Hi friends! Sorry about the long blog post, but it’s been a while and there’s so much to catch you up on!
Ever notice how the unexpected turns out to be a blessing in disguise? That’s exactly what happened last week.
After cruising the amazingly gorgeous Hudson River, we ended in Waterford, NY to begin our 160 mile trek thru the Erie Canal. Our route had us navigating 23 locks, which would then lead us to Lake Ontario and eventually into Canada. You guys, I am taking my own boat into ANOTHER COUNTRY. I thought cruising by Lady Liberty was a huge deal (which of course it was), but this just blows my mind!
One of us had the stupidest idea of walking across the Mid-Hudson Bridge. For me, it was 3,000 feet of sheer terror. Ok, maybe a small part of me liked the bridge music, but I was holding on to Rob for dear life! There are two listening stations on the bridge’s towers. You push a button and hear the music of the bridge on the bridge. The sounds were actually created by recording the sounds of the bridge’s surfaces (guard rails, girders, etc.) with various mallets. It was actually really cool.
We found a beautiful, secluded anchorage on the Hudson River.
Our first 5 locks, called the Waterford Flight, would be within a span of 2 miles and each would lift us 34 feet! 😳 Tidbit: The Waterford Flight features five locks where vessels are lifted or lowered the greatest height in the shortest distance of any canal in the world. I definitely had some locking jitters. We’ve only locked a couple of times before and they weren’t even close to the size of the Erie Canal locks. Think of a lock as an elevator for boats…lifting and lowering them between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. Locks are what make the Loop possible.
Our first day we travelled 35 miles and went through 10 locks. I wouldn’t say we are experts, but we definitely felt much more confident about our locking abilities.
We ended the day with news of a storm coming the next day. We met some really neat guys who were on a research boat. They had the inside scoop…leave first thing in the morning and continue moving West, or risk being stuck with lock closures. At 6:45am, off came the lines and by 7:00am we were in Lock 11 with the research boat. It was probably one of the most tiring and mentally and physically draining days we’ve had so far. It rained a ton, debris was floating down the Canal and we spent most of the day locking in the rain. The locks aren’t that big of a deal, but they really monopolize the day.
Even the Amish get a kick out of the locks.
Lock 17 lifted us 40 feet.
The research guys were spot on. The locks below us and two above us closed. We hung out in Little Falls, NY waiting for the water levels to recede and the upper locks to reopen.
Impossible to travel…
But I’m making new friends!
That gosling followed me for 2 miles!!! No…I am not your mother. Thank God it eventually found its family cause I don’t think I could’ve just left him there.
After 20 locks, we were at the highest level on the Erie Canal – 420 feet! What a cruel, cruel joke cause after all that work, Locks 21 and 22 were DROPPING us 25 feet each. Grrrrrr.
No sooner did the locks open and we were making forward progress, did they close again. The water level on the Erie Canal is extremely high right now and even the smallest amount of rain is troublesome.
For the next four days we made Brewerton, NY our home. What originally was a “we’re gonna be stuck where, for how long” moment, turned out to be the ahhhhhh moment. I definitely would say that the best part of being a Looper is the community. Everyone is in it together. Everyone shares a common interest. Everyone is looking out for one another. The friends we made in Brewerton are now lifelong friends.
Docktails all day, everyday.
Dockside yoga. Waiting for locks to open is stressful…lol!
Taking bets on when the locks will open.
And a fantastic dinner hosted by Winter Harbor Marina!
And the winner of $13 was…Nancy on Summer Lynn!
Thursday morning at exactly 6:45am we made our way out of Brewerton. Eight more locks ahead and we will soon be on our way to Canada! The only thing standing in our way is Lake Ontario!
See you soon, Canada 🇨🇦
Over and out!
xo, The Admiral