Day 3 – Lake Oneida to Utica, NY
Saturday August 23rd, Lake Oneida to Utica NY
Departing at 7AM this morning, we made it across Lake Oneida by 10AM. We tied up at the Sylvana Beach Town Docks, and headed down to the beach. Thomas and Alexander enjoyed going for a swim and building sand castles. Thomas was fascinated by a man with a metal detector strolling the beach, he could not leave him alone, asking all sorts of questions, and obsessed with the possibilities of buried lost treasures. After a few hours relaxing on the beach we headed to a nice restaurant on the docks edge. After lunch we spent an hour at the amusement park. We enjoyed a few rides, including a roller coaster and the bumper cars. Sylvana Beach is very similar to Wasaga beach.
We left the dock at about 4PM, very heavy traffic in the channel made it difficult to leave the town dock. So I remember from my CPS courses, 3 loud blasts of the air horn would notify traffic of a boat entering a channel. I blasted the air horn, and just about gave half a dozen people a heart attack. But it work, just about all the channel traffic stopped dead in their tracks, and we successfully left the dock!
Five hours later we arrived at lock 20, which is about the 12th or 13th lock that we completed, 20 more to go to the Hudson River. However, this evening did not go without complication. Nothing serious, but at about 8:30PM, it got very dark in the channel, and it made it difficult to navigate. Roxane noticed a log in the middle of the channel, so I veered hard to port. Unfortunately I choose the wrong side, the log was actually a large sunken tree blocking half of the channel, and the boat came to slow stop. The tree blocked the keel from moving forward. I then put the boat into reverse, and we were not moving at all. We were stuck in the middle of the channel, and it was getting pretty dark. Oh well, I guess we would spend the night here, and in the morning find someone to tow us out. We thought we would try to rev in high speed in reverse, still nothing, then Roxane and I shifted our weight together backwards and forwards, and within 1 minute of doing so, with the boat in hard reverse, Black Diamond was free from the tree.
We made it to the next lock within 15 minutes. Roxane stood on the bow and lit the way with our 3 million candle spotlight. Once we arrived we notified the lock master about the tree at buoy marker 595. We thought it would be a good idea to spend the night at this lock and not try to go any further this evening.