Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Day on Erie Canal - Lorraine's Last Day

Wednesday, May 18
Waterford, NY to Amsterdam, NY
Lock #11

Distance Traveled:  33.8 nm
Miles traveled to get home:  1933.22
Total Distance Traveled:  4613.15nm

We woke this morning about 6am just before the alarm went off to gray skies.  It's cool, but I didn't check the temperature.  The first lock #E2 is to open at 710am so we started the engine at 702am and pulled away from the docks at 706am.  Then John from S/V Obsession yelled to us that the lock wouldn't open until 720am and a lot of water causing current was going to come first - right - we remember now.  So we moved away from the lock and waited until the lock opened at 721am.  We were joined for the day traveling on the Erie Canal with Obsession, Dream Weaver and a Oceanis 350 owned by a man from Montreal.  We quickly (well as quickly as you can go thru locks) went through the first 6 step locks and then I helmed the boat until Phil took over after Lock 7 at 1115am.  We've had rain on and off through the early afternoon and saw glimpses of the sun a couple times.  One time we even saw blue sky - or maybe I imagined it.  Late morning I posted on the Blog and then after fixing lunch of sandwiches and a fresh pear, I took the helm again. 

We have once again gotten our system down in the locks.  Phil is at the helm and I get the line wrapped around one of the pipe or cable for him at the stern and then move forward to catch one of the lines.  I can't find the extra latex gloves that we had from the fall trip, so I used the rubber latex gloves I wear when washing dishes.  Today we were mostly on the Mohawk River and at no place was the water skinny and less than 12 feet even at lock E6 and lock 7.  In fact it was deeper than when we came through in the fall and the dams have plenty of water flowing over them unlike how it was in the fall.  There is a lot of wood debris in the water.  One of the lock, we think it was lock 9, had logs and debris on both sides of the lock.  We had to go slowly through it and the logs were all around us.  It's been pretty chilly today and having some hot tea was welcomed.  By 430pm we went through Lock 11 - our destination and we tied up along with many other boats along the wall at Guy Park by 445pm.  I called Enterprise and lucky for me, there was a local guy that knew where I was to come pick me up.  Then Charlie took me to Enterprise and I was able to get a Ford Explorer at the price of $40/day -as I had made an online reservation through AAA.  That's great as I'll be able to take as much as I need to off the boat.  I stopped at Aldi's on the way back and with Phil on the phone, made selections so he will be provisioned for Colin's visit.  There was a JoAnn Fabric store on the corner of where I needed to turn, so I stopped by and picked out some new knitting needles so replace the bamboo ones that I have been using.  They are not slippery enough for this project.

Once I returned, we went to Russo Greill for supper, joining John and Sherry on S/V Obsession and Jim and Judy from Dream Weaver.  The guys each made their boats and they're docked in Sandusky at Sandusky Harbor Marina.  Sherry is an nurse and Judy is a retired teacher.  They have know each other for 21 years and are really great people.  I hope that they stop by Grand River Yacht Club on their way back home.

After supper, we went to a liquor store and then we all piled into the Ford Explorer and went to the Dollar Store.  After we returned we got items from under the V-berth and we started loading up the car.  Phil is thrilled to have my stuff off the boat - he doesn't know what to do with his feet under the table he has so much room. :)  Tomorrow I'll put my last minute things in the car, help him move Changes down the dock to where the electricity is and then leave.  My TomTom GPS says it will take 3hr 20 min to get to my hotel.  I'll take a shower and then go over to Glenn and Pat's home.

I have mixed feelings about leaving.  Coming down, the Erie Canal was one of the high lights of the trip and I won't be able to do it this time.  I was feeling sad about that but also looking forward to see Lauren, Riley and Teagan.  Tonight is my last night on the boat for this trip.  I'm glad it ended with a nice meal with great people.
Phil has agreed to continue the SPOT OK messages and I left him a list of questions that I was going to ask when I called so that hopefully, I can continue writing in the blog about the rest of the trip home.

I look forward to seeing friends and family once I get home and will look forward to Phil's return as soon as Locks 23 thru 26 open.  I check the NY State Canal web site and those areas are still closed due to high water.  Stop raining all ready!

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