We wrapped up 338 miles on the Erie Canal today! Motoring for the last two weeks on still water, rather than sailing through rougher water in the Great Lakes, has been a wonderful opportunity to take a breath and settle into a routine in our new home for the year. I've been working on our Climate Odyssey map every day and getting some new prints started while Zion steers the boat and keeps up with his PhD responsibilities.
After six weeks on the water I can look back and see concrete evidence of our growth as sailors! At the start of the trip docking the boat was a chaotic and stressful task thanks to our unreliable engine and my inexperience. Now that Zion has repaired the engine and we've been docking the boat between two and six times a day (we have to dock each time we pass through a lock on the Canal) we are old pros! Another significant milestone passed when Zion solved the mystery of the random wafts of sewage smell that that would grace the cabin from time to time. It turned out that the air vent on our septic tank was blocked, and Zion scored 5,000 husband points for taking it apart and unclogging it. Finally, the Wildcat has a few new scuffs from encounters with docks and logs and things and we learned that she can really take a hit!
The next chapter of our journey is about to begin. We'll begin interviews next week with residents of the Lower Hudson Valley about climate change impacts in their region. We are so pumped to actually start the project we set out to do, but for now, time for a celebratory mojito!