We were up and out before all the other boats this morning. It was supposed to rain all morning but we thought we’d run in the rain with only 1 lock to do today.
We are taking a side trip to Syracuse, NY. After a diesel fill up in Brewerton, NY just on the east side of Oneida Lake we continue west along the Erie Canal. We pass the area where the Oswego Canal heads north toward Lake Ontario. Most of our Looper friends will be heading that way either to go across Lake Ontario to the Trent Severn Waterway or to take Lake Ontario to the Welland Canal for those that cannot do the Trent do to draft or other size restrictions.
In the area past Brewerton there is a 20 mile stretch that is 10 mph zone. It takes a long time at that speed to go 20 miles. We finally find the Onondaga Lake which is the start of the trek south 5 miles to Syracuse, NY. We have decided that since the winds are to be kind at 5 mph for the next 24 hours that we will anchor out at the southern tip of Onondaga Lake. We decide that we could do the channel into the basin but with 0-5 mph winds expected overnight we stay on the hook.
There is a harbour that you can get into to stay in Syracuse NY. We contact the Erie Canal Corp and are advised that no dredging has been there so not to go. Anchoring works okay today. We take down Low Voltage, our dingy, and head into the harbour along with a pole to mark depths as we go. We take periodic depths to find that the west side of the channel at the entrance has good depths of at least 6-7 feet. Towards the middle to east side there is only about 3 feet. There is a bridge of about 15 feet to pass under as well. We do the same measurements at various spots on the way out as well. Good depths over 6 foot in the basin and the channel. Our 6 foot pole doesn”t touch bottom. It is only the entrance that is shallow.
Inside the harbour we find a beautiful harbour basin with electric. I didn’t check water. There is also a really nice walking path along a waterway to get to the city. We walk to the city about a mile to find the Erie Canal Museum. The museum is full of information and the history of the building, success, and changes of the canal. It’s a good 2 hour walk through. There is the only surviving weigh station in the US here as well with an old packet boat that you can go on to get a feel for what it was like. New immigrants would land in NYC and find their way to one of these boats to find work in the interior. This year the Erie Canal celebrates its 200th birthday.
There is a brewery area where we find good brew and eats. It’s an easy walk. There are 200 year old buildings, banks, factories that the Erie Canal supported. Stunning! Also by the harbour, within a 10 minute walk is a massive shopping mall that has been suggested as one of the top places to go while in Syracuse. I can go shopping at home so this isn’t a stop for us.
This stop in Syracuse was an absolute gem of a find. Too bad the city doesn’t try to make this a destination because it has so much potential.