Erie Canal cruise, Part 2

7/12, arrived at Coopers Marina just past lock 24 in Baldwinsville where the boat was parked for nearly 2 weeks. The owner didn’t charge anything for the tie up, “you didn’t use any power or water, and it wasn’t in the way.” That was a happy surprise. Gordon bought some boat parts and supplies there.

We started work on the water system which has never really worked right. It pumps air rather than water to the sink and shower. It was all very mysterious as we pulled up boards and traced the pex tubing back and forth, up and down, checked for leaks at the holding tanks, overflow, foot pump and whatever else we could tear apart. After an hour we determined the problem to be in the line to the electric pump, which is in the stern, about 10 feet away from the nearest faucet. For now, it’s a dumb design, but when we get to tearing that part out we’ll probably find that there’s a good reason to put it there. We were getting thirsty so put everything back together and went to the bar, the only place open here on Monday, for mediocre bar food.

Along the way we walked the “wall” (the public dock where boaters tie up for the night) to see if anyone had come through the stretch of canal. Not surprisingly, we talked to 4 or 5 boaters and heard as many answers.

Next morning, We departed Cooper’s at 8:45, lock 24 fading behind, and 30 miles to go before #25. The recent rains made the water high and the current was moving against us, slowing the boat. Downriver was closed for a section due to floating debris but the water ahead is clear.

High water!

We still didn’t have a clear idea as to whether or not the blown out and leaking section of canal was open. More than a little frustrating is the fact that the lock keepers don’t really know anything and there’s no indication as to progress on the “notice to Mariners” section of the web site. Last update on this was back in May. We’ll call when we get closer, but may be doing the brewery/Marina tour of Cayuga lake instead of locking through.

Ruins of the original canal
Family fun
Riverside living

As the day progressed, a notice came through that the section of canal we’re concerned with will be closed for repairs tomorrow. We’re hopeful that means we’ll get through it shortly after that. It also leaves us no choice but to head for the Cayuga Lake beer trail. Yes, there is such a thing and we’ve been training for just such an emergency. We know what to do.

So we turned south and an hour later locked through to Cayuga Lake at about 3:30. Turns out the beer tours the trail only on weekends. Turns out, nothing much at all happens in western NY except maybe on weekends. Some weekends, but not the weekend you’re planning to be there. We tied up a pricey Marina in a thunderstorm and where it seemed we were the only living beings around in a Marina filled with boats. A couple hundred boats, easy. We saw one 1 or 2 couples on deck after the storm passed. Swam in the pool, tried to order pizza, then tried to find an Uber, then ate sandwiches on the boat. We were treated to an incredible lightning show as storms rolled through. Getting into the midwest geography, the sky is wider and the storms are bigger.


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Published by Paul J.

Writer, adventurer, maker

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