I emailed and texted my friends who had gone through the locks. I also spoke with the lockmasters, who were truly wonderful for the remainder of my locks on the Erie Canal.
After Lock 13, a few of us stayed in Canajoharie including Summerland, Attitude Changer, and Shiver Me Timbers. We had a pot luck dinner, and discussed our plans. In the morning, after Attitude Changer left, I walked over to Lock 14. I was given helpful information about how the locks fill, and also told I could request an "Easy Lift", which is where the lock master fills the lock at a third of the normal rate, which reduces the turbulence. There are no guarantees, and it is up to the discretion of the lock master and depended on the lock traffic. In addition, he radioed ahead to the upcoming locks and gave them a heads up about my little boat.
As I was walking back to my boat, I ran into a gentleman working on his beautiful stone house. We talked for a few minutes and I went back to my boat. A couple hours later, he showed up with a friend of his, Michael, who had been in the Coast Guard, but had never been up the Mohawk River and done locks. I agreed to take Michael with me for the next couple locks and drop him off at St. Johnsville with his friend. Meanwhile, Mike, from Shiver Me Timbers offered to come aboard for the rest of the locks in the Erie.
The remainder of the Erie Canal locks went smoothly... very, very smoothly. The combination of picking up Mike and Michael, the lockmasters, and the easy lifts made it all work out!
|Approaching Lock 17, known as the "Guillotine Lock", because the gate comes down to close the lock. It is a 40 foot lift with just ropes.|
|At the wall after Lock 18, to spend the night. I took this from Shiver Me Timbers.|
|Sunset at Lock 18. A peaceful evening, after a good day of locking.|
|Shiver Me Timbers - the sailboats can't keep their masts up through the canals. Some sailboats carry the mast with them, others ship the mast. Andy is having his mast stored.|
|Freedom, at Lock 16 wall. Martha and Cary started the Loop in Charleston, SC.|
Last night, I docked at Mariner's Landing in Sylvan Beach, NY, at the eastern side of Lake Oneida. I needed fuel and needed to do laundry. When I arrived, I was told there wasn't any available space. However, other boaters, from the marina, pointed out that a friend of theirs was anchoring out for the night, so I could have his slip. I dropped Mike off at Shiver Me Timbers, on the free dock, and headed back to enjoy the evening at Mariner's Landing.
This morning, I headed out for the last stretch of the Erie Canal to take me to the Oswego River. I crossed over Lake Oneida. In Brewerton, on the other side, I briefly met up with other Looper boats, as we went through Lock 23 together (7 boats locked through, 5 of us were loopers). The other loopers were headed to Oswego, but my destination was Phoenix, a little town known for their hospitality to boaters. Phoenix is the home of the Bridge House Brats, who will help with docking as well as take orders for breakfast, which they pick up from local restaurants and deliver to your boat. It is not the Phoenix that I have known for so many years!
Tomorrow, I will head to Oswego, and meet up with Barb and Ross, from Attitude Changer, and we will move forward from there, and hopefully end up in Canada within the next few days.
Meanwhile, here are a few random pictures:
|Mike took this picture. Hair and makeup have not been a priority on this trip.|
|Oneida Lake, first thing this morning.|
|The fork in the water... Erie Canal turn left, Oswego turn right.|