Betsy speaks: After several days of exhausting travel due to the locks, we are happily situated at Winter Harbor Marina in Brewerton, NY. The past several days we have been travelling long hours, not arriving at our destination until late afternoon, sometimes as late as 6PM. Working the locks is strenuous, holding the boat off the lock wall as the water pours in. As Rick said in yesterday’s blog, we were relieved that the last two locks were lowering us, which is much easier than rising.
I loved Sylvan Beach where we were yesterday. We were docked at the back of a creek off the Erie Canal in a very peaceful spot, with boats on either side that were locals and very friendly. We bicycled over to Oneida Lake a couple of blocks away and enjoyed comparing the difference to our seashore. This is a fair sized lake, over 20 miles across, and yesterday afternoon it was choppy in the distance with small waves breaking on the shore. Many people were swimming, although it seemed a little chilly to me to be in the water. They could wade out several hundred feet and still be only mid thigh deep.
We left Sylvan Beach early this morning, about 8 o’clock, hoping for a smooth ride across the lake. Some of our cruising guides say you need to be wary of changing conditions on this lake, and that waves on the far side can reach heights of 6 feet if a storm comes up. But we were very fortunate to have a beautiful sunny morning, smooth waters all the way across. The first thing we marveled at was the seagulls on the rock jetty as we left the canal and entered the lake. (Remember, you can click on the picture to make it larger).
We had read that the water is exceptionally clear here, so at one point we stopped the boat and looked down to see what we could see. We were in water charted at 20 feet deep. I can’t say we could see the bottom, but it was very clear. We dropped a couple of coins in to see how far down we could see them, and it was incredible how far down we could see.
The scenery as we neared the far shore was just beautiful…a tree lined shore with nice houses all along the beach. There are no dunes, and in most cases no sea walls of any kind. Just water coming up to a shoreline, then a flat beachy area, then grass and houses. So its very different than our ocean or soundfront. This being the weekend, there was a lot of boating activity.
Eventually, we re-entered the Erie Canal (actually the Oneida River here). The house pictured here is not typical of what we saw, but I did think it was pretty. Shortly after re-entering the canal we pulled into Winter Harbor Marina. This is a full service boat yard, and we will be here for several days as we have the 500 hour service on our outboards. Not really full service, though, because the themselves don’t service outboards! But they are making arrangements for a nearby Honda dealer to come here to service the engines (the Honda dealer doesn’t have space for transients to dock).
As usual, we are by far the smallest boat, nearly eclipsed by the big guys! (We're the boat with the balls).
We may not do a blog for the next couple of days as we wait here for the service to be done. But keep checking back and we’ll start back as soon as we leave here, or maybe sooner.
There are numerous other loopers here, most of whom were also at Sylvan Beach yesterday but were spread out over several different locations there. Here we are all grouped together and several of them are also having service done. This is a good location to spend a couple of days because they have all amenities including wi-fi, cable TV, nice showers, and two loaner cars.