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Plugged back into Reality
05/21/2010, Etobicoke Yaht Club, Toronto

We decide to raise the mast at Oswego and spend the day tightening rigging, putting the sails back on and generally turning Excusme back into a sailboat. Then we docked at the Oswego Yacht Club for a free sock but the showers we closed and the water to the docks was turned off. We decided to start the 20-24 hour motor then and left the harbour as the sun was setting.
It has been two years sine we have been docked and electrical cord plugged. It was nice to be greeted at our old club, Etobioke Yacht Club by family and friends. We have had a lot of good wishes since we have been back and there will be a lot of story telling for awhile. It is a bit surreal as it seems like nothing much has really changed and that we have only been gone for a short holiday. I think I may have to work on a short slide show for all the loyal readers of the blog. Sometimes it seems the readers remembered the dates and stories better than we do which shows some of the interest in my ramblings.
We borrowed a car to go to the mall and get a new cell phone and a haircut for Scott. We went for the month to month plan for one phone and the long business look for Scott.
We are cleaning up after the mostly delivery sailing from Mexico. It is hard to believe we were there about three weeks ago and have had some fantastic sailing and a quick trip through the lock system.
I will try to get some more photos on the blog and stayed tuned as we look for cars, jobs, and a smooth entrance back into the normal life.

05/21/2010 | Jim Lea
Hi Scott & Lori.
Just reading your blog and enjoying it. We were in Belize last year (2008/2009) and plan to head back down this fall/winter.
Would you please share your waypoints through Turneff? I have been through on a dive boat, but was hesitant to head in with Estelle, even though we draw 5'.


Jim Lea
s/v Estelle
Bristol 41.1
05/16/2010, Oswego

We are docked just before the last lock to Lake Ontario. It is sunny and warm and we are taking the time to clean the remnants of salt water off the mast fittings before putting the mast up tomorrow. We were lucky to get through the lock system because a couple of days ago a huge motor yacht was being delivered north and they were hurrying to get into a lock. They threw up a huge bow wave that broke over the wall in front of the lock and actually broke the lock door. There were a couple of boats that were already in the locks and we heard it was really rough and one got damaged. Apparently they worked late into the night to get those four boats through. The lock master radioed to us and another boat that we would not be able to get through and to dock for the night.
The next day we were able to get into the dock through the one door that was able to open. Our friends in a power cat we just behind us and their width is 17 feet and they had one foot clearance on each side. Don't know when the lock will be fixed.

Moving up
05/14/2010, Erie Canal

We have moved up a couple of hundred feet in elevation so far. We have made it through Lock 18 moving west and have docked for the night. It would have been tight to make it to the next lock before they close at five (early season hours 7-5) but Lock 18 radioed to say that the next Lock is having mechanical difficulties. Hopefully it will be fixed by the morning as we plan to start at six and try to get there before they open for seven. We are not making too many miles a day in comparison to sailing a twenty four hour day but we are moving on and having a good time.
We are joking about the separation anxiety we will have once we are no longer joined at the hip and together 24/7. We forget how different our lives have been from 'normal' for the last two years but as we meet different people through the lock system we realize how far we have traveled and how much we have seen.
Yesterday the weather was great, sunny and dry. This morning it misted a little and then was sunny again. Everyone is in good spirits and hopes that summer is here to stay! With the engine running all day the hot water is plentiful and we have lots of power. We did laundry at the last town and have enough clean clothes to make it to Toronto.
Going now to check out the town of Herkimer.

05/20/2010 | Dale
What an amazing trip! I look forward to chatting when your back.
Taking a left
05/12/2010, Waterford, NY

After traveling along the Hudson River for two days we took a left onto the Mohawk River and tied up on the Waterford town wall. We spent the night and found a great restaurant with salads. Not the typical dish to be envied but these are in short supply in the Caribbean and these were great.

Last Atlantic sunset for a while!

It was perfect conditions for the last stretch of our circumnavigation of the north Atlantic. The winds had diminished to the point that we could still sail along with all the sails up and with the 1 knot current pushing us home we were moving along at 7 knots. The seas were tranquil, as if to say good bye and really we were not so rough after all. I will remember this sail for a long time and am already forgetting the crossing with the rough seas.

We are anchored in Great Kills Harbour, New York amongst all the empty mooring balls. We took down the sails today in anticipation of moving up the Hudson where we will have to get the mast taken down. We didn't have a lot of time to look around and explore on our south bound journey through the Erie Barge Canal system but the locks only open to five this early in the season so we will have some more time.

05/10/2010 | Tor Vesterlund
Scott, give me a call 613 476 9055 or cell 416 807 2914
May 10th 2010

We had another great overnight sail from Key West to Miami. We think the boat sails faster after cutting off the wings from the keel. We stayed ahead of the Amel 54 and only turned our motor on to enter the cut. The Biscane Key Park was pretty cool, we motored through the narrow channel between some of the remaining slilt homes. As the shallow flats are now a national park the cottages that are built on slilts are not allowed to be repaired and after each hurricane less and less remain. After a long night of sailing we were lucky to get a spot in the crowded anchorage as a boat had just moved to tie up to the wall.
Within a hour of anchoring, the anticipated storm arrived early and the fun really started to happen. As usual we had laid out at least 100 feet of chain and backed down to 2000rpm to set the anchor. We were waiting to see where the boat would settle before taking up some scope if needed. Of the ten boats in the small harbour five were to drag. The Amel 54 whom we had been traveling with was one of the first and I think they were either relaxing or sleeping after their long sail. People were screaming and I radioed over (on both 16 and our buddy boat channel) that they were dragging. At one point another cruiser was trying to fend off their stern and then fell over the life lines and from our view looked like he was going to get impaled. Then four more boats in their back corner of the anchorage started to drag. After the Amel realized his steering wheel was tied off, he motored at full steam backwards, black smoke billowing out of the exhaust trying to avoid the rest of the boats. Two boats collided without serious harm. With the wind blowing 40 knots plus the five boats were powering through the anchorage just barely missing one another. Those of us on the five boats which were holding firm stayed in our cockpits with the motor idling in case our anchors broke free as well. After unsucessful attempts to re-anchor three of the boats went to tie up to the wall. One boat kept driving around the anchor with their anchor dragging in the water, he would try to anchor but would drive ahead and pull the anchor out again. We could also hear the lady on the next boat screeching at the top of her lungs for everyone to stay away. All in all a quite exciting morning.
A few hours later it was all calm again and even more boats started to arrive and anchor so close they would swing with mere inches. We checked the weather again and only stayed the one night before moving on to a place where people knew what the heck they were doing.

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Who: Lori and Scott
Port: Toronto, Canada
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