Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Lyons, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Erick Tichonuk, Lyons, NY If you ever wonder whether one person can really make a difference you should crew aboard the Lois McClure.  Nowhere is it more evident than when we pull into a port and everything runs great, from reserved docking space, to crowds of people showing up, to gifts of meals.  No place is the power of one …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Rome, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Drew Stierhoff There was a lot of excitement among the crew leading up to our stop in Rome, where we would be joining in the festivities of the Erie Canal Bicentennial Celebration. The community of Rome pulled out all the stops for the Celebration with live music all day long, vendors and food trucks as far as the eye could …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Utica, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Erick Tichonuk, Utica, NY It was a glorious sun filled, blue sky day in Utica.  We had entered Oneida County and were now under the caring eye of Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism.   Many months ago I had done a reconnaissance trip along the canal thanks to a planning grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Corridor.  My goal was …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Little Fall, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Erick Tichonuk, Little Falls, NY The Mohawk Valley is a beautiful series of lush green rolling hills cascading away from the river.  It’s not uncommon to see Bald Eagles perched in trees or deer drinking from the river banks.  Farm fields abound, and the landscape is only periodically cut by the occasional town or lock along the river.  As you …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Canajoharie, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Erick Tichonuk, Canajoharie, NY To say that putting an 88’ wooden canal boat into a lock while the Mohawk River’s flow rate is up thanks to heavy rains is a bit “squirrelly” may be a bit of an understatement.  Fortunately our trusty tug C.L. Churchill and our inflatable bow thruster Oocher with the 50hp Honda are just the vessels to get the job done.  …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Amsterdam, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Drew Stierhoff, Amsterdam, NY The Lois McClure crew left Waterford with thunderstorm forecasts looming overhead.  The crew’s eyes were on the sky as we moved from Waterford to Schenectady, then from Schenectady to Amsterdam. Luckily for us the thunderstorms never came.  We got to Amsterdam under clear skies.  While underway the crew got a first hand look at the Erie Canal’s transformation from …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Canajoharie, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Drew Stierhoff, Canajoharie, NY As we left Amsterdam we were seen off by a group of waving spectators on the foot bridge. We headed for Canajoharie on a dreary day with on and off rain. On the way we lifted the masts off of the Lois McClure using a crane, as we will not be needed them during our tour down …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure: Waterford, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Drew Stierhoff, Waterford, NY After a great stop in Schuylerville the Lois McClure continued down the Champlain Canal to Waterford, where we began our journey up the Erie canal by passing through the first of 35 locks. We tied our boat up on the intersection of the Erie Canal and what used to be the Champlain Canal, before it was …

Ship’s Log, Schooner Lois McClure, Fort Edward/Schuylerville, NY

lcmm Lois McClure

Erick Tichonuk, Fort Edward/Schuylerville, NY We left Westport on Monday morning under blue skies, but with the specter of a closed canal in front of us.  Heavy rains at the end of the previous week had deposited 3” of rain causing the canal and its associated rivers to swell to alarming heights with increased currents.  As a safety precaution the Canal …