June 5/6, Days 190/191 Albanian Rain Game


So, some Albanian (isn’t that what you call someone from Albany?) comes up to me on the dock and says “gee, doesn’t it rain a lot in Seattle?” I said, “Whaddaya talkin’ about!? The rain here has been relentless!” The only bright spot is B discovered a heretofore unrealized electrical engineering skill; her careful placement of sponges in combination with our newly re-waterproofed bimini top has kept all our power on throughout the deluge. We used to trip out the breakers on one side of the boat after about 30 minutes of rain while at the dock, but no more (touch wood). That’s the good news. We still have mysterious leaks we have yet to figure out, but at least they don’t impact general operations, other than the occasional drop on N’s side of the bed! Still can’t figure out how that can possibly happen!

After a day of errands (and watching streaming video on blisteringly fast internet… yes there was some redemption) in rainy Albany we were up early and headed north on the Hudson under once more leaden skies.

6-6 rain 3
Going crazy on the dock! This looks wet, but we were dry under our freshly waterproofed top. I guess we could have driven from inside too.

The Weather Channel app’s radar seems to be remarkably accurate around here so we knew it was going to rain before we got to our next destination, but gee, you gotta’ keep moving.

6-6 channel
This would look so much nicer in sunshine, but we are now getting into NY banjo country!

There are a few big course decisions you make when doing this Loop. Stuff like taking the Mississippi versus the Tom Bigbee Waterway (we did the latter), or crossing Florida at Lake Okeechobee versus rounding Key West (we did the latter) and now we have another; taking the Erie Canal to Lake Erie and points west, or heading north through Lake Champlain to Montreal (we’re doing the latter). The Big Y was ahead of us today (it’s the header photo for this post). Most bigger boats take the Erie because of the 17’ air draft limit on the Champlain route, but we laugh at 17’ and only begin to slow when we see 14’ clearance.

6-6 dinghy
Did I say most “big” boats do the Erie? We finally ran into “Dinghy Dave”. He’s doing the entire loop in THIS boat! He started in Grand Haven, Michigan so he’s nearly done. It’s a super nice inflatable, but it’s still basically a dinghy!

All this rain impacted the canal system as well and parts of the Erie are closed for a few days so several large boats were tied to the wall at the entrance to the first lock on the Erie. As for us, we were onto the unaffected Champlain route and back to rockin’ and lockin’ up the canal…. and there are a lot of locks; we had to clear four over about 5 miles to get to our next stop in Schuylerville, NY.

6-6 b 1
B gettin’ her lock on. We bought some gloves at Home Depot after reading these canal locks are kind of “gooey” and get your lines all gross.


6-6 rain
Here’s the approach to one of the locks…..


6-6 lock
…oh wait, did I say it was raining?!!! Put the camera outside the window!


6-6 b2
Rain or shine, you cannot keep B down! And she was doing all the outside work. Notice how the boat is secured to the lock wall by running a line around a fixed cable. Something new! B has a life jacket on here versus shot above after realizing how slippery decks were with all this rain (nearly fell in at one point).

The good news is the lockmasters radio ahead so each lock is prepared for your arrival and there’s not a lot of waiting around. Also, this year the NY and Canadian canal systems are celebrating 200 years of canal operation so all our locking is going to be FREE on these upcoming legs. BTW, while these canals were originally for commercial traffic (the kind that traveled by barge pulled by a horse on the shore), these locks are nothing like the locks on the bigger rivers today. Traffic is primarily pleasure boats and/or much smaller barges.

6-6 map_LI (8)
Red arrow marks where we are and the green line shows where we’re going over the two months or so.


6-6 dock
After a wet and cold ride it was nice to tie up. Oh yeah, and we’d been running on fumes so it was good to find some gas too! Gotta’ be more careful with fuel monitoring as there are fewer and fewer marinas along the way.


6-6 food
Despite sustaining a nasty bruise/cut nearly falling off the boat, B still whipped up some tasty warm food when we hit the dock.


6-6 dog
Z was also delighted to be inside!


6-6 tow
Not the canal we’re actually traveling on, but the old canal with the horse track next to it.


6-6 rain2
…but lo’ there is HOPE on the horizon… well at least two days worth!


6-6 mist
It’s a UFO! No wait, it’s the SUN…. we’re off today in sunshine!







3 thoughts on “June 5/6, Days 190/191 Albanian Rain Game”

  1. Haven’t posted for a while and not because we’re not LOVING your looper posts.
    I wanted to be sure I sent my condolences to B as I could relate to that nasty spill she took. Brought back memories of my spastic fall near Comax a few years back. Pretty sure I didn’t whip up dinner for the troops that night. You rock Ms B!


  2. You guys are certainly taking the Waterways Less Travelled. And doing an epic job of documenting the voyage! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the Thousand Islands once you hit the St. Lawrence. As per Jenni’s comment of condolences for bruises, I can recall both Debbie and Alix having nasty bangs from dock bites and near impalements jumping from rafted boat to boat. Guess it unfortunately comes from the territory of boating. But Luckily, we all keep going back for more! 🙂 Safe cruisin’ and damn the wake!


  3. Nick and Barb, another great post, you guys are going to be “lock masters” by the time you get home, compared to our locks these locks look easier, less crowded , and no idiots! I also like the idea of running your line around a fixed cable, great idea. We boat camped this past weekend with Henry and Debbie and the Barrett’s, hiking, paddling and lots of great food, Debbie prepared it all so we were happy campers. Henry said he was meeting up with you guys along the way, I need to fly some miles to make MVP this year would love to hook up with you somewhere, not sure where that would be. The weather sounds similar to Seattle, OK for the plants but not for boating and locking. I’m still trying to envision a horse pulling a barge in the locks, it must have been hard to keep the boat off the side of the canal and really slow. Love the Dave Dingy, not sure my Dave could do that. Thanks again for your posts, love them. Alix


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s