David Yeadon: A WATERY HUDSON ODYSSEY

David Yeadon is author/illustrator of over 25 adventure travel books and a contributor to many travel magazines and publications.

"West Point from Phillipstown" 1831 by W.J.Bennett

I guess I’m not really destined to be a nautical man.

I am, however, a devoted admirer of the Hudson Valley. And I’ve enjoyed years of serendipitous adventuring during the swirls of seasons among its high wild places and its deep shadowy forests. I’ve rejoiced in its sinuous backroads leading to scores of wineries (now finally growing superior varietal grapes), splendid restaurants, farmers’ markets, inns, and shore side taverns, stately homes galore, and a wealth of museums and historical must-sees celebrating the valley’s renowned patriots, poets, painters, philanthropist-tycoons, and Presidents.

This is indeed a bounteous and beautiful — even magical (another story) region. And I’m always ready for a new experience here, a fresh perspective on the spirit of this majestic 315-mile long waterway (not truly a river but one of the world’s largest tidal estuaries–but of, course you already know that). Read more…

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8 Responses to David Yeadon: A WATERY HUDSON ODYSSEY

  1. Alas, you entered into the realm of the Cold Spring Boat Club. A clique determined to remain isolated, and independent. They take their cue form the Hudson Highlands. You mention the great chain stretched there during the American Revolution. Made of links the weight of a small man, floating on logs a fathom below the surface, they spanned the deepest part of the river. Ranging from Gees Point at West Point to Constitution Island (named for the British constitution the rebels hoped King George would honor) the chain crossed a narrow part of the river too. Old timers, seeing their sloops sink in a wink there named named it World’s End feeling the river there had no bottom.

    Further, complicating your voyage are the spirited “imps.” The Natives knew them as manitous, the Dutch called them mischief ghosts or imps. Their commander, the “Heer of Dunderberg” calls out his spirit army. Effect as West Point’s cadets, the imps bedevil those sailing, steaming or as in your case dieseling through the Hudson’s Highlands.

    You may avoid becoming a subject of storytelling in Cold Spring by simply remembering to tip your hat to the imps. They’ll let you pass unmolested, enjoying the majestic view. Remember to stay within the shipping lanes too. Thanks for your post!

  2. David Yeadon says:

    A most enjoyable response! And now I understand our dilemma near Cold Spring when the boat engine ceased and we began our southward drift with the tide heading for the mid-Atlantic. It was obviously the reaction of the “Heer of Dunderberg” and his “mischief imps’ for my failure to tip my hat in the time-honored manner. Problem was, I didn’t have a hat as I was only a guest of the club member and he insisted that ‘only the commodore’ got to wear the appropriate nautical headgear. Fortunately I was better equipped for a similar custom up in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. In a particularly nefarious oceanic channel known as The Minch lurk the dreaded “Blue Men’ who, in the midst of tumultuous Hebridean storms leap from the ocean depths on to flailing fishing boats and bombard the captain with ridiculously complex riddles which, if he fails to answer promptly, condemn him and his crew to cold and watery graves. Fortunately such penalties did not apply to the sturdy ferries that took me back and forth to the islands while I was writing my “Seasons on Harris” book depicting the lives of the crofters and tweed-weavers on this wildly beautiful legend-filled isle. Anyway, thanks for the warning, just in case there’s a next time for me on the Hudson River.

  3. rachelbirds says:

    I love this, David. As the reluctant former owner of a 45-foot schooner with a first husband (the boat went with the husband), I can so relate to hearing the thunking and clunking that comes from deep within the bowels of a boat and then the aimless drifting. At least we had sails.

  4. Kristine (East Coast born, West Coast resident) says:

    What a wonderful story. I’m not nautically inclined, though I have the requisite attire and have enjoyed many wonderful voyages as a passenger. I hope you’ll write about your back-road experiences as well. Though I grew up on the East Coast, I’ve never been to the Hudson Valley and would love to learn more about the inns and taverns, mansions, farmers’ markets, and burgeoning wine country.

    • David Yeadon says:

      Apologies for the delay in replying have been far too busy on the backroads and would encourage you to do the same as soon as possible. Today is our first 70 degree day of the year and the travel bug is blooming again. Enjoy all your journeys!

  5. Anita Brehm says:

    Love it! Will read more!

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