I’m on the Erie Canal. After dithering about whether to go down the Welland and traverse Lake Ontario or take this route I got underway from Port Colborne around noon, and got into Lockport at dusk.
- Started to go down the Black Rock Canal but was flummoxed by the first bridge I got to. It was an opening bridge but appeared to be not staffed. According to the chart I should have just fit under it, but no way – would have had to take down my bimini frame. Likely because of the still-high lake level. So I turned around, went back and went down the Niagara River. That’s the faster route anyway. I had things a bit backwards, as usual. When I came through here last year traveling west I stayed on the river but regretted it when trying to get past the Peace Bridge with an 8 knot current. Today I sailed through with the current helping me.
- No problems clearing in through customs. You do it from these video link phones at select marinas. The guy first said I needed a cruising permit but I patiently and politely disagreed and he relented. He didn’t even ask about the DTOC registration that I spent $27 to obtain before I left this morning. Anyway, I’m completely legal.
- Found the transient dock at Lockport. It’s easy to miss when going west. When I came here last year I wanted to stop but didn’t because I went by the stopping place without recognizing it. It’s tucked into the top of the original flight. Great spot. Power, water, and the lockkeeper offered their shower.
I’m glad I’m here. Not a fan of the open water, and the forecast wasn’t great for Sunday on Lake Ontario. I don’t sweat the weather on canals. No big waves ever.
Depending on timing I may try to take the side trip down to Seneca Falls and the finger lakes. Missed that last year.
These guillotine type structures are used to seal off the canal. Think they drain it in the winter.