A Hudson River Lighthouse


Launch: Certified Marine, Kingston. The owner, Sharon, is as nice as they come. They have a good ramp into Roundout Creek and a safe place to leave your tow vehicle and trailer.

Nearby campsites: the KOA in Saugerties is well run and in the woods. If you care to splurge, stay in the Saugerties Lighthouse B&B, out in the Hudson. It will be a long-remembered treat. Nearby Woodstock is an interesting town with good restaurants. Two of the early town doctors were great-great Grandfathers.

Comments: Launching at Kingston, you are well situated to either head up the river to Albany and beyond or down-river to New York City (and beyond).


-----We launched in Kingston and headed south on the Hudson. We cruised past some of the most beautiful lighthouses we have ever seen.

-----We hooked in Doodletown Bight, just below the Bear Mountain Bridge. The last time we had seen the bridge, we were walking across it, toting backpacks. The Appalachian Trail crossed the Hudson on the bridge.

Sundowner at Doodletown Bight

-----The next day, we watched the sunrise lighting up The Palisades. We slipped through the Spuyten Dyvil railroad lift bridge between commuter trains and into the Harlem River. To the port, was Yankee Stadium. We arrived at Hell's Gate with a churning tide, and pushed down the East River against the powerful flow. We peered through the windows of the café at the UN building watching folks eat lunch, while they waved to the C-Dory cruising by. We had great views of the city.

The Way it Was

-----We passed under all those great bridges, including the Brooklyn Bridge with its spider web of wires. We dodged ferries and tour boats as we passed the Battery and out into the Upper Bay - over to visit Miss Liberty.

-----Then, we went back up the East River. The tide had turned, so now we had a whitewater flow against us. There were standing waves, breaking, in the fast tidal current. It was exciting. Surviving the much-storied Hell Gate, twice in one day, we headed out into Long Island Sound. We dropped the hook in Oyster Bay Harbor on Long Island at almost exactly 1700 hours - tired emotionally and physically. We were in a perfect anchorage in a quiet, sheltered spot, after a perfect day.


-----We studied the charts again, planning our next route. "Block Island is just over the horizon. And Mystic Seaport, and Watch Hill, and Narragansett Bay, and …" El was ticking off her favorite places from childhood. "Then we can continue up the coast to the Elizabeth Islands, the Vineyard, Nantucket - why, we could go all the way down east to Maine. Hmmm … Lobsters and clams on the half shell, Bill…"

-----"Get behind me, Satan." I love any seafood with or without shells on their backs. "If we went up the salt water route, we would probably reach the Canadian border about the time snow flies," I said, thinking about all the seafood restaurants between New York and Canada. "…if we skipped a couple of states en route," I added hastily.

-----"Canada? Oh, yes, we were going to get as far north as possible this year, weren't we?" A dark look shaded her eyes as she contemplated missing the rest of the New England coast. "Of course, that coastal route will always be there, and it'll be fun looking forward to it. I can spend rainy days reading up on the best spots to visit. OK, let's go back up the Hudson to the north."

-----'Up the Hudson' has it's own multiple variations. We stared at the atlas. "We could turn westerly into the Erie Canal, with its extension to the Finger Lakes," I suggested.

-----"Or, north via the Oswego Canal from the Erie and out into the Great Lakes. My, there's a lot of water up that way," El observed.

-----Once again, the C-Dory site came through with the answer. Donna and Peter, dory owners from the upper Hudson, suggested their favorite cruising grounds - Lake Champlain. They invited us to their place on the Hudson to share ideas of favorite places, give us charts, and check out our boats.


-----With their encouraging invitation, we decided to leave the New England coast and saltwater route north for next year. We slipped lines in our Connecticut harbor, and headed back through Hell Gate, the East River and up the Hudson.

-----We have never understood the concept, "been there, done that." We can return to a place, as we have to the Grand Canyon, a hundred times. There is always more to see, the light is different, the season variable, and the experiences new when you backtrack a route. So it was on our trip northerly up the Hudson.

 -----Peter and Donna head up to Champlain every summer in their C-Dory, so they were full of great ideas (they also know some excellent restaurants in their region).

The Hudson River C-Dory Owners -- Bill, El, Pete, Donna

We had a dandy time together with these good folks, and then headed northerly on up the Hudson. We passed that critical junction - left to the Erie or right to the Champlain Canal. "You to the left, and I to the right…"

-----The Troy federal lock was a big 'step' up. We continued northerly into an ever-smaller waterway, up one lock after another. The waterway is rural, scenic, small, well-marked, and truly beautiful. Just before lock 7, we turned to the west into the channel that leads up to Ft. Edward and tied off to the town wall. This is a nice town to walk through, with several good places for eating. The next day, we stepped down a few locks and cruised out into Lake Champlain.

Troy Lock                  ---------------Enjoying Champlain Canal

Definitely a Rural Route


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