Bannerman’s Island Arsenal - what’s left of it - sits open an island in the Hudson near West Point. Bannerman bought the island and used it to store the surplus weaponry he bought following wars around the world. Then he resold it and made lots of money. Occasional tourists make their way to the island on impromptu tours.
The sloop Woody Guthrie makes its way downriver toward Storm King Mountain. Jim tells me that he volunteered as a captain aboard the vessel a few decades back. He recommended Beacon as a good stopover. The Woody Guthrie, lives in a little town called Beacon, across the river from Newburgh and West Point. Woody Guthrie - Arlo’s father - and Pete Seeger were folk song writers, singers and buddies, as well as environmental and social protesters and activists. Woody is my kind of guitar player. He said anything beyond strumming G, C and D just amounts to showing off. The next photo shows the sloop Clearwater that Seeger had built back in the ‘70s or ‘80s to sail the Hudson and raise awareness of efforts to fight pollution and revive the river’s health.
Trains coming and going are as constant here as the tides. Passenger trains on the east side of the river, freight trains to the west.
A freight train heading north and rounding Jones Point south of West Point.
There’s the lower Hudson, the Middle Hudson and the upper Hudson. Yesterday we passed this river pilot station just south of where the chart shows the Middle Hudson begins. Below the island is a commercial anchorage. A large barge and tug sat in the anchorage when we passed. The rig stayed there until the tide had turned and then caught the current to carry all the way to New York City. Vessels do the same in Delaware Bay where currents in the rising tide can provide anywhere from two to four knots of lift. You can’t just head out when the tide turns from ebbing to flooding. There’s a period - not much more than half an hour - of slack water before the current gets going. But you can’t leave then either if you want full advantage. We wait at least an hour to allow the current to make full strength. Saves big on fuel. Look up Robert Frost’s poem titled Swinger of Birches for a literary analogy. “Earth’s the right place for love.” You’ll see how it relates to proper timing.