know we are going to have breakfast burritos with Eddy and Linda at 8:30 am and, at 11:00 am, Bruce on Miss Darlin II is going to give us a ride to Walmart (thanks Bruce). And it’s going to be hot again. And we will try again to find a pizza place that is open at the same time we are hungry. We are  just taking each day one at a time.

Try Again Next Time

Day 291: Saturday, June 22, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: It’s usually quiet and peaceful when I work on the blog sitting at one of the picnic tables up by the museum but it was a busy place this morning. Mimi got underway early as she slowly slid away from the dock leaving us all alone for a little while. The rowing club started showing up early too. They are taking some newbies out in the rowing sculls for their first time on the river. The four person boats are longer than most of the cruisers who dock here. I’m jealous when I see them almost silently gliding down the river as the sun is coming up.

Linda, the Museum Director, generously offered to give us a ride to Uptown so we met at 9 am and headed to the farmers market. We wandered around the market, took in a little history in the Stockade area of Uptown and surprise, surprise, found a classic bakery we couldn’t pass up. After some shopping for boat stuff and groceries, we tried to find a bus back to the marina. No bus for us so we hopped in a cab and dragged our heavy bags back home the easy way.

Docktails is at 5:00 pm (again) but we had enough time to try to squeeze in the Trolley Museum so we wandered a couple blocks over there only to find that not enough volunteers showed up to staff the museum (again) – only the trolley was running. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Time for a nap, I guess.

Even though the number of cruisers has dwindled, new boats show up all the time so docktails is a great way to meet and greet our new neighbors. We broke up a little early so everyone could get their potluck dish ready for our little BBQ tonight – Eddy and Linda are cooking brats on the grill and everyone else is bringing something to share – it always seems to work out perfect and tonight was no exception. We had brats, hot dogs, fruit, potato skins, beans, O’Henry Bars and other goodies. Being stranded is fattening.

Tonight is movie night – Kingston is sponsoring movies in the park this summer and tonight is the first one at a park along the river just a few minutes away. Our new New Zealand friends on Kiwi II are parked stern-in at the marina there and they have a perfect view of the inflatable screen – that’s a first. We were all excited and enjoying the movie When Harry Met Sally but it was not to be. The movie started skipping and then a little while later it stopped altogether and they decided to start over with The Breakfast Club. By this time, half the movie was done and it was past cruisers midnight (10:00 pm), so the party broke up and we’ll have to try again. It was a bust but fun together time. Hopefully, we won’t be here for the next movie.

Musical Boats

Day 290: Friday, June 21, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: I figured out what I want to do when I grow up today. I want to volunteer at a maritime museum that also happens to have a small marina attached to it. I want to be like Ron. He is an amazing volunteer here that used to work at the Museum of Natural History in NYC and now contributes much of his free time here. He gets to use his creativity helping to design and build displays in the museum and meet all the different people who arrive here by boat everyday (thanks Ron for everything that you do – we appreciate it immensely). I wonder how many of these there are in the country?

Today we played musical boats. A 120’ luxury motor yacht was arriving today so, after several boats left this morning, Spiritus moved back to the next dock down river and we moved Aurora up to where Spiritus had been. It was an interesting juxtaposition when Mimi, came up river, turned around and slid sideways onto the dock right in front of us. There used to be four other cruisers in that space. Amazing. Mimi has a Minnesota connection. She is owned by Stanley Hubbard of Hubbard Broadcasting (KSTP) in Minnesota. She is headed to Chicago and also waiting for the locks to open. Coincidently, we met the Captain and First Mate running Stanley Hubbard’s 57’ motoryacht when we were going south by Pebble Isle along the rivers last fall. It is a small world.

I don’t know where the day went. We had a short, emotional ceremony where Tom passed the key to the restroom on to Eddy. It was very moving. I finished painting the rubber paint on the dinghy. Now I just have to reseal the front tube that has started leaking too fast. Ron took Cindy and I up to a nearby gas station and post office where we got gas and sent home about 15 pounds of books and guides we don’t need anymore (thanks again Ron). Before we knew it, it was time for docktails. Our group is getting smaller but, as long as we have two boats or more, its enough for a party.  A group of us wandered through town trying to find a place to eat dinner. Pizza sounded good but the nearest one seemed closed and we found out the other one we were heading towards was also closed. Weird. So we ended up at a sketchy Chinese place – we were starving. We sat and chatted with Eddy and Linda as we watched the supermoon rise over the river and said goodnight to another interesting day on the Loop.

Going Nowhere

Day 289: Thursday, June 20, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

First Things First: First Laundromat with a jukebox in it.

Mile to Mile: Some of the locks are still closed which is pretty much the same thing as all the locks being closed. Everyone is still stuck. Some people are getting antsy, though, and have decided to move farther north even though most of the marinas are full or more expensive. The rumor is that the last locks won’t open until next week – maybe Tuesday. That is going to screw up a lot of schedules. We aren’t suffering any and plan to wait until the locks are completely open to move on. It will take us two days to get to Waterford and we want to spend a couple days there before entering the Erie Canal. Hopefully, the crowds will thin out over this time and we will have a peaceful passage up to the Trent Severn.

Today was laundry day so we joined Spiritus and walked over the bridge to the nearest Laundromat and discovered the nice little hamlet of Port Ewe in the process. We got the loads started and wandered back to an inviting ice cream shop/ restaurant for a snack and Eddy and I headed back to the boats to work on projects while the girls went back to flip the loads into the dryer. I spent several hours cleaning the dinghy – barnacle residue is really hard to get off the bottom. We also have something sticky on top of the dinghy and I tried everything with no success until Eddy rescued me with some magic cleaning solution that took it off instantly. Tomorrow I will spray a couple coats of rubber paint on the stern to try to seal a couple leaks and we will be ready for the rest of the journey.

After our projects were done, we celebrated with an excellent late lunch at Mole Mole, a nearby Mexican restaurant – $10 for a drink and entrée. We finished in time to mix some new refreshments and join our fellow strandees for docktails at 5:00 pm. Several of our new friends are leaving tomorrow morning so it was nice to chat one more time. It will get pretty quiet here but we are glad Eddy and Linda are planning to stick around a little longer.

  We finished the night with a movie (Young At Heart) on Spiritus’ fly bridge as the sun slowly set. A perfect ending to another “busy” day.

Brunch Anyone

Day 288: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

First Things First: First time making ableskivers for 20+ people – a new record. (And we cooked them on our cookstove for the first time – worked perfectly).

Mile to Mile: Our only scheduled activity today was brunch at 11:00 am. On a Wednesday. Cindy is making ableskivers. We can’t miss that.

I got up early (the sun is a very reliable natural alarm), again (sorry Cindy). The blog didn’t magically appear but it wrote itself fairly easily. I need some more chemicals before I can finish cleaning the dinghy so that project is on hold. Cindy started early prepping all the ingredients and equipment needed to make ableskivers for 20+ people (yikes).

The locks are starting to open so several boats from the two marinas here left this morning including Slow Churn (bye guys, see you in Brewerton). No brunch for you. Ron and Linda at the museum helped us get everything ready – they put table cloths on the picnic tables, provided coffee and rolls (thanks for the gift boxes of cookies too) and helped set everything up. We got Cindy set up early to be sure everything was working good before everyone arrived. Luckily, every batch turned out perfect and they were a huge hit. The other boaters soon started arriving with egg bakes, cinnamon streusel cake, bisquits, oyster gravy, fruit bowls, pastries, grits and a dozen other brunch treats. What a feast. We love brunch so we are in heaven. And even here we get to meet and hear stories from new people from Australia or Wisconsin or who knows where. What a life.

Brunch was a huge success (and we even had a few ableskivers left over for breakfast tomorrow for Spiritus and us) and it was time to get some other projects done. While Eddy and I took a circuitous 1.5 hour bus tour of Kingston while trying to get to the mall to get some essentials, the girls walked around lower town getting their errands done. Eddy and I were successful and decided to walk back to the marina – it was faster and we needed to burn off brunch and make room for a few extra calories from boat-tails.

We whipped up a few snacks and drinks and sat on Spiritus’ fly bridge enjoying the warm sunshine and great company as the sun slowly set over the canal. What a wonderful day. We all headed over to the workshop and joined a large group of locals listening to a presentation and slide show by a local professor on the history of Roundout which is the name of the area we are staying in by the water. It reminded me of the history of Lake Minnetonka and many other places we have visited along the waterways of the Great Loop. Tomorrow is another day.

Intersections and Introductions

Day 287: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: Where does all the time go? We have been here for three days already and we haven’t even stepped into the Maritime Museum yet to look around. Or gone window shopping in the downtown area. Or walked over the bridge to the other side of the canal. Somehow or another, our days fill up even when we don’t have any specific plans or projects to do.

I woke up with the sun again (Cindy doesn’t appreciate this but what can I do) and sat up at the picnic tables and cranked out the blog. If I don’t do it early it will never get done and then I will get behind and forget what we did two days ago and then it becomes a big project. The only thing we want to do for sure today is spend time with Roger and Dorothy on Slow Churn (they are probably leaving tomorrow) and Eddy and Linda on Spiritus (and introduce them to each other). We need to leave a slot open for docktails, of course. I need to pull the dinghy out and fill it with water so I can find where the floor has a slow leak and then clean it and try to seal the leak again. A walk down the waterfront to a surplus store (ala Axman Surplus in Minneapolis) is on the agenda – I am hoping to find a replacement wheel for the cart I use to haul gas. Lunch is optional but a picnic in the waterfront park would be fun. Cindy needs to get some buttermilk and flour to make Ableskeevers tomorrow for our boaters brunch. Showers are not optional. A few small boat projects need attention. Dinner might be kind of nice at some point. Etc, etc, etc…

Well, we had a reasonably productive day. I finished the blog by 7:30 am although, for some odd reason, a cup of coffee did not magically appear next to the computer (and Cindy was not happy I got up so early which I paid for later – no donuts for you, Mike). I pulled, tested and cleaned the dinghy but need to let it dry before trying to seal the leaks). Eddy and I went down to the surplus store and I found a perfect replacement wheel for $1 and I may go back and get another one just in case the other wheel breaks, Cindy, Linda and Dorothy walked to the store to get buttermilk and chat along the way. We had hotdogs for lunch with Roger and Dorothy on the picnic table in the park and chatted for a long time afterwards. We squeezed in showers before going to docktails. We had a wonderful dinner of white chili on Spiritus with all six of us and finally called it a day way past Looper midnight (around 10:00 pm). A very successful day I think.

A Super Day

Day 286: Monday, June 17, 2013

Port to Port: Kingston, NY

Underway: 0:00 am      Motor Off: 0:00 pm      Miles Traveled: 0      Stayed At: Marina

Mile to Mile: If yesterday is any indication, our first full day in Kingston is going to be very busy. I got up fairly early and worked on the blog up by the Maritime Museum building (to let Cindy sleep a little more and to get a better wifi signal). A little while after I got started a hot, steaming cup of coffee magically appeared next to me (thanks Eddy) and the marina slowly started to wake up. I processed pictures, wrote some immortal prose, posted everything to the internet and finished a few other computer projects before we were scheduled to hitch a ride uptown to the mall to go to a movie. It was a little strange to go to a movie on a bright sunny day but Eddy (the Geek) really, really, really wanted to see “The Man of Steel” so, to make him happy, we all made the sacrifice and promptly proceeded to eat our way through a large popcorn even before the previews were done. Oh, the sacrifices we make.

  The movie was a fun diversion from boat projects and napping but now we had work to do. Our ride was only one way so we needed to walk the 4+ miles back to the marina. This was probably a good thing since we needed to burn off the calories from 2 buckets of popcorn and make room for a long awaited, prescheduled ice cream stop later. After stopping at Home Depot, the auto parts store, a grocery store, a dollar store, climbing through a locked fence gate, and taking our lives into our hands walking along a busy highway for miles (way more risky that crossing an ocean) we arrived at the most important stop – the ice cream shop. We wanted to relax and work our way through a couple pints of some caramel, vanilla, crunchy ice cream but we noticed some dark clouds approaching so we bolted for the marina. We arrived at Spiritus minutes before a very brief downpour and sat inside eating our perfectly softened ice cream with real spoons in cozy dry comfort. Life is good.

While we were off galavanting in uptown, our friends Roger and Dorothy on Slow Churn arrived and tied up at the neighboring municipal marina. Cindy and I went over to say hi and chat as Roger changed the oil (while making funny grunting noises) and Dorothy made chocolate brownies in her shiny new stainless steel oven (I think Dorothy had the better of the two jobs). Tomorrow might be a Slow Churn kind of day.

After the storm passed, the sun came out and it was time for docktails – it was almost like geese flying south for the winter. At around 4:30 pm the tables gradually filled up with cruisers and their cups full of something or other and we enjoyed talking about boats, food, the weather, the unknown status of the locks and any other topic that randomly came up. After solving the world’s problems, we had a feast to prepare. It was a team effort and we soon were sitting down at the table on Spiritus enjoying grilled steaks and red potatoes, fancy salads, fresh corn on the cob and perfectly warmed and toasted bread all washed down with some red wine. (We need another 4 mile walk, I think).

We finished the evening with a long awaited round of Championship Level Doodle Dice and I finally won (although I think I had a little help after Linda forget to play her “miss a turn” card at a critical time). We were exhausted, happy and can’t wait to see what the next few days bring as we all patiently wait to move north. Who thought being stranded would be so fun.

Happy Father’s Day

Day 285: Sunday, June 16, 2013

Port to Port: Mariners on the Hudson to Kingston, NY

Underway: 5:56 am      Motor Off: 9:15 pm      Miles Traveled: 12       Stayed At: Marina

Mile 77 to Mile: What an amazing Father’s Day. Not only did I get wonderful Happy Father’s Day wishes from Jess and Sarah (we miss them a lot even though we just saw them a week ago), but we got to spend a wonderful day with old friends and new friends in a random town along the Hudson River. You couldn’t plan this if you tried.

We got up early to try to catch the last couple of hours of tidal boost going north towards Kingston. It was worth it because we were able to make a little more than 5 mph for a while before we gradually started to slow down as we got closer to our destination. We didn’t know if there would be a spot for us at the marina but we could either raft up with Spiritus or anchor farther down the river by Eddyville (named after some person named Eddy) for a day until a spot opened up. After a very short day, we were soon making our way down Roundout Creek toward the marina. It was still really early on a Sunday so we quietly cruised by a bunch of boats along the pier and who do we see waving us in but Eddy. A few minutes later we were docked, we had shared hugs and I had a coffee in my hand (thank you Eddy). Some other cruisers wandered up and we soon had a group of 8 or so gathered for an impromptu dockside chat at 9 am on Father’s Day morning. The most amazing thing was that we had met several of the boaters as far back as Green Turtle Bay in Kentucky where we first met Mike and Gay on Irish Attitude and Tom and Margie on Blue Grass. It was like a reunion.

This is going to be a fun stop. We went out to breakfast with a group of Loopers to Dolce, a quaint restaurant downtown with good food and a bad attitude. We had fun but instead of talking about their food we laughed about their “no soup for you” type stupid rules (cash only, can’t take pictures in the restaurant, only one refill on a cup of coffee, can’t wear plaid, etc). It’s hard enough making a living in the restaurant business without turning your potential customers off. Oh well, there are lots of other places to spend money.

We relaxed for awhile afterwards and then went for a long walk with Eddy and Linda down to the point to look at the lighthouse and burn off a few calories and catch up on our mutual adventures before going out for dinner later. Tom and Margie generously offered to drive us to Walmart (they have a rental car until tomorrow) – an offer we couldn’t refuse since we had a long list of things we needed. We zoomed through and came out $200+ poorer but restocked with essentials for at least a few weeks. (Thank you Tom and Margie). By the time we got back it was time to eat again (isn’t it always) so 10 of us went up the street to an “authentic irish pub” for dinner and drinks. We were the only group in the place and we had a blast. The food we good, Mike, the bar tender/server took good care of us and we got to meet Timmy before we left for the night. Timmy is a real Irishman and he had us rolling on the floor with his banter and stories. What a great way to end a wonderful and special day on the Loop.

Hazards to Navigation

Day 284: Saturday, June 15, 2013

Port to Port: Plum Point to Mariners On The Hudson

Underway: 10:46 am      Motor Off: 3:15 pm      Miles Traveled: 18/17      Stayed At: Free Dock

First Things First: First time walking over the Hudson River.

Mile 94 to Mile 77: After a quiet night at anchor we had a leisurely morning waiting for the low tide. We made a real breakfast of scrambled eggs and bran muffins (finally decided to use them up after carrying the package for months). We had an ugly line of brown gunk along our waterline so I spent some time in the dinghy scrubbing whatever it was off (luckily it came off easy). We still have an eyebrow on the hull but it doesn’t pay to clean that off till we get to the Trent Severn Canal System and clean water.

We grew impatient waiting for the tide to switch so we left a little early and paid for it by going less than 4 mph for a couple hours before the current finally started to switch. We weren’t suffering thought since it was a beautiful sunny warm day and we making progress north. Our biggest challenge was dodging all the debris in the water. With all the recent rains, lots of logs, branches, leaves and trash has been flushed into the river and it all ends up going downstream. Some of the logs are 10-15 feet long and could do serious damage. At least it keeps you alert.

The boat traffic on the river was very light even though it is a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Kind of strange but we don’t mind having the river to ourselves. We were originally planning to keep going a couple hours but, with no where to go until the locks open, we decided to stop at Mariners on the Hudson – a restaurant right on the water that lets you stay at the dock overnight if you eat at there. What a deal! We got tied up behind an old wooden T-dock and decided to go for a walk before dinner. We had passed under a tall rusty old RR bridge that has been turned into a park/ walking path called the Walkway Over the Hudson. After a long uphill walk we found the entrance to the walkway and were amazed. There were hundreds of people walking, running and biking across the bridge. And what a view. You could see miles up and down river from this vantage point 200+ feet above the spot we passed underneath a couple hours ago. We are so glad we stopped. This old bridge could have ended up an eyesore and hazard but, because a bunch of people saw the potential, it is now a unique and valuable community asset. They expected 230,000 visitors a year but are getting over 750,000 visitors a year.

After our amazing walk across the Hudson, we returned to the boat and noticed another cruise boat parked on the dock. We didn’t recognize the boat name, “Auk” but they had a Looper flag off their bow so we had to say hi. Well, before you could say “Auk”, Ken and Ellen (and Rosie, a quiet, friendly, golden lab) had invited us aboard their 36’ Krogen for wine and conversation. They have been traveling part time for 5 or 6 years and have finished one loop and are now heading home toward Wisconsin (almost our neighbors). We had a great time chatting and finally decided to move the party over to the restaurant where we enjoyed some decent food, average service and wonderful stories (the classic story about emergency anchor raising in a thunderstorm while naked was the best) before finally saying goodnight until we meet again. Hopefully sooner rather than later. (Thanks Ken, Ellen and Rosie for the wonderful evening).