Coeymans, NY to Oswego, NY
Crew: Dean Lawrence, Bob Pease, Dick Selensky
This was an added leg due to the damage and closing of the Erie Canal, which was originally a part of Leg 5
7/9 Crew arrives early evening, dinner at the restaurant at the Marina was again good.
7/10 The leg gets off to an inauspicious start as 5 minutes after leaving the dock we hit a chunk of the concrete breakwater, bringing us to a fast stop. Fortunately we were only going 3 knots. (A very poorly marked obstruction by the way). Up the Hudson past Albany and Troy to the first lock of the leg, the Troy Federal Lock on the Hudson. Locked through with 5 Wave Runners. At Waterford we made a turn to port and waited for the first of the Erie Canal Locks (Lock 2). After a short wait at the mooring wall, we entered the lock, a real grunge affair, pitted walls covered with slime. This lock raised the boat 35 feet and was a challenge compared to the easy Troy Lock, a good deal of surge is created by the filling of the lock and it is a job to keep the boat from bouncing off the walls and the fenders from getting caught in the holes in the walls. We kept the motor running, in order to be able to use the engines to control the motion of the boat. The first 5 locks on the canal are very close together and raise the boat 167 total feet. The next 3 locks after the first are newer locks with smooth walls and center cable ties, which are much easier to transit. We locked thru lock 7, then stopped at the Schenectady Yacht Club for the night. Neither the "Club" or Schenectady were in danger of becoming habit forming. The two recommended restaurants in town were both closed (Mondays) and we had a less than stellar dining experience at "Sans Souci" (They laughed when we mentioned a wine list).
7/11 Westward bound again at the early hour of 1015, we continued past Scotia, stopping at Amsterdam (lock 11) (home of Kirk Douglas) for lunch at Russos. This part of the Erie follows the Mohawk River and winds through mostly small towns. The train tracks and Interstate follow the same route and are close at hand through this section. Each lock generally has a small park and a place to tie up. We did this for the night at lock 14. Checked the damage to the bow and it was minor, however I decided to attempt to have the boat hauled and repaired if possible at the earliest opportunity. (As it turned out the only facility with the capability of hauling the boat was located in Brewerton (Ess-Kay Boatyard) who had a 70 ton lift - I made an appointment for Thursday afternoon). Dinner on board, pork chops a la Deano, accompanied by appropriate vintages - a 4 bottle night with an early (2am) retirement.
7/12 Departed at the crack of 1115 after breakfast and a 2.6 fitness walk. The canal is now becoming more like a jungle cruise, trees growing to the water on each side and few towns. The highlight of today's locks was Lock 17, the highest on the canal at 41 feet. It is also unique because the gate opens up, like an overhead door. It is quite impressive to be at the bottom of a 50 foot well. It takes about 20 minutes to fill the chamber so we had to wait for several boats behind us to arrive at the lock to be locked through together. Today was the first day when there had been any other boats in a lock with us. We had a rather long day today as we need to get to Rome in order to be able to get to Ess-Kay in the early afternoon on the following day. At the end of the day we had covered a total of 19 locks and risen 420 feet. Today was also the last of the "up" locks, it's all downhill from here! Docked at the Rome City Dock, which is not in a great (residential) area, but was quiet. The dock wall here needs some work as many of the side boards are broken. We broke out the bikes and Dick and Bob Pease went for some provisions, afterward I did a short town tour. Another Deano dinner, steaks, baked potatoes and and ? salad. A 3 bottle 1am night, we're cutting back.
7/13 Only 2 locks today, both of them down, much easier to transit, we turned the engines off. In each lock we had a total of 5 boats so we traveled as a convoy. After lock 22 we passed Sylvan Beach (a weekend hotspot) and crossed the 20 mile wide Oneida Lake, which was full of green algae, which it deposited on the bow of the boat. We arrived at the boat yard at 1345 and they immediately put us on the lift. The damage as it turned out was very minor and was repaired and the boat relaunched while we had lunch. We decided to stay at the Yard Dock for the night. Dinner at the Castaways, on the water - extensive wine list (3 reds, 3 whites).
7/14 Departed Ess-Kay Marina at 1000 and locked thru the last of the Erie Canal locks, No. 23, then turned right at the junction of the Mohawk, Seneca and Oswego Rivers and entered the Oswego Canal, which consisted of 7 locks, all down. This was an easy stretch in good weather. Locks were all in good condition. We arrived at Oswego at 1600 and stopped for provisions at lock 8, delayed for about 2 hours waiting for a front to pass, then continued on through the lock (the last of the leg) and into Lake Ontario. We traveled southwest to Little Sodus Bay, a 3 mile long bay reminiscent of an inland lake, shoreline dotted with homes and docks. A quiet anchorage. A final diner on board, grilled sirloin "burgers" from Chef Deano's kitchen.
7/15 Our luck on weather ran out. We awoke to overcast weather which quickly turned into a steady rain that lasted the day. We used the radar on the way back to Oswego, as visibility was limited. Stopped for fuel and pump out prior to proceeding to our "berthlet" at Oswego Marine. Not only are the docks at this marina inadequate for a boat our size, but their rates are excessive. Unfortunately there in only one other marina in Oswego and it appeared to be limited also. Hopefully no storms will hit in the next 6 days. Crew departed for Syracuse that afternoon after lunch and yrs trooly departed the next day after doing some routine maintenance.