Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Scotia, NY to the Highest Point of The Erie Canal at Lock 20

Day 56 … Thursday, June 15, 2017 … 16.75 miles traveled/ 4 hours, 15 minutes
Village of Scotia, NY to Riverlink Park, Amsterdam, NY
We left the docks at Scotia by ourselves. 1 boat is staying to catch up with old friends that live nearby. 1 boat hasn’t decided what they will do, or where they will go, yet.
Sign in is on the honor system; you fill out the form, put $30 in the envelope with form
and drop in the locked box. FREE wifi code is on the pamphlet with all the info on businesses you can walk to from here

Kia Mae, Bad Habit & Lab Partners at Scotia Docks

a girl has to do what a girl has to do ...
once we dock, she is the first priority

wonderful grass amphitheater; Free concerts on Wednesday nights in the summer 

Couple of the Show Team members out for a spin Wednesday night

This might be the 2nd nice travel day we’ve had … the sun is out and it isn’t too hot. Today, part of the Erie will be on the Mohawk River and in the canal. We did 3 locks today … we were the only ones in the lock each time. These were smaller lifts of only 8’-17’ each. There were no long waits to enter any of the locks; so, travel went well and faster than expected.
dam to the right; lock to the left

Commercial vessels get priority and can take up the entire lock themselves … sometime you have to wait for the “big guys” to go thru. Sometimes they “double lock” meaning a tug pushing 2 barges will put one barge in the lock, while the other is tied up by a wall outside the lock. He takes the barge down, ties it up outside the lock, goes back in the lock and UP; then gets the other barge and comes down with it. Then, hooks back up to both and moves along. Not a fast process. Each “locking” (raise or lower) is 20-30+ minutes plus time to enter, get boats set up & exit.
Someone has to keep an eye out

working barge being pushed by a tug

Canal Tug pushing a working barge

Day 57 … Friday, June 16, 2017 … 00 miles
Riverlink Park, Amsterdam, NY
Another rainy day … I will do more laundry, cook some entrée’s for dinners later in the week, catch up on the blog and we will wait to move again until tomorrow morning. There might be a nap involved, too.
Beautiful setting by a large park
Restaurant with outdoor sitting only was very nice

Very nice 911 Memorial with a piece of the World Trade Center at the center

Lab Partners to the left

Several buddy boats left today … the 3 we had brownie sundae with last night at the restaurant here by the docks. None have dogs aboard. Traveling with a dog in the rain isn’t fun, especially in wet/rainy locks.

One bit of amusement … one of the working canal barges came through with piles of logs/debris they had picked up. They also picked a long piece of tree off 2 buoys it snagged and drug; then they reset the 2 buoys and went further downstream.
Working canal barge clearing debris, despite the weather

Day 58 … Saturday, June 17, 2017 … 22.5 miles; 3h, 40m
Riverlink Park, Amsterdam, NY to Canajoharie, NY
Lab Partners leaving Amsterdam
Kia Mae staying a bit longer & took our pic for us

leaving Amsterdam

Today, we did 3 more locks (12’, 11’ and 8’ rises) with 3 other boats. The Erie is scenic, but NOT like the Hudson. 

Looking back to a filled lock as we leave

Looking back on a filled lock as another boat approaches
he must wait for us to leave the lock, the lock to empty to his level and then he came come in & start the rise to continue

just one of the many friendly lockmasters

dam by the lock

look at the control panel to operate the lock at this end

It isn't the Hudson, but it is pretty on a nice day.

As we arrive at our destination, there is a yellow floating rope (or boom) across the canal on the other side of the bridge. Luckily we are not going under the bridge, our destination is the town docks on our side of the bridge and yellow rope. A guy on a PWC comes by to say they will open up in 45 minutes or so. There were several small boats in the middle of the river looking at something and a crowd gathered on the shoreline. I was afraid there had been a boating accident. NOPE … it was a RUBBER DUCK RACE.
Yellow boom  across the river stopping ALL traffic

Rubber ducks were set out to watch them "race" across ???? WTF

Yes, sir; they closed the river for hours for a rubber duck race.
There wasn’t a spot for us on the floating wall, so we rafted up with our friends on Day Dream, Pat & Patty Anderson on their C-Dory 25. The river opens up, the boats waiting to travel up river clear out. 3 Boats on the floating dock shift back so we can fit on the dock for the night and not have to get Cally across Day Dream to get to shore. They have a dog and a cat on board. Things could have gotten very interesting. Yay team!!
Friends on Day Dream allowed us to raft up until we could figure room to get docked
Boats waiting for the "race" to end can only idle about until all is cleared again
the river was closed for 3+ hours
More boats come up with no place to go. Boats start rafting. We have a Swedish couple’s boat, we met the night before in Amsterdam (NY), rafted to us. They are so fun & interesting. As a show of thanks they invite us over for a beer. More join in, and more join in and before you know … there must have been 14 people up on their flybridge. Now, that is how you have docktails!! And, I forgot to take any pics. L
Once the river opened, boats moved on and we could jockey about to get a spot on the
FREE floating dock with FREE power!

An Amish man came by horse and buggy to fish at the canal/river edge

Day 59 … Sunday, June 18, 2017 … 19.5 miles; 5h, 15m
town docks, Canjoharie, NY to Little Falls Rotary Park Marina

Time to move on, but there are a lot of boats here and we have a boat rafted to us. That means we cannot go until they go. Of the 16 or so boats here this morning, all but 5 are gone. We leave with a group of 3; a boat we do not know and the boat that was rafted to us, Amika. The owners of Amika are a Swedish couple who bought the boat in Florida and are doing the loop in her. They are quite a fun and interesting couple. Hope to catch up to them again.

With this many boats leaving one spot and us at the tail end … we doubt we will get a space on the dock we intend to head to today. That is the part that still is hard for me; not knowing we definitely have a place to stop for the night. Since we might have to travel further than we would like, Cally gets an extra quick walk this morning.
Kia Mae leaving a lock behind us

Kim, on Kia Mae, has it made

one of the original dam spill overs

Sailboat leaving a lock behind us

every section has lots of debris floating

dam where the Mohawk River joins back up with the canal

Flood gates are lowered to control the water
they are up & out of the way until it floods

Lab Partners passing St Johnsville
Photo courtesy of Pharm Life

4 Locks today; 3 are like they have been (8’- 21’ rise) and 1 is a 41’ rise. Lock 17 is the highest lift on the Erie Canal, not the highest lift we will have on our journey. This lift also has a gate that rises and lowers (like a guillotine) wherein the rest, so far, have doors that open and close.
Cally & I waiting in the shade for the next lock to be ready for us

boats tied to the lock approach walls waiting for the lock to become available

As we approach Lock 17 … there are 4 boats on the wall waiting to enter the lock which is still closed. Shortly the lock doors open, 3 boats come out, including a tour boat. The 4 boats on the wall leave and enter the lock. Our morning flotilla plus a sailboat we picked up along the way, take our positions on the lock wall to wait. This give us a chance to get Cally off the boat for another walk. It is so blasted hot & humid, I sit with her under the bridge in the shade. The lock raises the earlier boats, takes on boats from the other side, lowers to let them out and past us. THEN, we can enter the lock.
Once up, the view .... could be grassy park like setting
once up, the view???? could be a dam

You never know what you will see when you raise up over the lock … it’s always different. This time as we start to exit the lead boat comes to a stop … not good - no brakes on boats. The next boat comes to a stop, we come to a stop and we notify the sailboat not to let go of their position on the wall until we 3 start going again. Not a lot of room to maneuver and idle. We were worried they snagged their dinghy they were towing or have engine/thruster problems, but it was a very long and large log stretching most of the way across the exit. The lock master grabbed a long pike and expertly moved it to the side and held it for us to all leave.
2 Boats ahead leaving a lock

Sailboat behind us with a family of 4

the 2 boats in front STOP ... WTF ... see the log to the right by the lockmaster

Lockmaster has all under control for us to move on freely

Now, where are we going … less than a mile from that last lock  is our preferred stop. Will there be a spot??? And, getting space on a dock and with electric is important, as a day or two of rain (and heavy rain) are forecast.
scenery changes at every turn it seems

just around this bend ... will we have a slip or not???
or, will we have to move on further???

YEPPERS!! There are spots. The 2 boats in front of us and our boat all pull in. We have a spot to ride out the weather and take Cally ashore for her business.
Front porch was added to the terminal building in the reno

SO, SO pretty and much quieter than the last 3 stops
no train whistles 
Park setting by the docks for Cally to play

looking back at the terminal building

We are not on a floating dock, like we have been for many weeks. This time we are at a concrete wall which is much higher. This is how Cally’s ramp is positioned to get her off the boat here.
Note, this time we are lower than the wall so Callys ramp is actually OVER the handrail
she comes on board on the " 2nd level"

Day 60 … Monday, June 19, 2017 … 00 miles
Little Falls Rotary Park
2 Months living full time aboard a 36’ boat … so far so good. Weather isn’t perfect, we are sitting a 2nd day at Little Falls because of rain and flash flood warnings. Gees, sure seems like it is either dreary/cold/raining or so blasted hot you melt. A bit of the nice weather would be fun. So, another day for chores like pumping out the boat, laundry and boat washing.

The park here is, again, very pretty. As the boat traffic on the Erie Canal changed from commercial barges & tugs to more pleasure craft; some, if not all, of the water front towns have built docks, parks or marina parks. The town docks/marinas are FREE or very inexpensive (as compared to full service marinas). Some have just docks at a park like setting (Scotia), some have docks with electric power (Canjoharie; some also with water) for us. Some like Little Falls have a building with ice & ice cream, laundry, 4 bathrooms and 2 showers PLUS a lounge with TV to relax and hang out in. There are trails through the area to this park; many locals walk the trails and also take advantage of the bathrooms and large porch to rest up.

The building was originally a Canal Terminal Building; fancy way to say warehouse, in the winter it housed the buoys (like the ones marking our route through the waters today). The buoys must be picked up each winter and reset each spring. See pic below for how they mark where the buoys go back each spring. When weather allows, the canal will announce the opening of the canal for the season. Today, ½ is the lounge/bath area and ½ is original warehouse space they rent kayaks from to explore the canal. The renovation occurred in 1992, with the local Rotary Club putting up the funding of the reno and porch extension. 
The spots for the buoys are marked along the canal sides.
Sometime it is a sign, sometimes a large painted rock and other times it is both.

Day 61 … Tuesday, June 20, 2017 … 25.1 miles; 4 ½ hours
Little Falls Rotary Park to Lock 20, Erie Canal
Today we left Little Falls (such a nice stop!!), went thru 3 locks and ended up on a FREE wall outside of the 3rd and final lock of the day – Lock 20.
A nice park for Cally to run and play, secure spot for the night … right by the lock. 
Docked on a FREE wall right at Lock 20

Buddy Boat, Firestorm, on the other side of the canal from us
we can walk across the top of the lock doors to go see them

Park by the lock ... Lab Partners to the right

Park with pavillion

a boat in the lock after we came thru and docked
she will rise up to our water level and then go past us

lock doors closed; lock master ready to fill the lock

View from the lock back to Lab Partners, right, and Firestorm, left

No comments:

Post a Comment