August 12, 2018 Erie Canal Locks 23 & 24

Departed Brewerton, NY late morning traveling west on the Erie Canal (Seneca River) for about 20 miles to Baldwinsville, NY. I passed the junction to Lake Onondaga but did no have the time to visit the lake. Tied up on the west side of lock at the Baldwinsville, NY public dock. Walked around town and had dinner at the B’ville Diner. The diner has been there since 1950 with a restored decor to match. Food was delicious.


Houses along the canal
Lock 24 Baldwinsville, NY
Mechanism that swings the lock door is 100 years old
Public dock and park in Baldwinsville, NY
Miniature library at the dock
Leave a book or take a book
Walking in to Baldwinsville, NY
Beautiful hanging baskets on the utility poles
B’ville Diner in Baldwinsville, NY


3300 songs on the jukebox selector.

August 11, 2018 Erie Canal Locks 21, 22, and Oneida Lake, NY

Left Rome, NY the morning of August 11. Passed through locks 21 and 22. Lock 22 brings you to Sylvan Beach which has a nice dock area adjacent to an amusement park. Lots of boaters here on the weekends. Sylvan Beach is at the east end of Oneida Lake. The lake is shallow (34 feet or so) and 20 miles long. The Erie Canal continues on the west end of the lake. When a west wind is blowing hard, the lake develops waves that could reach 6 feet in height. I was told not to cross the lake if the winds were from the west. Today the lake was calm and I was able to cross with no issues. Entering the Erie Canal on the west side of the lake, I tied up at the Brewerton, NY public dock for the night. When the canal was rerouted across Oneida Lake, Brewerton boat building industry began to grow.

Photos: Sylvan Beach, NY and the east end entrance from the Erie Canal to Oneida Lake, NY

August 10, 2018 Erie Canal Locks 18-21.

Utica, NY

Left Little Falls, NY in the morning and passed by the town of Herkimer, NY known for its Herkimer diamonds which are actually quartz crystals. You can go to the mines and actually mine a few diamonds yourself.  I stopped  at Ilion Marina for fuel, pump-out (holding tank) and water.  The Marina  has a nice water front area and a snack bar with good food.


All but two of the RVs in the photo are seasonal occupants. Lots of geese help fertilize the grassy area. I have burned 17 gallons of diesel fuel since leaving Mallets Bay, VT. I continued along the canal heading west and passed through locks 18, 19, 20. I stopped at the town dock in Rome, NY for the night.

Photos from the daily motoring.

Passed by Utica, NY and tied up at the public dock in Rome, NY. The top of the water tower lights up at night in different colors. Welcome Center; Sunrise to greet the day.


August 8 – 9 2018 Erie Canal Locks 7 -17

August 8

Left Lock 7 Vischer Ferry, on the Erie Canal, in the morning and motored  twenty-nine miles through locks 8, 9, 10, and 11. Lock 11 is located in Amsterdam, NY. I tied up at the public dock in Amsterdam and spent the day visiting with my niece Crystal and her husband Loyd. We had lunch, picked up supplies at Walmart, and drove around  town to see the sites. After dinner, they dropped me off at the dock. Most notable about Amsterdam, NY is the train traffic. The trains pass through the town all day and night about every half hour. It must be a contest to see which engineer can blow their horn the longest and loudest. The tracks are about 200 feet from the public dock. You do not sleep well tied up to the public dock with the train noise all night. One hundred thirteen cars was the longest train counted so far as it passed by my boat in Amsterdam. Lots of graffiti on the train cars.

August 9:
Left Amsterdam in the morning and motored through locks 12 through 17 (Little Falls, NY).
Lock 17 is the most interesting lock on the NY canal system. Heading west, you motor into the lock by passing under a massive sliding, overhead door. You look up at the lock walls and wait for the sliding door to come down. When the door finally bottoms out, there is a loud thud (more like a boom from a cannon) as the lock starts to fill with water. The lock lifts you up forty-one feet and is the tallest lift on the canal system. Yup, forty-one feet of slimy walls. Leaving the lock, motored two more miles and tied up at Little Falls, NY for the night. Went in to town for dinner.

In the distance you can see the overhead door leading into Lock 17 on the Erie Canal.

August 7, 2018 start of the Erie Canal Lock 2

August 7, 2018,
Picked up Katrina II at Lock 1 Marina on Monday afternoon and motored over to the Waterford, NY Visitors Center on the Erie Canal. Spent the night there and left at 7am Tuesday morning to transit Locks 2 through 10 and spend the night in Amsterdam, NY.  Lock 2 had a lot of small silver fish floating in it. The fish were about three inches in length. As I motored out of Lock 2 the engine started to overheat and there was no cooling water exiting the back of the boat (bad thing).  I drifted over to the dock, tied off the boat, and started to troubleshoot the cooling system. here was the problem:

A baby herring got sucked up in the intake pipe of the cooling system and plugged it. The head fell off when I took the picture.
Once the fish was removed and the cooling system put back together, I was made it through locks 3, through 7.  A thunderstorm blew through as I entered Lock 7.  I decided to stay tied up for the night at On the west side of Lock 7 to avoid the the rest of the storms coming through for the late afternoon. I will be in Amsterdam, NY on Wednesday August 8.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Champlain Canal Transit

Ride along with me as I travel the Great Loop by sailboat. A 6000 mile journey from VT.

August  3, 2018

Well, I finally was able to cast off from Mallets Bay, VT on July 26, 2018 aboard sailboat Katrina II. I headed south on Lake Champlain toward the Champlain Canal. First stop was at Chipman Point Marina in Orwell, VT to have the the mast taken down in order to transit the Champlain and Erie canals.

Chipman Point Marina is a great place to visit and the staff/boaters are wonderful. Leaving the marina after a two night stay, my next stop was Whitehall, NY Lock #12 where I tied up at the public dock facility for the night. Left the next day and transit the Locks until I reached Mechanicville, NY where I stayed tied up for two nights. Motoring along, I arrived at Lock 1 Marina in Waterford, NY on Thursday morning, August 2. The marina is next to Champlain Canal Lock 1 which is the last lock before heading south to the junction of the Mohawk River and the start of the Erie Canal. I traveled about 147 miles and burned 10 and one-half gallons of diesel fuel. I rented a car and returned home for the weekend to attend a wedding. Monday afternoon August 6, I will start across the Erie Canal to Lake Erie- a 338 mile trek.
All you ever wanted to know about the New York Canal System can be found here:
Information about the Great Loop can be found here:
Photos from the Champlain Canal leg:
Champlain Bridge at Crown Point, NY
Moon rising over Giards Bay near  Bridport, VT
Sunrise  over Giards Bay near  Bridport, VT
Leaving Champlain Canal Lock
Katrina tied up at Lock 1 Marina Waterford, NY