Captain's Blog

Erie Canal

Nostalgia – Siskiwit 8-10-92. Locked thru lock 7 on the Erie Canal and Jerry who was shooting TV weather spot for WTEN, Albany.  Jerry asked if he could shoot us coming out of Lock 7. We affirmed.   Rachel and I tied up at lock 6 (Half Moon) for an interview.

Construction of the Erie Canal began in 1817, the laborers were paid $8 a month and worked 14 hour days. It opened in 1825 and reduced the travel time from New York to Buffalo from six weeks to 10 days and cut the cost of 1 ton of freight from $100 to $5. By 1900 the US had 4,000 miles of canals. It was enlarged and deepened between 1903-1918. President Teddy Roosevelt wanted to expand it to take ocean going traffic and everyone called it a “boondoggle.” When we learned this, all we could think about for must of the 186 miles from Oswego to the Troy Locks imagine if America had committed to that level of infrastructure back then, there would have been no need for the St. Lawrence Seaway. What a difference that would have been to upstate New York today.

Endeavour

In 1984 Elizabeth Myer purchased the J class yacht Endeavour and began the restoration(estimated to total $10 million). Myer was also instrumental in the restoration of Shamrock V another J class (Just 10 were built, between 1930 and 1937, and most had been scrapped).  She is president of J-Class Management. She founded the International Yacht Restoration School in 1993 which has taught 400 students in yacht building and restoration and seen that more than 80 classic yachts given new life. She sold Endeavour for $15 million. For her efforts in building and yacht restoration she has received the president’s award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2011 she received the Don Turner Award from the USS Constitution Museum for her work in maritime preservation.

From 1975 to 1993 she owned the Concordia yawl, Matinicus and has authored books on the Ray Hunt designed class. She now sails Seminole, a 1916 Lawley-built 47 ft (14.3m) gaff yawl, bought in 1996 from California unseen for one dollar, her restoration was completed in 2005, She and her husband have sailed Seminole over 18,000 miles.

Endeavour 2015 Endeavour 1974