This might figure into it (from Waterway Guide):
Erie Canal to open for two weeks in late November
Albany, NY (September 26, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Erie Canal will reopen to commercial
and recreational traffic for a two-week navigation
period that begins Thanksgiving Day. The canal has been closed in the Mohawk Valley since major flooding damaged several canal structures late last month.
The canal is projected to re-open on Nov. 24 and close on Dec. 8 to allow transient marine
traffic to reach their destinations this season. Two large tour boats are among the many vessels that have been stranded on the Great Lakes
Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated parts
of the state. Those boats will now be able to complete their journeys.