Poughkeepsie: Day 2

We survived last night’s thunderstorm. The view from our slip was an ever changing kaleidoscope of colours on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge. It almost rivalled the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Vivid!

We awoke to more fog. Lots of fog. Pea-soup fog which eerily held voices but no bodies. I caught a glimpse of a ghostly crew of rowers gliding past. The fog didn’t burn off until after 9am. This resulted in a lazy start to the day. After an entertaining and informative Uber driver took us to the car rental pickup, we headed out for another day of discovery.

Our first stop was the village of Rhinebeck which has a quaint town centre with stunning architecture, gourmet dining, quirky shopping, and history at every corner. We dined at the Beekman Arms which has continuously welcomed guests since 1766. It was host to leaders of the American Revolution including George Washington, Philip Schuyler, Benedict Arnold and Alexander Hamilton. And now, the Rutherfords!

Next stop was the Vanderbilt mansion, Hyde Park, in Hyde Park. This historic property is situated on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River and includes manicured lawns, gardens and woodlands. We limited ourselves to the outside only.

The third and last stop was a visit to Springwood, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home located in Hyde Park. We took a tour with the National Parks Service. Such an amazing place for such an amazing man! Best $20 we ever spent!

We made it back to the boat in time for another afternoon storm deluge. As we could not work on the outside of the boat, we took advantage of a late afternoon siesta! There is nothing quite like listening to rain beating on the top decks at the same time as water swirling around the lower decks with logs and debris bouncing off the hull!

Such is Life!


We started out in fog, leaving Half Moon Bay Marina at Croton at 7.40am. AIS on. Radar on. Eyes constantly searching the grey mass. Dodging parts of trees and debris.

We stealthily sailed past the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. It eerily arose through the fog.

We tagged behind the tug named Mr Jim, as the fog was starting to lift at the Bear Mountain Bridge. From this bridge to West Point Military Academy, the Hudson River is at its narrowest. This stretch or river is known as The Race. And yes, we scooted along – almost warp speed for Bushranger!

Onwards we sailed. We passed West Point Military Academy from the waterside this time, marvelling at the Norman-style architecture clinging to the cliffs. The stretch of water directly north of West Point is known as World’s End. It was here the Continental Army stretched a chainlink barrier across the Hudson to stop the British from sailing south.

On our 5-hour trip northwards, we sailed past the derelict Bannerman’s Castle, mining works, tugs and tows plying their trade, and the never ending trains which hug the river’s edge. The trains on the eastern shore transport passengers; the trains on the western shore transport goods and can often be over a mile long. The trains constantly blow their mournful sounding horns. The Hudson River is not a silent river.

But for now, we are safe at Shadows Marina, Poughkeepsie, having entered a very narrow entranceway with 2.5 knots of current behind us. With the excellent help of the harbourmaster, he spun us around and backed us in. We availed ourselves of the beautiful restaurant overlooking Bushranger while we ate and counted our remaining 8 lives. And we waited out the thunderstorm.

Such is Life!

Another day of land exploration

After depositing our laundry with a most helpful lady in a nearby laundromat, Mark and I headed off in search of culture, history and culinary delights.

First stop was Main Street in Ossining for delicious coffee and Portuguese tarts. We then drove to the gates of Sing Sing Prison – a most unwelcoming sight, even though perched on the Hudson River with extensive views!

Next, we drove through Sleepy Hollow on our way to Tarrytown. Sleepy Hollow has the most exquisite homes on huge manicured lawns, amongst leafy woods. The blossoms of springtime create picture-perfect vistas.

We crossed the Hudson River, this time driving over the Tappan Zee Bridge instead of sailing under it. It still looked spectacular from any angle.

We drove through the riverside village of Nyack and back through the ages to revolutionary times.

Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site – south of West Point and held by the British in 1779. The Continental Army made a daring three-prong attack and captured it. A lighthouse was built in 1826 to guide ships through the narrow passage of the Hudson River at this point.

Onward, ever onward…

Continuing our drive northward on the western shores, we sped past forts, battlegrounds, garrisons and Washington’s headquarters at Newburgh on a mission to find the CIA in Poughkeepsie. The Culinary Institute of America was once a seminary, but now turns out chefs. The scale is grand. The architecture is grand. The view is grand. It is all so very grand!

We did a ”taste appreciation” seminar, viewed a couple of videos showcasing the CIA and were entertained by two undergraduate chefs – all part of our tour.

Then back to pick up our clean laundry. Today was a long day. We were on the road from 9.30am until 5.30pm. This was a day we saw a lot of the Hudson Valley and villages along the shores.

Such is Life!

West Point and Croton Falls

A day to remember!

First up – our trip to West Point Military Academy. We drove along the scenic Hudson River valley before beginning our climb via the Bear Mountain Bridge to the town of West Point. We travelled through an historic area, being the sites of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. The scenery is sublime. The grounds are manicured and dotted with statues and historic military hardware. The architecture is mostly in the style of Classical Revival with Tudor Revival thrown in.

We were taken on a bus tour (after security checks) with stops at Trophy Point, Battle Monument, the Plain (parade ground) and the Cadet Chapel. A truly amazing place with an amazing organ!

Then, in the late afternoon we went exploring in the local area of Croton. I had heard of the Croton Dam and State Park. What we saw was a place of great beauty. Our first objective was to walk across the dam. On the eastern side was an immense lake with depths of 176ft – about 56 metres. On the western side was a spillway and waterfalls. A truly gorgeous gem.

I love days like these!

Such is Life!

The mighty Hudson River

Today, we farewelled the gorgeous port of Mamaroneck and their friendly inhabitants. Yesterday, we explored the town in sunshine, but today we left with grey skies. Long Island Sound, thankfully, was smooth sailing with the blustery winds of the last four days finally abating.

With the boxing kangaroo proudly displayed, we sailed back through the East River towards Manhattan. We decided to sail the less travelled waterway and turned to starboard, up the Harlem River. We sailed under quite a few bridges, enjoying the gentle twists and turns of this interesting river. We spied Yankee Stadium and the gracious foliage of Washington Heights lining the banks. Our Harlem River journey ended at the Spuyten Duyvil Railway Bridge. Fun fact: Spuyten Duyvil means spitting devil in Dutch!

Once through the railway swing bridge we entered the mighty Hudson River – and she is a glorious river to behold. Towering palisades line the western shore; trains glide by on the eastern river’s edge. At the lower reaches of the Hudson River, it is a wide, green river, with verdant foliage adorning both sides. Forests of buildings give way to lush woodlands, with scattered villages.

The Tappen Zee Bridge is majestic in its size and sweep. We sailed ever northward enjoying the rhythm and sights of the Hudson Valley. Our voyage of discovery sailed us past iconic place names such as Sleepy Hollow and Sing Sing Prison (and what a position the prison has!)

The weight of command took its toll!

Our berth for tonight is Half Moon Bay Marina. We will be here for a few nights, as we want to explore the area which is rich in sights and history. For now, we will enjoy the ambience and the sunset.

Such is Life!

Second half of the looping odyssey…

We begin the second half of our Bushranger legs in discovering the delights of the American Great
Loop. This half we will start in Long Island Sound, traverse parts of Canada, negotiate the Great Lakes and finish in the Deep South, on the Tennessee River – if all goes according to plan!

After an absolutely exhilarating flight over New York City, with a bird’s eye view of the skyscrapers
capped in sun-kissed gilt, we touched down at La Guardia. By the time we secured our rental car,
(after a tragedy of errors), we drove with extreme care through the dark to our hotel in New Rochelle, NY.
The weather has not kind to us, rather chilly with spitting rain and strong winds.

We drove to Mamaroneck to view Bushranger after her winter sojourn wrapped in plastic and up on the hard. She looked magnificent with polished sides and clean underbelly.

Recommissioning Bushranger has begun: systems inspected, safety check signed off, re-provisioning completed. Tomorrow her superstructure will be re-installed.

But for now, we will enjoy an intimate dinner and watch a spectacular sunset.

Such is Life!