Out of the Erie Canal, stepping the mast at RCR Yachts

Hello and good morning.  It sure has been a crazy two days for us. The good news is the mast up and shortly after noon we will be in Lake Erie. For those of you wondering, we had our sails put up at RCR Yachts.  We had great service.  I had my first dream /nightmare of going home.  LOL.. I think my inter soul is tell me that I could spend a few more years out here.  After being on the Erie Canal for 25 days, I must say it was worth the experience.  I had to laugh when we left Tonawanda, NY. We entered the Niagara River.  It seemed so huge to me.  We did have to go through our last lock which was the Black Rock Lock on the South side of Grand Island. This lock allowed us to bypass the fast current and rapids of the Niagara River. It was just crazy how fast that current was. As we waited for the lock to open, we hide by the break water at the lock entrance and watched a few power boats fly down the river in the heavy current.


We are headed to Lake Erie.  Then the Detroit River to Lake Saint Clair.  This sign instructs you to turn left.  If you accidently turn right, you might have a bumpy trip over the Niagara Falls!!



Back to the wide Rivers and lakes now and weather windows to make our crossings.  I am actually looking forward to anchoring out.  This picture shows us headed out into the Niagara River.



Coming out of Tonawanda, NY into the river, this was our first bridge.



Now this is one big power plant off the Niagara River.



The current is really pulling us at this point but Bryce and Beauty did a get job at keeping us safe.  This picture shows the lock entrance to Black Rock Lock.  Bypassing this lock requires a power boat with lots of power to make it up against the heavy Niagara River current.



Our last lock of our trip.  The locks gates are open and we are entering the lock.



Hour of operations.  We just made it to the 6:30 PM opening of up bound traffic.



This is 600 feet in length and 70 feet wide.  The lock gates weighs 480 tons.  Think of how strong that is to open and close with the pressure of all that water.



Yep.. this is me…LOL They only have lines on the Starboard side of the wall. But if you are coming from the North they would be on your port side.  Normally we are on the port wall.



Now… You can tell the different between the Erie Canal locks and the locks maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers.  We think perhaps the ACOE of a bit more money, because the locks are newer.



This is one of two bridges that crossed over the canal as soon as we were out of the lock.  They say 17  foot clearance. We say it was much more like 14 feet.  We only had a foot or so above our anchor light. LOL We read that if the wind is from the South, the water level can change by 3 feet… I must agree.



This was the bascule bridge we had to pass under.  They claim it is 22 feet of vertical clearance.  No way…. it appears we might have had an few feet above our mast. Darn South wind.  These two low bridges are a convenient reason to delay the mast stepping till out of the Niagara River.  Rather than doing it in Tonawanda.  Otherwise you have to wait for two bridge openings.  Chances are the trip between Black Rock Lock and the Tonawanda inlet do not provide a significant use of sails anyway.  After doing it, I would step and un-step at RCR Yachts.



You can see this pathway separates the Niagara River and Black Rock Canal.  I am not sure if you can see the current but if you don’t have a boat that can move faster than 6 to 8 knots they recommend you stay out of the Niagara River.



What a beautiful walk way they are building.



If you look closely, you can see the opening circular hole in the wall they have them about every few hundred feet. I think to let the water from Black Rock canal drain into the Niagara River.  Perhaps to somewhat drain excess water from the black rock canal.



What a great walking path they have between the Black Rock Canal & Niagara River.



These two grey ships were Navy ships.  They appeared to be quite unique jet drive ships.  Perhaps they are testing them in the Niagara River.



Look at the break water (concrete wall). It actually looks pretty against the back drop of Lake Erie.



We passed this light house on our way into the river where RCR Yachts is and where we are getting our mast stepped.



We are not sure what this is; but it looked pretty neat.



Here is a destroyer that can be toured.  This is just down stream from where we are at.



We had to pass all these sailboats down to RCR Yachts and find slip 68. We will prepare Beauty for our next journey on Lake Erie.



Our slip over looks Gold Medal and General Mills.



Bryce woke up early and put our mast top instruments & radar on the boat. Not knowing RCR could have put the mast on the hard for him to do it.



We moved Beauty down to the work area to have her mast stepped.



The RCR team worked hard to get her ready for us and they did a great job.



HUM….What do we do now!!  We better look like we know what we are doing; Jane has a camera in our face…LOL  They slowly and carefully maneuvered the 60 foot long mast into position.  Thank goodness, the RCR crew knew what they were doing.  They do hundreds of boats every year.  They also provide full service.  That is, building the supports and doing everything that is required to step or un-step the mast.  Turns out, RCR was quite a bit less expensive than Wardells.  RCR also has a good size crew to do the job.



She is in the air!!!  Just think only that hook is holding her… Okay my eyes are closed. Let me know when it’s over……



I better open my eyes… They are now putting the boom on.  Soon we will move back to slip 68 for the night and to put the sails up.


Have a great day and thank you for following us.

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