Time to Check the Scoreboard

Last time I checked in we were tied to a dock in Charleston, waiting for weather to clear, having finished a quarter of our trip. Today we’re tied to a dock in Brewerton, New York, a town on the Erie Canal west of Lake Oneida. It’s time to update the scoreboard.

Our little boat has now traveled 2,700 miles on man-made channels, oceans, rivers, and lakes. We’ve gone through 29 locks—27 up and two down—with the greatest lift being 40 feet. I’ve learned to pull lines in tight as we go up and let lines out slowly as we go down. Arms aren’t exactly buff, but hey…not flabby either.

We’ve fueled six times. Tank holds 200 gallons of diesel and we fill usually at the thirty per cent mark. We burn about two and a half gallons an hour, chugging along at 7.2 knots.

We do laundry and provision at least once a week in a marina somewhere. On this leg, the longest hike for necessities was in Great Kills, Staten Island, hauling laundry to a Laundromat. But my smart phone registered hikes of five miles or more when we were being tourists, especially in New York City.

Strangest animal on this leg of the trip was a weasel. He peeked in the window as he went by on a canal wall. We tied up to several walls on the Erie Canal. Very convenient and they’re free.

Worst experience: running aground twice in New Jersey, and the horrendous ride down the Delaware River and Bay. I’m still swearing about the first, and curling my hands into white-knuckled fists thinking about the second.

Best meal on this leg was at the Dockside Restaurant in Shady Harbor Marina on the Hudson River. Outstanding food, good presentation, and then I remembered the Culinary Institute of America was a few miles back. It’s likely the chef had a bit of training. (Didn’t dine in New York. We only brought jeans.)

Most emotional experience was seeing Ground Zero in New York City. The event is imbedded in my memory.

Best experience is still meeting people along the way, other boaters we pass or catch up to and visit with on docks and in harbors. There’s a whole community of us out there…crazy “loopers” who will be together at one place or another the entire distance.

But I’m ready to go home. A big soaking tub awaits. Sinking into that hot water with a glass of wine in my hand…heaven.

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