Saturday, June 30, 2012

Praise General Electric

En Route, Erie Canal near Whitehall
43 22.64 N 073 29.27 W

Just a few weeks ago, we remarked in this blog that the bottom of our keel had an unusual number of barnacles because it was so long since we ran aground. Well, we solved that yesterday.  We did it good.

It is the weekend and we can't get the mast stepped until Monday.  Therefore, we were in the mood to do a little exploring of places we haven't been before.   At Lock 7, right next to ground zero of G.E.'s dredging of PCBs in the Hudson, there is a side channel that leads up to the Fort Edward Boat Basin.  We've never been there before.

We called ahead to inquire about water depth.  "Six feet", they said.
OK, up we go.   Well, we got only halfway there when bang, we were high and dry on a sand bank.   We've been aground before but this time Tarwathie was riding more than a foot higher than ever before above the water line.   Uh oh.

Well, first we called for help on the VHF.  The lock keeper thought that he might be able to raise the water level.  He also put in a call to Tug 44, a privately owned vessel the subject of the very popular www.tug44.org   In the meantime, I put on my bathing suit and swam a line over to a tree on shore so we could kedge off.  I didn't mind the swim, it felt good on a hot day.

Before we got too far, a skiff with a man and a 50HP outboard came over to help.  The G.E. dredging project had sent him.  Not only that, but this guy knew well how to do it.  Soon he had us heeled way over 30 degrees, then he dragged us sideways off the sand bank.  Thank you very much G.E. and G.E.'s contractors.

The man told us that if we had stuck closer to the green side we would have been OK.  Pilot error, plain and simple.  Libby was very happy that she was not at the helm at that time.

The other good thing is that we no longer get upset or terrified when we run aground on mud or sand.  We just calmly set about the job of getting off.   That attitude must be wiped before the next time we visit Maine.  Running aground on rocks is something entirely different.

Oh well, the Fort Edward Yacht Basin will forever remain just out of our reach.

FLASH: I anticipate getting sight of Vermont within the hour!.  Hooray!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yep. I ran aground there with my Hallberg Rassy Mistral (4' draft) right around the RR bridge a few years ago. I thought GE dredged that a couple of years ago as a practice run before dredging the river. Guess it didn't happen. Too bad, I really liked Ft. Edward's free dock.

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