Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Niagara River

We left our Buffalo anchorage and proceeded to a local marina to have the mast taken down.  We spent about four hours chatting with some people that were at the marina, and then concluded that we just did not like the state of the equipment at the marina and we would go elsewhere to get the mast taken down. 


So we left Buffalo on Sunday afternoon and transited the Niagara River to the head of the Erie Canal.  It was an interesting trip.  We were both well aware that Niagara Falls was somewhere in front of us and entertained each other with commentary about going over the Falls. One starts the process by going up the River proper.  There is not much current – of course it was pushing us down toward the Falls.  You then enter the Black Rock Canal.  This takes you past the Niagara River rapids.  We had trouble getting the first bridge to open.  He did not respond on the radio and finally came out and told us a train was coming but he would open after the train.  The second bridge did open right away and just beyond that bridge is the Black Rock Canal lock.  We of course had our fenders on the wrong side, there were no lines to hold on to against the wall waiting for the lock to open, and Jerry got yelled at for climbing up the wall.  Which was strange since the entire wall is lined with bollards but no lines.  Our first lock – for me, for Reboot, and for Jerry.  We exited the lock in fine order and started back up the Niagara River.  It is very wide here and the current is less but we had been warned to stay in the marked channel.


There was a two to three knot current in the river pushing us on our way.  We were surprised to find a very large number of powerboats traveling all over the width of the River.  But of course they have the power not to be concerned but such a mild (for them) current.  I was also surprised at the number of marinas and restaurants along the way.  All in all a very active boating area.


We eventually arrived at Wardell’s boat yard at the head end of the Erie Canal.  Talk about the Last Chance Saloon!  About 50 feet beyond Wardell’s crane is the first bridge too low for Reboot to navigate.  We tied up at the fuel dock only to have Mr. Wardell (as far as we can tell the sole employee of Wardell’s) ask us to move the boat down under the crane.  We did, and spent a noisy night listening to the traffic crossing the highway bridge.



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