22 May 2011

Changing one's vantage point

While I have not spent any significant time in the Hudson River Valley during my life, there is a stretch along the river Tal and I visited on occasion when we lived NW of Philadelphia. We toured Lyndhurst (at Tarrytown) and West Point, hiked Storm King and admired the bridges, learned to watch for passenger trains in the east side of the river and freight trains on the west side.

Today I saw familiar places from a different – literally – point of view. I spent hours on the ship’s open top deck, unable to get beyond the surprise and pleasure of looking inland at the passing landscape from the water as opposed to looking at the water and the passing watercraft from the shore.  Nonchalant I'm not.
The Rip Van Winkle Bridge
at Catskill NY
Through the day Sam has pointed out landmarks, talked about the battles fought over the years to control the Hudson – battles among countries during the colonial period and battles among families during the nation’s youth – and returned again and again to our waterway theme. I have continued photographing bridges, pleased at the fact that I could gaze at them in a leisurely and admiring way. So much better than the quick and limited looking I’m able to do while driving and minding traffic.

Life aboard ship is setting in to a wonderful routine.  The meals have been and are exceptional, delicious, interesting with homemade everything, including all the baked goods -- cakes, pies, muffins, breads, dinner rolls.  There's the not so routine as well, such as this morning's fire drill.

Two things are going on here.  The rolls are being formed in the foreground and the individual sponge cakes for strawberry shortcake have just gone in the oven.
The crew has clear duties
during a drill.  These guys
tested hoses, shooting
geysers of water off the
back of the boat.

Here we are in the assembly spot -- the dining room -- with everyone present and accounted for.

Before ...
Our location for tonight and tomorrow night is Troy, the birthplace of both Uncle Sam and the American industrial revolution. While we are here the crew will prepare the vessel for travel on the Eric Canal, clearing the top deck of everything, including the pilot house.

... and after.  That's the frame used to lower the pilot house onto the deck just behind the bow still standing in place.

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