by Tom Larsen
October 6, 2011
We returned to Westport this year for the third time. It’s a great place to stop, due to the always warm hospitality and wonderful scenery. Our hosts, the Carroll family who owns and operates Westport Marina, couldn’t have been more gracious. Despite this spring of record high water leaving a large part of their establishment under the lake, they were back up and running, with smiles on their faces and open arms to visitors. The docking situation was a little different than usual due to the high water level leaving the dock only barely sticking out from the lake. We used all of our dock lines to keep the Lois securely in place, and procured some tires to make sure we didn’t collide with the dock, as our usual fenders kept floating on the top of the water instead of protecting the hull.
Once we were all secured, the weather rewarded us with a wonderfully clear day for public and school groups. Though the wind did live up to the predicted forecast, it only did so during the gap between the school program for the 4th and 5th grade of Westport Central School in the morning and the public hours in the evening. Thus, despite the middle of the day resulting in a more sickening boat roll than the crew was used to, we were able to still welcome eager students and public aboard. It was a real change to feel the massively stable Lois shifting about underfoot.
It was at Wesport that I got to really explore the Urger for the first time. Despite having met them in various ports over the last few years and now traveling with them, I had never really explored it. I was really impressed. The boat is exceedingly well maintained and still in wonderful shape. What really blew my mind was the fact that it was only a 50 year gap between boats such as the Urger and the Lois. There were times when a tow of boats only slightly bigger than the Lois would have been moved by a tugboat very similar to the Urger. What a sight that must have been!