Kingston, NY (Wednesday, 6/5):
Today we planned to leave Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, but since our next stop was only 8 miles away, we were in no hurry to get there. Plus, the current was running against us, so the later we left the better.
Taking advantage of this delay, Denise went for a run; after all it was Global Running Day! The yacht club is located in a fairly rural area and there is a gravel road about a half-mile long that takes you out to the two-lane highway with no shoulder. Not a good running area. Fortunately, one of the club members had told her about a neighboring townhouse development that you can get to from a side gravel road and that is the path she took. The route out was pretty simple, but required going over the train tracks and up a huge hill where she spooked two deer who took off before a picture could be taken. From there she ran up the hill to the highway, then back down to the side road and on to run through the very hilly new development. After two loops there and back down the hill she returned to the PYC to finish a short, but good workout. Here are some pictures from the run:
While waiting for the current to change Mark was able to get some towels washed and dried while Denise published the last blog update. We also had a chance to say hello to Loopers John & Susan (“Sunset Drifter”) who also stayed at PYC. We first met them in Beaufort, NC and initially didn’t realize they were on their boat at the club as it was on the north dock and we were on the south dock. In any case, we had a short conversation before we had to say goodbye as it was time to leave.
A note about PYC: we really liked our stay at this place. Even though it is somewhat remote, we had numerous offers by club members to take us into Hyde Park, or to take us anywhere. We received all kinds of suggestions on where to go in Kingston, along Lake Champlain and even in the neighboring town of Rhinebeck. We really appreciate all this local knowledge and try to get wherever we can. We also loved the wildlife we got to see while here, including the bald eagles that would perch on the deadwood tree near the club. But the people of this club are the best and made us feel so welcome. We will not forget them and now consider them our friends.
Finally, it was time to head north. We left the dock with Rob’s help and without issue, heading past Esopus Island, the boats at Norrie State Park on the eastern shore, and The Mount Bruderhof Community on the western shore.
Along the way we passed the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse and rounded Sturgeon point where a train was headed north.
As we approached the entrance to Rondout Creek and the famous lighthouse that marks its northern breakwater, the Rip Van Winkle tour boat was leaving the harbor. As soon as it got out into the Hudson River, at least 10 law enforcement boats approached it from the North and proceeded to surround it. It was obvious there was some type of training exercise going on and the wakes of all the boats kicked up the waves a bit.
We passed the breakwater and began making our way passed the town of Kingston to our north.
Here there were Looper and other cruiser boats at the docks of various establishments, including the Hudson River Maritime Museum, a restaurant, and the city marina. One boat we saw was “Salty” whom we knew from our Great Loop adventure in 2015. Also on the dock were our friends on “Balahula” and “Steadfast”.
We continued up the Rondout Creek to Rondout Yacht Basin on the side, and pulled up to a face dock with a side-tie. This was perfect because it enabled us to easily launch the dinghy to take it back across the creek to go into town. The biggest disadvantage to this marina is it is not in walking distance to Kingston, but it is protected and nicer than the downtown docks.
As we were settling the boat we were approached by a Looper, Mike (“Blue Sky”) who came over to introduce himself. He and his wife had just moved to Orlando- area from Texas and immediately started their Loop adventure. We agreed to stop by later and talk with them if time permits. Since we are planning on being here two nights, that should not be an issue.
We then checked in with the marina office, met the people from the boat behind us on the dock, and then launched the dinghy; we wanted to get to see some of the town of Kingston before the forecasted rain comes in the evening. We were not sure where we could tie up the dinghy without having to pay the $10 dock fee at the city docks, but while seeking out friends on “Balahula” we were invited to tie to the stern of “Magic”, a couple we met in Atlantic City in 2017. At first we could not remember where we had initially met, but later we reviewed the notes on their boat card to confirm. Terry (aka “Captain Crusty”) and his wife Dorothy are also doing the Down East Loop. We thanked them for the tie-up and agreed that all us DE Loopers should get together at Shady Harbor marina next week and compare itineraries and notes.
We found Joe & Barbara (“Balahula”) who were with Brian & Michelle (“Kitumba”) at a nearby patio bar having a drink. They were making plans to go up the Rondout creek in their dinghy, but we wanted to go see the town so we passed on the offer to join them. We made plans to connect up for dinner later in the evening, and then headed down the Riverwalk. We walked down past the Hudson River Maritime Museum and up to the Ole Savannah restaurant where some Looper stay to take advantage of their “free dock with meal” program. Our goal was to meet up with Jonathan and Rosa (“Salty”) as well as other Loopers.
We first met Jonathan in Apalachicola in 2015, and then saw them when we were at anchorage in Cumberland Island, GA in 2017 on our way to Maine. We have followed their adventures as they are on their 4th Great Loop and were originally going to do the DE Loop like us this year. However their boat is a C-Dory and not really geared for the big water of the St. Lawrence and so they have abandoned this plan. We talked with them for a little while as well as other Loopers Janice & Steve (“Nomadic Spirit”) and Kelly & Pam (“Bahama Voyager”) and then continued with our walk around town.
The town of Kingston is mostly a dead town. There are several good restaurants and a few shops, but most were closed, even at 4:00 in the afternoon. There is evidence of plans for revitalization, but there is also evidence of businesses that tried to make it here and were not successful. Here are some pictures from this adventure.
We decided to return back to our boat to get showers and tuck in before the threatening rain started. We knew we could take an Uber cab to get to dinner, once location and time was known. Once back at the boat, we spent some time talking to our dock mates behind us. Adrian & Stephanie (“Royal Winds”) have a home near the NY shores of Lake Champlain, and a second home in Titusville, FL. We spent time discussing membership in MTOA and cruising up to Quebec and along the St. Lawrence River. Their information was most helpful and we agree to call them if we make it near where they live.
The rain never did come in the evening, but we still took an Uber to meet Barbara & Joe (“Balahula”) and Brian & Michelle (“Kitumba”) for outside dining at Savona Trattoria in Kingston. We had a lot of fun laughing and sharing stories of our travels and enjoying a delicious meal. After dinner Brian and Michelle gave us a ride back in their dinghy as their boat was also at RYB. We thanked them and wished them safe travels as they were headed north tomorrow. We will most likely see them this weekend at Shady Harbor Marina along with all the other Loopers who will be there for the weekend festivities and Sunday’s pig roast.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures on Island Office.