Friday, September 30, 2011

Introduction to Tidal Currents.....

Tom topped off the fuel tanks before we left dock this morning. She was pretty thirsty (160 gallons). We got out at 8:15 and started down the Hudson River. The weather was much improved over yesterday, we were able to sit out on the front deck and enjoy the view. This river is completely different than I expected. Wooded mountains, cliffs, waterfalls, and really expensive mansions all along the river. We passed FDR's home and then Westpoint Academy at 2:30, that place is HUGE and really impressive.

  Regarding Tidal Currents;  I thought we had engine problems or maybe the transmissions were slipping. Nothing changed but our speed, not the RPM's, sound of the engines, no vibrations, no big winds, we just slowed down,         A LOT, for about 3 hours. Then we sped up to a record breaking 12.7 MPH. I told Jack "This damn boat is haunted". It wasn't until I spoke with an old woman at the marina tonight that I realized what had happened. She ask how we did against the tidal currents from Westpoint down and explained that they were pretty strong today. DUH, still got a lot to learn. Not much of a Tidal Current on Lake Erie. 

"Bad Dog, where's the blond?"

West Point Academy, Tom announced the obvious "I think they're playing Air Force this week."

Tucker got his ears crimped last night.

Tom,  lean a little to port.

End of the day waiting for dinner.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

New crew and close calls...

Outgoing crew, Mike, Rick, and Denny.

Incoming crew, Jack, Tom, and Kenny.

Today was the first day for my new crew and a day of close calls.
Close call #1) We started our day by leaving dock and traveling down stream to the Hudson River then realized we were not supposed to be on the Hudson yet. We were supposed to be on the Champlain Canal for another 6 locks. We turned around and went back to port so I could review the charts. After extensive review we found the Champlain Canal joined with the Hudson off and on for the balance of the Canal. We shoved off and retraced our path.

Close call #2) As soon as we entered the Hudson (for the 2nd time) we encountered a 1/2 dozen working dredge barges  - not realizing one of them was being moved upstream by a tug that was directly behind it. The VHF radio shouted at us to take immediate action to avoid collision (we weren't that close but the other captain was apparently a nervous type.)  Afterward he complimented us on our seamanship.

Close call #3) Entering the Federal Lock (after the Champlain Canal locks) Jack, Kenny, and Tom looked at me and simultaneously said "Dick, there's no ropes".   All of the other locks had ropes hanging for the men to grab and stabilize the boat for the drop, this was a large lock and had side pipes requiring us to loop a rope around and slide down as we dropped.

Close call #4) As we left the Federal lock the lock keeper warned us of a tornado warning in effect and sever storms approaching.  He was a damn good weather forecaster. We had lighting, heavy rain, high winds, and debris floating all over the river.

Close call # 5) There was a 100% chance of darkness at the end of the day. We docked in near darkness at a small Marina off the main river and were lucky to find it.

Close call #6 and the scariest of all) After dinner I took Tucker out to do his business. I didn't have him on a leash and he was chasing something that ran under a nearby shed. He worried that shed for a while then finished his job and we returned to the boat. A half hour later Jack and I watched a 30 LB SKUNK crawl out from under the shed.



Jack in the galley where we found him most of the day.

Looming storm clouds.


Tucker helping Jack pull the boat against the lock wall.

Old N. Y. Capitol building.

Best light house yet.

The perfect storm.

The only sun we saw all day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The southern end of Lake Champlain, by far the most scenic part of the trip.

After a hearty breakfast we pushed off at 8:30 heading south through the bottom of Lake Champlain. This was the most scenic two hour stretch of water I have ever been on.We passed through the first 5 locks of the Champlain Canal and docked for the night at the Fort Edwards, New York, Yacht Basin. This is a super dockage with full power, showers, 1.200 foot cement dock, and it's free.

Our next crew Jack, Kenny, (two of my salesman) and Tom (brother in law) arrived at 9:30 to identify where we were docked. They are staying at the Red Roof tonight and will replace Denny, Mike, and Rick tomorrow morning.

Tucker's last trophy.

Denny's ugly little secret.

   You are probably wondering what possible secret could we have uncovered about Denny that would merit today's blog title. All week long Denny has been catching fabulous fish. Bass, Walleye, Pike, Perch, you name it, Denny has caught it. We were suspicious, Denny would disappear for a short time then invariably return with yet another trophy. Today I followed him when he left. Denny had his rod in hand and Tucker trotting along behind as always. The following pictures were taken without Denny's knowledge...

Denny with one of his trophies.

Tucker depositing a fish at Denny's feet.

Tucker pointing at the fish's mouth trying to explain to Denny that's where the hook is supposed to go.

Tucker showing Denny where to cast his lure.

After Denny managed to scare the fish away Tucker followed the fish.

When the fish was near enough, Tucker swooped down and caught the damn thing!!!!

After depositing the fish at Denny's feet, Tucker just shook it off and went in search of another trophy for Denny.


After a smooth trip across Lake Champlain we docked on the southern end and watched the sun set. The shoreline was magnificent on both the New York and Vermont sides.

Tonight's dinner: Kielbasi, Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Stuffing, and Pickled Beets. YUM.