Bonus time! Sometimes we stash photos to use in a post but then forget where we put them. Like this one of the barge that was taking New York garbage to New Jersey, or was taking New Jersey garbage to New York, or was taking garbage to dump offshore someplace.
Whatever he was doing, we don’t see many garbage barges in Arizona.
Anyway, a few days and one post ago, we barely made it into Coeymans Landing after a long day of feeling stupid. In case we sounded overly dramatic, here’s a beautiful 65-foot non-looping Fleming. At 6 p.m. on Tuesday we watched her get stuck in the mud at the entrance, right where we’d have gotten stuck if we’d arrived five seconds later than we did.
Fortunately the tide was rising so about a half hour later they started moving. When they slowly passed us along the face dock, Mrs. Fleming—preparing lines on the bow—was quick to say to anyone within earshot “Well they told us to come in at 6:30 but . . .” At the ellipsis she was pointing derisively up at her husband, who was piloting from the flybridge. And that’s exactly why Doug was stressed when they told us to arrive at 2. It wasn’t the shallow water per se. It was the fear of giving Dana yet more reasons to point derisively.
Yanni is a devilishly-handsome Greek musician who is famous for composing and performing exactly no music that appeals to either of us. Yanni’s Too—no relation—is a wonderful seafood restaurant located about a hundred feet from where we docked. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Grrr. But Coeymans still was a most excellent stop for more reasons than the dinner we shared with New Horizon and Miss Lily.
First, Sean hopped right up and expertly removed the stuff that needed removing if we want to go to Montreal.
Dude was awesome, standing up there in thirty-knot winds.
Second, Coeymans has Hudson. The swan, not the river. Hudson apparently has his own Facebook page. Dude was awesome, swimming around and eating out of his food dish.
As much as we love Coeymans, however, rain is a-comin’. If we go to Schuylerville on Wednesday, we can wait out the Thursday storms. Plenty of time on the off-day to finish cleaning the engine room and to binge-watch shows on the Acorn TV subscription Dana’s mom and step-dad gifted us.
Schuylerville is past Albany, so we passed Albany too. Albany is famous as the place our friend Patrick went to college. It’s also the capital of New York, where many important events took place and where then-Governor Eliot Spitzer canoodled with hookers who weren’t his wife.
There’s a long list of visual images that cause an immediately-traumatic shock-and-despair response. For example, seeing a man in a hockey mask with a running chainsaw at your door at 2 a.m. Or seeing a public Instagram post of your daughter holding hands with someone wearing a shirt that says “Florida Gators” or “Roll Tide” on it. Terrifying. Right there near the top of the list is seeing an unexpected bilge pump indicator light come on. If a bilge pump is running, there’s something filling the bilge. If that something is raw water, you fear that your last memory will be wondering why you didn’t install a one-million GPM pump. As we approached the Federal Lock at Troy, the engine room bilge pump light came on, and stayed on. Curse word, curse word, that isn’t good.
Doug was at the helm, so Dana went down to check things out. The damage report and photo she took only ratcheted up the terror.
Because here’s the deal. You can’t just pull off to the side of the road and wait for help. We’re in a 30-foot-deep moving river. We’ve assured many folks through the years that nobody dies on the Loop. What if we’re proven wrong in the most personal of ways? How embarrassing to have “They were mistaken” chiseled on our stones.
The bilge pump seemed to be holding its own, however, and the water clearly was coming from the engine water pump. Let’s get through the lock and tie up on the wall on the other side. The lock photo makes everything seem nice and calm. It wasn’t, although Dana covered up nicely as she chatted with the other boats.
When we stopped the engine, the water stopped, which was about the best we could want. This was the first lock we did on our first Loop. In no way would we appreciate the macabre symmetry of it also being our last lock.
Fortunately, the super-duty tape Doug put over the hole in the water pump held until we could limp slowly to Waterford. Waterford, New York, not Waterford, Ireland, which is where we spent two weeks at the hospital that time a British Duke crossed the center-line and smashed into Dana’s sister and brother-in-law.
Now again about Coeymans. Those guys are the best. Turns out a bolt that holds the cam in the water pump decided to shear off, allowing the cam to rotate, causing water to shoot out of the hole, all so that Dana could take the photo and scare the bejesus out of both of us. Jimmy had a used pump with a good cam and bolt, and within three hours of our call had come up from Coeymans to help us. And that’s why we stay at Coeymans.
Waterford wasn’t in the plan, in part because it’s where Loopers doing the Erie Canal pile up every night and we’re not doing the Erie Canal. Still a cool stop though.
Once you’ve survived near-certain sinking and dying, leaving Waterford in the wind and rain is child’s play. And we’re keenly aware that Brent and Karen flying into Burlington while we’re on the Waterford free wall wouldn’t be ideal for any of us. So off we went in the intermittent downpours.
The entire Hudson River is cool, but north of Waterford it’s damn near magical, even on crappy days.
Champlain Lock 1 took us up just as expected. But then back down. Then up again. Hmmm. This is new. Lock 1 must have issues. Lock 2 surely will go faster.
Lock 2 took us up. Then down. Then up again. Lock 2 also must have issues. Then we got the answer. Turns out both locks actually had fishuesTM. Round Goby fish may have a cute name and all, but New York wants to keep them from spreading and flushing the lock twice apparently has the same effect as flushing the toilet twice after a long night of tequila shots and spicy Mexican food.
Now about our new best friend Aubrey. Aubrey works at Lock 3, and arranged to have the dam at Lock 4 hold some water back so that the pool would drop. Yesterday the C-5 bridge clearance was 17’4” when Miss Lily went under it, and Tumbleweed was still at 17’4” this morning. We had 19’ today when we safely squeezed under. All because of Aubrey.
Of course, there’s always a downside. Just after the bridge we passed this sad sight.
When the dude left his boat, it was floating happily in nearly two feet of water. Then a couple of clowns from Arizona go by and suddenly he’s on dry land. In fairness though, the weather still was crappy so if we thwarted his plans to go out, we actually saved him from a miserable afternoon. Also, we’re not sure what that is in the foreground but it looks a lot like the poop emoji.
Last time through we posted in detail about the Saratoga Battlefield, the British surrender, and other cool historical stuff around Schuylerville. It wasn’t raining back then, so we also hiked up to the Saratoga Battle Monument, which is a 155’ granite obelisk commemorating, well, the Saratoga Battle. We’re not going back up there, but we feel a strange obligation to work in the word “obelisk” whenever possible. So here’s a photo from the river to provide context.
The new pump parts worked great, Miss Lily met us at the small campground dock, the rain stopped to allow a quick drone photo, and the little campground restaurant was as enjoyable as we recalled. Life indeed is good.
There’s only one lock worthy of taking up and down and up. That’s the “World’s Highest Lift Lock.” Here’s the video to prove it: Peterborough Lift Lock.