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