Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014 What a Crazy Morning!

waiting for 7 am at Fairport
What  a crazy morning!  We got up and through the Fairport Lift Bridge by 7 am.  We were so ready to move on and to knock off some miles today!   We soon weren't so sure that we were suppose to move or stay?

When we approached Pittsford, a 16’ fishing boat motored toward us.  The gal in the bow of the  boat shouted over to us through her bull horn and wanted us to stop because they were having a regatta.  A regatta on the river??  That explained all the orange and yellow floats  lined up in a row on the water.   I responded, “you know that’s easier said than done” when the current in the canal is making it difficult for us to navigate.  We kept on going.  Their regatta wasn't a sailboat race but a timed race for their single-oar scull boats.  Rowing is a popular sport in the Pittsford and Fairport  area.  We finally motored out of this congested area,  dodging scullers and floats alike, and on to our first lock of the day, #32.

Onward to the first of the two locks we’ll lock through before the guard gate and the crossing of the Genessee River.  However, when we got into lock 32, the lock tender asked Chuck on the VHF if he realized he could go only as far as lock 33.  The guard gate is closed and we won’t be able to go any further.  This can’t be!  The mariners alert sent out yesterday informed all boaters that the canal would be open today across the Genessee and the remainder of the canal system to the west end.  What a bummer!  If we would have known this change in the canal’s plans, we would have just stayed at Fairport. 

bridge up
bridge down

What should we do…turn around and go back to Fairport, or continue through lock 33 and tie up on the wall directly above the lock.   We decided to continue and stay above lock 33 and wait it out …but surprise…when we got to lock 33, that lock tender just got the word that they opened the gates.  Yahoo!!  However, the lock tender warned us that the current on the Genessee River is still very swift…6+  kts…and to keep our eyes open for large floating debris.  Aye, Aye, Captain!  We didn't get far from the lock 33 when the lock tender hailed us wanting our cell phone number for Mike,  the floating plant superintendent.  Mike soon called and gave us directions on crossing the north bound current.  He also said his tugboat was still in the canal and if we got into trouble, his tug would come to our assistance.    Boy this all sounds pretty serious!  Once we nosed out into the river, we were able to ‘crab walk’ across the 500 feet of cross lateral current…and there goes a huge log floating north directly in front of us!  We’re across and back in the canal.  Now we feel we are finally making progress.  This part of the canal has been open for quite a few day.  

MIddleport lift bridge behind
at Middletport
The rest of our trip today is going to be a piece of cake.  No locks and only 12 more lift bridges…not to forget the many fixed bridges.   Our goal  this morning was to make it to Middleport, NY and after 62 miles, we did it.  It definitely was time to call it a day.  That leaves us with only 39 miles to Tonawanda, NY tomorrow and the end of the Erie Canal.  

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