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  CAPTAIN'S LOG...


October 8th

Fall is falling!   Autumn has burst upon the shores of the Hudson!  Intense autumn colors are swirling around on the banks of the river.  Trees are shimmering with gold- blazing in red.  Some still refuse to leave their green leaves behind, offering great contrast to their flamboyant neighbors.  Unknown large fish are leaping out of the water and splashing down with great aplomb. I never get a full glimpse of the fish- I just know from the resulting splash and rings, it had to be enormous!  I would LOVE to know what species is doing this show of agility.
Eagles are amazingly plentiful. We have been seeing PAIRS of eagles, sitting in trees, waiting for a tasty fish to surface.  Turkeys are gobbling along, we can see them easily now as they scour the ground close to oak trees hunting for acorns. On Sunday, I spotted one turkey FLYING. The turkey landed in a branch about 45 feet up!  I  was surprised and delighted to see how athletic a wild turkey can be!
Geese are everywhere, sky, shore, lawns, floating in the water- they really are everywhere. One of the large homes at Van Wie's Point, has a big fluffy white dog that loves to charge those geese that dare to waddle on his lawn. 
Folks are still casting their hooks into the river hoping to catch a keeper.  Barges are busy hauling fuel to the Port. Pleasure boats are  heading in all directions, all racing home- they could be heading for Florida or back up to Canada- just like the migratory birds we see each cruise.
Oh, yes, I saw one lone Monarch Butterfly yesterday, fluttering along to the south. I hope it manages to avoid chilly weather and finds a way down to the south!

Come down, take a cruise with us!  Check out the pumpkins that are decorating the front porches of nearly every home facing the river.  Look at Fort Crailo, you might see the ghost!   Bring your cameras and capture the Autumn beauty of the Hudson River!  


September 27th

Autumn has arrived!  The geese have been flying along the Hudson River in their noisy V formations,  monarch butterflies have been flittering along, some over mid channel while others are hugging the shorelines.  Eagles and osprey are more numerous.The osprey are heading to South America while the eagles are just shifting southward.  The trees are just beginning to don their vibrant colors. Already, we are seeing some intense reds associated with sumac and numerous climbing vines.  Some of the trees are changing over into a subtle yellow.  Soon, with the first frost, the autumn  kaleidoscope will go into full mode.  We will see the full palette of Mother Nature as the trees burst into their finest colors.

The other day, as we cruised along, we could smell the faint smoke from a nearby fireplace at Van Wie's Point. A lone immature eagle paced us from Van Wie's Point all the way down to Castleton on Hudson, giving us a fantastic show of flight.  Our visitors from the NYC area were delighted with the stunning aerial display.  The skies were extraordinary in their blue crispness, with a few cotton ball clouds offering contrast.  The river was crisscrossed with small rippling waves that reflected sunlight.
Ducks noisily paddled in their flotillas, occasionally bobbing underwater for a snack. Autumn is here! Take a cruise, look at the changes that Nature gives to us to enjoy!  Take in the Fall briskness, have a drink and sit back!  Hope to see you soon!

September 9th - West Point Trip
We saw so many things!  Mansions, eagles, a Hindu temple, duck blinds seemingly in the middle of the river.   The river, like the sky, changed with each passing minute, each passing mile.  Lighthouses spoke silently of their past as we glided by.  Sunlight dappled distant hillsides, illuminating grazing cows.  Passengers sat back,enjoying coffee and muffins as herons took flight. Strangers evolved into friends with the sharing of history, both personal and general.  Towns like Clermont drifted by.  Old homes with shaded porches that faced the river, those homes saw so much history drift past, you could sense that the Dutch Apple was part of that long historic scene.  Ships like the Clermont, The Mary Powell, the Alexander Hamilton, the Clearwater and now our vessel have sailed past these majestic homes.  You have to wonder what people spoke of, both in the homes and on the ships!

We lazily drifted past the FDR estate, the Culinary Institute, the Mills Mansion, all the bridges, all the homes, and as we drew closer to West Point- the skies cleared.  Bannerman's Island was bathed in sunlight!  West Point is always a place of great wonder. Viewing the massive stone buildings and seeing young cadets briskly walking the grounds,  I am always caught in a sense of pride and gratitude.  Looking at the statues of the great leaders of our nation's military and watching a young freshman hurry to the library or gym, I always wonder if someday that individual might have a statue in their honor on these hallowed grounds.  What great minds are present today at West Point, how will they shape our world? 

We visited the Cadet Chapel, always mind boggling to see the perfectly lined missives and hymnals. The magnificent windows, creating deep pools of color on the pews and floors,  creating serenity.  The flags from military actions hung solemnly the entire length of the chapel. The THOUSANDS of pipes for the church organ hover in all sorts of locations (I would love to hear the organ played!). One pipe is so big it is in the balcony, horizontal to the floor! 

Mary, the  West Point guide, called our guests "her cadets" and marched us over to the look out point where we could see why Washington picked this location for  the fort that would become West Point.  AS we stood listening to Mary talk about the long history of West Point, she talked about Eisenhower, Patton, Custer, Lee, MacArthur and their impact on our country and the world. She also told us how Eisenhower had to "walk the yard " for his various cadet transgressions! As she spoke, we saw Cadets walking the yard!  West Point, as always,is an inspiration. It is a place that every New Yorker, every American should visit to comprehend what our country can do and what type of leaders we can expect to have in both military and civilian life.

August 26, 2012

India, Ireland, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Canada, Tennessee, Washington, California, Australia, these are but a few of the homes of this past week's visitors on board the Dutch Apple!  Many local folks have also ventured down to Steamboat Square to take a scenic cruise along the Hudson.
The enormous wind turbines have recently been moved from the Port.  Each blade is twice the length of our Dutch Apple!  Mind boggling in size!   To think these will help generate the electricity that allows us our quality of life- it really is amazing.
This week also saw the removal of the giant crane that loomed over the Capital Building.  The crane has been a fixture of the skyline for a few years now, and suddenly -about 2 weeks ago, it started to shrink in size. Bit by bit, it came down.  Now, we have the magnificent capital building as the crown of State St. Hill once again, without the ungainly crane perched on top of it!
Kayakers, jet skiers, cargo ships, barges, sailboats are all out on the river, enjoying these late summer days. Eagles, osprey, hawks and MONARCH butterflies are all flying along  the Hudson. Each day, we see an increasing number of monarchs wending their long journey southward to Mexico.  Not only are the monarchs heading south, but many of the cabin cruisers and yachts are slowly going southward now.
Two luxury yachts came up to Albany this week. One, the Battered Bull came up for a few hours. The ship was 171 feet in length! And it is for sale at a mere 29.5 million dollars!

August 10, 2012

Well, my pretty Sperry docksiders are still soaked from yesterday's rain!   Our friends from G.E. came on for a lunch and were joined by several sightseers.  The river was otherworldly with the torrential rains that pummeled our region.  The Corning Tower's top vanished into the thick low  hanging clouds. As the rain pelted the river's surface, a mist was created- a rain fog.  Barges were busy offloading their precious cargo of fuel.  Foul weather clad men worked in the down pour.   Blue Herons stalked fish amidst aquatic plants. White Egrets perched in trees by Van Wie's Point.   Juvenile Eagles sat like vultures in their favorite dead tree.  A mature Eagle preened in the rain just north of the PSEG plant.  At Castleton, we saw the shadowy outline of a massive cargo ship by the Berkshire Spur thruway bridge.   As we headed back, the rains eased a little and several mature eagles took the moment to relocate themselves by flying across the river.   Turkeys lumbered along someone's lawn next to a doe and her fawns.   Ducks were loving the run off by Cargill, feasting on all the stray bits of grain that were finding their way into the river.  Smart little ducks!

August 5, 2012

"Rain, rain, go away, come back another day!"   Well, the rain came back in BUCKETS just in time for Sunday's cruise!  Hardy visitors huddled under the shade awning on the upper deck as torrential downpours stalked the Dutch Apple. We had several folks out enjoying birthday cruises. We did see eagles. One eagle was standing on the shore, head down, trying to deal with the heavy rain and wind. The Herons seemed to enjoy the rain, wading close to shore.  After we made our turn at Castleton, the weather cleared but stayed extremely humid. Fish were jumping all over, channel, shoreline- everyplace.  At dock, I heard and saw an ENORMOUS fish leap from the water like a rocket. I was so startled, I couldn't tell you what type it was.

August 3, 2012

Dutch Apple proudly  and sadly sends off our own Jake!  Jake has left his deckhand duties behind and will be working in New  Jersey for Verizon. Jake we will miss you, but we are proud of you!  Come back and visit us! 



We had several birthdays on board today, including Cecilia from Schoharie!  Happy Birthday Cecilia!    We also had an exchange student from France, visiting our Hudson Valley.
Eagles were out in force today as were the Great Blue Herons.  Today was an ice cream day with temperatures in the low 90s, folks sat on our upper deck and enjoyed their Moxie's ice cream as we cruised by Fort Crailo.  Wonder what the colonial soldiers would have thought of our ship?  What would they have thought of the Corning Tower? Interesting thoughts to ponder.

August 1. 2012

Little two year old MOLLY, from Florida, saw a large "birdie"  today!  She saw an adult bald eagle, who was preening in a favorite tree, south of Scarano's boatyard.  Today really was interesting- folks from  "down under" were soaking in the sun, ladies from Ireland were enjoying the leisurely pace as we viewed the historic homes at Van Wie's Point.  KIds  and parents from a camp school ( from the Rochester area)  were relaxing after having a long bus ride that was rather harrowing.  A couple from Oneonta were shocked that I knew of Brooks' BBQ!  (I always check out BBQ - if given a chance!). Visitors from Rhode Island were exploring our region.  We really had a wide variety of folks on board.  The river was as smooth as silk.  We spotted 5 eagles and numerous Great Blue Herons and a variety of water fowl.  I also saw a beautiful wooden ship that I had seen on Monday while visiting  Burlington,VT.  The "Dolphin" had been at the Burlington Harbor while I had dinner, and I saw it again,today!  How cool is that?

July 29, 2012

Dubai, Florida, Michigan- what do they have in common? People fom those locations have been on board the Dutch Apple during past couple of days! The family from  Dubai marveled at the greenery and the vast amounts of water that we have in the Hudson valley. The Floridians found the gentle river breezes to be refreshing compared to their searing, southern,summer heat. The folks from Michigan loved seeing the old homes and the abundance of eagles and deer that were along the shores of the river.  Come down, take an afternoon cruise and you might find yourself chatting with a new friend from a distant land as you go floating along the majestic Hudson River!


July 27, 2012

According to NYDEC,  during the 1800s and early 1900s, New York was home to more than 70 nesting pairs of bald eagles, and was the chosen wintering grounds of several hundred. By 1960, the state had only one known active bald eagle nest remaining, and the number of wintering visitors had been reduced to less than a few dozen.

bald eagle in flight
Adult bald eagle in flight
It had taken decades of indiscriminate killing, along with increasing competition for habitat and the widespread use of harmful new chemicals, to nearly destroy New York's bald eagles. Just as human activity was disrupting more and more eagle habitat, DDT and other organochlorine compounds were contaminating prey species and accumulating in the eagles' bodies, with the unanticipated effect of thinning their eggshells until they could no longer survive incubation.

The same elements that support breeding pairs - clean air and water, ample food supply, large undisturbed stands of trees - also attract bald eagles looking for a winter home.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Hudson River region still provides tracts of relatively undisturbed land for roosting, perching and nesting. Some of these tracts have been purchased by New York State to protect bald eagles. These habitats are especially attractive during winter, when human activity is limited. Meanwhile, private citizens have also purchased land with the intent of protecting resident eagles.
Each year, bald eagles migrate from their northern nesting areas to New York's rivers and reservoirs in search of open water, food and roosting sites. Even during the coldest months, open water can be found near power plants that discharge water during energy production, or where the natural flows of tributaries enter the river. In recent winters, more than 100 wintering eagles have been counted along the lower Hudson.

July 25, 2012

Blue Herons, deer, ducks, geese, Bald eagles!  Fish jumping, folks swimming- the Hudson has been alive with activity. Not only have we seen all this wild life, we have seen all types of large ships at Port, dropping off wind turbines, loading up with GE generators or scrap metal.   As we cruise along, one wonders what the Hudson must have been like during the Age of Steamboats. Can you imagine watching the big paddle wheel ships as they chugged along past thriving turn of the century villages like Castleton on Hudson?  Or can you hear the din of the ice men as they cut massive blocks of ice from the frozen river?

June 26, 2012

What a gorgeous day for a cruise. Geese with goslings are paddling along the shores of the Hudson, song birds are singing.  Eagles and vultures are finding various goodies to feast on.  I have seen several large splashes indicating a BIG fish has leapt out from the depths of the river.  Folks are out in their sailboats, kayaks, jet skis and pleasure boats. Everyone and everything seems to be outside enjoying this nice June day.  I can't wait to see if the eaglets have fledged- come down to the Dutch Apple and join us!

June 23, 2012

During our past several cruises, we have seen a doe and her fawns alongside the river -in the deep shade trying to escape summer of the heat.  The eaglets are venturing out onto nearby branches.  One nest had three eaglets, all lurking within ten feet of home. The parents must have been extremely busy feeding those babies!  Unknown fish have been leaping out of the water and giving us a great show- much like looking for shooting stars- you can catch a glimpse of a big splash- but you rarely see who made it!  Geese and ducks are common.  Large flotillas of young geese float in a single formation behind an adult. The landscape is a lush green, sprinkled with the blaze of wild flowers.  If you allow yourself, you can imagine what the river looked like  to Henry Hudson back in 1609.
Of course, we have also been observing the window washing rig as those fearless folks clean all the windows of the 44 stories tall CORNING Tower.  I'm quite happy to have my feet firmly on the deck of the Dutch Apple!
Some people have been spotting an elusive large raptor that looks to be a Golden Eagle.  I have not been able to get a good photo of this enormous bird. I will continue on this photo quest!

June 12, 2012

Eagles, eagles everywhere!


During the past several cruises, we have been fortunate in seeing several eagles at different locations along the majestic Hudson. The weather has been outstanding. Pleasant breezes, gentle sunlight have been our companions a we cruise lazily along. Several large ocean going ships have been docked at the Port of Albany. Wind turbine units are awaiting transport to their homes. 
The last cruise, we spotted twin fawns and a doe drinking from the Hudson while dozens of geese paddled a few yards from shore.  Turtles were sunning themselves on logs and rocks, they would startle and splash down into the waters as we cruised past.
Now, cruisers can sit back and enjoy a local treat while onboard the Dutch Apple-  MOXIE'S ICE CREAM!  We have Dutch Apple Ice Cream! 

Come down, lounge on our upper deck, indulge in some yummy ice cream and look for the many eagles that call our area home!

May 15, 2012

The rainy day did not dampen the excitement of our visitors from near and far.  Our cruise started off in a moderate rainstorm and by time we returned to our home at Steamboat Square, the rains had ceased and the skies were attempting to clear.  Great Blue Herons were nearly as plentiful as raindrops today. Comorants were perched on pilings, ships were loading up with scrap metal, barges were offloading fuel- the Port was humming with activity today.  The replica "Onrust" and the Liberty V were both at Scarano's  getting spruced up.  Eagles were seen preening on favorite branches, trying to dry out their feathers.  The USS SLATER had work groups on board- preparing for the summer.  Even the peregrine falcons were hanging out under the Dunn Bridge today.  Come down to the Hudson, take a boat ride with us!  Chances are, you will see an eagle, a heron and other forms of wildlife as we journey along!  Who knows- bears have been seen in both Albany's south end and over in Rensselaer- maybe we might spy one on a remote shore section of the Hudson- you never know from day to day!

May 4, 2012

We had an absolutely PERFECT cruise this afternoon! The sky was a warm Springtime Blue, fluffy clouds, warm temperatures- a gorgeous day in May! What did we see? EAGLES, of course!  Four eagles, two sitting in nests and two flying.  We also saw an osprey, as well as several Great Blue Herons.  We encountered several large ocean going ships as well as a myriad of pleasure craft. Fishermen were out  in great number, hoping to catch a brag worthy bass. Come down tomorrow for a cruise and take a look at what might be seen!

April 20th 2012

The Dutch Apple is back home at 141 Broadway after being stored at Scarano boat yard this past winter.

We are excited to get the 2012 Cruise Season underway with our first Sight Seeing Cruise tomorrow, April 21st from 1-3pm!!



 
     
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