Little Falls….Maybe

We were up with the sun this morning to make our way from Brewerton to Little Falls. It’s about 75 miles which will be our longest day yet on the Erie Canal. And we will have 6 locks to go through today. Also the most number of locks we have done in one day on the canal. Generally, they say that it takes about an additional 30 minutes per lock that is added on to our overall run time for the day. So, an extra 3 hours to get through 6 locks.

First up, we have to cross Lake Oneida. This is one of the largest lakes in New York, other than the Great Lakes. The lake is 21 miles long by 5 miles wide and an average depth of 22 feet. It’s because of this shallow depth that with any sort of significant wind, the chop on this lake can get significant quickly. We timed our transit for the quiet of the morning. The sunrise was spectacular this morning:

Big open water after weeks on the narrow canal. We hardly know what to do. We are glad auto pilot is back in action. It was difficult to use the auto pilot in such a narrow canal. Now we can sit back, set the auto pilot and enjoy our morning coffee.

It took a couple hours to transit the open waters of Lake Oneida until we got to the other end where it narrows again into the continuation of the Erie Canal at Sylvan Beach. As we got closer to the Sylvan Beach area, there was a significant amount of debris in the water that we needed to dodge. This always reminds me of the movie Twister. You might remember the scene where a house rolls into the road way and then an entire tractor lands in the road. “Debris people! We have debris!” Yes, that was true in this case, not just a twig but an entire tree!

Coming into Sylvan Beach

We are still traveling in the company of John; Ed and Evelyn and Dave and Kendra. John decided to pull over at Sylvan Beach for the night and the remaining 3 boats decided to push on to Little Falls.

Today we actually have 2 locks that we have to go through in fairly quick succession that are up bound locks when heading east. All the remaining locks heading east are down bound locks. We hadn’t yet really experienced being raised up in the lock as yet. One real difference is waiting for the lock doors to open. As they drop the water level inside the lock, there is some water that leaks through the closed doors as this process happens. This creates a bit of turbulence in the water as we are waiting for the doors to open. We had always had this existing the locks but now we have it waiting to enter the lock. These 2 locks will raise us 25 feet each for a total of 50 feet in less than a half mile.

We still go in slowly and grab the lines hanging down, this time the slimier end of the line for sure. As the water action raises us up in the lock, the boat gets pushed into the wall. This is a real work out using our boat hooks to keep the boat pushed away from the wall as the water fills. These 2 up bound locks are locks 22 and 21. Decreasing numbers as we head east bound.

Shortly after we got through locks 22 and 21, we got a text from Dave and Kendra. “Is lock 18 and all remaining locks only open until 5 pm?” Mark and I both look at each other….say what? Now the sections of the Erie Canal we have been on so far, the locks and lift bridges have been open until 10 pm everyday, so it didn’t really dawn on us that all the other locks wouldn’t be open until 10 pm as well. Well, we didn’t double check and come to find out that yes, 20, 19 and 18 that we need to get through to get to Little Falls, close at 5 pm today.

Well, right now it’s only about noon, so we can definitely get through lock 20 and 19. Right now our ETA to lock 20 is about 1:15 pm. So we should be good there. We will also be able to get through lock 19 in time. However, lock 18 is looking questionable since our ETA to that lock is right about 5 pm but that doesn’t account for the added time we know we will need to go through locks 20 and 19.

We have 2 power boats ahead of us that we don’t know and then us and Dave and Kendra traveling in a loosely defined pack. Fortunately for us, the power boats got held up and had to wait for the lock to open a bit at lock 20. This allowed us to catch up to them and get to lock 20 with no wait for us and we simply just locked right through. Had we not locked through this lock with the 2 power boats and had to wait for another cycle of the lock, we would have had no hope of making it to Little Falls tonight.

After lock 20, the 2 power boats again got ahead of us, however it was only 5 miles until we got to lock 19. So once again, we were able to catch up at the lock and the lock master held the lock as we straggled in with the 2 waiting power boats. Again, had we not made this lock timely we would not get to Little Falls tonight.

Now the afternoon is wearing on and we are pushing our speed as hard as we dare to try to make it to lock 18 before they close at 5 pm. Ed and Evelyn are a full lock cycle ahead of us and they will make Little Falls easily today. We have about 11 miles between lock 19 and lock 18. Our ETA right now is 4:55 pm and we can’t run any faster.

Mark gets on the phone and calls the lock master at lock 18. The conversation goes something like this:

Mark: Yes, what time do you close today?

Lockmaster: 5 pm

Mark: What time do I have to be there to ensure we can still lock through before you close?

Lockmaster: 4:45 pm. You must be here by then to lock through today.

Mark: What if we were just 10 minutes later than that?

Lockmaster: You need to be here at 4:45 pm to lock through

Mark: What would it take to hold the lock? We have 2 power boats and 2 sailboats heading your way and will be there just before 5 pm. What would it take? Would beer help?

Lockmaster: Sure, beer always works!

Yes, we just bribed the lockmaster to hold the lock for us with beer! He agreed he would wait for us and we prepared a bag and emptied some beers from the fridge into the bag as a care package for our new favorite lockmaster!

As we pulled into the lock, we set our care package at the edge of the wall and thanked Dave the lock master profusely for the favor of holding the lock. Thanks again Dave! Cheers!

We texted Ed and Evelyn that yes, we would make it through the lock and we would be able to meet them at the wall in Little Falls. Ed was waiting to help us tie up.

Painkiller all tied up on the wall at Little Falls

Dave and Kendra behind us

We enjoyed a little happy hour with the six of us in Little Falls

Brewerton

Lock 25 at May’s Point is scheduled to open at 7 am sharp. I guess they opened a little earlier than 7 am. I was still laying in bed when I heard Ed’s motor behind us as he pulled away from the wall. Mark was already up but hadn’t yet stuck his head out of the cabin. Once we heard Ed’s motor, we were like….it’s show time! We didn’t want to miss the lock opening and have to wait at least 30 – 40 minutes for them to turn the lock around. We were the last ones off the wall but we made it into the lock with everyone else.

6 boats in the lock together this morning. On the left is Ed and Evelyn with Paul and Lisa behind them and then us. On the right we have Ryan and Justin, then Dave and Kendra and then John who is just out of the picture.

As soon as we made it through the lock, Paul and Lisa immediately pulled over to the wall on the right as they must have gotten up as quickly as we did. Paul was still in his pajama bottoms and we thought they likely pulled over to make coffee and get dressed. So now we were 5 boats in the pack. Ryan and Justin are delivering this boat they are on to Key West, FL so they are in a hurry and not really on a sight seeing tour. They quickly pulled ahead of the pack and we didn’t see them again after the first lock. Now we are 4 boats in the pack.

We feel fortunate that we are in the first pack of boats to get through the canal heading east which means we should not have any trouble finding spots to dock on the walls since there is no one ahead of us. There are plenty of people behind us however!

There is evidence of high water in this section of the canal. You can see in this photo the water was at least 3 feet higher up the embankment.

Here it looks like the water was all the way up to that tent canopy in the left of the picture. The house would have been under water and just in front of the house it’s just mud flats from the water that was recently there.

Multiple trees were also downed from the high water. There are multiple logs and branches in the water that we have to keep a sharp eye out for as we make our way up the canal.

Many of the bouys are not where they should be and have been drug around due to the high water as well.

Not to worry however, the canal guys are actively out and about working to put all the bouys back where they belong.

These guys are working so hard they have 2 tents and a porta potty on the barge to keep working around the clock.

Otherwise, we just enjoyed the scenery as we headed down the canal.

We kept in contact via text with Ed and Evelyn; John; and Dave and Kendra on our journey today. Ed and Evelyn go a bit faster than us and were ahead. Dave and Kendra go about the same speed as us and John is a bit slower so he is behind. We are all headed toward Brewerton. We went through 3 locks today and at each lock we would catch up with one another before spreading out again.

Stats for today:

lift bridges – 0

fixed bridges – 24

guard gates – 0

Locks – 3

Miles traveled – 50

We passed by several points of interest on the way to Brewerton. We went through Cross Lake, which is a small lake in the middle of the canal. At one point we thought we would anchor for the night here in Cross Lake but now we needed to put on some miles in case it rains and they shut down the canal again.

We also passed the junction of where the Oswego canal joins the Erie Canal. The Oswego canal takes you out to Lake Ontario. It is at this junction that we officially transition from the Western Erie Canal to the Eastern Erie Canal. This junction marks the dividing point. It also makes a difference in the current within the Erie Canal. The eastern Erie at this point up until Rome flows westward and up the Oswego canal and into Lake Ontario. As soon as we crossed the junction of the Oswego canal this was readily evident. Our boat speed dropped about 1.5 knots due to the current now working against us.

We got to the wall at Brewerton and just relaxed for a bit.

There’s a restaurant just overlooking the canal here, so the 7 of us went to dinner together just overlooking our boats. We called it a night since we will all be up bright and early. Tomorrow we are heading for Little Falls.

I feel like we have grown roots here in Newark, NY. Not sure we know what a moving boat feels like any more. The canal system is slowly opening and locks 21 – 25 will open on Sept 3rd at 7 am. Today is Sept 2nd. We have met some wonderful people here in Newark and it seems like perhaps the fun is not done yet since we basically all have to leave and head in the same direction.

John left yesterday, he was the first boat to leave. He is only able to get about 23 miles further east before he will have to wait until the 3rd when lock 25 at May’s point will open. We walked down to lock 28 nearby to see John going through the lock.

This morning we intend to leave as well and get at least the 23 miles that we can and wait tonight on the wall just outside lock 25 so we can be there at 7 am tomorrow when it opens. Dave and Kendra on Blue Moon pulled off the wall as we were chatting with others and just like that we decided we better follow them since they would be opening lock 28 for them. Better to catch the lock opening together than to have to wait for another one. So, just like that we jumped aboard, turned the key and we were off. We were able to catch up to them in the lock and lock through with them.

Here are some pictures coming through lock 27 at Lyons

So, the middle section of the Erie Canal from like Newark to Sylvan Beach is the lowest section of the canal, other than the most eastern portion that drops significantly in elevation down to the Hudson River. This is why the middle section was closed due to flooding and why it is also known as the swamp of the Erie Canal. This area is also known as Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. So, lots of birds and also lots of mosquitos the size of birds. You can see in this elevation view of the Erie Canal what I am talking about.

So understanding all this…I have not idea why anyone would want to camp in a tent along the banks of the Erie Canal in this area.

Once we got closer to lock 25 at May’s point, we had heard that there weren’t many things to tie a boat to on the wall. We texted ahead to John, who confirmed that there were rings and bollards to tie to in some places. In other places we might have to get creative what we tie to.

Once we arrived at the wall, John was there to greet us and help us tie up. There was one other boat there besides John as well. David and Kendra pulled in right behind us and just a bit later Ed and Evelyn came along as well. I guess we are already having a Newark reunion on the wall at lock 25.

We decided since we were all friends, a couple new ones and many of us from Newark, it was a great night to have a pizza party. We polled what each boat had in their pantry to contribute to the makings of homemade pizza. Everyone contributed and we were able to make about 6 pizzas for a crowd of 11 people. It was a fun night!

We all chatted about our next destination and collectively decided that we should head to Brewerton tomorrow. Not sure what you call a bunch of boats all traveling in the same direction….a pack, a flock…a flotilla….yes, that’s it a flotilla!

Stranded Boat Club

We made it back to the boat parked in Newark, NY on the Erie Canal. There are a few more boat parked here now than when we left on our mini boat vacation. There are now 14 boats parked along both the south wall and the north wall of the canal. Today is day 13 of being stranded in Newark with the locks closed. We are starting hear of things opening up on the Erie Canal. They are opening the closed sections in phases, starting with the eastern most portion of the closure opening first from locks 2 – 20 and another section from 26 to 34. We are currently sitting just west of lock 28, so we could technically go a bit east however we will not get past lock 26 right now and there are no good places to stay between Newark and lock 26. So, we are all staying put until they announce that locks 25 through 21 will open. Right now the anticipated reopening is on September 3rd at 7 am. That will put us at 17 days waiting in Newark.

So, what do 14 boats stranded in Newark do? Throw a party of course! We planned a pot luck in the picnic pavilion right by our boats. It was complete with decorations, party favors, lots of great food and great company. We dubbed ourselves the “Stranded Boat Club” and everyone got to take a little life ring as a token of our time together.

We met so many great people during our time so far in Newark. John, who watched our boat for us while we were in upstate New York. We even met a couple on a sailboat who just arrived who are from Manitowoc WI! They left from the same marina we did and we hadn’t yet met each other. We had heard about each other through other friends at Manitowoc and then we meet face to face in Newark. How cool is that? We also met Ed and Evelyn aboard Jersey Grace who are from North Carolina and are heading back there with the boat. We also met another Island Packet who recently pulled up along the wall as well.

One common conversation that everyone is having….when are the locks going to open? We are anxious for any little bit of information anyone has. Our friends Dwight and Kay got stranded further east on the Erie just before lock 17 in Little Falls. They were having issues there with the water level rising 5 1/2 feet. Here in Newark the water has dropped about 3 inches.

We spent the next 3 days doing little things here and there. Washing the boat, put a couple of coat of varnish on the eye brows of the cabin top. We did some grocery shopping. Ed and Evelyn happened to have a rental car and Evelyn offered to take me to the grocery store with her. How nice!

We did some laundry and everyone, including us, have been pumping out their holding tanks and filling up water tanks in anticipation of Sept 3rd at 7 am for the proposed opening of the remaining locks on the Erie. Here’s hoping that Sept 3rd is our day.

Boat Vacation

We have been in Newark, NY with the locks closed for 4 days now. Hurricane Henri is now heading up the east coast and likely to dump more rain in the area. We are hearing that it will be at least 3 or more days until the locks will open. The New York canal system folks have decided to drain a large section of the canal down to winter water levels in anticipation of the rain that will come with Henri. This is all we know, which leaves us with more questions than answers at this point.

How often do they drain the canal? How long does it take to refill it? What will that do to the water level where we are? So many questions.

So, when life gives you lemons, your supposed to make lemonaide right? So, we decided to take a boat vacation and visit our daughter in upstate New York while we are here and go and have some fun.

We tried to get a rental car, however the local Enterprise only had 3 cars and 10 reservations. So, Abbie was gracious enough to come and pick us up from the boat and bring us to her house.

We spent a week with Abbie and her husband Ryan and packed in quite a few fun activities.

One day we went to Alexandria Bay which is up by the Thousand Islands area of New York by the St Lawrence River. We took a ferry over to Boldt Castle and took a tour. Boldt Castle was constructed as a summer home in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George Boldt for his beloved wife Louise. Mrs. Boldt died suddenly just months before the castle was completed. George was inconsolable and immediately stopped construction and the property was vacant for 70 years. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority is still actively restoring the property and providing tours. Here are some pics from the castle.

We also went to the local race track one night near Ryan and Abbie’s. It was really fun to see! There were a few mishaps on the track too to add to the excitement. At one point one of the cars lost a tire and it went bouncing around the track and through the infield before coming to a stop. There were a few bumps and spin outs too.

One of the best part of the trip however was Ryan flying the 4 of us to Lake Placid for the day in a Cessna. It was about an hour flight and Ryan is an excellent pilot. We had a great brunch at Big Slide Brewery and then toured the big ski jump that was used during the Lake Placid Olympics.

The scenery from the air was breathtaking!

Here’s a view of the big ski jump from the bottom.

And here’s a view from the top! Nope, not going down that….

The views from the top were amazing however. That’s the airport down there, where we landed.

We also had lots of great meals together, both home cooked and eating out. Played lots of card games, lots of chatting and visiting during our week long visit. Ryan also gave us a great tour of Fort Drum where he is stationed in the army. No photos of the base however, security you know. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Abbie and Ryan and hope to see you guys soon!

What do you do when the locks are closed? We walked about a 1/2 mile from Newark up to lock 28B to take a little tour. It was great to see the locks from a little different perspective rather than on a boat.

This lock is typical of most of the locks that are on the New York Canal System on the Erie Canal. As we approach on our boat, we call the lockmaster on channel 13 on the VHF. This is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of the response you might get. You might not get any response at all, they might answer and tell you they are ready and waiting. You might have to wait until the lock can be refilled or traffic let out going the other direction before it is our turn to lock through.

Once the lockmaster is ready he will open the front doors. They usually open with a loud creak, groan or clank that can be heard quite a ways off, so you know the doors are opening. Once the doors are open, there is a red light that turns green telling you it’s time to proceed into the lock. You are free to pick which ever side of the lock you would like. Generally there are weighted ropes hanging down every so often and I need to get out my boat hook and hook one of these lines as the boat slowly moves forward. Generally I hand this first line back to Mark at the stern of the boat. Then I head back up to the bow area to hook the next line for me to hold at the bow.

Now let me give you some pointers that we have learned along the way for all my boating friends who might have an occasion to go through a lock:

  1. On your boat hook, get rid of those plastic tips on the end of the hook and the end of the boat hook itself. It is so much easier to hook a line without those plastic tips on the boat hook.
  2. You need 2 boat hooks – one for the person on the stern and one for the person on the bow. You will use these to push the boat away from the lock wall.
  3. When going down in a lock the water action will cause the boat to move away from the wall
  4. When going up in a lock the water action will cause the boat to move into the wall
  5. You do not need to keep the boat tight against the wall. Relax!
  6. The boat will move forward and backwards in the lock. As long as you are holding on to your line. Relax!
  7. The lock master’s are your friends. Ask them questions, they are happy to help.
  8. It’s always nice to great the lock master and thank them at the end.
  9. The walls and the lines are slimy – wear gloves!
  10. Regardless of what it looks like, most boats in the lock are just as experienced at this as you are.

Once the water in the lock lowers or raises, the doors will open on the other end, again with a creak, moan or clank and then you are free to drop the lines and motor out of the lock.

Across the street from lock 28B was remnants of an old lock that existed before it was modernized in the 1930’s. I was cool to see the old original locks when the Erie Canal was built.

These gears cut into the stone were where the doors were for the lock and they would be able to crank them open along the gear track.

This particular lock used to generate it’s own power from the hydroelectric operation of the lock. The hydroelectric generators are no longer in use however the lock master gave us a tour of the building that still houses this equipment.

Even though the locks are closed, the lock masters still work everyday. When they aren’t operating the locks that are also responsible for caretaking of the grounds and buildings of the lock. So, they mow the lawn, paint the buildings, railings, etc. Anything that needs painting! I guess they also act as PR people giving people such as us a little tour.

It has been 3 days since we arrived in Newark and we haven’t the foggiest idea of when the locks are going to open.

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:

Erie Canal

Lock E-16 (St. Johnsville) through E-22 (New London)

Lock E-24 (Baldwinsville) through E-28B (Newark)

Oswego Canal

Lock O-1 (Phoenix) through Lock O-8 (Oswego)

Cayuga-Seneca Canal

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.

Fairport

Have you noticed a theme that all the towns along the Erie Canal are called “something PORT” It all gets so confusing which town is which after awhile.

Well, remember I said we stayed in Brockport for an extra day to avoid the rain. Well, the rain was just delayed a day and it rained ALL day on our way to Fairport. Thankfully our cockpit enclosure kept us fairly dry. However we had some locks to go through today so we had to don our rain gear and get out of our enclosed cockpit to grab those lines in the lock to get us through.

I have very little pictures from today since they would all be nothing but rain.

I was able to get a few pictures as we left Fairport when it wasn’t raining.

So, all this rain we are getting is the remnants of Hurricane Fred. All this moisture is coming up from the south and saturating the northern states, including New York.

We went about 33 miles today in total. Here are some other stats from today:

Fixed Bridges: 39

Lift Bridges: 4

Guard Gates: 5

Locks: 2

We are getting better at going through the locks!

Once we got settled in Fairport, we hunted out a good restaurant for dinner. We finally settled on the Irish Pub in the area. It was great fun because we discovered it was trivia night! We ordered our food and down loaded the app we needed to play trivia. Once the round started, we collectively came up with our best guesses to answer the questions. We did ok…then they had this lightening round where whoever got the correct answer the fastest jumps in first place! Well, I don’t even remember what the question was but the answer was Albert Einstein. And we were the first to answer correctly! First place! Well, that didn’t last long as we watched our first place slowly dwindle down with every subsequent question. It was exciting while it lasted.

We walked back to our boat in the rain and called it a night. Tomorrow we are leaving rain or shine for Lyons.

Brockport

We left this morning from Medina. Before we left we had a boat job to do that we must do periodically. We had to pump out the head. Luckily there was a pump out just at the end of the dock where we spent the night in Medina, so we just had to pull out, turn around, dock again near the pump out.

This was the cutest pump out facility I have ever seen. They had the equipment in what looked like an old fashioned out house that was painted red. Too funny!

After we pumped out, we headed out to continue east on the canal.

On the right hand side of the canal just out of Medina there was an area that is a spillway for when the canal has high water and the excess water can spill over this area. It’s kinda scary to motor past because it feels like you could just go over the edge if you got too close.

The canal continues to have beautiful vistas around every corner.

One of the highlights on today’s journey was an area of the canal that actually has a road that runs UNDERNEATH the canal. Yes, I said underneath. Here is a pretty good photo as we went by.

We also encountered our first canal boat. These are rental boats that people rent for about a week and take up and down the Erie Canal. Sometimes you have to watch out for these boats since they may or may not be experienced boat drivers.

After not too long of a day we arrived at the wall in Brockport.

Stats for today include:

Miles traveled: 25

Fixed bridges: 18

Lift bridges: 7

Guard Gates: 4

Locks: 0

I must say that lift bridges are getting less scary and it seems routine now to call them and have them open the bridge for us and no big deal to wait if you have to. At 7, that is the most lift bridges we will have in one day for the rest of the canal, so we had a lot of practice today.

After we arrived in Brockport we wandered around town and ate at a great little restaurant right behind our boat along the wall. The town was very cute and historic.

We decided to stay in Brockport for 2 nights since the next day it is supposed to rain for most of the day. So, the next day we decided it was a boat chores day. We did laundry. There was a great laundry for us to use just steps from the boat at the building that you check in at when you tie up to the wall. Could not be more convenient. Other items were phone calls to family, as Mark’s mom is still in the hospital. Writing a blog post or two. And just some general lounging around.

Today we met an awesome couple from New Orleans, Alan and Brooke. They walked past our boat and we struck up a conversation. These conversations tend to go something like this: Where are you from? Where are you going? How long have you been on the boat? They are doing the Great Loop but in the correct direction. They are heading west through the Erie Canal, through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River system to the Gulf of Mexico, back to New Orleans. We must have talked for about an hour. This is what happens when you meet people, whatever you have planned goes out the window while you chat with new friends, not that we really have anything planned anyway. They brought their dinghy here to Brockport and their big boat is parked in the next town east in the canal, Spencerport. Today is Monday and there are not a lot of restaurants open today, so they came over to Brockport to find a place to eat.

Well the rain that we were anticipating today never really materialized. We got some spotty showers but not what they were predicting for today. It appears that the rain is a bit delayed and will come to us tomorrow. We decided we really couldn’t afford, time wise, to spend another day in Brockport to wait out the rain, so tomorrow we are leaving come rain or shine.

Medina

We made it fairly close to Medina and had to go under the Prospect Street Lift Bridge in Medina before we got to the wall to tie up. This particular bridge operator is responsible for both the Prospect Street bridge in Medina and the Knowlesville lift bridge which is about 4.5 miles away.

I called the Prospect Street bridge phone number and got no answer, so I called the Knowlesville lift bridge to see if he was there. He answered and said he had to let a boat through going westbound and then drive over to the Prospect bridge to let us through. No worries, we can hang out for 20 mins. We ended up turning around in the narrow canal which is no easy feat and going back about 1/2 mile before we turned around again and floated toward the Prospect street bridge.

We got out the binoculars and we could watch as the bridge operator got out of his car and climbed the stairs to the bridge tower. We watched him get settled and then he called us on the VHF to let us know to proceed and he would be ready to open.

We came ahead and he opened for us just as expected.

Joe the bridge operator came to meet us at the wall to greet us, give us the code for the bathrooms and gave us the local town tourist booklet that outlined what was in the area. How nice!

Then we tied up at the wall in Medina. It’s right along the edge of town with main street just a block up from the canal. We walked around town to see all the shops and restaurants

There were a couple other boats on the wall with us in Medina. This is the most boats we have seen on our trip on the Erie so far.

We had a late lunch/brunch at a great little local diner called the Country Club Family Restaurant. It was a great place with great food!

Here are just a few pics of the area.

Just kind of a quiet night and a quick stop here before moving on to the next stop.