Saturday, September 27, 2008

Very special light house

Today we had our mast stepped up and we thoroughly cleaned the boat. We have a sail boat again. Tomorrow we will leave early in the morning and head toward New York city. We are planning to spend about 4 days.

On the Hudson river, we could see un very special light house with a low maintenance yard. A yard specifically tailored for Diane.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Through the Erie Canal

We are finally in the Hudson River after motoring through the Oswego and Erie canals. Both canals have a total length of about 235nm or 437km and we had to go through 30 locks of which the most impressive was definitively lock E17 with a lift of 40.5ft. You can see the massive door of E17 on the picture on the right.
Before it open, you can hear a big "bang" banggggg" "bangggggggg". It felt as if a monster on the other side of the door was knocking at it! That was impressive!
This trip through the New-York Rivers and Canals was a very nice ride with nature on both side of the narrow and something very straight waterway.
We stopped at many of the villages with European names along the waterway to spend the night since locks were open only from 7am until 5pm.
Of course the fact that we just couldn’t seem to get up and leave sooner than 10am every morning definitively didn’t speed things up! But hey! Aren’t supposed to be in vacation? Well you should have seen us in Amsterdam NY, where we took our folding bicycles and went to Wall-Mart and the grocery.
We asked people where was the grocery store and they told us to keep going for about 2 miles. After a while we couldn't see any stores or groceries so we asked again, well they told us to keep going for about 2 to 3 miles again. Ouch! another 2 to 3 miles? Let's say that Amsterdam is literally built on a hill and the slope was so steep for our office legs that we had to walk haft the way up beside our bicycles. The way back was quite ride though, downhill all the way. Hill was so abrupt that Danielle's bike started to do some strange noises when she braking and she was braking all the time!! Anyway, we found the grocery and the Wall-Mart after a long bike ride/walk!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Passage of "clean" locks

Today we passed 6 locks. One of them was 27' high. We thought that our fenders will get stuck between the wall and the boat and this is why Roger is seating on the boat ready to push the boat from the wall but don’t worry, it can’t happen. The wall was so “greasy” that our fenders were smoothly sliding against it. When we got out, our clean fenders that were white before leaving Clayton were now covered with this brown compound that cannot be distinctly named. The trick keep Chocobo off the wall was to sit on the side of the boat and to push the wall with our feet away from the wall until the lock was full. Then we stood up to get the boat out of the lock. The first time we walked on the white surface of the deck with our running shoes full of that unnamed stuff while all your steps were clearly marked on the deck. The following lock we got the idea and made sure to swiped our running shoes on the top of the wall, which was dry, before standing up. That was the trick to pass a lock here! Now we are ready to go to the others, there are 23 of them left.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Position update

We found a way to update our position in using our satelite phone. We will update it every time we move so, don't forget to follow our progress.

In Oswego with our mast down

We finally got our mast down 2 days ago and motored to Oswego yesterday. We pass our first lock today and are well attached to the wall for free!!

An employee of the marina climbing at the top of the mast!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Great Departure!

Well finally after many years of preparation this is it. Today we are leaving Clayton NY into the first country of our trip; The United States of America.
First we are going to head toward Sackets Harbour NY where we will get our mast down. With the mast sitting on the side of the boat we will then motor through Lake Ontario to Oswego NY, which is the entrance to the Erie Canal. The canal will take us to the Hudson River where we get the mast up again and then sail south to New-York City.
We did all the essential tasks on the boat and the food pantry is overflowing! As a matter of fact we think that the boat begins to be seriously overweighed and the water level on the hull may be too high. We’ll see how the boat behaves as we go. In worst case we will have to throw some less essential stuff overboard such as water and fruits in order to keep the life essential goods such as wine and rum. On a boat everything is a matter of priority!

We also went to Kingston to sell the car to a “Car Recycle” facility. In other words we got $325 for the metal! But this means that now our main mean of transportation are our folding bicycles. They are nice but trust me, this reduces significantly our transport range. Shopping for grocery will never be the same.
The only thing that we haven’t been able to get working so far is the HF radio, which is required to post our position on the Web. Because of that we won’t be able to post our position while on the way. At this point we will not have access to the Internet as often as we did until now. Therefore, it will take some time before we can update you on our progress but please stay tuned.