Chapter 6.53 Albany to Niagara (continued)
We are frequently passing locks – must have entered more than 40 – most of them “Lock ups”, but a few “Lock downs” - The State employs 1 or 2 men at each of them, so that every thing is in readiness for the boats to pass up – never obliged to wait except when there are other boats ahead.
This locking work was rather fearful at first, but we soon became so interested that we liked to see them coming in sight - The rush of the waters is sometimes terrific as the bouncing against the sides of the lock as the boat rises, makes us start.
The passengers were always obliged to pass the “top”, but I generally stepped out on the small deck at the bows, nearly on a level with the cabin floor - There you are within a few feet of the flood as it rushes through the opening gates. The bright lanterns, which every boat is obliged to show, are place on this part of the boat, and lighted in good time every evening. We were very much struck with the custom that seemed so simple and beautiful. As soon as the lanterns were lit, and placed so that they may not shine in the eyes of the steersman, a beautiful snow white feather is placed just above each in such a manner as to catch the light feather upon it, serving to show to the man at the helm the very centre of the boat.