This page is about rowing: meditative, graceful, ...backwards.
A couple of friends encouraged me to explore the Hudson and they were right,
it's beautiful. This page is to maybe encourage others.
August 26, 2010: Recently, somebody fastened a tide marker onto the channeling barrier at the old ferry terminal directly across from Coxsackie. more
August 4, 2010: Long time no posting, but I have been rowing. I've worked rowing into my weekly routine, I go to sleep a bit early, get up early, (5:30 or so) load the boat and head for the river. I'm back by 9:30. I've been out about 30 times this season, mostly putting in at Coxsackie or Coeyman's landing. more
June 19, 2008: I just noticed the put-in at New Baltimore. Tried it out today. more
May 26, 2008: Four of us put in at Bethlehem Fishing Access, also known as Henry Hudson Park. Windy today, and high tide, so we decided to go up Papscanee Creek right across. more
April 19, 2008: Everyone knows about the old stack and building across from Coxsacki but I've never noticed this one. more
April 15, 2008: Happy new season! 28 degrees this morning so I wore fleece under and over my drysuit. Put in at Coxsacki and went north between the islands and the western shore. Someone has opened a passage through the breakwater at the top of Rattlesnake Island. more
October 5, 2007: I went today to find Four Mile Point. Put in at Coxsacki, to four mile point and back, 9 miles. But where is it exactly? I've found a photo of a postcard of the 1838-1928 lighthouse, that will be a clue.
The USGS map and a pretty good navigational chart show "four mile point" as being in different places. I did find a formation that would be considered a "point" in about the right spot, but it's not where Scenic Hudson built their preserve. more
September 9: Put in at Coxsacki, went up to Stuyvesant for coffee, seven miles round trip. more
William Wade's amazing little accordian panorama book. Colored etchings of the Hudson River from 1846.
August 25: Put in at Stockport and went south. 12 mile roundtrip to the Athens lighthouse, and a trip around the Middle Ground Flats. more
August 7: This Saturday the 11th, we will be leaving from the Stockport put-in around 7:30am. Destination is the Riverview Cafe at Stuyvesant. We will pass the Hudson River Islands State Park, Coxsacki, New Baltimore, old ice house sites, etc. Round trip is about 10 miles. All done at around 11:30am.
If you don't want to go so far, go to Coxsacki and watch for us as we go north towards Stuyvesant.
August 11: This trip went ok -- five of us showed up. 13 miles, not 10.more
July 7: Put in at Coxsacki, went north... more
June 22: Put in at Coeymans, went around Houghtaling Island and back... more
June 17: Put in at Stuyvesant and went up the Schodack channel... more
May 17: Keith P. and I put in at the Schodack Islands Park kayak launch but didn't get far... there's more
May 16: Went to the race, did badly, got a medal! more
May 9: The Essex River Race is this Saturday! See you there.
May 4: I wanted to explore the other side of the Schodack Islands, today I put in right below Castleton. more
April 29: Put in at Coeyman's landing, rowed down to the end of Houghtaling Island and back.more
April 21: Circumnavigated Saratoga Lake, 12 miles. The water level was about 3 feet high so put-in was interesting. more if ya want
April 17: Thinking about better balance for my oars. Why not a lead collar that would slide on near the handles?
April 15: Rowed Fish Creek above Saratoga Lake -- in a blizzard. more, map etc.
April 14: Got the idea to row the length of Saratoga Lake tomorrow morning (10 or 11 miles). There may be a little snow, but the ice is out. I was inspired by a pic in the local paper showing some Skidmore College girls out rowing on the lake.
April 11: I've ordered oarpins from Bob At Springfield Fan Centerboard Co. Like my old ones but a bit taller. more
April 3: Early-season boating. I'm almost ready to go. I've read Jill Fredston's "Rowing to Latitude," got my goretex drysuit, and I'm itching for a safari. On the other hand, here's a concise document on some of the dangers of a cold-water mishap.
I intend to go over to Cape Ann for the Essex River Race May 12. Casual entries are welcome if you just want to do the course non-competitively.
February 16, 07: Kokatat drysuits made with goretex, pretty amazing. I just found out about these, they take the worry out of going out alone, in the cold, etc. Something bad happens, you don't die!
September 25, 06: If you put in at the Corning Preserve you're treated to views of Albany's unique riverfront.
September 16: A nice seven mile row.
September 9: Here's something new, The Northern Forest Canoe Trail. A 740 mile water trail from Old forge NY to the top of Maine at Fort Kent.
August 29: Put in at Ravena/Coeyman's Landing in the rain. Got a little damp, I have to remember to pack a sponge in my kit so the botttoms of my pantlegs don't get soaked. I think I found a passage between South Schodack Island and Houghtaling Island.
August 24: Put in at Bethlehem, Henry Hudson Park. Explored Papscanee Creek.
August 21: Somebody told me about eagle nests around behind Hotaling Island. I put in at Stuyvesant this morning but the wind and current kept me from going up far enough. Saw about 15 eagles, but haven't found any nests yet.
August 14: Rowed down from Coxsacki, around Stockport Middle Ground and back, 6.5 miles. The current reversed while I was out so I ended up going against a slight current both out and back.
August 2: Went south from Coxsacki against the incoming tide, down to Stockport Creek and back. The high point of the morning was seeing two red foxes frolicking on the shore.
July 9, 06: At the top of Rattlesnake Island there's a round island with a navigation marker. It's got a masonry wall with steps and a concrete dock probably from WPA days. This is looking south from that dock.
April 8, 2006: Thinking about working on the boat. I want to be able to remove the seats. For one thing I may eventually want to put a sailing rig on the boat, and will have to be able to move around without fixed seats in the way. Also I would like to be able to try silding seat rowing, not for speed but for a better workout. Third, I have fantasies of being able to fit a small canoe (Hornbeck) inside the guideboat. I'd be able to carry two boats on the car.
I might have to put ribs in. The seats are an integral to the structure, sort of a low thwart, and I think that if I remove them the boat will get whippy. I guess I just have to hack them out and see. I'll have to put some kind of ribs in to support the new seat riser. It's tempting to make ribs like a traditional guide boat. I'll keep you posted.
-------------------------------------------- happy new year
August 24: A breezy morning with the wind cancelling the current -- tide going out but a south wind coming up. Stopped at Hudson River Islands State Park and talked to some campers for a while.
It's kind of strange when one of these things peeks around the corner. As long as an Albany city block and three times as tall.
July 19: The boat pulled up at Stuyvesant. this morning I went north from Coxsacki to the end of Spitfire Island.
June 10: I was on the river at Coxsacki this morning. They still aren't finished with the town park, but almost. I went north, found out that Spitfire Island is circumnavigable when the tide is high enough. I always thought it would be but was never there at the right time.
May 11, 2005: I finally got my Shaw & Tenney spoons wet today. I went to Dunhams Reservoir east of Troy NY. The Reservoir is great by the way, the water is high so you can go up the inlet quite a ways. Here's what I came up with...
I forget where I got the traditional oarlocks, but the plastic oarcages are from Concept2. I needed pins that fit the .5 inch diameter of the oarlock and the 13mm diameter of the concept2 cages. I made a simple drawing and had Bob from Springfield Fan Centerboard Co. make them.
The pins have a threaded hole in each end. The top one for a bolt to hold the cage on, and on the bottom there is a threaded knob (Tru-Value hardware) that holds the pin into the oarlock and allows a quick take-apart.
The concept2 cages are quite fancy. They let you adjust the pitch angle of the oar and how high off the gunnel the oars sit, which is different right and left because of the crossover.
And so I feathered my oars for the first time! I see the point. There was a bit of wind today and the benefit was bigger than I thought it would be. The oars just slip forward, no effort, no wind resistance.
September 22: I put in this morning at Coxsacki although the boatlaunch is still torn up, they haven't put back the stepped dock yet so you have to launch kind of sideways after passing the "do not enter" sign. It's worth it! Coxsacki puts you at the north end of the Hudson River Islands State Park. From the launch around the Stockport Middle Ground Island and back is about 7 miles.
August 3, 2004: I've been putting in at Coeymans Landing -- exit 22 on rte 87, keep heading south, can't miss it. 6:30 am, I row down to the light at the bottom of Houghtaling Island and back, 7 miles. I can do it most mornings, but actually go a couple of times a week. Post if you want to join me.
July 13, 2004: Had the boat out on the Hudson today. Put in at Bethlehem below Albany and mostly explored Papscanee Creek, which is just a bit downriver and across. Did a lot of pushing on the oars. Quiet morning, rainy, the GBHerons were spectacular.
I've put traditional guide boat oarstraps on. They needed a thicker gunwale, so I did that, and since the added material made the gunwale stiffer, it made the boat narrower! Now I have to redrill the oars because they're crossing over too much. I think the boat has a better shape now, and a bit more freeboard.
I'm still not using my S&T spoons, still not feathering, the stuff I got from Concept Two didn't work out all the way. The plastic oarcage part is fine but they rotate on a pin, and I need special pins for my setup. I've sent off to Bob from Springfield Fan Centerboard Co. to make the item, half inch on one end to fit the oarlock, and 13mm on the other to fit the plastic cage.
May 29, 2004: I got some Shaw and Tenney spoons for my guideboat -- I'm determined to feather my oars this season. We'll see how it goes. The oars are very narrow, but the working area is quite long. Just judging by sight they should give a much better purchase than the traditional oars.
I've got oarlocks from Concept2, adjustable pitch, etc., and now I'm trying to devise a clean way to make them work with the traditional guideboat oarstraps without having to machine something from scratch. any ideas? The oarlock swivels on a 13 millimeter pin, and the oarstrap socket is half inch diameter, a little over 2 inches deep.
October 21, 2003: A wild ride this morning. Put in at Coxsacki in the dark a little after 6am. I decided to go down river but it was blowing 12-15mph from the south and I decided to head up and go around Coxsacki Island since that would be more protected.
Going with the wind I was surfing a big swell and was very busy keeping the boat straight. Between the island and the shore was no problem, but once I cleared the bottom of the island and headed out into the river things really got rough.
There was blue sky and white clouds with an orange sunrise on one side and dark purple clouds with horizontal lightning displays on the other, and it was now gusting to 25! There was no way I could make headway in the main channel. I backtracked around the quiet side of the island and still had all I could do to get back to the landing against the wind. Didn't see any eagles.