Had a great cruise from Holley to Lockport today. We passed the Dewitt-Clinton Tug with barge in tow…. twice.
We passed it the first time after we passed through Albion, NY. It was great as it was relatively tight and gave me a chance to put to use some of my “Seamanship Rules of the Road” readings. We went through the procedure of overtaking on the port side after confirming with the tug captain what would be best for him as his maneuverability was much less than mine.
After that we went along and stopped in Medina for lunch. Had a good lunch there and admired all of the Sandstone architecture, dating back to the 1860’s.
We took a walk after that across the canal to view the 70′ waterfalls on the other side. The cool thing about this is that the Erie Canal actually goes over the river where the waterfall is.
While we were sightseeing we watched the Dewitt-Clinton and the barge it was towing go through town. So…. shortly thereafter I needed to call the Dewitt-Clinton to agree on how I was to pass them, again.
- Dewitt-Clinton, Dewitt-Clinton, Dewitt-Clinton, this is the MnM… again
- Hello again MnM
- Dewitt-Clinton, we would like to overtake you on your port sidE
- Please proceed to do so on my port side. I will slow down (again) and hug the canal as it gets narrow ahead (again).
- Roger, Dewitt-Clinton, and thanks… again.
- Glad you are enjoying our canal system
- We are, MnM out, standing by on 13
- Dewitt-Clinton, standing by 13
So… twice in one day. As we passed, the crew and captain waved at us, all with a bit of a smile. Darn Tourists….
After that we proceeded through a series of lift bridges and made good progress. The New York Canal system people knew we were coming, and as we approached each bridge, they lifted it up in just enough time, where we would pass under the bridge when the light turned green to do so. They obviously have their timing down!
So we continued on to our final destination – Lockport, NY. As we approached, we were looking for a place to tie up for the night as Melodie had heard about a cave tour related to the canal system from our friends in Holley. The guidebooks were a bit misleading as we did not find the walls and tie ups referenced.
We rounded a corner…. “MnM – This is the Lockport lock master for flight 34 and 35. We have the gates opened for you. Please secure your vessel midway in the first lock.” Creepy…. they knew our every move, and we were used to calling the lock master first (probably heard about us from the Dewitt-Clinton crew) 🙂
We entered the first lock of a flight of two, ~24.5 feet each for a total of 49 feet. We made sure we got it right as this area also has the original flight of five locks from the 1800’s and is a tourist area. Suddenly we had dozens of people watch US as we proceeded to “do the lock” thing. So, all went well and as we completed the first lift, the gates opened and there was a tour boat directly ahead of us in the other lift on the same side we were. So we moved from port to starboard and did the second flight on starboard. Lots of people on the tour boat taking pictures of us maneuvering, not a good time to mess up!
After that we asked the lockmaster about tying up for the night. He was very helpful and said, come out of the lock, make a U-Turn and tie on the other side of the lock. We did so – a spot for one boat, just ahead of the flight of five. Cool! We walked up into town and had a really good Pesto Chicken pizza at “Lock 34/35 Grille”.
Right after that the skies got cloudy, and we had a good downpour. Not a bad thing as the boat really needed a cleaning (still does).
It was a “pretty good” night there, until around 1:30 in the morning when we heard a bunch of kids alongside our boat (4 or 5). Whether they tried to board or just pushed on the rail I don’t know, but the noise and movement woke me up and I came out of the back of their boat, much to their surprise. I think I kind of shook them up as they immediately apologized and skedaddled.
At that point I also took a look behind the boat to find the canal loaded with LARGE tree branches and other “stuff”. I took to working that past the boat to pick up the current and to get it away from us, then went back down. At that time we also realized that the bar on the south side had a live band, and so that, along with what just happened kept us up for a while, until the band stopped playing, and we went back to sleep – I’m guessing around 3:30 AM
In any event, no damage was done, and we just wrote it off as a tying up in a bigger city, and a commercial lock space.