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

Drew Stierhoff, Waterford, NY
Maritime Apprentice Matt Dematties runs the controls of lock E2 under the watchful eye of the lock keeper

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 updated to the barge canal in 1918. During the barge canal expansion a section of the old Champlain Canal was re-purposed into a water bypass for lock E2 of the Erie Canal. It was interesting being at the intersection of the old and new canals, and seeing how the old canals were re-purposed as the canal system expanded. Waterford has been greatly impacted by the canal system, which made it an interesting stop on our tour. As the intersection of the Champlain Canal, the Erie Canal, the Mohawk River, and the Hudson River the town celebrates the canal system, and the interconnected waterways the canals create. The canals allowed for Waterford to prosper, and the prosperity brought by the canals is commemorated all over the town through artwork and historic exhibits; and this weekend the Lois McClure contributed to the festive atmosphere.

Entering our first lock of the Erie Canal.

Unfortunately our luck with the weather ran out. After enjoying sunny days for almost a week straight the rain finally came while we were docked in Waterford on Saturday. Despite the rain crew of Lois McClure had a great time talking with folks who came out to tour the boat, and hearing how the canals had impacted their lives. On Sunday we also said goodbye to our first two maritime apprentices, Kael and Matt. Thanks for all your hard work during the first week of our tour! While we’re sad to see Kael and Matt go, we’re happy to welcome Jeff and Church Hindes to our crew, who will both be volunteering on the schooner for the next week. We also welcome our two new maritime apprentices Oliver and Brandon. We put our new volunteers and apprentices to work right away, having them put some finishing touches of paint on the Lois McClure on Monday. We’re looking forward to a great week with our new crew members as we head up the Mohawk Valley to Amsterdam, Canajoharie and Little Falls.

We’d like to give a big thanks to Adrienne Vaccaro for bringing us delicious mac and cheese on Saturday and to the Callaghan Family for inviting to their home on Sunday evening. Canal hospitality never ceases to amaze us.