Good news! We have arrived safely in Waterford. We were up and on our way at first light, the rain held off, and we made it all the way (approximately 35 miles and eight locks, a descent of 191 feet) to just above Lock E2, at the junction of the Erie Canal and the old Champlain Canal. The projections about howling winds and a deluge from the sky have been so far unfounded, though the weather station still calls for heavy wind and over two inches of rain. The Lois is firmly secured to the dock (the lines are doubled), and the Churchill is tucked snugly around the corner, back in the old Champlain Canal.
After our second breakfast, we traveled through a strange, alternating pattern of rain and calm. The rain didn’t leave much in the way of air—it felt like I was breathing a mist. Then, in 10 or 15 minutes, it would clear again.
We all kept looking at each other when it started again: “Is this it? The big storm?” Thankfully, the big storm never hit us. The weather did take its toll, however. It was pretty stressful, standing on deck in the rain, watching for deadheads and snags, constantly wondering if suddenly the weather would turn viciously against us. Leo Straight, one of our volunteer crew, had the perfect cure: apple cheddar soup. It was a brilliant combination of sweet, spicy, and tart, and absolutely hit the spot. Holding a warm bowl of tasty soup made the afternoon much less dismal and gray.
By 1:30 in the afternoon, we were slipping under the guard gate above Lock E6. As the steel door passed over our heads and the potentially raging Mohawk was left behind us, everyone visibly relaxed. However, we couldn’t be complacent. We still had four more locks to go. Everyone stayed on their toes, and we made it safely to our mooring place on the wall above Lock E2—with no excitement and everything and everyone still in one piece. A major relief!
Thank you to everyone who helped get us here and is continuing to help us sort out the ongoing issues with the tugboat’s driveline. We open on Sunday in conjunction with the Waterford Farmer’s Market, and Monday for school programs in the morning with public hours in the afternoon. Come by and say hi!