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09/22/2010, UTICA, NY

Baldswinville - Arrived at around 4:00 pm, one of our longest days on the canal. Jack and Kris on 'Renaissance' and Dan and Mariann on 'Midori' were here tied up to the wall. Good to see them. Craig Horn left us on Saturday to return to Indiana - thank you Craig for all your help the past two weeks, it is very much appreciated.

Brewerton - A short day, stopped just west of Oneida Lake in Brewerton. Lots of places to stop for diesel here. We met Chris, Maggie and Tom aboard 'Oh Be Joyful'. They are on a catamaran also headed for the Bahamas. They told us that they stopped at Wardall's to have their mast unstepped. He wanted $125.00 for their very small light weight mast that would take 10 minutes to unstep, he wouldn't negotiate. So, they motored over to the bridge, tied a rope to the mast and bridge and lowered it themselves, with Wardall watching them. Good for them! Oneida lake is about 20 miles long, we were told to watch out for power boaters who zoom right by the sailboats, their wake causing the sailboats to be very unstable. We were all a little anxious after the stories we heard. Ended up being very uneventful, except for a missed buoy or two!

Utica - Left Brewerton at 7:00 am and arrived in Utica at 5:00 pm (long day). We all (Rubaiyat, Oh Be Joyful and Walk A-Bout) were going to stop at Rome but no power or water so we went on to Utica. We are actually tied to the wall at a restaurant that charged us $1.00 per foot. We have power and water but no showers. Tom mentioned that he wanted to shave off his beard so Chris (Rubaiyat) got out her dog grooming electric sheers and shaved him right there on the dock, it was pretty funny. Chris and I are going to make breakfast for everyone this morning before taking off. Plan on making this a short day, probably stop at Herkimer. Our 10-day canal pass expires tomorrow so we will need to extend it since we will not make it to the end by then. We still have another 20 locks to go. I believe we are just a little more than half way through the canal.


Thursday it rained the majority of the day, so we dug out our foul weather gear to wear. Cold as well. We stopped in Fairport for the night, tied up to the town wall and Bill and I went for a walk about the town. Very pretty town but as Bill would say "it's too foo-foo" (too upscale for his tastes). Anyway, as we were walking back to the boat this guy comes up to us, calls me by name and introduces himself. Turned out to be Dean, Chris and Stella (their dog) aboard 'Rubaiyat'. They also have their blog here and we have been reading about each others travels. Dean and Chris are from Petroskey, Michigan and are also heading south. After chatting for a while we decided to travel together through the canal. We all agreed that we were not in any rush to get to New York and out to the Atlantic with all the hurricanes brewing.

We agreed to make Lyons our next stop. As we are exiting Lock 27 the lock tender told us there were several state boats at the town dock but they were just leaving. Turns out the town just finished their ceremony for their updating of their tie-up facilities here. Anyway, Bob (one of the volunteer greeters) came and talked to us and asked where we were from, etc. He asked us to come to the firehouse where all the dignitaries were and talk about our travels. So, they videotaped us and we met the Mayor, the New York State Canal Commissioner, and many others, I think there was also a state representative thrown in there as well. So, that was our 15 minutes of fame.

Looking at the Garmin odometer we now have over 1,100 miles since we left Silver Bay!!

09/18/2010 | sharron
Hi, may i have your autograph please, also love the pumpkin and corn, i think you and bill should write a book when you are finished with your travels, stay safe love sharron
09/16/2010, Fairport, NY

We stayed last night in Middleport. Bob in Lockport called Nick in Middleport and Nick brought his car to the tie-up to pick up Bill and Craig to take them with our jerry cans to get diesel at the gas station. This gave us another 20 gallons of diesel. Thank you Bob and Nick!!! We have met so many great people, and still only one jerk.........the guy at Wardell's. We bring this up to all the people we meet and everyone who has ever had any dealings with the guy have similar very negative opinions of him. It's a wonder he is still in business.

Middleport was very nice with great tie-up facilities for only a small fee of $8.00. Bill and I agree that we need to slow down a little going through the canal, it is so picturesque with so many great towns to visit......we need to stop and smell the roses and not be in a big hurry to get through the canal.

We went through Locks E33 and E32 today. I think we are starting to get the hang of this lock thing and not as scary as the first few. I believe we have gone under our last lift bridge on the canal.

09/17/2010 | Pam Hinchliff
Cheryl and Bill- How great to read about your adventures and to see the progress your making in your journey. With the exception of "W" it sounds like the people you've meet have the same life spirit and passion to pursue their dreams. Good to see your doing wel. We'll keep following you and who knows, maybe we'll be in the vacinity of your travels this winter. Be safe- Pam and Tim.
09/14/2010, Middleport, NY

Fortunately, our very first person encountered on the Erie Canal was not an indication of the remainder of people we have met. Unfortunately, I cannot in this blog use the specific four letters words I would really prefer to use to describe him. Here is the story: we were passing Wardell Boat Yard when we see a diesel fuel pump. We thought, this looks like a good place to stop and top off our tank........wrong. An old guy (Wardell??) comes out after we are at the pump and says "what can I do for you? (in a very unfriendly tone)", I said we need some diesel, his response (even nastier) was "we only sell diesel to people who have their mast unstepped here", hethen turned his back on us and he walked away. Two guide books list Wardell's as a place to stop to get fuel, they need to update it to say they will only sell you fuel if you step or unstep your mast there. Diesel locations are few and far between on the Erie Canal so the fact that he won't sell you diesel is a very important piece of information. I have read on other peoples blogs about the very negative experiences with this place, now we can be added to the count of people who think this guy is a TOTAL JERK.

Now for the nice people we have encountered - all the lock and bridge attendants have been very helpful. We our spending our first night at Middleport tied to the town dock. There is free electric, water, bathrooms and showers here. Nice little town. Not much in the way of a grocery store. I didn't realize that we would have so many bridges that need to be lifted even with our mast down. Looks like tomorrow we are going to try and get to Spencerport, with no locks but 12 lift bridges to go through.

09/14/2010 | sharron
Hi that guy sounded like a total jerk off, but at least you have meet more nice people isn't there a song called 15 miles on the erie canal, still waithing to see the hair cuts. stay safe love sharron
09/15/2010 | Ray
The missing link had the same experience at Wardell's. Are you going to the Annapolis show? Ray
09/16/2010 | Dean Bachelor
Now I understand why I got such an evil eye from "some little old dude" when I went bye there. I wanted diesel too but he looked mad from a distance, standing there staring me down, seeing my mast rig.
09/14/2010, Buffalo, NY

After a long, bumpy ride from Erie, PA we arrived in Buffalo, NY. We had our mast unstepped at RCR Marina. They did a great job and made the whole process very painless. We were all expecting to have a very tense, trying day but it wasn't. A very nice couple stopped by the boat for a chat, then she came back and brought us a bottle of wine that is home made by 3 of the ladies here at the marina - 'Three Sheets' is the name of the wine. Very, very nice of her to do that.

We are off to the Erie Canal this morning. Our first lock will be the Black Rock Canal in Buffalo and hope to make it as far as Lockport and Locks E34/E35 this afternoon. Lock hours just went to their reduced schedule so they now close at 5:00 pm each day.

09/12/2010, Erie, PA

Pulled into Erie at around 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Tall ships are here. Staying at Wolverine Marina. Leaving here in about a 1/2 an hour, our last day on the Great Lakes, heading for RCR Marina in Buffalo, NY where we will be dropping our mast.

09/13/2010 | Ray Miller
Glad you made it to Erie. Missed you leaving Geneva. I had to work, when I returned you were gone. Hope the 8 cases hold out for you. Ray in geneva( Irwin 37}
02/24/2011 | Dave
Ooh. That's the Baltimore Pride Schooner i think.

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