We’re Home At Last
14 June 2019
Finally after a 3 week delay in Waterford NY, the Lake Champlain Canal opened for the season. There are 11 locks in the canal, however, the first 7 are actually on the Hudson River and that's where the trouble lay. Heavy spring rains, rapid snow melt combined with the need to drain a large reservoir created dangerous river currents that prevented the Coast Guard from installing the navigation marks. Tuesday June 4th dawned bright and sunny and the crews finally got the green light to start installing the marks. As the first barge load of marks passed through the harbour they were greeted with a rousing cheer by the stranded sailors.
Early on in our stay when it became obvious that we could be delayed for a couple of weeks Larry went home for a few days and returned with his car. This allowed us to shuttle crews back and forth from home every few days giving us all a chance to take care of things at home. The canal finally opened Thursday afternoon, June 6th, and the mass exodus started immediately as soon as the official announcement was made. Bev and the gang arrived by train on Friday afternoon and we prepared the boats for an early Saturday morning departure. Our timing was great, the backlog had cleared out and we managed to clear through 9 locks on Saturday and the last 2 early Sunday morning. The weather was perfect for our trip up Lake Champlain allowing us to sit back, relax and reflect on our second a Bahamian trip as we motored the last 80 miles home.
Everyone usually tries to pick a highlight of a voyage, however, after so many miles and countless new and renewed acquaintances we couldn't put our finger on one specific moment. Instead we focused on what we learned on the trip and the people who made our days memorable. As always the weather controls when and where we go, despite the difficult spring and fall weather we were happy with lessons learned and our improved decision making. I have always maintained that I learn something every time I go sailing and I learned a lot this winter. Through it all our boat handling, anchoring techniques and understanding weather forecasts have greatly improved. The new windlass we installed prior to departure worked flawlessly making launching and retrieving Rocky the Rocna easy. More importantly the new refrigeration system was great, there was lots of room to freeze all the fish Bev caught and there was never a shortage of cold beverages. Dagny performed great as always and returned home unscathed and is happy to be back in fresh water.
In closing we would like to thank everyone for following our blog and thank all the people we've met along the way who enriched our lives. We had a blast, oh sure we had some challenging days but I would often think of a quote from a cycling website, adversity turns to adventure after a hot shower and a cold beer.
Today's picture is of us arriving at Mooney Bay