My Blog - Mark Coletta Photography
  • Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:50:16 +0000

    The Erie Canal–West Bound From Lake Onieda to Buffalo (Part Two)

    Well I suppose I could say that this was more of the same, and to an extent that would be true. Following the Erie Canal is just motoring along a lazy river with some curves and stretches of long straight canal with nothing to see but Cottonwood Trees and banks lined with fallen trees and other debris caused by the heavy spring rains and flooding.

    However, one of the things that has been most interesting about this portion of the trip has  been a look at Americana, those small towns along the way that have made the trip so interesting. We have slowed down in many of these towns to wait for the Canal’s many lift bridges or to spend the night. We have seen home grown Home Town Celebrations in towns such Fairport or Spencerport, NY. You have all seen these small town celebrations and have been part of them at one time or other. The thing that struck me most about these events was that we found ourselves welcomed into these town and others as well by the cities themselves because they opened their arms to the boaters on the Canal and give boaters nice park-like surroundings in their cities with free power, showers, clean restrooms and in some cases even free clothing washers and dryers. These amenities are provided in the hopes that you will spend your money in their town and recommend their town as a stopping place to your fellow boaters.

    Many of these towns and villages were established in the 18th century by those that help build the Erie Canal. We found that parts of the Canal were being worked on in 1817 which was possibly before the development of the steam shovel.

    One of the most interesting Locks that we passed through was the last lock, number 34. It was interesting in that it was a double lock. There were four sets of doors, but the first three sets separated the two chambers which lifted the boat some 25 feet each time. The fourth set of doors was a second set which were on the outside of the West end of the lock which acted to assist in holding back the water from the Canal which is 50 feet higher than the East end of the lock.

    Tomorrow, we will start to put the Mast back in the boat, not so sure how long the whole process will take, but inserting the mast into the boat doesn’t take but a couple of hours. It’s putting all the lines and cables back in their place as well as reconnecting all of the electrical that will likely take the most time.

  • Sat, 07 Jun 2014 01:15:10 +0000

    The Erie Canal–West Bound (part 1)

    Enterance to the Erie Canal

    Today is day five on our west bound voyage on the Erie Canal. We left Albany on Sunday and have been making steady progress on the Canal to the tune of about 35 miles a day. The first lock is the Troy Federal Lock which is pictured below.

    Troy Federal Lock 1

    This is a typical lock that you would find on the Erie Canal, usually associated with a dam. Prior to June 1st, there were parts of the Canal that were closed due to heavy rains and flooding. There are parts of the Canal that are also part of the Mohawk River and there are parts that are just manmade straight sections of canal. There was one Lock that was rather interesting, in that instead of being associated with a dam and having the typical swing open doors, this Lock had a solid door that lifted to allow entrance and was built right into the side of the hill. Photos of Lock 17 below.

    Lock 17  The Gate starts to raiseThe Gate Raises More    The Lock With the Supprise Inside Entering Lock 17

    As you can see the door is massive.

    Yesterday we were just east of Lake Oneida, NY and there were some very shallow portions of the canal that they were dredging. We got down to one place were the water was 2.5 feet under the keel. total depth was less than 8 feet.

    Today we crossed Lake Oneida and proceeded westerly back into the Canal towards Buffalo. We are docked right next to Lock 24 at Baldwinsville, NY., the lock is right in the center of town.

  • Fri, 30 May 2014 22:13:15 +0000

    Sailing On The Hudson And Removing The Mast

    It’s now the end of May and we are just south of Albany. The sailboat has been at the Shady Harbor Marina for about ten days. Bill and I flew home on the 23rd of May because Bill’s Mother-in-Law was to pass at any time. Bill arrived back at the boat today and I will join him in the morning. We are about a day away from the Erie Canal and should enter the Canal on Sunday or Monday.

    The Erie Canal is 166 miles long from Albany to Buffalo. We hope to go between 30 and 40 miles per day, but a lot depends on how how many of the 38 locks we are able to get through without much delay.

    Here are a couple of shots of us sailing on the Hudson with the Spinnaker sail.

    _DSC6785 _DSC6783 _DSC6786

    Below are a few shots of the process of taking the Mast out of the boat and rigging it for the trip through the Erie Canal.

    Port Rigging Staysail RopesJib Ropes Boom Attachment Bolt Preparing the Mast Full Mast RemovalForward Mast Support More Mast Prep Aft Mast positioning

  • Fri, 16 May 2014 01:06:51 +0000

    Up The Hudson River–New York City To Albany

    On Tuesday, May 13th, I flew from Cleveland to NYC. We spent the morning provisioning the sailboat for our trip up the Hudson River. The purpose of the trip is to reposition the boat from Bradenton, FL to Traverse City, MI. We spent the afternoon sailing around the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan Island. We were docking at the North Cove Marina, which is right across the street from Ground Zero and the new World Trade Center.

    Statue of Liberty Lower Manhattan World Trade Center

    On Wednesday morning we departed NYC and headed North up the Hudson River. We found that there is quite a lot of traffic on the river, barges, pleasure craft, fisherman and lots of floating debris. We passed by all of those ritzy places in upper Manhattan, some destruction from Sandy and as we went “Up The River,” we passed by the real Sing Sing New York Correctional Facility.

    _DSC6755  _DSC6760_DSC6782

    We spent Wednesday night at Croton-on-Hudson, a nice little town about 30 miles north of NYC. We spent most of today, Thursday the 15th with low clouds, fog and rain. The weather report for Friday is more of the same.

  • Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:32:23 +0000

    Feeling Lost? Let a Blogging Roadmap Lead You to Success

    When I was thinking about what I wanted to write about this month, I remembered about this post I had seen on and thought that there might be at least one poor sole that is out there just wondering “How Do I Get Started, and What do I Write about?”

    Written on 1/23/2012 at 6:05 am by Guest Blogger

    This guest post is by John Davenport of

    It’s been said countless times in the blogging world that in order to be successful we need a plan. But how do we create this plan in a way that will help us reach our goals?

    Do we scratch it onto a piece of loose paper?

    Do we grab a crayon and write it on a napkin?

    Do we create a text doc on a PC and save it in some folder filled with hundreds files?

    No. We create a roadmap.

    When I first started blogging I had one goal in mind: to grow my audience. I was a nobody (and still I pretty much am a nobody) in this busy world of blogging, but I want to be a somebody, someday. So I created a roadmap to get there. You should too!

    Recognizing the problem most new bloggers face

    What’s the problem we all face when we start out blogging?

    Too many great ideas at once.

    We’ve all been there, right? That first idea pops into your head, and then another, and then, oh my, you’re already thinking of redesigning the layout of our blog, but you also have that ebook you want to start, and you’re supposed to have a newsletter out at the end of the month! Your to-do list keeps growing and growing and there’s no end in sight.

    Every new blogger who does any amount of research on how to gain blogging knowledge has certainly found themselves here at ProBlogger; the problem is that it’s too good a resource!

    Every day there’s a new post telling us to do something with our blog. Maybe what to do if your niche blog fails to make money, or that you should have built a newsletter opt-in box before you published your first post.

    Regardless of what we’re learning, these posts always will generate new ideas for us to apply in our own blogs—I mean, that’s what they’re there for, right?

    When it comes to planning your blog’s future, we need to put all this information in an organized spreadsheet that we can glance at. This way, we’ll and know exactly what we need to get done in January and what will be done by October.

    Creating a roadmap

    Organization is probably the most vital skill in the blogging world. You might not have to have all your papers in line and all your photographs in perfectly named folders, but your plans should be organized.

    This is precisely where a blogging roadmap will come in handy. You might ask, “John why do I need a roadmap? Won’t a simple to-do list do the same thing?” Here’s my answer.

    A roadmap gives you:

    1. an organized layout
    2. a clear-cut timetable
    3. accountability (optional).

    Let’s break this down a bit further shall we?

    A list is a great way to start your roadmap, but ultimately you’ll want a plan that’s visual. When we have multiple projects spread across many months, if not years, a simple list can become an overwhelming thing to look at. At that scale, it’s definitely not informative.

    So, sure, a list can be a great starting point, but at some point it’s necessary to break that list into chunks—I broke mine up by yearly quarters—that reflect the things we want to accomplish in a given timetable. To give you an idea, here’s a screen shot of my 2011 – 2013 roadmap

    What you want to make sure you do when you create your roadmap is to spread things out. You don’t want to have a roadmap that ends next month: you’re building your blog for the future. So let’s make sure we plan things accordingly.

    Once your to-do list is in roadmap form, you’ll have a few years of targets planned. Now you’ll be able to visually see how all your blogging efforts fit together and ultimately, that will help lead you to successful growth.

    How? The clear-cut timetable gives you the ability to predict when you need to buckle down and get your work done on a specific project. For example, if you want an ebook ready to be published by Q3 of this year, you’d better start the final draft by the end of Q2, and the pre-marketing campaign sometime in early Q3.

    I made accountability an optional advantage in the list at the start of this discussion, and that’s mainly because some people like to be more secretive about their overall plans. But if you do choose to publish your roadmap, your readers will know exactly what you’re planning and when these things will take place. This means that you’ll be more likely to meet your deadlines, so that you keep your readers happy. But regardless of whether you share the information or not, with a roadmap, you’re always accountable to yourself.

    Planning ahead is key when you’re the only one driving your blog. You don’t want to get lost and you certainly don’t want to drive off a cliff. So make sure you create a blogging roadmap, and never leave home without it.

    Do you already work off a blogging roadmap? What’s your major goal for 2012?

    John Davenport is an avid amateur photographer and blogger. He shares daily photographs on his blog

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