Jul 3 – Tue
Tuesday was moving day, from New York to Croton on the Hudson.
Croton on the Hudson is about 45 miles north of New York City.
We were joined late Monday afternoon by Jonell’s brother Adam Silorey & 1st mate Patty.
The ride up the Hudson River started with the expected dodging of many water taxi’s and commercial vessels. But by the time we reached the George Washington Bridge, the water traffic had died down.
It was a very hazy/foggy morning, with visibility of only 1-2 miles.
We passed what looked to be a small aircraft carrier, then a large tented structure on the Hudson River, and then the final sets of sky scrapers. After we passed under the George Washington Bridge, the large buildings had about ended and it was so long New York City.
The ride up The Hudson River was Beautiful, the photos don’t really do it justice due to the haze and low visibility. The land had changed from sky scrapers to ; jagged cliffs, trees, and large homes & buildings on top of the cliffs.
As we made our way north, we were finally out of the hustle of all of the city river traffic. All things were peaceful, the visibility continued to degrade as we got further north out of the city , but the crew was at ease and enjoyed a breakfast snack !
As we approached Tarrytown New York, about 40 miles north of NYC, we crossed under the very pretty Tappan Zee Bridge. The bridge was very pretty, but all of the work barges below it were not.
It was a highly congested area under the bridge.
Normally there are cattle gates or fender boards defining where you should cross under the bridge, and usually at the center of the bridge.
We picked the hole that appeared to be the path of minimum traffic.
Out of nowhere came a work boat with some boys waving their arms, saying to go on the other side of the barge.
We are still not sure why, the work boat did not have or did not use a VHF radio, they appeared to prefer arm waving. This was upstate New York, so I think all of their names were “Tony or Frank”.
About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the very pretty Half Moon Bay Marina.
The Half Moon Bay Marina is in a nice little cove, surrounded by small tree-lined hills, and immediately behind the marina are very nice condos.
We rented a car for a few days to travel up to West Point & The Culinary School of America later in the week. So we took the car to explore the town.
We had a sub for lunch at the local deli, came back to the boat, and played euchre during an hour-long rain storm.
After the storm, we went back into town, researched some parks to go swimming at tomorrow, researched some dinner places, and had dinner at a place called ” The Croton Colonial Diner“.
It was not much to look at, a mom/pop joint, but had a very large menu and all the food was great.
Adam & I had the Baby Back Ribs, with Baked Beans & a cup of Split Pea Soup for $10.99 (yea, finally away from NYC prices).
After dinner, we hung out on the aft deck for some family bonding, listened to some music, and called it a night about 10pm.
Jul 4th – Wed
On Wednesday, the 4th of July we had a very full day planned. We had Waterfalls, the Beach, and Fireworks on the agenda.
We started the day with a short drive to The Croton Gorge Park, about 3 miles from the marina, where we saw the spectacular New Croton Dam & Croton Waterfalls.
The New Croton Dam
The original Croton Dam (Old Croton Dam) was built between 1837 and 1842. By 1881, after extensive repairs to the dam, the Aqueduct Commission of the City of New York ordered construction of a new Croton system in 1885.
Construction of The New Croton Dam began in 1892 and was completed in 1906.
The New Croton Dam stretches across the Croton River about 22 miles north of New York City. The masonry dam is 266 feet broad at its base and 297 feet high from base to crest. Its foundation extends 130 feet below the bed of the river. At the time of its completion in 1906, it was the tallest dam in the world. New Croton Dam impounds up to 19 billion US gallons of water, a small fraction of the New York City water system’s total storage capacity of 580 billion US gallons.
The New Croton Dam has a public park and trail head at its base and a road along its crest. The road has been limited to pedestrians and emergency vehicles only, since the 9/11 terrorists attacks.
To get to The Dam, we had to walk over a large bridge leading to the crest of the dam.
The Croton Waterfalls
The New Croton Dam has an unusual spillway, part artificial and part natural, which forms the beautiful Croton Waterfalls on the north side of the structure. At the base of the waterfalls is a very nice park. It was a lovely peaceful setting on a bright sunny day.
From the bridge at the Top of the Dam, we could see houses built into the hills.
It was a beautiful start to the day !
Here is a Croton Dam & Waterfalls Video = https://youtu.be/cQganP_af9g
Next stop was The Croton Point Park Beach.
It was a very hot day, about 100 degrees & very humid.
A perfect day for the beach.
Guess what, we were not the only folks who had the idea of going to the beach.
We had made a run past the beach yesterday, and knew where the drop off point was for chairs, coolers, etc.
But as we approached the bridge to get to the park & beach there was a massive traffic jam. We saw many people carrying coolers, food, chairs all the way across the bridge, over a half mile away from the beach (oh-oh). As we approached the cop directing traffic he asked where we were going, we said to the beach, he said “it’s your lucky day, we just opened up a couple of spots”, and he let us drive across the bridge to the park.
Our parking space was right next to the beach (yea).
We carried our stuff over to the swimming hole for the very small beach. It was a somewhat strange place. They made you buy $4 wrist bands to swim, and they performed a safety inspection every few hours and made everyone get out of the water for about 10 minutes.
I asked the park attendant “what was the inspection for”.
She said “to make sure the water was safe”.
I said “what do they physically do”.
She said “I don’t know”.
I did not see anyone with water test kits, they may have been checking for wrist bands, it was a very strange process.
The main swimming area was a very small swimming area sectioned off with buoys and jam-packed with people wearing their wrist bands. Most of the folks were speaking languages that we could not understand.
After about 30 minutes of this area, we opted to go swimming in the forbidden area near all of the boaters.
After about 3 hours at the beach, the hot/humid weather became threatening. We slowly began packing up, and got to the car just as the rains let loose. We were in the safety of the car, but all others were scrambling.
Blessed again !
We came back to the boat, chilled for a few hours, listened to some music, and then cleaned up for dinner.
We drove about 30 miles, but a long 1 hour north of Croton, to a place called Poughkeepsie NY.
They were supposed to have one of the best firework shows next to NYC.
We had reserved advanced tickets to watch the show from atop of the Poughkeepsie Bridge, also known as The Walkway Over the Hudson Bridge.
We arrived in Poughkeepsie and had dinner at an Irish place called Mahoney’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse. We had Guinness, Corn Beef, Shepherd’s Pie, and more. It was very authentic Irish cuisine. It tasted even better because Adam & Patty picked up the check.
The Walkway over the Hudson Bridge
The Walkway over the Hudson Bridge is a steel cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie New York on the east bank and Highland New York on the west bank. Built as a double track railroad bridge, it was completed on January 1, 1889, and formed part of the Maybrook Railroad Line. It was taken out of service on May 8, 1974, after it was damaged by fire. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was reopened on October 3, 2009 as a pedestrian walkway, and named the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.
While waiting for the fireworks, we saw a pretty cool sunset behind the hills of upstate NY.
As night approached, everyone waited with great anticipation for the fireworks.
The bridge was packed, everyone was staking out their claim for seating.
There were sections of the bridge with tall fences.
Were we going to be able to see thru the fence ?
How high do the fireworks go ?
The questions were endless.
The excitement & anxiety were building.
Then the show began.
It was pretty good, the Detroit show is better.
Maybe we should have driven back down to NYC.
But Poughkeepsie was a sweet little town, and it was much less hassle than the big city.
That was it for Wednesday, the 4th of July !
Jul 5 – Thu
We had another fun day planned for Thursday.
We were able to sleep in a bit after the late night on Wednesday.
The Thursday plan was ;
> The West Point Military Academy, in West Point New York.
> The Culinary School of America , in Hyde Park New York.
Our reservation at West Point was not until the afternoon, so we had time to kill.
Travel agent Mike went into action and discovered that the infamous Sing Sing Prison, was only 4 miles from Croton in a city called Ossining.
Sing Sing is still an open/functional prison, there are no tours unless you misbehave. So we wanted to only get a photo of the outside of the building.
We were attempting to drive to the prison when we saw some signs about a Visitors Center & the Sing Sing Museum.
It was a very small place, connected to the Ossining Community Center Building, and actually was not open on this day.
The nice woman behind the Community Center Counter was kind enough to let us into the museum and give us a few tips on what to see.
The museum had mainly 2 things to see ;
> Displays, models, and Poster Boards for The Sing Sing Prison.
> Displays, models, and Poster Boards for The Ossining Aqueduct.
The Sing Sing Prison.
For you 3 Stooges fans I must say – ” You are now in Sing Sing”.
Criminals have always called it “up the river.”
The Sing Sing Prison, and Ossining the town, are inextricably linked.
In 1902 the town changed its name only because the prison had become so notorious. And that’s just one of a multitude of facts, stories, and myths surrounding this nearly 200-year-old star of stage, screen, song — and grisly executions.
It was built in 1825 !
In 1825, future warden Elam Lynd, transferred 100 inmates from Auburn prison by barge along the Erie Canal down the Hudson to Sing Sing, where he forced them, at gunpoint, to build the new prison.
The completed cell block was four tiers high. Each cell was seven feet deep, only 39 inches wide, and about six-and-a-half feet high. But with crime a growth industry, it continued to expand for the rest of the 1800s. By the turn of the century, it housed more than 1,200 prisoners.
The name Sing Sing conjures images of the gangster era of the 1920s and ’30s, of Jimmy Cagney movies and cops-and-robbers radio serials. During that time the prison housed the infamous Willie Sutton, Lucky Luciano, members of Murder Incorporated, and other “bad-guys”.
The museum had a bunch of posters showing what life was like at the prison, showing punishment treatments, showing weapons found on the prisoners, a replica Jail Cell, and the infamous Electric Chair.
After touring the museum, we drove to Sing Sing to try to get photos of the real thing.
We probably should have expected it, but you can’t easily drive up to it and take photos unless you are on the Hudson River (Crap, we were just by there 2 days ago).
The Ossining Aqueduct
After looking at the Sing Sing info in the museum, there was a lot of info on the Ossining Aqueduct.
The Ossining Aqueduct (originally called the Old Croton Aqueduct) is a complex Double Arch water distribution system constructed for New York City between 1837 and 1842. The aqueduct, which was among the first in the United States, carried water by gravity 41 miles from the Croton River in Westchester County to reservoirs in Manhattan. We read a bunch of info about the Aqueduct in the museum, and then went to see the real thing outside.
Ok, enough with Ossining, it was time for the main attractions of the day –
> The West Point Academy
> The Culinary Institute of America
The West Point Academy (United States Military Academy)
West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States. Located on the Hudson River, West Point was identified by General George Washington as the most important strategic position in America during the American Revolution. Until January 1778, West Point was not occupied by the military. On January 27, 1778, Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point and from that day to the present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army. It comprises approximately 16,000 acres including the campus of the United States Military Academy, which is commonly called “West Point”.
The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point – is a four-year educational federal service academy. It is one of the four U.S. military service academies and the oldest military academy in the nation (1778).
We went on a 2 hour tour.
It was a very hot day, but unlike Annapolis, West Point is on a very large campus, and the tour was given on/off of a nice air conditioned bus. The tour started at the visitors center where everyone had to get their ticket, after the mandatory advanced on-line security screening.
The tour began at The Cadet Chapel (1830).
Students at West Point are called Cadets, students at Annapolis are called Midshipmen.
The cadet chapel is one of several churches on campus and is a non-denominational church. It was built by marble specialists from Italy. It has extensive “Willet Stained Glass”. Like the church in Annapolis, it also has a pew dedicated to fallen heroes, identified with a candle.
The West Point Cemetery
It overlooks the Hudson River, served as a burial ground for Revolutionary War soldiers and early West Point inhabitants before 1817, when it was officially designated as a military cemetery. Now it allows burial for anyone who attended West Point and their family. The cemetery had many famous old & recent customers like General George Armstrong Custer & General Norman Schwarzkopf.
It also had a section dedicated to West Point Army Sports Heroes. The guide noted famous football coach Earl Blaik. He served as the head football coach at the United States Military Academy from 1941 to 1958, compiling a career college football record of 166–48–14. His Army football teams won three consecutive national championships in 1944, 1945 and 1946
Next stop on the tour was The Old Cadet Chapel.
This was a different church from the Cadet Chapel shown earlier.
It contains a set of plaques on the left wall dedicated to the different Wars, and on the right wall are plaques dedicated to all the Famous Army Generals.
One plaque close to the altar differs from the others: the name once deeply etched there has been obliterated. The absent name is Benedict Arnold, a name now synonymous with “traitor.”
Benedict Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War who fought heroically for the American Continental Army—then defected to the British in 1780. He had George Washington’s fullest confidence, and Washington gave him command of the fortifications at West Point. Thru a series of career events which soured Arnold against the new American Military, Arnold felt betrayed for all of his service, was offered money by the British, & planned to surrender West Point to British forces by giving away top secret West Point documents. But in September 1780 the plot was discovered and Arnold escaped with minutes to spare. His name quickly became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he betrayed his countrymen by leading the British army in battle against the men whom he once commanded.
Next stop on the tour was a place with War Monuments
The Civil War Monument
The statue shows upside down torches & cannons buried in the ground, which all are intended to say “let us never be at war with our own brothers again”.
Also near the War Monument section, were a bunch of cannons. The guide gave the story that there is one cannon from every war the Army had victory. The cannons are actual cannons taken from battle from the enemy after the war.
After looking at all the monuments & cannons, we went to the riverfront and were informed that The United Sates Military Academy is called West Point because ; It resides in the city of West Point New York, but also because of its pointed location on the Hudson River. It is on a beautiful bluff, high above a large S-turn on the Hudson River.
Next stop was the statue of General John Sedgwick.
He was wounded but not killed 3 times in battle, leading to the phrase “Lucky Sedgwick”
Legend holds that if a cadet is deficient in academics, the cadet should go to the monument at midnight the night before the term-end examination, in full dress, under arms, and spin the spurs on Sedgwick’s boots. With the resulting good luck, the cadet will pass the test.
I’m not so sure it works, Sedgwick is also known for his last spoken words “”They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance” , right before he was killed by a sharp shooter.
Just after the Sedgwick statue, we saw from a distance some cadets marching & singing their cadence.
On the bus ride back, the guide talked about some famous grads including ; Generals Ulysses Grant, Douglass MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, & George Patton.
Like Annapolis, West Point also has their class of Astronauts ; Frank Borman, Buzz Aldrin.
During research, I also found an interesting article on folks who DID NOT make it through West Point, they dropped out ; Edgar Allen Poe, Richard Hatch (TV show Survivor fame), Adam Vinatieri (kicker for Patriots).
It was another great history lesson, today at The United States Military Academy.
Next stop was the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York, another 30 minutes north of West Point.
The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America is a private college and culinary school specializing in culinary, baking, and pastry arts education. The school’s primary campus is located in Hyde Park, New York, with other branch campuses in St. Helena & Napa, California, San Antonio Texas, and the Republic of Singapore. The college, which was the first to teach culinary arts in the United States, offers associate and bachelor’s degrees, and has the largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs in the country. The college operates several student-run restaurants on their four U.S. campuses.
There are 4 restaurants & 1 Bakery on Campus –
> The American Bounty Restaurant
> The Bocuse Restaurant
> The Post Road Brew House
> The Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici
> The Apple Pie Bakery Café
Most of the restaurants were inside of the very large main building which also holds the different class rooms. There is a lush garden area surrounding a paver brick area immediately in front of the Culinary Institute. And the entire complex is right on The Hudson River.
As we were walking in, a bunch of America’s future Chef’s came marching out of the building.
We had dinner at The Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, an Italian restaurant, which was in a separate building. It was near graduation time upcoming in September, and all the students were on edge. The head faculty members were at many of the restaurants tonight doing final evaluations.
All agreed that the dinners were 10 of 10 rating great !
After dinner, Jonell noticed a statue of a silver Sturgeon.
She went to check it out and came back to tell us that it was made entirely of Silverware !
Well, that was it for Thursday July 5th.
We crammed a lot in during 1 day, but it was Adam & Patty’s last day with us.
Jul 6 – Fri
Friday was farewell day for Adam & Patty.
We saw them off about 8am, I was tired and forgot about the going-away photo (boo) !
On the rest of the day Friday, we did just that = REST !
Then, I worked on banking, upcoming dockage reservations, & the blog.
Nellie went to get her hair done & came back and read books.
We went to dinner at a pub called The Tavern at Croton Landing.
The food was so-so, the Guinness was good.
To get to dinner, we had to walk about a mile along the waterfront & a mile back.
We had turned the car in on Friday morning & I was too lazy to unload the bikes.
The walk included traveling down the waterfront boardwalk & up/over a walkway bridge, that gave a nice view of the harbor.
After dinner on our way back to the boat, we stopped at a waterfront park and sat with the locals & listened to a local band playing music.
That was it for Friday.
We got rested up & miss Adam & Patty, wishing they were back.
Jul 7 – Sat
Nellie’s 58th Birthday (but on The Loop, every day feels like your birthday).
We had a pretty boring day, but spent most of the afternoon sitting in the park, watchin’ the boats go by.
We went to dinner at supposedly, the nicest place in Croton, The Ocean House Oyster Bar & Grill.
It is a very small place with only 13 tables and seating for only 26 people.
Nellie had a Lobster Roll.
I had Crab Cakes.
The prices were 5*, the food was 4* = not bad but not great.
At night we had some birthday phone calls from Friends & Family.
It was a pretty cool low-key day on Nellie’s Bday.
Jul 8 – Sun
Sunday was another low-key day, but a fun relaxing day.
We started the day with a holding tank Pump Out, what fun !
It had been over a week, and we had 4 people on the boat, and our daughter arrives tomorrow. Time to empty the tanks.
Here at Half Moon Bay, they don’t have slip slide pump-outs or a pump-out boat, so we had to untie the power, water, and dock lines to drive over to the pump out dock. It was not a big deal, but we sure were gettin’ used to having the pump-out boat come to us.
We spent most of the afternoon at the beach.
We walked about a half mile down the very nice Half Moon Bay waterside path.
It is lined with beautifully manicured grass, shrubs, and large boulders.
The path starts as an asphalt walkway, and then changes to a flat stone lined path.
Once we got to the end of the walkway, we had to get to the beach thru a narrow path between the trees inside of the Croton Pointe Park. The narrow tree-lined path then opens up into the beautiful bay. It was Sunday afternoon, so all them folks who have to work tomorrow were enjoying the beautiful day on their boats.
We had a few soda pops, and watched all the New Yorkers party on their nice 7 boat flotilla.
Sunday night was –
> Hot Dogs
> 60 Minutes
> More blog writing
> Cleaning the boat in preparation of the arrival of our daughter Ashley & 1st mate Dave Lyman.
Jul 9 – Mon
On Monday, we rented a car again, for 1 more day.
We used the car to ;
> Take some laundry to the Laundry mat (it is not onsite here at Half Moon Bay).
> Pick Ashley & Dave up from LaGuardia International Airport (saving $160).
> Go Shopping to restock the boat and get some “Ashley Food”.
> Go to dinner at a waterfront restaurant in Ossining.
> Show Ashley & Dave – the Ossining Aqueduct & The Croton Dam.
The day flew by.
Ashley & Dave arrived in NYC about 11:30am.
We got them checked into the Gettin’ Looped Hotel about 1:00pm.
We went shopping between 1-4pm.
On the way to the store, we stopped at the Hudson River Lookout point.
We went to dinner at a place in nearby Ossining (near Sing Sing) called The Boathouse. It was a waterfront place on the Hudson River, that had an outdoor patio and a bar made out of a sailboat.
After dinner we took Ashley & Dave by the Aqueduct in Ossining & the Croton Dam, that we had seen with Adam & Patty.
I must give Ashley & Dave credit.
They left San Fransisco last night about 9pm, flew all night, got into Detroit Metro on a lay-over to New York, were delayed 3 hours in Detroit, arrived in New York about 11:30am, and partied with us until 10pm tonight.
Bed time !
It was a great week at Croton on the Hudson –
> West Point
> Culinary Institute of America
> Croton Dam & Waterfall
> Firewalks on The Walkway Over the Hudson Bridge
> Sing Sing
> The Aqueduct
> The Beach
Next Stop = Kingston New York, about 100 miles north of New York City.
2 thoughts on “Croton on the Hudson – Half Moon Bay Marina (Port #103) ; July 3-9”
Another very interesting blog Mike. Great job.
Appreciate the ongoing interest