Little Falls is a 40 foot elevation change

Landfall at Waterford, NY

Sea dog Anchor settles in on deck

That 'ol bag lady feeling

September 23, 2014

Friday: We do leave the canal wall in Rome at 9:50am after finding a little breakfast spot called the "Iron Kettle". It was very good. We skipped Ilion for some reason, probably the timing didn't work out and continued on to the "Little Falls Marina". A municipal spot like WG with a designated DOCKMASTER. Wow. Shared a few stories. A small spot, another boat came in. A 43 foot sailboat with five people on it and one of them was 91 years old. They claimed to be headed for the Bahamas. Another wow. After walking into the Village we found a small tavern just our style and we're back by ten. By the way, Anchor is doing all these restaurants in the bag, being quiet too. A morning shower and off the dock bright and early - 10:45!

Saturday: The water is getting a bit deeper generally and a touch wider as the Mohawk River takes its form. Don't know how far to go just want to fill up the day and do locks until 4:30 when they shut down. We get to Fonda by 5:10, which is our first "nothing here" spot. A concrete wall within canal corp property. We were sharing it with some geese and a few sea gulls. Cheese and crackers, soup of the day was the fare. It was going to be very quiet until we realized we were just across the road from the Fonda raceway. So there's three hours of screaming dirt racers complete with dust and loud speaker announcements. Ok - it was an experience. Percolated coffee for us and were off and outta there by 9:00am.

Sunday: The River is getting wider and busier. Don't start the day too early or the sunny makes it tougher to see. In fact, back in Rome we had to wait for the fog to clear before starting. We are getting antsy to reach the end. Locks are fun but if you're interested in progress each day you feel like your at a big red light on the highway. How far will we get today? Again, it's starting to get back into civilization as we near the capital district and there are big beautiful residences along the river banks. By 4:30 it's the "Schenectady Yacht Club" for tonight. Another paying spot (only number two) which is not close to restaurants, so we suffice with some sandwiches. Onboard supplies and really good. This is a group owned club on leased land from the canal. We meet nice folks and, yep, a DOCKMASTER who helped us get lines tied and in the morning we purchase ice and our first fueling of 17 gallons of diesel to replenish the fuel tank, which was still two-thirds full after about 220 miles. We did five locks this day and call me wimpy but I'm tired by 4:30 and ready for "horizontal". We are intrigued by so much train traffic zinging to and fro all day and all night. We like the sound of clickityclackclickityclack, just a bit more lively than the trains in front of the WG Harbor Hotel. Good night again.

Monday: Wow. It got windy over the night time and Monday am in Schenectady makes us think about staying here. We have only 17 miles to the end but west wind traveling east will blow us into the locks pretty good we think. Predicted 30mph gusts. Tough, we go anyway, at 11am. No big problems, but yes, big gusts. After lock 7 we have 10 miles to the big flight of locks 6 through 2, lock after lock. We weren't bothered by the wind much and by 2:10pm we are starting down 5 locks and a 175 foot drop in total. Bang! When those big 'ol doors opened up sending us out of #2 we were free and looking at Waterford City docks. Ou-oh, no spots for us. Too many boats. There's one spot and we take it. A couple of cleats made and we turn around to the sign: "PUMP-OUT NO DOCKING". Shucks. A quick look around reveals one lonely spot between a bunch of other boats. Taking advantage of our misfortune, we pump out. Might as well. Then quickly move the boat around to one spot available. And: we're done for the day and done for the canal. Pheww, Anchor needs running. She's been barking a lot less lately, I'm happy to report. Four years later. We check in at the "sign in" desk, get our key, pay our $10 electric fee and we can be here for 48 hrs, if we wish. Lots of good size boats here. More power than sail. We take a walk and, of course, wind up in a restaurant (McGuireys) which was spectacular....and you guessed it, poof, the day is over again.

Tuesday: This is a go nowhere day. We walked to the grocery store where we are allowed to return to the boat with the cart. It's about a 3/4 mile walk and over a bridge. Gives you that homeless experience, I guess. All the groceries are put away and we are heading to do a couple more errands. Tomorrow will be out onto the Hudson River and 40 miles down to Hop-O-nose marina for the mast stepping ceremony. Well, for them a job, for us a ceremony. The weather is predicted good, and we just need to get through Lock 1 at Troy to get started. Signing off for now - Stayed tuned for the Hudson River chapter!!

Terry, Lisa and Anchor the sailing dog

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