Low Bridges on the Erie Canal

Low bridge, everybody down. Low bridge, yeah we’re coming to a town… If ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal.

We sailed 19 miles on the Erie Canal to a place called Schenectady. We rose via 6 locks, the first 5 locks within one mile. And our locking skills from sailing in the South were flexed once more! All the locks on the Erie are gravity controlled/fed with no pumps at all. An engineering marvel!

The locks are very well kept with friendly and charming lock masters. We gave a plate of biscotti to our first lock mistress who was having a few problems closing the lock gates. Little did we know it was her first day on the job, and she was most taken with the gift. We just wanted her to know we appreciated the work she was doing and the problems she was solving. The other gentlemen lock masters were jovial. They picked us as Aussies and soon gave us tidbits of advice – a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Sailing through these locks we saw parts of the old locks of a bygone era. These were rock-hewn, narrow locks, some with tow-paths alongside.

The Erie Canal encompasses the Mohawk River, a truly beautiful and enjoyable river to navigate. I kept a lookout for bears, but to no avail.

The weather again today was hot – 36C, but with little to no wind. The higher we climbed in the locks, the hotter it became. Once on the Mohawk River, (what an evocative name), the wind picked up a little, as did the temperature. We decided to head for the Schenectady Yacht Club, a huge drawing card – it has a lovely swimming pool. And yes, we used it before the afternoon storm struck.

Oh, and did I mention those low, low bridges? I may have, or not, said a rude word on one or more occasion!

Such is Life!

6 thoughts on “Low Bridges on the Erie Canal

    1. Third attempt at leaving a reply. Wifi is more miss than hit! You travelled a lovely part of the loop with the Robbos. It is gorgeous here. Could use another set of hands going through the locks. I hang on for dear life on the weighted ropes whilst Mark manoeuvres Bushranger along the lock wall, before dashing out to hold the stern weighted rope – all the while negotiating eddies and whirlpools. Such fun!


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