We spent the day doing odd jobs on the boat and making a blueprint of all the running rigging so that I can put it back together when the mast is stepped in Catskill. I am familiar with most of the running rigging, (lines that control the sails), as well as the standing rigging, (cables that support and align the mast), at this point. However a diagram will not hurt.
Serenity's mast will be unstepped, that is taken down in Buffalo. We will carry the mast on deck through the Erie Canal. Do you remember the song from junior high school.. ..Low bridge everybody down? Well it still holds true today. I read where the clearance of some of the bridges on the western Erie Canal is 15 feet.
Tomorrow we sail to Buffalo. Tuesday I need to detach all rigging and build the on deck supports for the mast. They will be crude. My tools are limited. Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday the mast will be lifted out with a crane and laid into the supports. I will then need to secure the supports and the mast from moving. Can you imagine what kind of damage a 48 foot mast can do to a boat? Crossing Lake Oneida can be rough, and the Hudson River can be as well. If the mast can move it could come loose and hurt someone, do damage, or even be lost overboard. I will get pictures of the mast on deck, and will use the George Ryder, (my dad), technique to tie it so we do not have to worry. My dad used to tie things on the top of our family station wagon, and it would take a couple of hours to untie them. Of course you know who had to untie.
We will be going through 36 locks on the Erie Canal, while motoring 363 miles at 6 miles per hour. We will have a mast hanging over the bow and stern of the boat. This should be interesting, as well as fun. At least we do not have to worry about being bored. So far this has been a great trip. Shirl and I are adjusting to life aboard Serenity. In this situation the boat becomes your own little world. We take care of Serenity and she takes care of us.
It seems we always see some interesting boats wherever we are.
Argo is a government boat that does annual assessments to monitor Lake Erie and the fish stocks to help manage the lakes resources.
The economy has had a negative impact on boating on Lake Erie. There are empty slips everywhere. People are taking their boats out of the water for winter, but it is apparent it has been a slow year for business at many marinas.
Shirl brought me a surprise today...a Jamaican drink.
We walked to the pier tonight and listened to a band play. They were pretty good and the store next to them had cans with blue mountains...just like at home.
If any of you are thinking you need some excitement, or a change of pace, or just want to mix it up a little...I highly recommend taking off in a sailboat. See you in Buffalo!