Wed / Thur, Jun 27-28. Departed Poughkeepsie Yacht Club and headed the short distance (10 miles) to Kingston, NY arriving there late morning. Took a slip at the City Marina which is right downtown. Several good restaurants and the Hudson River Maritime Museum within a 2 minute to 5 minute walk. There were several Looper boats here (Sea Trolley, Mikey Likes it, & Hardwork) and we gathered for “docktails” at the picnic table next to the slips. The first night we dined at Mariner’s Club and second night at Old Savannah Club. Both very good.

In the morning and in the rain, Bob and I took a long tender ride up the river to where it ends at Eddyville Falls which is half water fall – half spillway. Later in the day, we toured the Maritime Museum which was centered around the Hudson River’s history, river boats and commerce. We truly have enjoyed going to all these museums and learning about the area’s history.

Fri / Sun/Mon, Jun 29 – Jul 1. Our Looper convoy was headed to Shady Harbor Marina in New Baltimore, NY and since we didn’t have our next destination planned decided to join the gang and arrived in the afternoon. Beautiful marina right on the Hudson with a great restaurant, Boat House Grill, on property.  It is amazing to sit on your boat and watch a huge cargo freighter or barge pass close by. First night, we dined in the bar area and watched a Yankee’s / Red Sox’s game. Second night, we dined with 3 other Looper boats (Texas Two Step, Sea Trolley, & Mikey Likes it).

They are having a heat wave with alerts here and so we have spent much time in the comfort of our air conditioned cabin on the boat. The heat index is 107 degrees and if the water looked more inviting we would be in it. I don’t ever remember being in such hot weather. Dined on the boat but met with the Looper gang at 7:00pm under the trees.

Originally, our plans were to take the Lake Champlain route instead of turning left or west after the Troy Federal Lock just past Albany, NY. However, since we have no ties to the Champlain route and are enjoying our Looper friends, we decided that we would alter our plans and take the Erie Canal route.

So Monday morning all the boats headed out and we met up in Waterford, NY at the free town dock. Before arriving in Waterford, we had to pass through our second lock of the trip. The Troy Federal Lock is a huge lock (just under 500′ long) as it transits both commercial and recreational traffic. Since it was originally built for commerce, the pipes to tie on to are 75′ apart and is challenging for the recreational boater. We had to tie our bow line and stern line to the same pipe and as the water rises or falls in the lock, you need to adjust accordingly. And of course, our additional challenge is the dinghy which we hip-tied. All went smoothly and soon we joined our friends at Waterford. Would have loved to provide a photo but our hands were occupied with locking through.

Monday night 6 Looper boats (12 of us) met for dinner at McGreivey’s restaurant and pub for dinner. In addition to Sea Trolley, Mikey Likes it, and Texas 2 Step, we were joined by Tiki Queen and gold loopers Still Waters. Great food in a place you wouldn’t expect (as some of these towns look pretty depressed) and the company fun. Bob snuck over to the bar to watch the Yankee’s game for a bit and met Ed who works on the Erie Locks we were to transit on Tuesday.

Tues, Jul 3. The historic Erie Canal! Or our first locks on our way west. Waterford is next to Lock #2 of the Erie so our entire group departed first thing in the morning to try and beat the oppressive heat. We were to transit Locks 2 – 7 today with each lock taking about 30 minutes or more. Locks 2 – 5 are called the “Flight of Five” and they are only about a 1/4 mile apart and take you up to 181′ in elevation (about 35′ per lock) going west. The first few, while you are getting routine down are a bit tense and the heat and diesel fumes don’t help. But we got our routine down and Ed (who works the Locks ) was on top of Lock 3 and took some photos of us. You can see in the photo how far down we are when entering the lock and how high we come up.
Arrived in Schenectady, NY at Mohawk Harbor Marina and will enjoy the 4th of July festivities and a few days here. More about the 4th and our continuing adventure next week.