Thursday, September 15, 2011


Mechanicville, NY
42 54.27 N 073 41.03 W

Great news: The entire Champlain Canal has been re-opened for navigation. We already moved from lock 12 down to lock 3. Tomorrow we move to Athans. Saturday (hopefully) we put the mast up. By Monday or Tuesday, weather permitting, we'll be out at sea.

The currents in the Hudson are swift. We were making 7.7 knots this morning. So far, we haven't hit the major debris fields. That will come after we are downstream of the confluence of the Mohawk River. Don't worry, we'll be careful. It is rather like navigating one's way between lobster traps or crab traps.

We are only 5 miles from my sister Marilyn's house. But we have no car. Also, this is a week day and Marilyn has her regular schedule. Libby says if we see Marilyn but don't take her out shopping, she'll be upset. So, guilty conscience or not, we won't let her know we are here.

We have been seeing numerous cruising boats along the canal that appear to have nobody on board. It looks like the owners left their boats and traveled elsewhere. After Irene, we heard that there were a number of Canadian boats stranded at the docks at Waterford. Their owners went back to Canada until the canals reopened. A few days later, Tropical Storm Lee came by, the second flood was much worse than the first, and the docks at Waterford were submerged, then destroyed.

I wonder what happened to those Canadian boats. Was the dockmaster forced to cut them loose? If he did, the boats would be destroyed. If he didn't both the boats and docks would be destroyed. Would the dockmaster be liable for damage to the boats for his actions? Were those the boats that washed over the Troy dam just downstream? Note that in this case, both the boats and the docks could not have been saved no matter what the dockmaster did.

Imagining myself faced with the dockmaster's dilemma made me realize the wisdom in some marina policies that say owners must stay with their boats. It is grossly unfair to push the boat owner's decision and potential liability onto the dockmaster of a free city marina.  In the past, we broke those rules and left Tarwathie on moorings in Vero or Marathon while we traveled elsewhere.

Below, a video from Troy after Irene.  13 boats adrift.

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