Half Moon Bay Marina – Croton-on-Hudson, NY
We returned to Half Moon Bay, wishing that #8 would arrive again by train. This location is convenient for car rentals (Enterprise closes early, check their hours). You can also tour by train.
The sunset is breathtaking.
Boater’s Tip – the dockhands are “challenged”; trust your instincts when docking. RED FLAG: As you ease into a narrow slip also LOOK UP, if there is a chunky metal lift in the next slip protruding into your assigned transient slip, your docking space has suddenly narrowed. Beware, the sound of metal scraping is both loud and terrifying. AND, damage while docking is hard to resolve, especially in the midst of emotional confusion.
Samurai Sushi and Hibachi, Croton-on-Hudson
BEST sushi on the trip, so far. Highly recommended. It’s a long walk, or a short drive.
Sleepy Hollow is an easy drive (with a rental car).
As long as you are driving around, navigate to the Gorge, it’s a must see! Fashionable socks are just a bonus.
Touring West Point – History and Tradition Cemetery tour
Travelers tip: You can only book your trip to West Point online, the best tours sell out fast. Go early to enjoy the museum at the Visitors Center. The tour is a mixture of a bus ride and a LOT of walking. Bring water and wear comfy shoes. Our tour guide, Steve, was a wealth of information.
History: Overlooking the West Bank of the Hudson River, General George Washington recognized the strategic value of the fortress at West Point. In 1779 Washington moved his military headquarters to West Point.
Tradition: There are now seven chapels on campus, ranging in age and size. Some of them are shared by multiple faiths.
Our first stop was Cadet Chapel. We were told “attendance is no longer compulsory.” The lady next to me sneered, “maybe legally, but that’s not true in practice.”
Given the rigid placement of the hymnals, it’s hard to imagine anything is “optional” on campus.
The Old Cadet Chapel, built in 1836, is simple in its décor (sorry, no photos), with a wall commemorating past Commanding Generals – including a plaque for more than one of the men in the following quiz. Keep reading, Commodore Greg 🙂
West Point Cemetery
We walked though the cemetery, appreciating the shady trees. Unlike a national cemetery, grave markers vary widely.
Fun stuff about West Point: Our tour guide said roughly 10% of the 12,000 annual applications are accepted. Fact check from Mr. Google yielded 10.7%, trust but verify. In 2022 there were nearly 14,000 applicants. Average GPA was 3.9 – serious academic rigor. Also required: excellence in sports, leadership, and extracurricular activities. He also said on average 80% graduate. Schooling is fully funded (valued at roughly $250k), unless that cadet doesn’t graduate, then he/she may be on the hook to fully reimburse the program. Ouch!
West Point Quiz:
Quiz: Which of these eight men are alumni of West Point:
President George Washington (1732-1799)
Brigadier General Benedict Arnold (1741 – 1801)
Washington Irving (Author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”) (1783-1859)
President Ulysses S. Grant (1822 – 1885)
General George Armstrong Custer (1839 – 1876)
General George S Patton (1885 – 1945)
President Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)
President Jimmy Carter (1924 – ) – He’s 99 years old and still kicking!
We said goodbye to Half Moon Bay, with another lovely sunset. Capt Floyd, you should have been here.
Hudson River Lighthouses!
Hudson River Maritime Museum
Boaters Tip – the museum is closed on Tuesday. Likewise, most (but not all) of the shops and restaurants are closed. It’s a nice time to cook on your boat.
If you time it right, you might get a local concert under the bridge, where the echo is perfect!
Donovan’s Shady Harbor
Another quiet stop.
I’ll spare you the battery replacement story. Let’s just celebrate that it was finished, and thank David Bernstein for the extra muscle.
This is for Ray and Caryl, obviously!
Waterford – Decision Point
If you read our blog from 2018 (found in the archives) you will know when you reach Waterford you must make a decision whether to traverse the Erie Canal or the Champlain. Height limitations, from fixed bridges, impact the choice. Since we took the Champlain route five years ago, almost to the day, this time we are headed west to explore more of New York!
New York Canal System
Erie Canal, here we come. Dear Lockmasters, please be gentle in those locks!
Boaters tip: Wear Gloves! Have your boat hook ready, and plan to wash the boat when you finish. In the words of Capt Rick, Mister Toad’s Wild Ride now begins.
Schenectady Yacht Club, NY
Our first stop was quaint. Dockmaster Ed and the members of the yacht club were super nice. At $1.50 a foot, we were delighted. Thanks for the book!
Restaurant tip: Order Pizza to be delivered to the boat. Glenville Pizza & Deli Inc, 80 Freemans Bridge Road, Glenville, NY (518) 952-4101
Answers to the West Point Quiz – aka History Trivia.
Can you identify which of these 8 men, if any, were West Point graduates?
Washington, Arnold, Irving, Grant, Custer, Patton, Eisenhower, and Carter
Fortress West Point dates back to 1776; in 1802 it officially became the United States Military Academy, now known as West Point.
West Point Graduates = 4
President Grant, President Eisenhower, General Patton (Ole Blood and Guts) and General Custer (he’s buried in West Point Cemetery). Another example of the non-traditional military headstones.
Commander of West Point = 1
Not a graduate of West Point, Major General Benedict Arnold was given command of Fortress West Point in 1780 by President Washington, who was known to genuinely like, and admire him.
Wait. Isn’t that the guy whose name is synonymous with “traitor”. Yes. How did he fall so far from grace? Benedict Arnold claimed that he was being passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress, and that other officers were being given credit for some of his accomplishments. Maybe it was an HR thing.
Repeatedly, Arnold faced court martial. Charged with corruption, he was acquitted, more than once. But when Congress investigated his finances, it determined he had misappropriated government funds to maintain his lavish lifestyle. Forensic Accountants Rock, MO!
When the financial mess became public knowledge Benedict diabolically planned to seek revenge against his former ally, POTUS Washington. Conspiring with the Brits, he shared a wealth of military secrets and plotted the capture of West Point; in return, the Brit’s made him a Brigadier General.
Fortress West Point was never captured by the British.
A memorial plaque for Arnold hangs in the Old Cadet Chapel, sufficient details remain to clearly identify him, although his name is intentionally blotted out.
Not graduates = 3
President George Washington never attended college.
Washington Irving, author of “Rip Van Winkle” was named after the founding POTUS, he was also self-educated.
President Jimmy Carter graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, the heated rival of West Point.
Thanks for keeping us safe, Sideways, we love SeaBees!
Now, a Really Cool Boat Name: One Moor Day, saying Hi to boaters Andy and Lisa from Seneca Falls.
Birthdays – June 1, Craig Adford, Anda Saylor, June Bug Skyllar, Mark Marlow; June 2, Sue Gillespie; June 3, Lorrie Swink; June 9, Finnigan; June 10, Debra McGhan.
Next Stops along the Erie Canal: Amsterdam Riverlink Park, Little Falls , Rome, Sylvan Beach, and Brewerton!
See you VERY soon, Sandy, Iron Bear, Caryl and Ray (aka Sideways)
Still Waiting for #8.
Once again we covered a LOT of ground in the span of a week, thanks for following us. Comments are encouraged!