Day Four: Locking Through
Passing through seven locks today brought us together as a crew. Here’s how it worked. Phil radioed the lock master and requested passage. In a few minutes he or she gave us the green light to enter. We inched slowly along the lock wall to grab the hanging lines for mooring in the lock. Standing in the stern I snagged a slippery line while Phil leaned out the helm station window and grabbed one closest to him. We simply held onto the lines to keep the boat from drifting as we dropped slowly.
We didn’t stop for lunch in order to keep the pedal to the metal. We opened the cooler and made sandwiches. Toward 4:00 PM we had a decision to make: where to spend the night. Since the locks close at 6:00 PM we had to closely evaluate where the final lock for the day would put us and what overnight options might lie ahead.
After a careful evaluation of the charts and a quick radio discussion with the lockmaster at an upcoming lock we decided to reverse direction. If we went forward we’d be forced to spend the night in the Montezuma wetlands. If you’ve traveled on the New York Thruway in the Finger Lakes region you might recall Montezuma. It’s a ten- twenty mile stretch that looks like the Florida Everglades.
Without mosquito-proofed ventilation on the boat Montezuma would be a near suicidal decision. We backtracked about 10 minutes to the town of Clyde where we found a small city park and wharf with tie-up and electrical plug-in connection. A short bike ride into town brought back a pizza for dinner.
If all goes well we should be in Baldwinsville tomorrow in the early afternoon.