Tuesday, 30 October 2012

We survived the wrath of SANDY!

It was a crazy night, we were evacuated around 7:30 to the convention centre. We walked through a foot or two of water, climbed over downed trees and fences to get there. We waited there for a couple of hours and left when waves started spraying up on the second story windows.  We then waded through 2-3 feet of water and more downed trees to hide out in the second story of the marina. As the tide started going down the winds subsided some and around 3:30 we headed back to the boat. The docks were all seized and we had to climb around some of the cross braces. The boat made out ok and we grabbed a couple hours sleep.  This morning we surveyed the carnage and counted ourselves lucky to have made out ok.  Waiting now for the next high tide and tail end of storm, but expect the worst is over.  We are very thankful we chose this marina and the dock we are at.  Every other marina, except one, around here is gone, I mean all docks and boats are on shore or sunk.
This boat broke its stern mooring away at noon today

Notice the dock floats
North end of Marina did not make out as well, boats sunk
This is where the gas dock and used to be
Thank god for those cross braces, that is kept our dock from going over the pilons
This is 4 boats down, horizontal cross brace held the dock from floating away 

Monday, 29 October 2012

... A good time or a good story?

Every occasion in life can be categorized as a good time or a good story...

Today we are still safely docked and experiencing fairly heavy winds (50 knots). Roads surrounding the marina have been closed. Schools in NYC are closed and hundreds of thousands of people have been mandated to evacuate. The storm surge is expected to be up to 11 feet in NY city but we hope we will experience less than half that here. High tide is due again at 1:26 am and that is also when the worst of the storm is expected to hit.  It could be a long night and pretty scary throughout tomorrow, but we are safe and comfortable for now.
Pasquale and Rob were over for pizza and movies tonight; we watched storm strategies to get in the mood.  We have now been evacuated to the conference centre and are watching the storm from the second story, the first is flooded. We are in good company an opportunity to share good times and good stories. More later as tide peaks.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Storm update

When we returned from lunch in town I thought I heard wind chimes, but it was the halyards from many boats clanging against masts.  

The bad weather started to roll in around 3 pm. The temperature has dropped and the wind has picked up. Al is securing a couple more dock lines and I am indoors with a cup of tea and some fresh baked ginger cookies :)  We stocked up at the grocery store so have plenty of munchies and movies to get us through the next couple of days.

Many of you have asked what it is like to live onboard and I assure you it is quite comfortable and not at all claustrophobic. A couple of pictures of the interior follow.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Preparing for hurricane Sandy

We are safe and sound here in Haverstraw Bay where we will stay until the storm passes.  We were moved to another dock closer to the seawall so are even better protected.  We were lucky to arrive here when we did as they have decided not to take in any transients for the storm; however since we were already here they did not turn us away.

We spent the day getting things ready for the storm which is due to hit tomorrow afternoon or Monday.  There are still a number of boats in the water and owners have been showing up to secure them well.  Tomorrow we will go into town for supplies.  Our friends from Hammertime II have rented a car and offered us a lift so we will be able to stock up.

There is a convention centre on the bay and we were told that if it gets dangerous everyone from the marina will evacuate there to wait out the storm.  Everyone here has been friendly and we are in good company with locals who have been through this before and know what to expect.

Now that we have decent internet connection I will post a few pictures from the last few days on the Hudson River between Waterford and Haverstraw Bay.
Putting up the mast in Catskill, NY
Lighthouse on the Hudson


WestPoint Military College

Friday, 26 October 2012

Busy last couple of days - time to rest!

We started our trip down the Hudson River on Tuesday morning and arrived in Catskill at Hop-o-Nose marina late Tuesday afternoon.  Right away we started preparations to have the mast stepped (raised). There was lots to do and it took most of Wednesday morning to complete the job. There was a good restaurant at the marina and we had an enjoyable dinner with Pasquale and Rob from Hammertime II.   We stayed another night and headed out around noon on Thursday. That night we docked (in the dark) at Whites Marina in New Hamburg one of the few places between Catskill and Haverstraw Bay that we could take on fuel and get a pump out.

Everywhere we go people are making preparations for the hurricane.  The canals have been dumping water and will close tomorrow until the storm has passed by.  Marinas are hauling in their boats and docks in preparation for expected flooding. It has been suggested that Haverstraw Marina is the safest place to wait out the storm so that is where we are, and hope to stay, for the duration.  As I type, Pasquale and Rob pulled in beside us hoping to weather out the storm here as well. The marina is busy hauling out their own boats in an effort to make room for everyone who has called from New York and upriver looking for safe harbour.  They said they would let us know in the morning if the can accommodate us for the next few days.  Lets hope so!  

 This marina is well set up with sailmakers, canvas shop and repair depot and parts store all in the bay.  Al has gone off to get the genoa sail restitched as we noted it needed a small repair when we took it down. He is also enquiring about some repairs to the canvas, they are not critical; but since we will be here for a few days, he thought he would look into it.

I am learning quickly that on the boat there is always a long list of repairs and maintenance items that need taken care of.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Last day on the Erie Canal

We navigated the last 5 locks this morning and docked at the town dock in Waterford.  This section of the canal is called the Waterford Flight; the five locks in this section drop a total of 169 feet in a half mile. This is the biggest drop in the shortest distance for any canal in the world. The locks in this section were all rebuilt after the flood that wiped out this area in 2011 so are in great condition.

While Al tended to some chores onboard I went and did laundry and picked up some groceries. I also got a haircut in town for just $15!  Tonight we are having Pasquale and Rob from HammerTime 2 over for dinner. Believe it or not I have been cooking every night, thank goodness for allrecipes.com LOL

We will be entering the Hudson River tomorrow where we will pass through the last lock at Troy, NY then will stop at Hop-o-Nose marina in Catskill to have the mast put back up.  All the bridges from this point on are either lift/swing bridges or high enough for us to pass under. It will be nice to get the sails up at least some of the time instead of running the motor.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Rome to Canajoharie

We started out this morning in heavy fog which burned off after an hour or so. It was fairly warm today and mostly sunny.  There was lots of debris in the water from the storm yesterday so we had to go slow to avoid hitting the deadheads. Since we are now travelling down hill, the locks are lowering us instead of lifting.  We passed through several locks today including one that lowered us nearly 40 feet.  There were lots of people around watching us go through and I'm sure it looked pretty impressive from their vantage point above the lock.
At another lock, the lock master told us he arrived to work this morning to find a deer swimming in the lock, unable to get out. Who knows how long the poor thing had been there struggling;  however he said the deer made it to shore and went off into the woods when he lowered the water and opened the lock doors.
We stopped in Canajoharie for the evening, there is a nice free public dock with power and water in a pretty park. After getting settled we went for a walk to pick up ice cream to go with the pie I baked this afternoon.
Canajoharie dock for boaters (free hydro and water)
The geese are different here (lunch anyone)

Rain day today

It rained most of the day so we stayed put and did a few chores onboard. Just before dinner the rain finally stopped and we went for a little walk around the town of  Rome, NY.  We stopped at a well stocked hardware store and picked up a few stainless steel cotter pins which we will need when putting the mast back up. Unfortunately it was too late to get a tour of Fort Stanwix, however we did learn that this area was an important trade route for Native Americans known as Oneida Carrying Place and that the fort was built by the British in 1758 to protect the area from attack by the French during the French-Indian war. We also learned that in 1775 Fort Stanwix (renamed Fort Schuyler) was used by the Americans to defend against sieges by British soldiers during the Revolution.

The canal park where we were tied up is a good place to fish for walleye, perch and catfish and several of the locals came to fish from the dock in the evening. The park also has a little waterfall that is nicely lit up at night.  There is no charge for docking at this and many other places along the canal and the lock masters have been helpful in providing information about things to see and do locally.

The two guys we met briefly in Oswego caught up with us around dinner time. With no dodger to protect them from the rain and waves, they had a rough and very wet ride crossing Lake Oneida today in their Benateau 36. I suppose it is a good way to warm up for the Caribbean 1500.  They will join up with a group of other sailors making the crossing from Norfolk to the BVI's - that's ten days at sea with no protection from the weather while at the helm. Hardy souls!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Lake Oneida is a BIG little lake!

We departed Fulton at 7 this morning and had a beautiful sunny trip down the canal. We got to Lake Oneida around noon and began the 19 mile crossing. Winds were strong (30 mph) out of the south.  We were happy to have the cockpit enclosure as the waves were spraying over the deck all the way across the lake. I now understand why we needed a very substantial system for tying down the mast, without that careful preparation the crossing could have been a disaster.

We are now safely docked at Rome, NY for the night and looking forward to another fun day tomorrow!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cruising the Oswego River

Good news! The weather broke and we were able to lower the mast and get on our way.  We departed Oswego at noon and made it through the first 5 locks before stopping in Fulton for the night.

The weather is perfect and the fall colours are at their peak.  It was a very pleasant day, but tiring, so we will be hitting the sack early.  Locks open at 7 and we plan on getting an early start so that we might make it over Lake Oneida tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Laying over in Oswego

We sailed to Oswego yesterday, it was windy (30-50 knots) with 8-10 ft waves. :)) it was a good sail and we were quite comfortable in the enclosed cockpit.

Upon arrival in Oswego we were told that we would have to wait until the winds died down before we could get the crane for unstepping the mast.  We began preparing the mast and supports and by end of day it was apparent we would be spending a night or two waiting out the weather.  Winds stayed strong all day today; however, we are hopeful that tomorrow will be much better and that we will be able to get underway.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Underway at last!

We departed Whitby on Thursday around noon and headed over to Coburg for the night (35 nm). Winds were gusty and there were 4 ft rolling waves.  
Friday morning we left Coburg and headed to Rochester. Winds were 23-28 knots with confused waves which made for a rough ride. (50 nm)
Saturday we biked all day, bought a new fresh water pump and got the wifi device we wanted. It had been over a month since I rode any distance and I sure felt it!  
We left Rochester around noon today and are now at Sodus Bay Yacht Club for the night. (31 nm) It was a nice warm day (20 deg) out on the water with variable winds 10-20 knots. A storm is blowing through tonight and the boat is rocking quite a bit. We hope to get an early start and get into Oswego tomorrow to have the mast stepped so we can start making our way down the canal.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Another busy day! Special thanks to our friends (Madeline, Ross, Mike and Gary) at Fairport Yacht Club, for their assistance towing the boat out of the channel.  Water levels are low everywhere however we were able to get in at Whitby harbour and will stay at the Whitby Yacht Club until we leave. It was a beautiful sunny day for the short ride to Whitby, however there wasn't much wind and we ended up motoring over.

A number of delays have affected our departure date; we now expect to begin our journey on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  Final work on the arch and davits should be completed tomorrow, and installation will hopefully be done by Saturday morning before we head up to Lindsay for dinner with Al's family.

We've got company coming tomorrow so I guess I better get busy and get the place tidied up.