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Yes, we shoulda paid more attention to the winds instead of just to the tides.
Yes, we shoulda turned around after we first found out how crappy the waves were.
Yes, we shoulda used a new 2×4 for our mast rig instead of the older ones we picked up in Oswego.
Yes, we shoulda taken that mooring in Castleton, instead of plowing forward in the crazy waves.

Hindsight is great of course but to paraphrase motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, there’s no sense “should-ing” all over ourselves.

Although we did check the weather forecast yesterday, we had no idea that the winds would be 15-20 knots, and right on the nose when we left Waterford. Note that 15-20 knots is merely an estimate because without our mast up, we have no wind measuring instrument.

The drama began right when we cast off from the visitors center because the winds, combined with the close proximity of the boats in front of and behind us, combined with the crowd watching, could have equalled some “excitement.” Fortunately it didn’t, and we were able to reverse out of our slip with a whole foot between our boat and the one astern. I’m pretty sure that guy was as happy about that as we were.

We made it through the Troy Lock, lock number 1, with little difficulty. It was a tad different than all of the previous ones though as there were limited places to hold on to. We improvised on the fly though, looping bow and stern lines around the same centrally-positioned pole and it worked fine. That lock was where it all started getting ugly though!

Shortly after transiting the lock, the head winds continued to build until we were bashing directly into some fairly large waves. Now if our rig was up, instead of suspended on some older 2x4s, I probably wouldn’t have even blinked. The thought of making it this far though, and then dropping our mast into the Hudson, was not making me happy. We had three anchorages plotted on our chart, each closer than the next in case we didn’t want to go too far. None of them were close enough though so we went back to the chart and our Skipper Bob’s guide to find some closer shelter. Ultimately we found one, but by then motoring any faster than 2 knots had us plowing bow first into the water. I lost count of how many times we buried poor Rocky (our Rocna anchor).

Yes, we made it, with our mast where we left it. We’re anchored now with some fairly strong winds and rain blowing, but at least we’re out of those #$%%$ waves. We’ll have a bit farther to travel tomorrow than we had hoped, but hopefully it’ll be more comfortable. If it’s not, we’ll be plenty happy to just stay where we are. No more big-wave bashing until we’re a sailboat again!

The little tinsel thing shows how hard the wind was blowing where we were anchored.


  1. Mike, look at it this way: Every second you travel, you become more salty, (I know you’re in fresh water:), more experienced. Every perceived setback or discomfort just adds to your reportoir of sailing experiences. In a few months very little will phase you, whatever happens will just elicit a soft ‘Damn’ ‘Thats a new one for us” type of response……keep up the great blog….Allan

  2. Good job guys…..The impressive part is that you guys are nailing the anchoring which will be one of the best confidence builders and most used skill used as you continue your journey…..

  3. Hi Mike and Rebecca!

    I was checking in to see how your travels plans were coming along and I see that I’m two weeks too late : ) Belated congratulations on starting your adventure; I’m be “keeping up with you” through your blog so keep those posts and pics coming.

    Wishing you nothing but calm seas and sunshine,


  4. Allan is right and you seem to still have your sense of humor and you still have all of us reading everyday and you still have us cheering you on with each new adventure.

  5. Wow, glad you made with everything in still together and in one piece. When and where do you expect to re-install your mast?

  6. Just stumbled across your blog while doing some Erie Canal research. My wife and I are under 300 days from moving aboard. 29 days and counting to be out of our house and into a cheap apartment. Can you picture the piles? Yeah you can. So I have not had time to read all of your posts, but I promise to do so. Probably late at night when I cannot sleep because I can only think of the stowage plan and whether I should go with 120 or 150 feet of chain. Recognize that? Indeed you do. Anyway I am sure I will get some good laughs. We went “all in” 294 days ago and have 289 days left until our date with destiny, God willing and no disasters between now and then. At a total of 583 days to get it all together we are pretty darn close to your timing between decision and leaving. The difference is that we already owned the boat and we have sailed and raced together for 30 years. Still there are interesting issues in either approach and I am amazed really at how quickly you folks were able to acclimate. Bravo. We are looking forward to seeing you “out there” next year. Because I have not read all the way through will you please tell me your home port in Canada. I will be looking forward to following your adventure from here on

    Eric and Gail Vahlbusch
    s/v Blessings
    Bay City MI

    • Hi Eric and Gail

      We sailed out of Collins Bay Marina in Kingston, Ontario.

      At this moment we are at a dock in Catskill Creek, NY, having just re-stepped our mast a few hours ago.

      Yes, I’m sure we’ll have gone through many of the same decisions by the time you take off.

      Please do keep in touch and let us know how things are progressing for you.

  7. Hey Mike

    Just to take your mind off things. I know that Rebecca uses a pole for fitness – take a look at these guys!

  8. …and the fun is just beginning. Hang in there!

  9. Glad to hear you still have your mast and everything went well!

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