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Locked Up

Hello Friends and Family!

        This morning we woke up just before 7am to catch the lock right after Amsterdam, New York. We were expecting to have company by the time we made it down to the lock, since it is beneficial to start your day when the locks open, and the two boats that ran with us earlier in the canal were at the free dock right before the lock. Nevertheless, we passed them on the way to the lock and we assume they decided to sleep in, which allowed us to lock through the whole day alone. Right after Amsterdam there were 2 locks right away, and then three locks pretty evenly spaced out with some little-no-name towns in between. Today went very smoothly as we had the locks pretty much down pat and had a pretty good understanding of what to do and how to be efficient. However, two or three of the locks today were tricky because of a difference in their water fill location. The normal locks have fill ports on each side of the lock. This means that when the lockmaster raises the water it is even on both sides and the boat rises up and stays in the relatively same position. 

        For a couple of the locks today, the fill side was broken on the starboard side (right), meaning that we had to drive up to the ropes on the wall on the port side, and Dad also had to run around the back of the boat to grab the other line rather than just stepping out of the door and grabbing it. The other issue with the water coming into the lock only on one side is that the boat gets shoved up against the lock wall, meaning that you have to push against the wall to make sure the boat fenders that are protecting the side of the boat don’t get squished to the point of breaking the line, or that they get caught on the wall. Anyways, the port side locks are a headache because we have to move the fenders over and be extra careful on the ride in. This was especially scary at lock #17 because of the sheer size of it along with the one side water fill and the fact that it had a top down door as opposed to a dual door opening. 

Top Down Lock Door Configuration at Lock 17
Massive Lock 17

Luckily the lockmaster gave us a slow infill of water because he said he didn’t want to scare us. (Thanks) 

        Most of today’s travel looked very familiar, except for a brief rain shower where we managed to duck the severe stuff.  We kept thinking how much this section of the Erie Canal looks like the Hiwassee back home.

        After Lock 17 we made Little Falls, New York which was right before our last lock of the day. Tonight we are at a marina in Ilion, New York that is roughly 5 miles from the next lock that we will hit at 7am. We are hoping for Oneida Lake late tomorrow.

– Written by Jackson (mostly)