Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cruise on the Erie Canal

Today we expected sunshine and good weather so we headed to Herkimer where you can cruise on the Mohawk River and go through one of the locks.  The first thing we did when we arrived was to have a very late lunch at the Water Front Grill which is in the same building as the Visitor Center/Store where you purchase tickets for the cruise.  The food was excellent.  I had a strawberry avocado salad and Lee had a Reuben with really tender corned beef.  

 Our boat coming into the dock after the 1 PM cruise

 The Dock Area

Our cruise started at 3 PM.  We sat on the upper deck although if we had to do it over again we would get to the front of the line and sit outside upfront on the first floor.  They really had the best views.  Of course, you can move around which we did in order to get pictures.

 The Mohawk River

 The Water Front Grill where we had lunch

Unfortunately, I had my camera set on some weird setting in the restaurant and gift shop so the pictures didn't turn out. 

 Flood Control Device - If the river comes up 
it doesn't flood the canal

 And we are off

These Erie Canal maintenance boats were dredging a sand bar that had developed after recent heavy rains.

We passed the Fort Herkimer Church.  After our cruise we drove over to get a better picture of this church.

 Heading into Lock 18 on the Mohawk River

 The Spillway

This spillway is close to the entrance to the lock and send water back into the Mohawk River when it isn't needed for the lock.  The lock is all man-made and not really part of the river.

For more information on the history of the Erie Canel go to:

 Once you enter the lock the water is 20' above the river level

It is hard in a picture to see the difference in the water levels but when you are aboard, it almost feels like you are going to plunge the 20' and you just hope the gates hold!

 Another boat decided to join us in the lock

 This video was taken while the water was dropping in the lock to take us to the level of the Mohawk River.

 The dark area on the gate shows the water level.  
We have dropped a lot!

 The boat that joined us is now surrounded by walls.  
When we started we were both sitting above the locks.

  The doors opening to let us out at the lower level

 The doors are nearly open

 And we are back on the Mohawk River

 The boat that was behind us coming out of the lock

At this point our cruise boat turned around and we re-entered the lock.

You can see where there are a couple of leak near the doors that are letting water back in.

When the water was dropping in the lock, there was very little water movement, however, when the lock started to fill to get us back up the 20', there was a lot of water churning.  The water was churning because there was air in the pipe in the inlet pipe.  The water flooded it and forced the air up through the chamber.

 The Lock Master is walking across the gate

 The doors are opening and soon we will be 
heading back to the docks in Herkimer

 These are part of the controls that operate the lock

 The gear mechanism that operates one of the water valve

 More of the lock controls and the 100 year old equipment

A Barge Derrick which is part of the 
Canal's Maintenance Equipment

Two boats joined us on the way back.  Here they are taking off.  These days the canal is normally used as a way for yachts to get around.  Once in awhile there will be some electric utility equipment shipped into Canada that uses the lock system.

 Pavilion in the Park at the former Fort Herkimer site

 Heading back into the dock

 Canal Maintenance Tug Boat

 The Pirate Ship is really a pontoon boat!

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