Blog | Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

2014 Captain’s Log, Part 4

Posted by Roger Taylor on Sep 17, 2014 9:00:00 AM

When the canal schooner Lois McClure, towed by the C. L. Churchill, assisted by the inflatable boat Oocher, did head back out of North Cove into the maelstrom of New York City’s busy harbor on August 26th, she waited until 10:00 o’clock, in order to avoid the intensity of rush hour. The water was still rough with water-taxi wakes, but the seas, running in all directions, were not as high and frequent as they had been on our run down to the Cove from Pier 25. We did notice, however, that a small leak developed halfway down the schooner’s starboard side just above the chine, and about a foot underwater, probably due to the unusual motion to which the vessel had been subjected.

With a strong flood tide in the Hudson River, we made short miles of it back up to Yonkers and were moored to the big-steel-float-with-the-ready-bow-and-stern-lines by early afternoon. Volunteer Don Dewees, who has been involved with the Lois McClure project from its inception, “paid off,” and volunteers Jeff Gorse, our enthusiastic rigger, and Rosemary Zamore joined ship. Kathleen Carney, who keeps the crew fed, had jumped ship in New York, seeking inspiration in the desert (of New Mexico), and Rosemary had gallantly agreed to assume Kathleen’s role.

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Topics: Schooner Lois McClure

Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey (& Other Supposedly Nautical Sayings)

Posted by Sarah L. Tichonuk on Sep 14, 2014 2:03:51 PM

It's Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey!

Perhaps you've heard that phrase and thought, "brrrrrr, that sounds cold." 

Or perhaps, if you're like me, you wondered what in heck is a brass monkey?  And why would its anatomy be going anywhere?! 

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Video blog: Whitehall

Posted by Arthur B. Cohn on Sep 11, 2014 4:02:21 PM

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Topics: Schooner Lois McClure

Video Blog: Waterford

Posted by Arthur B. Cohn on Sep 5, 2014 9:20:17 AM

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2014 Captain’s Log, Part 3

Posted by Roger Taylor on Sep 4, 2014 10:42:38 AM

The canal schooner Lois McClure needed to get an early start from Troy, New York, on August 4th. We were headed only a few miles down the Hudson River to Albany, but our masts had been stepped in Troy, and we needed to slip under the lift bridge just downstream of our berth at low tide in order to take advantage of an extra five feet of clearance. “Time and tide wait for no man,” as the politically incorrect saying goes. Low tide was 6:40 a.m., so we cast off at 6:15 and by 7:45, we were moored at New York State’s capital city.

Docked in Albany (photo: Jean Belisle)

Our visitors in Albany that day included Brian Stratton, Director of the New York Canal Corporation. The “Canal Corp,” as we call it, has been like a father to the McClure ever since she was launched ten years ago. We have received financial help and all sorts of special favors from this wonderful waterway system, and we do our best to express our gratitude by promoting New York’s canals all we can. The best thing we can do is simply tie up in a canal town and attract its citizens to their own waterfront. It’s amazing how many people we have surprised: “I didn’t know we had this great asset in our backyard!” is a typical comment we hear up and down our deck.

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Video Blog: A look at the Steam Tugboat MATHILDA

Posted by Jean Belisle on Aug 13, 2014 3:23:08 PM

The steam tug MATHILDA (photo: Kerry Batdorf)

In the second video blog from the schooner LOIS MCCLURE's 2014 tour, Jean Belisle talks history about the Canadian steam tugboat MATHILDA, outside of the Hudson River Maritme Museum.

The internals of the MATHILDA's two piston dual expansion steam engine of unknown origin (photo: Tom Larsen)

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Topics: Education, Schooner Lois McClure

2014 Captain's Log, Part 2

Posted by Roger Taylor on Aug 11, 2014 4:20:41 PM

On the morning of July 25th, at the Larrabee’s Point Wharf, Shoreham, the Lake Champlain Canal Schooner Lois McClure was canal-ready, with her masts, booms, gaffs, and their sails stowed horizontally atop the heavy, gray, wooden T-braces that keep the rig up off the deck and out of the way. The schooner, lightly loaded with her ballast stone, has a height above the water of a little less than 15 feet when carrying her rig this way, just matching the funnel height of the C. L. Churchill, with her own masts down on top of her cabin house. Thus the two vessels can squeeze under a “Low bridge—everybody down!” of the canal.

The CARILLON and C.L. CHURCHILL docked at Larabee's Point in Shoreham (photo: Tom Larsen)

Art Cohn and Jean Belisle on the tug got their anti-thunder-squall anchors on board and stood by to come alongside the schooner and into towing position on the hip, as soon as the Fort Ti ferry left her landing alongside our berth and moved off, dropping back down to the bottom the cables she runs on. We’d have to be well out of our berth before the ferry came back, so Art brought the Churchill in smartly, her four lines were made fast and adjusted for good balance underway, and we backed away from the dock, the Oocher holding the tug, and hence the schooner’s stern, up against the south breeze. Once clear, the Oocher shifted to the schooner’s bow and turned her round to head south. And we accomplished this before the ferry started her return run. Good, good.

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Topics: Schooner Lois McClure

Video Blog: Kingston

Posted by Arthur B. Cohn on Aug 10, 2014 7:56:00 AM

The first video blog from the LOIS MCCLURE's 2014 tour! Art Cohn kicks us off with greetings from Kingston.

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Topics: Schooner Lois McClure

2014 Captain's Log, Part 1

Posted by Roger Taylor on Aug 3, 2014 1:20:52 PM

The year 2014 includes the Lois McClure’s tenth birthday and the C. L. Churchill’s fiftieth birthday. Mercy. Where does the time go?

In her ten years of replicating the voyages of her ancestors, the Lois McClure has traveled 3,000 miles on the lakes, rivers, and canals of Vermont, New York, Quebec, and Ontario; she has called at 200 ports; she has presented her history lesson to 200,000 visitors. During the past ten years of the tug Churchill’s life—previously, she has been steam yacht, diesel towboat for movie-star vessels, Maine coast cruiser, and boatyard workboat—she has towed the canal schooner for many of those 3,000 miles, enabling our floating museum to maintain an ambitious schedule and to maneuver into and out of tight berths and to enter and exit canal locks with as much grace as the schooner’s shiphandlers could muster.

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Topics: Schooner Lois McClure

Shipwrecked: The Tragic Story of the Canal Schooner "Troy"

Posted by Sarah L. Tichonuk on Jul 14, 2014 7:05:00 AM

The captain’s hat, trunk and pocketbook ... have been picked up but none of the bodies have yet been found.   (North Star 1825)

 

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Topics: Underwater Archaeology

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