Session 36-Soooo…Schenectady, Amsterdam, Little Falls


On Sunday, July 11, we pulled into Mohawk Harbor marina in Schenectady for the night with plans to keep going up the Erie Canal the next day. Well, once again, weather kept us put for a few days. Rain, and rain, and more rain caused some flooding which caused lock closures which meant, we weren’t going anywhere. 

   Bright side—we met a sweet, fun looper couple, Skip and Alison. Our two boats were two of four that were docked in this small marina. There were a couple of fishing style boats as well but we felt as if this marina was sort of our little secret. 

We had dinner three or four nights in a row with Alison and Skip and enjoyed learning their story. We also practiced yoga with them on the dock one day and I have the picture to prove it.

Mohawk Harbor is a new marina in a complex with apartments, retail, an amphitheater and, guess what else? A casino! Are you asking if this casino took even more of our money than the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City? Are you? Well, it almost did! I think I’m done throwing quarters into the Wheel of Fortune slot machine hoping to hear those magical words, “Bonus Spin!” No mas! (That’s Spanish for “no more”).

 With lock re-openings up in the air, we were going to take a side trip to Boston—or “Baahstan” as it is pronounced in their language. We had been on the lookout for new cockpit/deck chairs since someone ripped the other two out (me). 

    How hard could that be? How long could finding two deck chairs take? I’m here to tell you almost two months. They’re either sold out or extremely, extremely expensive. High demand creates high prices and we weren’t quite wiling to drop a boat unit ($1000 in lay terms) on two chairs. 

   And then, just like that, our plans changed again. The locks reopened way earlier than we had heard they would. We scrapped the plans to go to Boston, returned the rental car and made plans to depart Schenectady the next morning.

   What we found upon departure were many branches and logs floating down river. Having some experience with this situation came in handy but it was still unpleasant. You have to protect those propellers or you will be out of commission toot sweet.

We navigated westward towards Amsterdam through a few locks and tied up along the city wall for the evening. Alison and I walked into town, over their beautiful pedestrian bridge and right up to Amsterdam Castle. Originally built in 1895 as a National Guard Armony, it is currently open as an event venue and a B&B.

     One night along the wall was plenty as both Therapy and Legacy endured burst water hoses due to the IMMENSE water pressure coming from shore. First ours burst, then a couple of hours later, Legacy lost a hose clamp. Later still, Legacy had another burst and ended up with standing water in their immaculate engine room. They spent the late hours of the evening bailing out with a shop vac. 

Fun fact:  This was our first experience with too MUCH water pressure. Usually, the opposite is true. 

    Fun fact #2: There is a park in Amsterdam, NY named after Kirk Douglas whose childhood home is there.  

   After an exciting evening, we took off early the next morning (Saturday, July 17th if you’re keeping track), towards Little Falls, NY.

More locks, more beautiful river scenery and some taller hills came into view on this 6 hour ride. This little trip also included a minor rescue adventure in the form of helping out a stranded sailboat.

   Two guys we met in Schenectady got hung up in a shallow part of the canal and were stuck. Because my husband is a bit of a good guy, he offered our amateur towing services. 

   We shimmied over as they tossed us a line. I tied them up to a cleat on the stern and a pullin’ did commence. This doesn’t sound too exciting to you but it was my head between their mast and our boat. When the line went slack and they started moving, it was towards my head. 

In between Tom yelling directions at me and me trying to give him a report and me trying to holler at the boys and me trying not to get killed and us trying to keep our boats from ramming-we succeeded. It was fine. It’s fine. EVERYTHING is FINE!  We were happy do it and would, maybe, do it again.

   We arrived in Little Falls and had zero time to explore so I have a couple of pictures on our way in and a couple on our way out and that’s it.

    The next day found us leaving towards Lake Oneida and Sylvan Beach in a gentle rain. Yep, I said rain. But never fear, there’s amusement ahead!

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