“It’s about time we do something different with a plastic fantastic yacht”.  That was my first reaction when we decided to head to Canada via the Hudson and Erie Canal this fall.

Doing the same old Atlantic string of ports like every other yacht from Florida can get a little old. I’ve asked the boss to allow me to tailor a route that we normally would not be able to do on a larger boat, as we just squeeze under the minimum vertical clearance of the canal of about 20′ feet (this is after I remove our radar and sat domes).

I’ve done the trip to The Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway and even though it’s a feather in the old captains hat, it’s nothing that I long to do again. Besides, there’s no better place to be while we watch the hurricanes stack up on our computer screens.

Now that we’ve decided to do the transit North, there is lots to plan and prepare for, right? Well, the more I research the transit in the Erie Canal the less I find there is to do. I’ve bought the huge inflatable fenders, studied the guides and charts and come to realize that this route is really set up for the smaller boat with the owner operator on a budget. From what I can make out, the permit or fee can be paid at the first lock and there is plenty of free dockage all along the way. My main concern was how to make reservations, not knowing true transit times.  After much reading, I figure we will simply tie up alongside the several lock terminals and parks that are along the way. Besides, I could use a break from marina life and a terminal wall in a small town park sounds inviting at this point.

I departed Sept 16th for the Hudson from NYC and after a two day cruise in the Hudson I should be at my first lock in the canal.

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