using the smaco s400 in the pool scuba diving nomad post

The Scuba Diving Nomad Post Summary

Scuba Diving Nomad Post


Hello, I am Charles Davis, a professional freelance writer that writes for the scuba diving and travel niches, and welcome to my Scuba Diving Nomad Post.

Welcome to The Scuba Diving Nomad Post

I am Charles Davis, also known as the Scuba Diving Nomad. If this is your first visit to my website, please visit my main page to learn a little about my background and why I am the Scuba Diving Nomad.

Scuba diving and travel are important parts of my life. Over the years, I started to write about my experiences and share some of the knowledge I have gained on these two topics. Originally, this website started with a scuba diving focus. Later, I found myself writing on other topics for other websites and even ghostwrote a few books. The more I wrote for others, the less time I spent on my own site. I am trying to make an effort to expand my own site now. To keep this site aligned with my writing, I added different topics here as well.

This page will show the scuba diving nomad post on all of my topics. You can click on the topic dropdown to go to the latest post for each topic.

I originally started freelance writing as a means to sell my photography. This was way back before the internet. You could make some decent money selling photographs to a magazine back then. The trick was finding someone who had a need for your images. Writing an article with the images provided presented a complete package and greatly increased your chances.

The Photo-essays

One section you will find here is the photo essays. These are a tribute to my early days of writing/ photography combinations.

I would also like to invite you to visit my Cooking to Impress website. I wrote a lifestyle book about learning to cook, it is not really a cookbook but more of a guide to get someone cooking. The website adds to the book.

Let’s look at my latest post here on the Scuba Diving Nomad.

Kayaking The Erie Canal

Kayaking the Erie Canal –As the western gate of lock 33 opened, the 17 kayaks that were waiting slowly moved into the lock. We positioned ourselves along the sides of the lock, grabbed hold of ropes hanging there, and waited. Once we were all situated in position, the gate operator closed the gate. Slowly, water was released, and the water level decreased, taking us with it. We were lowered 24 feet until the water in the lock was level with the water at the east end of the lock. The eastern gate opened, and we continued our journey along the Erie Canal. This is kayaking the Erie Canal. If you are not familiar with the Erie Canal, take a look at the article I did a few years ago.

Kayaking the Erie Canal

This was the adventure I had been waiting for all summer. Genesee Waterways, Genesee RiverWatch, and the City of Rochester’s Recreation Department host a few group paddles each year. I had done one with them in the past and fully enjoyed it. That trip was on the Genesee River from the Lower Falls to near Lake Ontario. This trip was from the Genesee Waterways location on the Genesee River to their location in Pittsford at lock 32. The route was a short paddle along the Genesee River to the crossing of the Erie Canal, turning to the east on the Canal and heading about 5 miles to Lock 32. That means passing through Lock 33.

While I have done some paddles in the Erie Canal, this would be the first time I have traveled through a lock on a kayak. I have been through lock 33 before, however, that was on the San Patch Tour Boat. Being in a small 11- or 12-foot kayak seems more intimidating.

kayaking the erie canal genesee waterways dock
The kayaks are waiting for us on the Genesee Waterways dock

For this group event, I decided to rent a kayak instead of using my inflatable Sea Eagle. I still love my Sea Eagle; however, it is slower to paddle and does take a little more effort. The cost of the group paddle with a single kayak rental was just $30, using my own the fee would have been $5. City Residences got a 50% discount on the rental rate.

I arrived at Genesee Park about 20 minutes before the start time, signed in, and waited for everyone else to show up. We had three guides, one from each of the sponsors. Interesting, I remember all three of them from my previous group outing. Around 10 AM, people started getting into their kayaks. Most of the paddlers rented the kayak, but still a few brought their own. There were mostly single kayaks, still a few were in tandem setups.

Genesee waterways
Getting ready

At 10:20, we headed south (upstream) on the Genesee River until we reached the Erie Canal. Turning east, we entered the canal. We were still fairly grouped together, and one of the guides was pointing out some of the things we passed, such as Red Creek. Red Creek starts somewhere in Henrietta and ends at the Erie Canal in Genesee Valley Park.

Entering the Erie Canal
Entering the Erie Canal from the Genesee River, (E Mile 260.55) The bridge ahead is one of three pedestrian bridges within Genesee Valley Park crossing the canal

It was only a few minutes before we were paddling through the guard gate. The guard gate is designed to prevent flooding of the canal if the river floods. It is also closed in the late fall to allow the canal to be drained for the winter. Except for a small stretch near the park where the canal is running alongside the interstate, both sides of the canal are natural. A multi-use trail runs along the side of the canal on the north side, and the south side is often wooded. You will see a few privately owned small docks and a few kayak launch points, still, it is mostly nature that you see. We had one boat pass us, but other than that the water was flat other than our own wakes.

On The Water

We paddled maybe a couple of hundred yards from the Genesee Waterways dock to reach the Erie Canal and then 4 miles (straight line, I must have weaved some, because my GPS said it was farther) to Lock 33. We regrouped near the lock as we waited for the boat that passed us to travel through the lock.

kayaking the erie canal
Waiting for the gate to open (E Mile 256.40)

When it was our turn, we entered the lock.  As I mentioned, this was my first time using a lock in a kayak. While the state charges for commercial and recreational boating, kayaks and canoes are allowed to transit without a fee. Sorry SUP users, you have to portage around the lock.

Kayaking the Erie Canal lock 33
Taking our positions in Lock 33

I felt very little movement as we were lowered in the lock, holding on to the ropes kept us from drifting. It was just by looking at the kayaks on the other side that you could see the progress.

Kayaking The Erie Canal Henrietta Lock 33
Going Down
Are We There Yet?


Lock 33 Erie Canal
Time to get moving, down 24 feet

When the water level was down to the east side level, the gate opened, and we paddled out. It was another mile and a quarter until we reached Lock 32. Arriving at Lock 32, we unloaded at the Lock 32 Whitewater Park Dock ( a Genesee Waterway Facility at E mile255.29) and vans ferried us back to our starting point. I started my Fitbit when I entered the Kayak and stopped it when I got out. In total, including the time in the lock and waiting for everyone to get started, my Fitbit said we traveled 5.8 miles in 2 hours and 50 minutes.

While on the topic of distances on the canal, I would like to suggest getting the guidebook. You can download the book by sections or order the book and map section for just a $20 shipping charge. I have done both, I like browsing the hard copy guidebook and the maps are very informative. It gives distances between each bridge, locks and landing points. The “E Mile” notations above are from my copy of the guidebook.

NYS Canalway Water Trail Guidebook and Map Set. This mile-by-mile guide includes launch sites, paddler-friendly facilities and amenities, and places of interest for over 450 miles of waterway. Companion map set is water and tear resistant. An indispensable resource for paddlers!

The Experience Kayaking the Erie Canal

I often walk along the Canal Trail from Genesee Valley Park to Meridian Centre Park round trip and between lock 32 and lock 33 round trip. This was the first time I paddled this entire section. It is a different perception.

Genesee Waterway Center Kayaking around rochester

Kayaking the Erie Canal and entering the lock was great. The next group paddle they have scheduled is going to Corn Hill on the Genesee River, I hope to try that one as well.