Sunday, September 8, 2013

Saturday, September 7th

The lock tender had lock 11 filled with water waiting for us just as he said.  As we passed Riverbend Park, we noticed two sailboats tied up along their dock. One was the sv Challenge IV from Quebec and the other sv Haven from Brittish Columbia.  These are the first sailboats that we've come across heading east like us.  As it turns out, the three of us all tied up along the wall just above lock #3.  We all were planning on staying the night in Waterford, at the end of the canal but the lock #6 tender said there was a tugboat festival going on at the city docks and we would not find a tie up.  He gave us permission to stay west of lock #3.  Grand Blue stayed there too but on the north bank....we 3 sailboats were on the south bank of the canal.

As we were waiting for lock 10's green light to enter, sv Challenge IV above, pulled up beside us.  She actually went through lock 10, 9, and 8 with us.  When we got to the Schenectady Yacht Club, we decided to pull in to fuel up. So we lost Challenge IV until we tied up for the night.  This section of the canal has few places that sell diesel fuel.  Another boater told us the reason was that the number of boats traveling the canal is decreasing and diesel can't be stored for a long length of time without it going bad.  It was easy to pull up along their fuel dock which was very low but the club had two attendants who came out and took our lines.  They were very friendly and accommodating.  Diesel here cost $4.19 per gal. and a pump out cost $5.

Grand Blue caught up to us again at lock 7.  When we spent last night at Amsterdam, they pulled in before us at Fonda.  Once we passed through the lock, they took off only to be seen again when we tied up for the night. 
Now it's on to the "Flight of Five" which are five locks: 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 which are all within 1.5 miles of each other.  You exit one lock and immediately it seems you are ready to enter the next.  When we were near lock 6, I called the tender to let him know we were approaching from the west.  He said that it would take about 20-30 minutes because he was lowering 2 boats (sv Challenge IV and a Grand Blue) and then would have to fill the lock again for us.   It was a little tricky here because when the green light told us to 'come on in' we thought we were entering the lock.  Instead, the tender had opened the closed guard gate.  We actually passed through two guard gates to get to lock 6.  It was so quiet and peaceful along this stretch motoring to lock 6.  We saw eagles soaring over head.....what a sight!
We tied up at the cement wall above lock 3 at approximately 4:00 pm.  Jacques and Mary from Challenge IV came to catch our lines.  Shortly after, sv Haven tied up in front of us.  After talking to them for awhile and then getting settled in, we decided to walk into town.  To get there we had to cross over the walkway above the lock, then over the bridge above the dam and through a tall gate with a lock.  Come to find out, when this tender leaves his job at 6:00 he has to lock the gate.  This meant that if we didn't get back in time, we would be locked out on the opposite side of the canal.  :(     The tender tried to make amends by leaving his building unlocked so we could take showers.  It was terrible.  One tiny shower stall with no water pressure!!  It was a free stay though and we did have electricity so it's hard to complain.  Surprise, the electrical plugs are in the base of the street lights....clever.....and the tugboat festival had the most awesome fireworks that we've ever seen.  We didn't think they were ever going to end.   

Dam beside lock 3

1 comment:

  1. You are moving right along. How do you like your new Garmin chart plotter? I liked ours. Nice postings Betty.