To all our readers, my apologies for such a tardy blog update. My last entry was March 10th, so I was way overdue for an update. I departed South Florida on March 19th for the passage back to Ontario and arrived in New York City on April 14th which was good timing given I was running the boat single-handed. My First Mate had to return to Ontario just before I departed, so I ran the boat alone. I did the passage as a combination of running on the ocean and running in the Intra Coastal Waterway (ICW). I did not do any all-day and all-night runs since I was alone and no one to do watch while I sleep. I ran between 11 and 14 hours a day, sometimes anchoring in the dark. When I was running on the ocean, I would enter an ocean inlet to anchor for the night, and leave the inlet early the next morning.
Below are some of the pictures I took while heading to New York City.
MOTOR YACHT COMING INTO LAKE WORTH ANCHORAGE
NASA’S VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING (VAB) AT CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – SEEN FROM THE ICW
The VAB is one of the largest buildings on Earth and was used to assemble the Saturn V rockets and to assemble the Space Shuttles to their rockets and large fuel tank – the entire assembly was known as the “Stack”. The building will be used to also assemble the future Space Launch System.
TALL SHIP ON NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
ANVIL CLOUD OVER LAND DURING SUNSET
LITTLE BIRDIE ALONG FOR THE RIDE
SCHOONER IN THE CAPE FEAR HARBOUR
MOTOR VESSEL ‘LOOSE GOOSE’ ALSO FROM MIDLAND, ONTARIO IN THE WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH ANCHORAGE
SAYING GOOD-BYE TO ATLANTIC CITY
MANSIONS ON THE ICW
IF THE WATER DOESN’T MAKE IT TO THE WATERFRONT HOME – NO PROBLEM – WE’LL BRING THE DOCK TO THE WATER!
COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL SEEN BETTER DAYS – ON ICW
TRAIN OVER LIFT BRIDGE
The above bridge is normally open (lifted up 70 feet so boats can get through). When a train is coming, the bridge automatically drops down to let the train pass, and then raises up automatically after the train passes – so there is no bridge operator since it is fully automated.
USA NAVAL BASE IN NORFOLK, VIRGINIA
HOMEMADE APPLE PIE…..YUMMIE!
My First Mate was able to re-join me in New York City and together we motored up the Hudson River to Riverview Marine Services on the Catskill River and arrived there April 17th. Riverview Marine is where we take the rig down and put it on wooden stands so that we can get under the low fixed bridges in the Erie Canal.
Below are some pictures we took on our passage up the Hudson River to the Catskill River.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
COLGATE CLOCK, NEW JERSEY
NEW YORK CITY SKYLINE – NOTE THE NEW TRADE CENTER – TALLEST BUILDING LEFT SIDE OF THE PICTURE
LARGE MANSION ON THE HILL
USA MILITARY ACADEMY AT WEST POINT
LIGHTHOUSE ON THE HUDSON RIVER WITH THE CATSKILL MOUNTAIN RANGE IN THE BACKGROUND
ANOTHER PICTURESQUE LIGHTHOUSE ON THE HUDSON RIVER
Below are some pictures of the new Tappan Zee bridge being constructed across the second widest point of the Hudson River. The first picture below shows the older Tappan Zee Bridge in the foreground and the two newer bridges under construction. The older bridge construction started in 1952 and completed in 1955 with a 50 year life span. That means the old bridge is past its “Best Before Date” as of 2005. The traffic volume when the bridge was first built was 39,000 vehicles per day. Today, there are 138,000 vehicles going over the old bridge every day. Concerns about structural integrity and high maintenance costs precipitated the decision to build a new dual-span twin bridge to replace the old bridge.
On our way down the Hudson River last Fall we counted 23 very large cranes on the construction site. The new bridges were started in 2013 and will be completely finished in April 2018. It is a five year mega-project costing $3.98 Billion Dollars – yes that’s a “B” for Billion. It is a major infrastructure project that is long overdue. New York did receive grant money from the federal government to help with such a huge project.
When completed, the new Tappan Zee Bridge will be the one of the wider cable stay bridges on the planet with 8 lanes of traffic (4 lanes per span). The Tappan Zee Bridge will also be one of the longest cable-stayed spans in the United States. Its serviceable life span will be 100 years due to modern design, engineering and materials.
OLD TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE IN FOREGROUND
NEW TAPPAN ZEE DUAL-SPAN TWIN BRIDGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
ONE SPAN IS ACROSS THE HUDSON – THE OTHER IN PROGRESS – EAST VIEW
WEST VIEW OF THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION
I mentioned earlier we had motored up the Hudson Riverview Marine on the Catskill River to take the rig down. We took the rig down this past Saturday, April 22nd. The picture below shows the work in progress.
TAKING DOWN THE SAILING RIG
THE SAILING RIG DOWN AND READY TO ROLL
We have since departed the Catskill River and are further up the Hudson River. Tomorrow (April 28th) we will pass through the Troy Lock on the Hudson River and arrive at Waterford, NY. Waterford is where the Erie Canal starts. Waterford has a long stretch of docks where boats can tie up before entering the Canal, or tie up after coming through the Canal. Speaking of the Erie Canal, it used to open the first Monday in May, which this year would have been May 1st. The Erie Canal used to be run by the NY Thruway Authority. This year, the NY Power Authority have taken over the management on the NY Canals. They decided the Erie Canal will not open to the general public until May 19th. They had previously decided that they would open on May 1st as a one time opening for commercial traffic only. Given I am a commercially licensed delivery Captain, they agreed to let us enter with the commercial traffic provide we buy a commercial permit and obtain an insurance rider.
Since then, they have postponed the date for commercial entry traffic to May 8th, so we plan on entering the Erie Canal on that date with the commercial vessels. After that, the canal will be closed again an not reopen until May 19th. Once we clear Tonawanda, NY at the western end of the Erie Canal, we will head to the Sugarloaf Marina at Port Colborne, Ontario and put the rig back up. Once up, we will be sailing to Midland on Georgian Bay by way of Lake Erie, Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and Lake Huron.