#12 Ilion, New York to Utica, New York

Morning in Ilion

Written by The Crew

Rev writes all the posts as "The Crew" at What Yacht To Do. It's just part of the First Mate duties. That list just keeps growing...

June 13, 2019

The weather could not have been more beautiful as we woke up in Ilion.

Morning in Ilion
Morning in Ilion

We slept in and Sam got a steak sandwich here at the restaurant before we left.

Restaurant at Ilion
Restaurant at Ilion

This spot in Ilion is a campground and a marina.

The dock master and the restaurant owner are both veterans and they proudly fly military flags along with the American flag.

Flags on Flag Day
Military Flags on Flag Day

Time to Get Out There

We took our time because we needed some rest. We have been traveling too many days in a row for me and we aren’t finished yet!

So we decided to make a short cruise on this beautiful day down to Utica, New York.

Heading down the Erie Canal
Heading down the Erie Canal
Heading down the Erie Canal
Rear view shot going down the Erie Canal

Only One Lock

We only had to go through one lock to get to our destination.

Several minutes before we came up on Lock 19, Sam called the lock master.

He told us that we would tie up on the starboard (right) side.

I said, “tell him I prefer the port side” and Sam just laughed.

We do what the lock master says!

So, I added a few more fenders to the starboard side and got ready.

Lock 19 in sight
Lock 19 in sight
Coming up to Lock 19
Coming up to Lock 19
Lock 19 Opening
Lock 19 Opening

After we got into the lock, a gold looper boat followed us in.

Of course, I was thrilled because that meant they knew what they were doing!

We are the weak link in this situation but we try to act like we know what we’re doing.

I mean we’ve already been through eighteen of these things!

The Gate Isn’t Opening!?!

After the lock has filled up, we see the lock master on the right side, flip some switches and pick up a remote to open the gate.

The right side of the gate slowly opens.

I let go of the rope that is keeping us on the side of the lock.

The left gate doesn’t move.

We can’t fit through there!

The lock master walks down the right side toward our boat.

I try to remain calm but if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know those chances are slim.

He yells out to me that we can go ahead and go through if we want to OR wait until he walks down the right side, across the top of the back gate of the lock, all the way down the left side and then triggers the remote.


Upon leaving, we notice the red and green markers unusually close together.

As we pass through them, we noticed a couple of tugs and a waterfall .

How cool is that?

Between Red and Green
Have to stay between the red and green markers
Tugs on the Side
Tugs on the Side

There We Were…

Minding our own business.

Enjoying the day.

Until, we spot it.

There’s a small tree/huge branch lying right in the middle of the canal.

We have seen logs and branches and twigs and debris in our path since we started.

Seeing anything this large was a surprise.

Fallen Tree Down

Sam, of course, expertly maneuvered around it.

That’s it.

That’s all the drama of the day.

We whipped around and tied up on the starboard side in front of the AquaVino restaurant.

It’s a fantastic Italian restaurant that you should really visit sometime.

We had a fun dinner with new friends and a very short night.

Gotta get back on the canal again.

Docked at AquaVino
Docked at AquaVino

Our Thoughts

Our Trip

Nebo Trip: Ilion, NY to Utica, NY
Nebo Trip: Ilion, NY to Utica, NY

Start YOUR Planning Today

Great Loop Online Courses

Great Loop Planning Starter Kit

How to Lock on the Great Loop

You May Also Like…

Reflections on Two Loops

Reflections on Two Loops

Special Blog Post From Captain Sam Well, it's over! Two loops in three years, one month. It was the most wonderful...


  1. Nice short trip. Did you happen to see a mule named Sal? She did 15 miles!
    “Oh, where would I be if I lost my pal?
    Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
    Oh, I’d like to see a mule as good as Sal
    Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal”

    • No. We are still looking for her! LOL

    • Still cant figure out why you left me here to work in the heat,tell Rev to drink the wine and chill and catch dinner lol

      • Oh, YOU KNOW! We are enjoying a high of 78 today. It’s chilly every morning and we can’t remember the last time we had to wear a jacket in June! Rev is definitely taking your advice. Except for catching dinner. That’s asking a lot don’t you think???

        • Got to bigger fish in the sea than our pond out back

  2. Your post says you are in Brewerton! That means you did 50 miles and crossed Lake Oneida. Only 8 more miles to your destination! Congratulations, that is awesome. You really blew Sal away on this leg!!

    • Yes, we are exhausted but happy to have made it this far!

  3. Great pictures, very little drama, good food and nice friends, great job!

    • I totally agree. Little drama is good. I actually prefer NO drama but most of the time, that’s unavoidable!


Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest