Aboard Clearwater #2: Transit from Yonkers to Verplanck

With bags packed and train tickets ordered we began our two day adventure along the Hudson River. We will be traveling from Yonkers to Beacon, camping overnight in Verplanck aboard the 106-foot Hudson River sloop Clearewater.

RiverU students haul away aboard Clearwater

RiverU students haul away aboard Clearwater

Before setting off for our second nautical adventure on Clearwater we stopped to study the engineering of a “daylighting” project on the Saw Mill River. The project exposed the previously buried Hudson River tributary.  The design includes a net to collect garbage before being discharged into the Hudson. They also creatively designed a fish ladder that enables fish to travel up and down the river and avoid the engineered waterfall. The waterfall’s purpose is to increase the amount of oxygen in the habitat. Fish were introduced into the Saw Mill to control the amount of algae.

Saw Mill River in Yonkers, New York just upstream from its confluence with the Hudson.

Saw Mill River in Yonkers, New York just upstream from its confluence with the Hudson.

After our small side field trip we boarded the Sloop Clearwater and worked with crew members to depart the dock and raise the sail. While sailing north we spent time learning from crew. We received a physics and history lesson from the captain, learned about the different types of sails and how the wind works with the sails to power the ship. We studied different Hudson River organisms including the blue crab, American eel, and glass shrimp.

After a lesson with Clarkson Professor Tom Langen about primary productivity, some crew members gave us lessons on knot tying. Each of us were given a “pet rope” with which to practice.

We will continue to sail into the evening until we reach our camping destination.