Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014 Day 5 Moved 5 Miles to Newark

We knew we needed fuel before we ventured too much farther.  Now that we're on the west side of the Erie Canal, diesel becomes scarce and hard to find on the water. We went for a morning walk across the canal to check the gas stations for diesel.  Of the 4 stations, only one carries diesel and of course it's the furthest away from our boat!

We decided , even though it was really gusty, that we would move 5 miles and 3 locks to Newark.  By moving , we'll be above the 2 dams and hopefully in a more secure spot if we do get flooding.  Plus, there is a gas station not far from the bulkhead where we can carry our cans to get as much diesel as we might need.  Newark is a great stop.  It has a long wall on both the north and south bank, free pump out, free electric & water, free front load washer & dryers, free wifi, great restroom & shower facilities and more things to do.  So, we decided as soon as Chuck poured all 10 gallons of our canned fuel into the boat, we'd take off.  Just as he was finishing, here comes sv/Meridian...the lock was open for them.  We thought we'd lock through at the same time but we couldn't get away from the wall.  The currents from the dams have us snug against the bulkhead.  Chuck switched out our bow line with a longer one so I could easily release it when necessary.  He also replaced the stern with a different line. We notified the lock tender about our situation and he closed the gates because Drew and Chad were having a difficult time holding their ropes because of the strong gusts.   We'll be ready once the guys are locked through and the gates are reopened.  As soon as the gates at lock 27 open, Chuck and I were ready.  It wasn't long before we were motoring into the lock, ready to grab our ropes and hold on.  It really wasn't bad because the tender immediately closed the gates once our mast cleared to  help block the wind.  Now we only have lock 28A and 28B to lock through. 

This is how bad the winds were today!  Motoring into 28A, we were heading to grab the ropes on the starboard side (north wall) when the winds swirled into the deep lock and pushed HHII over to the port side (south wall).  Wow....there is so little space to try to maneuver in these locks.  It worked out but this is the main reason why we really wanted to stay put today!  This is not a good day to attempt the locks!!  Finally we in and out of 28A and on to lock 28B.   While entering 28B, I talked to the lock tender.  He said that the guys on Meridian said that B was easier than A to lock through....they must have had problems too!  Good thing we weren't locking together today!  Once out of the last lock for the day, we could see the Newark Terminal.  We motored over and tied up to the pump out dock.  It's free but you must use one of their tokens.  Chuck said this was the best machine he's used on the entire trip!  When we were finished, we motored over and tied up to the wall instead of the floating docks.  

This is a lovely town.  Karen, who helps man the 'boat house' in the Chamber of Commerce Building is very friendly and helpful.  She had 2 carts that we borrowed to walk a few blocks to the ArrowMart gas station.  We made 2 trips over and back for diesel fuel.  The tanks are now full and our 2 on-deck cans are also full.  This will take us the last 111 miles to the west end at Tonawonda, NY.  
Boat house/little white building
I took advantage of the free front load washer and dryer to do our laundry while Chuck took advantage of the water to hose down HHII with fresh water.  The temps are very nice and this little park is busy with locals taking advantage of the day.  Everybody wants to be outside.  As the afternoon progresses, the grey clouds are starting to move into the area.   After checking the radar, I can see that we're in for a lot of storms and rain tonight.  Since it's not raining yet, we decided to walk over to NaNa's for a bite to eat.  On our way back to our boat, the rains came.  It never stopped all night....rain, rain, rain!

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