N 42 22.0 W 73 47.8

June 5, 2001

Newburgh to Saugerties to Coxsackie I., Hudson River, NY

Wing & wing up the Hudson
We stayed put and left the next day with a brisk southwest wind. White caps flashed out on the open river so we lost no time in setting sail. For the next hour we went running up the river wing and wing, then the waterway twisted and turned the wind against us so once again it was motor time.

On this fair early summer day of clouds and sun the Hudson's river character became more apparent. The banks were lower and often the narrow channel passed extensive areas of flats and weedy shallows. There were frequent islands and little coves, backwaters and "hooks" as they call points here, and the chocolate brown water carried a variety of logs and sticks and debris from recent rains past us. There is an unending sense to the river's flow- it just keeps coming relentless silent and powerful, and we swam slowly up against the current like a minnow homing upstream. To the west the edge of the Catskills rose against the sky hazy and blue and green, spotted with patchy cloud shadows. The wind was fickle coming and going from various directions. We only managed about ten very pleasant miles under sail. We motored into Saguerties and anchored where we had been last fall.

Saugerties beggar swan
Saguerties was livelier this June evening than last fall with several families fishing and hanging out feeding the swans at the little park. The swans and small flock of domesticated geese squawking around the harbor were entertaining. A single "widowed" swan shared the creek with a pair, the 2 were intensely territorial as swans are. If the widower so much as showed himself around the bend the two puffed themselves up and started steaming up the creek after him full throttle-I think they could do about 4 knots. Then the lone swan would take wing and flee for his life.

Last anchorage with the mast up at Saugerties
We motored on to Riverview Marina to get the spar down the next morning. Two Canadians were also dismantling their rigs on their way home to the North Channel. One told of going to Cuba which was a positive experience for them. They found inexpensive food and services ( 3 heads of lettuce 15 cents, a big pineapple 50 cents) and the cruiser told us increasing numbers of boat folk are going to Cuba instead of the Bahamas. He also had run into our two acquaintences Harry and Fran there).

Middle Hudson River Light

Middle Ground Flats Light

River traffic
Mastless the motor vessel Titania proceeded now with a favorable current to an anchorage behind Rattlesnake Island. This had an almost entirely undeveloped shoreline heavily forested, a steep hill to the west and an old mouldering ruin of a wooden barge with rose bushes growing out of it. A heron lumbered into the air, a thrush sang in the trees and we saw a bald eagle fly overhead. We were well out of the current- nice spot. But the water kept draining away.

Behind Coxsackie I.; Titania ready for the canal
Nine feet, eight, seven, hmm, what's the tide range here? Still three feet? Full moon tonight, 4.5 mean tidal range, well, maybe we ought to move... So we did. After two tries we settled behind Coxsackie Island, another uninhabited low island covered with cottonwood trees a bit south of the first island. A noteworthy find here was a small boat club with an immaculate well kept cutter the Torquay tied up there. She was an Apache, Titania's 37 foot big sister,. We dinghied over to check her out and noted all the improvements and upgrades, this was a nicely restored Chris Craft sailboat!