Coming into Lockport we had to go under our first lift bridge, pictured above. The bridge clearance is 3 feet in the closed position and 16 feet 6 inches in the open position. We have to call the bridge operators on channel 13 to ask for the bridge to be lifted.
After we passed under this bridge we tied up to the wall just after the bridge which is the free wall in the town of Lockport for the night. After we got all secure and checked out our surroundings, we walked about 1/2 mile to the downtown area where we found some restaurants to have a bite to eat for dinner. We ate at Lock 34 Bar and Grill which was a great place downtown. We thought perhaps it might overlook lock 34 but no so. Lock 34 which we had come through earlier was a few blocks away. We thought about walking back to the lock to see it but decided we didn’t want to walk that far since we still have to walk back to the boat.
We just spent a quiet evening listening the traffic rattle across the bridge behind us. We got up the next morning, made some coffee and left the dock around 9 am.
The Erie Canal is quiet, peaceful and beautiful. We haven’t seen another boat all day except for one pontoon boat.
Most of the Erie Canal so far has been lush with trees and scenic beauty. There is a bike trail the runs along the northern side of the canal for at least 100 miles, so we see people walking their dog, biking, walking, etc as we motor past. They are all friendly and seem interested in a boat passing by and we wave to everyone we see. Occasionally the shoreline is dotted with some homes as well.
We had to go under 4 lift bridges today in total. It’s interesting that the bridge operators will sometimes be responsible for more than one bridge. This was the case as we came through both Gasport and Middleport. These 2 lift bridges are 5 miles apart and the same lift bridge operator is accountable for both bridges. So, it goes something like this. Call the Gasport bridge and ask for the bridge to be opened. He opens the Gasport bridge and lets us through, lowers the bridge, climbs down the tower, gets in his car and drives the 5 miles to the bridge in Middleport before we make it there and ask for the Middleport bridge to be opened.
Now as you can imagine we aren’t the only boat going through the canal and there is boat traffic that heads in both directions, so you can never been assured that the bridge operator is at the bridge you want him to be at when you get there.
So, we kinda got the hang of this after awhile and started to call the bridge operators on the phone when we were about a mile out from the bridge. This ensured that if he was at the other bridge, we would have time to slow down and wait for him to drive to the bridge we needed opened. We also caught on that if they didn’t answer the phone when I called the Gasport bridge, then I called the Middleport bridge and found him there. Once we knew where he was, we knew how much time we needed to allow before we got the bridge. Then we would call on the VHF when we were within sight of the bridge to have him open for us to come through.
Here we are coming under the Middleport bridge
Here are the stats for today:
Fixed Bridges: 11
Lift Bridges: 4
Guard Gates: 2
At the end of the day we pulled into the dock in Medina.