DIARY OF A WAVERUNNER MANIAC By AJ
DIARY OF A WAVERUNNER MANIAC By AJ, age 15, (son of Tony LIberti & Donna Liberti)
Publishers note: This trip by the Liberti family and their group was in the planning stages since early January this year. When this group travels to a river they do it in style. Only a week before the Hudson River trip they had been on the Tennessee River taking a 600-mile trip.
Both the Tennessee trip and the one on the Hudson River-Erie Canal have individual cars that follow them along the way. In communication by smart phone, as soon as they pick a future destination, the cars head for that boat ramp.
A good example of this is AJ’s outline of the first few days of the Hudson River trip. The riders came to the Hudson River and the Bear Mountain area over August 4th and August 5th. (Some stayed at the Peekskill Motor Inn and some stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Highland Falls). It is important to note that this Holiday Inn Express has plenty of parking for trailers, something that most hotels-motels do not in our a area.) Further Patsy’s Bay Marina was kind enough to allow them all to launch at 6; 30 AM on Sunday morning, August 5th. No problem, something that some of the launch ramps in our area would have had an issue with.
(110 miles of PWC travel in one day)
Sunday August 5th 11 pwc’s and 20 riders left for a weeklong trip starting on the Hudson River and ending in Buffalo NY.
As usual my father had us up at 5 am. We left the Holiday Inn in Highland Falls NY and headed to Patsy’s Bay Marina to launch our watercraft. The weather was showing severe thunderstorms on our smart phones for the afternoon! Our plan was to ride until the storms rolled in. We were on the water by 7 AM and heading towards the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The plan was to turn into the Harlem River at Spytan Diyval, pass by Yankee stadium and end up in front of the Statue of Liberty. By 10 AM and we were fueling up at liberty landing Marina. Once we were finished we headed towards the Intrepid and began our ride up the Hudson. The water made for smooth riding. After passing West Point and Bannermans Castle we headed for Riverfront Marina in Newburgh, NY. Jamie, the dockmaster, was great at having dockage available for us to tie up so that we could eat.
Just as we sat down at Captain Jake’s Seafood Restaurant the thunderstorms rolled in. We waited for the storms, talking of our experiences that morning and what had taken place on the Tennessee River the previous week. Some one at Riverfront Marina picked up the tap for the entire lunch crowd, something we greatly appreciated.
Around 3pm we back on the water headed towards Kingston. (Again we were in constant communication with our drivers on land.) The water was smooth which made for great riding. We stopped for fuel at Saugerties and had an ice cream break.
From Saugerties we continued on to Coeymans Landing Marina where we met our road crew to pull our pwc’s out at 730 pm.
One great day of riding on the Hudson River. We had riders from Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia joins us on this trip. The age varied from the oldest being 80 and the youngest being 15.
Monday morning we left Blaine’s Bay Marina at 7 AM and started to navigate the Erie Canal.
The weather was great we were on our way, enjoying the views, the water, and the camaraderie of all the riders.
At every lock we went through the lockmasters were outstanding and very friendly. It took us and average of 25 to 30 minutes to go through each lock. They seem to realize how important it was to keep everyone moving on their vacation.
At 9. 30 AM (two and a half hours of riding) we stopped for fuel at Ilion Marina. The owner, Don was super nice. He was able to help us plan our future fuel stops and help us have a couple of launch ramps available in case some riders had mechanical issues.
We were off again! At 1;30 PM we stopped for lunch in the town of Canajoharie. The lockmasters recommended the Village Restaurant for lunch. A quaint luncheonette in town. The food was good and the best was the soft serve ice cream for dessert.
Continuing on in our trip we ended up in the town of Little Falls NY at 6.30 PM, our destination for Monday night. Approximately 95 miles and 9 locks.
This is the list of locks from Waterford to Buffalo, a total of 544 miles
On Tuesday morning, the third day on the water, we were amazed at the huge temperature drop when we awoke.
We left Little Falls at 7 AM with the temperature at 58 degrees. The morning ride was cooler than usual, and of course we forgot to bring our jackets and wetsuits. Todays ride was 85 miles and locked thru 7 locks. The scenery is amazing and like we have been experiencing, the water has been smooth.
Before we crossed Lake Oneida we stopped at a restaurant called The Canal View in Sylvan Beach. This restaurant had good reviews, and they were right. We decided to eat before crossing the Lake because the water was so calm and the wind was not a factor. After lunch we continued our journey across the lake and back on the Erie Canal. Our stop for the evening was Syracuse, which we arrived at around 7 pm. We would get shuttled over by our road crew to the Clarion Inn a short drive from our pwc’s. The week moves along when you are on the water it’s hard to, believe we have completed 3 days of riding and we are just short of 400 miles.
The road crew we have for the trip their names are Don Smith, Roger Darding and Larry Larsh. On the Hudson they were shadowing us on land just in case of a break down or the weather turned bad on us. Each evening they met us at the pick up sites that we had agreed upon. After the days ride they were also in charge of supplying cold water or soda for the riders. They enable us to stay out on the water longer and give us a security net in case some one should have a mechanical failure. Along with shuttling our luggage to the hotel we stay at each nite. They are in constant contact with the riders thru out the day.