Lyons, Ah Scratch That, Newark
Well we left Fairport around 10 am headed to Lyons. We went about 7 miles to our first lock for the day. Lock 30. We have gone through 4 locks now, so I finally got comfortable enough to actually take some photos while we are trying to manage the lock.
Look at the walls in the lock. This one is pretty rough. Sometimes you have to be careful that your fenders don’t get stuck in one of those indents in the lock wall. Every lock has this sign that lets us know how far it drops or raises and the distance to the next lock depending on which direction you are traveling.
Before we started on our way down the Erie Canal, we signed up for the Notice to Mariners on the New York Canal Systems website. The Notice to Mariners will send you an email letting you know about lock closures, openings, low water or other hazards that might be going on in the canal system. Just before we got to lock 30 we received a Notice to Mariners on our email that read as follows:
Notice to Mariners
Canal System Update – Weather Related Closures
August 19, 2021
The New York State Canal Corporation today announced the following sections of the Canal system are closed due to the recent heavy rainfall, high flows, and extremely hazardous conditions:
Lock E-16 (St. Johnsville) through E-22 (New London)
Lock E-24 (Baldwinsville) through E-28B (Newark)
Lock O-1 (Phoenix) through Lock O-8 (Oswego)
Lock CS-1 (Cayuga) through Lock CS-4 (Waterloo)
Additional closures may be announced through the day.
Updates to follow.
That part in red there is the part that we had to pay attention to. With this notice we will not be able to go any further east past Newark until they re-open locks 28B and those further east. The lock numbers go down the further east you go, so lock 24 is further east than lock 28.
This was confirmed to us by the lock master at lock 30 who also let us know about the lock closures further east. At this point, we can keep going and get through lock 29, however the lock master said they may close 29 and 30 later today. Hearing this news we put the petal to the metal and pushed hard to get to lock 29. We didn’t want them to close that lock before we could get through. All the rain we got in the last day or two was from the remnants of Hurricane Fred and it’s all that water that raised canal levels to the point that they needed to close the locks.
We did however still enjoy the scenery along the way.
We also quickly assessed where we could tie up and spend the night since our plans had changed with the lock closure. We decided it would be best to tie up at Newark, NY.
There are only 2 other boats besides us here in Newark right now. It’s a cute little town with a nice park just adjacent to the wall area where we are tied up. The white building in the left of the above picture houses the bathrooms, showers, laundry (FREE!!!) and the Chamber of Commerce who operates and coordinates the boats who dock here.
We had a nice dinner just across the canal at Craft 120 Brewery and it was great!
We had a few more boats pull up to the wall as the day wore on. Everyone understanding that we are all stranded until the locks re-open. Another sailboat pulled in with a crew of 4 and a small tug with a guy by the name of John. Of course, there is a lot to talk about with the lock closures and what everyone has heard and it anyone knows when they might open.
The next day we enjoyed coffee on the boat and I walked to a nearby Dunkin Doughnuts and picked up a dozen doughnuts. I shared the doughnuts will all our other stranded boaters on the wall. Must keep morale up!
We did some boat jobs, laundry, grocery run. We grilled some steak for dinner and corn on the cob. The evening was topped off with live music in the park right by our boat. We sat on the bow and listened to the music. It was a great evening.