We’ve had bigger lifts on The Great Loop, but this one was exciting because of the way we entered it. In a rush. Why? Depends on who you ask, but if you ask me…it’s because all horses want to follow a stallion. The “stallion,” in this case, was a large and masculine-looking boat named Zeitgeist, a German word that means something like “spirit of the time.” And the spirit of “Looper time,” at least for the “man-in-charge,” is (usually)…”Go!!”
We were tied up on the lock wall in front of Lock E17 while Kay (Superior Passage) and I discussed whether it was a good place to spend the night. We had previously agreed, while under way, that the lock wall would be “Option 1” for the night and a marina a bit further west, in Little Falls, would be “Option 2.” A common option on the Erie Canal is to tie up to a lock wall for free. I like free, but it isn’t always “worth it.” Sometimes you have to get your eyeballs on a thing…like hands-on shopping in a 2nd-hand store. So we stopped at the lock wall to get our “hands on it.”
Just as Kay and I were saying that maybe the wall was too rough, but hadn’t had time to tell “the guys” our decision, we hear a man on Zeitgeist call across the water as he cruises by, “It’s better on the other side!”
And, just like that, we’re casting off and moving again. The lock was opened for Zeitgeist, and we had minutes to dash into it before it closed again. I had barely enough time to throw my life jacket back on (because they’re required or advisable inside all locks) and get the headsets ready (because it’s hard or impossible to communicate on our boat without them and communicating inside a lock can be critical to safety) before we were in the deepest lock on the Erie Canal.
So here’s my observations from this little event: 1. Horses want to run together — and our “horses” are on their home stretch back to Lake Superior, which makes them even more eager to run for the barn. 2. Women tend to discuss things before deciding, while men decide mostly “on instinct.” (And often based on what the other guys are doing.)
People don’t talk about it much, but I think these gender differences probably cause tension on most Looper boats. A same-gender crew would probably be a lighter lift.
Speaking of lifts….by the time we reach Lake Erie and Buffalo, N.Y. at the western end of the Erie Canal, we will have been lifted 570 feet. That’s how much higher Lake Erie is than the Hudson River at Albany.
On Day 2 of cruising the Erie Canal, we traveled through seven more locks before stopping here in Little Falls. That makes 16 locks on the Erie Canal so far (19 more to go), and 40 locks for us on The Great Loop.
We are staying in this little town for a 2nd night as a steady rain falls. I’m grateful for a time-out from cruising. Time for laundry, shopping, exploring, and napping! I’m still nursing a tender toe (which means a tender foot, which means a slight limp) from my injury during our cat-overboard event last week. It’s amazing how one sore toe can give you sore legs, since I can’t stay off my feet. Local pollen is sending me into fits of sneezing and wheezing a few times a day. But yes, I’m still having fun! (Mostly! 🙂 ) Photos and captions below.