Posted on August 12, 2016
Way more than 15 miles
We’re mid-way through our canal transit, and it has been lovely. We haven’t seen as many boats as we expected, and very few sailboats such as ours, making our way to the ocean and points south. Maybe we’re a bit early? Either way, we’re finding this section of our trip pretty relaxing and stress-free.
The “flight of five” historic locks in Lockport; as seen from the bridge at left, and from the water after exiting the modern locks at right.
The canal area, like much of the midwest, has been in a drought; we had a brief rainstorm one night, but otherwise, it’s been hot and sunny. We’re glad for the bimini; the fans down below have been going 24-7; we’ve been swimming in some less-than-pristine waters, just to cool off.
At 5 to 6 miles an hour, it’s taking us a while to motor across the state. The days are pretty long, but we’re feeling solid in our lock transiting skills—it’s already become routine to motor in, grab a fore and aft line to hold with our work gloves, and drop down into the cool well of the empty canal. The smell is not so great, but we enjoy the shade while it lasts.
We’re already past the lift bridges—the last one was at Fairport—but for a long stretch, we had bridges and lock tenders keeping track of us, radioing ahead to the next stop so they knew we were coming. Some tenders take care of more than one bridge; they’d wave and honk as they passed us on the road.
We are starting to tire of the engine noise; the heat and humidity are oppressive; we’ve banged our heads on the mast more times than we can count. But we’re still happy to have such protected water, and worry less about the weather; we’re also enjoying so many free places to tie up for the night, and the friendly people we’ve met along this path.
Primary form of public art along the canal: the mural