September 23, 2005 Lois McClure
Ship's Log


Kerry Batdorf

Kerry Batdorf has been involved with Lois McClure since her construction, and his carpentry skills were invaluable to the project. He was also one of the primary boatbuilders for the tugboat C.L. Churchill restoration crew. He currently resides with his wife Barbara, who volunteered for the first two months of the journey. He joins the crew on the Grand Journey as Ship's Carpenter.

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Many Thanks to our Sponsors, without whom this trip would not have been possible:


Waterford to Jersey City
Kerry Batdorf

Sunday, 9/11: As the Tugboat Roundup wound down Sunday afternoon at 4PM, we made way for Scarano’s Boat Yard to step our masts. The federal lockmaster moved us to the head of the line of waiting boats as we approached the lock. Locking down went smoothly and we moved on to the Troy Marina for one last pump out, since we would be without facilities for several days ahead. We arrived at Scarano’s at dusk at slack high tide. We then sat down to a great supper of Dakin Farms spiral-cut ham, macaroni & cheese and baked beans and then settled in early in preparation for stepping the masts early the next day.

Monday, 9/12: We got up early and prepared the deck for stepping. The schooner was maneuvered to align the foremast tabernacle with the crane. We prepared tag lines and a temporary main spring stay. Scarano’s crew attached a sling, figure eight style, above the center of balance of the foremast with a hold down line looped around it and made fast below the mast table. The mast was lifted with a crane and placed into the tabernacle, secured with the hinge pin and gate. Next, we secured the forestay, backstays and shrouds. Scarano’s crew loosened the sling with a lift and we removed it by pulling the hold down line. We then shifted the schooner to align the mainmast tabernacle with the crane. The mainmast was then lifted and positioned and locked into the main tabernacle. We righted the temporary spring stay, which was fouled in the crane lines, and made it fast to the windlass shaft and forward bits. The back stays and shrouds were secured. Erick was hauled up with the windlass to attach the permanent spring stay.

Next, the main boom, gaff rigging and sail package was lifted onto the mainmast table and supported above deck at the other end by the topping lifts. We then shifted the schooner astern and repeated the process for the fore boom rigging. These two hours of crane work were completed by about 11 AM.

The looming threat of baking in a slow oven at a barren dock aside a huge, heat-reflective steel building helped us decide to travel on to Athens. After lunch the crew secured the sheets and booms while Roger and Kathleen went for another supply of ice. We got under way by 1PM and then finished bowsing the stays and shrouds as we made our way to Athens. We anchored at the now usual place, just off shore from the Athens Deli. Several of us went for a very refreshing swim in the river after a hot, downwind tow. We had a tasty chili dinner by candlelight with a variety of hot sauces on hand for spicing to individual tastes.

Tuesday, 9/13: We got up to a wonderful pancake breakfast prepared by volunteers Barb and John Woodbury. Churchill was moved from the port side to the starboard side hip to minimize exhaust fumes on board Lois. The starboard configuration also results in less wear and tear between the boats as Lois dampens wakes from the other ships passing most often off our port side. This was also the first use of the new rope fenders between Churchill and Lois for towing. After a few chores we sat back and enjoyed the sights as we towed down river on this sunny day. At dusk we arrived at Constitution Island, with greetings from Roddy, the island's caretaker.

Wednesday, 9/14: Waffles for breakfast!! Thanks to volunteer Don Dewees. After breakfast we moved off the dock to allow another scheduled boat to tie up. We dropped anchor to the north off the point of Constitution Island and several of us went ashore to hike on the island to Redoubt Seven and other points having commanding overlooks of the river and toward West Point on the far shore. After lunch another shore party departed on Oocher for sightseeing in Cold Spring. Around 4 PM a squall blew in just as the shore party was returning and continued until we raised anchor and moved back to the dock. Scudder navigated a brilliant, smooth landing under heavy, gusty on-shore winds to our broadside. We grilled up some Rubens and made borscht for dinner and enjoyed a Movie Night featuring The Blues Brothers. Intermittent rain showers continued through the evening and settled in for another hot and muggy night at Constitution Island. I tried sleeping on shore but it was too hot to sleep in the sleeping bag and too buggy outside the sleeping bag. With spiders weaving their web around my body I was feeling like Gulliver tied to the ground and possibly waking up wrapped in a cocoon - got up and went back aboard to the bunk.

Thursday, 9/15: We had smoky waters and light mist laying in the Hudson Highland valleys as we departed against a moderate flood tide. About midday the tide turned fair and helped us make as much as 8.1 knots as we pass under the Tapan Zee and G.W. Bridges. Palisades of rusty yellow columnar basalt rising high above the river on the western bank mimic the high rise buildings of The City packed tightly between a grid work of deep canyons formed by the city streets. We slowed down as heavy barge, water taxi and Circle Line tour boat traffic and choppy water builds in the lower Manhattan harbor. After a bit of maneuvering to our assigned dock space, we are all smiling as we tie up at Liberty Landing Marina.

Phone: 802-475-2022