From Lat 43° 22’ 13.3N ~ Lon 078° 11’ 33.3”W

On Oak Orchard Creek, the fishermen leave early.  The sun lightens the sky.  My anchorage is calm and I’m slow to rise.  I think of the past week and the trip through the Welland Canal. 

The first lock on the north side dropped the CAP’N LEM from the level of Lake Erie toward the Level of Lake Ontario a full 3 feet.  Then, it was two hours of motoring at 5 knots to the start of the remaining seven locks, each dropping us 47 feet for a total of 329 feet.  To me, the locks were a celebration of mankind’s ingenuity.  I wonder at that moment of discovery the first person visualized how it could be done.  Did they think “Water falls, and because it falls we can make it rise and with it we can rise ourselves!”   But no, I read about locks only to find they developed over long periods of time.  No flash of genius, no cry of “Eureka”, just slow steady progress of an idea passed on, mistakes made, lives lost, until now and mighty ships up and down with the closing of doors and opening of valves.   Still I’m humbled by the giant doors closed behind us holding back an inland sea.  As the water recedes in the lock small leaks in the doors spew out angry streams through cracks and seams.  Water wants its freedom, too.

The CAP’N LEM is the only vessel in each lock.   I’m reminded how rich I am in water.  Millions upon millions of gallons of fresh water spent in lowering me on my way.  More fresh water than I will drink, bath, wash my clothes in, water my lawn with… in a lifetime.  Such beautiful extravagance.  And to make me even for aware of my water wealth, it rained.  In the rain I tend the lines and promise myself to ponder about water and not complain when it rains and be ever mindful when, as I will, waste it, so as never to waste too much.  Of all the things in the world, save for air, it is the one thing most valuable to my life.  Then bells sound, the north doors open and we’re on our way.  So after twelve hours of travel through the Welland Canal we come to Lake Ontario and rest at Lat. 43° 15’ 19.6”N ~ Long. 079° 03’ 41.7”W on the Niagara River.















6 Responses to “From Lat 43° 22’ 13.3N ~ Lon 078° 11’ 33.3”W”

  1. Woody says:

    Tommy, were you required to step the mast before doing the Welland? Just curious…….

  2. unstranger says:

    An excellent and profoundly positive viewpoint on water. Your perception, take and acceptance is an eye opener.

    I will have to reappraise my own perception of rain and water. Rich in water is a new thought-take for me as in Ireland we have so much of it, not only surrounded by it!

    Worldwide depression is merely monetary, we have our wealth in water now it seems. Just have to figure out how to cash it in!

  3. Amy C. at Oak Orchard says:

    What a wonderful adventure!! We saw you yesterday morning before you left- we live on the creek and you anchored directly across from our house— we saw the website on the side of your beautiful boat and will be so happy to track your progress and share in this journey with you—thank you and gook luck!!

  4. Jim in Baja says:

    Sailing with you vicariously is a real thrill. I will accompany you to your destination if you don’t mind. Thanks for having the courage to do what many like me only dream of.
    Fair Winds,
    Jim in Baja

  5. tommy says:

    What a beautiful place you live. There was a frog singing all night. It reminded me of Wind in the Willows.
    Thanks for letting me know you saw the boat.

  6. tommy says:

    Hi Woody,
    No reason to take the mast down. There are some mighty big ships that go through the Welland. T.