We Run Home & Warrior Dash
25 September 2011 | Annapolis, Maryland
Wiley and Merry
Faced with the reality that a hurricane had made this trip we planned impossible, we headed for Lake Cayuga and the marina where our boat would be left for haul out and shipment to Annapolis. The Erie Canal continued its panorama of beauty, the lockmasters continued to be friendly and helpful, but our progress down the canal did not have the same sense of purpose.We wrestled with a couple of blips in our progress in Newark - Merry's allergic reaction to a sting, Wiley throwing his back out, and finding that the entire bow of the boat had filled with muddy water as a result of a loose fitting in the water supply system. We thought for a few scary moments that our boat may actually be sinking as the bow was completely filled with water - however after pumping it out, cleaning, and repairing our fitting we discovered that we still float!!
We tied up along the wall in our next stop along the canal - in Lyons, New York over Labor Day weekend. It is an interesting situation, because you use the bathroom and showers at the fire department, walking past the firemen on duty in the Lyons 911 center each time. Merry had thoughts of the Firemen's Calendar - which unfortunately, were not realized. There were not many stores or restaurants, and most of what the town had to offer was closed. It rained much of the weekend; so we spent a lot of time reading on the boat. At last, the day after labor day it stopped raining, and we got underway. We enjoyed our last passage on the Erie Canal, and then turned onto the Cayuga- Seneca canal. The lock on this canal was a surprise - it was a "lift" rather than a "drop", and a pretty big lift too! We did the lock with a big excursion boat. We have turned into "real pros," when it comes to locks, however, as we got through without difficulty and proceeded onto Lake Cayuga.
Lake Cayuga is one of the Finger lakes in N.Y. It is beautiful - the lakes are set among rolling hills. The north end of this lake is very shallow, with a narrow channel, so we navigated carefully from "buoy to buoy". We went past the marina that we were going to leave the boat at where it would be hauled, because they had candidly told us that there were no stores or restaurants within miles of their location. We went five miles down the lake to another marian that we had called. When we got there, we found their office closed and no one around. The mariana was full of weed (our nemesis), and we ended up running aground and getting weed wrapped around the prop. This is how we spent the night- with our boat sitting in weed + mud. Wiley, the brave hero, went into the muck with mask and fins, cleared the weed off the prop, and "swam" a line across the fairway to a piling. he then used the sheet winch to pull the boat off so that we could get underway and get out of there! It had been Port Austin all over again!!
We then went back up the Lake five miles to Beacon Bay Marina, where our boat was to be hauled out. We found that the boat yard was just as spartan as described, but the folks that own the marina, and Larry who works there, were very friendly. It is an industrial facility - you have to walk around a backhoe and into a huge old building to use the bathrooms and showers. However, there is a little "community" of people who keep their boats there - they call themselves "the Red-Neck Yacht Club."
Rain, rain, and more rain!! It rained for two solid days, so we did a LOT more reading! Finally, the rain let up, and we lucked out! There is a small business at the Marina called "Mahoney Canvas" and Bill and Jim (the owners) dropped what they were doing and went to work fixing the "tornado damage" to our canvas - the bent tube, the rip in the Bimini. They did a great job, and the Bimini is "as good as new". They wanted to charge $54.00 for all this, but Wiley insisted on paying them $75.00. We readied the boat for leaving - taking down everything on deck and storing all below deck so that we could be ready to have the boat hauled while we were away.
Nickolas the son of the owners of Lockview Marina and Transport came (for a fee of $100.00) and took us to the airport in Ithaca, New York. Originally, we had planned on taking the AMTRACK to Chicago from Rochester. However, at 1:30AM we received a "robo-call" informing us that the train was canceled due to flooding in the East. After a long ride (about 12 hours) we made it home - and as Dorothy says, "there is no place like home".
We loved: being with family, watching the kids participate in the Warrior Dash, visiting with friends, seeing the pets, enjoying the garden, watching the Bears play, etc. We had to adjust to being able to run water without concern about how much was in the water tank, having our private bathrooms, being able to easily shop for groceries, run laundry whenever we wanted etc.
My niece Katie tells that she thinks of a "first world problem" - it is a minor complaint compared to what the rest of the world may be enduring. Her example was complaining about having to get up from a comfy bed, surrounded by the things she loves, ... when others do not even have a bed. So... we are thinking that as we look back to some of the craziness of this trip we remind ourselves just how lucky we are to have what we have and be able to continue enjoy the adventures of this trip. Some days it is harder than others to admit to our "first world problem" - but all in all we realize that how fortunate we are to go home and then be able to continue our trip.