After crossing Lake Oneida, at a rather confusing intersection, we found our road sign in the woods and split off the Erie Canal to take the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario. We cruised some short days, visited and locked down for a few days. As I mentioned, we'd become pretty confident in our locking - especially since we'd been told that locking down is a snap. Then we came to lock 5. Normally, I handle a line toward the front of the boat and Joe takes one at the stern. I was having trouble holding the boat with my line, so Joe switched with me. At first we thought it was just the wind, but even when the boat was below the tops of the walls Joe was not having an easy time of it. Then, the unbelievable happened - the line Joe was holding onto was too short! He came to the end of his rope; the front of the boat started to swing to the center of the lock; the stern pulled out so that I lost my rope also. So we're sideways in the lock - heading for the opposite side. I haven't mentioned the debate we'd had earlier about whether to stop the engines while locking. Lucky for us, Joe was on the side of not turning them off. Also lucky for us, we have a bow thruster. Even with Joe's quick action, the anchor hanging on the front of the boat hit the lock wall, but a slight bend was all the damage we had. We were able to grab lines on that side about the time the gates were ready to open.
We tied up in Oswego that afternoon and shared happy hour with our friends on R&R and Claddagh again. There were lots of stories about problems in lock 5 that day - not just ours. The next day with a good weather window, we started out into Lake Ontario. As spring has chased us up north, so has the pollen. It finally got the best of me, so we stopped at Cape Vincent, NY to visit a local clinic.If you'd like to see more pictures, follow the link to our picasa albums: http://picasaweb.google.com/joseph.pica. (it's not always updated at the same time as this one, but I catch up eventually!)