Sv/Meridian got away form the wall first. We helped sv/Orial C next. So, we are playing the caboose today. Oh well, it's either travel our speed and wait for the other two sailboats to catch up at each lock, or follow and maintain their speed. Lock 11 is only 1 mile away from Riverlink Park, so we could sleep in a bit and still make it to the 7am opening. That lock was a breeze. When we approached lock 12, Tribes Hill, we actually motored through a log jam...not good. It was even worse at the bottom of the dam...piles of debris, logs and other crap. Hopefully lock 13, 10 miles west, will be better. On a positive note, it sure is a beautiful day on the Erie Canal. In fact, the temps got into the high 80's...the nicest day since we got back into the states! The further west we motored, the more of our clothing came off...sweatshirt, jeans to capris, long sleeve T-shirt to short sleeve to sleeveless and we got rid of our shoes and socks! I'm in heaven. I don't know about Chuck but I'm comfortable now! LOL
We locked through 11,12,13,14,15,16, and now the big boy, lock 17. It's a 40 foot rise in elevation. Before we get there, Chuck decides to leave the other two sailboats and fuel up at St Johnsville Marina. We're hoping we can catch up with Meridian and Orial C before they reach lock 17 because we want to lock through 18 also and time is running out. If we have to wait for our friends to lock through and the tender to lower the fill, we won't make it to lock 18 before it closes at 5:00. So, when we pulled away from the fuel dock, Chuck had the throttle down. One mile out, we hailed the lock tender to see if our friends were already in the lock. They were just getting ready to enter and grab their lines. They all agreed to wait for us and 10 minutes later we were locking up. Thank you friends! We all were able to lock through 18 also...wow 8 more locks done!
I called the Ilion Village Marina and the dock hands said they would be waiting for us. Our ETA is 6 pm. We stayed here on our way south and knew we'd be within walking distance if we needed anything from the stores. The closer we got to the marina, the more we couldn't wait to take a nice HOT shower. The dock hands held true to their word, and were waiting to tie us up along the cement bulkhead. We soon discovered that this marina sells diesel fuel. Ugh! Why didn't we remember that from last fall? Oh well, hot showers, water, power, and wifi, all for $1 a foot. It was well worth it! After our showers, we walked the few blocks into town to eat at Sorrentino's. This a great Italian Restaurant with very reasonable prices. They even took their steak and cheese sub and made it into a pizza steak sub for us...with the help of our directions! It was good but it still didn't come close to Rocco's in Hatteras Village, NC. What a day....we're going to sleep well tonight!!