Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Amsterdam, NY

In the comic relief department, River again half fell off the dock coming into the boat.  Luckily this time Thom was there and we pulled him up before he totally fell in. 

Today was both interesting and educational. It is also about Paul, Molly, their spaniel Freddie and their 1961 wooden sailboat “Memsahib”, demasted for this trip. We met Paul and Molly on the dock in Waterford. Like us they are traveling west, their destination Oswego.

This morning we arranged to leave at the same time so that we could enter Erie Lock No.2 at the same time, thereby saving some time by not having to wait for the lock to be reset.

Leaving Waterford, we entered the first of a series of five locks, called the “flight of five”.  These five locks in a row raise you above the Hudson River escarpment 169 feet, which is twice as much as the total lift from sea level to the summit of the Panama Canal. 

 We went in as terrified novices and by the time we ended our night in Amsterdam, NY we were experts.  We had a little trouble making time since Memsahib’s hull speed was only 7 knots.  It was Paul and Molly’s first locking experience as well, so while we were learning the ropes (or should I say cables), so were they. 

We hope we didn’t look nearly as confused. At a few of the locks, visitors had the opportunity to watch our antics from the top…how embarrassing. We were pleasantly surprised at how friendly and helpful the lock masters are.

In between the locks were stretches of the Mohawk River that were very beautiful albeit narrow.

This area of the river/canal was brutalized by Hurricane Irene last year. Many of the locks were badly damaged and some marinas swept away. The effort that has gone into rebuilding the locks and canal infrastructure is truly enormous and amazing.

So, we’ll overnight here at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam, NY and try for Little Falls, NY tomorrow…seven more locks and about 40 nautical miles. Unfortunately, Freddie the dog is suffering from anxiety, so Molly had to go to RiteAid for to fill a prescription for some Valium for her. 

Captain's Supplement

SLASH! It seems that Freddie, high on drugs, decided to drown herself by jumping overboard. Actually, she just fell while coming back from her nightly walk. Her distraught owners tried to keep her afloat by pulling on the rope attached to a harness that was slowly slipping over her head. Maryann, having heard the splash, rushed to use her recently gained dog saving experience having pulled River from the brink twice. Swopping down on the swim platform she quickly extracted Freddie from the river.

On another note, there is a major freight line less than 100 yards from us and trains rumble through about every 20 minutes or so, sometimes one in each direction. With whistles blowing and the deep throbbing of the engines it's liable to be a long night.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Sounds like a lot of locks and a lot of progress. And educational: "I need some valium for my dog . . ." Why didn't I think of this during my college days!