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Grande Mariner is on its way to Chicago from NYC via the Erie Canal.  Since I’m not onboard, I have the opportunity to watch it lock through.

The lock is on the Palatine Bridge side of the Canal, across the bridge from Canajoharie, five times larger with its population of 3500.

Note the captain (see sunglasses extreme right center of the photo) coordinating with radio info from the mates (on ship extreme left center).  What the captain can’t see but needs to know is the orientation of the bow and stern with the lock wall, ie, distance from the wall.

Once inside the chamber, the lock master (nearer) determines when the mitre gate can be closed and start to fill the lock.

Lines on the bollard secure the ship inside.

When the chamber is full, the lock master determines when the upper gates can be opened,

and Grande Mariner sails west.

Chicago . . . it’s about two weeks to the west from this location.

If you’ve ever taken Amtrak west of Amsterdam NY, you passed within 200′ of this approach wall.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will be westbound on the sister ship in less than a week.

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