On the Seneca River
Mike Another beautiful day
08/29/2007, Brewerton, NY
August 28th .....Newark to Brewerton, NY
Sometime during the night I woke up because something was different. I put some shorts on and popped through the companion way to see a barge ghosting past us toward the lock. It was pushed by a tug that we had seen at the last lock...an Erie Canal tug. When I we got up at seven it was long gone. They must have operated the lock themselves. When the lock opened, I wandered down to chat with the lockmaster and found he had just radioed everyone traveling east to the effect that if we were going... the time was now. There was a crew of divers there that were going to inspect the hinges and they were going to be working most of the day.
After coffee, with some time on our hands we worked on a few chores that were on our mental lists.... I dug out the spreaders, some sand paper and some paint and went to work. In thirty minutes they had two coats of paint and a coat of clear coat...
Kathy pulled all our charts out of the shelf and ditched all those whose time had come. She also unearthed a few that would be important in a few days.
I washed the dinghy and attempted to find the leak in our floor but failed once again. Our dingy holds air but leaks water somewhere between the floor and the fabric. It's not life threatening but is a pain to have to bail all the time.
Our trip today was easy.. about 20 miles through about half cabins and half suburbs...We had our first "up lock" there are only two more that lift us ... but there is very little difference if you happen to be driving a boat. As we pull up we call the lockmaster and identify ourselves and our direction. In most cases they knew we were headed in their direction and had the lock prepared. When given a green light we pull in slowly and slide to the port side. When if feels right, I throw it in reverse and Kathy grabs a line as I bring the boat to a stop. I grab another line.... which hang from the sides of the lock and signal the lockmaster that we are ready for action.
Tomorrow we will leave early to cross Oneida Lake before the afternoon thunder showers. It is about 20 miles and shallow... waves tend to build in the afternoon. We are not worried about waves after the shallow waters of Lake Erie but will re-tie our masts before the winds pick up. Eight footers in 20 feet of water are different.
We are saddened that many of our good friends returned to work today...but we know in our hearts that it is best for the citizens of tomorrow.
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.