Lionheart Cruise - New York State
It was a real thrill to arrive in New York Harbor on Lionheart. To see the skyline and The Statue of Liberty from our own deck was awesome. It also presented completion of the third big leg of our journey and we felt a real sense of accomplishment.
We had to settle for a marina right on the Hudson River which meant we were in for a lot of rock and roll from all the wakes made on the river by the heavy ferry traffic. However, the view from Lincoln Harbor Marina in Weehawken, NJ, more than made up for the bouncing around. Out our back door was mid-town Manhattan with the Empire State Building perfectly framed in the doorway. Sad to say, it is once again the tallest building in NYC. Since we needed to get our recently crashed laptop fixed, we decided to stay in the city for a week and treat ourselves to the sights.
We got off to a great start by locating a computer expert who picked up the laptop that very day and promised to have it back by Friday. We spent Thursday, May 1, touring lower Manhattan. Everything was very convenient to our marina. A light rail train ran one block from the marina so we could hop on and ride 3 minutes to the ferry terminal and take a ferry across the river to mid-town. From the ferry terminal, we took the free ferry line buses all around town. That day we got off the bus by Ground Zero and viewed the site. The hole itself is many stories deep with the rebuilt subway station in the bottom. The rest of the buildings that were damaged have been restored. The amazing thing is just the awful absence of all that used to be there. We walked around the financial district seeing the NYSE, Trinity Church, the Federal Courts, the City Hall, etc. The thing that struck me was all the cement barriers around the buildings and the fact that they are no longer open to the public. We lunched in China Town and walked around the East Village and Columbia University. We took the subway to the Empire State Building and looked at NYC from the top. We also took a boat tour around Manhattan Island (talk about a busman's holiday!). We were wrecked by the time we got back to Nick and the boat that evening! Friday we took the light rail into downtown Hoboken and signed up for Social Security! We also got our computer back and looked up Dale Grenoble's brother Rob who has a music studio, Water Music, in Hoboken. He graciously gave us a personal tour of Hoboken and Manhattan on Sunday. Between Rob and our City Bus Tour on Saturday, we really did learn a great deal about the city and who lives where in the city. We also met up with Barbara Grady and Bill Stabler (friends from SCR) and attended a matinee performance of Awake and Sing which was playing off Broadway on 42nd St. Altogether, we enjoyed our stay in NYC enormously and were happy to have all the exercise walking around.
Our view of Manhattan from the back door
On Wed., May 7, we started up the Hudson River in a drizzle which turned into heavy rain for most of the day. The landscape really changed here with high granite palisades on both sides of the River. We also had a significant current against us. We passed West Point but decided not to stop and try to tour it in the rain. I was able to spot The Roosevelt mansion, Hyde Park, high atop the river banks and Vassar. We stopped for the night at the little town of Kingston which was briefly the capital of the state in the 1770's. The waterfront towns in NY, like those we saw in the south, date back to the early settlement of the country and seem quite rural to a California girl. The next day was cold and drizzle again. We passed Albany. At Troy we went through the Federal Lock which is the first lock in the NY State Canal System and it raised the boat 15 feet. We tied up in Waterford, right downstream from Lock #2, which is the beginning of the Erie Canal. It is a charming little town which caters to boaters traveling on the Canal. We stayed on the city wall for 2 nights because the rain had closed some locks upstream due to high water and debris. We were delighted to learn that the 2006 season is the 200th anniversary of the NY Canal System and all fees are waived. A nice little bonus to help make up for the high cost of diesel this year!
New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street
The American Stock Exchange viewed from the Trinity Church Yard..This one is for Tom Noll
Trinity Church Graveyard in Lower Manhattan
Storm clouds shroud the Empire State Building
The Erie Canal was built in the early 1800's for barge traffic. There were mule paths on each side of the canal to move the barges. The lock walls are granite blocks and the original doors are wood. There are only a few original doors at this time as the canal is being refurbished, as needed, to continue operation. Now the canal is mainly used by pleasure craft although we did see some commercial traffic. From Lock
Upper Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building..Chrysler Tower in background
#2 to Lock #20 you are steadily rising to a height of 420 feet above sea level. At Lock 21 you start locking down. Between Lock 22 and 23, where the Oswego Canal heads north, you are at 363 feet. In the Oswego Canal there are 7 locks that lower you to the level of Lake Ontario at 245 feet. We started our trip through Lock #2 on June 10. It was a cold, windy and rainy day. We locked through 9 locks, spending the night in Amsterdam on the city wall next to the very active railroad tracks. It was a long day but we were the only boat in most of the locks and it gave us a chance to master the technique of attaching to the lock wall in all 3 types of locks. Some locks have grungy old ropes hanging down which you have to grab as you move into the lock (very slowly) and then hold while you go up (or down...on this section you are going up). The ropes were the most difficult and the captain chose to keep the engines on and kind of hover in the middle of the locks where we were alone. The other connection devices are pipes in the lock walls or cables that are connected top and bottom on the lock walls. We like cables best and got to be pretty proficient at the process. We stopped on the city wall in Herkimer on June 12 and walked to WalMart. We decided we needed a second bicycle so we could get around in the small towns where we stopped. We made it to Oswego, our last stop in NY state, on June 15. On Friday, June 16 we treated ourselves to a trip to see Niagara Falls.
Dinner with Friends in NYC
Going to the theatre on 42nd Street
For the Niagara trip, we rented a car and drove over to the city of Niagara Falls on a small country road and enjoyed seeing the little towns from the land perspective. The falls are magnificent! We walked all around the park and crossed the Rainbow Bridge into Canada for lunch. Then back to Oswego to do some shopping with the luxury of a car to haul our stuff! We stayed in the Oswego area until June 21, waiting for some new equipment and for good weather to cross Lake Ontario.
Touring on a rainy day in NYC
We left Oswego on June 21, which was 8 months from the date we left Long Beach. We had traveled a total of 7486 miles. The next leg of our trip will take us across Lake Ontario and into Canada.
Nick confers with the Captain on the first lock
Albany, NY, on a stormy afternoon
Rob & Song Grenoble had dinner on Lionheart
North on the Hudson....West Point in the rain
Approaching Waterford and Lock #2
Handling the lines while "locking through"
Lionheart docked in Amsterdam, NY
Ilion waterfront....This one's for you Penny
Leaving the last lock in Oswego
Nick considers his options after for his evening at the dock
Niagara Falls with Niagara, Ontario in the background
The Captain views the Falls from Rainbow Bridge
Passing Ellis Island in New York Harbor
Nick viewing his arrival in NYC