June 5 Erie Canal Lock 2 in Waterford to Lock 11 in Amsterdam

We were up bright and early and went for showers. The sun was shining and we were a bit surprised as we stopped in to visit the volunteer on duty at the Hurst Harbor Center. We gave a donation for all their kindness to us while we waited in Waterford. They certainly made our stay there enjoyable! We shoved off the dock at 07:15 and radioed our first lock on the Erie Canal for an opening. I snapped a few photos of all the boats waiting for the Champlain Locks. You can’t see the ones further down or all the ones anchored but there were 32 boats in all, counting us. And we were the only ones there that would be going up the Erie Canal.

Our first lock on the Erie Canal, Lock 2, was opening and we headed in.

I looked back and took our last shot of all the boats on the wall at Waterford before the lock doors closed. Goodbye, Waterford, you’ve been great!

Below are some of our sightings along the Mohawk River and the canal. The photos of the placards saying the lock number, the town that the lock is in, the height of lift and the mileage to the next lock are at the top of the lock. (The mileage reading for us is the Westbound Lock)The first five are of the Flight of Five and are all in Waterford. These are the locks that I mentioned before that raises the water level for boats 169 feet in one half mile; the largest lift in the shortest distance of any canal system in the world.

And we were through Lock 2 in 15 minutes

Lock 3

A working yard at the end of Lock 3

Lock 4

Lock 5

A couple of Mallard Ducks at the end of the lock

Lock 6

So that was the Flight of Five in Waterford. Lock 2 – Lock 6 (there is no Lock 1; it is taken by the Troy Federal Lock on the Hudson River and is not officially part of the New York State Canal System). It took us one and a half hours to do these five locks.

At the end of Lock 6 there were 2 guard gates to go under. These gates help isolate sections of the canal in case of an emergency, such as a break in the canal wall, accident or very high water. They are also used when a section of the canal needs to be drained for maintenance or winter freeze protection. There will be more guard gates along the canal.

The next one was down so we had to radio ahead. Here’s a few photos of it down and then going up. And yes the water dripped down on us 🙂

Look at this huge log on the river

Beautiful scenery along the Mohawk River

Lock 7, Vischer Ferry

Canada Geese sunning themselves

Oh my! Look at this beauty up in the hills

Lock 8, Scotia

Lock 9, Rotterdam Junction

At Lock 10, the trawler in front of us radioed to say that he had a hard time getting around this huge log in the front of the lock. The lockmaster radioed us and said he would close the door, lock him through and then when he lowered the water in the lock for us, the water should blast it out of the way.

We idled back and waited for the trawler to get through. The log stayed in front of the doors. When the lockmaster started dumping the lock chamber, it got caught in some eddy’s at first and kept coming back. Finally, it floated over towards the dam before the lock doors opened. And then, we were in and on our way to the top.

Lock 10, Cranesville

Lots of logs and debris piled up along the end of the lock

The old Adirondack Power and Light plant

The bridge in Amsterdam and some kids waving at us

So much pollen in the water

We arrived at Lock 11, where we were locked in for 4 days because of Hurricane Florence last fall. The lock master even remembered us! It started to drizzle a bit as we were in the lock. It had looked like rain earlier and we were lucky that it held off.

Lock 11, Amsterdam

We tied off on the long wall after exiting the lock, at 16:00. We had travelled 35nm, and were raised through 10 locks. Quite a long day! The view from the wall was so familiar. 🙂 And the Volkswagen is still on top of the brick post. And in just a few short minutes, the sky darkened and it started raining hard.

Our new gloves are now well worn and broken in from all the locks we went through. 🙂

2 thoughts on “June 5 Erie Canal Lock 2 in Waterford to Lock 11 in Amsterdam

    1. We are amazed at the locks and all the blood, sweat and tears that went in to building them and the canals back in the 1800’s! We are likewise amazed at how easy it is to view places on google maps and see where places are. Years ago, we wouldn’t even be able to follow people’s adventures on blogs. 🙂 Isn’t the internet wonderful? Opens up a whole new world of seeing great things. 🙂


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