Friday, September 24, 2010

Castleton Boat Club, Hudson River, NY

Wednedsay, Sept 22
Distance Traveled:   14.25nm
Total Distance Traveled:  466.25nm

We traveled from Waterford, NY to Castleton Boat Club on the Hudson River in one trip.  We went through Federal Lock #1 at Troy,NY and we didn't like this lock at all.  They had only pipes and no other ropes hanging down the lock for me to grab to keep the bow in.  Phil was constantly pushing the stern off the lock wall.  We're glad that's it for locks for a while.  After we were coming up to the Troy Docks, we decided that we didn't want to stay after all.  It was very much in the city and they charge $1.50/ft for docking. So we continued through a couple rain showers until we got to Castleton Boat Club just south of Albany, NY about 2pm.  We had lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which according to Captain Dave, we should save until there isn't anything else to eat.  We got a mooring ball for $5 a night which includes showers and restrooms and free wifi. 

After lunch Phil and I were sitting in the cockpit relaxing and then watching a couple of boats from Canada step their masts (both are French Canadians from Montreal).  The first boat didn't have any trouble.  Then the 2nd boat owned by Mark (don't have the name of the boat) had his turn.  The captians were helping each other.  We saw the crane raise and lower the mast several time and the crane boom went down. It was obvious to us they were having problems especially as Ron at Castleton Boat Club (CBC) told Phil this was the first time they have stepped their mast.   I encouraged Phil to take the dinghy over to offered his expertise, since he's taken the mast off Changes and put it on 30+ times and has also help with other boat's masts.  He was hesitant at first, but after awhile, he decided that he would offer some assistance and he got into the dinghy and motored over.  After over a hour and  with dusk nearing it's end, Phil came back.  It turns out the mast was backwards (facing the wrong direction - the back of mast was facing the bow) and it had to be rotated around so that the back of the mast was facing the back of the boat.  They didn't know how to rotate the mast, but Phil has experienced this before and knew what to do to fix it.  So once they got the crane boom raised high enough, Phil walked the base of the mast around the boat to show them how to do it for next time.

After Phil returned, we took the dinghy over and had showers.  It was good to take a shower and their showers are pretty good. Strong stream and lots of hot water except for a time or two that the hot water disappeared, but it came back again. On our way out to the dinghy, Mark and Ebel, the owners of the 2 boats, mentioned to Phil that if we wanted to step our mast tomorrow, they would be glad to assist us.  They were very appreciative of him providing them help.   Phil said that he would think it over.  After Phil and I discussed the options, he decided that we would take them up on their offer of assistance.  Phil was worried that the crane boom would hit the wind instruments at the top of the mast but thought that there would be a way to do raise the mast and not have the instruments affected so much.

Thursday, Sept 23

Next morning, a Beneteau 475 was docked in front of the crane.  Phil dinghied over and told them our plans to step the mast and Phil waited while the French Canadians woke up.  While we were waiting, Phil talked to Chet Slabinsky, from New Hartford, Conn about when we were going to see him.  It turns out that after he talked to his wife Carol, they were to arrive today at about 12 noon.   After a couple hours, the Beneteau had their mast up, so Phil and I brought Changes to the dock.  It wasn't long before Mark and Ebel (S/V Bye Bye Blues) dinghied over to assist us.  I ran the remote control for the crane boom and with the 4 of us, we got the mast stepped and the shrouds, back stay, and forestay connected.  Then Chet and Carol arrived.  It was great for me to meet them and I know that Phil was glad to see them again after so many years.
Yesterday was a busy day for having sailboat step their masts.  There were 2 other sailboats that came up to the dock (both Canadians), so we had to move Changes down the dock so they could have their turn at the crane.   Then 3-4 more sailboats (also Canadians) came up a little later.  Chet and Carol are new owners of a older Catalina 30' sailboat, so pitched in to help with taking the wood used to support the mast off the boat and help with some of the other items that needed to be done like put up the Farouk since it was hot.  They have offered to save the wood for us for when we come back in the spring and also delivered us some mail that Virginia forwarded to us.  Also came was the head rebuilt kit.  We thank them very much for their assistance!!!

When we got to a stopping point, we left Changes docked at the CBC and went to lunch at the Village Inn which is on Main Street just on the other side of the RR tracks that the Amtrac high speed passenger train travels on. The Village Inn is a bar/Tavern that is run by one gentleman.  We think that he is a one man operation taking the orders, cooking and serving.  One item of note is that with this restaurant being right next to the train tracks, it's quite a surprise if you're not aware of what happens when a train goes by. What happens is that there is a change in air pressure that we felt as we were sitting at the front of the tavern when the train goes by at the back of the travern. The curtains MOVED and there was quite the noise to go along with it. Needless to say, we were all startled when this happen and the owner asked "anybody blow away?" We had a good laugh and when the train went by again during our meal, we know what to expect.

The food was good and on our way out I asked about a board that had numbers on the left and guy's names on the right.  Turns out it's lottery for Nascar races.  Each man puts down $.10 a race and has the chance to get $4.90 if the car they pick out of the jar gets first place.  They have this lottery going every race so by the end of the season, there is a chance to win $500, $250, $125, some amount for being in the middle and last.  We don't really remember all the details, but it sounds like the guys have fun. 

Chet and Carol stayed until 8pm, so they helped us get Changes back in order topside, dock to get diesel fuel and then anchor.  We put the main sail and head sail on. 
Phil and Chet Slabinsky raising the Main Sail

Carol tailing to raise the Main Sail

Chet and Carol Slabinsky
We missed out on a mooring ball as didn't mention we wanted to have one for another night and after 4-6 sailboats arrived, the mooring balls were gone.  It was a warm day yesterday.  First time in a long time that I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.  We had a nice dinner of a rice dish I cooked in the pressure cooker and butternut squash with apple crisp for dessert.  They have offered for us to rent a car and visit them and stay overnight this weekend, but there is the problem of where to leave Changes while we do that.  The Castleton Boat Club doesn't want any boats left on the mooring unattended. 

The wind rose last night and it was a warmer night than we've had in a while.  I didn't sleep well with the movement of Changes at anchor.  Phil also got up to attach a line to the anchor chain to tie it to a cleat to take the pressure of the anchor chair off the anchor windlass.   I also got up to take a look as I didn't know about it and had to see for myself what he was doing to understand.  We finally got back to sleep.

Friday: Sept 24

Soon after Phil woke, he got going with the last jobs to finish with stepping the mast while I continued to sleep.  He attached the mast ring hold down bar on the inside, put the electric connections for the mast back together. By this time I woke so helped him with putting another layer of plastic bag at the bottom of the mast to prevent water from dripping down the mast when it rains.  He also went in and got a mooring ball for tonight, to we weighed anchor and moved to the same mooring ball we were on before.  It was more challenging as the wind was from the south 11 - 16 knots, so when we came up the mooring ball I missed hooking the loop with the boat hook.  Phil came up and we were able to get it as the mooring ball went along the port side.  We had to take down the Farouk due to the above mentioned winds.  At 411pm it's still windy - about 10-13 knots and very warm, about 85F.  After breakfast of cereal, we went and took showers, had sandwiches and plums for lunch.  I'm a little bored, - tired of reading - so got out my sewing machine and have been working on stitching down the appliqued numbers and letters for Calvin's quilt.  We were too busy to post yesterday, hence the 3 day posting today.

Tomorrow we are planning on motoring to Middle Ground Flats about 16 nm away.  We will anchor there for the night and then continue on to either Saugerties which is about 15nm away or Kingston an additional 10 nm.  I feel the need for civilization, but we also need to see where we can anchor as we are getting in the part of the country that paying for dockage gets expensive. Two other locations where we can anchor is Pollepel Island and Haverstraw Bay which are on the way to E79th St Marina.  These last two locations were recommended as good anchoring locations by Dick of M/V Ladyhawke.  We hope to get to the 79th St Marina in NYC Sept 30 and Oct 1 for meeting Vicky and see some of the sights in NYC.  Then we will be pushing it to go up the Delaware Bay to the C&D Canal and the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis for the Sail Boat Show Oct 7 - 11.  We look forward to Vicky's visit.

Wednesday, late afternoon, we saw a Bald Eagle flying around and landing on a tree not too far away.  I took some photos, but not sure yet how well they turned out.  I think he's too far away.  We didn't notice the Bald Eagle yesterday, but saw him flying around as I was posting this message.

1 comment:

  1. Thursday started with an early phone call from Phil. The plan to step his mast had changed because he had just helped others step theirs at the Castleton boat club and he now had access to a crane and willing helpers.

    My own boat project of installing a new engine was temporarily stalled, so I awoke my wife Carol with a proposal to go to Castleton-on-Hudson TODAY. As she opened here eyes to my ranting of visiting Phil and Lorraine on their sailboat, stepping masts, water, etc, she sprang to life at the spontaneous proposal.

    A short time later we were on the road for the under 2 hour drive there from our home in NW Connecticut. The Castleton boat club describes themselves as a very friendly and casual organization: so friendly that they do not even list their address or directions on their website. Castleton is such a small old quaint town that I guess nobody there would need an address. But the yellow-book came through and our GPS was homed in on their location.

    When we arrived, I spotted Phil doing something on the pier alongside Changes. We’d not seen each other for over 25 years so and I thought he would not recognize me and that I could sneak up alongside and surprise him. Nope! He saw me coming and yelled out “Hey, Chet!”, and thus began a thoroughly delightful day with him and Lorraine. Time spent with old and new friends puttering around on a boat go like that.

    The day went by quickly:
    -helping and learning from their sail rigging and stories
    -lunch at the Inn that “rocks” as the high speed commuter train goes by
    -the mooring and anchoring cruise across the Hudson
    -an outstanding twilight dinner made and served onboard by Lorraine

    It was great to renew and begin a friendship. Our heads were filled with all we had experienced and our chatter on the drive home made it go by in what seemed like 15 minutes. Thanks Lorraine and Phil, we are already looking forward to seeing you again come May.