Locking Through the Erie Canal

15 Aug

Bushranger went through nine locks yesterday…and rose a total of about 250 feet. Here’s what happens when you ‘lock through the Erie Canal’…


…you cautiously approach the entryway (hoping that the Lockmaster is ready for company). Maybe you call him on the radio or maybe not – depends on whether or not the previous Lockmaster has alerted him to your approach…


…when the light goes ‘green’, in you go – boy, are these locks skinny!…


…while one person mans the helm…


…the other mans the lines…


…the linesman has to either thread a line around a hanging pipe or cable or just grab hold to a dangling rope – then hold on tight (feeding it as required), letting the line keep the boat in place as the boat lowers or rises…

…when the water gets to the proper level, the Lockmaster opens the next gate, and out you go…


It’s a really cool system when it works right. However, when it goes wrong, expect the ‘pucker factor’ to go up.

On the last lock yesterday, we were playing tag with a red blob on the weather screen. Stupid thunderstorm decided to hit just as we got to the lock. Poor Boyd got drenched (I was snug inside, thank you for asking)! He caught the dangling rope and held on as the winds danced Bushranger around inside the lock.

That’s okay – we can handle a silly storm, but ‘Murphy’ (famous for enforcing ‘Murphy’s Law’) wasn’t finished with us. Our crew communication went out (Boyd and I use these great voice activated mikes to talk to each other during critical phases…but Boyd’s stopped transmitting).

No problems – we just yelled at each other.

But wait, Murphy’s not done yet!

When we were ready to disconnect from the wall, the lock wasn’t ready to give us up – the south side of the exit gate refused to fully open! FINE! After waiting for the Lockmaster to clear the problem (not going to happen no matter how hard he tried), we decided that Bushranger was slim enough (she has such a lovely form…) to sneak out the right side. So, we ‘walked’ her along the lock wall and squeezed her out the gate.

After that, we needed a beer…
(just so you don’t worry, we waited on the beer until we got tied up to the next dock – no worries!)

By the way, if you were wondering why Boyd lowered Bushranger’s mast the other day, here’s why…


12 Responses to “Locking Through the Erie Canal”

  1. carolyn depodwin August 15, 2015 at 09:53 #

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Runaground Sue August 15, 2015 at 13:43 #

    Hi, Runaground Sue did the Erie, west to east two years ago. Really enjoyed the historic towns and their free marina’s. Where will you be spending the winter or do you plan to finish your loop in Mississippi before winter?

    • MrsBushranger August 15, 2015 at 14:10 #

      Hi there! We’re off to Australia in about a month so the Loop will be put on hold for the winter. Have you been giving Runaground Sue any exercise ?

      • Runaground Sue August 16, 2015 at 10:29 #

        We were on Lake Powell for 3 weeks in May, going back for a month in October. Too hot in the summer. There are some great photos on Runaground Sue Facebook page.

      • MrsBushranger August 16, 2015 at 13:03 #

        Well done! It’s great to hear that you are ‘ living the dream ‘

      • Runaground Sue August 16, 2015 at 10:39 #

        Palmyra is definitely worth a stop. Check out the W S Phelps general store.

      • MrsBushranger August 16, 2015 at 13:02 #

        Cool! Thanks!

  3. Pat August 15, 2015 at 13:56 #

    What an adventure! You are an unflapable pair.

  4. lifeat6mph August 15, 2015 at 19:33 #

    great report.. i envy all of the cool experiences you guys are having.. thanks for sharing! jt

    • MrsBushranger August 15, 2015 at 20:07 #

      Thanks for taking the time to comment jt. Come and join us!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: