Co-Captains Log – August 24, 2016. Canajoharie to Utica

Air Temp:  22c
Water Temp: 78.4f
Wind: 5km W
Clear Skies
Pressure:  102.4 kPa, Steady

First thing this morning Doug and I headed to the McDonalds… to use their wifi of course.  Seeing we were there anyway we grabbed food and coffees too.

Before leaving, Doug ordered some Breakfast to take back to the kids.

There was foam floating down the river this morning again.  Weird! Still kinda gross.

Foam in the river again
Foam in the river again

Before heading out Doug checked the oil.

Checking the oil.
Checking the oil is a bit of a tight fit!

We were on our way at 9:34 and planned to go fast when the speed limit permitted to clear out the Turbos.  (The engine doesn’t like it when we have to run slow constantly)

I thought I would share some differences I have noted between the Erie Canal (New York Canal System) and the Trent Severn Waterway (Parks Canada)  so, here you go…

Life Jackets:  At every single lock on the Trent Severn the employees wear a PDF, on the Erie… typically no one wears one.

Lock basin lines/cables:  On the Trent Severn the cables run vertically attached at both the top, and the bottom.  You slide a line around the cable, normally at both the bow and the stern and hold the line while traveling up or down in the lock.  On the Erie, some locks have a cable or metal pole attached at both the top and the bottom (by some I mean very few) or they have a rope which is tied at the top only, free at the bottom.  So… initially, this was very bazaar to me.  The lower you are in the basin the more rope there is to swing out. So the boat ends up in the middle of the basin away from the wall.  I haven’t figured out how you’d use these ropes to actually keep the boat up to the wall.

Boat floating out because line is not attached at base.
Boat floating out because line is not attached at base.

I am just glad we run diesels so we can keep them on while in the basin, because Doug could keep re-positioning the boat when needed.

However, thinking about it… that’s another difference.

Engines in the Lock:  On the Trent Severn there are signs to tell you to turn off the engine and keep your blower on.  I don’t think I have seen this once on the Erie.  I guess this is not a requirement??

Number of Vessels transiting:  So far on the Erie we have seen, I’d guess a total of 9 recreational boaters.  On the Trent Severn you see 100’s throughout a day.  I think we have only had 2 boats in locks with us, one tug, one recreational.  We have only had to wait twice for a lock to open for our entrance.

Blue “Wait” Lines:  On the Trent Severn each lock, on each side, has a section of the mooring wall painted Blue.  This section is for vessels wishing to transit through.  You may not tie up here if you plan to stay tied up during the next lock passage to say visit the town or if you intend to stay the night.  On the Erie this is not a thing.  We have not once tied up to await our lock passage, we simply just float around at the entrance waiting.  (We really never have to wait)  The walls actually don’t seem to even have a good tie up for small vessels.

Shoreline:  On a huge portion of the Trent Severn there are private cottages/homes.  Here on the Erie we have passed miles and miles of uninhabited riverbanks.

I can’t say I like one canal over the other, they are just different.

At 12:55 we stopped at Little Falls.  This is another little town on the canal which has provided free town dock space (there is no power here, but upstream a bit the Rotary Club has free dockage with power)

The waterfront here is very pretty and has been rejuvenated.

I made sandwiches then we went for a walk to find ice cream and to explore the little town.

Little Falls
Little Falls


Little Falls
Little Falls
Neat old church
Neat old church


Tunnel under street.
Tunnel under street.

Our visit was quick and at 2:18 we were once again underway.

We passed a town called Ilion which had an advertisement for a Remington Gun Factory which also was a museum and gave tours.  We pulled into the marina on the canal wall to inquire.  Unfortunately it closes at 4:30 and it was already 4pm, so we wouldn’t be able to make it.  Therefore we continued on.

We passed a NYS Canal Barge and Tug which needed to move out of our way so we could pass.  They had a long line of pipes going away from them on the far side and as we passed I radioed them to ask ‘what they were doing’, as We couldn’t tell if they were laying the pipes or what.


dredge02They radioed back to tell me they were dredging, and the mud they dig up gets pumped through the pipes onto shore and then cleaned water is pumped back into the canal.

We transited Lock 19 at 4:48 and the Lock Master advised we would not likely make lock 20 before 6pm.  He then gave us some overnight options between here and the other lock.

We decided to stop for the night in Utica, NY at the Historic Marina which is now Aquavino Restaurant.  It was $1 a foot and they had power, water and wifi.  Unfortunately no showers and no restrooms after the restaurant closes. But power is good.

AquaVino, Utica.
AquaVino, Utica.

The restaurant was a tad fancy, and we were a tad stinky for lack of full facilities for a number of days, so we opted to walk into town to get a bite to eat.

Then back to the boat to watch a movie.  The kids need to get back into a school routine bedtime!  They have been staying up really late, then sleeping in for 3 months.  They will never make it to class on time…..

Thanks for following


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