Saturday, August 9, 2014

Entering the Oswego Canal...only 29 locks to the Hudson River

Our journey took our demasted boat from Lock 8 in Oswego NY down to lock 23 of the Erie Canal where we then headed down to Waterford NY (lock 2)  and the Hudson River (lock 1 at Troy NY).  We were in no hurry to be anywhere particular so we paid $50 for a 10 day lock pass (instead of $20 for a 2 day pass) and enjoyed the ride.
The locks range in how far up or down they bring you, a few feet to 40 ft. The last part Locks 6 to 2 must be down together, one after another, takes about 2 hrs. It is the largest drop/raise in the shortest distance in the world. From lock 7 to 2 we went down about 160 ft in 1.5 miles.
Our 7 ft draft prohibited us for entering a lot of the smaller marinas along the way. But you can tie up by the locks for free. So we often did just that.

This is a typical view of how your days are spent on the canal. Looking for these buoys.

This is Lock 20 near Utica NY. You can tie up for free and there is often even power sources available.  They have little park areas, usually garbage cans, picnic tables and porta potties. Many times we could walk or ride our bikes to stores or restaurants.

Some of the locks that raise you require you to drive under their door to get in or out. This is one of the reasons, along with bridges, that sailboats must demast. I believe max height is was 21 ft.
 Waterford NY sits at Lock 2. You can tie up to the dock here free for 72 hrs. It has 2 grocery stores, many places to eat, parks, trails etc.

At Lock 15 we found this nice herb garden so we walked to the grocery store and took advantage of the fresh herbs for cooking dinner

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