Great Blue Herons everywhere!
08/29/2007, Baldwinsville, NY
Monday, August 27th ....Newark, NY to Baldwinsville, NY
We were blasted into consciousness this morning at 4am by an air horn ....Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk, then a pause and then the series of Honks were repeated.... about 10 times. By the first repeat, I was out of bed and in the cockpit trying to figure what was happening. The horn was on top of a building across the canal from us. We it finally quit, there was silence for about two minutes and then I could hear sirens in the distance. They seemed to be coming nearer but stopped once they got to into town. A minute later, we could hear fire engines.
We got up a little before 7:00 which is about normal, made coffee and left the wall about 30 minutes later. Our first task for the day was a pump out. There was a pay machine located under the bridge by the Harbormaster's Building that we had checked our the night before. It was simply a matter of pulling up, tying the boat up and putting four quarters into the machine. Before Kathy started the machine, I called the lock keeper ahead of us telling him that we were going to be there in abut 10 minutes. With our holding tank empty and rinsed we headed for lock 28B which was ready for us when we arrived.
That was the first of five locks today. We traveled 52 miles and 98% of those miles consisted of woods or swamp. We saw very few homes, fields or roads but thousands of Great Blue Herons. It was a beautiful day to be on the water.... And not in some professional development meeting.
Tomorrow we will stop at Brewerton which is on the west end of Oneida Lake, a trip of only about three hours. We are following the Lois McClure, a replica of a canal schooner, east across the state of New York. I'd like to check it out, but generally, when she's in town there is no space for us. I've decided that the best plan may be to pass her, and get to her next destination a day in advance to arrange dockage.
It was long day driving from marker to marker and dodging dead heads.
The picture is for Larry. He requested a photo to show how our masts were supported. We don't really have a picture of Baldwinsville anyway...
Two more locks down!
08/29/2007, Newark, NY
August 26, Sunday Pittsford to Newark, NY
Fairly cloudy and uneventful day. We went through locks 30 and 29 today, for some reason there is no lock 31. The lock walls were covered with a thick green slime that made me feel like throwing up. We have only traveled 22 miles, but good places to stay are getting fewer and farther between. We think tomorrow will be a longer day. The land is getting hilly and the water is more river-like in places. Newark does not seem to be as historic a town as many we have seen. The wall here is very nice and the restroom is really nice. There is only one shower but they have free laundry. Of course I scrounged up a load. They told us they had free internet, but we couldn't get any service. "Must not be working again," the dock master said.
We walked down to look at the lock we will go through in the morning, as it's only ½ mile away. Hmm, looks just like the locks we've been through, since they're all 45 feet wide and 300 feet long. The first locks we went through have fixed cables hanging on the walls and you put a rope around it and let it slide down as the water lowers in the lock. The locks we went through today, and most of the locks on the canal, have ropes hanging and you just grab on and slide your hand down the slimy rope. That's why we bought the nice, thick leather gloves on sale somewhere last winter. The locks today were covered with thick, green slime. Icky! Locking has been very easy. Mike has put us along the wall nicely and we just grab hold. We will have 3 locks that go up, the rest are down on the way out of the canal.
Only 30 locks to go!
Mike and Kathy
08/26/2007, Pittsford, NY
August 25, Saturday Brockport to Pittsford
25 miles, two lift bridges and two locks. We passed our first boat today (the only boat we saw on the water) . It was a blue house boat with aluminum siding .....painted on each side was a dead woodpecker laying on its back. The name of the of the boat was "Pecker" and it was owners were in there 50's or 60's. They chatted with us as we passed and surprisingly, seemed quite normal.
The temps for about the third day in a row were in the low 90's. It was breezy and acted like thunderstorms...but none materialized.
We spent the afternoon reading...there was a wonderful bookstore in Brockport, and walked the town before cooking supper. Villages here are almost 100 years older than what we're used to in Michigan. Many of the older buildings are of the Federal style which is unheard of at home... there are lots of Victorian buildings as well but they are all circa 1880. We are tied to the south wall of the canal and directly opposite is a restored flour mill and a coal bin that looks like a short, squat silo. There are a couple of nice looking restaurants, several of them are Greek, and an artsy - fartsy section similar to the back way to Greenbrier (for those of you who have had the pleasure of shopping rural Gatlinburg) We did make one purchase at a wood workers shop... a box in which to keep the boat cards we're accumulating.
In New York pedestrians have the right of way at all crosswalks no matter what... one lateral step on a sidewalk and tires a re screeching to a halt...even when we didn't really have crossing in mind. However, after someone has gone to so much trouble, we are almost obligated to cross anyway....with a smile and a wave. It would be fun to just spend an afternoon wandering aimlessly faking motorists out.
While I was grilling a flank steak this evening, a couple walked up to tell us that they had been aboard Sapphire and in fact, were at one time considering her purchase We had a nice chat about the boat and sailing in general before they excused themselves to let us eat dinner. We had the same experience in Gore Bay earlier this summer. One of the other sailors anchored with us stopped over to say that he had almost bought Sapphire but the teak scared him off.
Late. . .
Happy Birthday Margaret! Happy Anniversary Jake and Abby!