Thursday, June 14, 2007

Interesting Photos from the Erie Canal

A picture is worth 1,000 words, and here are some from yesterday's journey on the Erie Canal.

Here is a link to our location (~3:30 pm Thursday)

The strangest picture in this section is of someone putting a jet ski in the back of a pick-up truck!

We saw this while we were below a lock, waiting for its lockgates to open.

The scenery is beautiful beyond words, more than we'd expected, and we had high hopes!

Hank generally has free run of the boat except when we are locking. Then, we secure him in the aft cabin, because if he fell into one of the locks, it would be disastrous. Otherwise, he spends his days watching the scenery or napping in the sun on the foredeck or inside the pilothouse at our feet.

Here's a guy hanging out on one of the navigational buoys.

There are barges and tugs, all working to maintain the locks and canal system. They are 50-100 years old! One lock-keeper said to us after a short delay entering: "Sorry for the delay, but this equipment is 90 years old!"

Although the Erie Canal opens May 1 or thereabouts depending on spring run-off, many people recommend not starting up the canal until June 10 because the high water levels from melting snow bring debris with the high water. Here is a photo of debris; you can imagine the damage this could do to a relatively small pleasure boat.

You can see evidence of the old canal in some locations. Doug will give you details in a later post.

If you look at the chart (we are using Richardson's Chartbook and Cruising Guide for the Hudson River and Adjacent Waterways, courtesy of our friends John and Georgie), the Erie Canal is often between the NY Thruway and the Conrail railway. It's odd to be in an area that looks so remote and to have these two major transportation arteries nearby. Some of the cruising guides (ex., Skipper Bob's Cruising the NY Canal System) mention train and road noise at areas to anchor or tie up for the night. Most of the time we are tired enough that the occasional sound of a train or traffic doesn't bother us!

Hope you all are doing well
Kathie & Doug

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doug and Kathie,

You folks are making good progress this week, looks like you'll be passing through my old hometown of Fulton, NY soon. I grew up there in the 50s and 60s when there was still a lot of commercial traffic on the canal. We used to hear the tugs and barges whistling for lock openings in the middle of the night and you could hear the the engines off in the distance. Coming home from school we used to stop on the bridge and watch boats lock through. Unfortunately there's not much left in Fulton anymore but we'll probably be stopping by in September for my high school reunion. Hopefully we will be leaving Florida in a few days for our own trip north.


Wayne B
GB49, Long Legged Lady