Delivery Trip Part II – The Canal Leg

To get from New York City to Lake Ontario, you take the Hudson river to the Catskills, take down your mast and motor through the New York Canals.

New York State, The Improved Canal System -- from: The Canal System of New York State / Charles L. Cadle -- Re-issued and revised (Albany : J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1921)

New York State, The Improved Canal System — from: The Canal System of New York State / Charles L. Cadle — Re-issued and revised (Albany : J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1921)

We covered some 200 miles, transiting 30 locks along the way. We were very impressed – the canal system is super well maintained and staffed, the scenery lovely, and the towns along the way all very welcoming. We maintained a tight 5-day schedule, but decided that the next time, we will allow double the time to really explore and appreciate it.

Leaving New York to sail up the Hudson



under the George Washington bridge



Follow the train tracks up the Hudson

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Wow, we’re home already? (Oops, wrong Kingston 🙂


Pretty lighthouse – how would you like to live on a rock?


Now the mast has to come down…very old (circa 1880) but very sturdy-looking crane. Even uses the tree as part of the equipment!





And we’re off to the canals. Matthew realized on the way there that with no mast, we had no more antenna, so how would we radio the lock-masters? Tim to the rescue…throughout the trip we were constantly pleasantly surprised to find everything and anything we could possibly need was on the boat and left there for us by the previous owner – right down to this cute little suction-cupped antenna, just the thing for the job.



Approaching the locks


once inside, my job was to catch the line and then keep the nose, and the long bit of the mast sticking out the front, from hitting the walls. Easier said than done when the turbulence starts!

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Lock 17’s door opens over your head…a bit freaky, not to mention wet from getting dripped on.



Locks were well maintained, fresh coats of paint, landscaped grounds, and dredging operations ongoing to keep a well-marked route with a consistent depth

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Lovely calm evening crossing of Lake Oneida


Captain napping on the job, courtesy of auto-pilot


Canal road signs


Lake Ontario also as calm as a millpond.



Time to put the mast back up. A slightly more modern crane


For the Lake Ontario crossing, we put up the sails…





just in time for the wind die off….the story of this trip, we didn’t really sail our new boat home, we mostly drove it home!


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A few miles offshore the Kingston May-flies came aboard to welcome Matthew back to Canada.


They covered everything! Disgusting! Lesson learned, avoid Kingston harbour in May!


We made it home (with a few million stow-aways aboard) tired but happy. Great trip, terrific learning opportunity and overall a wonderful experience.

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