We awoke to mist rising off of the water on the canal. Not wanting to take the chance of motoring and hitting something because we couldn't see it, we walked to the Rite Aide in Ilion to buy more rubber gloves. The gloves keep the green slime from the walls of the locks off our hands! Once we got backed to Happy Hours II, everything looked good to go as far as visibility on the water. We just hoped today was going to be a better day!!
Today we were planning on locking through lock #18-12. Seven locks....wow it was going to be a day!! Lock 18 was relatively uneventful riding the ropes to the bottom, when the locked tender called from 20 feet above to tell us that the south gate wouldn't open.....just our luck....and did we mind locking out through only one gate. Well yes, we didn't want to sit in the lock until they managed to get someone to fix it!!!
Locking through the North gate.
Lock #17 is next, about 4 miles away. This is the highest lift lock, 40 feet, on the Erie Canal. The east gate lifts up instead of the traditional swing gates so when we exited the lock, we got wet! Find the white weights.
Continuing on, we met a rather large catamaran heading west. We were thrilled to see another boat! We easily locked through #16 and 15 which really helped boost our confidence....and then.....in #14 Chuck missed his rope and he had to do some fancy maneuvering around.....but we quickly got things under control.
We finally decided that we wanted to make it to Amsterdam, NY. The Mohawk Carpet Mill once was housed here as well as Kirk Douglas lived here. We passed by Fonda, NY. I bet you can't guess which famous family is from this neck of the woods...so far we've gone by Rome, Greece, and Amsterdam. You would think that our travels have taken us to Europe!
We got a city feeling after we were east of lock 14. The CSX train as well as Amtrax ran along the north bank of the canal, while route 90 ran along the south bank! Check out the semi's behind Chuck!!
We just couldn't seem to get away from the train tracks. In fact where we tied up in Amsterdam right before lock 11, the train track was within walking distance and ran all night. As for the Amsterdam wall...the only good thing to say is that the lock tender came over and caught our lines. He was getting off duty at 6:00pm and was driving by....very nice guy....said he'd have the lock full and ready for us at 8 the next morning and he did. This area had flood damage and they are in the process of replacing power and water. They also did not have any facilities what so ever. We should have ventured through lock 11 to Riverbend Park at $1 per foot and all the amenities!
As for lock #13 and 12 , this was the first time locking with another boat! We pulled into 13, both Chuck and I grabbed our ropes without and problems when the lock tender strolled over and told us a rather large boat was pulling in behind us. We needed to move forward. Yikes!! When the 59 foot Kanter trawler motored in, Chuck said we needed to "watch how the pros do it'. They made grabbing the lines look easy...it sure helps when you have stern and bow thrusters. We locked with "Grand Blue" from Toronto in 13 and 12 as well as locks 3 and 2.
51 miles/9 hours