dinner at the River Street Café in Troy?” Mallory yelled.
Sally and I piled into the rumble seat, and B.J. hit the gas. The drive
south instantly validated the whole moto-cruise idea. Without the Plymouth
we’d have had to wait for a cab or settle for far less than a truly
great restaurant. Moreover, Sally and I would have missed rumble-seating
down the interstate, an experience roughly akin to riding in the cockpit
of a throttled-out Gold Cup mahogany racer. And B.J. would have missed
the boost she got from blasting past slow pokes. The cornmeal-crusted
red grouper at the Café was excellent.
Next morning dawned frostily but cozily thanks to the Linssen's diesel-fired
heating system with thermostat-controlled radiators. We all slept late,
then once the Plymouth had again taken us to Troy for breakfast at Bob’s
Diner and a few stops at antique shops on Water Street, Sally and B.J.
hit the trail in the Plymouth doing the legal (or near-legal) speed limit,
and Charles and I hit the waterways in the Linssen doing 8 knots.
The Hudson was spectacular: cobalt skies, golden marshes, lime-green hillsides.
The Linssen's effective sound-insulation system, including soft mounts
on machinery, a vibration-reducing Centa thrust bearing, and a smooth
four-blade propeller, made progress south almost canoe-quiet. Mallory
and I ceased talking eventually, choosing instead to listen to the burbling
of the bow wave, the rattle of kingfishers ashore, and the willowy winds
in the mast stays.
We met the girls for lunch at the Hook Boat Club, a smart little destination
hidden by the southern tip of Houghtaling Island, some 35 miles down river.
Shallow-water piloting assistance from club member and Mallory's friend
Wayne Sansbury, a good man with a Boston Whaler Montauk, made getting
to the dock safe and easy. Soon the Plymouth was full-up again and following
Sansbury to his nearby home, where his wife Lois was putting the finishing
touches on a picnic, a lavish affair if ever there was one. Afterwards,
B.J. and I returned to the Linssen, she to peruse a new copy of Waldy
Malouf’s The Hudson River Valley Cookbook, me to examine aspects
of construction and engineering. Sally and Charles headed south in the
That evening was a piece of pure poetry. As B.J. and I entered the little
harbor town of Catskill in the Linssen, the whole place seemed bathed
in some ineffable golden light. Idled down, the boat ghosted along through
it, her image reflected in Catskill Creek. Somewhere a jazz band played.
A dog barked. B.J. smiled. At length, I pulled the throttle back and we
simply stopped: two people floating in a Magritte painting. We tied the
Linssen up at last in Catskill marina, where Sally and Mallory greeted
us with a rumble seat full of apples and other goodies.
The remaining days of The Marvelous Hudson Moto-Cruise went much like
the first two, earning a seal of approval from everyone, especially Mallory,
who this year will offer classic cars with all his Linssen charters. Of
course, the extravagance of cruising with two wonderful conveyances ultimately
lulled us into an incredibly Epicurean state. So it was inevitable that
we’d fetch up on the shores of Hyde Park, home of the Culinary Institute
of America, the nation's leading cooking school. The journey to the CIA's
fabled Escoffier Restaurant was short, facilitated by the Plymouth. A
remark B.J. made during dessert synopsized the consensus. “Let's
do another moto-cruise next year."” She laughed, “How about
a BMW 507?”
Mallory Line Phone: (800) 830-5341. Fax: (518) 273-0922. www.canalboat.com.
Circle Reader Service No. 265.
Next page >
Dutch Treat > Page 1,
2, 3, 4