Shady Harbor to Erie Canal



Friday afternoon we arrived at Shady Harbor Marina, located at New Baltimore, New York and were greeted by great dockhands.  We filled the boat with fuel, pumped out, and then went to our intended slips for two nights.  When the boat was secure and power hooked up we gave Follow that Dream a well needed bath, as we are now out of salt water.

Shady Harbor Marina offers a swimming pool, camp fire, and on Sunday was sponsoring a hog roast for loopers and local boaters.  Saturday night Kent and I joined a few local boaters at the campfire.  What a beautiful night sitting at a campfire looking out on the Hudson River with a full moon shinning down.

The marina roasted a whole pig, supplied beverages, and entertainment for the loopers and local boaters.  There are at least 16 looper boats in the marina right now.


Sunday we had a great time visiting with other loopers.  The weather is very warm so it was nice they had a tent set up with tables.  What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon with fellow loopers and boaters from Shady Harbor Marina.  This is Abby the crew of the “One Eye Dog” she only has one eye.  This was the dock we were on at Shady harbor it was called “Sin Dock.”

Mike and Sandy Ernsdorff from Dubuque Ia. are traveling with John & Pam (Short Vacation) for a few days, so it was nice to see them again.  Sunday was Sandy’s birthday so Pam and I made 3-2-1 cakes frosted them and we had a small birthday party for Sandy and Bruce (SeaQuest) his birthday was on Saturday.  Bruce from SeaQuest supplied the party with his home-made wine he brought with from Minnesota.

We left this morning at 7 with sunny sky’s and calm waters hopping all the debris is now down river.  They say you can travel the waters with any kind of boat.  I guess that is true when we passed this home-made raft with two guys filled with camping gear and the American Flag traveling South on the Hudson River

As we navigated past Albany, New York we emerge from the serenity of the upper Hudson River into what we were told could be a hectic activity of seagoing ships unloading their cargoes of imported automobiles, bananas, fuel, and molasses at the Port of Albany.  In 1851, 15000 Erie canal boats and 500 sailing ships cleared this port.  Albany, became the Capital of New York in 1797 following the United States gaining independence in the American Revolutionary War.  Albany is one of the oldest surviving settlements of the original British thirteen colonies and the longest continuously chartered city in the U.S.   Albany even though its 144 miles from the Atlantic Ocean still has a 4-to-5 ft tidal range.  The closer we navigated to Troy lock the narrow the river has become.

This white bowl-shaped structure in Albany is affectionately called “The Egg” which we could see from the river.   This 19th century building was once the headquarters of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad and now the headquarters of the mammoth New York State University system.  North of Albany is the Watervliet Arsenal.  Arms for U.S. Military forces have been manufactured here since the arsenal’s establishment in 1813.  In 1609 a longboat from Henry Hudson’s ship, Half Moon, explored as far north as the present city of Troy, found the head of navigation and determined that , indeed, this was not the way to the Orient.

Troy is the home Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and outstanding science and engineering college and Emma Willard School the first women’s college in the U.S.   In 1825 a Troy woman invented the detachable collar, making the city a famed collar and shirt manufacturing center. ” Uncle Sam” Wilson a local meat packer during the War of 1812 stamped beef for the army with his initials “U.S.Beef”  Later a caricature of Sam Wilson came to personify the United States.

Troy lock (Lock 1) also refered to as the Federal Lock is the first of a long series that can take you to Buffalo on Lake Erie, Oswego on Lake Ontario or Whitehall on Lake Champlain.   When we left Troy lock we are now out of tidal water and we have navigated to the most eastern part of the Great Loop and on the lower Champlain Canal.  On our journey we have found that locks vary in many different ways.  Some have very short lifts and then you have Wilson Lock 97 ft lift.   The condition of the locks also very some have concrete walls, or sheet metal walls, then you have different options for tying up whether it be via a tube, bollard in the wall or a lock tender giving you a line.  The size of the locks vary with some being long and wide to very narrow and short.  I don’t know what is ahead of us as we head up the Erie Canal and then the Trent Severn in Canada.

This is the intersection where you either navigate up the Champlain route or take the Erie canal system.   We are going to take the Erie Canal system, staying in Waterford, New York at a free city dock right in front of Lock 2 on the Erie Canal.

Waterford was incorporated in 1794 taking its name from the fact that there was a fording place in the river between the Village and Peebles Island.  Due to the presence of water for both power and transportation, industry grew in the region and further prosperity was fostered by the completion of the Erie and Champlain canals in the 1820’s.  Construction of the Waterford flight of locks in 1915 assured Waterford role in canal transport through the first half of the 20th century.

Kent and I took a walk to Lock 2 and actually walked across the top of the lock doors.  This is something you can’t do on the Mississippi Locking system in Dubuque, Ia.  You really get a different view when we watched a boat enter and the lock doors closed.



Tomorrow we will start navigating thru the Erie Cannel starting with lock 2.





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