October 2, 2005 Lois McClure
Ship's Log


Darren Tracy

Darren Tracy was born and raised in rural St. Lawrence County, New York. He currently resides with his lovely wife, Lisa, and two children Devan and Shane in Saratoga Springs, NY. Darren and Lisa operate a family-owned construction firm, West Branch Inc. specializing in unique projects including historical preservation and marine projects. Darren is a board member of Adirondack Architectural Heritage.

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Transit to Albany, NY
Darren Tracy

Where to begin? First I would like to thank Lake Champlain Maritime Museum for the opportunity to crew as a guest. Certainly a rich experience that I wish others could share.

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005
Due to other commitments, I was unable to start my rotation with the other visiting crew members as scheduled on Friday, Sept. 23, 2005. However, since I live in Saratoga Springs, NY, it was relatively easy for me to catch a train to Penn. Station, transfer to the Long Island Rail Road and walk the mile from the Port Washington train station to the town dock where I found Lois McClure.

The schooner appeared empty so I shouted an “anyone home”. No immediate response (I was to learn that nothing on this voyage is immediate – except safety). Just as I was to turn a shoulder, a friendly voice came forth. Lenny introduced himself and gave me a quick tour. He said that I had just missed the rest of the crew, which went to dinner at the Port Washington Yacht Club. Roughing it! I learned that the Yacht Club had been very gracious and treated the crew to dinner the previous two nights also. They also gave us clubhouse privileges, which included a hot shower, until someone lingered in the shower so long that the smoke detectors went off. Response by the Port Washington Fire Department, Rescue Squad and Police was timely! I scrambled to find the key so I could unlock the gate before the fire department cut the lock. Crisis averted.

Yankees tied with Boston?

Monday, Sept. 26, 2005
The winds were forecast to be strong, so our departure was extended until Tuesday. We were somewhat pinned to the dock, but more than that, our able Captain Roger, didn’t think it would be a good headline if we encountered the worst in New York Harbor. The crew had a “free day” and each chose to spend free time as they saw fit.

Hoping Yanks are ahead of the Sox. I am significantly outnumbered on this trip.

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005
What a beautiful day! This leg of the voyage took us from Port Washington through Long Island Sound. We gazed at the lovely homes all along the shoreline.

We then proceeded into the East River and then down the Harlem River. The full time crew timed the voyage so that we passed through Hell Gate at slack tide with no issue. The view and experience of boating into New York Harbor was – I can think of no better description than mind boggling. Still can’t get a handle on it. What mankind has done, for better for worse - take your pick, is impressive to the extreme.

We rounded the point of Manhattan and headed for Jersey. We docked at Liberty Park, which left us with a breath-taking view of Manhattan. Jersey City not too shabby either. Enough time was left in the day for site seeing. All took advantage, one way or the other.

Hot showers!

Yanks up by one.

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005
I slept above deck every night. Last night could have been the best, overlooking Manhattan’s night lights, then varying shades of sunrise in the morning.

Onward to West Point. As we traveled up the Hudson, “The City” as the locals know it and as if there is none other, kept going and going and going. The George Washington Bridge, Yonkers, Palisades and then West Point – I wish you all could have been there. We slipped into Constitution Island with daylight fading. What a privileged place to dock and spend the night. Heritage oozed from the hillsides. Thanks Roddy.

Leo and Kerry cooked shish kabobs on the grill. Roughing it again.

Someone happened to check the weather radio. Forecast – 60 mph winds. An air of concern overtook the crew, many huddling near the radio to hear again what they thought they had heard correctly. For a moment, I felt a flash of what it might be like to be in “The Perfect Storm”. Our plans would change and we would dock in Beacon to weather out the storm instead of Athens.

Yanks up by one.

Thursday, Sept 29, 2005
At 6:00 or 6:30 AM, I don’t know which, the West Point cannon fired. I had already had half a day’s work done by then. Well maybe that was a dream.

We had high winds but nothing near 60 mph. However, ”we were ready for them” as Captain Roger half seriously joked to the Beacon harbormaster. Laying up another day provided us with an opportunity for more sightseeing.

As always, we had some great food, due largely to Kathleen’s cooking and organizational skills. Although many took part in the actual cooking, Kathleen made it happen in a fine way. Marsha made arguably the best potato salad in the land.

We learned Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie will play a benefit concert for the sloop Woodie Guthrie, in Beacon, in early October.

The temperature is dropping.

Yanks up by one.

Friday, Sept. 30, 2005
We departed Beacon enroute to Athens. It was a very pleasant day. The scenery was less dramatic than West Point and Beacon, but just as impressive in it’s own way. The houses tended to be more sparely dispersed and less extravagant. We passed the industrial (cement plants) as well as the historic (Olana).

Coincidently we anchored adjacent to the State Boat Launch, where just last week I had installed, with the help of co-workers Andy and Dan, an information kiosk for NYS Parks and Recreation. I could see our truck and trailer loaded with three other kiosks which was at Peckham’s Asphalt Dock waiting to be hauled and installed at Wappinger Creek, Croton on the Hudson, and Haverstraw Bay boat launches.

Since we were anchored off shore, and it was a long swim to shore, we all decided to stay on Lois this evening. That was new and a little claustrophobic for me the landlubber, but fortunately we had some entertainment. Although Larry forgot to bring his sun screen and cooked himself, he did not forget to bring his guitar. Larry ripped off one mariner tune after another. Very enjoyable.

The stars were out and danced about.

The only bad news of the day was that the Yankees lost, Sox won. All tied up.

Phone: 802-475-2022