Day 10: Lock 8 to Troy

Friday, August 13, 1999

We woke up around 6:30 a.m. and were in Lock 8 (lift 14.0 feet) at 7:15 a.m. Firing up was very quick. We each ate two Nutri-grain bars for breakfast, as we were out of milk. Later, we would only have a few cookies for lunch, so our meals on board were rather meager.

When we had dropped off wood at Lock 9 at the beginning of the trip, we had talked with a person who tended the buoys on a section of the canal. We now saw him again at Lock 8.

Today was the day to descend the Waterford Flight and to take out at Troy, just before the Federal Lock (Lock 1) on the Hudson River. Al put some coal on the fire. We were at Lock 7 (lift 27.0 feet) at Niskayuna, eleven miles away, an hour and a half later.
Coal on the wood fire.
Common egret.
Flowers and heron along the riverbank.
GE (our industrial photograph).
Bird on buoy.
We passed the Rexford Aqueduct, on which the earlier Erie had crossed the Mohawk River, then Lock 7 (lift 27.0 feet).
Rexford Aqueduct.
Hydraulic dredge and tender.
The weather was cloudy and increasingly windy. The Mohawk River twisted and turned this way and that, so the wind was sometimes at our back, sometimes from the side, and sometimes from the front.

We passed under the Northway Crescent Bridge, so familiar to us from above.
The Northway Bridge at Crescent.
Here is what we usually have seen.
Carefully avoiding the Crescent Dam, we left the Mohawk River and headed for the Waterford Flight. This consists of a dramatic series of five locks with a combined lift of 169 feet (twice that of the Panama Canal) in 1.6 miles. The Waterford Flight is the world’s largest series of high lift locks.

Guard Gate 2 lifted for us, then descended behind us.

And closing again.
Guard Gate 1 was already open.

Then, in rapid succession, we locked through Lock 6 (lift 33.0 feet), Lock 5 (lift 33. 25 feet), Lock 4 (lift 34.50 feet), Lock 3 (lift 34. 50 feet), and Lock 2 (lift 33.55 feet). It took us around an hour and a half to lock through the entire Waterford Flight.
Lock 6.
Lock 6.
Zebra mussels on a lock wall.
Looking back to Lock 5.

Looking back to Lock 5.
Door cracking open in Lock 3 as the water levels equalize.

Door just opening in Lock 3 (barge in sight ahead).
Lock 2 with barge.
Sill of Lock 2.
Exiting Lock 2 toward the Hudson River.
Al had to watch the pressure carefully. The pressure relief valve almost went off in the first lock. (See lock for methods of reducing the pressure.) Once, we steamed around in a circle between two locks in order to get the pressure down. We passed through the entire system of five locks with the damper closed.

At the bottom of the flight, there were three large boats waiting to go up together. We had gone down all by ourselves.

A storm was brewing. On the Hudson River, we fought against a 20 or 25 knot headwind.

The Hudson River at Troy.
We landed at the Crossroads Boat Landing around 1:45 p.m., got the boat out of the water onto the trailer, packed up for an hour, then headed for the Lake.
Rapid action! Hot coals in a pail of water.
The take-out.
Unloading wood.
Up the cobblestone ramp.

Number of locks: 7
Approximate distance for day: 24 miles

Total locks for trip: 36
Approximate distance for trip: 296 miles

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