Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Hop-o-Nose

Water Temp 73.8

We leave at 6:45am to catch Lock 2, a mile south that opens at 7:00 AM. The forecast was for possible fog in the morning, which delayed our start here the last time through. This morning is just cloudy. We follow the Montreal Cabin Cruiser for the remainder of the locks. We have a long day to get to Hop-o-Nose at Catskill Creek where we will put our mast back up. By 8:15 we pass Waterford and a Catalina 42, “Blown Away Too” just left the wall there and pulls in behind us. The last lock, Lock 0, is the Federal Lock at Troy, which lowers us to the Hudson at Troy. We have 5 boats in the Federal lock.

The sun comes out and we have a nice sunny day. With no wind the river surface is like glass, heading south to Troy only to be broken by the boats leaving the lock. Our first really nice day. Had a nice day running on autopilot on the wide river. The wind picks up later in the afternoon and we get to Hop-o-Nose around 4:15. They are full with transients, some waiting to put up their masts and others hanging out for a few days after their masts went up waiting for hurricane Fiona to move on off the coast to the Canadian Maritimes.

Hop-o-Nose is so full we have to tie up across the Creek at Catskill Marina which Shawn the owner of Hop-o-Nose now owns. “Blown Away Too” pulls in shortly after us and we help Diana and Alain tie up. We are way down the dock and have to use our dinghy to get to Hop-o-Nose for dinner at Creekside.

We meet up with Sean at the dock. He remembers me as the “Sock Guy”. I tape old socks on our turnbuckles to contain a parts that could come loose and from banging on the deck. Apparently, I am the only one who does that.

 Today's trip

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Mechanicville

 

Another overcast morning, but at least it is not raining. We leave Fort Edward. We had only briefly walked into town yesterday, before the torrential rains let loose. Didn’t get to any of the few eatery's to pay back for the very nicely maintained free wall at Fort Edwards. Our plans are to stop at Mechanicville another very nice free wall, pump-out, power and very nice showers and bathrooms.

 

The Overhead Gate to the canal to Lock 6


 

 
The adjacent waterfall to Lock 5, Engine don't fail me now !

At Lock 4, the operator walks over to us and warns us about the wind gusts, before he lowers us. Fortunately we were the only boat in the lock. As we started to go down the wind picked up and Linda could not hold on to the slimy hanging lock line. I dropped my line on the stern and ran forward to grab Linda’s more important line. Once we secured the front line, the back end of the boat was free to swing towards the opposite wall. Would of not been a big deal, except we had 10 feet of mast with our wind instruments extending beyond our stern. Just as I started motoring forward, I hear metal scrapping behind me, but I am too busy to look back. We move forward and get the boat under control with just the one lock line. We were real happy when the lock door opened and we escape the wind tunnel. The only damage was a slight hook to our previously straight lightning rod that extends above our mast instruments. I will have to come up with some BS story why the hook in our lightning rod improves it’s performance over a straight one, in case anyone notices. 

Cute little canal tug boat

I had considered stopping at Waterford another hour or so further, but checking out their live Web Cam I could see the wall there was full. We get to Mechanicville around 2:30 PM. We are the only boat there and after pumping out the holding tank we tie up on the other end of the wall and relax for the rest of the afternoon. We head to “Bubbles” a popular local restaurant with an interesting menu. A couple more boats arrive, two sailboats and one cabin cruiser from Montreal.

 Check out today's travel


 

 

Monday, September 19, 2022

Fort Edwards

 


We are up at 6:30. The Catamaran left about 6:15 and two more boats leave shortly after. Looking north I see 3 more sailboats tied up. Were did they come from? My first thought was they could not get through Lock 11 and had to come back here after dark. Turns out that even though the locks closed at 5:00 these three boats tied up to the wall on the lake side of the locks and the lock keeper decided to lock them up after hours at 7:00 PM. Now there are nine southbound sailboats! Since a lot more Canadians head south via the Erie Canal, I am getting concerned we are going to see a lot more Canadian cousins this year.

 

Early morning at Whitehall


Each time we pass this building, I expect it to be a pile of rubble.

The forecast is for rain and thunder storms today, but anything coming from the west is many hours away and most of the current rain has past to our immediate north. We push off at 7:30 and follow a single Canadian sailboat, a family with a bunch of teenage boys. We share locks all morning and both of us pull into Fort Edward just ahead of the afternoon rain and later some very impressive thunder and lightning storms. 

 

Lock 7 at Fort Edwards

 Glad our Lightning rod is in the down position. We must of gotten 2-3 inches of rain. Two weeks ago they were talking about low water between some of the locks, hopefully we will not have a high water problems.

Rainy afternoon at Fort Edwards


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Whitehall, NY

 

We leave by 8:00 AM and within ½ hour, pass 3 anchored Canadian boats with their mast down.

Then passing Chipmans Point Marina we see another Canadian sailboat about to have their mast taken down. Hmm, might have some company in the locks. Normally we have them to ourselves. Today is a little warmer and I have our clear vinyl connector in between the Dodger and Bimini to shield us from the south wind. Within a couple hours we are in the narrows of Lake Champlain and the wind and waves disappear.

We reach the first lock #12 at Whitehall around 1:00PM. We have to kill about 20 minutes or so as they are finishing a large water release from the adjacent dam to lower the water from the recent rains. If the water gets too high they can not operate the locks. That happened to us in June 2019, the locks opened a couple weeks late, due to high water.

Boats are only allowed on the east wall of this lock when being lifted. The water fill from the west wall side is quite turbulent. It takes a bit of effort to keep the boat from being pushed around into the wall. Being lowered in a lock is much more gentle. The next three lift locks are much more gentle going up. 

 

My Happy Hooker

The forecast is for rain this afternoon and evening so we decide to stay on the free wall at Whitehall. There is a large Catamaran already tied up and we pull up in front of it and the owner takes one of our lines. I don’t know if boaters are just helpful or protecting their own or a combination of both, but the adjacent boaters are always there to help. After lunch the boat we anchored with last night comes in and we help them tie up. This is their first trip south. After lunch we go for a walk and checkout the “New Whitehall Marina”. When we return there are 3 more Canadian sailboats on the wall, the ones we past this morning. Since the west wall is nearly full one boat ties up on the east side. 

The wall at Whitehall

 

We have stayed on this wall twice on our last three trips. There was only one other boat besides us and I think they were both US trawlers, now there are 8 sailboats. We head to dinner at Bustys BBQ and get ice cream at Stewards for desert, not a lot of dining choices in Whitehall.

The forecast is for rain this afternoon and evening so we decide to stay on the free wall at Whitehall. There is a large Catamaran already tied up and we pull up in front of it and the owner takes one of our lines. I don’t know if boaters are just helpful or protecting their own or a combination of both, but the adjacent boaters are always there to help. After lunch the boat we anchored with last night comes in and we help them tie up. This is their first trip south. After lunch we go for a walk and checkout the “New Whitehall Marina”. When we return there are 3 more Canadian sailboats on the wall, the ones we past this morning. Since the west wall is nearly full one boat ties up on the east side.

We have stayed on this wall twice on our last three trips. There was only one other boat besides us and I think they were both US trawlers, now there are 8 sailboats. We head to dinner at Bustys BBQ and get ice cream at Stewards for desert, not a lot of dining choices in Whitehall.

 

 

Friday, September 16, 2022

On Our Way Again

 

We are leaving, only 2 days after our planned departure date. As it turns out, it has been too windy the last couple days to head south with our mast in its deck cradle.

Our house guests, Ken & Donna Nitchie are staying for another week or two visiting with old friends and enjoying the leaves turning before they head home to the Chesapeake, Hayes, Virginia, just across the York River from Yorktown. We first anchored in Sara’s Creek where they now live, years ago before they moved there. Now our recent visits to Sara’s Creek are even better, they have a dock!

After a number of late nights and early mornings, taking care of most everything we needed to do to sail off for the next 9-10 months, we are ready to leave. Ken & Donna drop us off at Champlain Marina where our boat is, after taking down the mast a few days ago. Cool morning with very little wind as forecast. We leave a 10:00AM, a record for us, our past best was noontime.

 

Heading to Rail Road cut

As we get out on the main Lake and head south the wind starts to pickup, but on the nose it is not a problem. We get in contact with a couple friends who live in North Shore and wave as we go by.

Early afternoon, near the Charlotte ferry crossing we cross tracks with Leonard & Lynnea Rosner sailing on their red hull, boat Antares. Always easy to pick out at a distance. They have been sailing to the Bahamas off and on for over 40 years and after returning last spring they said, that was their last trip south on Antares. We will miss seeing them, their trip south always coincided with our trips south. We would cross paths in the Bahamas and along the east coast.

 

Antares

We decide to anchor for the night just north of the Pulp Mill plant in Ticonderoga, NY. When we arrive there is one Canadian boat, mast down, anchored. We actually go to bed at “Sailor’s Midnight”, 9:00 PM. We are pretty tired and get a good nights sleep.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Monday, June 10, 2019

Malletts Bay, Home


 

Home, Green Mountains of Vermont


Today's forecast is for south winds over 15 knots and higher in the afternoon. We get an early start around 6:00 am to avoid the higher afternoon winds. As we get further north on the lake the waves build up to 1 foot or so. Not a problem since the wind is directly on our stern. If this wind was from the west it might have been difficult rocking side to side with a mast over our deck. 
 

Burlington, Vermont with Mtn Mansfield in the background


 

Entering Malletts Bay, Homeport


We are at Malletts Bay Boat Club around noontime. The high water is going to be a problem for us to unload the boat. Normally we drive our van down to the working dock right, to our boat to unload items directly to our van. The working dock is underwater and the floating dock does not have its ramp connected to shore, so we can not load carts and wheel them up the ramp from the dock. We will have to hand carry everything we remove from the boat.

 

Time to unload

Working Dock, our club members don't walk on water, but they do drive on it.




After lunch we walk over to the Champlain Marina and schedule to put the mast back up on Wednesday. We take our last Uber ride of this trip, home, to get our van. Surprisingly the Van starts right up like is was running yesterday. Only having one vehicle right now improved the odds. In the past one or both vehicles had battery issues. And this time we actually have house keys with us on the boat and don’t have to break in to our own home. Our house sitters Sam and Aubrey have bought a house just south of us and moved out a couple weeks ago. Sam has been stopping by to mow the lawn and water the plants. Its good to be home. 





Nine months of mail, mostly junk. The important stuff was photographed and emailed to us by our house sitters.