Our stay at the Waterford Welcome Center was probably one of the most relaxing stays on our journey. The fact that we were only paying $5/night was a treat and we had access to grocery shopping, power, water and a host of Looper friends to visit with. The town of Waterford is full of history and has many old homes and town buildings that reflect the architecture of Europe. Wish we could stay a week but there is a limit of 48 hrs so we had to say goodbye to Waterford.
Viridian was docked right in front of Lock E-2 at the beginning of the Erie Canal. We caught the second flight of boats heading west when the lock opened so we untied and idled into the lock to snag a line hanging from the rim above. This sounds a little different from what I experienced as we headed into the lock. I was about to brush my teeth and George says, all hands on deck! So we run out to untie and there's one boat beside us heading into the number 1 position of the lock, one boat off our port side stern and two others after that charging for a spot in the lock. It's Monday morning and everyone's ready to go. This all kind of gets my adrenaline going. Plus, my locking skills aren't too fresh either.
I grab our rubber gloves to handle the slimy, soaking wet lock lines. We put some of George's old t shirts over our fenders to help keep them from getting all scraped up and dirty while they get squished between Viridian and the dirty lock walls.
We got tied up without any drama but the large vessel behind us had some problems and slammed his starboard bow into the wall of the lock. They looked very new to locking. We've been there but it made us a little nervous when they didn't seem to have control of their boat and they were right behind us. We made it in, then made it out.
About 900 feet later we headed into lock #3. But this time, my brilliant husband had a different and much better plan than what we did in lock #2. Instead of having to hold the bow and stern lock lines, he had me get our breast line around one of the lock cables that was bolted in an indention in the lock wall. As he was giving me these instructions the man in the boat in front of us was yelling for me to grab the line because he was afraid we might plow into him. Keeping your boat close to the wall of the lock and trying to grab the appropriate line, cable or bollard to attach your boat to the lock wall is a tense moment especially when there are a lot of boats in a lock. George called out for me to listen to him and not the man in the other boat. I did exactly what George said including only listening only to his instructions and we got safely tied up to the wall. Right after that, I believe God nudged my heart and taught me a spiritual lesson. I didn't hear an audible voice speaking to me, I just knew in my heart it was God telling me that's what He wants me to do when he's speaking to me through His word. Listen to Him; don't listen to the enemy. I'm not saying that the man in the boat in front of us was my enemy, but he didn't know what we were doing and was trying to give orders to another boat.
Unfortunately, not all the locks had cables we could tie up on..... This day of locks required us to have eaten our Wheaties because it was quiet a chore to keep our boat in its place and away from the boat in front and behind us. This process took place for locks E-2 through E-10. It was quiet a workout.
By the time we got to E-10 we were ready to call it a day and tie off on the Free Wall just outside the lock. A rain shower came through right after we got tied up and we just enjoyed listening to the rain on the roof and probably dozed off a bit before time to fix supper. A good day on the Erie Canal came to an end and tomorrow we will make another 32 miles west as we move closer to the Canadian border.
That's the news and here are some views:
We are here
Today's Route from the Waterford Visitor's Center to the Free Wall just above E-10
Inside E-2 Lock
Heading into E-3
Hold That Line!
A pretty house
Catching a Bollard at E-10 Free Wall
On the Free Wall just above E-10