Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easy Time on the Erie Canal?

After a rainy lay day, we departed Spencerport on Tuesday, August 27th.  Happy Birthday to my daughter Kim.  We passed just south of Rochester and crossed the Genesee River, which always seems to need dredging.

After passing through quaint Pittsford, we arrived at Fairport, NY.  Fairport has a well developed waterfront, with electric, water and showers for nine dollars per night.  We were docked right down town and had an excellent view of their lift bridge, which is unusual because it is higher on one side than the other, and no two angles on the bridge are the same. 

The next morning we got an early start down the waterway.  We passed Newark, NY, which we list as a favorite on the canal.  They have some very nice canal murals at their docks.

Newark offers free dockage with power, water, showers, and even free laundry facilities.  We needed to make more distance, though, so we continued on to the extremely tired old town of Clyde.  We docked with free power and water at nice little park.  There were restrooms, but they were locked.  A walk over the bridge brought us to a town with empty storefronts and some condemned buildings.  The highlight was ice cream from a gas station convenient store!

Thursday, August 29th, we cast off early to head for Baldwinsville.  We were hampered by fog, which lasted until 10:30 a.m.  The first few hours we travelled through the Montezuma Marsh areas, which seemed to make the fog worse. This was the fog as we approached the entrance to the finger lakes.

Just as the fog lifted, we passed the remains of the Montezuma Aqueduct, which on the 1862 Erie Canal crossed the Seneca River.

Finally, we arrived at the park in Baldwinsville, where we docked with power and water, but no showers.  For the second of three consecutive nights, we showered on board with our sun shower bag.  We enjoyed happy hour with Ken and Diana from MV Spirit, and slept well.

On Friday we were off the dock by seven a.m. since lock 24 at Baldwinsville opens an hour earlier than most.  We almost ran over two men rowing a scull when they rounded a tight turn on our side of the river.  I wonder if my face looked as shocked as theirs as I swerved to avoid hitting them.  A short time later we enjoyed passing a swan family.

We arrived at lock 23 before Brewerton early, only to wait 50 minutes to pass through.  The lock keeper was not even there for the first twenty minutes!  Then it took him 30 more to get his act together and let us through.  We stopped for fuel and a toilet rebuild kit at Ess-Kay Marina in Brewerton, then set out across the twenty mile expanse of Oneida Lake.  We pushed on past Sylvan Beach to reach our destination in Rome, NY.  We docked on a rickety old wall to gain access to the only power box at the end of a long, very hot day.

We were pretty tired after 10 hours and 50 nautical miles with four locks.  Drained by the heat and humidity, we slept through most of the heavy rain which fell overnight.  We looked forward to travelling in more rain as we prepared for our next leg to the Village of Little Falls.

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