On the Move Again Tomorrow
12 August 2009 | Port Colborne, Ontario
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We rented a car in Welland about 30 miles up the canal from our marina. It was Enterprise and they have a free pick up and delivery service which made it easy. By 1100 we were on our way over to Fort Erie and a trip over the international Peace Bridge. We certainly hit the traffic wrong going to the US side so we had a 40 minute trip over the bridge and through US customs.
We were headed to the FedEx at the airport in Cheektowaga, NY just east of Buffalo but took a side trip to drop Seth off at a mall and right there was a FedEx Kinko. We decided to try them and they were very helpful. We got the screw drive boxed up and sent by overnight air. Ouch! But it needed to get there ASAP. We also made arrangements to have it shipped back to them. The drive over to Buffalo saved us considerable hassle with shipping and Canadian customs. The owner of the marina suggested it as well as our friend Bill Rohde who passed this way last year.
We took Seth to the mall and hung around there an hour or so and then were on our way back to Canada. After going through Canadian customs at the end of the bridge we somehow missed the road that would take us back the way we came to Fort Erie and then Port Colborne. Oops! We ended up driving to Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. Our thirty minute drive back ended up being an hour. We did find out later that it is very easy to miss the turnoff so we didn't feel too dumb about missing it.
Friday, August 7, 2009
It was clean the outside of the boat day for Bill and Seth and do some laundry and clean inside the boat for Sylvia. We hadn't had a chance to really clean since weeks before we left so Eos really needed it. Bill and Seth started rinsing and then scrubbing the teak decks. It is a big job and they worked all day and still didn't get finished.
I did lots of little things - banking, record keeping, checking out the future route and possible places to dock and anchor. We will have to continue pushing it but we should be able to get to the US East Coast by the first week or so of October - the weather gods permitting and no more hold ups. We were hoping for a little slower pace up the St. Lawrence but we are where we are and time is moving on.
We heard early evening from Alpha Marine that they had the steering fixed and just needed to know how to ship it. They said it would be ready to ship out on Tuesday but I asked them if they could get it out for pickup on Tuesday since that is when we are taking Seth over to catch his flight home.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
More deck work for the guys - finishing up the scrubbing and then bleaching most of the teak ready to put on the treatment. They got most of it done amid the bouts of sprinkles. There was only the cockpit and it's side decks to be done another day. Of course, they had the hatches closed and that was the day I decided to go after the floors inside. It was HOT but I got them clean and looking nice again. They haven't looked this good since Heinz and Denise at Barker's cleaned them up before the Bon Voyage do.
It was out to supper and some place too cool off. The last few days the weather has been hot and muggy during the day and then thunderstorms over night to add to the humidity for the next day. Lovely!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Finally a day to relax and play tourist. We took the Niagara River Expressway up the Canadian side of the Niagara. It was a very pretty drive right on the river with lots of lovely homes to gawk at. We went to the Falls Center on the Canadian side. The falls and the rapids were truly spectacular. We kept wondering what the first humans to go down that river thought when they came upon those rapids and heard the roar of the falls. Pretty scared we decided. We didn't go to the US side and looking across I don't think we missed much. The Canadian side has the best view of the rapids and the falls as well as parks and the Visitor Center right on the river.
Seth took a day package so he could ride the Maid of the Mist up as close to the Falls as it goes. It was something to see the Captain gun it into the whirling waters and then hold it there. But the real treat was watching him slowly turn her bow, let the water grab the boat and turn her the rest of the way and then shove it out into the river. They really know how to handle the boats in those conditions. Seth took a tour under the Falls and saw some films and went on the River Mist walk (I think that is what it was called). Anyway, it was a full day for him from 1230 to 1900.
Bill and I lazed and just watched the Falls and the wonderful passing of so many interesting and diverse people. We heard more non-English languages then English. They have a restaurant that hangs right over the Falls where we lunched. They had probably one of the best Greek salads we have both had in years. And, of course, the view was spectacular.
We re-connected with Seth at 1900 and then drove back, stopping for a Chinese buffet on the way. We were all tired but had had an enjoyable day.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I spent Monday figuring out how to get a hold of the Canadian charts for our chart plotter. I tried to download them but the internet here at the marina just wasn't fast enough. So I made arrangements through Furuno and Sailboats, Inc at Manitowoc, WI to have the SD-cards shipped to the same address where the auto steering is being shipped. We heard from Alpha Marine that they would get to us on Tuesday. Yeah! Only one trip to Buffalo is needed.
Seth got busy packing and then figuring out how to get the pics from our camera to our PC to his Face Book page.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It was get up at a decent time, clean up, take the boat over for a pump out and diesel fill prior to taking off to Buffalo. This time we hit the traffic perfectly and we were over the bridge in no time. We took Seth to the airport and dropped him off. He was to be there an hour and a half early but it was more like two and a half to three hours early. He was fine with that. He had books to read and preferred being early rather than taking a chance of just getting there on time. We had to get over to FedEx and pick up our packages.
The packages were both there waiting for us and they took a personal check for the COD on the steering. They wouldn't take a credit card but would take the check. Interesting, to say the least. We headed back to Canada and this time were smart enough to ask the Customs official how to get to Fort Erie. Certainly was a much shorter trip back than last time.
Bill did more work on the boat while I made sure we had the requisite $200 Canadian for the Welland Canal passage on Thursday and did some grocery shopping while we still had the car.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Bill had wrenched his knee several days ago and it is getting much better - almost back to new. We really didn't want him to do it in again. We got one of the men at the marina to help Bill put the unit back in the steerage compartment. It was only an hours work and well worth the money. Bill then reran the wires and got it all hooked up.
In the meantime, I was over at the public library where they have high speed internet. I had tried to download the MaxSea Time Zero program which works on our Pc and can then connect up with the same NavNet 3D SW on the Furuno chart plotter. Again the marina internet just couldn't hack it. After a bad download of the zipped file requiring another 30 minute download and then a Chinese fire drill with the Furuno and Sailboats, Inc fellows trying to get the unlock code to work, I finally achieved success after 2 hours at the library.
I picked Bill up and we drove the 30 miles to Welland to return the car and get a return ride to the marina. Bill got things all tied back down and ready to take off tomorrow. I installed the SD card charts into the chart plotter and then did a couple of loads of laundry. Still have to make sure those kinds of things are taken care of at the easiest places.
And so we are off early to transit the Welland Canal. It should be an interesting day. We are hopeful that there won't be much commercial traffic so we can complete it in 8 hours rather than the possible 12 - 14 it can take. We have a berth at the Port Dalhousie marina for tomorrow night. It is just 3 miles west of the exit from the canal and was recommended by Bill Rohde as a good place to stop after the all day transit.