Saturday – Erie Canal

Not had internet for a while. I’m at the Palmyra public tieup, a very nice place:

Palmyra public landing

Palmyra public landing

Continuing from my last post, here’s the unique drop gate to Lock 17, all the others are swing gates:

big drop gate to the tallest lock

big drop gate to the tallest lock

gate closing

gate closing

Electricity where I stopped in Ilion. charge up: cell phone, laptop, ipad, vhf radio; using all the outlets at once. I went to the Remington Arms factory and museum, it’s ok. A couple people compared my boat to the African Queen. I feel the part with all the overhanging trees. A couple general comments about my boat, It’s roomy enough for one person; sleeping, cooking, toilet, etc. A bigger boat would go faster (longer waterline length), but other than that there’s no need. For two people though, another 5′ would be very desirable. For  you Camdenites: ‘Where the mountains meet the sea’

Where the mountains meet the sea

Where the mountains meet the sea

Wednesday – Bald eagles and great blue herons are common, fishermen of the bird species. There are many human fishermen as well, men and women. I haven’t mentioned the guard gates. There are no guards standing at the gates to collect a fee or check your papers, these are huge gates that can drop down should flooding conditions be imminent.

double guard gate

double guard gate

Thursday – My first of a few ‘downhill’ locks, going down instead of up. The big thing today is crossing the length of Oneida Lake, part of the Erie Canal system. It can be very rough but today was calm. Hot and hazy. While I can see the north and south shores, the far end is way out of sight. I plot a course from buoy to buoy. A big boat with lots of gadgets would have no problem. I have a compass and binoculars, neither of which is electronic, thank god.

lighthouse at the east end of Oneida Lake

lighthouse at the east end of Oneida Lake

Oneida Lake - can't see much!

Oneida Lake – can’t see much!

_Thursday 1pm: I arrive at the far end in Brewerton. Glad the engine ran ok.

3:30pm: Thunderstorm. I’m glad for the cooler weather but don’t need this. I snap the canopy windscreen in place and manage to stay dry. Lightning flashing, I head out of the middle of the river and under a railroad bridge for safety. An hour later it has gone thru and the air is much less humid.

Going by a few towns. Belgium looks quite prosperous, at least along the waterfront. The canal is coincident with the Oneida River for a while. Then the Oswego River splits off and heads north, and the canal and Seneca River are one and the same.

Originally the Erie Canal was pretty much a dug ditch, spanning the state. Revisions have involved damming up rivers and installing locks and having the canal follow rivers for some distance. There’s still a fair amount of dug canal however.

Stayed in a marina in Cold Springs overnite.

Friday – The Seneca has many small camps along it. I stopped in Baldwinsville, a very pretty town. Missed my friends traveling thru there by a couple hours! In a canal cut, bypassing a big loop in the Seneca. Two other cruising boats today, one a big rental canal boat, the other a much smaller 25′ boat.

Tied up in Clyde for the nite. Pretty spot. Had drinks with an older couple on the smaller cruising boat. They’ve rented it for a week. Also met a young couple on a sailboat headed east for the intercoastal waterway and Florida.

Saturday – underway at 7am.

Did I describe the interior of my boat? It’s got a vee berth layout. My sleeping bag is to port, clothes and dishes are stored to starboard. The porti potti is wedged inbetween. There’s an overhead light down  below, but for reading I use a headlamp.

10am – The first canoes I’ve seen! Much more traffic on Saturday. Newark is a nice town, had a restaurant meal!

1 thought on “Saturday – Erie Canal

  1. Bruce- We enjoyed meeting you and seeing your boat in Palmyra…it’s fun to read what lies ahead for us as we are going the opposite direction on the Intuition…enjoy the quaint towns and farmland of western New York and especially Lockport…

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