Friday, June 24, 2011

NY City!!!

At 0800 21 June, we departed Little Falls, NY and proceeded on the third day of our transit of the New York State Barge Canal system. The scenery it magnificent with just about every shade of green present by the over abundance of deciduous trees, maples, ash and willows. I have traveled this route in October and it is a Fourth of July of color. Regardless if it's spring, summer or fall, the Erie Canal is one of my favorite trips... this being trip number 29.

We finally locked thru the Erie Canal and Federal Lock at Troy, NY at days end. I had some difficulty trying to call Troy Town Dock Marina, as every phone number I could find with directory assistance, the cruising guides and online, listed a phone number that has not been valid for over six years! I called the City's Parks and Recreation Department ("you're looking for what?"), the City's Public Works Department (you're looking for what?") and after TEN phone calls, I called the Mayor's office and finally got the correct phone number. Lesson learned? Forget the escalator, go right to the top!! BTW, it's not called the Troy Town Dock Marina. It's just Troy Dock. Joe, who holds the concession, is a helpful individual. And for 500 gallons or more, $4.11 per gallon. The electrical connection is high up on the top of the bulkhead.

There are several restaurants to choose from at Troy Dock. A boutique brewer is within stumbling distance of the boat (I don't drink!), but my favorite is the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que just south of the bridge at the end of the dock. I can assure you, you will not go away hungry. Save room for the fresh berry cobbler or peanut butter pie!

22 June finds me up and on deck at 0600 and thinking how breakfast would feel. In my past experience in Troy, I know that you could wander empty streets look for sustenance, so here is the local remedy for the growlies. Walk up to the first street, turn right and then make an oblique crossing at the bridge. This will put you on 4th Street headed south.  About 4 blocks is a Dunkin Donut on the west side of the street. Pass right on by. Continue about another 4 blocks and turn left at Maneroy's (green awning) and three doors down is a non-descript little hole in the wall called "Famous Lunch." Basically a local lunch counter, as I walked in, there are four a five blue collar workers and a police sergeant contemplating a third cup o' joe. Of course, walking in, all eyes are reviewing the tanned delivery captain as I saunter to the middle of the counter.

Steve, the owner, has a degree in engineering but gave up industrial life to carve out his little piece of heaven. He's says he walks in about 0500, so that is welcome news for the early riser on the dock. After  quiet observation, I was welcomed into the conversations of the morning and the locals found my occupation interesting. What I found interesting was the history of "Famous Lunch." Opened in 1932, it was called Quick Lunch. However, in '58 a Marine Corporal with the US Embassy Guard in Moscow had to have his Troy hot dogs. Several dozen were flown on KLM in what the news of the day called "Operation Hot dog." Quick Lunch became world famous, and the name was changed to Famous Lunch. To this day, Steve sends hot dogs out via FedEx across the country and around the world.

After returning to the boat, we were underway for the approximately 140 mile run down the Hudson River River Valley to New York City. Deep and wide, the Hudson is a boaters delight. Old lighthouses pop up from time to time; some of which are now bed and breakfast operations.

Further down on the river is West Point up high on the right. Finally, passing Poughkeepsie, Sing-Sing Prison, and Yonkers, we see the Harlem River on the port side and the start of Manhattan Island. After a quick harbor tour of the Intrepid Museum, Brooklyn Bridge and Lady Liberty, we moored the boat at Liberty Landing Marina at 1700 on the New Jersey side across from The Battery/Wall Street. Look for the large Colgate clock; that's the entrance.

Liberty Landing, in my opinion, is the best protected marina in the NYC area. Lincoln Harbor, Newport and Chelsea are all ROCKED by the numerous NY Waterways ferry wakes, rolling continuously on the lower Hudson until around 2200 hours. In fact, I had a Marquip ladder destroyed at Lincoln Harbor years ago because of this very reason. It took a letter from a lawyer with threat of lawsuit for NY Waterways to cough up the do-ray-me to replace said ladder. I am sure that reimbursement would be less than successfull today.

23 June is a lay-day as serveral of my passengers are flying back to Mexico tomorrow morning. This allows myself and the Mexican crew to do some much needed housecleaning, including changing the impeller on the oil changer. A dank and foggy morning, I cannot wait to get back underway tomorrow.

               More to follow...        


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