Day 4 – Erie Canal past Little Falls.

Sunday August 24th, Erie Canal past Little Falls.


Bridge at Little Falls.

Bridge at Little Falls.

Again this morning we got up at about 7am and left the lock by 7:45am. We motored all morning and stopped in Little Falls, NY for lunch. A very cute town, many antique shops and little restaurants.


Under railway bridge to Main Street.

Under railway bridge to Main Street.



The canal is blocked from most of the town by the railroad, but they built an underground tunnel, that you can walk through to get to the main part of town. Our stroll down main street, quickly showed that this town was in some kind of economic recession possibly due to the real estate crash . Many closed stores, one was for rent for only $375 per month. However, we found an amazing steakhouse.



Steak House at Little Falls.

Steak House at Little Falls.


Our meals came with all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar, Roxane ordered the lasagna, I had a baked stuffed haddock, the kids also got their own kids meals, the total bill with taxes came to $36! We had enough left-overs (with these American large portions!) for another meal back on the boat. We then walked to the local bakery, and ordered a dozen buns, 4 cinnamon donuts, 2 cup cakes, 4 large cookies, and a special strawberry coconut pastry. Believe it or not, the bill came to $5.50. I thought the lady had made a mistake, but she assured me that it was the correct price. I asked her how she makes any money? She just shrugged her shoulders.


We continued on our journey in the heat of the afternoon sun. We decided to try out the anchor on the boat for the first time, while in the Mohawk river. Our whole family enjoyed a refreshing swim off the boat; Thomas and Alexander had a great time jumping off the swim platform. We successfully dropped and retrieved the anchor using the electric windlass with no problems.




Swimming in the Canal at anchor.

Swimming in the canal at anchor.

Further down the river, motoring along, carefully following the buoys, the boat came to a quick stop. Our 6 1/2 foot bulb keel had become stuck into mud at 5 foot depth. We were stuck and stuck good. We radioed for help, but we were in the middle of nowhere so we had no response. We called the emergency canal phone number, and the interstate police officer answered, and he knew nothing about the canals.

In the meantime a large trawler was approaching, I hailed the trawler and asked for assistance and he agreed to tow us out of the mud. He used his sonar to measure the depth of the shallow area as he approached. We realized that we had almost made it right through. After Thomas tied a few trusty bowlines (that he learned in sailing school), the trawler was able to tow us backwards out of the mud. We were free, but we had to be on the other side of the mud in order to make it to NY city. So we backed up the boat, and brought her up to about 8 knots, following the path that the trawler had taken. We had no choice, we had to get through. The nose started to go down, but with in a couple of seconds it popped up and we were through.

We lost a couple of hours with this incident, and it started getting dark, there was nowhere to dock for another hour down the river. We continued in almost complete darkness. The radar would have been handy in this situation, but it was disconnected since the mast was down and we could not rely on the accuracy of the GPS chart plotter in these narrow canals. Therefore, we followed the light of our 3 million candle flashlight,  Ed used the wireless remote control on the bow, we made our way down the canal. Up on the bow you get the best view at night. We drained the batteries in one of our flashlights, and we were now onto the second flashlight. It’s a good thing I stocked up on all the safety gear for the 300!  After an hour of this we made it to a dock that we spent the night on.

P.S. Thomas spent the day writing an employee manual for his new “Brats” business. He wrote about 3 pages, when I told him that Daddy’s business had a 60 page employee manual, he thought he should add some more details. When he got to page 10 of his manual, I explained to him, that it took Radonic Rodgers 11 years to get to 60 pages. This new information made him satisfied with his 10 page manual.

Navigating the canal in the evening.

Navigating the canal in the evening.

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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3 Responses

  1. Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue with your web site in web explorer, might test this? IE still is the marketplace chief and a big portion of other people will miss your great writing because of this problem.

  2. s/v Black Diamond says:

    Thanks, not sure how to fix it, this is a standard WordPress theme…

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