Hudson-on-Hudson

by Vermont Rice

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I think at this point I have mastered at least the basic capabilities of my “boat office,” portrayed above.  It is cramped and limited in power and shares space with several other functions, including chart monitoring and being stairs up to the deck.  But I like it.  Yesterday in Troy I bought a wire soap dish that is supposed to suction-cup to tiles or something, removed the suction cups, and screwed it to the wall.  Instant cord storage for all of the electronics gizmos!  The office and all other electrical are mostly run directly off the boat’s 12-volt battery bank but we also have an inverter with which to run the printer, which looks awfully big in the small confines of the cabin.

It’s not that Ceres is really that small of a boat, more that living space is minimized to maximize cargo.  We’ve been selling on the run, but are still carrying lots, and are down close to the designed waterline.  At the rate we are going though, we stand to be considerably lighter before we reach the City.  Any farmers in the mid-hudson looking to sell us some maple syrup to supplement our cargo?  Let us know!

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On the way through Albany we passed the replica of explorer Henry Hudson’s ship, the Half Moon, which our skipper has captained at one time.  I love the look of this galleon-type hullform.  Plus it has cannons.  Though really the Half Moon is not that much of an order of magnitude bigger than Ceres.  In this vessel, as Pete Seeger put it, the native americans discovered Henry Hudson.

 

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Being in something of a rush to catch up, we buzzed through the port of Albany past some monster ships.  The superstructures boast perhaps the largest “No Smoking” sign you have ever seen.

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Nightfall found Ceres still about six or seven miles north of Hudson.  We found a pleasant town dock at the town of Coxsackie and cooked up a nice meal of red peppers, rice and Kielbasa.  The night was totally quiet, except for the occasional creak of the rudder pins which prompted me to go up on deck in the middle of the night in my pyjamas and come up with a very unseamanlike but effective lashing.  Then total quiet, and a gentle rocking, and oblivion.  The motion of the boat is ridiculously sleep inducing once you are in a prone position.

Today dawned calm, with the current just at the end of the ebb.  We slipped the dock at 7:30 and made the most of the last of it, with the Hudson looking like old glass, with the subtle undulations and ripples you sometimes see in 19th-century windowpanes.  Different than Lake Champlain, where few currents are at play beneath the surface.

We arrived in Hudson to meet up with our on-site volunteers and are now setting up for a lively market!

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