The Erie Canal Experience...Is
Canal Cruising for You?
Keith and Anne Wright have cruised with Erie Canal
Cruise Lines six times. Their experience can benefit you.
The Wright Cruise -- October,
Day 1: Saturday
Anne packed the week prior, so we left home at 7 a.m.
The five hour drive was glorious! Fall is our favorite
time of year and the rolling hills were lit up with color
this first week of October. After a quick stop at the
grocery store we arrived in Seneca Falls at 1:00 p.m.
We were welcomed and shown to our boat - Fair Dinkum.
Moved aboard and cast off at 1:30, headed west to Lock
4 and continued to Seneca Lake State Park on the northeast
side of Seneca Lake. Docked at our reserved slip, tied
up, plugged in and unloaded a bike for Anne. She enjoyed
the paved trail that winds several miles along the north
end of the lake. I opted for the deck chaise and my new
book. We watched the sunset on the lake during dinner
Day 2: Sunday
Cast off for Belhurst Castle's widely acclaimed Sunday
Brunch and our 10 a.m. seating. Cruising is safe on Seneca
Lake 300 feet from the shore. Geneva's many church spires
glistened in the morning sun. Turning south along the
west shore, we soon spotted the dock. The grounds were
lush and green with magnificent views. The buffet style
brunch was impressive. Eager to continue our cruise, we
strolled back down to the dock. Several people were admiring
Fair Dinkum. We invited them aboard, handed out a few
brochures and answered their questions.
Noon: Cast off and set the throttle at 2500 rpm for our
cruise to Watkins Glen. The lush vineyards and forests,
the cascading waterfalls, the crystal clear waters of
Seneca Lake - the things dream vacations are made of!
The warm southerly breeze encouraged us to roll up the
cockpit enclosure. Nearing the south end of the lake,
I spotted the breakwater in front of the marina as shown
on the chart. We slowly pulled up to the end dock, secured
the lines and plugged in. Anne put dinner in the oven
before we walked up to the ship's store to check in. We
reserved a golf cart for Monday's tour of downtown and
picked up a bottle of wine to enhance our meal. The sunset
lit up the sky as we dined and settled in for the night.
Day 3: Monday
The townspeople bustling off to work reminded us how lucky
we were to be vacationing. The bakery's aroma beckoned
to us and we obliged. Downtown was quiet by 8 a.m. as
we rode the shuttle bus up to the Glen Gorge. The views
were astonishing! The waterfalls were flowing strong.
We shot two rolls of film. Back to the boat at noon. Departing
Watkins Glen, we cruised north along the east shore. Hector
Falls, about an hour north of Watkins Glen was impressive.
Halfway up the east side of the lake, Sampson State Park
marina awaited us. We were secured by 4 p.m. and back
into our books. Dined on deck since the evening was warm.
Another glorious lake sunset ended the day.
Day 4: Tuesday
Cast off at 9 a.m. and had breakfast underway. Entered
the canal around 11 a.m. and cruised east to Waterloo.
Tied up west of Lock 4 and walked over the bridge to mail
some post cards. Enjoyed a sumptuous Italian lunch at
Amandrea's. Next door we were able to get on-line and
check our email, pick up a local paper and some ice and
headed back to the boat. Our next stop was Seneca Falls.
Docked at 3 p.m. in time to visit the Women's Right's
museums. We marveled at the low prices in the antique
stores and bought a souvenir watercolor of our canal boat
and some fresh-cut flowers. A short visit to Trinity Church
to admire the stained glass windows. What an inspiration!
Enjoyed delicious Chinese take-out from Main Moon on deck,
savoring the fresh autumn air. The sun set on the canal
past 'Angel bridge'. This truly is a wonderful life.
Day 5: Wednesday
Breakfast Special at Twin's Canalside Cafe, 2 eggs &
toast for $.99! Underway at 8 a.m. for the first locking
at the double locks, Lock 3 and 2 - a total drop of 50
feet! A fascinating engineering feat! Arrived at Cayuga
Lake headwaters around 9:30 a.m. and turned north to Lock
1 toward Montezuma. Birds were in flight, fish were jumping.
The fresh north wind made us grateful for our cockpit
enclosure. We turned west at the junction of the Erie
Canal and arrived at Lock 25 by 11 a.m. Anne made soup
and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and took the helm
while I read. Arrived in Newark around 4 p.m. We indulged
in an afternoon nap - what a luxury! Walked across the
bridge for an early dinner at The Corner Restaurant. Stopped
in the supermarket before returning to Fair Dinkum. Another
Day 6: Thursday
8 a.m. We continued west on the canal through Palmyra
to Fairport. We encountered our first liftbridge in Fairport.
Called the Bridge Tender on CH 13 for the 11:30 a.m. opening.
Arrived in Pittsford at 12:30 p.m. with a need for a hearty
lunch. Docked on the north side of the canal and enjoyed
lunch just a few feet from Fair Dinkum. Back underway
around 1:30 p.m.
and headed for Spencerport for the night. We passed under
our second liftbridge and tied up at the canal park. The
steaks were marinated and ready for the grill. Potatoes,
corn on the cob, and pumpkin pie (all from Newark) completed
the night's feast.
Day 7: Friday
We departed Spencerport around 9 a.m. to enjoy our last
cruising day. Had breakfast underway as we took our last
pictures, the colors were more vivid in the morning sun.
Back under Fairport's liftbridge, and docked on the north
side. We were well rested, relaxed, and glad we took the
time to go canallingagain.
Day 8: Saturday
We enjoyed our last morning aboard, and were sad to leave
Next year, we'll go for two weeks.
BonVoyage to you!
Keith and Anne Wright