We woke up this morning in Amsterdam, getting ready to head to Waterford today. It will be a big day with 10 locks today. However, the minute we stepped outside the boat, it became readily apparent we were not going anywhere. We were fogged in! You could not even see the surface of the water or past the boat. Certainly could not see the banks of the canal. We will have to wait until the sun comes out and starts to burn off this fog before we start moving.
So, we made coffee and chatted with Ed and Evelyn about the fog and the travels for the day. We are looking to go about 40 miles today and we will have to go through 10 locks today in that 40 miles. There are 5 locks that are dispersed along the canal but then there are 5 locks at Waterford that are in very quick succession and very close together. These 5 Waterford locks are collectively known as the Waterford flight. Once we start on the Waterford flight of locks you must complete all 5 locks and you may not stop along the route once you start.
We heard from our friend John today, who was stuck in Newark with us, and he is at lock 19 and looking to head to Little Falls today. He was curious about the wall there and what was available. It’s nice to have others that we know scattered at different points along our route and we can all share information about what is happening at different points.
We decided that once we were able to see both banks of the canal, we would declare that the fog had lifted enough for us to depart. Still a bit foggy but pretty.
As we came through lock 10, on the east side of the lock, you can see remnants of damage to the lock from Hurricane Irene from 2011.
A bit further down the canal are the remnants of an aqueduct that was built in 1842.
Just as we were making our way to lock 7, our VHF began alarming and gave us a weather warning. There is a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch for our area. We see the darker storm clouds heading our way and we checked out the radar to determine where this weather was in relation to us. It looks like there is a small blog of rain that will catch up with us, but there is a second wave of weather that appears to be building and getting red on the radar that has us more concerned.
We texted Ed and Evelyn ahead of us and let them know we made the decision to pull up to the wall just before lock 7 and wait out the weather. We felt better being tied to a solid wall rather than running about during the roughest of the weather. It was a good time to make lunch as well. Of course, as I was making lunch the skies opened up and rain down upon us. The wind had picked up pretty significantly as well. The wind was now 20 – 25 knots ahead of the storm.
Once the rain let up, we decided to go through lock 7. Because the wind was still fairly strong, we had a bit of difficulty in the lock getting secured. We got the stern line well enough, however the bow got away from us and was quickly drifting away from the wall. I was able to quickly extend the boat hook all the way and try to reach for the line on the wall as we were drifting away from it. Ed saw we were struggling before we even knew we were. Ed was next to the boat before I knew it and he grabbed the line and tossed it out to me so I could grab a hold of it and get the bow secure. Thanks Ed!
After lock 7, we decided that given the weather and the fact that we were getting fatigued from going through the locks today, we decided to not go through the 5 locks of the Waterford flight today and we would pull over and spend the night at the wall in Crescent and do the Waterford flight of locks when we leave Waterford and we are fresh. 10 locks in one day is too many locks!
The wall in Crescent was not glamorous but it was a place to stay to sleep for the night. There is really only room for 1 or 2 boats here and the wall is in rough shape.
Ed and Evelyn decided to go ahead and go through the Waterford flight and stay at the wall in Waterford. So, it’s here that we said goodbye to our new friends Ed and Evelyn.
Stats for today:
Lift bridges – 0
Fixed bridges – 9
Guard gates – 0
Locks – 4