23 August 2012 | Oswego Canal
The Three Amigos Together
02 May 2013
Well...... I am the worst blogger there ever was if you can even say I blog.
It was a very exciting reunion in Marsh Harbour when Tapas, Allure and Silver Fox II were finally all back together. We had a lovely time just visiting and catching up then walking, shopping, drinking and eating! A little bit of 12 year old Eldorado was consumed!
We have had a wonderful although shorter than planned time here in the Bahamas. It will all be here for us next year. We are on our way back to the States to haul out for hurricane season. We plan on being in Toronto for most of that time. We are so looking forward to our son, Stephen and Lili's wedding in July.
Through the Canal
26 August 2012
Aug 23 - After "servicing" the boat (filling with fuel and water and getting a pump out) we headed south on the Oswego Canal. It was great as the lock masters called ahead and we didn't have to wait for locks to be ready for us. There is one large lake that you have to cross, Oneida Lake, that needs to be done in fairly settled weather as it is quite shallow. We reached the west side a bit late in the afternoon but since it was calm decided to cross. We stopped on the other side at Sylvan Beach about 7:00 pm and tied up to the wall not under a light(less bugs)! We had a lovely dinner at the Canal View Café where Jean the owner for 35 years hooked us up to her Wi-Fi.
Aug 24 - Coffee is made and we were ready to get under way but the boat wouldn't start!!!! Rick and Jim checked the connections on the starter motor and the solenoid and then tightened the nuts on the battery and it started. Shortly we were on the Erie Canal and had a lovely day, sunny but not too hot and not too much waiting for locks. The locks are now dropping us to sea level and it is easier going down than up. We stopped at Great Falls where Tom, the dock master, drove me to town and then waited while I did the grocery shopping. It was the fastest shopping I have ever done and probably will ever do in my whole life!
Aug 25 - Boat wouldn't start again!!! Starter motor?!? Rick and Jim worked again and ended up jump starting it and off we went. After leaving the dock you go along the canal and then on your left below you is the town! It is really quite a spectacular view. The lock itself is unusual as the bottom gate rises up to open and you have to go under it. The drop at the lock is the highest in the system at 45 feet.
Along this stretch there are parts where the New York State Thruway is on one side and train tracks on the other. My favourite pastime is to wave at the vehicles on the highway and get them to honk back and get the trains to blow their whistle. Success on all fronts!
We traveled to Lock 11 at Amsterdam and meet up with "Allure". We all had dinner at Russos, a great Italian restaurant, which also had Wi-Fi. They had just recently re-opened after all the flood damage from the hurricane last year. You could see the damage that was still be repaired as you went farther east. The food is good here but you have to put up with the CONSIDERABLE train noise that goes all day and night.
Aug 26 - Jim "tweaked" the starter motor and we were on our way. While traveling along Rick sourced and ordered a new motor to be delivered to us at Hop-O-Nose Marina where we were having the mast stepped. After going through the flight of five locks that drops you to the Hudson River we stopped at the bottom, Waterford. They have a welcome centre here along with power on the floating docks, washrooms, showers and Wi-Fi. Deanna and I grocery shopped on the other side of the bridge. Our Longo wheeled cart is invaluable for bringing heavy things back. There were several other boats on the docks that were also heading south. I'm sure we will see them along the way. The six of us went out for dinner in town and had a nice evening.
On Our Way
23 August 2012 | Oswego Canal
It has been very busy the past few weeks getting the house taken care of and the boat ready to go and Rick tying up things in the office. We had set a deadline for ourselves, which has its good and bad but we did leave on schedule. We have so many people to thank who helped in many different ways. It was very teary and emotional motoring out the lagoon at Queen City with so many of our friends on their boats, docks and the clubhouse blowing their horns, bidding us farewell and waving us on our way. As we headed out the Eastern Gap, leaving Toronto there was a beautiful sunset behind us.
The forecast was for light winds and seas which is how the evening did start out. Unfortunately the wind and seas continued to build during the night and it was a very bumpy and noisy ride. If we had been able to put the sails up (they were in their bags as they were coming off in a day) it would have been much more comfortable. It wasn’t a boring night though as we did a 180’ turn to miss a freighter and then at about 2:30 in the morning we lost our steering! Fortunately we have our good friend Jim Dow along with us for crew and the three of us were able to get things settled and Rick on the emergency tiller. Steering using the emergency tiller is not an easy feat and is very tiring. When Jim replaced Rick, he looked around and realized the autopilot might still work. So we checked it out and were able to get back on course for Oswego with “Auto” steering. By 2:00 Monday afternoon our friends Deanna & Ken Owen from “Allure” and their crew Jim Thorndycraft, were helping us tie up on the wall. It felt good to be safely tied up but we were all very hungry and tired.
After getting the boat settled and nice hot showers the six of us, as well as other QCYC members, Diane & Graham Segger from “Soulstice”, headed out for dinner. After dinner we went back to “Soulstice” for a delicious home baked dessert and coffee. We did apologize to our hosts for nodding off in our plates!
Tuesday was a busy day with taking “Allure’s” mast down in the morning and ours down in the afternoon. A couple of loads of laundry were also done and a few groceries bought. Around 6:30pm the third boat from our club heading south arrived. Dwight & Carol Hamilton from “Tapas” had gone from Toronto to Cobourg and then Cobourg to Oswego. We all had a lovely dinner together and then early to bed.
Wednesday “Allure” headed down the canal. We helped “Tapas” get her mast down, installed the new chain for the steering and settled the rest of our boat. Tonight we are out for dinner then tomorrow we will “service the boat” (fill with water, fuel and pump out) and then be on our way. We have come north on the Canal in 2005 and 2011 but the last time we travelled south on the Oswego and Erie Canals was in 1995 with our children. It will be a different experience this time without the children but we are looking forward to it.
The POD is packed
07 August 2012
All of our wordly goods, that don't go on the boat, are packed, loaded and have been driven away! Tomorrow we move onto the boat and the next part of the journey begins. We will no longer be dirt dwellers. We have a home but no fixed address!