Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 We Got the Word This Morning!

Finally!  We got an alert saying lock 29 & 30 are open as of this morning!  About the same time, the canal superintendent came to our boat to give us the okay also.  That means we can move west about 21 miles to Fairport, NY.  any distance is welcome at this point.  We walked to Sav-a-Lot for a few items and were quickly back to the boat to prepare to leave.  Bob Stopper stopped by just before we were ready to leave and suggested we stop at Fairport  instead of Pittsford.  He also encouraged us to eat at Donnelly's.  These people are so nice...

It seemed a bit strange to be moving on the water and we were very cautious about passing under the first 15 foot bridges.  Walkers and bicyclists on the canal path seemed to be excited to see a boat on the's been 6 days.  They are waving and shouting out to get our!  As we approached lock 29, Chuck hailed the lock tender and he said he'd have the gates open.  Everything was going along smoothly, I got up on the bow of the boat because we were getting close to the lock, when we came to a  screeching halt!  Hold on.....Oh no, this definitely  wasn't expected.  Chuck backed us off the sand, silt, or was a soft bump!  He tried to motor through at 5 different locations and all had the same results!!  A creek flows into the canal from the south and apparently had deposited the mud and formed a shoal after last weeks rains.  So....Chuck had one more spot to to the north bank.   Surely it's deep enough for us there.  We hit again and this time, we couldn't back off.  We're stuck!  Do you think there is TowBoat US on the Erie Canal?  Our only recourse is to try to plow through this shoal.  Yeah, it worked!  There for a moment, we both thought we were going to have to turn around and tie up back at Newark!  :(

It was easy locking through both 29 & 30 today because the winds were light.
 Four hours later, we pulled over and tied up to the north bank bulkhead in Fairport.  Before our final stop for the day, we took advantage of the free pumpout on the south bank, just after the Turk Bridge.  The rest of the afternoon was spent walking the streets to become familiar with this canal town.  We found a great ice cream shop close to our boat, the shower facility on the south side of the canal and various stores.  We ate dinner at Donnelly's...outside...very close to our boat. The food was even better than we were promised.  On the negative side, the train tracks...3 of them...are very close to the canal.  We listened to them whistled all night long!!  Rita, you would appreciate the trains....

Chuck walking to the lift bridge.

small fire stataion

main drag in Fairport
I've got a mule and her name is Sal....
...fifteen miles on the Erie Canal!

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