A glimpse behind the scenes

by Tom Larsen

Tour planning, the early stages
Tour planning, the early stages (photo: Tom Larsen)

Planning a tour of the Lois McClure is tough work.  There are a lot of moving parts and many things to keep in mind all the time.  Contacting the communities that host us is one of the biggest cogs in the machine.  The preference for everyone is to make that contact in the winter, to give everyone time to plan, organize and work out any issues.  Erick usually goes out on a recon trip.  This is to get a firsthand look at where we can dock, what facilities are available, how our gangway will fit and the myriad of other details that it takes to get the Lois set up at a port.  Ideally, this visit happens in February or March, and any sticking points can addressed to make the visit run smoothly.  This year was a little different.  First of all, Erick took me along on the recon trip – it’s much less stress on people if more than one person knows what is going on and who to talk to should something come up at a port.  Secondly, because of late confirmation of funding the recon trip didn’t happen until the last week of June, about a month before we were scheduled to leave.  This gave communities much less time to work through any issues that arose with hosting the Lois, and definitely put the crunch on them for planning and promotional purposes.  They have all risen to the occasion.

Geneva is a prime example.  Originally we had planned to visit Watkins Glen, however, when docking issues cropped up Geneva was ecstatic to have us come back to their waterfront.  Rob Gladden of the Chamber of Commerce and Bob Stivers of Stivers Seneca Marine teamed up and worked tirelessly to make our stay in Geneva go smoothly.  To make things even more complicated for them, we were rigging the boat so that we could sail on Seneca Lake.  Bob Stivers took care of the rigging operations and made sure that our rig could be safely raised.  Once we had the rig set, we had a fantastic sail on Seneca Lake.  It is great to be able to actually sail when we’re on tour.  It’s a rare occasion that we get the rig up and have a whole day to just toodle around on a lake.

Docked in Geneva
Docked in Geneva (photo: Tom Larsen)

Once we arrived back at the dock in Geneva, we were inundated with eager public on our first day open, having seen us sailing on the lake the day before and many having seen us in the paper (thanks to Rob and Bob’s work with the press).  A few also commented having heard Erick on a local radio talk show Wednesday morning.  There was a very constant flow of visitors on Saturday and Sunday.  Rob had arranged for food vendors to arrive, which combined with the Cabot/McCadam table, provided some very tasty treats for the visitors.  Though the weather was pretty rough on Sunday, we still had many visitors, all of whom were excited about the Lois being there.  Many remembered visiting the boat when it had docked there in 2007, and all of them were truly grateful to see the boat with the masts up.

Our hats are off to Rob Gladden and Bob Stivers and numerous others from Geneva for all their help.  Thanks to their hard work, we had a fantastic stop and a glorious sail.

Tom Larsen
AB Crew

A volunteer deckhand’s first sail

by Doug Riley

I hit the lottery last Thursday.  Not the one that pays cash, but the one that pays in amazing experiences.  I got to help sail the Lois McClure, not as a canal boat, but as a sailing vessel.

I teach sailing in Colchester, Vermont.  Our school boats there weigh about the same as one of the nine huge ballast rocks that inhabit the canal schooner’s cargo hold.  The rocks, in turn, represent barely a quarter of the mass of the mighty schooner.  Fifty or so tons of wood, stone and iron add up to a far more stately ride than any little modern sailboat can offer.

Hilton Dier tails a line for Steve Hayes and Don (?)
Hilton Dier tails a line for Steve Hayes and Don (?) (photo: Duncan Hay)

Raising the sails on a larger, nineteenth century schooner that lacks many of the labor saving devices on modern boats, requires about half a dozen crew, teamwork and a certain athleticism.  The two larger sails – the mainsail and foresail – are four-sided assemblies topped by a heavy timber (the gaff).  A team of two crew members haul up on each of the two top corners of the sail using lines called the peak and throat halyards, all coordinated by an observer (usually the first mate).  Naturally, one more person is required to steer the boat, keeping her pointed into the wind.

Sail-raising proceeds from stern forward to the bow.  Once all three sails are set, the schooner’s sailing voyage begins.

Sailing (photo: Duncan Hay)

The boat’s motion is stately.  Thanks to her boxy cross section, she heels (or leans away from the wind) far less than most sailboats.  Her length and mass give her progress through the water a smooth elegance.

Before Lois McClure‘s launching in July of 2004, no one had seen a canal schooner under sail in nearly a century.  This fact guarantees plenty of company when our replica hoists sail.  Recreational boats of all descriptions pace along beside her, orbit her or dart in for close looks.

Sailing (photo: Duncan Hay)

The schooner’s lack of a long keel (typical of other mid-19th century boats) makes her surprisingly easy to turn.  Other schooners of this vintage must alter the pull of their sails (effectively turning the front sail, or jib, into a second rudder) in order to turn their bows through the wind.  Lois simply pivots around her deep but narrow centerboard when turning through the wind.

On a sailing vessel, your personal internal clock gradually resets itself.  Traveling at speeds of under ten miles per hour is maddening in an automobile traffic jam.  On the schooner, this leisurely pace is first soothing and ultimately just normal.  You can imagine yourself as the owner-entrepreneur of the boat, confident that delivery of the cargo on board across New York State will happen on schedule.

Doug Riley
A native of Norwalk, CT, Doug now lives in Essex Junction, Vermont.  A friend who worked on the Lois McClure construction invited him to watch the process.  He was most inspired to volunteer by the tremendous community enthusiasm that accompanied the launching of the schooner on the Burlington waterfront.

Notes from the Captain’s Log: Part Two

On July 31st, the Lois McClure entered the Erie Canal at its eastern terminus at Waterford. Each day, before we get underway, we remind ourselves that: a) our big objective is Safety, and that: b) the key to Safety is Slowing Down. One of the interesting things about canal travel is that it has quite a few ways of making the Slowing-Down reminder unnecessary. For example, canal locks are one-way in both directions. Sometimes, when you want to go up, you have to wait for another vessel, who got there first, to come down. Such was the case on July 31st.

Road sign for the water
Road sign for the water (photo: Kerry Batdorf)

We were all ready to cast off from the Waterford wall, day’s briefing completed, lifejackets on, tugboat Churchill’s diesel engine ticking over, all warmed up, crew excited to be starting a big leg of our voyage. The Erie! Then the lock keeper in the first lock, 100 yards away, Lock 2 (for some reason, the “Federal Lock” just downstream on the Hudson at Troy is considered the first lock in the Erie system), responded to our radio request for a westbound passage with, “We have a boat coming down from Lock 3. As soon as he’s through, we’ll give you a green light.” Well, okay.

We all stood by for about twenty minutes. We stared at the bottom of the lock gate, looking for the bursting white water that would show that the lock was at last being drained down to our level, so that this pesky boat, whoever he was, could come out and we could go in. It was like watching for steam from the kettle. At last! In we went, behind a motor cruiser whose vacationing couple had also been waiting.

Erie Locks 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, at Waterford, are deep locks, close together. At one time, they provided the highest lift in the shortest distance of any canal locks in the world. (That claim has been overtaken by huge, single-lift machines in Europe, which, in turn, will be overtaken by an even bigger lift machine in China.) As we went from Lock 2 to 3, and 3 to 4, our lock mates in the motor cruiser zipped out and raced to the next lock, only to have to wait for the Lois, creeping out under tow, easing along to the next lock, and slowly working into it. At Lock 4, the frustrated motor-cruiser skipper got on the radio to the lock keeper: “Isn’t there any way I can get ahead of this big, old boat?” (I suppose he would have been surprised to learn that his shiny cruiser was older than the slowpoke that was wrecking his timetable.) The lock keeper didn’t deign to reply to this request. Well, by Lock 5, our neighbors finally began to take some interest in our strange-looking craft. Curious glances began to replace frowning stares. By Lock 6, the vacationers actually seemed to be having fun. Now, they were smiling and called over to us, had to know all about the Lois McClure. What a remarkable vessel we have! She can slow people down and change frowns to smiles.

By the end of the day, we were tied up at the Schenectady Yacht Club, courtesy of member John Jermano, who wouldn’t let us pay a cent for amenities. And he shared freely with us, too, his fund of local historical knowledge about the Old Erie Canal and its relationship to the New York State Barge Canal that we were traveling. This eastern part of the Barge Canal (it’s still referred to as the Erie Canal) follows the Mohawk River, as pretty a stream as I’ve ever seen. The locks and dams put into the Mohawk during World War I raised the level of the river by some ten feet. That made it navigable by big tugs and heavily loaded barges, with a controlling depth of 12 feet.

Erie Canal looking east from Rexford
Erie Canal looking east from Rexford

At first glance, it seems strange that the builders of the original Erie didn’t use the riverbed, which would have saved a lot of digging. Instead, they dug a new route, following the river valley, but keeping the canal well above the river itself. The reasons were not only to avoid damage to the canal by floods, but also because in the 1820s, ditch-digging technology was ahead of dam-building technology. As we travel the Barge Canal, we are always interested to try to spot vestiges of the Old Erie, such as stonework along the riverbank that indicates the position of an old lock. John Jermano told us about plenty of such reminders on his part of the Mohawk.

One of the objectives of this year’s trip out the Erie is to call at towns that we had to bypass when the Lois went west in 2007. The first one was Fort Plain. Our mooring was in a small slip, just above Lock 15. We used the Oocher to help make the 90-degree pivot into our berth. When we got all tied up, the stern of the schooner stuck out into the river about ten feet. The lock keeper loaned us a pair of green lights to show on the transom at night, because our wooden stern would be taking the place of the stone wall as the marked corner for the approach to the lock. Hmmm. Not to worry. Nighttime traffic on the canal is rare nowadays.

Our visit to Fort Plain on August 3rd was wonderful. A healthy percentage of the local citizens came on board to experience firsthand being on a canal boat like the ones that had passed through their town in thousands 150 years ago. And our crew was treated to a reciprocal tour of the Fort Plain Museum, which is way up there on the scale of excellence, when it comes to presenting local history. In Fort Plain, we were not allowed to prepare a single one of our own meals. What hospitality!

Perusing the museum-showroom of Remington Arms
Perusing the museum-showroom of Remington Arms (photo: Tom Larsen)

Our next stop, on August 5th, was Ilion, another town we’d had to skip in 2007. The Lois McClure again drew a significant portion of the inhabitants. Ilion provides a perfect example of how the Erie Canal built towns. The fledgling Remington arms factory moved to Ilion in 1825, because the new Canal, just opening for business, ran through the village. Suddenly, at Ilion, Remington had cheap transportation for its products and could reach markets anywhere. The company has never looked back. Our crew had its own tour of the Remington museum-showroom, attached to the now-huge factory.

Heading on west, we revisited Utica on August 7th and 8th, and crossed Oneida Lake on the 11th. This lake can get rough, so we like to traverse it early in the morning, when the wind is likely to be light. On this day, there wasn’t much wind at all, early or late, just the way we like it when our masts and sails are stowed away on their overhead racks.

Docked in Utica
Docked in Utica (photo: Kent Strobel)

In 2007, we had stopped overnight at Baldwinsville, but didn’t have time to open our museum ship to visitors. So, this year, we stayed over at “B’ville,” as we came to call the delightful town, imitating the locals, on August 13th and 14th. Erick Tichonuk, as Deputy  Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, as well as First Mate of the schooner, makes up the schedule for our trips. It’s a complicated task with many criteria going into the decisions on where to go when. Now, I’m not really sure about this, because Erick seems to have missed out in the sweet-tooth department, but still, it may be possible that one factor leading to our two-day stop in B’ville was that Mickie, whose partner Gus has practically adopted us, can’t bake enough of her to-die-for blueberry and chocolate delights for us. Mercy, are they good! But who’s been cutting inches off my belt?

Rigging at Stivers Marine
Rigging at Stivers Marine (photo: Duncan Hay)

On August 16th, we passed under the last bridge on the Cayuga–Seneca Canal, a side waterway that leads from the Erie Canal to the Finger Lakes, and moored at Bob Stivers’ Seneca Marine, as squared-away a marina and boatyard as you’re likely to find. Next day, we stepped the schooner’s masts and rigged the vessel for sailing. The operation was a little different than usual, because the crane was high atop a rocky abutment, to the foot of which we tied the canal boat. But Erick found a spot up on the Lois’s cabin top where the crane operator could see his hand signals, and everything went smoothly. It’s now the end of the day, and we have towed across the north end of Seneca Lake and tied up at the town dock at Geneva.

Docked in Geneva
Docked in Geneva (photo: Duncan Hay)

Tomorrow, we get to go sailing!

Roger Taylor

A reflection on “Canallers”

by Doug Riley

When the last visitor of the day has gone ashore, when the schooner is snugged down for the night and the supper dishes washed and put away, there is time for the crew to relax and read.  I found a yellowing copy of Moby Dick for a dollar in a used bookstore.  Herman Melville had this to say about “Canallers” – Erie Canal men who made their way to the seacoast and joined the whale ship crews:

“Freely depicted in his own vocation, gentlemen, the Canaller would make a fine dramatic hero, so abundantly and picturesquely wicked is he.  Like Mark Antony, for days and days along his green turfed, flowery Nile, he indolently floats, openly toying with his red-cheeked Cleopatra, ripening his apricot thigh upon the sunny deck.  But ashore, all this effeminacy is dashed.  The brigandish guise the Canaller so proudly sports; his slouched and gaily-ribboned hat betoken his grand features.  A terror to the smiling innocence of the villages through which he floats; his swart visage and bold swagger are not unshunned in cities.  Once a vagabond on his own canal, I have recieved good turns from one of these Canallers; I thank him heartily; would fain not be ungrateful; but it is often one of the redeeming qualities of your man of violence, that at times he has as stiff an arm to back a poor stranger in a strait, as to plunder a wealthy one.  In sum, gentlemen, what the wildness of this canal life is, is emphatically evinced by this; that our wild whale-fishery contains so many of its most finished graduates, and that scare any race of mankind, except Sydney men, are so much distrusted by our whaling captains.  Nor does it at all diminish the curiousness of this matter, that to many thousands of our rural boys and young men born along its line, the probationary life of the Grand Canal furnishes the sole transition between quietly reaping in a Christian corn-field, and recklessly ploughing the waters of the most barbaric seas.” (Moby Dick, pp 236-7)

Many things have changed along the old canals since 1851 when Melville was writing.  The “Canallers” aboard the Lois McClure get an extravagant welcome in every canal town we visit.  Local people tour the boat, then leave to round up spouses, friends and children for a second, or even third, visit.  Plenty of them know canal history, and a few have new artifacts or gems of information to offer.  When issues arise, those with knowledge to share come forward and lend a hand, out of the kindness of their heart.  The schooner builds community around a complex piece of shared heritage.

Doug Riley
A native of Norwalk, CT, Doug now lives in Essex Junction, Vermont.  A friend who worked on the Lois McClure construction invited him to watch the process.  He was most inspired to volunteer by the tremendous community enthusiasm that accompanied the launching of the schooner on the Burlington waterfront.


By Art Cohn, Executive Director

In 2007 we had spent a night in Baldwinsville and hoped we would someday return to the Erie Canal and have an opportunity to open to the public here. The architecture of the town highlights the historic nature of the place and includes the re-purposed Red Mill Inn, the masonry hydro-power dam, and of course Lock 24 which dominates the town.  This year is the celebration of 100 years of operation for that lock, with a Barge into Baldwinsville festival (happening this weekend!).

When we arrived into town I checked my 1824 French’s Gazetteer of New York State for some perspective and was surprised to read “Before the Erie Canal was made navigable, the navigation of its [Seneca River] waters was an object of great importance.”  I had an opportunity to speak to Sue McManus, an events planner for Baldwinsville (and heavily involved with the Shacksboro Museum as well) and she informed me that the Old Erie Canal had not come through town; it was not until the 1910 completion of Lock 24, the first lock completed on the new Barge Canal, that the canal came directly through the center of Baldwinsville.

Birds Eye View of Baldwinsville from 1880

Sue was a great help in sorting it all out and she provided me with a “Birds Eye View of Baldwinsville from 1880” which indeed showed canal boats circumventing the dam in the center of town. This view suggested that there had been a canal through town but what relationship did it have to the Erie system? Sue told me about a booklet entitled Dr. Jonas C. and Mrs. Betsy Baldwin by George Hawley, which was out of print but which provided a perspective on this early Baldwinsville history and I was anxious to see if I could find a copy. Not to worry. Less than an hour later, Sue showed up with a complete Xerox copy for me. Not only was it another example of the spontaneous acts of kindness we experience aboard Lois, but it provided me with the perspective I was looking for on the maritime origins of the place. I am very grateful to Mr. Hawley, who was the Lysander town historian, for providing this perspective and to Sue for making this information available.

Jonas and Eliza Baldwin

Since the time that Native Americans lived in this region, the intricate rivers and lakes of central New York provided transportation corridors. Jonas Baldwin’s family was from Massachusetts; his father fought for the Patriot side during the Revolutionary conflict. Jonas attended Williams College then medical school in Albany before landing a job as a physician to the Inland Lock Navigation Company, then struggling to build a canal to the west. Dr. Baldwin married Eliza Warner in 1792 and with her had seven children and several homes before moving to the place that would bear their name.

Dr. Baldwin was very much the entrepreneur.  In 1809, one of his first initiatives upon moving to Baldwinsville was to purchase the local area rights to the defunct Inland Navigation Company and petition the State for permission to build a dam on the Seneca River to power mills. In conjunction with construction of the dam, Dr. Baldwin also requested permission to build a canal around the dam capable of handling vessels with a draft of up to two feet. Baldwin’s rights were to last for 20 years, with the possibility of extending them up through 1849.

After the Erie was opened in 1825, “it siphoned off most of the through-Seneca River traffic but the Baldwin Canal was vital to the Baldwinsville community”. In 1831 the canal was expanded to make it capable of handling the larger Erie boats then in operation. By then, Dr. and Mrs. Baldwin had passed away (within weeks of each other in 1827), and their sons were running the Baldwin empire. There was enough resistance to the continued Baldwin family domination of the dam and canal rights that a petition was submitted against its extension and the State took over the rights themselves.

In 1863 the State rebuilt the lock in stone. With the coming of the new Barge Canal, however, the old canal was eventually relegated to a raceway and in 1967 was filled in by the village.

With Sue’s assistance and the “Birds Eye View of 1880” in hand I found it possible to trace the route of the Baldwin Canal. Emerging onto Lock Street, I was able to reflect on the bygone days of Baldwinsville when this medical-man-turned-business-pioneer envisioned a community that would be dominated by water power and transportation. What a treat!

Art Cohn
Executive Director

Community Connections: Baldwinsville

by Kathleen Carney, Commissary

On the 2007 Erie Canal Journey, we were befriended along the way by Gus, a gregarious gentleman from Baldwinsville, who met us at various locks along the way to give us outrageous baked goodies sent by his partner, Mickie. We thought of Gus as we neared Baldwinsville and wondered if we’d see him again. And, I confess, we also wondered if he’d be delivering one of Mickie’s very sweet, very delicious blueberry cobbler-sort-of-thingies that we all loved so much three years ago

Gus in Baldwinsville
Gus in Baldwinsville (photo: Erick Tichonuk)

The answer to all of the above—as you might have guessed—was yes! Gus greeted us at Baldwinsville with a still-warm blueberry cobbler and the offer to help us in any way he could. The next day, he delivered a new treat: “Chocolate Chip Bubble Muffins”—mmmm, good. He drove our Ship’s Carpenter, Kerry, to a hardware store to pick up some supplies, and on the way back to the boat, detoured to a local farm market to buy a couple of dozen ears of fresh sweet corn for the crew. Next, he took Barb and me to the supermarket and dashed through the aisles of what was to us a maze, but to him a familiar store, to find the items on our list.

Gus sent us off on our last morning in Baldwinsville with TWO blueberry cobblers. We never did see the Mysterious Mickie on this trip, but we saluted her with a blast from the Churchill’s horn as we passed her house on the river. And we salute you, too, Gus. Thank you for being such a good friend!

Kathleen Carney

Notes from the Admin

As you know, this blog format is a new thing for us at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, as we have moved from our old format of Ship’s Logs.  Some of the writers really enjoy it, others are still dubious; but most importantly, we are wondering how all of you, our readers, feel about it!  Comments, criticisms, exuberant praises, suggestions for improvement?  Let us know – either by leaving a comment at the bottom of a post – or by sending an email to toml@lcmm.org.

We want to provide a way for others to enjoy the sights we see and people we meet, the wonderful generosity we receive — the experiences of the Lois McClure traveling on our shared waterways. Thanks for reading!

Canaler to Canaler

As we slowed for our approach to Lock 24 and Baldwinsville, NY I noticed a faint hint of diesel fuel and that our faithful tug C.L. Churchill was sounding a little different, like maybe a cylinder wasn’t running up to par. After our successful landing on the wall above the lock and across from Paper Mill Island I investigated the engine compartment. I discovered that the #6 injector pump pipe was leaking fuel. This would account for both the smell and sound.

Chris Freeman working on the Atlas engine of the tug Urger
Chris Freeman working on the Atlas engine of the tug Urger (photo: Erick Tichonuk)

I’m not mechanically inept, but I’m certainly not a diesel mechanic either, which is why when the Tug Urger pulled up behind us 45 minutes later I was really happy to see the face of my colleague Chris Freeman hanging out the side door at his post as engineer. Chris faithfully answers the bell signal of the captain Jack Wright who calls down his needs to Chris who in turn makes the old Atlas engine respond accordingly. The Urger is the Canal Corporation’s Educational Icon. Now 109 years old, she’s on the Historic Register and is meticulously maintained, drawing crowds no matter where she goes.

Chris Freeman, (aka “Freebird”, aka “The Bird”) and I struck up a friendship last year during the “Working on Water Tour” when the Urger, Peckinpaugh, Lois McClure, Churchill, and 8th Sea stopped at several ports simultaneously on Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal. We stayed in touch over the winter and looked forward to the opportunity to practice moderation when our boats visited the same ports again this year. Baldwinsville was our first encounter of the season.

Chris came over and looked things over with Art and I. He made no miraculous discoveries, but his knowledge and skills gave us the confidence and information we needed to make simple fixes and keep things going. I know it was a small matter to him, but to us it was huge. When we professed our thanks and told him if there was anything we could ever do he simply replied, “Canaler to Canaler.”

Erick Tichonuk
First Mate

You’ll always know your pal

Lock 23 on the Erie Canal, one of the busiest on the waterway because of its location in the Oswego River at the west end of Oneida Lake, is manned by Pete, aka “The Chief.” Pete has planted a world-class herb garden at the side of his lock house. His lockside farm includes tomatoes and peppers and zucchini. There’s a sunny clump of black-eyed susans smiling over the herbs and morning glories twined along the lock fence. Pete has hung brightly colored hummingbird feeders throughout the garden and set bluebird houses among the trees in the adjoining park. All this is not just a feast for the eye. Pete leaves a stack of bags tucked into the information shelf at the lock and invites the boaters to help themselves to the garden’s bounty. We sent Molly and Tom to collect cherry tomatoes for our dinner salad. They were delicious—so delicious that they disappeared before they could join the salad!

One of the challenges of the Commissary is to find a way to shop as we move along the canal. Supermarkets are rarely found in the center of town these days—and we don’t have a car. Pete had already thought of this, and before we made our way out of Lock 23, he offered to take Barb and me shopping when he finished his shift. So later in the afternoon, he came along to our mooring place on the wall above the lock, tooting his horn to let us know he’d arrived. Barb and I climbed into his little red truck, and off we went. It was a fifteen-minute ride to the supermarket, and Pete entertained us with good conversation along the way. Then he waited—and waited—and waited while we made our way through the aisles of a strange supermarket (where’s the.. ?) and filled two big carts with provisions for the crew. When we reappeared in the parking lot an hour (!) later, Pete was still smiling and cheerful. What a guy.

So, thank you, Chief, for the beautiful garden, the good company, your kindness, and, above all, your patience. We look forward to seeing you again at Lock 23 when we head back east.

Kathleen Carney

Sylvan Beach

After docking Lois at the wall in Sylvan Beach, part of the crew decided to go exploring.  Peter, Tom, Molly and I headed to the park and beach.  After a long day of traveling, Peter was looking forward to a swim.  Arriving at the beach, we noticed that it wasn’t that deep until you got rather far out.  Rather than walk out, Peter decided to just lay down instead.  It was pretty funny to watch.

There was an event going on that night – Bikes at the Beach.

An Indian motorcycle at Sylvan Beach
An Indian motorcycle at Sylvan Beach (photo: Tom Larsen)

After Peter’s swimming escapades, we decided to take the long way back to the boat and check out the bikes.  They were all really neat.  There was an awesome light blue Indian, as well as some really cool airbrushed helmets.  That night I fell asleep on deck, listening to pop songs from the radio station that had a DJ setup on the park, in the middle of the bikes.  For my first new port on Lois, Sylvan Beach was both interesting and exciting.

Isaac Parker
A freshman at Mount Abraham Union High School, Isaac recently completed building his very own boat – a Teal design by Harold “Dynamite” Payson and Philip Bolger.  He joins the crew this year for the first time.