Our first taste of the Erie Canal was actually an offshoot to Lake Ontario, the Oswego Canal. The Oswego Canal extends from just west of Lake Oneida all the way up to (surprise, surprise) Oswego, NY. We found the first few locks remarkably easy, other than a disturbing propensity for the water flowing into the lock to push us into the wall, threatening to both pop our fenders, and gouge long rusty streaks into the side of our hull. We made it basically to the end of the Oswego Canal on the first day, stopping in Phoenix, New York, where we found Terry and Susanne, as well as Jon and Arline, who had thoughtfully picked up pizza for all of us. We spent a few hours getting even more advice about places we should see and people we should meet along the way, and we finally said goodbye, this time for real and went to bed.
We finally entered the Erie Canal on August 22nd, crossing Lake Oneida(stopping once to swim in the multitudinous blue green algae swarms and veritable bushels of plant-life that surrounded the boat, with the odd water particle thrown in every now and again) and stopping after our flora-infused adventure in Sylvan beach on the opposite side of the lake. Sylvan Beach is a cute little town, with several restaurant/bars and an amusement park with the only roller coaster on the Erie Canal.