Walking Tour: Frolic in Boats – Hudson Valley One | Gmx Pharm

Kingston Sailing Club races. (Photos by CJ Ansorge)

Ralph Perrara launched his Melonseed skiff at Kingston Point Landing on a spring day while I was there, walking around and working on my crew. The sight of him rigging his sail, up to his ankles in river water, reminded Ratty’s line of Kenneth Grahame’s The wind and the willows: “Believe me my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half as valuable as simply fooling around in boats.” It is an expression of happiness that has accompanied me since childhood. There it was, brought to life, right in front of me.

Encouraged by the literary connection, I asked Ralph about his boat. He told me about the Alvina del Viento (his “Soul of the Wind”) and his years on the river with Kingston Sailing Club (kingstonsailingclub.org), a loose group of serious sailors who have been meeting to race and sail for years. New people are always welcome and no experience is required. There are skippers who teach everything it takes to join a crew. It sounded like the kind of fun more people could use, like a neighborhood block party with boats. Ralph promised to send me contact names for the club.

Jody Sterling is Director of the Sailing School at the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Secretary of Kingston Sailing Club. The relationship between the two is seamless in their lives and indeed. I met her at the museum to find out more.

During the sailing season, May through October, Kingston Sailing Club meets Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. on the East Terrace behind the Wooden Boat School on the museum’s campus, which stretches along Rondout Creek at 50 Rondout Avenue. You don’t need a boat to become a member. Just fill out a simple application on the website and you could be on your way in no time.

The Women on the Water (WOW) and The Community Sail are both programs designed to improve the skills of skippers, from absolute beginners to experienced racers. Boat ownership is optional but welcome. Races are every Sunday. Regattas take place in June and August.

girl and crew.

Empowerment of female sailors is part of the program of both the club and the museum. They work together on a special event that involves them girl to HRMM. The 58ft sloop made nautical history when her all-female crew, led by Tracy Edwards, were the first to enter and finish the legendary Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989-90.

The famous ship is on a world tour. The Kingston Sailing Club WOW fleet of sailboats will join the escort fleet meeting girl at the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse on June 8th. It is welcomed at the dock of the museum. The public is invited to tour the ocean racing yacht, meet the crew and learn from these amazing women on June 9th and 10th.

Founded in 1979 and opened in 1980, the Maritime Museum helped anchor the revitalization of the Rondout area after decades of decline. Its floor space was expanded to include its barn, a large event and work space.

The building of the wooden boat school was opened in 2015. The sailing school was started in 2017.

(LR): Mihayla Diacovo, Bendon Jaeger, Arlo Stone and Jacob Kirschner get ready for the crew.

The museum is entered through the gift shop. Docks and boat slips border Rondout Creek. The 106 foot sloop Clear water is docked in the first slip and gearing up for his 53rd season as he travels up and down the Hudson to save the river and educate people about the environment.

The museum is not only the custodian of the Rondout’s long and celebrated history as a port of Kingston; She is now the mothership for all things nautical in town, with a range of programs and opportunities that are mind-boggling.

Thousands of people attend HRMM each year and never get on the water. They come to see exhibitions, to walk around, to watch films, to hear lectures, to take a class, to do a tour. You can spend every Sunday afternoon in June at a painting class and leave with an original acrylic on canvas of a historic lighthouse on the Hudson River.

Sailing students Wilmer (I.) and Zulmy with sailing school director Jody Sterling.

Want to build your own Adirondack chair? A ship in a bottle? A wooden rowing boat? A 13 foot canoe? The wooden boat school is your place.

But there are boats and boating here that have been enjoyed for generations. The Rondout Rowing Club has had its boathouse and dock at the museum since the club’s inception in 1999. The collegiate rowers of Kingston High School take to the Rondout Creek in elegant skulls as straight as arrows darting across the water. HRMM has been her home for years. HRMM Sailing School is the only accredited US sailing school in the Hudson Valley with both youth and adult classes. They all head out onto the deep waters of Rondout Creek, as boaters have done for hundreds of years, since the Dutch settled the area in the 17th century.

Playing around in boats… Playing around in boats…. Ratty got it right. There’s nothing quite like it, and there are plenty of ways to do it in Kingston.

Check out other articles from this series.

KSC women on the water (from right): Venetia Boucher, Heidi Wettels and Danielle Hetterra.