Ships Log Erie Canal: Amsterdam to the Hudson September 18-20, 2005

Lock 17, at 40 feet, has the highest vertical lift on the canal. At the time of its construction, it was the highest lift lock in the world. It has a guillotine gate, which releases a torrent of water on passing boaters, resulting in the traditional radio call, "Lock 17, thank you for the shower."

At Amsterdam, we again met John and Linda on Paradise Found who we had last seen in Fairport. We also again met the nice Canadian couple and their two children on Manx Cat.

Russo's may look rustic on the outside, and by day is a pensioner's bar. However, at night it becomes a cozy Italian restaurant. We met Paul and Dana outside the Amsterdam Civic Center. When Paul's Grandmother ran Russo's, barge workers would call ahead and order meals to be delivered to the passing canal barges. Paul was visiting from California after a 20-year absence. He was distressed to find the local carpet and knitting mills shut down and the economy in ruins. He related how homes were being sold for as little as a dollar.

In the morning, we left as a caravan of Raven, Paradise Found and Manx Cat for the last stretch of the canal along the wild Mohawk River. We pushed on to get to the "Flight of Five" locks before they closed at 5:00 PM. These last five locks on the Erie Canal drop a total of 160 feet.

Waterford, situated between the end of the Erie Canal and the Hudson River, provided free dockage for the night. In the rainy morning, we motored down the Hudson past Troy and Albany. We nearly ran aground photographing an interesting lighthouse. After passing under the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, we turned up Catskill Creek to find Hop O' Nose Marina in Catskill, NY.

Sean, Paul and Holly run this establishment. They are very professional and a pleasure to be around. They made the stepping of the masts much less of an ordeal than usual. The yard crane was one of the original used to construct the Erie Canal and is still in excellent condition.

Down the street is the building where "Uncle Sam" Wilson lived. It is also the place where the 8th President of the US, Martin Van Buren was married in 1807. It is now a pirate bar.

Lighthouse photos through out our site are of ones we passed and relied on for safe navigation.