Jul 072013

Finally we finished the stretch on the Erie Canal.  Really it isn’t so bad, just hot, and no way to swim to cool off.  After leaving Lyons this morning we headed on the eastern trek to the Cayuga/Seneca Canal Junction.  Leaving the final locks of the Erie Canal to now do 4 more on the CS Canal.  The junction is not clearly marked so we had to watch for the buoy with the right number on it to make the southern turn to the canal.

We started to weave our way down the  CS Canal and pass more boats and people than we have on this trip so far.  Busy little canal this is and still the eastern half of the Erie is closed.  Passing cottage after cottage it made us think of the Trent and its many cottages and busy traffic.  We made our way past Seneca Falls deciding to stop in Waterloo, NY.  Seneca Falls will be a stop that we make on our way back.  After we pass lock 1 Seneca is on your right and a beautiful old church stands to greet you.  The old buildings along the canal make for a great place to wonder. But that will have to be later.

Locks 2 and 3 are flight locks.  Each going up 26 ft making the lakes higher than we have been thus far.  The lakes drain into the canal which makes its way to the Hudson River.  A generating station provides some power for the residents of this area.  Lock 4 is in Waterloo.  A short lock in height but none the less a grand as the large ones.  The locks on the CS Canal are in much better shape than those of the Erie Canal.  The only place to stop in Waterloo is either on the terminal wall of the lock or at Oak Island which is a small island on the top of lock 4.  A small dock of about 80 ft with no services leaves us running the generator for the night.  No problem cause the trade off is a park with ducks and geese to feed, fishing to be done, swimming (finally), and small hiking paths.  We are happy campers today.  Tomorrow we make our way down Seneca Lake to Watkins Glen.

 Posted by at 10:47 AM
Jul 062013

Finally found some moments that were not as boring as the first couple days.  That stretch of the canal is so uneventful except for the cute towns along the way.  Fairport is amazing.  Cute town with a down home feel and extremely open local folk that stop and talk the time away.  Definitely worth the stop.

Cruising on down to Lyons travels past some beautiful homes and nice spots that open up the canal a bit although not much more than a runabout could utilize these waters.  Very shallow outside the channel.  It was extremely hot today.  Upwards of 35 degrees and no swimming in this canal made for a long day of cruising even though we only did about 4 hours and 5 locks to get here.

Lyons is the sweetest town.  Peppermint was started here back in the 1800’s and the folks here are very proud of that fact.  We visited the peppermint mill.  One of 3 of the only original buildings still in existence in its original state.  Aiden and Scott did some touring and “boat watching” with sticks at the dam.  We had to splash in the hose and create our own sprinkler to stay cool today.  Water gun fights were abundant on a day like today.  Now in the evening it is still very hot but we do have the pleasant surprise of watching a groundhog dig for its dinner.  The joys of vacation and absent time spent on the Erie Canal.

 Posted by at 7:42 PM
Jul 052013

Not much to offer for today.  We have passed some cute little towns along the way that we will stop at on the way home.  The interesting point here is that we mostly met some of the rental boats that travel along the canal for a week stopping here and there.  Cute little houseboats with names like Oneida, Ontoganee, Canadice and many more.  Replicas that have been used to travel this authentic canal route for two centuries.  So for those of you that don’t like to swim, don’t own a boat, love to fish (they only go 5 knots) and spend quality time in various destinations this can be a good vacation idea.

Making it along this stretch of canal is once again a boring adventure, but an adventure non the less.  You know how they say “A bad day is still a good day as long as you are on the boat” applies here.  Passing at least 4 of the rentals, enjoying the history by traveling through the “rock cut”, the most extensive work done on the canal back in the day because it actually cut through the limestone several feet down, passing Spencerport (that is the place where our flag was stolen last year), Pittsford, the Genesee River (Rochester) and making our way to Fairport has been an experience.  Little houses, big houses just before the Town of Fairport announces that you are coming close to a cute town.

Fairport is the hub of the Erie Canal, usually very busy, but rather slow with the canal still being closed from Lock 2 – Lock 22.  We have a nice spot in front of a restaurant, beside the world renowned lift bridge that is higher on one side than it is on the other, and watch as the rain, sun and rainbows dance for us today.  Mother Nature just can’t decide what she is going to bring us today.

We visited a butcher shop for our fresh meats for the next 3 days and also bought some specialty cheese and dressing from a local shop.  Lots of shops here, library, internet is available.  This is a great spot to people watch too.

Tomorrow is another planned day for rain.  So far we haven’t had to lock through in the rain, but we have 6 locks to get through tomorrow.

 Posted by at 6:00 PM
Jul 042013

Man Overboard!!!  Literally!!!

We started our day with locking down in Lockport through Locks 35 and 34.  Lock 35 was uneventful with me on the bow and Scott and Aiden on the stern.  Lock 34 was perfect.  Aiden now on the stern, Scott in the Captain’s chair and me on the bow seemed like it would go more smoothly than usual.  Well, until I see Scott race out the back, Aiden’s pole in the water and much to my surprise and very scared, soaking wet Aiden on the back of the boat.  Apparently the pole got stuck around the lines that are supplied by the canal system.  Aiden didn’t let go of the pole until he realized he was going in.  Scott sprang to action by pulling down the swim ladder and Aiden had already swam to the back of the boat for stability.  I, on the other hand, just started to laugh.  Laugh, very hard.  I think Aiden will remember this particular lock for a long, long time.

Traveling down the Erie Canal we pass several little towns.  Gasport, known to have had gas discovered in the mid 1850’s and thusly named, Middleport, Medina (a great place to investigate), Knowlesville, Albion (great place to stop and investigate), Holley (with its gazebo and small town atmosphere it would be a great place to investigate), and finally our destination Brockport.  Brockport is a cute town, with its small downtown shops, great stopping place at the terminal wall, lots of restaurants and apparently 4th of July fireworks.  But, they decided to hold them on the 3rd of July.  Who does that?  So here we sit on the biggest American holiday there is and find out that we missed the big display by one night.  Disappointed.  You betcha.  And it has started to rain.

So once again traveling east on this portion of the canal is boring.  Very boring, but still all you can do is make the best of it and enjoy the scenery and, of course, the company.

 Posted by at 8:55 PM
Jul 032013

Planning this trip was so much easier than I thought it would be.  After traveling a lot last year this small trip to the Finger Lakes Region is a breeze.  Except I brought too many clothes.  Do I pack for cool days, rainy days, warm and hot days?  Is the canal closed due to flooding?  These are new questions that I didn’t have to consider last year.  Oh well, we are on vacation so no need to worry.  Just be happy!

After a day at work Scott met Aiden and I in Tonawanda Gateway Park.  Scott has been staying on the boat more frequently mainly because the water levels are high at home, the water at home is disgustingly silty so it tracks in mud and the proximity to his work is just too convenient.  Groceries and supplies already packed we are off.  Traveling down the Erie Canal to Lockport, New York isn’t the most picturesque but we did have some pleasant surprises waiting for us.  With all this rainfall we see many a waterfall from runoff along the way.  Sure it seems insignificant but when you travel this route it is pretty darn boring so the simplest of surprises gets a big woohoo.

While mooring in Lockport we had plenty of time to investigate our surroundings again.  The cave tours are still operating, the tourist centre is closed but we made up for that by having an ice cream.  If you get a chance Lockport can be a bit of a history tour back about 200 years.  The original set of 5 flight locks are still there but have been replaced by 2 new ones.  The cave tour and old buildings still visible and the old downtown area are always worth seeing.

Looking forward to tomorrow as we cruise down the canal further hoping to find a place where we can watch 4th of July fireworks.  Of course more rain is in the forecast too!


 Posted by at 10:27 PM

June 1st 50th Birthday Bash

 2013, Summer Excursions  Comments Off on June 1st 50th Birthday Bash
Jun 052013

All I wanted for my birthday is to have all my kids together.  So Scott asked the kids to put the weekend aside just for me and spend some quality time on the boat.  Aaahhhh, there is nothing better.  So Amy gets the great news that she is off May 31 and has an early shift on the 30th.  So I get to pick her up early and spend even more time driving her crazy.  It’s my mom’s 70th birthday on May 30 so that day has been set aside for her special day with dinner and all the kids.

We head out on Friday the 31st with all in tact.  This is our first major excursion this year.  With all 3 kids and Scott and I it is promising to be a great weekend.  On Saturday we have high temps and a lot of sun.  Scott, Aiden and I don our wetsuits and go for a swim around the harbour.  Current is strong heading out to the Niagara River because of all the rains we’ve had so had to use a bit of muscle.  Felt great!  Amy and I made a delish dinner, Amy made my birthday cake and everyone helped decorate the boat.  What a grand day!  Then it started to rain.  So we through on a movie and enjoyed the pitter patter of rain dancing on the roof.

Sunday morning brought a bit more rain so a slow start for everyone and extra coffee.  By afternoon it was warm and sunny again.  We had a great afternoon exploring Tonawanda and North Tonawanda visiting their little downtown shops.  Then headed home but realized that the water from all the rain made the Welland River way too high to fit under our lowest bridge.  We had to park the boat at the Chippawa Boat Club and drive home with the help of a last minute call to my sister.  It took a few days for the water to subside enough to get the boat home.

I couldn’t have asked for anything better to celebrate this milestone birthday!

 Posted by at 1:40 AM
May 192013

Finally after all these months Conductance is back in the water.  She is not coming home right away but staying at Smith Boys for a bit.  She needs a cleaning and then we’re off to Tonawanda Gateway Park to start another grand season of boating around the Niagara River.

 Posted by at 1:38 AM
Aug 202012


– 1,700 Miles Out of 1,700 Miles Completed.
– 118 Locks of 118 completed.
  19 of 19 Locks  completed on the Erie Canal.
   5 Locks of 5  completed on the St. Lawerence Seaway.
2 Locks of 2 completed on the Ottawa River.
  48 Locks of 48  completed on the Rideau Canal
  44 Locks of 44 on the Trent-Severn Canal.

View Trent-Severn Trip in a larger map

 Posted by at 11:37 PM