Distance Traveled: 25.5 nm
Total Distance: 329.5 nm
Day of Erie Canal: 8
This morning we took our showers like we planned at the Ilion (pronounced Ill - long E- own) Marina. I walked to Aldi's which is the first store on the left past the freeway underpass - about .3 mi - and bought food and a digital scale. The scale is about 1/2" thick and 8" diameter. It Weighs wt, milk, and liquid in metric and pounds and ounces. Just what I've been looking for. Phil dried towels in the dryer at the Marina and we left about 1040am for Herkimer about 1.5 nm down the canal. We docked and then I walked to Walmart and back with what I got there and we left for the day about 1150am. I figure that I have to take advantage of when the stores are close by. Phil just thinks that I'm stocking up like I did at home - which to a point I am - but we were able to fit everything that I bought on the boat where it belongs. Phil say yeah - right!
We went through 5 locks today - all with a Dickerson 36' named E`ole owned by Neal Burtner from Rochester, NY. We just made it through lock 14 arriving at 447pm (it closes at 5pm), just before the town of Canajoharie's free dock. We do have electricity and there is water. The dock here isn't very long and the eastern end has only 4' of water so Phil docked Changes at the most western end of the dock, then Jim and Diane (see below) moved their boat so that there was enough room for "Eole" to dock between Down Time and another power boat "Sunset" which happens to be for sale. Neal and 2 other buddies are transporting the boat to Albany, NY. He has a wife who is nurse midwife. What's going to happen after Albany - we're not sure but Neal's ultimate destination is the Virgin Islands. We're not sure if his wife is going to join him or if he'll be on his own for 2 years. Neal did start to sign a quilt block, then the pen ran out of ink and I can't find the other 4 that I bought!! I thought that I had put them in the tub with the quilt, but not there. So need to come up with a plan B. Unfortunately, we didn't get the names of his 2 buddies, but the one who is a electrical engineer told us the story about how he got a room at the Econolodge last night instead of staying on the boat. Phil thinks that's too funny. "There is the Econolodge - I'm going there are see you in the morning." Remember how yesterday was a rainy day? Well he had enough and put his jeans #1 as he said on the heater vent to dry - so he has both jeans dry and the other 2 guys slept on the boat and their jeans #1 are still wet. It looks like that we'll be going through more locks with them as they go a little faster than us, but not fast enough to get ahead in the locks. We feel bad for holding them up, but if they leave at 630am and we leave at 730am they'll probably get ahead of us.
We met another couple, Jim and Diane, on an Endeavor Trawlercat 36 (power boat) "Down Time" who are from Cleveland Hts, OH close to University Circle. They have heard of Hospice of the Western Reserve. The have been doing the cruising life for a while - use to be on an Endeavor sailboat and now have the powerboat. They helped us to dock here grabbing the dock lines as we came up. They cruise around in their boat in the early spring to fall, then go to Cleveland Hts until beginning of January, when they leave to visit family in Mississippi where he's from and friends in Florida who they've met cruising over the years. They stay 2 weeks with each set of people. They are on their way to someplace (can't remember) in NY to have their boat pulled and plan to continue next summer cruising onto Lake Ontario, Lake Champlain, down the Erie Canal to the Hudson River back to where they started. Year after next they plan to go to the North Channel and Georgian Bay. They have crossed over to the Bahamas 6 times.
We had sandwiches for lunch, missed breakfast, and I made Chicken Paprika for supper. I'm not sure what happened, but the sauce turned out a little weak. Must have started with too much chicken broth and needed more paprika. We have enough sauce and chicken for leftovers. Just need to cook fresh noodles. While at Aldi's I bought a German chocolate cake that is a loaf style. It's interesting that this Aldi's had some German specialty foods as you first come into the store. I spoke to the clerk about it and Ilion is a German town so they have the German foods instead of the latino foods that we have in Cleveland. We had about half of the cake and will have the rest another day. It helps to have a treat now and then. I think both Phil and I have lost some weight, even though we are eating well and I have lightened up on my diet, meaning that I'm not as strict with the sugar. Must be the constant motion on the boat and the extra walking that we do.
Tomorrow we are planning on getting to Lock 8 on Jim and Diane's recommendation. Phil thinks that we'll going 32.5 nm tomorrow and go through 5 locks and tie up on the west wall above lock 8. Then on Sunday we'll go through 8 locks that are 30ft + and deeper and we'll be in Waterford, which is the end of the canal. Sounds like we'll be coming out of the mountains. The weather this weekend is to be terrific - sunny in the 70's. What a great way to end our Erie Canal trip!
Kim Waddle sent me an email and also asked about the locations on the GPS Spot page. I wanted to let you know that they keep only 6 locations at a time on the page and the earlier locations are removed. So if you want to keep track of our entire trip, then I suggest that you mark them down on a physical map. I wished that they kept them all, but that's technology for you.
Chet Slabinski sent us a email today titled "live aboard simulator". It's really great and funny. Thanks for sending that and enlivening up our evening. The difference with us is that we have screens on the boat. But we are leaning to deal with many trains that go by on a daily basis and traffic from the freeway.