Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pollepel Island - Newburgh, NY

Tuesday, September 28
Distance Traveled: 33nm
Total distance traveled:  499.25

When we woke this morning, it was raining as we expected.  We left the dock at 728am.  Last night, a small tug boat rafted off a small ferry, M/V Lark  which didn't give us much room for leaving the dock so we had to do some maneuvering pointing Changes bow almost straight out from the dock for us to leave.  There was a young man from the Belle Aventure crew that came out and helped us, which was very neighborly.

Phil has lost his foul weather jacket.  He must have been wearing it and took it off when he got hot and forgot it.  We didn't realize until this morning when he needed it.  We're thinking it might have happened at Castleton on Hudson, NY.  It's a good thing that it's been pretty warm today as he did ok with wearing the Moonlight Race Jacket he got from George and Pat Schlauch.  It's not waterproof, but helped enough. While Phil was on watch, I did a search of locations for West Marine to see if there was one close enough for us to reach and there is one in West Haverstraw, NY which I think may be close enough to walk to (I hope so I can go too) or worse case for Phil to ride the folding bike.  We looked in NYC - but that's even further away from where we will be docked.  Sure wish that we had that extra foul weather gear we forgot at home. 
Today was not a fun day with the winds rising as the day progressed to the mid 20's and being SSE, they were pretty much on the nose. With the increase in winds, the waves increased to 2+ft.  These waves were very unpleasant and slowed us down so instead of our usual 6 knots - we were going about 4 knots. The favorable current from the tide also didn't last long.  Phil had the engine set to motor at 5.5 knots in flat water and asked me not to play with it.  He is still trying to determine what speed has the engine vibrating the least.  It sure was working hard today.

The first couple watches weren't too bad but during Phil's third watch, he moved Changes over so that we were hugging the East shore of the river which put us in the lee of the land and out of the 2 foot waves that we were pounding into when we were in the center of the river. Hugging the shore really helped a lot as the waves went down to about 1 foot. The Middle to southern portion of the Hudson River is very deep so even though we were only about 30-50 feet from land, we were in 35-40+ft of water.  The part of the Hudson River we traveled through today seems to be cut from rock as it was rare to be in less than 30 ft of water and more typical to be in 40-70ft with the max dept I saw at 137feet.  
Rock Cliffs on Hudson River
instruments on the Hudson River Poughkeepsie, NY area

On my third watch and we went past a gravel sorting and shipping operation.  You can see there aren't any cliffs and the river widened here so encountered increased wind and waves and prop wash from the tug.
Gravel loading and shipping operation with tug
Our speed slowed down to 2.5 knots.  The winds at this point were in the mid teens with gusts up to 24 knots.

On Phil's next watch, the winds built to a steady 20 knots with gusts to 26 knots as the rain continued to fall.  Phil had to go way out in the river and up the waves to go under a bridge.  At this point Phil had had it - saw some sailboats on mooring balls and pulled over to anchor.  But that wasn't easy either.  We got the anchor down, but then we were too close to a sailboat on a mooring. I had a hard time getting the anchor up as the anchor chair came off the roller and I wasn't strong enough to get it back on. Phil had to come forward to do it.  There was so much force on the anchor chain with the wind and waves pushing us back, that I had to put the engine in forward to get slack in the anchor chain to help the windlass raise the anchor.  We tried anchoring again, and were able to anchor while we ate a lunch of roast beef sandwiches and apple slices and discussed what to do next. I had the computer hooked up to internet to download to ebooks and audiobooks from the Library so we used the coordinates from the GPS and plugged them into Google maps and found that we were next to Beacon, NY across the river from Newburgh, NY and the Newburgh Yacht Club.  Our first stopping point on our list, Pollepel Island was 4nm away.  Where we were had anchored wasn't protected and as the winds had eased into the mid teens, we decided to raise anchor and go to Pollepel Island for the night.   It was my watch again and the conditions weren't much better as the wind blew a heavy drizzle under the hat I was wearing and collected on my eyeglasses -so I  had to repeatedly wipe them with a paper towel to dry so I could see OK.  The mists and clouds were so low and thick that it was hard to see the shore.  I saw an island up ahead, but couldn't figure out where the land ended and where the river went through.  There are a lot of hills here so was confusing.   According to the GPS there was water straight ahead, so kept on going figuring that as I got closer the way would become clear, which it did.
We got to Pollepel Island sooner than I expected and once we got up to the island, Phil took the helm as there is lots of shallow water around the island and a 200ft wide channel between the island and shore that is 12-20 feet deep depending on the tides.  In order to get to this channel, you have to go 3/4 of a mile past the island and make a U turn to go up the channel. Phil went real slow as we haven't been here before and we didn't hit bottom. We were going in on a rising tide, so we were in good shape if we would have hit.  We anchored first try and it's a good anchorage as the island has shielded us from the S winds and we are close to the land, so we are shielded from the winds in that direction also.   We are not bouncing around that much which is a relief.  There are many trains that are passing us here -it seems like 2-3 a hour or more especially during rush hour, but usually that are not blowing their horn, so they're quieter and go through quickly.
After I hung up the wet gear, I laid down for a short nap while Phil puttered around.  After a while I made supper of a Toasted Barley Pilaf, broccoli, and chicken.  The pilaf turned out good and even though I halved the recipe, we still have enough left over for another meal.  After supper, the rain stopped and the sun peaked out between the clouds to give us a wonderful sunset. It seems that the best sunset we've seen have been at the end of a rainy day.  Weather forcasted for tomorrow is to be in the high 70's and sunny.  Red at night Sailors delight they say.

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool you can dial up the internet and Google Maps sitting in the Middle of the Hudson River. I'll bet John Glenn wished he could have done that in his tiny ship back in 1962.