TOTAL MILES TRAVELED TODAY: 11 NM
DOCKED AT: LOCK 7 WALL ON THE ERIE CANAL
3 MILES FROM THE ALBANY AIRPORT AND 4 MILES FROM SCHENECTADY
|HERE WE ARE AT LOCK E7|
HIGH: 87 LOW: 57
TODAY’S LOCK TRANSITS:
1. LOCK E2 33.6’ LIFT .28 MILES TO E3
2. LOCK E3 34.5’ LIFT .62 MILES TO E4
3. LOCK E4 34.5’ LIFT .16 MILES TO E5
4. LOCK E5 33.25’ LIFT .28 MILES TO E6
5. LOCK E6 33’ LIFT 10.83 MILES TO E7
6. LOCK E7 27’ LIFT 10.83 MILES TO E8 (NOT TRAVELED TODAY)
This was a busy day for the Quest and its crew. First, we all walked back to Don and Paul’s for our $1.75 breakfast then made ready for our first day on the Erie Canal. We got the mast lowered, the pump-out completed, all the bumpers attached and made sure the necessary lines were ready.
This engineering marvel was first opened in 1825 after eight years of construction and without employing a single professional engineer. This culmination of Governor Dewitt Clinton’s dream linked the Western States to the Atlantic and marked the beginning of New York City’s prosperous reign. The Erie Canal extends 363 miles from Waterford on the Hudson to Tonawanda on the Niagara River, lifting 676 feet.
Locks E2 through E6 are known as the Waterford Flight, a series of five locks that lift the boats the greatest height in the shortest distance. The 169’ lift occurs in about 1.5 miles and takes about 2 hours. We entered Lock E2 (Remember the Troy Lock is Lock 1) with much excitement and anticipation of the day ahead. Alyssa and Bethany perched themselves on the forward deck, Mark manned the aft lines and I was ready with the bow lines while Dan manned the helm. Just like a fine tuned machine we executed our duties. Dan and I reminisced about how intimidating our first locks were last year. What a difference a year and lots of lock experience can make.
|LOCK E2 AT WATERFORD|
|ALYSSA AND BETHANY ARE POISED AND READY|
|ENTERING LOCK E3|
After exiting E2 we passed the Peckinpaugh, the last remaining of 150 canal vessels (they doesn’t need a tug) built in the 1920s to maximize the newly enlarged locks then safely passed under the low train bridge that Dan measured yesterday. Lock E3 was dead ahead and our passage was flawless.
|THE PECKINPAUGH AND THE LOW TRAIN BRIDGE THAT|
US TO LOWER THE MAST
Immediately above E3 we saw the working terminal where the tugs, barges and dredges are maintained. Many of these working vessels are well over 50 years old. How about these two wooden beauties?
|BEAUTIFUL OLD WOODEN TUGS STATIONED AT THE WORKING TERMINAL|
In Lock E4 we loved the “water flower” that the water made as it burst from its constraint. Lock E5, only .16 miles away, could be clearly be seen before we even exited.
|EXITING E4, ONLY TO JUMP RIGHT IN E5|
In Lock E6 we were joined by a transiting turtle. After seeing us through this lock, the lock tender had to jump in his vehicle and rush to the safety flood gates to allow our continued passage.
|OUR LOCK E6 COMPANION|
|THE FLOOD GATE OPENS FOR QUEST|
We were soon traveling under the familiar Twin Bridges (aka the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge) that spans the Mohawk River on Highway 87 between exits 8 and 7. We always pass over this bridge going to or from the Albany International Airport and often comment on how lovely it would be to travel on those serene waters below. Well, here we are!
|THE TWIN BRIDGES THAT BRING YOU INTO ALBANY|
E7 was to be our final lock of the day. We locked through and tied to their approach wall for the night. The girls got to fish (not catch) and Bethany accidentally took a little dip in the waters while playing on the swim step. No harm, no foul, just wet! After lunch and play time, Mark and the girls got a taxi to transport them back to their truck at Waterford and their day on the Erie Canal came to an end. The girls will have lots to report on their last day of school.
|ALYSSA TENDING THE BOW LINES|
|MARK HAS THE STERN LINE AND BETHANY IS KEEPING US OFF THE LOCK WALL|
|WE DOCKED FOR THE NIGHT RIGHT ON THE BACK SIDE OF THIS DOCK|