Friday, August 13, 2010
Tonight we are in Amsterdam, NY, an old mill town in upstate NY that has seen
much better days. More about this later
We started off early out of St. Johnsville, NY and did five locks today. No problem except in one of the locks, we kind of almost got sideways in the lock. We came into the starboard side of the dock, and I left the wheel too much over to the left and the wind just blew the bow of the boat into the middle of the dock. Solution: let go of the stern line and let the wind blow us across to the port side of the dock. No damage, no problem. It just happened. High Spirits has a mind of her own and she was going where she wanted to go.
We got to Amsterdam about 3 pm. I wanted to go to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame which is about 3 blocks from the marina. So I set off for a walk, while Joy stayed behind to read her book.
Of course, the place was closed, only open on the weekends. While walking around town and through the mall next to the marina, I noticed how empty this town is. The mall has about a 10% occupancy rate in terms of stores/offices. In fact there was a total of 8 people in the Off Track Betting office.
Amsterdam used to be a big carpet mill town, Mohawk Carpets was a big name. Now everything is off shore and what is left behind are empty buildings, empty factories, high unemployment, people living on social security, and kids leaving town as soon as they can.
On a much more positive note, we met two brothers, ages 69 and 63 who are bring up a boat from Delaware, and will do the Great Loop with it and take it down to Central America. Chris and Steve are from the northern part of England and had great things to say about our Westerly. Mainly that High Spirits was built for the weather conditions in the North Seas which are extremely difficult and that she can handle anything we get into much better than the two souls sailing her. This is a comforting feeling, it does not mean that we will do stupid stuff, but that we have a strong sturdy boat under our sea legs.
Todays pictures were taken while travelling through the Mohawk River Valley. The valley has three transportation components all running parallel to each other:
the train tracks, the river/canal, and I90. Tried to capture pictures of a train and some cars. Tonight I counted a 150 car train pulled by two locomotives travelling though Amsterdam. The main line tracks are about 100 feet from our dock.
The other picture is a cute little boat house along the River. We liked the color scheme.
It is a good thing that we are meeting other boaters, they share a lot, we learn a lot and share a little back in return. Everybody is looking out for each other.
I guess that is the way life should be, we are all connected to each other and if we do not look out for each other, then we are not complete.