Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Erie Canal - Lockport, NY

Distance Traveled:  24nm
Total Distance: 164nm

Today we walked to West Marine so that I could get a rigging knife - mission accomplished.  Then we finished preparing the boat to have the mast taken off.  Phil drove Changes over to the crane, and we jilled around until someone could throw us a line as the wind was blowing us onto the dock and we were bouncing off the big round fenders.  It turned out that after we were tied up, we had to wait until after lunch to get started.  We also ate lunch and then I took a nap. The guys there at Rich Marine did a thorough and professional job.  They put the mast on saw horses so that we could gasket it (put the lines to hold the shrouds and halyards and stays around the mast for non sailing persons) and re-lift it at the balance point before they sat the mast on the boat. It took about 1 hour for the mast operation to be completely done. Below are the finished results.  Of course the winds had to be at their highest when we were doing this, but we had no problems at all.
Changes with mast off at Rich Marine Sales
 We left immediately motoring upwind to get to the starting point of the Erie Canal.  We even took spray over the bow and had to close the companionway hatch.  Luckily, as we continued along, the river turned so that it wasn't as bad.  Below is the entrance into the Erie Canal from the Black Rock Canal.
Erie Canal entrance from Black Rock Canal
The canal started with many boat houses and this one was unusual in it's coloring and it had been there since the 1930's.
Boat house on Erie Canal
 Lorraine had the first watch at the helm.  See how bundled up I am? and it's 60F outside.  What am I going to do when it really gets cold?  You have to understand that I had my long underwear on (tops and bottoms), and 3 other layers under my jackets.  Phil of course was in a T-shirt, sweatshirt and his foul weather jacket and jeans.

It's very interesting how most of the lots for homes along the canal are very narrow.  You can tell a really expensive home when it takes up about 3 regular lots.  Some of the homes are very close to the canal and then others have very long back yards. About 2 hours of driving the scenery turns into trees and vegetation. All is nice to look at.

We got to Lockport before we thought we were suppose to.  There is a current in the part of the canal we're in, so maybe that had something to do with it.  The tripometer on the speedo on Changes and the GPS are not matching up. Something for Phil to figure out.  Any suggestions?
at dock wall west of Lockport Lock
There was a gentleman that drove over to see us who let us know that the lock opens at 7am tomorrow morning and that there was a spot that had 6 feet of water close to the lock if we wanted to move.  But we were all set here and I was fixing a one pot meal of sliced potatoes, boneless chicken thighs, corn and peas, so we decided to stay where we were.  I know that when it's cold, I'll be cooking as the stove really warms up the boat nicely.  We had a couple kids yell Hi from the bridge in the background and a gentleman w/2 dogs and his daughter that also visited us, but except for that and one other boat coming the other way, not many people were out.

Tomorrow we will go through 2 locks and then find a place with showers and after having showers, continue our journey.  The Erie Canal lift bridges (LB) and locks close down at 5pm now.  

I have to say I was thrilled with the comments today.  Thank you.  



  1. Phil, These multiple canal waits remind me of the many bridge waits on the ICW we experienced.
    Loraine, Kathy would be just as bundled as you are. Not a fanof cold.
    Glad the de-masting went well. Always a concern.
    Andy and Kathy

  2. Well written blog and excellect pictures. Question.. What type, and year of boat and its length.
    Thanks Gordon K.

  3. Our boat is a C&C 34 built 1978 - owned by Phil since 1979. Thanks for the question Gordon K.