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Month: June 2019

Sean Connery and Jamie Lee Curtis

Sean Connery and Jamie Lee Curtis

June 20, 2019 Gaines Marina, Rouses Point, NY  0 nautical miles.

44°59’31.4″N 73°21’40.6″W
44.992068, -73.361283
Elevation:  97 ft

Along the Way

Rainy day, bored and waiting for package deliveries.

Haircuts! Mary wanted a haircut! Dale needed a haircut and a bear trim. None of the local saloons had an opening for the next 2 days. Mary was challenged, as usual, by the thickness of the Dale’s hair. Dale was challenged by the length of Mary’s hair, or more really just challenged. For a while Mary’s hair cut looked like nursing home cut by one of the patients.

Dale didn’t like Mary’s haircut at first, but it’t growing on him.

The packages came! Dale got a replacement phone and Mary got a Google Fi sim card for Canada international calling. We spend the rest of the day trying to make to our phones functional. Dale is working …. Mary’s isn’t.

Floccinaaucinihilipilification

  • Hair is the second fastest growing tissue in the body after bone marrow.
  • A healthy strand of hair can stretch an additional 30% when it’s wet.
  • A strand of hair is stronger than a copper wire with the same diameter.
  • Each strand of hair can support up to 100 grams in weight. Multiply that by the average 100,000 to 150,000 strands on each head, and your entire head of hair could support the weight equivalent to two elephants.
  • The scientific name of grey hair is canities

Drolleries and Yuks

How does a barber give the Sun a haircut?
Eclipse it.

45th Parallel

45th Parallel

June 19, 2019 Wednesday  Valcour Island, NY to Gaines Marina, Rouses Point, NY  24.0 nautical miles.

44°59’31.4″N 73°21’40.6″W
44.992068, -73.361283
Elevation:  97 ft

Yup. We are back in spider land now that we are off saltwater. I’m going to have to pull the spider sucker back out.

Along the Way

Good bye to the Adirondacks. They end here at Valcour.

Lake Champlain has been pure glass for the past two days. This is the first day of wind.  We’re traveling at 7 knots in 7 miles per hour wind.

North tip of Valcour Island
The shoreline is flat from here north
Windmill Point Lighthouse
Gaines Marina
Golf cart kinda town. They drive on the side walk.
Northern most bar on Lake Champlain NY

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The 45th parallel marks the border between Quebec and New York State/Vermont. If you follow the 45th parallel west to Lake Elmo, MN you’d just about hit our old house on 37th Street. Continue to follow it west to St Paul, MN and you’d be awfully close to Larpenture Avenue.

Ice Cream and Beer

Ice Cream and Beer

June 18, 2019 Tuesday Crown Point, NY to Valcour Island, NY   45.2 nautical miles.

44°37’47.0″N 73°25’33.4″W
44.629726, -73.425944
Elevation:  97 ft

Dale was good for two things before 10am, making toast and fixing fuses on the chart plotter (not related). Really three things if you want to count making coffee 😊 Thanks Dale.

Along the Way

The Adirondacks became even more spectacular after the Lake Champlain Bridge.  Neat little bumpy mountains.  I could see sitting in an Adirondack chair and watching the world go by.

Lake Champlain Bridge
Lake Champlain research station.
Barber Point Lighthouse
Adirondacks, NY
Spring in Lake Champlain. There is a lot of pollen in the water.
Green Mountains, VT
Split Rock Lighthouse, NY
Essex, NT to Thompson Point, VT ferry

Burlington, VT – Lake Champlain is ~7 miles wide near Burlington

Adding this to Dale’s accolades for the day …. Dale had to change a fuel filter just as we were coming into Burlington. The port engine crapped out.

Burton snowboards HQ is in Burlington. We had to take pictures of the Burton store. (Jake’s wife Bre manages the Burton store in Minneapolis.) The store is in an old bank building. The Board Room is the old bank president’s office.

Original Ben and Jerry’s. Mary’s stop!
Micro brewery. Dale’s stop
Say what??????
Invasion while we are leaving the dock

Good Night

Valcour Island Lighthouse in the setting sun

September 23, 1776 Benedict Arnold and his American fleet engaged the British feet just east of Valcour Island where we anchored. Arnold laid in wait on the west side the island for the larger British fleet to sail south. Surprise did not ensure victory and the British chased them down the lake to Fort Ticonderoga. With American fleet under the protection of Fort Ticonderoga the British retreated to Quebec.

We can hear the frogs singing.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Using the depth finder to look for Champ.

Lake Champlain is home to the oldest known fossil reef in the world being 450-480 million years old, but there may still be a dinosaur in the lake. Champ is a mysterious creature, similar to the Loch Ness Monster, that many have claimed to see while on the lake. Descriptions of Champ vary, but most suggest a creature between 20 and 80 feet long, with a series of distinct humps and a serpentine body. It’s a is a mystery.

Locked Out

Locked Out

June 17, 2019 Saturday Whitehall City Dock, Whitehall, NY to Crown Point, NY (anchorage Chimney Point, VT side) 32.7 nautical miles.

44°02’02.0″N 73°25’00.3″W
44.033896, -73.416760
Elevation:  95 ft

The Whitehall City Dock had free showers.  Now Dale and Mary can sneak up on each other without smelling the other approaching first.

Warning…. Your are going to get your history lesson today.

Along the Way

Walk about before pulling anchor.

Whitehall Free Dock
The USS Ticonderoga was a schooner which served in the United States Navy from 1814-1825. She was rediscovered in 1958, raised and “salvaged” the next year. All that is left is a skeletal hull.
WWI Memorial guns in town park

Checking out our final lock. Looking at the Whitehall harbor from the top of Lock 12.

Whitehall Harbour – With the British in pursuit three vessels of Benedict Arnold’s Champlain Fleet where blown up July 6, 1777 by the American forces to avoid being captured.
Lock 12 Whitehall Lock on left and Spillway on right – Our last lock on the Champlain Canal.
Lock 12 is the first known use of a spillway using internal siphons to allow large amounts of water to flow past the dam without a large horizontal distance. There are six internal and independent passageways. Hard to see, but they dump water out on the left.

WOO WOO! Locked out! We are officially on Lake Champlain having completed all the U.S. Locks on our Loop, a grand total of 50.

First look at Lake Champlain. It looks more like a river down in this area but gets wider further north. New York’s Adirondack mountains are on the left and Vermont is on the right.
Lake Champlain high water

Today’s run was gorgeous. It’s amazing looking at the Adirondack Montains from the water. The pictures might not give a sense of scale. They are enormous.

Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga, formerly Fort Carillon, is a large 18th-century star fort built by the French at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain. The fort was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, French and Indian Wars and again during the American Revolutionary War.

May 1775 during the American Revolutionary War Green Mountain Boys and other state militia under the command of Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, captured the Fort from the British. The British recaptured it in June 1777.  The British abandoned the fort after the failure of the Saratoga campaign, and it ceased to be of military value after 1781. After gaining independence, the United States allowed the fort to fall into ruin.

In 1785, the fort’s lands became the property of the state of New York. The state donated the property to Columbia and Union colleges in 1803. The colleges sold the property to William Ferris Pell in 1820.

Pell first used the property as a summer retreat. Completion of railroads and canals connecting the area to New York City brought tourists to the area, so he converted his summer house, known as The Pavilion, into a hotel to serve the tourist trade.

🙁 I’m having some problems with my camera. Pictures are too dark.

Neighbors

We are currently anchor off Chimney Point, VT across the river from Crown Point, NY. There is the faint, lovely smell of cow manure is in the air.

The French and the British both built forts at this strategic location on Lake Champlain. In 1734, the French built Fort St. Frederic, with a huge four-story stone octagon, the walls of which were 12 feet thick and cannons lined every floor. The Fort was repeatedly threatened by the British in 1755-58. In 1759, at risk of losing the fort to the British, the French destroyed their own fort and retreated to Montreal. The British immediately started work on their own fort, which was the largest British stronghold ever constructed in North America.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Lake Champlain Facts and Figures:
– Length: 120 miles
– Width: 12 miles at its widest point
– Size: 435 square miles of surface water
– Depth: average depth is 64 feet but the deepest point is between Charlotte, VT and Essex, NY at 400 feet
– Amount of Shoreline: 587 miles
– Islands: 71
– Surface Elevation: 95 to 100 ft

Lake Champlain provides drinking water for almost 200,000 people.

Lake Champlain is New York’s version of Lake Superior in as much it is glacier formed. At the peak of the Ice Age, Vermont was covered by glaciers. The retreating ice compressed the rocks and allowed the Atlantic Ocean to create an inlet into what is now New England and Eastern Canada. As water retreated and land started to rise Lake Champlain was formed.

The name “Ticonderoga” comes from the Iroquois word tekontaró:ken, meaning “it is at the junction of two waterways”

What did the fish say when he swam into the wall?

What did the fish say when he swam into the wall?

June 16, 2019 Sunday Mechanicville, NY   to Whitehall, NY 46.8 nautical miles.

43°33’14.8″N 73°24’08.1″W
43.554112, -73.402261
Elevation: 124 ft

What did the fish say when he swam into the wall?
Dam.

We saw a lot of them. Almost every lock has a dam. We went through 8 locks today.

Along the Way

Lock 3 Mechanicville

Lock 3 is open and ready on the right

Lock 3 has a lot of trouble keeping the baby ducks out of the lock. If they get caught in inside the lock master tries really hard to get them returned to the the correct level, but it’s not always possible.

17.2 bridge. Our first low clearance bridge.

Lock 4 Stillwater

We piloted from below for the day. We needed the windshield wipers.

Hitting current is like hitting pudding… speed drops

Saratoga National Historic Park
Location of the Battle of Saratoga, an important battle, and largely considered to be the turning point, of the Revolutionary War.

Saratoga Racetrack, as in ‘Your so Vain’ by Carly Simon, is in Saratoga Springs which is west of the battlefield about 12 miles as the crow files. 

River houses

Lock 5 Northumberland

Lock 6 Fort Miller

Lock 6 dam
Guillotine?
Crocker’s Reeg Gate Guard. Used to control/stop water during spring floods.

Lock 7 Fort Edward

Three way split. Leaving the Hudson River.
Hudson River dam to the left, Hudson River canal/lock in the middle and Champlain Canal to the right.

Eeeeew! This is the biggest spider I have seen! Dale and the Lockmaster agreed. He crawled out from under the rope I grabbed. (Mary’s hand in the below picture is at least 6 inches away from it)

Happy Fathers Day
17 feet. Going under another tight bridge.

Lock 8 Fort Edward – Last up lock – Elevation 140 feet

We were one of the two last boats lucky enough to make it through this lock and lock 9 today. They are being locked (shut down) for the next 3 weeks. Locks 8 and 9 hold the water at the same elevation of 140 feet. One of the culverts supplying water to this section of the Champlain Canal collapsed. Without the supply of water from the culvert the canal is too shallow for boat transit. We saw the water level at 6 feet where it should have been 9-12.

Lock 9 Smith’s Basin – Elevation 140 feet – Locks quit going up and start going down.

During times of heavy rain the canal waters rise quickly. To combat large fluctuations in water levels, the canal uses spillways, similar to dams, to allow this excess waters to divert safely from the canal. There was not enough space to fit a conventional spillway, so a new spillway design was developed.

We asked the Lockmaster if he was responsible for cutting the grass on the lock property. He is. There is a lot of it. 2.5 acres and it takes him 6 hours to cut it. He can only use a 30 inch mower because that is the width of the walkway bridge he has to take the mower over.

Lock 10 … or lack there of. There is no Lock 10 on the Champlain Canal. The other nearby locks were adjusted to provide the necessary lift. Rather than renumber the lock numbers on the blueprints, which were hand drawn, the lock number was simply omitted.

Foot hills of the Adirondacks. Looks like it could be the St Croix River in Minnesota.

Lock 11 Comstock. Stay left! The dam is on the right. There is NO guard chain/rope.

One more lock tomorrow morning and we will be on Lake Champlain!!! No more tight bridges

Neighbors

Tonight we are on the Whitehall Municipal Dock. Free dock. Free water. Free electricity.

Skene Manor. It looks like the quintessential haunted house.
Down town Whitehall

Floccinaucinihilipilification

U.S.

U.S.

June 15, 2019 Saturday   Waterford, NY to Mechanicville, NY   8.2 nautical miles.

42°54’13.0″N 73°41’02.6″W
42.903621, -73.684067
Elevation: 52 ft

Along the Way

Good morning Jazzy!

Start of the morning Red and Lorraine took us a safari to buy engine oil.

As long as we were out morbid Mary begged to see Uncle Sam’s grave. (She just can’t pass a graveyard). Off to see U.S!

U.S and his wife are buried in a really BIG beautiful, old cemetery. There must be half a mountain in tombstones here. What really caught Mary’s eye was all the relief stone work. (sculpted work which projects from the background surface, on which it is carved.) e.g. pop-up letters on the tomb stones, not carved in. All of the background surface had to be removed and smoothly flattened leaving only the letters or design.

We were sorry to see Red and Lorraine leave to go home about 2:00pm but we understood they had a six hour drive ahead of them.

Still unsure whether or not there was enough clearance for us to take the Champlain Canal we call the NY Canal system for advice. The Assistant Lock Superintendent of the Champlain Canal called us back! On a Saturday! He assured us all the bridges are currently 17.5 or higher. WOO WOO. Yes Dear is 16.9. We were on our way up the Champlain Canal in less than 45 minutes later.

Lock C1 – Waterville. This lock had the first female lock/dam master we’ve encountered on the loop.

Lock C2 – Mechanicville. This lock had the second female lock/dam master we’ve encountered on the loop.

Mechanicville Municipal Dock, a free dock with free electricity. We got first pick today.

Neighbors

What to our wondering eyes should appear? Canoe Ken! This time he has a woman with him.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Uncle Sam facts and figures:

  • More than four million copies of Flagg’s Uncle Sam poster were printed between 1917 and 1918.
  • The artist, James Montgomery Flagg, used his own image when drawing Uncle Sam.
  • Congress passed a resolution in 1961 that recognized Samuel Wilson as the inspiration for the symbol Uncle Sam.

The Champlain Canal is a 60-mile (97 km) canal that connects the south end of Lake Champlain to the Hudson River.

Nauti Words

I just thought I’d toss a few out. It’s been a few days since I’ve talked nauti and I still have a pretty good list left in my vocabulary.

Keel hauling
A severe naval punishment during the 15th and 16th centuries. The victim was dragged from one side of the boat to the other, under the bottom of the boat (keel). Tossed over one side and pulled up on the other, he was usually allowed to catch his breath before suddenly being hoisted overboard again. The Dutch were the first to use this as a common punishment, but it was later adopted with pirates and other navies of the world in the 15th and 16th century.

Keel hauling lost favour at the beginning of the 18th century, to be replaced by the cat-o-nine-tails.

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag
This term comes from the old naval punishment of being whipped with a “cat o’ nine tails.” The whip was kept in a leather bag and when the sailors “let the Cat out of the bag” they had usually done something that would result in punishment.

Seeing Red

Seeing Red

June 14, 2019 Friday Waterford, NY    0 nautical miles.

42°47’17.3″N 73°40’49.4″W
42.788140, -73.680400
Elevation: 19 ft  No more tides after passing through the lock yesterday!

Woo Woo! Hi to dear friends Red and Lorraine!

Along the Way

They all left and headed up the Erie Canal before Mary got out of bed.

A quick walk to the Hannaford Supermarket and back before Red and Lorraine arrived.  The grocery store allows dock people to bring their carts down to the dock and leave them. They come by once a week and pick them up. You need to be escorted out of parking lot by a store employee with an electronic key or the wheels lock up.

Welcome Red, Lorraine and Jazzy. What wonderful friends. They drove 6 hours from Maine to meet us!

Checking out the Erie Canal boat traffic.

Off to explore Erie Canal Lock 2. First we had to cross the old, original Erie Canal and locks where boats were pulled by mules.

Red, Lorraine and Jazzy
I’ve got a mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal
She’s a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen years on the Erie Canal

This a different perspective a lock than what we usually see from the boat.

One lone traveler. We nicknamed him Canoe Ken.

Dale’s guitar was professionally restrung and tuned by Red. A couple of quick lick lessons for Dale followed by a Dylan sing along starring Red Gallager and amazing Loraine Gallager , backup vocals.

The Waterford Town Municipal dock showed Blazing Saddles on the the bridge wall once it was dark. Of course we had to go down and watch it … until it too cold to sit there.

Neighbors

And look who reappeared! Back down the lock to Waterford. Canoe Ken!

Floccinaucinihilipilification

To haul one ton of goods from Buffalo to New York City prior to 1825 it cost upwards of $100. That number fell all the way to $10 once the Canal opened. In addition, the time to ship items from Albany to Buffalo was cut by a third, and what was once a two-week trip by stagecoach was shortened to five days.
After only 9 years, the $7,143,789 cost to build the Erie Canal was paid off by its tolls.

Old tug.
From the 1800s to mid-20th century, tugboats hung their sides with lengths of wood as fenders. It evolved into mats of manila hawser line roughly braided into thick bumpers. At the nose, a huge mound of hung hawser formed the massive bow protrusion that was the main contact point for a tug pushing a larger-hulled vessel. Visually suggestive of giant buffalo humps, these shaggy mounds were called “bow puddings.”
The use of tires for fenders started to appear in the 1920s with the emerging auto industry.
300 feet on the Erie Canal

300 feet on the Erie Canal

June 13, 2019 Thursday Schodack Creek, near New Baltimore, NY to Waterford, NY    45.8 nautical miles.

42°47’17.3″N 73°40’49.4″W
42.788140, -73.680400
Elevation: 19 ft    Tides: none! Tides ended with the Troy Federal Lock

Along the Way

New Baltimore

We kept hearing boat ‘Table 4 Seven’ get reprimanded for his wake on VHF channel 16. We saw a boat screaming down the river towards us. It had to be ‘Table 4 Seven’ !

Well, he did slow down for us. Have to give him that.

Albany, NY

The red peaks roofs left of center are the State Capital building

Capital Building

Bridge in Troy, NY

Troy Federal Lock and Dam. It has been so long since we’ve done a lock we were like rookies again. The biggest thing is that we forgot to put our life jackets on until we were just entering the lock. Dale brought it in with his usual skills. Tying up to the lock stumped us for a couple of seconds… no ballards, no dropped lines. We need to loop the lines around a vertical pole and slide them up the pole as the water level rose.

Tonight we are on the Waterford free dock wall just to the left of the boats with several other Looper boats. Docktails were at 5:30 on Looper boat PATRIOT. Thanks for hosting!

Neighbors

Erie Canal Lock 1

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Albany, NY is the home of modern toilet paper: Continuous roll perforated toilet paper around a cardboard tube was developed in Albany in 1871 by Seth Wheeler. Individual square stacked tissue had been used before then.

“Uncle Sam” Wilson was a meat packer in Troy, NY during the War of 1812. He stamped beef for the Army with his initials “U.S. Beef”. Later the caricature of Sam Wilson came to personify the United States. His grave is in Oakwood Cemetery.

Nauti Words

In the state of New York there are lots place names suffixed with the word Kill. It sounds pretty vicious around here. Great Kills, Fishkill, Peekskill, Catskill, Spackenkill …

Kill Kill Kill …
Origin: The word comes from the Middle Dutch kille, meaning “riverbed” or “water channel”.
The term is used in areas of Dutch influence in the Delaware and Hudson Valleys and other areas of the former New Netherland colony of Dutch America to describe a strait, river, or arm of the sea

Towns of Great Kills, Fishkill, Peekskill, Catskill, Spackenkill … are along a body of water.

A light for the way

A light for the way

June 12, 2019 Wednesday Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, Poughkeepsie, NY to Schodack Creek, near New Baltimore, NY    42.1 nautical miles.

42°26’05.9″N 73°46’25.7″W
42.434970, -73.773811
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 1.5 ft

Today was the kind of day we dreamed about when we first started planning our Loop. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery and just putting along at 6-7 knots.

Along the Way

The Hudson is a mighty river.

A light for the way. Dinesmore Point, NY Maid of the Meadows lighthouse warning of the Esopus mud flats. Catskill Mountains in the background.
Boat ramp
A light for the way. Kingston, NY

Rip Van Winkle Bridge work at Catskill, NY

A light for the way. Saugerties (Saugerties is derived from the Dutch word for sawmills)

Olana Estate – Home of Frederic Edwin Church, one of the major figures in the Hudson River school of landscape painting. The house is a mixture of Victorian, Persian and Morrish styles.

A light for the way. Hudson, NY
One of the many old smokestacks along the Hudson River. Not sure what they were used for.
Starboard turn into our anchor at red nun 178. This area looks a whole lot like the Mississippi River south of the Twin Cities

Diversity

Floccinaucinihilipilification

The Kingston area was once known as Esopus; the name of an Indian tribe and was one of the primary communities in New Netherland. The British took over the Dutch colony and changed the name to Kingston in 1664. It became the first capital of the state of New York in 1777. The British burned it to the ground later than year.

Ponder This

Why is it called a lighthouse when it weighs so much?

The diet starts tomorrow

The diet starts tomorrow

June 11, 2019 Tuesday Poughkeepsie Yacht Club, Poughkeepsie, NY 0 nautical miles.

41°49’06.6″N 73°56’40.3″W
41.818512, -73.944520
Elevation: 0 ft    Tides: 3 ft

Along the Way

Good deal. We used our senior citizen National Park Senior Passes to get into the Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Park today.

Section of 18ft x 20ft mosaic floor in FDR Visitors Center
Original house is the middle portico. FDR added the stone additions and the third floor.
FDR’s Google room

Barn

FDR Library. FDR created the first presidential library. FDR actually used it as a library in his 3rd and 4th terms.

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) building was originally a Jesuit Seminary. Interestingly, the chapel is now the student dining room. (No pictures are allowed in the academic areas.)

Light fixture in the Bocuse French restaurant where we ate.
The toque is a chef’s hat that dates back to the 16th century. Different heights may indicate rank within a kitchen, and they are designed to prevent hair from falling into the food when cooking. The 100 folds of the toque are said to represent the many different ways a chef knows to cook an egg.

Our incredible meal was followed by a “Table-Side Ice Cream & Voyage Treats”. Homemade, nitro hand-cranked mango ice cream, to die for pineapple upside down vanilla custard, Caramelized Puff Pastry Palmier (elephant ears that looked more like bunny ears) and some sort of mini fruit beverage.

We’ve been living large. The diet starts tomorrow (until we get to Canada for butter tarts).

Check out the hat on the figure in pedestrian crossing sign

Floccinaucinihilipilification

FDR’s car had a custom lit cigarette dispenser! HA! He also smoked using a long cigarette holder because his doctor told him to stay as far away from cigarettes as possible.  The cigarette holder wasn’t what the doctor meant.

It is believed that FDR caught polio, age 39, while visiting a Boy Scout Camp. He started to become ill two days after the visit. Four Boy Scouts were later diagnosed with polio.

FDR founded the March of Dimes in 1938. He picture is on the dime commemorates this.

The Culinary Institute has intercollegiate athletics.

Down the rabbit hole…

A chef is responsible for the soul of the food. I didn’t realize there were so many kinds of chef.

Pecking order

  • executive chef – head honcho
  • sous chef – executive chef’s #1
  • chefs de partie – chef in charge of a particular area or station
    -boucher (butcher) chef
    -poissonnier (fish) chef
    -friturier (fry) chef
    -grillardin (grill) chef
    -garde manger (pantry) chef
    -pâtissier (pastry) chef
    -rotisseur (roast) chef
    -chef de tournant (roundsman)
    -saucier (sauté) chef
    -entremetier (vegetable) chef
  • commis chef – junior chef working under a chef de partie to learn a specific station
  • kitchen porter (kitchen assistant) – basic food preparation such as washing salad and peeling potatoes, in addition to basic cleaning duties
  • escuelerie* (dishwasher)- keeper of dishes HA!  Even the person responsible for washing dishes and cutlery gets a fancy title!
    * Escuelerie derives from the word ‘scullery’, a small room adjoining a kitchen, in which dishwashing and other kitchen chores are done.