05/28/17 Sunday Waterford, NY to Lock 13 at Randall, NY

So what is locking? Well you motor into a lock which is called a chamber. Ahead of you are the exit doors. The high water mark on the left wall is 33' above you.

To stay in position, there are ropes hanging down from the top of the wall about every 50'. You use the ropes to pull the boat against the wall. There are inflatable fenders between the boat and the wall. Some newer locks such as this one have pipes or cables recessed in channels in the wall. A rope is put around the pipe or cable and it slides up as the water rises.

This is looking back at the two other boats in the chamber with everyone holding ropes or working with the recessed cables.

Reality sets in as the doors close. What could possibly go wrong in a 30'+ tall chamber being filled with water.

The water starts coming in and we rise.

When the water is the same level on both sides, the doors open and we are on our way. You can see the doors to the next lock just ahead. This series was 5 locks which raised us 170' in 1.5 miles. The process took just under 2 hours in total.

When they need to shut down and drain the systems for maintenance, they are large gates that are lowered to block the water from coming in and then the system is drained. They are referred to as guard gates. I think of them as guillotines when I'm going under them.

Usually when you see a dam ahead, there will be a lock on one side or the other.

Along the way there are ruins of older systems or bridges. This is the remains of a bridge with an aqueduct next to a current bridge. The aqueduct is in the center of the picture and brought fresh water across the canal.

Interesting houses along the way

Sometimes the canal runs deep in a valley

Other times it just seems to wander through the countryside

Was hoping to make it to Canajoharie but ran out of time before reaching the last lock. The system closes at 5pm. So I'm tied to the bulkhead just after lock 13. The white balls between the boat and the concrete wall are my fenders. This will be how I dock most nights on the canal. Today I did 12 locks and am now 286' above see level.



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