Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Saturday, August 31st

Dennis Wardell lifted our mast early Saturday morning.  He's pretty much a 'one man show'. Everything went very smoothly with Chuck and I helping whenever we could.  We wanted both of our sets of spreaders to face up so we could maneuver easily around the deck of the boat.  However, they were hanging out past the sides of the boat which might make it easy to catch the walls of the locks.  So...we had to turn one of the lower and upper spreaders almost perpendicular to the deck and their mates almost parallel to the deck.
                           Here's Dennis attaching his crane to our mast.

This is before we had to turn the mast to get the spreaders safely hanging out past the sides of Happy Hours II.
Once we were fueled up we were off to the Erie Canal.  Who remembers:
"I have a mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
She's a good ole worker and a good ole pal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal..."
I just can't get that song out of  my head!!
Passing under the bridge at Wardell's, we were immediately in Tonawanda.  Being the Labor Day weekend the walls were jammed packed.  I think everyone in the Buffalo area must have a boat and I can see why.  Once you get away from craziness of the bigger Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, the canal is so peaceful and calming.  The scenery is constantly changing.  Beautiful homes with their docks, decks and boats,  and then nothing but trees..
Very secluded at times.
It didn't seem long before we reached Lockport and our first two locks on the Erie Canal, lock #35 and #34.  We were the only boat in each of these canals and it was probably a good thing!  Lock 35 was so difficult to grab the cables because they were so close to the water...and this being our first time and all.....The lock tender was very helpful in helping me get control of the situation. I think it was this lock that Chuck actually bent his boat pole.  Lock 34 was a bit easier....Roger you warned us in Skipper Bob about both of these locks when going east and you were oh so right!! It was fun and exciting to drop 25' in both of these locks.

We arrive at Middleport which is 29 miles from Wardell's around 5:00.  There was room on the south wall with about 6 power boats.  Dockage was free with electricity and water.  The restrooms and showers are at the back of the police station and they do have a sign asking for a $10 donation but that's still cheap. 





1 comment:

  1. Sure sounds like you guys are having a blast. It is great to see the pictures and read your posts. Very exciting. It's like we are with you.