All along the Erie Canal, boaters have had to sit and wait while unexpected repairs are made on Lock E-13 near Fultonville. Many of the boats choose to dock in Sylvan Beach over the past two weeks and more are arriving every day. Bob Holt and his friend Bill Lowther are traveling from Canada to Florida. They have been trying to get updated information from the New York State Canal Corporation and worry that the logjam of boats will cause problems even after the lock opens.
"The concern we have is, with so many boats ahead of us - if we get behind everybody, then every place we go to will be full," aid Holt.
For boaters headed south, the only other option is to take the St. Lawrence river to the Atlantic ocean but that detour that could add three weeks to a trip. The line of boats waiting to get through is getting longer by the day. In Illion, some boats were tied off to each other on Wednesday due to lack of space.
Lock 13 is scheduled to be open for four days starting on Thursday but that's not a lot of time for slow moving boats.
Many boaters said there unexpected stay in Sylvan Beach was possible due to the generosity of neighbors. The Canalview Cafe has provided clean water and a local marina helped pump out any boats that needed it.
"They've supplied us with water, with rides to the store, rides to the hardware store to pick up supplies," said Andre Dubois. Dubois and his family have been docked in Sylvan Beach for two weeks on their way to Florida.
If some boats don't manage to make it through this weekend, they could have serious problems. On Monday October 7th, Lock 13 will close for another three weeks. Dale Jadus was considering several options for his sailboat. He's headed to Maryland and doesn't want to be stranded in a remote area but needs to get through this weekend.
"The critical factor for planning this sort of thing is, I have to go out in the Atlantic ocean to get home and I don't want to be out there in December," said Jadus.