APPOINTMENT WITH BOAT DOCTOR

Yesterday, (July 30, 2016) we docked at Winter Harbor Marina in Brewerton, NY.  It is essential that the generator be looked at to determine why it is not “generating” power.   This marina is a certified dealer for Northern Lights generators — which is the brand we have.  Due to weather and the weekend, we will be off the cruising path for a couple of days.          Well, we DO need more gin!!!!    🙂

We had a 7:00AM departure yesterday which included a 2 hour trip across Lake Oneida.  Brewerton is on the West end of this 20 miles long lake.  We have passed Utica and the next larger city will be Syracuse.  Today the winds are high , blowing from the South.   Happy we made that crossing yesterday.

STRESS —- I have not counted the number of bridges that we have cruised under.  Multiple old railway and highway bridges.   For the past several days the angst of slowly floating under those that are near the 21 foot height have given me a headache.  At several bridges chief engineer Hank says “just creep up to that bridge and if I say stop – put that baby in reverse FAST”!     Knowing that our mast can and must be lowered further down the canal, I am frustrated that this has not been done YET.    AND of course I am making myself heard.   (as Hank would say, loud and clear)      ggggggrrrrrrr   At one point, funny boy decided to slap the radar dome with his hand to make a loud noise as we went creeping under one of the bridges.   I nearly wet my pants and nearly had blood on my hands for murder.   ‘Ol serious me did NOT think that was funny!    Yesterday the issue was forced and the mast was lowered.   WHEW…….the captain is happy now.

A few views along the way.

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STILL WATERS

 

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BLUE HERON IN FLIGHT

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TYPICAL DAM AT A LOCK  – BUT NOT ALL LOCKS HAVE DAMS
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FUNKY SMALL HOTEL ALONG THE ERIE IN BREWERTON, NY
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OUR MARINA FOR A FEW DAYS –DEISEL FUIEL  @2.21 AND HELP YOURSELF TO FRESH HERBS AND TOMATOES GROWING ON THE DOCK!

Stand by for generator diagnosis tomorrow.

 

7/28/16 AND 7/29/16

7/28/16 -Thursday

We went thru 9 locks today.  We cruised 66 miles for 10 hours and 50 minutes.   LONG LONG DAY!

This night we docked at St. Johnsville Marina, St. Johnsville, NY.  Along the way we saw a bald eagle and many groups of goslings along the canal banks.

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GOSLINGS

We met this fella by the name of Clark who came into the marina when we did in his canoe!   This guy was very interesting. He is from Toronto and after canoeing the canals of Canada, decided he wanted to do the same on the Erie canal.  He had a friend  drive him to Tonawanda, NY where he put in.   He carries a tent and quickly sets up his tent and camp fire for the night.  He plans to go all the way to Albany.   He also said he might just go down to NJ where he has family or friends or some such, but he worries about the return trip.!!!    He does have a small motor on the canoe, but we think he paddles most of the time.

Hank and I rode our bikes into town for pizza, but there was no pizza at this place.  Instead we had some GREAT steamed clams with a couple of beers.   YUM    We asked Clark if he needed anything from town.   Said he wanted “A ” beer.  So we gave him a Shiner.   Had never had a Shiner before.   He left us a note with his email address and a thank you.   I will send him an email in a few days to see how far he has gotten.

Have I mentioned the trains???   Freight trains, passenger trains, they are coming and going non-stop, day and night.   The tracks are near the canal , so we hear them frequently.   At this St. Johnsville Marina, the tracks were a block away reminding us how in the early development of our USA, just how vital the waterways and railways were.   And I guess we must thank the Irish who mostly provided the manual labor to get these things constructed!!!   Thank You.      I waved at one of the train engineers and he blasted his whistle twice —- so what the heck – I blasted my boat horn back at him, twice!!

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CSX ON THE MOVE WEST

 

7/29/16   Friday

Happy Birthday Gloria…..

Today’s travels took us thru 5 locks, one of which was a 40 foot rise.  We stopped at Ilion City Marina, where we had a free tie up for a couple of hours while we biked to town  for a nice lunch and to make a gin run.

Since this day was also very long – another 66 miles,   we tied up along the canal wall at Bellamy Park in Rome, NY.   This park has free docking and there was free power.   NICE.   After getting settled, Jack and Penny , on Ishtar (sail boat) pulled up and docked in front of us.  They joined us for lamb burgers and cocktails on our boat.   We now need to go get more gin!!!!!   They are originally from PA but have been living on their boat for about 2 years.  He is a retired geologist and she is a retired nurse.  We really enjoyed chatting with them.  We cruised thru a couple of locks together these past few days so will no doubt see them on the water again some where.

Hank needed to do a quick check with the transmission earlier today, so we pulled over to a public dock along the canal to tie up.    This place happened to be a historical site of a Revolutionary general, Gen. Herkimer.   There is also a town called Herkimer, NY.

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We came to the fork in the river…………

AND WE TOOK IT!!!!

That is, the fork in the waterway leading into the Erie Canal!

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THE FORK IN THE RIVER  (Hudson River to the right, Mohawk River to the left.)

JUST SO YOU DON’T GET CONFUSED!!!!

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THUS begins our part of this journey through the Erie Canal  We departed Coeyman’s Landing Marina this past Wed., July 27, 2016.  We cruised past Albany, NY and on to Troy where we encountered our first lock, called the Troy Federal Lock.

This phase of the trip consists of 35 locks, including the Troy Federal Lock, and a distance of 340.7 miles.  The original canal was a total of 363 miles.  Its construction began in 1817 and was completed in 1825!  This canal was a marvel for its time and a boon to industry and travel by connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie.  The present day canal that we are cruising was completed in 1903.   We have noted some of the older canal sections, as historically it followed a more flat part of the area due to the use of mules to pull the 30 ft. barges along the canal.   The canal was dug alongside the rivers, such as the Mohawk and Niagra Rivers.

Day 1 on the canal we made our first big boy and big girl lock thru – the Troy Federal Lock.  The Troy lock is a 15 foot rise.  I hear cursing under y’all’s breath now —” good grief, is Shoemaker going to take us thru each and every darn lock ??? ”      NO   — relax.

The locks have their own protocols and routines that you must follow and the lock-masters are the bosses.  Procedure into the locks is slow and cautious, one boat at a time.  Securing one’s vessel is done in one of two ways OR sometimes both — lines or cables.  The cables/pipes are built into recessed areas  in the lock walls and the lines are long “lines’ or ropes that are secured at the top of the locks and they just dangle into the water with a weight at the bottom to hold them against the lock wall.  We move into the lock and find one or the other  – cables or lines – and stop the boat to secure it.  Hank will place a line around the cable at the center of the boat.  This line then slides up OR down that cable or large pipe, as water is fed into the lock.  It can not be tied tight as it needs to slide along the cable as we rise (or fall).  IF we are having to use “lines” to secure the boat, I will position the boat to a forward line that Hank grabs hold of with gloves on.  I then thrust the stern over to the wall and move as fast as I can down the ladder to grab the second line at the stern.  Then we just hang on and keep the boat as straight and as close to the lock wall as possible.   Once the lock is filled and the lock master opens the gates to leave and gives us the green light, I let go — get my tush back up to the fly bridge helm and when ready Hank lets go of his line and out the gates we head.

After “taking the fork”  we  tied up at Waterford, NY where Hank conducted some business and I went to the grocery for supplies.  Once you leave Waterford, one must go thru 5 locks one right after the other.  After confirming with the first lock master  that we could get thru all 5 locks before they closed – which is 6 PM –    we elected to move ahead and left Waterford around 3:00PM.    After traveling from South of Albany and thru these first 6 locks we were ready for the day to end.

Interestingly along this Erie Canal there are many free docks where you can just tie up for the night.   Some have water and power, some do not.  We tied up along a wall for that first night just a short distance past that last lock.  No power, no water.  But quiet and peaceful   UNTIL we realized that our generator was running BUT not generating.     ggggggrrrrrrr   Those danged boat gremlins are at it again!!!

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FIRST LOCK ——TROY FEDERAL LOCK
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BOATS THAT WENT THRU THE LOCK WITH US.
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CABLE IN RECESSED WALL AREA
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HANK AT THE READY WITH BOAT HOOK TO “FEND THE BOAT OFF THE LOCK WALL” IF NEEDED!

 

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GATES OPENING —  FIRST BOAT IN, FIRST BOAT OUT.
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SOME OF THESE LOCKS ARE HUGE!

INSTRUCTIONS – REPEAT THE ABOVE 34 MORE TIMES UNTIL YOU REACH LAKE ERIE!

Pumps and plans

Today is Tues, July 26, 2016

We had plans to depart Coeyman’s Landing Marina Yesterday, but Hank discovered a problem with a small auxiliary oil pump used to change and add oil to the engine.   We elected to stay put and get it replaced.  The pump has arrived and the Hankster is in the engine room as I write this.

The past two weeks have been non-stop.   I have no photos to share of Hank’s week of work.  Below are a couple of pictures of my travels this past week.  Rockville, Indiana was my first stop where my high school class and many other alumni of our small school had gathered for a golf outing , class reunions and in our case, a class birthday celebration.   One of those big ones ending in a ZERO!   We had a rather small turnout compared to most of our get togethers, but that did not deter us from enjoying a great time.  Things started off a bit rocky, as Kay Martin Foxworthy, one of our classmates, passed out and had to be taken away via EMS!!!!   Kay – hope you are home by now and on the mend.   Thankfully she will do well following her mini-stroke.   WOW

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Class of ’64 celebrating 70th birthdays.  PHOTO -OP WAS LIKE HERDING CATS!!

On Saturday I met the adult Mace children   ( Julia and Eddie Rush, and Paul and Katy Mace) in Columbus, Ohio where on Sunday we took their young children to the Columbus Zoo.  The big treat was a private tour and meet and greet with some animals that Jack Hannah takes out to TV shows, and animals also used in various presentations around the zoo.   What a great treat this was for all of us “kids”.    The twins, Calvin and Max, and Paul’s daughter Margot and son Luke really had fun.  It must have been 100o in the zoo that day so our after private tour time was quite short due to “melt downs” of the little ones.  Not saying that we older ones were ready to call it quits too.   🙂

 

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Julia aka “Boo” , me and Paul
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Max Rush with baby kangaroo, Mrs. Willaby
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Margo
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Luke
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Calvin-“think I will pass on holding that kangaroo!!”
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Charlie, our guide, and I think future “Jack Hannah” with a bear cat named Pendleton!

OK my family and friends.  We have put the dingy on the swim platform, the mast is ready to be lowered, the mini-puppy pump is almost installed, ice is loaded onboard and if all goes well, we will be headed to the Erie Canal bright and early in the AM.

Dateline – Monday, 7/18/16

Not really a “dateline” or much to comment this beautiful morning.   Will be very busy and traveling this coming week, so wanted to provide a short post before heading out.

Last Wed. evening up pulls Steve and Vivian on Bird of Prey for fuel and an overnight stop. SO much fun see them.   We cruised together along the coast of NC and to Portsmouth, VA.  They are also “doing the loop”.  Steve is an MD and returns to Arkansas regularly.   We last saw them in Virginia.  Due to our stops and theirs I think we will be leap frogging this couple all Summer.   We dined at Yanni’s Too, the riverside restaurant here at the marina, caught up on life and then I bid them safe travels as they departed early the next morning for the Erie Canal.   My guess is that we will catch them in Buffalo, as Steve has to go back home for a couple of weeks work then.  It is a tortoise race, so will let you know IF that happens.   🙂

DOCK EXCITEMENT:       Floyd , an approximately 80-82 year old gentleman, came limping into the marina last evening.  He had lost an engine (looks like about a 40 ft. boat), his radio wasn’t working, he JUST got out of the hospital with a cardiac event, he had sent up flares, but no one responded or saw them, he was visibly shaking and a mess!!    Thankfully he did make it to port, but obviously had not really followed very good water rules — no back up radio,  he was out alone,  new boat and had not “test driven” the thing……   He did have on his life jacket.   Poor guy was really scared.

Hank returns tomorrow from his work and on Wed. I head to the mid-West for hometown gathering with classmates and then to the Columbus Zoo for a Jack Hannah tour with my surrogate “kids” and grandkids, the Mace children.

PS —no photo yet as that ship is still at the large work docks up the river awaiting its cargo.

PREPARED  SCOUTS — YES WE ARE           For safety’s sake, we took delivery on a new propeller for our boat while we were in Baltimore.   Our future cruising waters have “hard” bottoms, not the mud and sand of the home waters we are so used to.   We have  no intension of hitting any rocks or structures, but in case we do —- we are prepared with a new prop for installation, Johnny on the spot!!!!!    It took about 7 weeks to get this one.    ISN’T IT A BEAUTY???

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Random thoughts – July 16, 2016

A few additional photos from the cruise up the Hudson River to Coeymans Landing Marina, near South of Albany, NY.

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WATER FRONT AREA OF KINGSTON, NY
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OLE SAVANNAH RESTAURANT WHERE WE ATE SUNDAY BRUNCH – also in Kingston
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LIGHT HOUSE AT A “FORK” IN THE HUDSON RIVER
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OUR MARINA HOME FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS

Next to this marina is a larger docking area and small port where construction is going on to make the steel girders for the new Tappan Zee Bridge that is being built alongside the old bridge.  Barges and ships are constantly going back and forth on the Hudson to carry the construction materials needed for this project.   THIS ship came up the river a few days ago.   It is has not left to go back down river to the bridge construction site.   I hope I will be here to photograph it after being loaded.!!!!!

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Ship heading to dock for Tappan Zee Bridge  construction materials.

TINY HOUSES:

Tiny houses are the big craze and movement these days.   Some are on wheels for ease of mobility, others are in the back yards of larger homes or out in the country side on the edge of a farm, or maybe down an alley way in a city.   Salt Lick is a TINY HOUSE on the water.  Efficient use of space is the name of the game.   I LOVE the fact that everything does have a place and space……we just have to remember to put those “things” back in their intended space!!!!!    The open, outdoor areas add a great deal to our comfort.  Here is a picture of our “end table”.   The lamp itself is only about 12 inches tall.   Cute, huh?

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PAUL  –  THE FASHION-ISTA GUY

OH how funny.   A couple of days ago, this guy named Paul came by after leaving his boat further down the dock  He was admiring the boat and in general started up a conversation.    He offered to take me to the grocery, etc., if needed or for other errands.  Says he lives near by.   I mentioned I had a rental car lined up for that afternoon to run errands and most importantly to shop for a dress for my niece’s wedding.   WELL —- he then proceeds to give me names of not ONE but TWO ladies boutique dress shops that I should go to.   Says he always looks like a bum, but his wife dresses up a lot.    I wrote the names down and yesterday at the first shop, DeAnna’s that he suggested ,— BINGO – success!    WOO HOO     Paul is now my new best friend.   He just doesn’t know it yet!

Enjoying the others here at the marina too.   Brian, Wayne and CiCi, John originally from Costa Rica, Hedy and Carl the owners, Sean the nurse and surgical tech instructor……..a very friendly fun place.  CiCi is also a retired nurse and there is a brain surgeon and anesthesiologist that also have boats here.  I have scheduled Hank for brain surgery next week upon his return.              Have a good weekend everyone.