Start: Half Moon Bay Marina, Croton on the Hudson, NY.
End: Cold Spring, NY
Moving Time: 4:47 hours (including sitting on our hands waiting for fuel for 30 minutes
Distance: 17.08 NM
Time has come to leave Croton, NY. I get up , run lucky, return the car and head back to the boat to get ready to go. I find two lazy-layabouts still in bed. Which doesn’t really hurt us–doesn’t make too much sense to leave before 0800 because we would be fighting the current. Plan is to head up to an anchorage outside of Cold Spring, NY; short day.
And it turned out to be a typical type day or routine that we are falling into as we move along. Our day looks something like this:
0530-0630: I wake and get up. Because I have a much lower tolerance for Lucky’s whining and Sid’s meowing than everyone else in the boat. Leash on Lucky and pick one of three options. If at Marina, take him to end of dock and out for a run. If at anchorage then either get in our dinghy, fire up the engine and motor to a dinghy dock for a walk. Or if we are anchored someplace close to shore, or really shallow, then hop into our blow up raft and paddle to shore. That takes 30-60 minutes depending on how I’m feeling.
0700 (ish)-departure time. Back at the boat. Generally Jan is up (though not this morning!) and making coffee. Which involves turning on propane tank, turning on LP gas circuit, turning on solenoid at stove, pulling out lighter and turning on and lighting burner. To heat water to put in french press. Which takes awhile. Lucky gets fed and we usually have to feed Sid as well because Lucky, up to this point, has been VERY successful in getting access to Sid’s food bowl no matter where we put it. He is porking out. Seriously. Fat dog.
I drop the engines (they are brought up at night), check the oil, and secure the dinghy or blow up kayak for the trip. If it is the dinghy, Jan and I have to both bring it up and it is a pain in the rear end. If anchored, I open up the through hull for the deck wash hose, turn on the windlass and turn on the deck wash hose so we can wash off the anchor as we bring it up into the boat. It tends to be nasty. Headsets are turned on and donned so we can talk to each other without yelling across the boat. Cuts down on the profanities floating across the water early in the morning. Instruments get turned on, map reviewed, look around to see what we are going to hit and I turn on engines. Jan goes to the front and does some athletic moves to get this harness off the anchor line (if anchored) or else runs up and down the dock releasing lines. If anchored, she pulls in the anchor, gives the thumbs up when anchor is out of the water, cleans the anchor, rode and deck and comes on back to get some breakfast. If we are at the dock, she releases the lines in the agreed upon order, giving me the thumbs up when the last line is released and we are off. That time (if we are docked) is the second most stressful time of the day–getting out of the marina.
0900-0930: We’ve been underway for anywhere from one to three hours. Jan and I have gotten breakfast. Jan has done the dishes. I am in my perch where I will remain for most of the rest of the day minus leaving for bathroom break and to teach AJ math. I fiddle with the engines, look at the sails. dodge debris and logs in the river (which is killing me on the Hudson and going to be worse on the Mississippi), look to avoid other boats, and watch our chart so as not to run aground. I don’t much. For not the running of Lucky in the morning, I would be a fat bastard at the end of this. And still may be. At this point, his royal highness (AJ) rises from his bed and makes an appearance. Usually because he has to go to the bathroom. He make his breakfast, comes out to look where we are at then complains when we tell him it is time for school. He heads to his cabin, gets his school books and to the salon for school.
0930-1400: School. Predominantly Jan and AJ working in the salon. Or AJ working in the salon with Jan walking in and out, especially when Aj decides he doesn’t want to do something. It has gotten pretty good…he knocks out his subjects pretty quickly so by 2-3pm he is done. In this time is lunch. Usually wraps or leftovers from the night before. We all eat the lunch out in the back. Then Jan and AJ head back down and I go back to watching the world go by at five miles per hour. Lucky and Sid sleep. Mostly in the salon, but if the weather is rough, Lucky comes out on deck to sleep. Because he knows it will annoy us.
1400-1800: We prepare to arrive and then arrive at our highly location. 20 minutes out we call the marina (if using one) to get slip assignment and directions on where we need to do. I go into freak out mode over the most stressful part of the day. Docking. When we are 10-15 minutes out, Jan goes forward and drops lines and fenders on the side that we will be attaching to a dock (if anchoring) goes forward to setup the bridge for anchorage, unties the anchor and yells at the dog for walking under her feet. If anchoring, we putter around the area to find where we want to drop the anchor. Then Jan drops the anchor, we make sure it is set, then pull it up and do it again because we can’t seem to get it right the first time! If heading into a marina, we move to our slip assignment and hopefully get the boat to the dock without hitting the dock (bad) or another boat (really bad).
Post-landing: Put all the stuff away. And there is a lot of stuff that seems to find its way out of the lockers onto deck. Sunglasses, binoculars, life vests, jackets, sweatshirts, water bottles, dog leashes and treats, pets, etc. Hook up water and electricity (if at dock). Look at plan for next day and see if it needs to be adjusted. Look 2-4 days out for weather to see if we need to stop at a marina or good protection to escape weather. Put down dinghy or raft (if at anchor). Dog to shore. Then cook dinner. And clean. And post all of that? Watch TV, surf the internet, read a book, look out over the water.
In a nutshell that is a typical day. Which is what we did today. Left Croton with little drama. Headed across the Hudson to get gas and had to back into the dock. Fortunately there was no one there to witness the event or get damaged. I back this boat like I used to back a tractor with a trailer on big Jerry’s farm in Wisconsin. Badly. And had to wait for dude to pump gas. Ended up in Cold Spring, NY. Walked through town. Quaint shops with weird names. And ice cream. Which AJ partook. We stayed in an anchorage just north of town which was great. Would have been perfect except for the trains that came down both sides of the river and the waves from passing barges that rocked our little boat. But all in all, a very nice day and a very nice stay.