This is a Blog about helping Doug Thomas take his 46' Uniflite, "PAX", Through the Welland, Oswego, and Erie Canals to Kingston, New York, on the Hudson River.
We start out with our last Lock, which is on the upper Hudson River at Troy. This is known as the “Troy Lock,” “Government Lock,” or “Federal Lock”. It is operated by the US Army Corps of Engineers, unlike the Erie and Oswego canals, operated by the New York Canal System. The lift (in our case, we are going down) is 15’.
After the lock we have about 50 miles to Kingston, my last leg of the journey. Coralee will be meeting us here, having left at 7 AM to drive across NY state to pick me up. I will wave a fond farewell to PAX and her crew, remembering our great adventure together. In the meantime, Doug and Crew will pick up another deckhand, Jim, at his next stop, Croton-on-the-Hudson. Jim is a friend from Doug’s new marina, and originally from this area, so he is coming up to help on the last half of the trip.
At this point on the Hudson River, Troy and Albany are fairly large cities, with well developed waterfronts. However, once we pass Albany, there are a few marinas and towns, but also stretches where you only see trees.
The marinas along the way are similar to those on the Ohio River around Marietta, with boats moored to floating docks, but without break walls. There are long stretches of NO WAKE zones around these marinas.
In Albany we pass an impressive waterfront building, which happens to be The Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building, built in 1914, is now the SUNY System Administration Building. The central tower is thirteen stories high and is capped by an 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) working weathervane that is a replica of Henry Hudson's Half Moon.
Along the Albany waterfront is the USS Slater, a WWII Destroyer Escort, and the only one afloat in the United States.
We are heading south, past a lot of history. We notice a lot more traffic – mostly tugs pushing barges up or down the river, although occasionally a recreational boater who needs a safe boating course. Navigation is a little harder on this stretch.
After about six hours, we pull up at Kingston City Marina. We are relegated to little-used docks…little used by boats, that is, but favored by ducks, geese, and all kinds of waterfowl who leave their droppings behind. I get out the spare hose and start hosing off the docks, a process that takes close to an hour.
But that’s OK – as soon as I finish, my wife Coralee, who has driven all the way from Akron (550 miles, starting at 7 AM), calls and wonders which marina we are in. You gotta love her!
After we get Coralee parked by the docks, we walk into town and check out the restaurants and shops. I’d never been to Kingston before and didn’t know what to expect, but there were lots of great places - a cute little town. We finally settled for another Irish Bar, Dermit Mahoney's – although there were many others available. So many places, so little time…
Pax Sept 25 – Waterford to Kingston, NY
"Road sign" for the canal at Waterford. East-bound vessels have 342 miles to the end of the Erie Canal at Tonawanda, NY, and the Niagara River to Lake Erie.
North-bound vessels travel 60 miles through eleven locks to Lake Champlain, The Champlain Canal was finished in 1822, three years before the Erie Canal. This route took you to Canada, eliminating the portage at Fort Edward to Lake George, and on to Lake Champlain.
Departing Waterford - Visitor Center on right, just beyond the bridge
Tree limbs and other debris caught on bridge abutment
Approaching the Troy Lock - gates ahead to starboard
Exiting the lock. 15' dam visible to the left
Unlike the Erie Canal, there are large cities on the Hudson. This is Troy.
Hudson River Cruise ship at Troy
Marina along the Hudson River near Troy
Approaching Albany, NY Capital
The Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building, built in 1914, is now the SUNY (State University of New York) System Administration Building. The tower's four top floors are the official residence of the Chancellor of SUNY.
During World War II, 563 Destroyer Escorts were built to protect US shipping from Nazi submarines. The USS Slater, on display at Albany, is the only one of these ships remains afloat in the United States.
Albany waterfront - U-Haul truck atop its Albany headquarters
Albany Yacht Club...No Wake, please!
Industrial waterfront of Albany - south of downtown
Tugboat "Jason Reinauer" maneuvers a barge along the Albany waterfront. Doug contacted him on his VHF radio, Ch13
Freighter unloading at Albany. She is the "Proud Seas" of Monrovia. Note orange lifeboat above stern - pointed down towards the water
Further south, we pass the Tugboat "Marie Turacamo" pushing a barge. We are travelling at 10 kts, she is running around 7 kts. We contact her on VHF, and tug captain requests we pass on her port side
Leaving Albany, scenery is more rural
Castleton Boat Club, Castleton-On-Hudson, NY. Another "No Wake" Zone.
Shady Harbor Marina, West Coxsackie, NY. No Wake!
Observation deck along the river
We pass a large sailboat heading south. Mast still unstepped from the Erie Canal
One of many large homes along the river
Kayakers enjoying the Hudson.
Hudson Athens Lighthouse, constructed in 1874, marks a sandy ridge known as Middle Ground Flats. Here, we almost make navigational error. Confusion over chartplotter image almost causes us to pass on the wrong side. That would have ruined our day...
Chart plotter technology is great, but not always enough. With three experienced navigators on board, all we have for a chart is a brochure: "Visitors' Guide to the Hudson River Valley"
Oops! ... Only slightly better than a restaurant place mat...
Another of many beautiful homes along the river
On the Eastern bank, south of the city of Hudson, landscape painter Frederic Church's magnificent home, Olana, looks out over the trees. Built in 1872 in a “Persionan Palace” style, he was influenced by the architecture he saw in his travels to cities like Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus. The home is open for tours.
Saugerties Lighthouse was built in 1869, located at the mouth of the Esopus Creek in the Hudson River. The Light house has been restored and is a bed-and-breakfast, welcoming visitors and overnight guests. We notice floating green algae, similar to the harmful algal blooms on western Lake Erie this year.
Rondout Lighthouse, built in 1915 near the north entrance of Rondout Creek, Kingston, NY. Our marina is in Kingston
Our marina will be under the bridge, to starboard
We were assigned a little-used dock on the end. This was covered in duck-droppings. Brian cleans up dock before we hook up water and electric.
Shops and restaurants in Kingston. Really neat town - worth the visit
A great end (for me) to a great trip - Irish pub food at Dermit Mahoney's in Kingston. Coralee in yellow shirt drove over eight hours to meet us. From left: Coralee, Linda, Dick, Mary Jane, and Doug