Sunday, June 25, 2017

Leaving the Erie Canal; onto the Oswego Canal

Day 62 … Wednesday, June 21, 2017 … 23.7 miles traveled/ 3 hours, 15 minutes
Lock 20, Erie Canal to Sylvan Beach, NY
Leaving Lock 20 this morning
Last night our friends, one of our on & off buddy boats Day Dream, came over for dinner. They had scored a huge plate of pasta from a neighbor of the Lock 20 park. The neighbor was walking thru the park, stopped to chat with Day Dream. Next thing you know he comes back with a plate of cookies for them. THEN, in the morning they brought over this huge plate of pasta. WOW, was it good. We added a salad and a nice night of quiet conversation was had by all. 
That's Firestorm up ahead

one of the many dams we go around; this one has a huge
tree waiting to crash over and float down river

there are many "flood gates" we go under as we travel
these only come down when the canal floods to control the flooding

remains of the original Erie Canal
view forward

the sky brightens all day

Firestorm leaving a lock
A pretty, but cool day to travel. Bright sun, puffy clouds and Rip and I were in jeans and a light jacket. We’ll take it! Cally enjoyed the cool weather, too.

Today was an easy run of almost 24 miles; the first 18 were lock free. Then, 2 locks back to back both lowering us 25’. Yes, I said lowering. We grabbed lines to hold the boat in place by the lock wall and rode the water down.
Heron perch on debris at the edge of a dam

waterfall along the way

All 3 boats from last night, Firestorm, Day Dream and us, stopped here at Sylvan Beach. We caught back up to Kia Mae!! We missed Bad Habit, they are days ahead of us now and a faster boat without pets on board, so they can go farther than us in a day. It is an adorable beachy town with carnival rides by the beach, a huge beach and park plus shopping and restaurants. Rip made a run to the liquor store on the bike while I took Cally to go swim at the beach.
Sylvan Beach town wall for boats - FREE

Lots of carnival rides

Pretty park, but dogs not allowed in the picnic area 😞

4 other Looper boats, Firestorm, Day Dream, Kia Mae and us, went for ice cream in the mid-afternoon.
Rip in line for ice cream
Friend Laurie, from Firestorm, loving on Cally
I took Cally for a long walk, hoping it would end in a swim at the huge beach … NOPE. BIG sign said NO Dogs on the beach, 24 Hour Surveillance and $25 fine. Dang it. Wish they would provide a 30’ strip of beach for dogs. Oh, well. She was pooped from her long walk and never knew she might have been going swimming.
The beach goes around the shoreline for a long way
couldn't go on it with Cally 😒
The plan is to be here at this FREE wall for the night, then head across Oneida Lake tomorrow, if the weather holds. It isn’t a big lake … about 22 miles across. We don’t need perfect weather, but we don’t need to beat ourselves up either.
Looking out to Lake Oneida
Laurie & Mike walking their 2 pups

Day 63 … Thursday, June 22, 2017 … 28.9 miles traveled in 5 hours, 10 mins
Sylvan Beach, NY to Pirates Cove Marina, Brewerton, NY
heading out across Oneida Lake
First up, crossing Lake Oneida; pretty uneventful easy cruising and then back into the Erie Canal. We didn’t have definite docking plans, yet. So, a few phone calls later we had everything we needed and reserved at Pirates Cove Marina in Brewerton, NY.
Off Oneida Lake and back onto the canal
some bridges are only supposed to be 20-21' high at high water  ... we are 19'10" 
 We stopped for fuel in Brewerton. What should have been 25 minute stop was an hour because the fuel pump was painfully slow. Gees. No one was happy sitting in the sun for an hour waiting for fuel to drip into our tank. On to the last lock of the Erie Canal for us! The Erie continues on to the West, but we will take a right onto the Oswego Canal and head North toward Lake Ontario.

Waiting & waiting at the fuel dock
Due to weather, we plan to stay for 2 nights. The docks aren’t much to look at, but functional. There is a pool, nice clean updated bath/shower facility, laundry and restaurant! The couple that runs the place couldn’t be nicer and more helpful. Plus, they had a mechanic to do a swap out of a thermostat on the Cummins engine that Rip wants replaced. The mechanic pops by late in the day; he’ll be here first thing in the am and finish up.

Day 64 … Friday, June 23, 2017 … 00.00 miles traveled
Pirates Cove Marina, Brewerton, NY
The view at Pirates
Ends up being a long day for all; errands for me and Rip worked on the engine with the mechanic. Rip also did an oil change. Cally spent a lot of the day in the master berth so she didn’t interfere with the engine work or trip and fall in to the engine room while the hatch was open. I end up making two runs to the local marine parts place. We needed our Quarantine Flag (for entering Canada & a Canadian Courtesy Flag to fly once we drop the Quarantine Flag), while at the parts store Rip wanted me to pick up a replacement thermostat for the spare parts locker. Thermostat had to be ordered & picked up the shop (same day!!); so a return trip was in order.

In between, 4 Looper ladies piled into the marina courtesy car and headed to WalMart for provisions I usually buy about 14 days’ worth when I shop. With 4 of us, we packed that car!! Next up more laundry.
the view towards shore

There was a band on Friday night
didn't have to leave the boat for entertainment

Then it was pool time. All for Looper boats, Pharm Life, Firestorm, Tag Team & Lab Partners, enjoyed our own drinks
and munchies. Rip and I ordered appetizers from the restaurant before the others arrived. General Tso’s Chicken Wings & Fried Onions with Petal Sauce filled us up. We took desert back to the boat and called it a meal. Ok, not healthy and off the diet but really good!

Day 65 … Saturday, June 24, 2017 … 25.2 miles traveled in 5 hours, 10 mins
Brewerton, NY to Lock 7/Lock8 wall, Oswego, NY
We leave Brewerton and just a couple miles later leave the Erie Canal and head north onto the Oswego Canal.
Sign onshore: Erie Canal, Left & Oswego, Right
We will go thru 6 locks today … these locks lower the boat until we are at the level of Lake Ontario, our next destination. Each lock is different, but similar. Each entry is different, but similar. Each lock is a pain. It was sort of cool in the beginning, now they are just another thing to get through. The surrounding sights can be pretty, but it is slow work. At least today it is a clear crisp day, but temperatures are not high. It was comfortable weather to sit in the locks.
We are at the top of the lock, waiting to go down
once we are down we will go UNDER that green pedestrian crossing with the stop signs

Friend and Buddy Boater, Lauire from Firestorm holding a lock line
waiting for the water to drain snd the boats to start going down

Firestorm coming out of a lock

this is where Cally is supposed to stay when we are on deck during a lock
We decided early on to stay at the free wall between lock 7 & 8. We did locks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7. There isn’t a lock 4. We are right in front of lock 8, watching boats go thru the lock and can see Lake Ontario. It’s rather windy today and waves are crashing over the breakwaters. NOT a day for us to go out.

little duck family by the dam

one of the dams along the route

Lock to the right - we just came out
Dam to the left we went around

approaching another lock

approaching another lock

Inside a lock
Finally ... after 6 locks today ... tied up to a all between locks for the night

Day 66 … Sunday, June 25, 2017 … 00.00 miles traveled Lock7/Lock8 Wall, Oswego, NY
We are also close to town; time for a bike ride to WalMart for the (I hope) last of prescription refills we need before entering Canada. I think we are set so none needed until we re-enter the US in a few weeks. It is also windy & thunderstorms are due to roll in this afternoon. We’ll stay put, run errands, do chores and wait for tomorrow. Monday is shaping up to be a go day to cross Lake Ontario.

Rip does more maintenance; this time on the windshield wipers. Just getting things ready for open water cruising. We have been in inland rivers and canals for a long time now. Never having been on one of the great lakes in a boat, I can only imagine it is like the Chesapeake Bay. Could be good or the forecast could be off and we are in for a bumpy 50 mile ride. Time will tell.

Lots of Looper boats are positioning themselves here by lock 8 to cross Lake Ontario tomorrow. We have seen a few we know and more we have yet to meet, but know they are coming. The Looper Facebook group and the Looper app, with location map, keep us in touch with each other. I am sure Cally and I will wander down the docks again and meet more Loopers.
View from Lock 8 to Lake Ontario

Tomorrow … Lake Ontario and entering Canada??
View from our lock wall between Locks 7 & 8 in Oswego, NY