June 30, Friday, Day 81 Whitehall NY
Today’s canal trip included 4 more locks before we tied up to the free Whitehall town marina. Our last Champlain canal lock is tomorrow. Sometimes there is a long wait at these locks and we waited at the first dock today for about 20 minutes and then out came a barge pushed by a tugboat. I think it filled the entire lock. Some locks provide free overnight tie-ups.
Rain was predicted for this afternoon, but we had sun for most of the day. Between 2 of the locks the canal is at or above the height of the land, allowing some nice open views. The canal runs very straight for quite a way as well.
We continued to be nervous about the height of the bridges even though we had lowered our mast and had been told that the water was always about 17.3′ which is at least a foot lower than documented on the maps. But then we only cleared one bridge that should have been easy by about 6 inches. A lower bridge was coming up so I called ahead to the next lock master. “Oh”, he said. “We raised the water level a foot(!) between locks C9 and C11 so a barge could get though. It’s still a minimum of 17′ and after the next lock is back down a foot.” So when we came to the next low bridges after the Lock C11 we had clearance, thank heavens. Meanwhile, I climb up the ladder to make sure we’ll actually clear the bridges. Here’s a few lower, fixed bridges.
When we tied up to the Whitehall town marina we saw a familiar vessel – the Adagio. We met Ron and Jan at the town dock in Brick NJ and looked forward to seeing them again. We headed to an historic manor up on the hill across the river and met them coming down, chatted a while and figured we’d talk more later. Dirk and I walked up the steep roads and were able to tour the Skene Manor as well as have a late afternoon snack there. A non-profit group from the town raised the money to buy the 1864 manor so it wouldn’t be torn town and are working to restore it. We enjoyed seeing the historic home and the views from the hill as well.
We went for a light dinner at a recommended Tavern near by, and walked around the town a bit. Historic, interesting homes are everywhere, but the region is not doing that well economically and it is sad to see so many homes in bad shape. Back at the marina we sat on the sundeck a bit and talked to some boat neighbors. Here is the Adagio on the canal as sunset approaches.