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One of the first things we learned about, prior to even casting off on the 49′ Hunter monohull that we did our liveaboard course on, was prop walk. Essentially, prop walk is the boat’s desire to have its stern (rear end) “walk” or move sideways when motoring at slow speeds. If you know what direction it will go (it varies according to whether you have a right hand or a left hand prop, or if you are going forward or reverse) it can be used to your advantage. For example, if a monohull needs to turn completely around in a tight area (either between some docks or in a narrow channel) they can employ what is called a back and fill. I was thinking about this because of how many times we have had to do u-turns in the channel to line ourselves up for docking (we have all our fenders and boards on our starboard side and are too lazy to change them). Fortunately, with a catamaran like ours which has two engines, this is even easier. One engine in forward with the other in reverse will pretty much turn us around in one spot. Definitely a benefit that we enjoy having!


Yesterday’s engine maintenance went smoothly; I am obviously getting used to some of the basic tasks. I changed the oil, swapped both the oil and fuel filters and replaced the spark plugs. I swear that these jobs could be completed in half the time if the parts were a bit more accessible. Trying to twist around to remove a spark plug that you can’t see, while being careful not to drop anything in the water, is a challenge.

We are in Little Falls marina at the moment, the first place we have had to (chose to) pay since Oswego. The marina is nice, has showers and wifi, is within walking distance of a town and for these conveniences we paid $1.00 per foot. I wonder if the lady at the counter would have come out and measured it if I had said our boat was 18′ long? 😉

Because we were unsure about bringing a bunch of meat and vegetables into the US, it was time to provision. Taking the advice of the lady at the marina office (Tina), we took a walk around before heading to the grocery store. As promised, this is a beautiful little town with some cool architecture.

You have to wonder how all the power boaters could miss these signs!

In a lock behind a tour boat. We got to listen to the tour guide’s presentation as we went through.

Mr. Tour Guide said that this is referred to as the “angel.” I can see it.

We were taking pics of them while they took pics of us.

Our chart book says that Little Falls is located at the narrowest point in the Mohawk Valley.

I am guessing that these are now condos or apartments. They have quite the view!

We’ll be passing through this section of canal in a few hours.

Pretty! Both my wife and the town. 🙂

High school…

…and library.

Oh, there are big boats on the canal…

…and then there are REALLY BIG boats on the canal! This one is a cruise ship heading back to NYC.

17 Comments

  1. By the way, I took advantage of our fast internet connection here and uploaded a ton of new pics to our facebook page.

    http://www.facebook.com/zerotocruising

    Check them out. 🙂

  2. Hello Mike,

    Thank you so much for all your photos and informative updates about details of cruising, boat handling, etc, etc. I read and follow your journey with keen interest.
    I am especially keen to hear about any of your fishing episodes, even though I am aware you are not exactly a Zane Grey. 😀

    All the best,
    Etienne

    • Coincidentally I read this comment just after putting my fishing rod away after catching…. NOTHING. I must suck at fishing, or I lack patience.

      • Nobody sucks at fishing, Mike. Those of us who don’t catch much simply don’t have the patience to be in just the right part of the lake, in the rain, from 5 AM to lunchtime!

        You could always try using the lock gates to fish with…. last weekend, one of the lock staff nabbed an 8-10 pound bass between the gate and the sill (I don’t know how the fish was so dumb as to be under the gate as it was closing, but there it was…..)

        • Also, a thought on engine maintenance: If you have to work on an outboard over the water, wrap a tarp or a piece of fabric around the drive leg and tie it securely around the leg, then tie the corners/edges up to the boat. Any expensive part you drop now gets caught by the tarp instead of knocking out a fish 20 feet down. Some will moor their dinghy under the tilted-up engine, to similar effect….

  3. I guess when paying for a marina..it’s the one time a man does NOT want to exaggerate eh?

  4. This is awesome! I don’t think I’ve seen pictures of anyone going through this canal system. Thanks for posting.

  5. Hey Mike,

    I’m just about caught up on your adventures. Kudos to you and Rebecca for navigating a very steep learning curve! As a professional mariner, I often forget how foreign chart reading, navigation, the rules of the road, and everything else that goes into being a proper seaman is to the average person. You guys have done great to pick it up as readily as you have. Shoot, you’ve put me to shame in a lot of ways. Not that this should matter to you, but there it is. 🙂

    If it helps you, last fall I made the trip from Annapolis to Charleston, SC via the ICW on my sailboat. I kept a journal on my blog detailing the trip. The journey encompasses the first several entries on the blog. Maybe it’ll be helpful, maybe not. Regardless, it’s great to read about your journey, as a tide me over for when I’m through with the Navy.

    🙂

    Have fun!

  6. Damnit – they’ve misspelt Grand Marnier on that cruise boat. ;.)

  7. Nice shots! I feel as though I’m right with you! It will help for when I follow you!

  8. Excellent photos!!
    I am really enjoying following your journeys.
    At this point, I am only 9 months behind in reading your posts. 🙂

  9. Heck Ken, I’m something like 610 days behind…and yes, Mike, I’m reading a lot. Great documentation and entertainment guys. My wife and I would love to meet you guys in person one day when are all in the Antilles. Cheers!

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