Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Long Island to Lake Ontario

I Know Jon has put in his short version
of some of the same stuff on the Hudson but this is from beginnig to end from my point of view.

Well all is well in Fair Haven, New York. We made it to the Marina on May 18th around 5:00. I am putting some photos up of New York City and the Beginning of the Hudson River and will add more this week some time. This was a blast for both Jon and I. It is one of those adventures that will last a lifetime. We left April 27th from Norwalk Ct. “Long Island Sound” at 5:00 in the morning, the weather was perfect with the sun on our port side and not even a ripple to be seen anywhere in the sound. This was the most perfect sunrise you could ask for. We made it just to the east side of New York City around 2:00 pm and decided to do some exploring and a little sailing, then we anchored in Manhasset bay for the night so we could catch the incoming tide through Hells Gate the next morning. New York City was great we ended up there on a record-breaking day of 83 degrees (on the water was a little chilly but the warmest of the whole trip). When we rounded Manhattan there she was!!! “The Statue of Liberty” wow this is something everyone should see. What a wonderful feeling of pride. If you get a chance go even just for this.
We headed up the Hudson and decided to find a drop off point for Rick so His Wife Pam could come and pick him up. We decided on Half Moon Bay Marina, which was just north of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The fee for dockage overnight was $90.00 and that was half price because it was early in the season “WOW’. The next morning Jon and I left around 9:00 and had a good time checking out all the buildings, boat yards and wildlife on the river. We went past West Point Academy, which is a spectacular piece of architecture, the Building facing the water appears to have been built right in the rock.. Beside a little cold and one period of rain the trip up to Roger’s Point boating club was nice and relaxing, we where going to get Diesel and look for a good anchorage. They told us we could Dock for $40.00 so we took them up on it. The Bar tender could not get the pumps to work so we thought maybe we would have to find some the next day, we ask if they had Wi-fi but he thought it was a type of fuel. By the end of the night we ended up with fuel and we did get Internet excess. They all were very nice and helpful there.
We got up bright and early the next morning in hopes to reach Troy by dark. This part of the trip the river narrows in quite a bit, and you have to watch your depth a little more and when those HUGE tankers pass you by it is definitely intimidating…(at least for me). We made it to Castleton Boat Club late afternoon and had time to walk around and arrange for the boat to stay there for a week because the Erie Canal was still not open.. Our good friend Schyler came up and helped unstep the mast and then off we went leaving Kasidah for a week while we checked on how everything was doing back home.
We headed back down on May 3rd to start our trip on the Erie canal Friday morning. We had found out the canal was now open. The first lock is the Federal lock in Troy. I was very nervous but excited at the same time. The Lock master was great he helped us throught and explained things to us and let us know what to expect at the other locks.(He also told us that if the other lock masters were not helpful just to call him and he would take care of them. That made me feel better) The next set of locks is referred to as the Waterford Flight! It is a remarkable engineering marvel, this gateway to the Erie Canal combines a series of five locks, where boats are lifted and lowered the greatest height in the shortest distance of any canal in the world. WOW! When you are in a lock you either grab onto a rope that they have on the walls or you take one of your lines and wrap it around a pipe that is hanging up and down on the wall, one person in the front of the boat and another in the back. Some of the locks went real smooth and others were a little tricky. This time of year locks are only open from 7 am to 5 pm so the day can end a little short if the next lock is closed. Our first overnight stop was at the Schenectady Yacht club. Nice open facility and the dogs could get out and really run around. Meet a family there that I think the husband and wife had way too much to drink but the parents were very nice and we talk to them for quite awhile. We made it out at just after 8 in the morning and traveled almost till 6 pm to St. Johnsville Municipal Marina. This place was at a wall and one other large boat came to dock with us that night. We walked to a store that was just a short distance over a bridge and got to see a little of the small town. The next morning I made sure we were up and going just before 7, it was a cold one the deck had some frost on it, which made walking very interesting. Everything was going to plan and we thought we might make Oneida Lake that night. NOT A CHANCE. At lock number 18 the lockmaster said that they had a problem with not enough depth at marker number 551 and to stay far over to the right when approaching it. So when we got close to it we started to stay to the right side of the channel and Jon said it did not look right and he was going to head to the other side but the time he was in the center of the channel we hit bottom but good. We figure there was about 3 ft of water under us and we draw 6 feet, over the right side there was about 22 feet. The water is very brown so you cannot see a change in the color so that was not of any help. We ended up calling the lockmaster ho in return got one of the New York tug to pull us off. Well this meant one more night on the canal (which was fine with me). We ended up staying on the east side of lock number 21. This was a nice and quiet lock wall to spend the night. The dogs and I took a long walk on the trail next to the canal and to our surprise some friend (Schyler and Laure) were traveling in the area and ended up having dinner with us.
We got up bright and early to a great warm sunny morning and headed out to Oneida Lake crossed over and went to Ess-Kay Yards to leave Kasidah once again for a week while waiting for the Oswego canal to open and the following weekend our Daughter was graduating from Syracuse University so we knew this was a good break in the trip.
May 17th we came back and picked Kasidah up and finish the final leg of our trip. The Oswego canal was very pretty and of course the weather was much nicer. Now we would be going down in all the locks instead of up as we did at the beginning of the Erie. In One of the locks there was a died fish floating between the boat and lock wall and on top was a snake just coiled up sitting there, Jon made sure that guy was not hitching a ride on our boat. We came out on Lake Ontario at Oswego New York and stayed at the town dock but it was way to noisy and rough so we tucked in at Oswego Marina where the mast was to be stepped first thing in the morning any how. They were very friendly and helpful there. The next morning our mast was stepped with no problems and as we started put on sails and cleaning up a wall of fog moved in, so we took our time getting ready as we were just about finish the fog started to lift so we figured was a good sign. We headed out and headed west to Kasidahs new home under sail…..yes finally we were sailing her. It was sunny but freezing cold on the lake, it took about 3 hours to get over to Fair Haven but we did go off course to get a little sailing in. The Fair Point Marina is a wonderful place everyone is so nice there I keep wondering whats up…. We are so glad we found a place like this for our summer and wish them lots of luck. If you are near there you should come in and check them out and say Hello to us….J

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