Almost missed the opening of the locks
13 May 2012 | Castleton on the Hudson River
In my last blog post I wrote that we were still waiting for the locks to open up, but it didn't take that long, after all. I did call the Troy Lock mid April to find out if they were by chance opening before May 1st, but the guy answering said no, only as per schedule on May 1st. On Friday, April 27th we looked at the New York State Canal, Notice to Mariner's website and it said May 1st. On Saturday, Benno and I were sitting in the Castleton Clubhouse at noon, waiting for our serving of Philly Cheese Steak and discussing that we had enough time to clean our dinghy the next day at the dock before taking our mast down on Monday. Benno started to read the Albany Newspaper from the previous day and in it there was an article that 3 airplanes (Royal Navy donated airplane, a MIG airplane and some previous secret airplane) would be transported by barge from New York's Pier 93 through the Troy and Erie Canal locks to the museum further up on SATURDAY and that the locks would be open.
Boy, did we wolf down our lunch and the dessert of chocolate cheesecake. Then we hurried to the dinghy, gunning the outboard to get back to Diesel Duck. Back onboard I called up the lock at Troy, the same number as before, and yes, they were open until 10 p.m. However, the other locks, starting with no. 2, would close at 5 p.m. Benno checked the Canal website and yes, the show was on the road, an early opening beginning 10.00 a.m. on Saturday morning. In no time was our dinghy on the aft deck and the mooring line let go. We moved over to the club to start taking our mast, boom and rigging down. We finished at 3:30 p.m. and were underway for Troy.
A couple hours later Diesel Duck went through the Troy lock and the lock keeper said he already locked 13 boats through that day. We then tied up to the long wall before lock #2 in Waterford for the night. This wall is equipped with hydro posts and water outlets for transient boats. There were two sailboats and two trawlers tied up to the wall with their masts down. But the sailboats were going to Lake Champlain (Champlain had an opening scheduled for the 29th of Apr.) and the trawler owner said he wanted to wait a couple more days for warmer and calmer weather to start locking through.
On Sunday, shortly after 7 a.m., right after getting our canal pass, ($50.00 for a ten day pass for vessels over 39ft) we entered the Lock No. 2 and hurray, we were the first pleasure boat locking through the Erie Canal.