A week ago, at 3 a.m., Benno unplugged the power cord from the dock of the Leamington Marina. Fall weather had arrived with high winds and colder temperatures some days before. Summer was definitely over. Time for us to head south to a warmer climate by retracing the route we had come in the spring. The marina officially closed the day before our departure on Oct. 15th, although the manager, Ronan Oliver, assured us that he would still be there until month end and the facilities could be accessed, but the windows were all boarded up, the planters and patio furniture mysteriously disappeared and all the colorful flowers had been ripped from the grounds. So we surrendered our slip to the seagulls as they seemed to own the place anyway.
A small weather window with calm winds got us across the lake Erie and the28 hour trip turned out to be uneventful. We arrived in Buffalo, NY at daybreak the following day and found the Video phone to call Customs and Border Protection, which provided a floating dock at the entrance to the Erie Basin. The check-in process for Canadians is pretty simple and a one year Cruising Permit was faxed to the boat yard for us to pick-up to which we were motoring next to un-step the mast. The rest of the day we de-rigged, dismantled and prepared the mast to be lifted out. In the morning it was hoisted with the crane of the boat yard while Benno and I guided it to rest on the deck where we strapped it into the cradle. Mid morning all chores were done and we got underway. The picture shows us entering the first lock where we were showered with blowing leaves from above.
Motoring along the Erie Canal sure is nice this time of year. We are rewarded with gorgeous views of the changing leaves.
While we were a bit in a hurry coming up the canal in the spring, motoring down we take some more time to enjoy the sights. In Pittsford, NY we tied to the town wall early afternoon and visited every tourist shop around the area, admiring the most amazing displays of wood creations and handcrafts.
Today we took the whole day off traveling. We tied Diesel Duck to the town wall in Herkimer, NY, hailed a taxi to the Remington Museum, which had been on Benno's "to visit" list, toured the town, shopped and dined out. Tomorrow it will be work again, but as you might guess, it's not too strenuous.