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Captain Log ID: 1039
Title: Up the Erie Canal
Boat Name(Id): BlueJacket ( 58)
Sailor Name(Id): Geoff Schultz ( 306)
Geo Region: NY
Date of Occurance: 2008-07-13
Latitude: N 43º   1.2'
Longitude: W 75º   1.68'
Sender (if email-in): wcz5101@NO_SPAM
Earlier log from "BlueJacket":  1038
Newer log from "BlueJacket":  1043
        Page visited 494 times since created         Edit This Log

Ahoy from the crew of the BlueJacket,

Pulling MastI just looked at the date of my last log posting, and even though it was only 4 days ago, it feels like it was ages ago. A ton of stuff has happened since then, so I'll try my best to bring you up to date.

When I last posted, we were about to get the mast pulled. The Hop-o-Nose marina in Catskill was the last marina on the Hudson river who would pull the mast. They use a 100 year old fixed crane to pull the mast and then they put the mast on a floating dock which gets maneuvered around to the travel lift which then picks the mast up and deposits in on blocks. Then Sue and I wrapped the entire mast, boom and a few other parts in foam and then shrink-wrapped everything. I can describe this in two sentences, but believe me, it's an amazing process to watch and take part in. I've never seen anything like this before! As a matter of a fact, I created a video showing only this process. You can find it at: http://www.geoffschultz.org/2008_Sailing/Photos/

We ended up staying in Catskill for a day longer than planned and on Friday we headed northward. Friday morning was one of those mornings that made me feel very alive. A cold front had come through during the day before and all of the hazy skies were gone and were replaced with crisp air and deep blue skies. Friday morning was calm and the and water was like glass. Tendrils of mist rose from the surface and bird calls filled the air. It was truly a magical morning which reminded me why I love my time aboad the boat.. It was also very interesting to watch the terrain change as we moved north. When we left Catskill we were surrounded by towering Appalachian foothills but within a few hours the hills gave way to flat lands. By early afternoon we passed Albany and I must say that the landscape was pretty boring as we were between I-87 and industrial plants along the water.

BlueJacket in LockLater in the afternoon we approached Troy, NY, which had our first lock that we had to transit. It was was fairly small at 24' and we had no problems handling the lock. We then got to spot where we needed to bang a left and head west up the Erie Canal. That was an exciting moment! Almost as soon as we entered the Erie Canal, we also entered Waterford, NY and decided to stop at their free docks for the evening. Not only do they provide free dockage on new floating docks, but they also provide free power! The only down side is that the decorator for their bathrooms seems to have been previously employed by their prison system...Anyhow, that night we met up meeting Peter and Carol Joneitz, who were good friends from Marlboro. The next day they helped move BlueJacket through the first 6 locks.

The Erie Canal actually runs for 340 miles, but we'll only be on it for only 114 miles of that length. The first 5 locks, which are located within 2.5 miles of the start, raise you up 184 feet! That's amazing! You exit one lock and almost immediately enter another one. Over all, you'll lock upwards 420' in 114 miles using 20 locks. That will definitely be BlueJacket's highest altitude. Right now we're just past lock 17, which is at 363' feet.

Erie LockMost of the locks haven't provided any real challenges, however, lock 6 was the exception. The guide books indicated that there were large holes in the walls, but I wasn't expecting that there was a large undercut which was deep enough that the inflatable fenders, which keep the boat away from the wall, would completely disappear into the undercut and allow the top of the hull to contact the wall. That placed a 6" long, deep scratch, just above the rub-rail where toe-rail meets the hull. Luckily it was only a scratch which can easily be repaired with fiberglass paste and paint. We've had no problems with the other locks. You can find a video of us going though some of the locks at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYUAb8MIQok

These have been long days, with Sue and I moving BlueJacket for close to 10 hours per day. I've been surprised at how tired I've been, and Sue's even more worn due to her recovery from surgery. However, she's doing well and is actually feeling stronger every day.

So that's what we've been up to...Hope that you're doing well. Keep in touch!

-- Geoff and Sue