Leg 23: New York to Great Lakes to New York
Precision, timing and patience: these meticulous elements are crucial to the success of Leg 23, as the canoe and her crew are set to encounter lock after lock on their first-time sail to the Great Lakes of North America. A lock is a complex waterway system used for raising and lowering watercraft between bodies of water of different levels on rivers and waterways.
Hōkūleʻa will travel from the New York Coast up the Erie Canal through locks and bridges, taking the Oswego detour reach Lake Ontario. Their route will take them through 30 locks to reach Lake Ontario! They will then travel back through the locks to return to New York’ Atlantic Coast.
The canoe first encountered the waterway lock system in March this year during her Florida sail. However, this current series of locks is the most extensive lock system that the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage has experienced, and the crew will take this time to learn the more intricate details about the physics of the lock system. Each lock lifts the canoe up to reach the water height of the water on the other side. Lock 17 – each lock is numbered – has the highest water lift – 40 feet! So far, the canoe has been elevated by the waterway locks by a collective total of 250 feet.
Leg 23 will bring Hōkūleʻa the furthest north that she will travel on the Worldwide Voyage.