Posted on August 21, 2016
End of the Canal, start of the river
We’ve finally eased our way out of the Erie Canal, and are heading south and to New York City on the Hudson.
The second half of the canal was less about the excitement of the locks, for us, and more about visiting family and friends. Our method of travel–motoring, regardless of the weather–and the proximity of the canal to the interstate made it easy to arrange visits.
For people who have a blog, with their kids’ faces splashed all over the internet for the world to see, this will sound weird; but we are actually kind of private people, and want to protect our kids’ internet presence. With that in mind, we hesitate to post pics of other people, especially kids, on our very public blog. We won’t be showing too many photos of our visits, but we were able to meet up with two very dear families from Wisconsin, traveling back home from Maine; the above grandparents; and cousins from upstate New York.
We were able to spend some extra time with the cousins, as they’d rented an apartment in Sylvan Beach. Storms rolled through all weekend, but our family was pretty ecstatic to sit in air conditioning and watch some Olympics. Spending time with family was great, regardless of the weather.
After all the visiting, it was full speed ahead to get a jump on our next plans: mast up, and meeting with Michu’s sister further down the Hudson.
We managed to get through the Canal by the skin of our ten-day pass. To add an additional two days would have only cost us $15, but we were ready to exit. Despite high winds that almost turned us in a circle within lock nine, we made it down the Waterford flight and took our place behind three other mast-down sailboats at the very friendly town dock. Best feature: the KID BOAT right in front of us!
Perla VII is traveling with four girls, all French-speaking; F. has been learning to work around a serious language barrier. Fortunately for my rusty French, the parents’ English is quite good, and we’ve been traveling in concert for the past few days.
I feel like we are entering a third phase of out trip. After our extended time in the Great Lakes, which mostly felt familiar, and our trip through the canal, we are headed to the ocean, learning about tides, sniffing the air for salt. Mostly we’re smelling some funky pollution on the Hudson, but the excitement is building for the coast.
At the moment, we’re holed up at Hop-O-Nose marina, turning our boat back into a sailboat and doing some deferred maintenance. Michu’s just gotten the outboard running again, after a hiatus of two months (yeah, that’s pretty much the whole time we’ve been cruising. Getting pretty good at rowing the dink). We discovered that a mouse had made its home in the exhaust…which may have been affecting the outboard’s performance. Oil change to the diesel, sails bent on, rigging run, resealing the lower unit on the outboard, fixing a broken weld on the stove…and maybe some cleaning. Maybe. The guys at Hop-O-Nose are pros, the dock is only a buck a foot, and there’s a pool. Who knows how long we’ll be here!