September 18, 2000 - Pollepel Island, NY - N 41 27.307 W 73 59.103

We spent the night in Saugerties Creek in deep water next to a rock cliff about 60 feet high. The setting was serene and seemingly remote yet we were right in the center of town. Only an occasional truck rumbling past overhead or a whiff of odor from the sewage plant reminded us of our proximity to civilization. On this day we began to see more of the highlands along the river as once again we powered into a light headwind. We passed Roosevelt's Hyde Park mansion looking massive and noble with its columns and forthright architecture atop a wooded ridge as well as several other grand old estates. As we went south we also saw quite a few grandiose new mini mansions overlooking the rvier. Clearly we were moving within commuting distance of the New York City economy.

Near Newburg a Turkish ship coming upriver slipped past us, then three tugs, two from behind and one from ahead passed us. One had a loaded oil barge bound for Albany I suspect, one had a cement barge and the third was empty and riding high in the air. Just ahead loomed the hazy blue shapes of Storm King Mountain and Breakneck Ridge on either side of the narrowing river. For those who reside in Colorado these are admittedly minor foothills but they loom 1400 feet over the river and drop down steep and forested and rock faced and are very picturesque. Amazingly not a single mini mansion or cell tower embellishes them either. This is one stretch of river and hills made famous by the 19th century romatic Hudson School of landscape painting. Even on this summer day of light overcast, the hills seem somber and surprisingly dark as they press in near the river.

Bannerman's castle
We anchored behind Pollepel Island next to the railroad tracks and within a few hundred feet of an outstanding ruin. Chris is going to put a link to the website on it [ Here it is ]. We dinghied over to the mysterious "castle" a brick and stucco structure that loomed high above the rocky little island's scrubby trees. A prominant sign on the wall read Bannerman's Arsenal. All very mysterious it was overgrown with aster and loosetrife along shore and with flaking mortar, cracked walls, and bittersweet, creeper and poison ivy vines all over it. Also it was plastered with signs saying dangerous ruin, keep out, video survellance. What a setting for a Hollywood ghost story it would make. It projected an air of great antiquity and doleful ruin, yet it was finished in 1912 according to a date on one archway.

We are lying to two anchors and hoping for a quiet night before heading past historic and tide swept West Point

A part of Bannerman's Arsenal of unknown function with Titania in the background

Rowing back to Titania after exploring the castle