September 4, 2007

Ship's Log - Amsterdam


Diane Snyder, Erick Tichonuk's big sister, and her husband, Dave, join the crew from their home in Maine.

Quick Links...


Photo by Kerry Batdorf
River Link Park, Amsterdam

September 4, 2007 - Tuesday

The replacement volunteer crew, along with two full- time crew, left LCMM to join the Lois McClure in Amsterdam, NY. Chris McClain, our able van driver, gave us a scenic tour of the back roads of VT and NY and reached our destination on time. Full time crew members Barbara Batdorf and Art Cohn rejoined the boat, with LCMM staff member Chris McClain and volunteer Bob Abell. Dave and Diane Snyder joined the crew for a two-week stint. Barbara Bartley, great- granddaughter-in-law of Theodore D. Bartley, joined us in Amsterdam for a three-week tour.

Theodore was in the canal schooner business for almost 30 years and kept detailed journals of his life on the schooner. Barbara transcribed all 1,500 pages of the journals and published parts of it in a fascinating publication, Life on a Canal Boat: The Journals of Theodore D. Bartley, 1861 - 1889. What an extraordinary opportunity for the rest of the crew to share our experience with someone who is so closely linked to the history of canal schooners!

The Lois McClure was docked at Amsterdam's River Link Park on the Mohawk River. The weather was warm and sunny as visitors came to board the Lois McClure.

Karen, of the River Link Café, graciously allowed the crew to use the facility's laundry, shower, heads and ice machine. While docked at the River Link Park we experienced the 60 trains which pass by during each 24-hour period. With the trains blasting their whistles and traveling at break-neck speed, a good night's sleep was virtually impossible. At best, the crew grabbed a little shut-eye between trains.

Photo by Barbara Bartley
Holding On

September 5, 2007 - Wednesday

The Lois McClure left Amsterdam around 9:30 and went through Lock 8. For the crew members who were new to the boat, this was an exciting and interesting experience. Seeing a squirrel swim across the Mohawk later in the day was also another new experience for most of the crew members!

Not far from Amsterdam was an area which allowed one to get a good view of the evolution of transportation in the Mohawk valley. On the port side, cut into the embankment, was a highway with tractor trailers. Below that were train tracks with a freight train. And on the river was the Lois McClure, representing the canal boats which hauled cargo along the Erie Canal.

In mid-afternoon we docked just above Lock 7 in Niskayuna, where Meg Tichonuk, mother of our first mate, joined the crew. Tom Ryan and his Erie Canal Boatjoined us at the dock later in the day. Tom left, but gave permission for some of our crew to sleep on board his boat. Prior to hitting the sack, the crew was treated to a viewing of a DVD on the Lois McClure's voyage, created by Adam Jarrett, a full-time crew member. Following that, we enjoyed the movie "Periscope Down". Tom Ryan's boat made a perfect outdoor theater.

Photo by Kerry Batdorf
Lock 7

September 6, 2007 - Thursday

We proceeded through Lock 7 immediately after departure around 9:10 AM. The day was warm and sunny with temps in the 80's. Herons and egrets were plentiful along the shore. We began our trip through the Waterford Flight of Locks when we arrived at Lock 6 in late morning. The Flight is a series of 5 locks which make the highest lift in the shortest distance of any canal in the world. We progressed through Locks 6, 5 and 4 in rapid succession. At Lock 3 we were asked to hold until the Day Peckenpaugh passed through that lock.

The Day Peckenpaugh is the first self-powered barge designed specifically to go through the New York State Barge Canal system. She now belongs to the New York State Museum and will be used as a mobile platform for exhibits and education throughout the network of waterways in New York. Like us, she was headed to the Tugboat Roundup in Waterford.

Photo by Kerry Batdorf
Old Canal Above Lock 2 at Waterford

In mid-afternoon we arrived at the top of Lock 2 and took our place on the wall of a section of the old Champlain Canal. The docking was tricky but done flawlessly. Our tug, the C.L. Churchill, was untied and moved to a spot just behind the Lois McClure. We set up the Ship's Store and exhibits and then were treated to a pizza and pasta dinner at the home of John Callaghan, Special Assistant to the Director of the NYS Canal Corp. where our crew enjoyed meeting owners and crew members of the many tugs present for the roundup. Everyone was anticipating a fun weekend at the Waterford Tugboat Roundup.

Generosity Abounds!

Thank You!

Jim Marks, and the Amsterdam Urban Renewal Agency

Joseph Emanuele, Mayor, City of Amsterdam

Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

Phone: 802-475-2022