Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2104 Day 3 on the Erie Canal-To Brewerton, NY

You just would not believe the skies this morning!  They were so black and depressing.  When I checked the weather, the App showed rain and thunderstorms off and on all day.  When I checked the Radar, there was a huge cell of storms moving SE and it looks like if we're lucky it might miss us...barely!   I almost felt that maybe we should stay put at the Ilion Village Marina...nope, it's a go. We shoved off the bulkhead at 6 am to make it to lock 19...6.1 miles west... at its earliest lock through. We weren't sure where sv/Meridian and sv/Orial C were.  They chose to stay at a free bulkhead last evening in Herkimer which has no facilities.   Herkimer is just a place to tie up and 1.5 miles east of Ilion  When we got close to the lock, we were the only boat there!   Chuck hailed the lock tender for an opening and then Orial C hailed to let us know they would be at the lock in 10 minutes.  It all worked out because this lock was very slow with its process of opening.  On our way to lock 20, the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day with temps in the upper 80's.  Along our meandering today, we found out that the canal system was taking advantage of the nice weather.

working on the south guard gate which is down

Once through 19, we were off to do 20, 21, and 22.  At this point in the canal, the locks get further apart which is a good thing.  It makes for a less tiring and stressful day!  Our plans are to get to Sylvan Beach, pop our noses out into Lake Oneida to check its condition.  If the lake looks good with these SE winds, all 3 sailboats have agreed to continue on.  If not, we'll stay at Sylvan Beach. But, we still have 3 more locks before we have to make that decision. 

Locking went well until we got into #22.  When I went to hook the rope, it slipped off my boat hook and the float at the top of the rope flew back into the cement wall  where the concrete had crumbled out, and now the rope is flush with the concrete wall.  Oh no!  HELP!  I'm hanging as far out off the bow of the boat as I possibly can and I can't get my hook between the rope and the wall!!  The only reason I was able to finally grab the rope is because I ended up whipping the float and rope up onto the sidewalk(lock down) and the rope formed a loop to snag.   Was I lucky or what?  

on dock at Brewerton
Brewerton free docks
On to Sylvan Beach and  hopefully a calm Lake Oneida.  Here is where I"m not going to mention  that we came to a sudden stop because we hit a shoal on our approach to Sylvan Beach.   A shoal that I knew about! The  Erie Canal site alerted me to the shoaling at the mouth of Fish Creek and to motor 200 feet south of the normal channel.   We both assumed the NY Canal System would have put day markers along this stretch so we weren't too concerned. Ha, right!  The only good thing that came of our soft grounding was that Chuck could back off of it easily and since we were leading, the other two sailboats knew where not to go!!  LOL  Oh well, it sure makes our day a bit more exciting... We continued motoring across the 20 mile lake because it looked pretty perfect and tied up to a free 700 foot floating dock. the dock is on the north shore to the east of a bridge at Brewerton, NY.    The Waterfront Tavern and Restaurant is right on shore and very handy so all 6 of us decided to eat there...our 1st and last meal together before we go our separate ways in the morning. 

  Waterfront Tavern

These last 3 days have been long and exhausting.  Chuck's in bed already and it's not even 8 pm!!
62 miles

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