June 6, 2018 ( Wednesday): Pulled anchor at 8:20 am, 351.4. Overcast skies but light wind from NE and moderate seas, 3-5' waves against us so slower going, averaged about 10 mph. Passed Manasquan Inlet to Sandy Hook, NJ where we took a slip at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor, in Sandy Hook Bay, 357.4 ( by the way this is engine hour numbers). This is across, east, from NY City. Very nice large marina where we topped off fuel, 77 gal. (averaged 5.5 gal/hr because of head wind & current, ran at 2500 rpm to average 10 mph), pumped out waste and refilled fresh water. Docked in slip 25 at pier 6. Marina has shuttle service to town for groceries, laundry etc. First thing took a long great hot shower, better than quickie on boat to save water. Then shuttle to town for Chinese dinner and grocery shopping. Relaxed rest of evening with Jamie Tunnell special drink, some reading and then to bed. Marina personnel are very helpful and friendly. Ronnie is one of security people and what a New York character. Drove cement truck for 39 years and retired at 63. This is his second year at AHMH and just having fun. He has helped us get around with great conversation.
June 7, 2018 (Thursday): Up early, 6:30 am, walked to town to wash dirty clothes and have breakfast at bagel shop. Nice little New England type town. Friendly people at bagelry and laundry. Met Vietnam vet, washing clothes, and very interesting conversation about PTSD and adjustment to leaving army. Back to boat. I washed down boat to get rid of the mud from the anchors and Jay reviewed charts for next leg of trip, Sandy Hook through NY Harbor, North up Hudson River to Erie Canal. Will start tomorrow early morning. Forecast is for good weather tomorrow and rest of week so hope to get to Erie by weekend. We'll see weather forecast is rarely
June 8, 2018 (Friday): Up early with cold cereal for breakfast. Set out from Sandy Hook/Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina 7:18 am, 357.8, across Sandy Hook Bay to NY Harbor. Moderate boat traffic, mostly ferries from Sandy Hook area to NYC for morning commuters. As we approached NY Harbor we came along side a large container ship also heading into the harbor. WOW was it enormous. Four large tugs came out to meet it so we went passed into the harbor as the tugs took over to place her at her pier. There were many barges of all types as well as ferries. Of course the most famous is the Staten Island Ferry which was ever present. They are fast and do not give way so we dodged a couple as we passed Miss Liberty on our way to the mouth of the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey. As we approached the Hudson with Manhattan on starboard (right) side we had a beautiful view of the new World Trade Tower and then the Empire State Building. There are a gazillion buildings in NYC so difficult to recognize them all. Many "Water Taxies" like little water bugs everywhere churning up the water so not a smooth ride ( they do seem to try and avoid you sometimes). Well then on up the Hudson.
Much interesting architecture along the river, what you would expect in and around NYC. We did come across a rather large private mega-yacht anchored in the Hudson. Googled the name and found it is owned by a wealthy person from south of the equator. I think BY3 would have been a nice dinghy for it. As we moved north the Hudson became a most beautiful scenic cruise up past West Point to anchor out at Pollepel Island just North of West Point. Nice smooth anchorage with soothing sound of commuter and freight trains through the night. No issues with anchor.
June 9, 2018 ( Saturday): Early rise, 5:45 am, to catch the current going our way which turned out to be very helpful. Although we saw many ingteresting sites and the Hudson continued to provide beautiful scenery. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised with the area. We made very good time and arrived in Albany about 3:20 pm, 376.3, through Troy lock about 4:30 pm, 377.5, to arrive at Waterford, NY and Erie Canal about 5:00 pm, 377.9. And yes Walt I saw the large sign as you described pointing the Erie Canal to the left (photo proof forth coming). Even I made the correct turn to the Erie. Waterford is a very nice little town. Had some hard times but hanging in there. We had great pizza at La Bella's on Broadway. Met several other "Loopers" from various parts of the world and had informative conversations with many. Unusual as many of you know I don't talk to strangers often being as shy as I am, but I managed. Spent the night at the "Wall".
June 10, 2018 ( Sunday): The first Erie lock at Waterford is actually Lock 2. The locks begin operation from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. We unintentionally were in the first group to enter Lock 2 at 7:40 am, 378.2, there were 5 boats. Fortunately, there was no wind and all boats behaved themselves. Not a bad second lock experience. There are six locks in a row, 2-6, right out of Waterford, close together. We passed through Lock 6 about 8:55 am, 378.8. Lots of lock practice, boats stayed close together for that sequence. Passed through Lock 7 about 10:45 am, 380.5, and stopped for fuel, pump out and fresh water at Schenectady Yacht Club about 1:15 pm, 381.8, took on 94.2 gal diesel after 24.4 hrs. so averaged 3.86 gal/hr from Shady Hook/Atlantic Highlands to SYC. Happy about that. Cruised at 2000 rpm making average of 10 mph. I must say the Erie Canal is beautiful. For those of you who may not know, the Erie runs with the Mohawk River, so more frequently than not the "canal" looks more like a river. It is simply gorgeous to see the woods, mountains and occasional cultivated fields along the way, much to my surprise. Of course there are the ever present locks to remind you it's the Erie Canal. For the remainder of Sunday we calmly passed through Locks 8,9 and 10 to finally stop in Amsterdam,NY at Riverlink Park where the BBQ was fantastic, people friendly and other "Loopers". We met a couple of Canadians, a captain and his mate, who are boat jockeys from Georgian Bay. They were delivering a boat from FL. to Georgian Bay. Great info from them and two real characters.
June 11, 2018 ( Monday): Left Amsterdam at 8:15 am, 384.9, to great weather. Slight winds and calm canal. Not very much boat traffic. Seemed to have the canal to ourselves most of the time. Passed through Locks 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. A bit of wait at Lock 12. Seems they were having a problem with operation so after tying up to the wall and 20 minutes Lock 12 opened and we continued our adventure. We would call each lock on VHF channel 13 as we approached and other than Lock 12, each lock master prepared the lock for us so we were able to enter the lock without delay. At all but one lock we were the only boat to pass each time today. Needless to say we are getting pretty good at the lock procedures. About lock procedures: after the lock is opened we proceed VERY slowly into the lock, proceed as far to the other end as possible. We choose either the left or right wall and position the boat so we can hold onto ropes hanging down the wall. Of course this is necessary to keep the boat in position and not moving and possibly hitting another boat or wall. The lock master closes the lock and pumps in water raising the boat to the next water level. When we reach the proper level the lock opens and we proceed out to continue our trek. Sounds simple enough but it can be rather tricky at times. We approach each lock like it was our first experience, Can never be too careful with a boat. At 5:00 pm, 391.8, we arrived at Ilion Marina for hot shower, a few items from the local Aldi, dinner and sleep.
Note: Photos will be forth coming as soon as I get time to pick out some. You may guess I have made 1000s of photos so far so takes some time to pick out a few. Please be patient I'll eventually get there. Also, I see some of you have been concerned since it has been a few days since my last post. Thank you for your concern. I see Jodie posted I am OK and just behind with the posts. Actually the root of the problem was I tried to have photos to present with each post, but alas I could not keep up with photo choices so I decided to make the text a priority to try and keep up. Hope this works better. Thank you all for your interest.