We got an earlier start than our normal 10:55 AM today to make the trip from Seneca Falls to Palmyra, leaving just before 9:00 AM. Beautiful day all the way, quite warm and sunny. We took our time staying well below the speed limits ranging from 10 to 30 MPH, and we probably averaged around 8 knots all day. We arrived at Palmyra at 3:30 or so, after traversing through 7 locks in total.
New routine on the locks.
At the last lock prior to Palmyra, we did our normal thing, I let Melodie know what line to reach for on the bow, counting from the entrance to the line desired, and then I grab the stern line after shutting the engine off. Well, what we didn’t notice on the starboard/north wall of the lock was how bad the concrete had deteriorated on our preferred starboard tie. We were in the bottom of the lock, maybe 20 feet. I pulled on the stern line to bring the stern in, and a five to ten pound chunk of concrete literally fell off of the top of the lock, just missing both me and the side of the boat. Kerplunk!! After that fragments continued to fall, but since we kept the boat about four feet off the wall, everything proceeded without incident.
Suggested locking procedure for anyone using the lock, and our new plan:
- Look at the quality of the sidewalls of the lock.
- Select the sidewall in the best condition.
- Then select which line to use as the forward tie.
Palmyra has a really unique facility for boaters, in that their dock wall is actually in a cove off of the canal. Includes power and pump out capability at each tie. Couple that with free shore power and dockage and it all stack up into a nice offering from the towns along the Erie Canal – SWEET! Went for a nice bike ride through town, nice old buildings. Definitely a nice place to stop for the night.