Friday, September 6, 2013

Thursday, September 5th

Early morning on Lake Oneida

We wanted to take advantage of the light morning breeze to cross Lake Oneida. So we left Brewerton at 7:00 am which was our earliest departure so far on our trip....we are on vacation! The winds started out at 6 kts, dropped to 4 before increasing to 11+ kts.  The only disadvantage for leaving at this time was that we were headed directly into the rising sun.  This created a bright glare on the water making it difficult to spot the red and green buoys...but the lake's surface was perfect!  We shortly discovered that the buoys on the lake did not aline with the buoys on our chartplotter.  Despite all of this, we made it to Sylvan Beach which is on the east side of Lake Oneida by 9:45 am.

Marker for canal on east side of lake        
Sylvan Beach

Just as we got back in the canal and were enjoying checking out the small marinas, we came upon a suction dredger........completely blocking the canal.  Chuck hailed them on channel 13 and they moved their barge so we had a narrow passage.  Reminded us of Geneva when the dredge is sitting in the channel!

We went through four more locks today after our crossing....#22 and 21...they are one mile apart and both rise in elevation going east. Then we started our drop in elevation again with # 20 and 19.  When traveling east, all the locks drop in elevation as you head east except for #23,22, and 21.

The rest of the day started to go downhill.  Somewhere between Rome and lock 20, we twice bumped into things that were submerged...probably logs and they weren't hard bumps. Then near lock 20 their was a shovel on a barge anchored near the middle of the canal apparently waiting for the rest of their crew.  Guess what?  We found the rest of their equipment and men.  A tug and a barge had just come up in lock 20, so we had to wait until  the tug slowly pushed the barge out of the way so we could enter.  What a day so far!  To top the day,  the walls of lock 19 were so low that the pipes and ropes were really hard to grab with our boat poles...and of course the winds started to gust and worked against us...but we managed to maneuver in the lock and got situated for the ride down.  Leaving the lock we hit something hard and we were in 13 feet of water!  Not good.   This side of the canal has a lot of trees down, logs and other debris all along the edges of  the banks.
After a long day, 61 miles on the water and nothing seeming to go quite right, we decided to pull in and call it a day at the Village of Ilion Marina.
This marina was along the canal with a high cement wall and in front of a motorhome park and a nice little cafĂ©.  It was $1 per foot and they had HOT showers, electric, water, laundry, and wifi.  Just what we needed. 




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