Here’s the first Champlain Lock # 12 and the last Lock #1.
Second, and even more importantly, today we closed the loop! We departed Waterford, NY heading west on the Erie Canal on July 3th and arrived back traveling south on the Champlain Canal on July 30th.
We’ve covered 718 nautical miles (957nm since we left Connecticut) and traveled through 99 locks (100 if you count the Federal Lock on our way up the Hudson River); 40 on the Erie, Oswego, and Champlain Canals, 45 on the Rideau, 2 on the Ottawa River, 2 on the St. Lawrence Seaway, and 10 on the Richelieu River. Whew!
The Champlain Canal links the southern end of Lake Champlain with the Hudson River. It started out as a ditch with green walls, unpopulated, until it merged with the Hudson and we began seeing farms and waterfront homes. Since this area is so sparsely populated and it was Monday, there was almost no other boat traffic.
The advertised limit of the canal is 17’ vertical clearance due to the many older bridges, which eliminates commercial traffic and all of those tall, comfortable looking cruisers we had been seeing. Sea Moss barely cleared the bridges, clipping an anchor light at one point in the process. We quickly lowered our antennas to pass under the low bridges freely.
The first four locks lifted us to the summit at 139 feet above sea level. We then began going down again and will reach sea level in the Hudson below the Troy Federal Lock tomorrow.
The rivers and canals, besides the use by boaters, is enjoyed by campers, kayakers, and fishermen...and there are fish in these waters. Here's one lucky guy we saw just as we exited one of the locks.
Midway there was an enormous dredging project underway. Below Lock 7, a place called Three Sisters, many barges were being loaded with mud by floating cranes.