Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Lock 21, New London NY to Ess-Kay Yard Brewerton NY — June 16, 2013

Great morning today, Saturday June 15th.  It was a little chilly but the sun was out and the forecast was great.  The only problem was that we were sitting in a section of the Erie Canal that is closed.  Because of high water and currents they closed the canal from lock 2 to lock 29 and we are at lock 21.

Lady O showed up yesterday.  It was a sunny day and they decided to get 18 miles closer to their destination.  I stand corrected.  Lady O is a 74′ Azimuth Yacht with a height of 20′.  I talked to the Owner yesterday and in a way we knew him.  When Lenore and I first started cruising in the North Channel, 2 of our favorite places were the Sportsman Inn in Killarney and the Okeechobee Lodge located on Fraser Bay at the entrance to Bai Fine, a natural fjord.  We noted at the Sportsman Inn, so many years ago, a 60′ sport fisherman called “Wacky Wheatley from Halifax Nova Scotia.  The Okeechobee Lodge was a great lodge and marina, run by great people.  They had originally built a 1000 slip marina in Midland Ontario and then moved north and built the Okeechobee Lodge and marina.  The owner of Okeechobee, Gorde Blake, passed away unexpectedly and the Lodge ended up going up for sale.  Wacky Wheatley  ended up purchasing the property in 1999 and turned it into a private residence for his family and friends.  He sold it last year and he and his wife live in Jupiter Florida.  He is on his way north to visit with his son on Lake Erie and then head north to the Lodge.  He said he has become a friend of the new Okeechobee owner and he will tell him that we may stop by on our way thru the area.  The Lady O stands for Lady Okeechobee. It has another meaning also but I liked this one.

Back to the present.  I discussed with the Lady O the closed lock situation and that our head tank was getting close to full and we had less than 1/2 tank of water. There are no services at the locks other than a wall to tie up to.  I told Lady O I was going to the lockmaster and see if he could call someone to get us thru locks 21 and 22 to get to Brewerton NY to some marina facilities. Lady O was also having some issues and they would make a call to the Erie Canal Office in Albany to see if there was something they could do.  This discussion took place at 9:00 and by 10:00 we were in the lock going down.

It was a great ride.  We had about 4 miles in the canal to Sylvan Beach after lock 22 and then we were on Lake Oneida.  The lake is approximately 20 miles long and 4 to 5 miles wide and Brewerton is at the west end of the lake. There were a lot of boats on the water and most of them were fishing. The wind was light and there was a small chop but not a problem.

We were at the marina by noon and it was good to get things taken care of.  They had a courtesy car so I was able to go and do laundry and get groceries.

I am going to have the boat pulled on Tuesday to have the shafts checked.  We have a vibration in the starboard side when the boat is in gear.  The Ess-Kay Yard where we are staying has a good reputation and they seem very competent. Anyway we will be here for a few days and currently the canal is closed and thunderstorms are predicted for late this morning and this afternoon with another 1/2” of rain so the canal probably will not open for a few more days.