Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sylvan Beach - East shore of Oneida Lake

Distance Traveled:  43 nm (had to overcome .33 knot adverse current)
Total Distance Traveled:  304 nm 
Days on Erie Canal:  6

This morning we left Baldwinsville at 745am.  It was cold - 59F inside the boat and was to have been a low of 45F. Good thing that we have a lot of quilts, as it was very warm in bed.   As we were leaving, there was some terrific sea smoke before it was burned off by the sun.  It's one of the advantages of starting out early on a cold morning. 
Sea Smoke east of Baldwinsville, NY
We came across Ladyhawke again this morning as we were coming from Baldwinsville and they came down the Oswego River where it joined the Erie Canal.  They helped us dock when we stopped at Winter Harbor Marina to fill up with diesel at $2.39/gallon.  The weather is as good as it gets so we started across Oneida Lake while I made sandwiches down below.  The waves started at 1 foot during Phil's watch and built to about 3 feet during my watch so that Changes was surfing down the waves. Then shortly after Phil's watch started again, the waves started easing to 1-2 feet.   Ladyhawke passed us, so I was able to use her path as a guide in addition to the GPS as it's difficult to see the green buoys where we crossed. Phil estimates we were about 1 mile north of the buoys as the channel is in the middle of the lake. 

Sylvan Beach is as it's name suggests, a beach town and many of the stores and restaurants are closed for the season.  But they do have a laundromat which is 5 short blocks from the dock.  It's a nice laundromat and was very warm, which was terrific for me.  I had enough layers so I wasn't really cold today, but was nice to get really warmed up and able to take off some clothes.  This time we washed sheets, towels, and any clothes that had accumulated.  Phil also treated me to dinner out at Eddie's Restaurant.  The food was good and the portions, especially for Phil's open face roast beef sandwich were huge.  We took home more than half of his meal, which will be warmed up in the ziploc in warm water.  In a large gazebo next to the restaurant was a group "Boys of Wexford" that were playing Canal Songs and Irish music.  We sat and listened to them and near the end of the concert I bought a couple CD's of some of the players.  These are men and women that sing separately, but came together this fall on their way on a barge to Rochester for some big canal music get together.  One guy is a canal bard and sang a song about the tug Enger that was in it's prime in the early 1900's.  This tug was rescued from being cut up for scrap and is towing the house-barge tied up under the bridge behind us.   I took some pictures of the group, but they didn't turn out very well.  After they were done singing at 7pm, we started to walk back and then saw this beautiful sunset.  I HAD to take some photos and here are a couple of the better ones.  I actually took 4 pictures to combine in a panoramic picture.  You don't get sunsets like these too often.
Sunset on Sylvan Beach

Sunset over Oneida Lake from Sylvan Beach
Changes, Sail Away and Island Eclipse at Sylvan Beach Terminal
On our way back, we found the owners of the boats tied up behind us and stopped by to say Hi.  Deb, Andy and their son Henry (2yo in January) and their 2 dogs Buddy and c\Charlie live on a 44' Gulfstar that they bought in Annapolis and are on their way back to live on it year round in Toronto.  They sold their previous boat which was 34'.  Andy said that last straw was when his work shirt froze to the hull.  A few years ago they sold their condo and had cruised for 2 years in the Bahamas.  They bought their 34' boat in Florida when Henry was 4 mo old and have a blog called:  live aboard Sassy (not sure is there are spaces or not in the name) about their adventures traveling back from Florida to Toronto.  They haven't been starting a blog now because they don't have internet access and their digital camera is broken.  The other "couple" we met is Ken Blyth and his first mate and friend, Graham. They are from Windsor, Ontario and are on their way to Annapolis to see the boat show and pick up Ken's wife who is still working. Ken works for the railroad and was able to work for the other guys to have their vacation time this summer in return for being paid until the end of the year while he's not working. They left their home on Sept 7 and have been really pushing it to get to Albany by Sept 17 when Graham connects to go home.

Here is our obligatory photo of Changes docked at Sylvan Beach east of the Bridge looking East.  It's suppose to rain most of the day tomorrow and we want to get to Herkimer.  We  are almost to the Eastern part of the Canal and have 23 locks to go through on the downhill side.  Lock 17 is the one with the largest drop of 40' and we go under the lock gate.  Good thing that we'll be wearing our foul weather gear tomorrow (with these temps when are we NOT wearing our foul weather gear) as the water drips on you from the gate.

We are still having a great time.  Hope everyone is well.  We have loved when we have received phone calls.  I have also talked to my parents, Katie and Rachel and they are doing well.


  1. Glad to hear that you stopped in Sylvan Beach. Larry and I use to go to dinners at Eddies on Friday night for a fish fry. We have great memories of being on the canal before we were married and traveling to the beach with his Uncle who had a power boat. You will soon pass Utica, New York where Larry grew up. Keep the pictures and stories coming I look forward to hearing about your travels. I almost called you today to suggest that you might stop at Eddies for a meal. Safe travels and we will talk with you soon.
    Marie & Larry

  2. Hi Phil and Lorraine, this is a great adventure for you! In a couple years we'll be doing this too, so it's great to hear the good, bad and ugly (hopefully very few "uglies")!
    April & Kevin