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Old 28-04-2011, 12:50   #1
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Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

The Hudson River, up here in the Adirondack boonies, is at all-time high flood levels. Just went down to the river, which is pretty awesome at these levels, and looked at all the debris: huge trees and anything else not attached is headed downriver to the ocean at ten knots. The reason I mention it is because the flotsam winds up in the Champlain Canal lock system and in the lower Hudson. Anyone heading down the canal or lower Hudson/NY Harbor (I know it's early)needs to look out for many large floating and semi-submerged obstacles coming your way.
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Old 29-04-2011, 21:29   #2
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Re: Hudson Flooding/Flotsam

thanks. It's amazing on the shores of NYc waters how much wood and debris come from the ADKS. I don't think people give it much thought. i go white water rafting up there out of Indian lake down the headwaters of the Hudson.
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Old 30-04-2011, 07:39   #3
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Re: Hudson Flooding/Flotsam

There's a hundred years of accumulated stuff that just got scrubbed away and washed down. Last fall, coming back up the Hudson, there had been a couple of weeks of relatively high water and the locks were just full of debris. I heard my prop hit sticks a number of times. The lock keepers had to work all day trying to move tree trunks to keep them from jamming the doors. The locks are scheduled to open in a couple of days. Wouldn't be surprised if they have to delay. I've lived around here since the late 60s and have canoed, kayaked, rafted, and swam down the upper Hudson for 40 years. No one has ever seen anything like this. We had a hell of a party, watching the river rise from one of the local watering holes. The tree trunks will raise hell with marinas on the way down, getting wedged in between the docks.
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Old 11-05-2011, 14:26   #4
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Thinking of doing a delivery from NYC to oswago on a 32' sailboat around 1st of June. I imagine the water levels should settle down by then.

Anyone know a good source of charts/pilot guide?

Also, how long should I plan on the trip taking? We will average 5 knots on the engine.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:12   #5
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

The New York State Canal System - Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga Seneca Canals
New York State Canals: Maps

Main Page - Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and Champlain Canal Guide
Erie Canal - Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and Champlain Canal Guide
Oswego Canal - Erie Canal, Oswego Canal and Champlain Canal Guide
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:31   #6
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

Lake Champlain is still at flood levels and is going down VERY slowly. The last I heard, the Canal Authority is targeting 5/29 as earliest opening . If transiting the Hudson river upstream you have to go with the current. Going up, you have a good 8 hours of favorable current or more. I have a hull speed of 6+ knots and usually stop at Haverstraw-day 1 (fuel here), Esopus-day 2, Castleton-day 3(fuel here) before hitting the Champ. Canal days 4/5. It's a 5 day trip to Lake Champlain. Never been over to Oswego. Tides run strong all the way up to Albany, where there are 3'+ tides. The Hudson is actually a Fjord, a tidal estuary. Currents DO NOT coincide with tide charts and are pretty confusing because of the differentials created by incoming/outgoing tides combined with river flow. You need to get the current info. and throw the tide charts in the trash. There are few places to anchor as well, so planning is really important.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:37   #7
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Great. Thanks for the info. Looked at the ny canal authority and their info seems weak. Which charts do you suggest for current info?
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:55   #8
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

The Cruising Guide to the New York State Canal System
New York State Canals: Excursions and Vacations: Boating on the Canal: Purchase the Original Cruising Guide
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:05   #9
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

I usually download the current charts from NOAA. McKibben's guide book is a good one. I also have lots of notes in old logs and on charts that I make sure to review before starting out. One thing to make sure of is the time to leave NY Harbor (4 hrs. after LOW at the Battery as in Eldridge). The current really rips going up to Haverstraw and you'd be almost going backwards at 5 knots if you hit it wrong. Anchor at Haverstraw, depending on wind, either N or S shoreline, east of channel. Lots of good spots to throw the hook with good holding although current runs/reverses. Sometimes Bahamian anchors save a lot of worry about anchor line getting under boat.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:30   #10
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Sounds ominous. Thanks for the info.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:33   #11
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrublewski View Post
Thinking of doing a delivery from NYC to oswago on a 32' sailboat around 1st of June. I imagine the water levels should settle down by then.
Anyone know a good source of charts/pilot guide?
Also, how long should I plan on the trip taking? We will average 5 knots on the engine.
Did the trip from NYC to Oswego (final destination was Kingston Canada) back in 2002. I would say allow ten to twelve days to Oswego. Here is route I took:

Day 1: NYC to Nyack
Day 2: Nyack to Kingston NY
Day 3: Kingston NY to Catskill (dropped mast on deck for canal trip)
Day 4: Catskill (layday and lashing up the mast, fuel up, water)
Day 5: Catskill to Troy
Day 6: Troy (entered Erie Canal) stopped tied up Lock 8 (26 miles)
Day 7: Lock 8 to Lock 16 (55 miles)
Day 8: Lock 16 to Lock 19 (24 miles)
Day 9: Lock 19 to Sylvain Beach (35 miles)
Day 10: Sylvain Beach to Oswego (14 Miles)

Always went with a favoring current up the Hudson. Be aware severe storms can throw a lot of debris into the canal and clog intake water for the engine can cause overheating of the engine (guess how I know) Happened two times on my trip. Authorities may close canal for a day or two due to debris or water flow. It's a great trip to enjoy at a leisurely pace. Would be even better now that I converted to electric propulsion. Used an Eldridge Tide and Pilot book and a chart for the Hudson. And a chart book for the canal. Had my local library acquire it and returned it after the trip was over. Don't recall the name. Enjoy the journey!
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:41   #12
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Thanks for the itinerary. We will take the boat to Trenton, on so a bit further. I was thinking same time frame. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 13:24   #13
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

Just had to ride down to Albany to pick up some SOLAS parachute flares at West Marine (not reasonably shippable) and looked at the Hudson down that way. I was amazed. Not only is it higher than I've ever seen it around Albany but there is so much stuff floating that it looks like you could walk across! It's going to be a nightmare to navigate for a long time. The river flows up every day and then back so the flotsam will be around for a while. Can't imagine what the locks must look like because in these dug offsets to the Hudson, there is no place for logs, etc. to go. The Erie Canal is probably less affected because it is not part of the Hudson. The Mohawk section looked high but no debris obvious right there under the bridge on 87.
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Old 12-05-2011, 19:46   #14
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

smurphy

Thanks for the photos. I may be mistaken but, I thought the waters of the Hudson usually reached max sometime in April? Sounds like the Army Corp of Engineers are going to be busy in New York Harbor picking up debris for a while if the reports from up river are any indication.
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Old 12-05-2011, 21:09   #15
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Re: Hudson Flooding / Flotsam

Capt. Mike,
It was almost 2 weeks ago when the Hudson flooded up here in the Adirondacks. It's down to normal now after breaking all existing records by a foot. Was surprised today that it was still really high just north of Albany, only about 80 miles south.
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