Cape May to Poughkeepsie
Posted on June 28, 2018
Sun/ Mon, June 17-18. Departed Cape May at 6:00am and the ocean was glass the entire run to NY. Arrived to Great Kills Yacht Club in Staten Island, NY around 1:00. There are only two places on the Loop that you head out in the ocean and you have to wait for your weather opportunity; Cape May, NJ to New York and Mobile, AL to Tarpon Springs, FL. The run to New York in the ocean is about 120 miles in one shot but if the weather gets bad there are a few safe inlets to enter (Atlantic City, Barnegat, Manasquan) if you want to break it up.
The highlight of the trip was when a 8’ thresher shark kept jumping out of the water. It must have jumped a dozen times at least. Since it was a Sunday, Father’s Day and a beautiful day it was rather crazy transiting the harbor to the entrance to the Great Kills Yacht Club. Boats coming at you from every direction. Made it in safely and were greeted by the Great Kills Harbor Host, John, to direct us into our slip. We were surrounded by 4 other Looper boats and expect we will see them all along the way.
On Monday, we took an Uber to the train station, the train to the Staten Island Ferry and the ferry over to Battery Park where we offloaded and walked to the 911 Memorial Museum. Very impressive and very somber museum. We opted for the foundation membership which included a self-guided audio tour narrated by Robert De Niro with commentary by many others who were involved that tragic day. If you haven’t been to the museum, you should go next time in NY. Spent a few hours there, had lunch in the city then back via walk, ferry, train, and Uber.
Tuesday, June 19th – Croton on the Hudson. Departed early and headed up New York Harbor past the Statute of Liberty, Ellis Island, & Manhattan and up the Hudson to Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton-on-Hudson. We had passed Liberty Island while on the ferry yesterday and other times on other harbor cruise boats, but it is pretty cool passing it on your own boat. Dodging all the ferries, ships, tugs, and barges kept us on our toes until we got to the George Washington Bridge. Cruising the Hudson is so beautiful with high rock cliffs on either side and past The Palisades on the NJ side which became a world heritage site in 1983. The word Palisades means defensive wall or fence and there is much history surrounding these beautiful cliffs.
Wed – Sat, Jun 20-23rd. Decided to fly home to check on things and surprise my mom so we rented a car and Bob drove me to LaGuardia on Wednesday. Bob utilized his time by driving by his old neighborhood, grammar school and house, seeing a Yankees game, Board meetings for 2 days (National Scholastic Chess Foundation), and driving around beautiful upstate NY. I had a delightful time seeing my mom and brother, friends, and the house. Bob picked me up on Saturday and we had lunch at a diner that he use to frequent when living in NY, toured the Croton Dam in the afternoon and in evening met two of his fellow NSCF board members at a great Indian restaurant for dinner.
Sunday, Jun 24th. Bob suggested we take a scenic drive so we headed to the US Military Academy at West Point. Went south to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and north to the Academy’s visitor’s center which we toured. The view of the Hudson from the visitor’s center high on the cliff is spectacular and the history impressive with so many of our nation’s great leaders having graduated from West Point. On the way back to the marina, we crossed over the Bear Mountain Bridge and toured the lush and hilly back roads.
Monday, June 25th. Continued our cruise north up the beautiful Hudson to a mooring ball at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club. The wind was blowing briskly from the north so it was a bit bumpy. Along the way we were boarded by the NY Police Marine Unit for a safety check. All good and we were on our way but it was challenging during the stop to keep the boat pointed into the wind and not running over the towing line of the tender. Arrived at the Yacht Club in the afternoon and enjoyed a nice evening on the mooring watching the geese, herons and a magnificent bald eagle. One of the yacht club members, called a steward, generally is around to greet visitors but he was out with health reasons so we didn’t get to enjoy the camaraderie of the members.
Tuesday, June 26th. Had lunch reservations at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park and grabbed an Uber to get there. The meal was delicious. Bob had the lamb chops and I decided to have the duck. Best duck I’ve ever had and served very different than anything I’ve ever had. It was sliced thin like tenderloin and almost tasted like it. Should have taken a photo of our plates as the meals were plated beautifully and not with your everyday compliments. The CIA has several restaurants on property (American bistro, French, Italian and a bakery) and are worked by the students with chef professors directing them. The grounds were beautiful and overlooked the Hudson River. Highly recommend.
After the CIA, we took an Uber to the Vanderbilt Mansion for a tour of the property. Frederick & Louise Vanderbilt bought the property in late 1800’s for $120,000 (700+ acres) then spent about $2 million on renovations and furnishings. ($1.4 million in furnishings from Europe). They were seasonal residents and only lived there Fall thru Spring. Since they had no children of their own, they willed the property to their favorite niece when they passed but she didn’t want it as it was during the Depression and she didn’t want the expense of another mansion. She sold it for $200,000 to a local who loved the property. It was later donated to the State in 1940 for a tax write off and has been a National Historic Landmark since then. After touring the 54 room mansion, we walked the 2.3 miles back to the marina as there were no Uber cars available and spotted a deer in the woods right before arriving at the marina. Spent another delighted afternoon/ evening watching the traffic on the Hudson, the birds and our friend the Eagle.
That wraps up another great week on our great adventure. Stay tuned for more.