Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Day 4 on the Erie Canal-To Lyons, NY

Wow, last night we had thunderstorms that had loud booming thunder and lightening that brightened the skies... and boat!  It seemed to last all night with heavy downpours of rain.  The thunder woke me up and I laid there thinking had we left anything in the cockpit?   We didn't lower our side panels before turning in last night....we usually do!  My Bad Elf and its charger....I don't remember carrying it down into our cabin.  I better get up and get it before it drowns!  So, I got our of bed, grabbed the flashlight, leaped into the cockpit, and retrieved my poor Bad Elf.  For one slight moment, I thought I should unroll and snap the sides but the rain was blowing into the boat and I didn't want to get wet!!  The cushions were already wet, so what the heck I went back to bed...and listened to the rain and thunder all.night.long.

When we woke in the morning, everything was so nice and clean after last nights soaking.  None of us were in a hurry to take off because the next lock, # 23, is only 3 miles away.  This is another sad day.  Six-point-nine miles after locking through #23, sv/Orial C will take the north branch at the canal junction and head up the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario.  It was great meeting Glen and Debbie and traveling with them even though it was only for 3 days. They'll be missed.  The Canadian cousins on sv/Meridian will continue on the Erie Canal since they are from Port Dover.

(A little story about Orial C that Al and Colette might remember. When we were on the ICW, either SC or GA, we kept hearing people talking back and forth to a sailboat that had lost its expensive stainless anchor. Providence was one of the boats in that pack.  Anyhow, it turned out to be Glen and Debbie on Orial C!  How close we were to meeting them in the fall!)

Our goal today is to reach a safe haven where we can tie up for the next two days.  The winds tomorrow are suppose to blow with gusts up to 38 kts...definitely not good for locking.   Tomorrow night they are predicting torrential rainfalls and possibly flash flooding on Friday.   Yikes!!  We are so close to the west end of the canal and now it looks like a two day delay! So our intentions are to try and make the town of Lyons.  They have free tie-up at their city wall with free power and water.  Plus, the Fire Station opens its showers to cruisers....nice!  Now that we have a destination, we hope we can make the 69.9 miles.  It all depends on the time it takes at each of today's 4 locks. Here are a few pictures along our way today:
this guy came over to the boat for a handout
more work on the canal

Montezuma Aqueduct remains
We locked through 23, 24, and then 31 miles to 25 with another 6 miles to lock 26.  The speed we're traveling at now has our ETA too late for lock 25. Bummer!  If only the current that we're fighting turns, we should be on time....and it does!   Yes, we made both of the last two locks. Granted it was a close call but we motored out of lock 26 at 4:55 pm   From there we continued the next 11 miles to Lyons....never seeing another boat after we pulled away from Meridian after the first lock.  Along the 31 mile stretch that we crossed, the canal meanders through marshes and farmland.  The water level looked very high  in this area, up to and around the bottoms of tree trunks...and they weren't cypress trees either!  We heard this area and surrounding towns really got dumped on last night with rain!

We tied up at  Lyon's  cement wall behind a Canal Boat.  The Colorado couple who were renting the boat, directed us to the Fire Station for our showers.   It was just a short walk up the hill from our boats.  How generous the Firemen and Firewomen of Lyons are to open their showers for the cruisers...and at no charge!  After our showers, we now feel human again and decided to take a walk. Nothing was open at 7 pm except for the corner bar and grill, Growlers.  So much for stopping here for a few days because we thought there would be things to do!   Ha Ha!  We had a good night and HHII is secure but I just can't get the 2 dams that are very close west of us out of my mind...the Erie Canal Dam and the Canandaigua Dam.  If we're suppose to get rains that could produce flash flooding, do we want to be below these 2 dams, or above them???  We better think about this tonight!

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