Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cats Kill

We are anchored in the Hudson River just south of Rogers Island, which supports the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, in Catskill, New York (map).  "Kill" was a Dutch word that meant creek or channel, and we considered going a bit up the creek and anchoring closer to town, but its a skinny entrance and the anchorage is tight.  Instead we tendered in from here.

We had a nice dinner at the Port of Call restaurant, which has its own courtesy dock.  Afterwards we motored further up the creek to see if we could land someplace and pick up a few items, such as milk.  Unfortunately, there is really no place to land the tender, except perhaps one of the marinas, none of which is really close to anything.  We're glad we did not fight our way into the creek with Vector.

Yesterday's cruise was again quite scenic, and this section of river ended up being sort of the lighthouse tour.  Lots of small boats out on a pleasant Saturday, and the Ulster County sheriff's boat passed us in both directions six times.

Not a light house, but one of many expensive waterfront homes we passed.  This one has its own island in front (to the left of the photo).

We are in fresh water now, the first time ever for us, and, unless my good friend John corrects me, the first time for Vector in a decade, since he brought her home down the Mississippi and Tenn-Tom waterway.  I haven't done the math, but we should draw about another inch now than we do in the ocean.

In a few minutes we will weigh anchor and continue north to Troy, the end of the line for Vector.  The waterway continues north (on the Champlain Canal) and west (on the Erie Canal) from there, but a 20' fixed bridge precludes us from going any further than the Federal Lock, the end of the tidal Hudson.

I expect I will not get a chance to post from Troy.  We have plans this evening to have dinner with my cousin, who lives in the area.  Tomorrow morning we will need to get underway first thing, headed right back downriver, to be in Castleton by mid-day, where we hope to meet up with more California friends, who are detouring to meet us there on their way from Newark to Connecticut.  I'll try to post from there, or maybe the next stop depending on tide.


  1. There is no Dutch word 'Kill'. Sorry.

    1. There is no word "kill" in modern Dutch. But in Middle Dutch, "kille" meant "riverbed" or "channel." I did not specify what era of Dutch, because it was not important to the story (nor did I find the need to point out that the "e" was dropped somewhere along the line here in the new world), but it would stand to reason that it would be the Dutch of the time. Place names in New York and New Jersey that can be traced back to Dutch, including many things named "Kill" (Arthur Kill, Fresh Kills, Peekskill, Fishkill, Catskill, "The Kills," Kill van Kull, etc. etc. etc.) were generally so named at the beginning of the 17th century, which would coincide with the end of Middle Dutch and the very beginning of modern Dutch.

      FWIW, lots of place names of the period are also based on English and French words or roots that no longer exist in those languages' modern forms (or are simply considered obsolete).

      To make things more clear, I will change "is" to "was" (and I will fix the typo wherein Dutch did not get properly capitalized -- no offense meant there).

    2. Sean
      Thanks for clearing up the "Kill / Kille" thing.
      I live in the area and always wondered.
      Before I retired I worked one of the USA divisions of a large Dutch company, but none of the information I got could define "Kill" for me.

  2. Your trip to NY city and up the Hudson looks fabulous. I am enjoying the read very much.

    What is your opinion on resulting damage to metal parts, moving a boat between salt and fresh water repeatedly. My brother-in-law insists it will destroy his sailboats metal parts if he were to put his always freshwaterized boat into a saltwater environment for a time and back again to fresh etc. My intuition says its bunk but I've been wrong before, twice I think.

    Also I read somewhere that they are replacing the Tapan Zee bridge with a monstrous replacement of dual suspension bridges.
    Did you see any construction beginning on that. I thought it would have been newsworthy if you had.

    1. Thanks for your comment and I am glad you are enjoying the posts. We've gotten much positive feedback on this Hudson cruise.

      If your BIL is concerned about ever putting his boat in salt water, that's legitimate. Salt water is a much more corrosive environment than fresh, and there is also a more insidious marine growth problem.

      If his concern is, instead, merely moving back and forth between them, I think he is missing some great cruising for poor reasons. Changing from fresh to salt and back again will not, by itself, create a bigger corrosion problem than salt water alone. There is one caveat: Zinc anodes tend to become "passivated" in fresh water, developing a calciferous coating that renders them inert in salt water.

      One way to address this is to brush the zincs with a stiff (non-metallic) bristle brush to abrade the coating, thus exposing fresh zinc and re-activating the anodes. This is what we do, for now.

      A different strategy, if the boat will frequently move between fresh and salt water, is to replace all the zinc anodes with aluminum ones (assuming the hull itself is not aluminum). They are just as effective and do not have the passivation problem. We might do this the next time we need to replace the zincs.


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