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Monday, June 21, 2010

Fair Winds and Following Seas

It dawned a fair day in Pittsford, New York and we were still the only vessel at rest in the port. With only a bit over an hour on the canal ahead of us, we spent some time in town. After exhausting research, I discovered that, in addition to Starbuck's, there was a Dunkin' Donuts nearby. OK, so I saw someone walking along the canal with a Dunkin' Donuts cup and inquired as to where I might get one myself. The point is, I knew where to go. With the coffee and requisite old fashioned donut in hand, I figured I was pretty well set for the day.

After a short stroll around town and a stop at the library, we headed back to the Onandaga. We met a man working in the park who told us that the town had considered adding more shore power/water stations but that boat traffic didn't warrant it. Hmmm… I thought the lack of traffic had to do with it being before Memorial Day, but maybe canal cruising isn't that popular. That's too bad, as it is a most pleasant way to vacation.

About an hour an a half on the water and we were back in Fairport. After passing under the bridge, we looked to dock on the south wall. There were actually a number of boats already tied up, so I headed for a large open space at the east end of the wall only to find it was reserved for the large tour boat that was out on the canal at the moment. So, using my now considerable canal-piloting skills, I executed a U-turn and put the boat into a smaller space; an exercise in parallel parking successfully completed.

Fairport appears to be the largest of the towns we have visited with just a little more leaning to the touristy side. But not much. It took a while to find the boaters facilities, but it was worth the search. Again there were large, private and clean restroom/shower rooms, this making our lack of hot water on the Onandaga pretty much a none-issue. Lunch was in an outdoor, covered area of a recently-opened Mediterranean restaurant right on the canal. For desert, we made a selection from the cooler at Likety Splits Ice Cream Parlor right next door.

We walked around the area of town near the canal, visited a Family Dollar Store and checked out a gift shop before checking in at… the public library. There were still some cold Coronas on the boat, so we relaxed in the bow seating area and enjoyed the view in the early afternoon. As we watched, the rather large tour boat came in, it clearly requiring all of the lift that the lift bridge had to offer.

It was a tossup for dinner - the Blue Cactus Mexican restaurant or Mulconry's Irish pub. And, in consideration of the fact that there are some good Mexican restaurants here in La Crosse, the pub it was. The Shepherd's pie got my attention and, since it was a warm evening, a pint of cold, crisp cider with it seemed the right thing to do. A fair end to a fair day in Fairport.

I discovered that I hadn't taken too many pictures in Fairport. So, I've included some from Pittsford in today's gallery.

Red, white and blue in Pittsford

Microbrewery creamery

Pretty in Pittsford

Shore power. But only one!

Canalside art
One of several tree stump sculptures we saw along the canal. This one was the most intricate we had encountered.

Meeting another boat
This is a rare photo as we only met about three other boats while underway during the entire cruise.

Blue over blue

Just enough room...
I found it a little odd that this Erie canal cruise boat was named Colonial Belle.

Another hair salon
The people in mid-state New York pay an inordinate amount of attention to their hair and nails, judging from the number of salons we saw everywhere. Seriously, sometimes every third storefront was a salon, though not all as cleverly named as this one in Fairport.

I've got a mule and her name is Sal

Refreshment, Irish style

"Tight" quarters in Fairport

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