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!
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