September 15, 2000 - Waterford, NY - N 42° 47.25’ W 73° 41.25’
Ready to flush the lock
After a quiet night on the doorstep of the Waterford flight right outside guard gate two we set out for the largest single lift/drop on the canal. In the morning we radioed the lock tender and were told you are cleared to enter the flight. We and another sail boat then started the descent. It takes about two hours to go through the five locks each of which drops you 30 to 35 feet for a total drop of 169 feet into the broad reaches of the Hudson Valley. Once there, you're still 15 feet above tidal water. There is one last lock operated by the Army Corp of Engineers to pass through, then you're on tidal water even though still 155 miles from New York's harbor.
A fellow cruiser at the bottom of the lock
A friendly locktender waves good-bye
The old lock
The sailing barge
Waterford is an old town, (oldest continuously incorporated village their welcome sign says) but today it boasts a brand new visitor center for canallers. With free docks, power, rest rooms, and showers in a quiet protected location this was a very agreeable place to spend the night. We also had a bonus, a floating troop of actors was in town aboard their steel sailing barge type vessel the Amarazee. They were putting on a parody of Elizabethan theater, Shakespeare's Dog that night so we attended. I can't say that we caught all the inuendo and puns but we did comprehend the bawdy humor. The play was an interesting mix of gymnastics, modern dance and traditonal theater using the ship's rigging. The transformation of a working sailing vessel into a theater was amazingly successful and even if we didn't quite "get" it all, we enjoyed live drama.