Fairport to Newark Harbor (NY)
31 August 2008 | 43.0475 x -77.0944
Last night was very interesting; everyone was fascinated with our boat and where we were from (people kept asking how we got here from Mississippi). It was weird & I felt like the main attraction for a while. I guess we shouldn't have docked right next to the picnic tables at the ice cream store. It was really kind of cool. I don't know if Saturday night is ice cream social night on the town square or not but I've never seen so many little munchkins running around at dark as I have here. It was like family's just converged on the place and it was a big social meeting place. Little old couples, young families with strollers, just incredible! They were all out and about without a care walking up and down the canal, chatting with each other, eating ice-cream. It reminded me of a scene from the early 50's - nobody seemed threatened by anything and they weren't afraid to talk to strangers (boaters) passing through. They actually were intrigued with us. A very family friendly place - I would recommend it to anyone wanting to raise a family - wonderful small town America at it's best. Dock Master Tom checked back with us a couple times to see if all was well and brought us a poster of their "Canal Days". I also forgot to mention yesterday that we saw this place called "The Box Factory" um but there wasn't a box to be found... it was the name of the building that housed offices and stores, etc...
On to today! Got up early and showered (before dawn)- very nice facilities but on the south side far end behind the Dock Master's office - 3 full shower/bathrooms and a ½ bath all very clean and took some pictures of the town at twilight. They have a mule sculpture in front of the police station that is pretty cool looking. I think it was a tribute to the mules that used to haul all the barges up and down the canal system.
While meandering back to the boat and taking pictures, I saw the Bridge Tender standing outside of his tower on the bridge and struck up a conversation with him. "Hey, not to busy this time of day" "Nah, I should take up painting" I told him I thought this was a very nice town, he agreed. I asked about the bridge - it was higher up on his end than on the other side of the canal and he said yes. It's the only lift bridge of its kind & in the Guinness World Book of Records. All 4 corners have different elevations and there are no 90-degree angles on it so it was quite a feat with the counter weights to raise and lower the bridge correctly! So there's a piece if trivia Jesse - I know how you like the Records Book!
Today was ~21 miles to Newark (NY not NJ) We went through 2 Locks today, one 16 ft and the other a 20 ft drop in elevation. It still makes my heart pound to do this but after 22 of them, I'm told it will be old hat. Today we had ropes to grab on to and the first one was no problem, I had my trusty gloves on and pole in hand to grab it. The second one - well I forgot to put my gloves on and remembered as I felt the slimy algae get pushed down the rope by my hand. Yuck... but it wasn't as bad as some of the algae I've played with in some of the fish tanks. Got it all over the wheel and after we left the lock I had to go wash my hands and splatter marks off my legs and arms...
Met another boat going in our direction last night and chatted with them this morning (Norma Fay - a Hunter 38). They were originally headed to the next port up but I think they were enticed into putting into Newark where we were going to dock when they heard about the free laundry here. They beat us in and got to the laundry first LOL. They're a nice group. I chatted with them while doing laundry and passing back and forth. They'd run into Carpe' Diem in Tonawanda so it sounds like Carpe' Diem isn't far behind us.