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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Crossing Oneida Lake
Partly cloudy high 80s
09/03/2008, Sylvan Beach

Partly cloudy but calm out this morning. We didn't leave until 9 am but the lake was pretty calm all the way across. There was mostly fisherman out today, and mostly in the channel where we had to stay. We got across the lake in 3 hours (hey that was pretty good - 5-6 knots is our cruising speed remember). After getting in we tied up to the wall and I was amazed at the place.

As you approach Sylvan Beach, it looks like a carnival is set up on the port side of the boat. There's a long stretch of beach, boardwalk and an amusement park. It's a quaint little coastal town with a feeling of "the past" about it. Where we tied up there were cottages just down from the small, deserted amusement park. I was shocked to find you could actually walk through the park while there was nobody there. We wandered through it - it had a fun house with huge scary clown faces painted above it looking down at you, a target shooting gallery, arcade, roller coaster, tilt o wheel, tea cups, gravity drop, carousel, Ferris wheel, etc... like the old Edgewater, or Coney Island. As you walked through it- it was eerie seeing all the lemonade stands, cotton candy and ice cream stands just sitting there empty. It left me feeling sad to see it standing so empty. I can imagine this place in the summer when it's open and the beach is hopping! Everything is filled to capacity.

They have a couple of very nice restaurants right in front of the amusement park on the canal and we at at the Canal View Café (they have a wonderful view of the lake for sunsets - glorious). It's a wonderful old restaurant with memorabilia going back to the 1800s of life here along the lake and canal. Full menu with lots of nostolgia and atmosphere - the bygone days of Sylvan Beach. We both got the clam dinner with potatoes, salad and rolls - very reasonable price $9.99 but the beer was $3.50 and ice tea $2.00 - yikes - if you come here great food but check out the drink prices before ordering.

From Baldwinsville to Brewerton, NY
09/02/2008

The pic is of the Norma Fay 3 musketeers :)

Today we decided to see if we could find bulb replacements for the mast while we have it down.

Two locks today #24 took us down 12 feet, then, surprise, surprise the next one (23) took us up 7 feet. I wasn't prepared for that - it was a shock instead of holding on to stay close to the wall, we had to exert a lot of strength to keep the boat off the lock wall!!! Sore muscles tonight... The turbulance of the water coming into the lock had quite a lot of force to it.

Stopped at the Winterhaven Marina for fuel, pumpout, water, and to check their stores but only found one bulb that matched ours. While there, I spotted Ombre' Rose on a travel lift, so they must be leaving their boat here for the winter (indoor storage). We got into Brewerton a little after 4 pm and walked into town to the Marine 2000 store. Very nice fella there - didn't have anything we needed but was willing to look up the part numbers for us for the next stop we came too. Directed us to Rosies "the best pizza in town". It actually wasn't bad but couldn't hold a candle to the one in Put-In-Bay. The kids making the pizza reminded me of my kids at school - made me wonder how they are. Today was the first day back to school, and I'm not there. Love the first day back - I don't sleep all night - but love hearing the kids as they come back all excited. Hope this is a good week for everyone - students, teachers, secretaries, etc.... Rumor has it that Elaine functioned quite well without Mary and Me LOL...

To all my school mates and chums and students - miss you all and am thinking about you today.

Tomorrow we cross Oneida Lake, the largest lake in NY. We've been told to go early and only if it's calm because it's shallow, and the power boaters really kick it up. So enough for today.

Newark to Baldwinsville, NY
Sunny, 80s
09/01/2008, 43o09.351 x 76o20.112

Happy Labor Day

Well another 5 locks down today: Locks 28B, 28A, 27, 26, 25; 53.6 miles and 9 ˝ hours.
We started out at a little after 8 am. The first lock (28B) was 2/10ths of a mile from where we docked and you could see it. Each one-I come in very slowly - probably drove Capt'n Mike crazy but I sure hate getting it wrong. They went ahead of us after the 3rd lock - I think their boat goes faster than ours - it looks a lot lighter and sits higher on his water line too (ours sits below the waterline in the front and at the waterline in the back). We passed by the remains of the historic Richmond Aqueduct - it was once the longest one on the Erie Canal and now stands deserted but still majestic looking with it's 6 arches.

It was a terrific morning - great scenery again and I was really looking forward to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge until we got there. Once in there I couldn't wait to escape the wildlife - it was all power boaters, pontoons and personal watercraft (what I call mosquitoes) all kicking up wakes and as I'd try to go over their wakes they'd look at me like I was stupid. Haven't they heard of NO WAKE around other vessels or around docks?!?! I swear that three large ones were racing and trying to roll us to get us to lose our mast so after the first two tag teamed me and I was swerving our 19,000 lbs to cut through the wake and not roll us - the others had to slow and the woman passenger gave me a dirty look - like what? Are you stupid? I gave her the same look back and realllly wanted to give her something else too... Even the NY State police boat was wreaking havoc with Mike and us.

So needless to say, the Wildlife in this refuge is non-existent except for the two legged kind with to much horsepower and not enough brains. Why don't they make everyone that gets behind these large monstrosities take tests and get licenses? By the time we got into Baldwinsville I was feeling a great amount of "road rage". I reaaaalllly felt like turning into one of those mosquitoes that circled us. Splat! But Wayne said: then you'd have to clean it off the boat. Hmmmm.... I actually wouldn't mind (does that say anything?)

It was good to see Norma Fay at the South wall when we approached Baldwinsville I needed refuge from all the wildlife behind us and was really greatful to see them there and for their assist in bringing us in... After tying up and comparing road rage notes, I grabbed Swee'Pea for another of my Where's Swee'pea pictures. I'd made a tuna & macaroni salad during the day for dinner and now am unwinding.

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