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LAKE SUPERIOR TO THE BAHAMAS
OUR FIRST DAY ON THE ERIE CANAL
Cheryl
09/14/2010, Middleport, NY

Fortunately, our very first person encountered on the Erie Canal was not an indication of the remainder of people we have met. Unfortunately, I cannot in this blog use the specific four letters words I would really prefer to use to describe him. Here is the story: we were passing Wardell Boat Yard when we see a diesel fuel pump. We thought, this looks like a good place to stop and top off our tank........wrong. An old guy (Wardell??) comes out after we are at the pump and says "what can I do for you? (in a very unfriendly tone)", I said we need some diesel, his response (even nastier) was "we only sell diesel to people who have their mast unstepped here", hethen turned his back on us and he walked away. Two guide books list Wardell's as a place to stop to get fuel, they need to update it to say they will only sell you fuel if you step or unstep your mast there. Diesel locations are few and far between on the Erie Canal so the fact that he won't sell you diesel is a very important piece of information. I have read on other peoples blogs about the very negative experiences with this place, now we can be added to the count of people who think this guy is a TOTAL JERK.

Now for the nice people we have encountered - all the lock and bridge attendants have been very helpful. We our spending our first night at Middleport tied to the town dock. There is free electric, water, bathrooms and showers here. Nice little town. Not much in the way of a grocery store. I didn't realize that we would have so many bridges that need to be lifted even with our mast down. Looks like tomorrow we are going to try and get to Spencerport, with no locks but 12 lift bridges to go through.

09/14/2010 | sharron
Hi that guy sounded like a total jerk off, but at least you have meet more nice people isn't there a song called 15 miles on the erie canal, still waithing to see the hair cuts. stay safe love sharron
09/15/2010 | Ray
The missing link had the same experience at Wardell's. Are you going to the Annapolis show? Ray
09/16/2010 | Dean Bachelor
Now I understand why I got such an evil eye from "some little old dude" when I went bye there. I wanted diesel too but he looked mad from a distance, standing there staring me down, seeing my mast rig.
BUFFALO, NY
Cheryl
09/14/2010, Buffalo, NY

After a long, bumpy ride from Erie, PA we arrived in Buffalo, NY. We had our mast unstepped at RCR Marina. They did a great job and made the whole process very painless. We were all expecting to have a very tense, trying day but it wasn't. A very nice couple stopped by the boat for a chat, then she came back and brought us a bottle of wine that is home made by 3 of the ladies here at the marina - 'Three Sheets' is the name of the wine. Very, very nice of her to do that.

We are off to the Erie Canal this morning. Our first lock will be the Black Rock Canal in Buffalo and hope to make it as far as Lockport and Locks E34/E35 this afternoon. Lock hours just went to their reduced schedule so they now close at 5:00 pm each day.

FINALLY MADE IT OUT OF OHIO
Cheryl
09/12/2010, Erie, PA

Pulled into Erie at around 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Tall ships are here. Staying at Wolverine Marina. Leaving here in about a 1/2 an hour, our last day on the Great Lakes, heading for RCR Marina in Buffalo, NY where we will be dropping our mast.

09/13/2010 | Ray Miller
Glad you made it to Erie. Missed you leaving Geneva. I had to work, when I returned you were gone. Hope the 8 cases hold out for you. Ray in geneva( Irwin 37}
02/24/2011 | Dave
Ooh. That's the Baltimore Pride Schooner i think.
CLEVELAND AND ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME
Cheryl
09/09/2010, Cleveland, OH

I must admit I didn't think I would like Cleveland but have been pleasantly surprised. From what we have seen it is a nice city, clean and the people have been friendly. We did go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum yesterday. Dan and Mariann from 'Midori' joined us. After the museum we walked to the Warehouse District and had a good dinner at an Irish Pub. We spent about 5 hours at the Museum, could have spent a few more hours there but decided we were too hungry. Had a great time. Craig stayed on the boat and cleaned up the cockpit - thanks Craig.

Looks like we will be here at least another day. At this rate it seems like we will never get off Lake Erie but I was thinking the same thing about Lake Superior. So far this entire trip it has been a couple of good weather days then sit for 3-4 days, then repeat the same thing again. Yesterday the waves were coming over the breakwall, then the wind died a little, switched direction and started blowing again. Prediction is for 7 footers today. It is cold again, shorts are off and the sweats are on.

09/10/2010 | Kathy and George
Hi Glad to see you're making good progress. Lake Erie can be really difficult. Unpredictable weather and long runs between marinas. (We draw 5 feet) We enjoyed Edgewater Marina and the Airshow last September on our way south. The staff and people there were great.
SANDUSKY TO CLEVELAND
Cheryl
09/07/2010, Cleveland, OH

We had a very nice stay at Battery Park Marina in Sandusky, Ohio. Craig joined us on Saturday - bringing his 8 cases of beer, of course, Bill did manage somehow to find room for it all. Met a nice family there - Gary & Linda aboard 'Horizons' who will be leaving about the 15th to head south.

Left Sandusky on Monday but made it a short day and went to Lorain, OH. We stayed at Spitzer's Lakeside Marina. Not impressed at all. They put us at the end of the dock along with the TONS of bird shit and what looked like bones from dead birds. We went to the office and they said they charged $80 a night (absolutely way over priced) but since we had Boat US membership it would only be $60.00. Finally talked them into $50 based on the slip they gave us. While grilling dinner Bill & Martha aboard 'Eagle's Wings' pulled in. We met them at Port Sanilac on Lake Huron. They are heading home to Canada, going through the Welland Canal to Lake Ontario. We met a nice man, along with his dog Buddy, who is a security guard for the other Spitzer's marina. He drove us to the grocery store, then waited for us and drove us back to the marina.

We are staying at the Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland. Only $1.00 per foot for the first night and free the second night. As we were approaching Cleveland there was an air show going on that included the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. That was great to watch. Shortly after we pulled in two other cruising sailboats arrived from Sandusky - Jack & Kris aboard 'Renaissance' and Dan & Mariann aboard 'Midori'. We immediately knew they were going through the Erie Canal since both had their mast cradles already built, on the deck and ready to go - we were very impressed!! We got lots of great tips and even tried to talk Dan into building our cradle for us (ha ha). Both great couples heading to the Bahamas and we hope to see them again in our travels. Due to weather (AGAIN) looks like we may be here for a few days so we just may be heading for a Home Depot this morning to get lumber and nails to build our cradles while here. Tomorrow we may go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

09/07/2010 | Keith
Finally got around to reading your ongoing saga. Very impressed by your "blogging diligence"! Be happy you're out of L. Superior, as there are 12 ft. waves today.
Did you get to the R & R Hall of Fame?
09/08/2010 | sharron
Hi glad your trip is going good. where is the pictures of your hair cuts. be safe love sharron
LAKE ERIE – DETROIT TO SANDUSKY
Cheryl
09/02/2010, Sandusky, OH

We made it to Lake Erie, current location is Sandusky, Ohio. We planned on staying last night in Toledo, Ohio. Couple of miles out of Toledo Bill calls the marinas and Yacht Clubs - either no slips available or too shallow. So, we turn around and scramble to figure out where we should go. Ended up deciding to go all the way to Sandusky arriving at 1:15 am. It was a bit hairy at the end with all the buoys to maneuver through, basically on instruments only. We called ahead to Battery Park Marina letting them know that we would not arrive until very early morning. They gave me the security guards phone number so I could call just before coming in to give us assistance finding the slip in the dark. Worked out great, the security guard was waiting for us, guiding us in with his flashlight. So far, only positive things to say about the marina.

This is the marina we planned on staying at on Saturday night, waiting for Craig to arrive. This will give us a couple of days to rest up, clean up the boat and explore a little. I think we will try and locate a Sports Bar to go to this evening so we can watch the Vikings play on TV tonight. Looking at the weather we may not be able to leave until Monday, will have to see if forecast changes before then.

09/03/2010 | Craig Horn
Leaving in the morning...See you Saturday

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