Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend

We took advantage of our time at Catskill to sight see, run errands, tackle a few boat chores, do laundry, visit friends, and re-stock our provisions.

Thursday noon Slade and Susan took us to Hudson, just across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, for lunch. We met them at the Ranger Tug Rendezvous in Florida back in February. Boating is a small world!
Church in Hudson

A mural in Hudson

Hudson has numerous art galleries, antiques stores, and restaurants- it reminded us of Galena, IL.

Friday we drove north to Waterford to check out the town and our next stopover. The Erie Canal begins here. Who among us didn't learn the words to the Erie Canal song in grade school music class a few decades ago??

"Got an old mule, her name is Sal. 15 years on the Erie Canal..."
This is the start of the Erie Canal, which goes west to Buffalo.

Erie Canal to the left.
We will not be turning left here- we will go right, up the Champlain Canal towards Lake Champlain and Canada.

Our route will take us under the bridge and through this lock.
Arriving at the Visitor Center, we were pleasantly surprised to see "Diadema," the boat we met back in Great Kills and again here at Catskill, tied up along the wall. Barbara and Jorge were not on board, but we found them at a nearby grocery store and enjoyed lunch together at Don & Paul & Annie's Coffee Shop. Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic.

This homemade wooden boat had two tiers of solar panels to power its batteries. Another boat hit it while attempting to dock and knocked off the top tier of panels.

A large crane was brought in to lift the broken panel up. We did not stick around to see the end results.

That night we saw "Solo," the new Star Wars movie. I liked it but Mark thought it had too much action. I didn't know that was even possible for him!

Friday night we went to a play at the Bridge Theatre. We saw "Leni," the true story of a talented female German filmmaker who was a friend of Hitler's. There were only two actors in the play, but it was surprisingly complex and well done.

Saturday was boat chore day. Mark tested our windlass to make sure we can lower and raise the anchor. We've never anchored out on this boat, but we definitely will during the Canadian portion of our trip. This boat has much smaller capacities for water, fuel, and waste than Mara Beel I- so we are augmenting our 50 gallon water tank with two five-gallon solar showers and two five-gallon water jugs. Cooking and washing dishes uses a lot of water, so we will switch to paper plates and a few frozen entrees while we are on the hook. We hope to be able to anchor four days before going to a marina for water and a pumpout. The adventure continually evolves.

Next - dinghy practice. we have a blow-up dinghy that we have never used, which is stored on our roof. Mark hoisted it down and inflated it with our 12-volt pump. The 2.5 hp motor is stored mounted on our rail, so he took it down and attached it to the dinghy. Fortunately it weighs a mere 38 pounds. Tiny boat = tiny dinghy.

It works!
We took a ride around Catskill Creek and checked out the other marinas.

Our tiny home on the water

We found another Looper couple- Dan and Lurita on "Proper State of Mind" and had docktails on their spacious Grand Banks.

Sunday we drove about two hours to Utica and met our good friends Pam and John. Their boat, "Short Vacation," spent the winter on the hard in Winter Harbor, NY. They are busy getting ready to splash her later this week. It was wonderful to be reunited with these two fun and wonderful people! We spent the night in a hotel and talked about old times and their travels in Canada last summer.

We first met when we were all in the boat shopping phase of Looping.

Dressing our fenders
From now on we will be transiting literally dozens of locks with gunky walls that our fenders will rub against. John and Pam advised us to buy cheap t-shirts to cover our fenders, which can then be thrown away.

We arrived back at our boat today to discover that the dinghy motor has a tiny leak in the gas tank which is dripping into our cockpit. We are again reminded of the boat wisdom that says, "Everything on a boat is broken- you just haven't found it yet." So true! Mark is working on safely draining the gas from the motor, and we hope to find a replacement gas tank in Burlington, VT, later this week.

Tomorrow we will be back on the water!

So long, Rip Van Winkle

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