The Hudson River
This leg of the journey is 134 miles.
The backdrop is Manhattan. This unbeatable cruise extends through the Hudson Valley and past such legendary villages as Sleepy Hollow, the estates of the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Mills, and the mansions of Franklin Roosevelt, Martin Van Buren, Samuel Morse, and Washington Irving.
This leg of the Great Loop (from the Statue of Liberty to the entrance of the Erie Canal) is at the top of the list as one of the most beautiful and interesting areas you will boat through - provided or course, you take time to visit some sites. The Statue of Liberty is not on the Hudson river, but she is so close to it, she welcomes you to this wonderful waterway through the Hudson Valley.
From Lady Liberty your cruise past Governors Island and past the East River, will have you rubber necking all the way to the Erie Canal. With over 50 marinas within this 134 mile stretch, it should give you an idea of just how popular boating on the Hudson River really is.
Seriously, how much better can it get than taking a Hudson River excursion with the one you love and getting a first hand view of this historic shoreline from the deck of your very own vessel? Not only can you visit the estates of Roosevelt, Martin Van Buren, the Mills, the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, and Samuel F. B. Morse, you will boat right beside the Livingston's Clermont Estate - this is the location where Fulton's steamboat, "the Clermont" was built and demonstrated for the very first time. In addition, you will cruise past Dobb's Ferry, and even past West Point.
Entering New York Bay from the south, the first landmark you will see will be the Statue of Liberty. The Lady Liberty, with the equivalent height of a 22-story building, was (In 1886) the tallest structure in all of New York. The Statue of Liberty faces Southeast and as you cruise by with her on your port side, her left side faces the Hudson River which is just ahead.
If you cruise just east of Lady Liberty (between Liberty Island and Governors Island) then you will cruise past Ellis Island. It too will be on your port side as you approach the Hudson River. The Troy Lock and Dam is 134 beautiful miles away, and you won't have any problems taking your time on this leg of your voyage. You can expect a lot of charter and ferry boat traffic between Liberty Island and on past the Hudson River's famous Lighthouses.
The Hudson River, south of Federal Lock 1 is technically not a river at all. It is a fiord, which is subject to tidal changes of up to five feet. You will want to remember that tidal changes can be a real challenge when you are tied to a fixed (non-floating) dock or pier. Tides also have to be considered when you anchor, since every five or six hours the tide will reverse sending the boat 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Keep in mind the current is roughly 2 knots, and it also changes direction every six hours or so until you reach the non-tidal waters past the first lock on the Erie Canal.
The tidal flow can work with you or against you, literally. The Hudson River has very deep sections of water and very high cliff-like walls. At first, you are not likely to realize the depth of this canyon until you see the size of a freight train hugging the sheer wall on the western shore, or see a commuter train racing along near the water on the eastern shore and start noticing some really huge buildings are dwarfed in comparison to the cliffs. There are many interesting places to stop, sights to see and things to do on this leg of your journey.
If at all possible, we suggest you take some time off your boat and pay a visit to America's Culinary Institute. Obviously, this is a great place to take a tour so that you are there for lunch!
Links to Great Loop Information radio shows on Hudson River
Courtesy of www.captainjohn.org