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The First Mate's Journal
Where to next?

Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Finally there
Mostly sunny, 70's
08/25/2008, Tonawanda (again)

Got up at 6:00, put the coffee on and thought about all the teachers convening on the building today to begin their in-services as well as start working on their rooms, etc... It feels strange not to be there this year. I'd be making and copying my syllabus, handouts, etc., etc., etc., and instead I spent the dayin my own personal "in-service": being hoisted up the mast to put the bridle for the hoist around the spreaders so that when they lift the mast out, they don't break the radar, ("hey can you see the mist from Niagara Falls?" "No, hoist me higher" D'wayne (the crane operator) said: You should be able to see the mist from the falls now!" "Okay" "Okay guys - I'm ready to come down now!" Hello? Hey no coffee breaks!" "Honey... Honey..."); helping to unstep the mast; settling it in on the deck; falling down the cabin stairs; then finally riding past Wardell's and going under the 17 ft bridges to finally - at long last - entering the Erie Canal.

It finally feels like we're on our way. We are now officially out of the Great Lakes, and I feel like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. We tied up on the Erie Canal and ran into Tonawanda (okay walked...) for pop, beer and to find a pharmacy.

I can't begin to tell you how great the guys at Rich's Marina were. I wish I'd have gotten all their names but the only one I know is D'waynes because when they called him I thought his name was Wayne. They assisted, when needed, and I learned a lot about the crane operations there. They didn't mind my questions and didn't rush us.

After we tied up on the Canal we walked to the Walgreens, Burger King, and the Beverage store. I walked over to the old lift, Railroad Bridge that goes over the water and climbed it to take a picture of Wayne sitting by the boat. I thought that it was no longer in use, but hour after I came down, an Amtrak train came speeding across, then later a long train carrying all manner of ores, etc..., glad I wasn't up there when they came by, I'd have been in the drink instead of having one with my hon...

Sat and watched the world go by for a bit on the park bench before going below. Wayne got the TV on and we were able to watch a couple of channels -it was good to see the news again, it's been awhile...

By the way - I've posted pictures and will add more today. The one on the blog is one Wayne shot of me attaching the bridle to the mast

08/26/2008 | Jackie Yaroch
Hannah says thank you for the warm wishes. She had a great 13th. Glad to hear from you guys. Keep up the writing. The kids and I are enjoying it. Stay safe!!

08/27/2008 | Ashley Smith
Hey Mrs. Aben, Wow sounds like your days are definitly being differnt but it sounds like you are haveing a really good time to :) Thats awesome! School will definitely be different with out you there but everyone would much rather you be happy where you are! School will always be apart of you and you can take all of us with you where ever you go in your heart and mind! We miss you and are so proud of you! Thank you for keeping us informed on whats going on and can't wait to read more! Have a wonderful day!! Stay safe love ya Ash
Happy Birthday Hannah
Hot Hot Hot and now.... wet wet wet
08/24/2008, Rich Marine, Buffalo NY

Hot, Hot, Hot, wet, wet, wet, humid, humid, humid at Rich Marina in Buffalo...

But on a brighter note - its Hannah's Birthday! Happy Birthday to you... happy Birthday to youuuuu... Hope it's a good one :)

Yesterday Wayne finished the cradles - nice wood to be found; Today the mast was de-wired, de-lined and de-rigged. We're officially ready to be demasted (please, please, please) and become a very slow moving power boat. Here's hoping that it doesn't rain here tomorrow morning when we're scheduled for destepping the mast.

We've met an awful lot of very nice people here at Rich's Marina. All very friendly and informative. Speaking about friendly, we walked up to the local West Marine (boat supply) and it was cloudy but we were told it wasn't going to rain. I had a feeling it would so closed the hatches but left the ports open - cautious but optimistic. The West Marine Store was awesome, probably the largest one I've been in yet. While shopping and chatting with Doug (who works there) about our plans and where he's been, he said "Do you hear that?" I said the air conditioning humming? He said no, it's raining... is your car parked near the door? Um no, we walked... Oh... We said we'll wait it our, it will quit soon. I told Wayne he gets the wet spot (we left open all the ports and it was reaaaallly pouring, thundering, and lightening - sigh)...

Doug said hang on, and grabbed his keys, I'll drive you back to the marina. Wow! That was so generous of him. A great example of niceness to it's hilt and of some of the people we've met so far.

We got back and from the car to the boat, got thoroughly drenched. The inside was floating too.
Mopped up and wrung out as much as we could but it's pretty wet and humid down in the cabin...

On a real bright note - I don't have to get up at 5 am for teacher inservice days tomorrow or the next or the next...

My inservice will be on the destepping of our mast (fingers crossed)...

08/26/2008 | Hannah
Hey guys,

How is everything in NY. Thanks for wishing me a happy birthday I really appreciate it. Have you guys got sea sick yet? I hope not.

(ttyl) Talk to you later,


Hannah :> ;)

Back to the Black Rock Lock to Rich Marina
08/23/2008, Tonawanda to Buffalo

Okay, a new day - that means another day full of possibilities again. Back up to the Black Rock Locke to look for Rich Marine (after I called to verify once again that they have a slip with power for us). This time we had to fight the Niagara current. Going down it, with the current, we hit 9 knots - unheard of in this boat! Coming back towards Buffalo we did a little over 4 knots running at 2500rpms. Left Smith Boys (thank you for the hospitality) around 9:30 am and got here some time after 12:00. Pulled in, tied up and went to the office to check in for the weekend. Mike showed us where we could look to see if there was any wood we could use to make a cradle for the mast, told us where the nearest West Marine was and other stores and wrote up a work order for Monday morning to have our mast unstepped. I'm worried to feel optimistic... We scrounged the yard, plugged in and Wayne is busy trying to build a cradle. Tomorrow we need to unhook all our connections and prepare for Monday morning. It's hotter than blazes here again today. 2 degrees shy of 100 in the cabin (yesterday it was an even 100).

Made a tossed salad and tuna salad for dinner and listened to the powerboaters partying at a homemade neon tikibar 10 boats down. Then we walked out to the Niagra River. It looks like a lot of the local kids like to hang out here on the cement breakwall and on the breakwall of the Black Rock Lock (try to say that 3 times on the radio without sounding stupid). Woosh - today is actually today - I believe I finally caught up - I love having computer power!

Tomorrow we need to finish putting up the cradles to hold the mast, unwire the mast if there's time and it doesn't rain - walk into town to the West Marine and see if we can find a drug store.

It's an adventure - miss you all... I just finished reading the comments from the start of the adventure - Love to you all

08/24/2008 | Laura
I feel like I'm there with you. I actually have a huge attitude toward Wardell's now.

Keep in the great journaling. I miss you.

Love you oodles,

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