|Photo: Mount Merino Manor|
COPYRIGHT 2015 CAROLE OSTERINK
|Photo: Mount Merino Manor|
|Photo courtesy New Netherland Museum|
|Photo courtesy The Holland Society|
. . . imagine that instead of being here for only a few days, the Half Moon had good reason to spend more time here--coming and going, as if from a home port. Imagine one of the three slips on the Henry Hudson Park grounds being re-engineered to comfortably accommodate historic vessels like the Half Moon. Imagine the old brick warehouse building there just across Water Street, as the Henry Hudson Maritime Museum, a perfect land-based complement to the floating museum that is the Half Moon. And finally, imagine what something like this could mean for Hudson and its waterfront: a powerful new magnet for tourism, education, recreation, investment, commerce, and quality of life.When the Half Moon left for the Netherlands last spring, it seemed that all such hope was dashed, but Hendricks makes it clear in the article that the Half Moon will not be in the Netherlands forever. "The Half Moon will be on loan to the Westfries Museum in Hoorn for up to five years." That means that Hudson has up to five years to get its plans for the waterfront together if it wants to be in a position to welcome the Half Moon home.
I am proud to announce my support of Ken Golden for Columbia County District Attorney. His lifetime record of dedicated public service, including as an Assistant District Attorney in Columbia County and a Senior Attorney with the State of New York, make him uniquely qualified to the Columbia County's next District Attorney. As someone who works closely with our nation's veterans, I am especially pleased to see Ken's volunteer work at the VA helping veterans secure their well-deserved benefits.
Sam steered Apollonia into safe harbor at Riverview Marina in Catskill on Tuesday, bringing us a stone's throw from Hudson. Owner Mike Aguire cleared an extra long space for us, and the crew docked the boat for the first time without incident. Guy Falkenheimer, who greeted the weary crew in Catskill with hot chocolate and sandwiches, is clearing off a space for us in Hudson, so we can bring her home for a quick visit before the docks are pulled in for the season.
The last leg of the trip started with excitement and ended with calm beauty. It began with a tense few hours navigating through Hell Gate and the Harlem River with its thirteen bridges and flooding tides pushing against us to the point where it slowed the ship close to a standstill at times. Unpredictable cross currents forced the boat violently from side to side, turning the narrow channels between bridge embankments into one high stress situation after another, with all hand on deck for the entire stretch. There was a collective sigh of relief when the bridge tender opened up the Spuyten Duyvel Bridge, letting us into our home waters of the Hudson.
Skeleton crews came on to finish the last few shifts up the river. Luck was on our side again as we flew upstream with a flood tide that carried us all the way to Poughkeepsie. This is a fun facet of the river that few people understand until they get the chance to navigate it: the flooding current, which originates in the Atlantic Ocean, pushes upstream, creating the high tides that also travel upstream with it. If you're on a boat that can keep up with this virtual wave, you can almost surf it right up the river. We rode this tide with an amazing full moon and calm waters through Haverstraw Bay into the Highlands, where the moon was bright enough that we could see the different shades of the fall foliage on the mountains around and above us. The tide turned to slack as we passed Beacon and approached Poughkeepsie. From then on, it was a steady push through the morning and up into the slow drizzling front end of the storm were we racing to beat.
We are extremely fortunate to have Mike at Riverview Marina hosting Apollonia but can't wait to get her back to Hudson, hopefully Thursday or Friday.Welcome, Apollonia! We can't wait to see you on this side of the river. And congratulations to your crew!
District Attorney Czajka Accepts Campaign Contribution Instead of Prosecution?
Ken Golden, Democratic Candidate for Columbia County District Attorney, stated today that he believes District Attorney Paul Czajka has some explaining to do as Czajka’s campaign filings reveal that he accepted a campaign contribution on June 2, 2015, from Catherine A. Onufrychuk, the wife of John Onufrychuk. Mr. Onufrychuk is the former Brookwood employee who, in a New York State Inspector General’s Report (dated June 2014), was found to have provided false testimony when taking and selling state-owned scrap metal on at least 36 separate occasions and retaining the proceeds. The Inspector General’s Report found that they had cashed the checks payable to Onufrychuk and at least one check was “endorsed by both Onufrychuk and his wife and deposited in their joint checking account.”
In the report, Mr. Onufrychuk, under oath, initially denied each sale to the Inspector General but when confronted with evidence of the sales, he “offered various excuses for his conduct” before admitting “I am a liar.”
The Inspector General’s report concluded by referring its findings to the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office in June 2014. Golden added, “To our knowledge, there has been no action taken by the District Attorney on this matter to date—either by way of investigation or prosecution.”
Golden continued, “I know this is campaign season, so every statement is criticized as being 'political,' but for the last year, District Attorney Czajka has owed all residents an explanation of why this matter continues to languish. Now he can also explain why he accepted a campaign contribution in connection with a matter referred to his office for review. It raises a number of disturbing ethical questions that deserve answers and Mr. Czajka should be held accountable.”
Mr. Onufrychuk is also the Republican candidate for Highway Superintendent in the Town of Greenport.
District Attorney Czajka is locked in a close race with Mr. Golden for the Office of District Attorney. The election is November 3.
We just passed the 24 hour mark for our trip and have been making remarkable time. With a full moon and very calm seas, we were able to run straight through the night putting us a little outside New York City at the moment. The engine seems to be running great, and Sam has crew members trained and checking in on it every 20 minutes. If all goes according to plan we will be in the Hudson River by midnight. If conditions allow, we will try to make a race up the Hudson River to beat the storm, which looks like it will get to our area midday. If we cannot beat it, we will probably anchor and try to wait it out, which will push our return date back till Thursday morning. Captain Sam has been running a tight ship, and moral is high.
|Captain Sam Merrett at the helm|
|Photo Elizabeth Coleman|
|Photo Elizabeth Coleman|
The boat is designed as a "blue water cruiser," meaning that it is capable of cross Atlantic journeys. This type of design lends itself to a host of other possible uses. The wide steel hull means that it is durable and stable. Its hydrodynamic lines give it fast and efficient movement through the water. It's a schooner which means that it has two masts, making the process of raising and lowering the sails possible with a small crew.
In short, the boat is capable of taking cruises of up to twenty people out for river sails and chartered tours. The pilothouse, multiple cabins, and layout could also be customized to host educational programming on or below deck. But possibly the most compelling use of the boat would be for moving freight up and down the Hudson. With a huge weight capacity and a sleek hull, the boat could make trips to the city in under a day, and when the winds aren't blowing, the engine will take over and keep her cruising. The beauty of this engine lies in the fact that the Detroit diesel's simple set up lends itself perfectly to be converted to run off waste vegetable oil. Lucky for us, this is what Sam does for a living at Full Circle Fuels. Old-fashioned wind power backed up by a veggie oil motor fueled from local restaurants will enable the schooner to move freight with an amazingly low carbon footprint and punctuality.
While we do not yet know whether her use will be freight, environmental tourism, education, or all of the above, or in what capacity she will be a part of the Hudson Sloop Club or perhaps her own venture entirely, we do know we want Hudson to be her home port, and we can't wait to bring her back home safe and sound soon.
|Courtesy Hudson FORWARD|