Friday, August 31, 2012

Round and Round WE GO!

That's right, the Full Circle runs again! I know I have said this more than once, but I sure am glad that Dave is a good mechanic. He had to remove the engine to swap over the stern drive. That's what is sitting on the old tire in this photo.

You can really see the corrosion on the old lower unit (right).

It was quite an involved project, but today we were ready for sea trials.

First we had to get rid of our latest hitchhiker. We don't see too many praying mantis' in this area.

We took the Bayliner down to the Mohawk River and it launched with no problems. We got past the first still floats!

Then it started like it had when Dave tested it on land after the repairs were made. We backed away from the dock and into the channel, and the engine died. When Dave tried to restart it, there was no electrical power, so I scrambled to the bow to drop the anchor. The muddy water is sure good to suck that anchor in (before we blew down onto the boats in the marina).

Dave found the loose connection, so it fired back up and off we cruised.

What a difference from last summer. It shifts and steers so easy, runs well (and fast!) with no ticking. There's still a few minor issues to take care of next summer, but this is one happy captain!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Up A Lazy River

Although the water is muddy, the Mohawk River, and the small creeks that run into it, are worthy of kayak exploration. It's very convenient and close by, so Pink and I headed out from the launch ramp, with the Alplaus Creek as our destination. I've done this trip before, but was curious how far up the creek I could go after last year's floods from Irene. There were many downed trees and snags in the creek, but I maneuvered around them, finding enough water to still float in (about 2" in places).

This looks to be a very old Willow tree that may be the next to fall over. I've never seen a tree so gnarly, but it sure gives it character.

Many houses line the shore, but I found this one little pebble beach to get out and walk around on.

You don't see a heron in this photo, do you? He thought he was quite camouflaged.

These old power lines were picturesque, especially with the clear blue sky behind them.

I love the contrast in this photo between the brown muddy water, the bright green grass, and once again that crisp blue sky.

End of the line for me. The water was actually flowing over the shallows, making mini-rapids. Even if I could stay floating, there was a downed tree across the whole creek.

View from the creek as I approached the Mohawk River.

As I left the mouth of the Alplaus, I realized that the wind had changed direction and I had to paddle both upwind and up-current.
 It took awhile, but I found a bit of both wind and sun protection, paddling close to the woody northern shore. I guess it wasn't such a lazy river after all!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sunset Celebration

We took a very special walk a few nights ago. We drove to the new Crown Point Bridge over Lake Champlain, parked at the information building, and then walked across the bridge while watching the sun go down behind the Adirondack Mountains.

The bridge itself should be featured on 'Modern Marvels'. It looks like a piece of artwork.

 Look at all these bolts holding it together!

It was fun looking down 79 ft. to the water, and we were surprised at how many people in boats had come out to witness the sunset.

We had to laugh when we read this sign. Dave was in NY and I was in VT, but we were standing next to each other.

What a spectacular evening to be either on the water or high above it!

 Just as the sun disappeared, we noticed that the moon had already risen.

What a perfect way to celebrate the new bridge completion, the fact that we saw it being built, and another great day in the north country.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lucky Day

Luck was with us when we took the SeaDoo on Lake Champlain, from the Peru launch ramp near Plattsburgh, NY, to Mallets Bay in Vermont. It doesn't get calmer than this!

It was so relaxing that the captain became just another bump on a log.

Life in the slow lane, watching the clams move along the sandy bottom.

What great patterns they made. We called them clamoglyphics.

This is the break in the old train tracks that creates an opening from Mallets Bay into Lake Champlain.

Our plan was to do a circumnavigation of Grand Isle by way of the bridge at the Sandbar park, but the low water under the bridge was totally choked with weeds. Access denied for this reason, so we wouldn't be able to enter what is known as the inland sea. We opted to go along the shore in the main part of the lake instead, passing by the Grand Isle to Cumberland Head ferry docks.

Two ships that pass in the night day.

Entrance into the Gut, a large bay before the bascule bridge that leads to the inland sea.

The old bridge is forever under construction.

The bridgetender's tower looks medieval.

At this point we turned around, but were a bit disappointed that we didn't quite make it to Burton Island State Park (where we spent the worst thunderstorm conditions we've ever encountered one year while camper-boating). Hopefully we will return next season to spend time on this island, with its great hiking trails.

We buzzed back across the lake to the New York side and stopped for a break at Crab Island. We could really see how low the water is getting.

The calm weather stayed with us the whole day though. We certainly did luck out this time around!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Foiled Again

What a gorgeous day for a sail, and Ruby, our Bauer 12 daysailer, was ready to hit the water at Willsboro Bay on Lake Champlain...or so we thought!

We are getting really efficient at putting up the mast and rigging the boat, all in about 15-20 minutes. As we put up the sails and headed through the anchorage, a few clouds started peeking out over the mountains. I even commented to Dave that I hoped they were 'happy clouds', but the captain assured me they were, since there was only 20% chance of rain.

So off we sailed near Willsboro Bay Marina, taking turns at the helm.

We even found fellow sailing club members, Heinz and Jacqueline's sailboat, but unfortunately they weren't on board. Their dock neighbor told us they were in Maine, and we figured that they were visiting other members, Janet and Philip.

We anchored under sail (Ruby has no motor), and ate our picnic lunch....rather quickly. The watchful sailors that we are, we kept an 'eye to the sky' (despite the prediction), and here come those pesky dark clouds, aimed right for us.

We sailed around for awhile longer, staying close to the launch ramp, but more clouds were building.

We cut our trip short, hauled the boat out of the water, and decommissioned the mast and sails. Just as I was attaching the trailer tie downs, the first drops of rain began to fall.

Since we had such an abbreviated sailing adventure, we decided to take a bit of a road trip and explore the shoreline near Keeseville. We found a great little park and launch ramp, but by then the wind had kicked in at about 20 knots. Instead, we watched Molly the flying wonder dog, play Frisbee with her owner (who said Molly would love to do this all day).

On the way back to Ticonderoga, we got a bit lost and ended up on two different tiny roads that we hoped would lead us back to Rt. 22. It sure is unnerving to read 'PAVEMENT ENDS', especially when trailering a boat! Dave remembers seeing the name of the street we were on, on the main road, so we kept on going through downpours of rain and bumpy, washed out, dirt trails, with Ruby bouncing along behind us. All we could do was laugh and hope that if we broke down, someone would find us before the winter snows arrived. Ha!

The road finally became paved again and obviously we made it back. Another adventure when we "made lemonade out of lemons!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rats to the North

This time it was only one rat, and I ended up being a wet rat once again. Here is my view from underneath a big tree along the shore of the north Hudson River near Corinth.
There was only 10% chance of rain that day, but apparently I was directly in the path of one menacing cloud.

While waiting for the rain shower to let up, several kayakers and quite a few whitewater rafters came down the rapids, hootin' and hollerin' the whole way. A bus meets them on shore at the bottom of the rapids, bringing them and the rafts back to where they started.

I tried to get closer to the rapids, but the current was just too strong. I paddled as hard as I could, but made no forward progress. I finally gave up and used my camera zoom for photos.

Then Pink picked up a hitchhiker for a short distance. Guess he liked the kayak's color!

It was a breeze going back to the launch ramp since I was paddling downstream. Then the wind died too and it was quite pretty, especially with the reflections of the clouds and trees in the water.

It may have rained during this kayaking adventure, but it certainly didn't dampen my spirits!