Jun 15 to Jun 21 2012

June 15, 2012

We were up at 0430hrs in order to catch the flood tide at 0500hrs only to be knocked dead in the water by an engine that would not turn over!

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Day time view of Peekskill Bay…may as well enjoy the view, looks like we will be here awhile…

Steve worked tirelessly for hours trying to get the engine to start. When we were in New York City, he did a Google search about our starter issue and discovered this problem is quite common with old Yanmars. The fix is adding a secondary solenoid and to run a larger gauge wire from the ignition to the starter to help deliver more power. We were able to pick up an internet connection in our anchorage. We ordered the parts we needed to do the repair and had them shipped to Castleton. The only thing left to do was get the bloody thing going to get to Castleton – minor hiccup. Did I mention Steve worked for HOURS?!!?!? He’s my hero!! I would have put up the For Sale sign by 0600hrs ;) By around 1300hrs we decided to call around to see if a mechanic was available. We found one near Haverstraw but he was only available until 1700hrs today and not at all on the weekend. We would need to have the boat towed to the marina. I called Tow Boat US and they couldn’t get to us on time to make the 1700hrs cut off. Oh and to stay at Haverstraw marina was 2.25$ a foot per night – not a chance! We resigned ourselves to spending the weekend at anchor then we would have the boat towed to Haverstraw Marina on Monday morning.

Steve reviewed his manuals one more time and found a potential way to start the engine in Marine Diesel Engine by Nigel Calder. Steve hotwired the engine and got the beast started again.

By 1500hrs we were underway and could start the motor without electrocuting  Steve – yahoo!!

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One of the many awesome views along the Hudson River

We covered about 17 miles and anchored near Marlboro on the east side of the river. We watched a movie then fell quickly asleep.

June 16, 2012

Up and underway by 0600hrs. The engine started with Steve’s by-pass trick. We had an easy motor day taking in the sights along the Hudson River to Castleton.

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Lighthouse with mountains in the background

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Industry in nature

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Big barge…don’t worry there is lots of room between it and the historical lighthouse

We made pretty good time running with the tide. We average about 6kts for most of the day. With a stop in Catskill for fuel, water and ice, we arrived in Castleton by 1645hrs covering almost 60 miles.We tied up to a mooring ball then headed to shore to get registered and have a nice shower. Castleton Boat Club has got to have the cheapest moorings around – it’s 5$ with free range of their facilities, free WIFI with a strong connection and 50$ to use the masting crane.

We had supper and made a plan to take the mast down; preps tomorrow then take it town on Monday. Our parts should be on by Monday so Steve can do the repair on Tuesday and with any luck be underway again by Wednesday.

June 17, 2012

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We love The Castleton Boat Club J

For some strange reason I woke this morning and looked at my watch I thought it read 0845hrs. “The day is half over!!” I got up, got changed, put coffee on then turned on my computer to check my email to discover it was actually 0700hrs!! Oh well, since I was up now so I went for a little jog down main street Castleton. These cool mornings (low 50s) make for pleasant runs. My body protests at times but I do the miles regardless and feel pretty good about it afterwards.

After my run, we had a lazy morning of internet and reading. We aren’t terribly motivated to do too much today plus it’s too windy to take down the sails anyway. By mid-afternoon and after a nap ;) the wind subsided enough to take down the sails, the boom and pack it all away. Our living space is shrinking by the minute. Our berth has been a storage area since leaving the Bahamas and is now further stuffed by sails. I don’t know how we got it all in here when we left in September.

June 18, 2012

Not much to report today. Except that it is a very cold, cloudy and windy day. Almost feels like fall. It’s the perfect kind of day to spend curled up with a good book and not taking down a mast. It’s so cold my tan is running in protest from my skin!

By mid-afternoon, it warmed up some so while I went for a jog. Steve installed the crutches and we called it a day.

Movies and snacks ensued ;)

June 19, 2012

We were up and at ‘em by 0830hrs and at the masting crane by 1000rs. We managed to get the mast was down and secured by 1230hrs. With Steve’s careful planning, we were able to do the job with just the two of us and we didn’t lose any fingers.

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We are now a motor boatL!

We celebrated with lunch at the Village Inn. It was just as good if not better than last year. By far the best French fries we’ve had all year. The burger and sandwich were excellent too. It was so good, we may have to do it again tomorrow J

Our parts should arrive by tomorrow before 1630hrs – booOOOooooooo - so much for two-day shipping. Now, we wait.

Movies and snacks ensued ;)

June 20, 2012

It is hot, hot, hot!!! I went for a quick run then we hung out for most of the morning in the Club House where the air-conditioning was a plenty while we waited for our package. It arrived around 1130hrs – yay!! We celebrated (it doesn’t take much) with a repeat of yesterday’s lunch at the Village Inn – delicious again!!

We are heading out with tide around 1330hrs…

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We were underway by 1400hrs and safely tied up to Lock 4 of the Champlain Canal by 1930hrs!! We didn’t realize how close we were to the Champlain Canal. I checked our Ship’s Log from 2006 and we were tied up to this exact place on June 27, 2006. We ordered pizza from the lock then so we ordered pizza tonight J Here are a few snaps from the trip:

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Coming through Albany, NY

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The Troy Bridge

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Entering the Champlain Canal

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One of the many low bridges along the Champlain Canal – we are a little nervous as we have not adjusted to our new height yet. We find consolation by reminding ourselves that we had enough clearance the last two times we should have enough clearance now.

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Lock 4 – Pizza on the way!

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Diana tied up on the north end of Lock 4 for the night

June 21, 2012

Birthday Announcement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is Steve’s lovely mother Betty’s Birthday today J

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“Happy Birthday Mom! Bahamas”

This heat wave is no joke. It’s so hot that I can’t even think of anything funny to say about it. I don’t think I slept much at all last night. Since we were tied up in the lock we didn’t get enough of a breeze to cool down the cabin or keep the bugs away – misère!! It’s almost better to be doing this system in the rain. It’s much cooler and keeps the bugs away.

Steve however is not as affected by the heat as I am and went right to work this morning after a good night’s sleep to do the starter repair. He installed a secondary solenoid which allows the primary solenoid the voltage it needs to turn the starter motor. The install took about an hour or so and boy was it worth it. The engine starts up without worry and with a new found gusto!

We were underway by 1100hrs and through the lock system by 2000hrs. We are ever amazed at the efficiency of this canal system. The grounds are well kept, the service through the locks is fast and friendly.

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Dredging Project along the Champlain Canal

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These guys are hard at work keeping the channels clear i

Travel up the Hudson River and through the Champlain Canal is a very different experience this time around. It is the first year where there has been no flooding and very little debris in the water. However, this heat is not making it pleasurable at all. Steve and I try to keep cool but drowning ourselves in cold drinks. At Lock 8, we were greeted by a cheery lock tender, Cheryl. We both complained about the heat and made a few jokes. Before opening the north gate to let us through she brought us a couple of Freezies!!! I was just talking about how much I wanted a popsicle and Cheryl read my mind and gave us one which made our day J

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Lock 8 tender, Cheryl – we love you!!

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Sweaty, hot and enjoying my Freezy – happiness J 

The canal is swampy in parts (another reason to do it in the rain) so to make matters more uncomfortable, by mid-afternoon we were under attack by swarms of deer flies… Now, Steve can handle extreme weather, difficult repairs and whatever else you throw his way without complaint but deer flies, mosquitoes, black flies, horse flies – any fly really, will drive him crazy! We actually contemplated ditching the boat on a free dock and finding a motel for the night ha! Needless to say, the last few locks were a test of endurance as we massacred deer flies while trying to stay cool.

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Pretty scenery along the Champlain Canal – getting close to the end

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Finally, Lock 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lock 12 ends in Whitehall, NY. The Lock 12 Marina was closed to so we stopped at the Whitehall Marina, just across the river for fuel, water and ice. One of the marina owners met us on the dock to help us fuel. The marina didn’t offer much in regards to services as it is going through a transition. It did offer a little restaurant where I was able to buy some diet Pepsi. The community is under a boil water advisory so we were unable to get water.We did fill up on ice. For 1.50$/foot it wasn’t worth it for us to stay here overnight. We continued up the river to find an anchorage.

As we rounded the corner into the narrows of Lake Champlain our noses were assaulted by the smell of sewage. The river was covered in algae and could assume the reason for the boil water advisory. We tried our best to get as far up river as possible to escape the smell. We anchored in Maple Bend where it smelled much better but the bugs!! Oh the bugs!!! We ran for the cabin and threw up the screens as soon as the anchor was set. We managed to keep the mosquitoes out but were invaded by millions (I’m exaggerating…a little) of little flies that didn’t bite but were attracted to any source of light. Reading with our little headlamps brought them inside the cabin but once the lights were out they pretty much stayed out and we settled in for a good night’s sleep.