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.


Exiting a lock. We dropped from the top of the wall.


Slimmy canal lock steading ropes. Jim advised me to bring a pair of gloves since the lock ropes are slimy and slippery. The rubberized cloth gloves from the hardware store were perfect.


We stopped for gas in Macedon,  the home of rental canal boat operator Mid-Lakes Navigation. The basic boat can sleep six and can be rented for a minimum of three days. A quick walk-through showed them to be very comfortable and inviting.



Canal boat galley


Canal boat berth in stateroom.

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.

Discussing our options

Discussing our options

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.

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