August 15-16, 2021
We arrived in Albany Thursday, mastering (sort of backing into a slip). We didn’t hit anything, so that is good. One backs in at this marina as there is lots of river debris that happily floats down the river not caring about the marina. It floats between the boats and sometimes under the docks. When we were coming in we asked about bow in as that is easier and they said they never do that as you don’t want chunks of river debris caught in your prop. Good point.
The next day we visited Crailo State Park, a museum in an early Dutch Colonial era home. Lots of good information about life in the Dutch Colonies of the Hudson in the 1600’s and 1700’s. A bit of a strange tour in that the guide walks you through, telling you about things in each room and then waits while you read the signs in that room before moving on. An odd style, but lots of great info that helps me to understand life at that time.
Sadly, later that day we got a call from my brother. He and his wife were to be out next set of boat guests but just could not get comfortable being over 5 hours in the flying tube with the COVID bugs. Thus, they have postponed their visit for a later adventure. We were so looking forward to their visit.
Reset. We had planned to head down the Hudson, pick them up in New York and head into Long Island Sound. But… we are 20 miles from Troy, NY, the start of the Erie Canal and entrance to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway…. This is a piece of water we have wanted to take as long as we’ve been thinking of boating. And, Canada has opened for boaters from the US. Just happened after over a hear. The lure was too great. So, off we are headed north as opposed to south.
But wait, back to Albany. We rode the bikes downtown which is across the mighty Hudson from our marina. They do have a dedicated, safe and dirty bike lane which we appreciate even though you are right next to a busy highway.
Remember hills on the Hudson? From the marina, we had to go up and across the bridge, then down and up the hills into town. Not too bad, but easier for me as bike has 21 speeds and Jim only has 7. But he is macho and made all the hills except back across the river to home (see pic above). A pretty long and fairly steep climb. I was in 1st gear but made it! But, before the rid back to the marina, we are riding up the hills in downtown and what IS this building in front of us? A crazy mix of Gothic, French, and what we don’t know; we are not architects.
We are busy being amazed by the buildings when crash/boom/bang, the thunderstorm arrives. We tuck under an awning with the bikes and wait it out. Big downpour. We decided to head towards home, but found a nice little pub and slipped in for a wine and shrimp focaccia.
Next day we toured the capital building and visited the State Museum. Turns out the capital building, started in 1867 was slated to cost $4M. When Teddy Roosevelt became Governor in 1899, he said “stop and desist” and threw all the construction workers out, it is done. They had spent $25M and gone through 5 architects. Thus, you see areas of carving not complete and the mish-mash of styles as each new architect had to/wanted to put his signature on the building. In any case, it is quite an interesting building to visit and incredibly grand.
The State Museum was eclectic and interesting. There was an exhibit related to 911 with a very useful timeline reminding us all of the atrocity of that day with some behind the scene facts we may not have known, surely at the time. Behind this was a fire truck from one of the closest stations which lost 5 people from the 6 on the truck. It was buried with the first tower collapsed.
La Gran Circuit Nautique
Ok, back to the future. The new plan. In order to do La Gran Circuit Nautique as Parks Canada likes to call it, we have issues to address such as water depth; we need no more than 5 feet under the keel in some places or we will hit bottom and can have no more than about 15 feet of air draft or we’ll hit bridges. Our draft is 5 feet and air draft is 28′ 6 ½” in salt water. In fresh water, we’ll have less air draft and more water draft. Not easy to calculate as it all is related to how your calculations were done in salt water, what was the specific gravity and then what it will be in fresh water. To complicate things further, how much provisioning, water, fuel and poop happens to be on board at the time will change these depths and heights. Very complicated, so one needs to have some fudge in the numbers.
To make this all work, we have to remove our boom, lower our mast, take down our bimini on the flybridge and move our dinghy as it is in the way of the boom lowered. We’ve never done these tasks and have to figure out each step. This is one of those projects Jim has dreaded as we’ve been thinking about this through time. How DO we do this efficiently and effectively. Given we want to leave, one has to just do it.
Adding some urgency to the project, my sister Julia has decided to come and join us. She could not resist the Erie Canal. She arrives this evening and we hope to be moving by Wednesday morning. I think we’ll be ready. The lowering of the mast and associated activities is coming together, we have charts of the waters we will be sailing through, both paper and enectronic, and Julia has the job of figuring Covid testing to get us into Canada after the Erie and Oswego Canals and crossing Lake Ontario into Canada (and back to the US). The kittens have their rabies shots so are good to go. I just read today we may need covid tests to get back into the US. Another task. And we need to buy permits for the canals in both countries, make sure we have our lines and fenders squares and chart courses and days for each leg. Lots still to do in new waters.
Julia is awaiting her luggage at the airport so I will close for now.