60 miles to Sylvan Beach

This fine day we did 7 locks, E16-E22.  Passing through beautiful countryside and the towns of St. Johnsville, Little Falls, Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilian, Frankfort, Utica, Rome and finally Sylvan Beach.  So far all NY Canal System lock dimensions are 328 feet long and 45 feet wide. The area available for vessels within a lock is 300 feet long, 43.5 feet wide.  All locks so far have had lines hanging from the walls that you use to hold the boat close to the wall.  I would say 1 in 5 locks has in addition to the hanging ropes, a recessed cable or pipe that you tie to.  In our case my stbd mid bow cleat is what we secured my vessel to the walls with.  Tie to this giving enough slack for the boat to sit 3′ off the wall.  Make sure you have fenders on the side of the boat against the lock wall, if you don’t you will need to know a good fiberglass person.  have one person stay at the helm to make adjustments using the engines to keep the stern of the boat somewhat in line with the front.  just dont allow the boat to get sideways,  this is an imperfect science so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

this is a time-lapse video of 2 locks in action and going through Little Falls




Lock filling up


running at 16kt trying to catch a lock before it closes at 1800 


Tied up in the tight cove of Mariners Landing in Sylvan Beach  



sunset over Oneida Lake 


51 miles to St. Johnsville

Today we did Locks E8-E15 on the Mohawk River.  Starting from Schenectady passing through Amsterdam, Gloversville and arriving at St. Johnsville.  It Was a 8 hour run and about 1 hour and 40 min total was spent doing all 8 locks. 

Awesome old power plant that has been abandoned, also leather tanneries and fabric manufactures used to occupy these old structures  

St. Johnsville, 1$ a foot dockage and cheap diesel for this area 2.36 everywhere else has been 2.89

  Checking out the town of Saratoga last night was very cool, my good friend Jeff took me on the best tour.  Jeff and I met on the ICW in New Smyrna, he and his friend Craig were bringing a nice Pearson True North lobster style “fast trawler” up to NY.  We all became friends and enjoyed Palm Coast and St. Augustine together.  Finally I made it to upstate NY and docked in Jeffs town of Schenectady, he came by to see my dad and I and we went to Saratoga last night.  What a cool town! and I felt like I was with a celebraty, he knew EVERYONE in town. You meet the coolest people boating I swear.


16 miles to Schenectady

Fun and great first set of locks, learned lots of good tricks.  All the lock tenders are great, they can be reached at channel 13 and you will need to get a 10 day transit pass.  Any questions you have make sure you ask the Tenders.  I know for 40′ and over it is $50.  water depths are 11′ or more and the bridges are low, around 21′.  First stop was Schenectady Yacht Club, very nice rural marina.   They sell fuel, have a free pump out and swimming pool.  The town is 2 miles from here, primarily an Italian town.  Dock Master Ian is a good dude and this is a perfect first stop on the Erie right after lock E7.  My good friend Jeff who I met in St. Augustine lives here and is going to take me to Saratoga tonight to see some horse racing and show me around.

The Erie Canal Locks E2-E7


upstream on a 33′ lift dad up front

My father was a great help through my first 7 locks.  We are excited to be traveling through this area together, so many new things I’ve never seen and it gets better every day! 



Home Made paddle wheeler with Subaru motor 

25 miles to Waterford

Our short trip to Waterford was a nice ride, we had one lock to go through in Troy.  We went through Albany and Rensselaer counties.  The air temperature was great today, I have really enjoyed my time on the Hudson River Valley.  The sights and people have been exceptionally nice.   Waterford is the beginning of the Erie Canal, it’s a friendly town with lots of history.  The Erie Canal is part of the east-west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System (formerly known as the New York State Barge Canal).  Originally, it ran about 363 miles from Albany, on the Hudson River, to Buffalo, at Lake Erie. It was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.  First proposed in 1807, its construction began in 1817.  It was dug by hand, and engineers said it couldn’t be done.  There were no engineers involved in the construction of the early canal.  The canal has 36 Locks and an elevation differential of about 565 feet. It opened on October 26, 1825.

In a time when bulk goods were limited to pack animals, and there were no railways, water was the most cost-effective way to ship bulk goods. The canal was the first transportation system between the eastern seaboard and the western interior of the United States.  It was faster than carts pulled by animals, and cut transport costs (over 95% some say)  The canal fostered a population surge in western New York and opened regions farther west to settlement. It was enlarged between 1834 and 1862. The canal’s peak year was 1855, when 33,000 commercial shipments took place.  I am looking forward to learning more about the Erie and sharing what I find.

Bridge maintenance taking place, these specialty boom trucks are neat


Above, passing through Albany 


Urban Decay 



Troy Lock, Lock #1

Docked at Waterford Harbor Docks, on the Erie max air draft you can have is 20′ so you can see how the sailboat mast is de-masted.  This is a great stop, the slip is free and power is only 10$.  Yes free slips, that isn’t a type-o.  


69 miles to New Baltimore

Cruising up the river Monday was another day full of awesome sights!  We met another Loop boat “Caprice” a 46 Grand Banks with 3208 CATS like mine, Owners Tom and Marsha were very nice and have a beautiful boat.  We were off by 0900, light south wind and todays heat index would be around 103.  We traveled through Ulster, Duchess, Greene and Columbia counties.  There are wineries, the culinary institute of america and very cool points of interest along this stretch, well actually along the whole Hudson there are lots of things to do.  The water is finally almost all fresh, you can tell the boat is sitting a little lower in the water because fresh water is less dense than salt water.  Pura Vida is sure happy to be in the fresh water again, all of her raw water parts are ecstatic at this point because the salt is not trying to corrode them anymore lol.  We made it to New Baltimore NY and got fuel and a slip at Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina.  I got to meet the owner Brian Donovan, he’s very friendly and runs a great establishment.  His 02 Hatteras “Corporate” is a beautiful yacht.  The restaurant here is called Boathouse Grille, it was delicious and I highly recommend eating here.  My dad and I had a great dinner with some new friends we met here, Gary and Angie aboard “Unruly” a beautiful Back Cove.  We have been toying with the idea of doing the Trent Severn waterway that takes you through Canada, Gary and Angie did this route last summer so we all had dinner together and talked about the route.  I’m looking forward to sharing with everyone this part of the trip, it should really be interesting boating through Canada.




61 miles to Newburgh NY

NYC was an awesome stop, I’m so happy I decided to stay here for a while.  My dad and I probably walked 20 miles the last two days in NYC.  We got to catch up with my long time friend Danielle and her boyfriend Eric.  New York really impressed me, and for a small town guy like me I felt very comfortable here and the people were friendly.  I’m so happy to be able to say I have been here and will for sure go back for a visit.  Thankfully my friend Maggie was with me for the first few days, she is accustomed to the big apple and was able to show me how to get around on the subway and some good areas to go.  My dad and I still got lost on the Subway our last evening trying to make it to Time Square, all part of the NYC experience.

We said goodbye to Bayflower this morning, with hopes of catching them up the river or on the lakes in a couple of weeks.  We were going north on the Hudson by 0900.  The scenery sure changed fast soon after we hit the Hudson River Valley.  As soon as we were out of the city the river got very natural looking with rock cliffs on one side and wooded hills on the other.  There is a train that runs along the bank of the river called the Hudson Line, that thing moves fast 50-60mph from what I estimated.  That is the best way for people in the surrounding towns to get to NY because of the parking problem in the city. For a Sunday the pleasure boat traffic was light and the conditions today were perfect, beautiful clouds and flat water.  The Hudson is anywhere from 36′-130′ deep throughout this leg.  You pass a nuclear power plant called Indian Point Energy Center, it looks cool from the water and I swear the air temp raised 10 degrees as we passed it.  These Nuclear power generation facilities have to be cleaner than the alternatives.  We went through Rockland, Westchester, Putnam and Orange NY also passing West Point Military Academy.  We docked 61 miles north of Brooklyn in an area called Newburgh at a marina called River Front Marina.  Staff here is friendly and calls you by name and makes sure you are completely satisfied.  There are 5 good places to eat all in walking distance.  This is a historic river way and I feel so proud to be traveling it.  Being with my dad is the greatest.  Lunch was like eating at a fine restaurant with his good cooking.  Last night we ate at Captain Jake’s, our server Jonathan was an outstanding individual that made my dad and I feel right at home.  We got to talking and I told him about the Great Loop, he was super impressed and came to check out Pura Vida.  His dream is to open a restaurant in Tahiti one day and live the Island lifestyle.  I know this dream will come true for him and I look forward to seeing that and visiting.

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River Front Marina is easy to get into with plenty of lay along spots for the transients (845) 661-4914

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102 miles to New York City

The run to New York was breath taking in so many ways, we left around 8am.  Wind was blowing 15 out of the south east and the waves were 3′ with occasional 4′.  Wave period was only 4-5 seconds which was much less than the 9 second that noah predicted.  Going up the NJ coast was pretty, passing Little Egg Harbor, Surf City, Ortley Beach, Manasquan, Ashberry Park and Sandy Hook.  I could start seeing the city from about 20 miles away, and  at this point the seas really laid down.  It was amazing entering Lower Bay and coming up on the City and all the interesting sights.  There are a lot of ferries running this body of water some cruise pretty fast around 37MPH so you need to keep a close eye out and stay out of their way.  Once you enter the narrows, you will see a lot of fuel barges moored waiting to be emptied.  The Statue Of Liberty is a sight to behold, especially from your own boat!  One15 Brooklyn Marina is a great spot to hang your Hatt for a while. its only 3$ a foot for dockage up to 40′ and increases at 50′ and 60′ so I was happy to be in the 40′ category.  It is a brand new facility in upscale Brooklyn close to the subway.  Liberty Harbor Marina across the way in Jersey City looked nice online but when we arrived I thought I was on a different planet, they charge 5$ a foot and I wouldn’t stay here if you paid me 1,000$ a day.  After finding out at 8pm I could not fit in any of their slips and not a single slip had working power I moved to Brooklyn.  Liberty Harbor still preceded to charge my credit card the full amount after I left and was not going to give me a refund, funny because I made the reservation just 2 hours before arriving.  Long story short I filed a dispute with Bank of America and they will handle my refund.  All you can do it laugh about things like this. The excitement of the big city trumps the bad vibes of Liberty Harbor. Stay as far from this marina they are scam artists.  My Dad arrived Friday evening and he’s going to ride up the Hudson with me and the Erie Canal.  Really thrilled to get back on the move Sunday.  

Sunrise and classic Hatteras lines, morning of departure from Atlantic City  


You can see all the people on the NJ beaches 

Mandy and Dually Enjoying the Bayflower with Pura Vida in the Distance 

NY Harbor 


walked over the brooklyn bridge twice

view from the top of the One World Observatory, tallest building in the western hemisphere 1250ft 102 floors 


42 miles to Atlantic City

This region of the ICW runs about 80 miles up the coast and you have to hop outside for about 30 miles to get to New York Lower Bay which takes you into NYC, the start of the Hudson.  This part of the ICW is not very well maintained and is VERY shallow, due to this and talking to other boaters we decided to run the whole NJ coast outside in the North Atlantic.  That is about 136 miles, the cool thing about the North Atlantic is the waves are spaced far in most cases and a 6′ sea would still be comfortable to operate Pura Vida in.  Our first leg was to Atlantic City.  Atlantic City is a resort city on New Jersey’s coast, its known for its many casinos, wide beaches, iconic Boardwalk, glitzy high-rise hotels and nightclubs.  In addition to gambling at slot machines and table games, the casinos offer spa treatments, performances by famous comedy and music acts and high-end shopping. Quite the spot to stop for a night or two on any boating adventure.  We left Cape May around 8AM and took the Cape May Inlet out to the Atlantic, this was a beautiful ride.  Bayflower led the way and we cruised at the 3 nautical mile line, we had a south-west wind about 15-20 mph and the boats both rode great.  The CATS were pushing around 1600rpms because I noticed keeping more forward power on kept the boat from rocking as much, we were averaging 11.5-12mph displacement speed.  The run outside was only 38 miles, water was pretty and the cool breeze kept the flybridge Irie.  Coming in Atlantic City Inlet was nice and well-marked, it’s so cool seeing the huge buildings.

Captain Langdon running the Bayflower from the rear deck controls #3406CAT Power 


Photos taken by my new friends Ted and Christine, aboard CHRISTINE a mint 1987 (same year as mine) 46 Chris Craft Constellation.  They winter over in Florida, and spend the summers up north.  They live aboard over 8 months a year.  Awesome cruisers and they shared lots of good local knowledge and advice.  


Headed out Cape May Inlet 




63 miles to Cape May NJ

I remember when they started the state quarters for the U.S., Delaware was the first quarter.  That town is cool and I look forward to going back.  After taking on 209 gallons of diesel we headed back out Branch Channel and entered Delaware Bay.  It’s roughly 56 miles to Cape May Canal,  the channel is 12′ deep.  Delaware bay has some shoals and they are marked by the lighthouses and they show up on the GPS.  Just gotta pay attention, for the most part I ran along side the ship channel because their was a good amount of commercial ship traffic.  You pass Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station on your way down the bay, big tankers are prevalent and also are ITB’s which are Integrated Tug Barges.  Some of the tankers are loaded to over a 40′ draft and this is too much for some areas in the bay.  To solve this problem they have mooring fields for these ships and the ITB barges come along side the ships and offload fuel to help lower the draft on the tankers.  Cape May is beautiful, UTSCH’S Marina is a great spot.  Only a 10 min walk to the trolley stop then for 1$ you can go to the beach or about 4 other stops which allows you to see most of Cape May’s attractions.  We had a great meal Saturday night aboard the Bayflower.

The lighthouses below are throughout Delaware Bay, they are from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s some have been auctioned off to people who can take care of the upkeep and preserve these historic aids  

entering Cape May Canal 

UTSCH’S Marina arial


The Flowers family Mandy and Langdon with their daughter Maggie and her two daughters Ann and Clara, and Maggie and me

Homes here have beautiful architecture 



Its 6$ a person to visit the beach here but we never saw anyone who enforced this 😉

75 miles to Delaware City

Cruising to Delaware was beautiful.  Moving through the Northern Chesapeake and the C&D Canal was such an awesome scenery change.  The Hills are starting to be more noticeable and the homes are looking historic, I can picture this area covered in a blanket of snow.  I’ve never done any boating in an area where it snows during the winter.  The Chesapeake & Delaware Canal (C&D Canal) takes you from Maryland to Delaware.   It is a 14-mile-long, 450-foot-wide and 35-foot-deep ship canal that connects the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay.  The C&D Canal is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the C&D Canal Museum at Chesapeake City, Maryland, housed in the original canal pump house with a waterwheel and pumping engines. The museum illustrates the canal’s history and operations.  Delaware City Marina is the best marine facility to stop at in Delaware, Tim the owner will make sure you are taken care of and his employees Austin and Bob will give you a run down on the city and whats neat to do.  They have a nice ships store, land storage with 35-ton marine travel lift, Diesel fuel that has good turnover and over a 1/2 mile of lay along floating docks.  The marina also does a weather report meeting every day at 5:30 to prep you for going down Delaware Bay and discuss all the tricks to navigate this area stress free.  There are 4 other loop boats here, Pura Vida, Bayflower, and two gold loop boats a Sabre and Quo Vadimus ran by Captain Foster and his wife Susan.  Gold loopers are people who have done the loop once and plan to do it again.  Hopefully I can join the Platinum looper club one day which means you have done it twice.  There are some great restaurants here, we met a nice musician that played some of my favorite blues Mr. Dub Glenn and knew my men Eric Lindell and JJ Grey.  Tomorrows destination, Cape May New Jersey.



Delaware City Marina layout, 4 floating lay along docks