Erie Canal (September 10th – September 18th)

I should probably share a little info about the Erie Canal before I get started on our tale. The Erie Canal is approximately 375 miles long and runs from Tonawanda, NY to Waterford, NY. Some of the canal is just that, a man made canal. But surprisingly, much of it is in bodies of water such as Tonawanda Creek, the Seneca River, and the Mohawk River. There are 34 locks to transit and 16 lift bridges that need to be opened for a boat to pass through. Nearly the entire trip is in a rural setting with the major exception being going through Rochester, NY where you can read the freeway signs as you head down the canal. Traveling west to east, 32 of the locks lower you and the other 2 raise you. It’s quite the trip.

Our Erie Canal adventure started in Tonawanda, New York where we needed to take our mast down so that we could get under the many low clearance bridges on the Erie Canal. We had some frustration with the facilities and treatment we got at Smith Boys Marina in Tonawanda but we got the mast down and secured to the deck without incident. I’ll save the pictures for later but Noodin looked a little different with a horizontal mast. Our crew, Phebe’s brother Paul and his wife Christine, arrived at Smith Boys early on the 10th as we were making final preparations for travel. We set off before noon on our way to Lockport where we planned on tying up before transiting the first two locks. It was trial by fire when we got to Lockport as the promised place to tie up wasn’t going to work and we had to switch gears and transit two locks before tying up for the night. Captain Ron had some challenging moments as the wind was blowing Noodin around in the lock as the tour boat captain was enjoying the show rather than getting out of the way. It took a few locks to get in the rhythm but after that we had a system down and things went really well. We generally averaged about 40 miles a day for the 9 days we were on the canal. Nights were spent tied to the canal wall in everything from quaint tourist towns that cater to boaters, to a rustic dock on the outskirts of town. If we had it to do over again we’d probably take a little more time to enjoy some of the more interesting communities along the way. A giant thank you to Paul and Christine for helping us through the locks. A good time was had by all.

Noodin Ready to go at Smith Boys in Tonawanda

Noodin Ready to go at Smith Boys in Tonawanda

These Erie Canal Sailors Didn't Have to Worry about Their Masr

These Erie Canal Sailors Didn’t Have to Worry about Their Mast

Approaching the First Guard Gate at Lockport

Approaching the First Guard Gate at Lockport

The Crew at Work in Our First Lock

The Crew at Work in Our First Lock

Noodin and Her Captains at Brockport

Noodin and Her Captains at Brockport

Approaching Rochester, NY

Approaching Rochester, NY

A canal work barge outside of Rochester. There was quite a bit of dredging activity.

A canal work barge outside of Rochester. There was quite a bit of dredging activity.

The captains with Erie Canal Sal at Fairport, NY

The captains with Erie Canal Sal at Fairport, NY

One of the many low bridges

One of the many low bridges

A foggy morning on the Erie Canal near Sylvan Beach

A foggy morning on the Erie Canal near Sylvan Beach

Lock door opening before we exit

Lock door opening before we exit

Waterford, NY, the end of the canal

Waterford, NY, the end of the canal

Bringing groceries to the boat in Waterford. The store lets you take the cart more than a 1/2 mile to the visitor center

Bringing groceries to the boat in Waterford. The store lets you take the cart more than a 1/2 mile to the visitor center

 

 

10 thoughts on “Erie Canal (September 10th – September 18th)

    • Thanks Judi. As much fun as the BVI’s would be, we’ve decided to keep with the original plan and go to the Bahamas this year.

    • The erie canal was one of those life time memories made. Check out the erie canal cruise line and rent a boat, saw several of them on the canal.

  1. Hi
    WOW!!! Awesome what an experience to get through those gates. Thanks for the info and the pics are wonderful!! You guys look great :)!!
    Thanks for the update Safe Travels and God Bless
    Love Patty and Tom

  2. Looks like you guys are having an amazing time! What an adventure! 🙂 We miss and love you, stay safe and happy travels!
    Love,
    Jess and Brian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *