Friday, October 10, 2014

First 4 days on the Erie Learning Curve

The beauty of the Canal is amazing with many quaint towns and restaurants catering to the boating crowds but others that are obviously struggling to survive and do not seem to care about the quality of the town/restaurant experience. So far the Galley in Spencerport is one of our favorites, especially after meeting the owners Ross and Gail, however, the Pony in Middleport where we had fun reminiscing with Cindy's friend Bob Cryor but other than the buffalo wings the food was not even close to tolerable although Cindy finally met a class of wine she couldn't finish (it was served in a 12 oz water glass to the brim for $3 and Chablis as the high point of the 3 wine list).

  Our learning curve of new boating experiences has been very sharp as the list of potential calamities has been 1) first night Cindy slips on wet dock and gracefully falls into the dodger window ripping out the seams (see later for importance of this occurrence in Patches escape) but Jay is now repairing as best he can with thread and needle.
2) first two locks the equipment to grab onto was flat on the wall and so low to our high freeboard that we missed holding onto the lines immediately and turned a bit sideways in the lock, which was compounded by a 30 knot wind; however, we have adjusted our technique and successfully have transversed 10 more locks.Patches then figured out how to squirm her way under the canvas so when we checked outside under the canvas covered cockpit she was outside on the deck in the rain. 4) On our first docking along the stone walls of the canal we underestimated the height of our freeboard and the current drift with strong winds so the bow came in a bit more than expected and making our first scratch of the trip. We now have 4 bumpers at different levels to accommodate the docks on the canal. And 5) most entertainingly, and hard as it may be to believe we actually took a wrong turn on the canal into a much wider body of water (the cutoff was unmarked and almost a creek) and ended up hitting shallow water. We retreated and successfully regained the appropriate canal. That's what happens when you try to eat lunch and navigate at the same time and have gotten into a drone pattern of red, green straight ahead. All good lessons learned and we are fine with minimal damages so far.
  It's now on to dinner, a shower since last night we had no heat or water facilities nearby.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Really excited for you! Good winds!
Dan Bowles and Pat Loveday