What Happened Next
25 July 2010 | Morrisburg, Ontario
Beautiful - sunny and not too hot
July 24, 2010
We left Kingston at 0725 and motored merrily along the Canadian Middle Channel through the lovely Thousand Islands area. There wasn't any wind for us so we motored through one of the loveliest sailing areas in the world. Motoring did give a us a good chance to see as much as we could along the way, though. We saw rain in the distance but once again the weather gods were good to us.
Now for the what happened next. We had the auto-pilot on and it was doing a fine job. We came to an area where we were a little confused about the channel markings and so Bill unlocked the auto-pilot in order to hand steer. At least, he thought he had unlocked it but it went snap as he tried to hand steer. Now he had no problem steering by hand but the auto-pilot was out of commission. We arrived at the Sandra S. Lawn Harbor in Prescott, Ontario by mid afternoon and Bill immediately went to find out what the snap was. It was the bolt that locks the control arm on the auto-pilot to the rudder shaft that went snap. We were lucky and it was a fixable problem. Bill pulled the control arm off the rudder shaft and after four hours that day and three the next morning, we had it all fixed, properly aligned and bolted back in place. We did it all ourselves so it was the first fix that we really liked the cost of.
LESSON LEARNED: put some duct tape on the shaft of the lock lever so that we know that it is , in fact, completely locked or unlocked.
While at Sandra Lawn we took a break and ate at the local pub and did watch (for a few minutes) the sailors working at the top of the mast and yard arms of a square rigged tall ship that had been tied there on the wall for three days trying to fix their problems. So it isn't just us who has problems and, at least, we weren't having do fix it over 100 feet in the air at the mast head.
July 25, 2010
We left the dock at 1100 and motored along with everything working beautifully. The weather had finally broken and we had no prospect of rain or thunderstorms in the offing - a nice change from the last week.
As we arrived at the Iroquois Lock - the first of the seven Seaway locks - we could see a big Laker coming out of the lock upbound. After she passed us and as we neared the lock we saw that there was a power boat entering the lock and the green lights were on indicating that we were free to enter. So as with the start of the Welland locks last year, there was no wait for us. We simply proceeded to motor into the lock and tie up behind the power boat. We only had a 10 minute wait for another power boat to enter behind us and then we were set. The lock is a leveling lock rather than one that really lowers one down many feet so we only had a water drop of about 8 inches. It wasn't enough to even tell that anything had happened. And so we were through the lock and on our way by 1300. As we exited the lock there were several sail boats and power boats waiting to lock up the river. They had had to wait for the Laker to lock through and then us to lock through so they had been there awhile - not as lucky was we had been.
By 1430 we were tied up at the Crysler Park Marina in Morrisburg, Ontario where we will spend the night before heading out for Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec tomorrow. This is the first time that we have enjoyed the more typical cruising pace where we don't have an early start and do arrive in the afternoon and can relax and enjoy the marina and the folks we meet.
Our only daily oops was finding that a fender had carefully removed the cap on the cabin heater exhaust on the side of the hull. It probably happened when we had the strong winds in Kingston that really pushed us onto the dock. We will have to get another cap so we don't get water sloshing into the exhaust. But from the trauma standpoint this is can't even been called a major problem. Finding a cap may be fun but we'll work something out. Bill just said "We can give everyone a recap later." All of the work hasn't dulled his "pun"manship and, yes, I did groan when he said it.
BTW, if you would like to see some photos of the marinas I mention, go to marinas.com and do a search on the name. Because of our length we are haven't been in any of the slips that you will see but have been either on the T at the end a string of slips or at the gas dock. You can also look at the locks by searching on their names as well. Note that there are additional views available on the right hand side of the page.