2018-07-17–Middleport, Medina NY

West Erie Canal equals good living. Cruising this section of the waterway is filled with small towns with free docks and lots of 30 amp power…bring your “smart reverse splitter” and you are good to go.

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Out first Erie Canal Locks we came to were located in Lockport, NY. Actually two locks back to back. Pictured below is the first of the two locks

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Here is a picture of the entire 2 lock complex. You go directly from the first to the second lock…each lock dropped us 25 feet.

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The locks are numbered east to west, so we only have 35 locks to go through until we reach the Hudson River and “sea-level.”

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Our transit day was a bit damp and overcast but we did find a lovely spot along the wall in Middleport, NY

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The next morning we made the short trip to Medina where we have a number of things planned.

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Still a little gray and overcast but relatively dry.

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Medina, NY for their sandstone quarries in the early 1900s. This seems to be a local example.

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Not surprisingly city hall is also sandstone.

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Love the doors..

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Our first real stop was the train museum which really has any number “collections of history.”  The museum though really is centered around trains.

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And do they have trains, like a HUGE HO model train setup.

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It is a cool setup

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The Admiral might have OD’d on trains though and had to take a breather from the excitement that is model trains.

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This post office just struct me as a the quintessential post office reminding me of the one in Lima, OH

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I kinda cracked up on this sign..I thought it was a stretch as far as history goes…just me though…

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There is also an aqueduct in Median. The Canal is actually a “bridge” going over the creek gorge and water fall.

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Per direction from the Admiral, we stop at waterfalls…all waterfalls….

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Not to worry, there is another one tomorrow in Holly…

2018-08-15–Tonawanda, NY (Niagara Falls)

After our “concert night” in Buffalo we were off to Tonawanda, NY.

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Departing Buffalo “can” be a little tricky and failure to take the right path…well we will get to that….departing Canalside it is imperative to get into the Black Rock Canal entrance keeping the sea wall to port. That seawall is the separation between the Canal and the Niagara River.

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As the Niagara River narrows the river accelerates so that at this point we are moving along at 6 knts in the canal and the river 20 feet away is flowing at 12 plus knots!

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If for some reason you get on the wrong side of that sea wall the current is so strong there is not way to turn around and get out….you will end up here….yea, Niagara Falls….dont mess up!

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We did not get any pictures during the passage because of staying focused on doing it right…no mistakes could be tolerated. In the end we made it into Tonawanda just fine.

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After getting Magnolia settled we walked around town to get our bearings.  North Tonawanda, NY is on the north side of the Erie Canal and Tonawanda, NY. 

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Who would have guessed?

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The grounds and

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harbor were just lovely, really nice.

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The Admiral took a day and made the short trip to Niagara Falls.

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It was her first time and seemed to really enjoy the views

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Meanwhile, back aboard I started stripping the old something. Its not varnish and its not paint but some kind of covering with high adhesion!

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Annette’s family name is “Weckesser” which roughly translates to roll maker. Well we found a place that sells “Beef on Weck” and below was her response!

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The Admiral also continued her Lake Erie Carrousel Tour by touring the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum.

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As we head towards the middle of August its time to start looking east and our next stop on the Erie Canal

2018-08-14–Erie PA, Dunkirk NY, Buffalo, NY–A Terrific Lake Erie Passage

This whole trip has been absolutely wonderful but since arriving in Michigan it has taken on a much more relaxed tone.

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After departing Ashtabula, OH we had a wonderful day passage up to Erie, PA. The yacht club there was very nice gave us a great place to ride out a couple days of weather. I did manage to get the rest of the boat waxed so that was a plus! Yes, and no pictures!

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Dunkirk was a was a wonderful spot for a couple of reasons. A couple that came to look at Magnolia-S when we had her for sail have been “following” us and invited us to come visit their yacht club if it worked out.

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In addition one of our sailing instructors family kept a boat here years ago so was able to get Roger some updated pictures of the area.

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We sat out on the patio of the club with Carl & Donna and a dozen other club members well into the evening yacking about boating. It was a a REALLY fun evening and look forward to visiting with them again!

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We were up with the sun and as the aft camera proves shortly underway to Buffalo.

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Those “lines” in the water are the protective sea walls off the shore of Buffalo, we can see them in a picture below. Have to pay a little attention when arriving, that is for sure.

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All week we have started the days out with glass flat water but by mid-morning a light west wind starting making things a a little sloppy…not really uncomfortable but even we need something to complain about!! Buffalo skyline as we are approaching.

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The protective sea walls off of Buffalo

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Thats Magnolia moored at Canal Side

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We moored at the touristy Canal-Side docks. The docks hands were excellent and really positioned us out of the malay that was to come…see being Thursday we assumed it would be a quiet night at the municipal docks….ahh…Thursday is concert night. A Canadian rock band came and there were several thousand of people who came to watch. It was quit the evening but really turned out wonderful. Besides, we were moored just aft of the USS Little Rock, a WWII cruiser converted to one of the Navy’s early missile cruisers.

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She carried old RAM jet engine powered Talos….that was my fantasy system to work on when I joined the Navy but unfortunately it was just being phased out…a mear 35 years ago…where does the time go!!

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Out next stop is the entrance to the Erie Canal. I think it is now that it really struck us that we are headed for “home.”

2018-08-07 Cleveland & Ashtabula, OH

After departing Sandusky our next stop was Cleveland. We were looking forward to meeting up with fellow GenIV Sean. We also learned that Cousin Dan and Lori were making a surprise visit to Cleveland.

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Our first stop was Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Neither Annette nor I had ever visited before so were looking forward!

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We really enjoyed the visit much more than I expected. We arrived early and stay much longer than I had expected!

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I was really excited to see Elvis Presley’s Volkswagen based trike. It was just like Tennar Trikes…

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I think Elvis purchased from the wrong company truthfully!

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After the museum we popped next door to a Mexican place that cousin Dan suggested…

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We met up with Dan and Lori and made a trip to the West Side Market. The market is a true old school market similar Redding Terminal in Philly!

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Note this is where I would have inserted a great picture of Sean, MaryAnn, Lori and Dan visiting on Magnolia and the fun dinner we had after but there were no good ones so we will have to just imagine….the next day Magnolia as off to Ashtabula, OH

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Arriving in Ashtabula we learned our friend Roger from the Pentagon Sailing Club was from here, so Roger these are for you!

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Only our second bridge request in the Great Lakes. We came up the river into town we found a very active boating community.

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Downtown was completely filled with active store fronts.

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Since we did not get any good pictures on Magnolia, the whole gang was kind enough to drive over to Ashtabula to share the evening.!!!

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We found  a place called Rennick Meat Market. It had a long butcher shop history and dry aged steaks….perfect.

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It was a very fun evening!

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Like all good times the evening flew by and it was time for us to get back aboard for any early departure. Thank you all for sharing your time, great times and great memories!!!

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Nest stop, Erie PA!!!