06-25-09 St Johnsville Municipal Marina, NY

Well, it was quite a day. We covered 52 miles, 8 locks and were raised up 91 more feet. We have now been raised over 300 feet in two days. It takes between 15 and 30 minutes for each lock. We are lucky in that we are Westbound and most boaters are at this time of year. For this reason, many of the locks are already open and ready for us when we arrive. If they were all closed and we had to wait, it would take an hour. The rise in height varies from 4 to 16 feet today. Locks are made to raise and lower the level and to get around a dam. Here is a picture of the lock(on the left)and the dam.

We stopped for lunch at Amsterdam at a place called Riverlink Park. This was a nice place, very new, and not detailed in the travel guides. They had very clean and new restrooms and showers. Best of all, if you wanted to stay the night, it was only $1.00 per foot. We needed to go a few more miles so did not stay the night. This place is located just before Lock 11.

We had planned to stop for the night at the Canajoharie Municipal Park, which offers free dockage including electricity. This was just before lock 14. Too bad, because three large boats (40 ft plus) were docked, but not close together so there was no room for us. If they had gotten closer, we could have docked there. But we went on a few miles to St Johnsville Municipal Marina and they have just about all you want, except wi-fi. Also, the cost is $1.00 per foot. They have plenty of room, nice restrooms and showers and laundry, which we needed today. We do laundry about once a week, and our week was up!

We have 91 miles to go to get to Oswego, where we cross Lake Ontario. This will take at least 2 days, maybe 4, depending on the speed of locks and if we stop to sightsee. At Oswego, we hope for a visit from Betsy’s nephew Chris, who lives in Rochester, NY. We’ll need to call him a day or two in advance to see if we can synchronize schedules.

We also saw a canal boat, which we think was rented in Waterford, NY and the renters cruised up and down the Erie.

Back in 2001, we made a two week trip from Florida to Rhode Island via the Intracoastal Waterway. The boat at that time was the Grand Mariner by the ACCL Corp. They do Erie Canal and Down East cruises in the Summer and are in the Caribbean in the winter. They passed by while we were eating breakfast.

Many people think the Erie Canal is lined with rock walls and a path on each side for the mules to pull cargo down the Canal. However, in many places it is like any other river, with lush forest and trees, and in other places lined by houses. It looks like a wide Dismal Swamp in many places. Here are a couple of pictures.

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