Monday, June 4, 2012

June 2012

June 1, 2012

Woke up to a cool, foggy morning.  I think it is a good thing we decided to stay over.  Will get some things done on the boat.  Joy slipped on the steps to the Galley.  Hurt her pride mostly (pride my ass, my arm is black and blue maybe my ass too but I'm not looking cause it was already sore from all the bike riding).  I did the same thing a couple of weeks  back.  Might need to do something about the carpet on the stairs (or I should quit cooking).

June 2, 2012

About 10 of us got together and took a trolley ride around the town.  Got to see a lot of Victorian style buildings and houses.  The tour guide seemed to know her houses pretty well.  I guess she gives the tour a lot.  We enjoyed it a lot.  Had lunch at the Pilot House restaurant on the shop mall in downtown.  Great time.

Got back to the boat about mid afternoon and took a hard earned nap.  This is hard work.  Afterwards, checked on the girls in the engine room and changed the fuel filter on the starboard engine.  Going outside to Atlantic City tomorrow and the filter on that side looks a little suspect.  Would like not to have any problems.

Joy is having problems uploading pictures to the blog.  Our Wifi card seems to drop a signal just about time the photos are finished.  Will keep trying.  Maybe we can find a better connection when we get to Atlantic City.

Got together for a pot luck dinner on the dock with all the boats.  Good food, good wine, early evening, early morning tomorrow.

Nightly docktails

Linda & Ed from Sea Smoke

Marc & Michele from Marc's Ark

Marc's Steak and all the rest of the food - yum

Ross and Laura from The Zone

Bob and Lynda from Erika Lin

Craig and Ginny from Brown Eyed Girl

Mary Kay and Rich from Native Son

June 3, 2012

Pulled in the lines at 6:00 and headed to Atlantic City.  Seven boats in  all and it looks pretty neat leaving the marina.  Went past the Coast Guard Station and out the inlet and turned North.  Mother Nature has smiled on us it seems.  The sea is pretty calm, light west winds and long slow rollers.  Almost no chop at all.  Beautiful day and clear skies.  Saw a few Dolphin on the way.

About half way to Atlantic City the winds have picked up and we had a little chop.  Nothing bad, just a little more roll than we had on the first half of the trip.  The port engine started to sputter a little.  The synchronizer  would not keep them in sync real well.  Took them out of sync and ran them without it for a while.  It got worse and finally I figured out that I should have changed fuel filters on both engines yesterday.  Shut the engine down and changed the filter while Joy drove on the port only.  Started it back up and all is well.

Got to Atlantic City and things are really busy.  It's a beautiful spring day and everyone seems to be out.  Tied up at the Farley State Marina and paid the highest rate yet on the trip.  I understand we will top it in New York when we get there.  This marina is part of the Golden Nugget Casino complex.  We are docked backed up to about a 200' boat called the "Boardwalk".  Real pretty.  We are also right next to the outside restaurant and bar.  They have a band or some music playing really loud (glasses were walking down the counters the music was so loud).  It won't bother me as I don't hear a thing once I am inside the cabin (or any other time mostly - hmm may be a message in that).

The group got together and took a Jitney (small bus system) to the Boardwalk at the beach.  Had a beer at an outside bar and generally looked around.  I am glad I went to see it, but it did not take long to get my fill.  Atlantic City is not like Vegas and appears not to be very prosperous past the Casinos.  Took a cab back to the marina.

Convened the afternoon docktail party and discussed the plans for tomorrow.  Our goal is Sandy Hook and the weather is questionable at best for a few days.  Our fall back goal would be Mansquatan Inlet.  After talking with Erika Lin who went on today as they are short timers on their way home, the marina there is just as expensive and not as comfortable.  Some serious discussions and few beers later it was decided to stay here in Atlantic City.  We'll try to leave on Wednesday when the weather looks better.

Joy grilled some steaks for dinner.  Wonderful.  Went over to Native Son with Marc and Michele as Rich and Mary Kay had said that they were going to go on tomorrow anyway.  Got over to their boat and thankfully they had changed their minds.  A thunderstorm came up and we had to run back to the boat and button things up.  Too late, we all got wet.  Early to bed (10:00 pm).

Trip 44.5 miles, 9.4 mph avg, 11.4 mph max, 4:43.

Kismet with Beth & Dean at the helm


Amusement Park in Ocean City (I think)

Atlantic City from a distance

We're starting to get closer 

Good picture of Native Son with Rich driving and Mary Kay in her elevated seat on the port side

We saw signs that said you had to rent the beach - very strange

Across the water they appear to be able to drive onto the beach and boy were they having some parties

Appears to be a nice bridge walkway

until right here - oops

June 4, 2012

Just an excellent day to spend at the dock.  Wind was howling, thunderstorms coming and going, and just in general a poopy day.  Rode with Rich and Mary Kay to Waterside Marina so Rich could buy some fuel filters for his Cummins engines.  They did not have any Caterpillar parts so I did not get any.  The place was across the river in Ocean City and the cab ride cost $82.00 making those filters the most expensive on record.  They will be nice to have if he needs them on the water where there are no stores.

Had drinks on Marc's Ark later that afternoon as the weather is so sloppy.  We are sitting tomorrow and the  topic of conversations was naturally the next stop.  It is a long ride to Sandy Hook and Native Son might not be able to make it.  Marc's Ark is reluctant to go that far also.  They are considering stopping in Manasquan.  Joy and I have decided to go to Sandy Hook.  "Git er dun" and keep moving.

Went into the Golden Nugget Casino and played a little craps.  Stood next to a guy and watched him win probably about $4k in about an hour.  That does not include the money he won for the dealers which was probably about $500.  I on the other hand lost $100.  Nobody said life was fair.

Had dinner on the boat.  Got to bed about 9:00 and the wind was still up and the boat is moving around pretty good.  Woke up about 2:00 and went out and retied the lines.  Went back to bed and slept better (unfortunately now, the cats and I are awake - thanks Jim).

June 5, 2012

We are still sitting today, but the weather has cleared up some.  Still pretty breezy.  Tomorrow looks pretty god and Thursday looks even better.  Plans are becoming better finalized and we are going to head to Sandy Hook.  Tomorrow will be a loooooooong day.  Craig on "Brown Eyed Girl" is trying to find a marina to take 4 of us.  The Zone talked to "Next to Me" who had been anchored outside the marina.  They left yesterday and stopped in Manasquan and got beat up pretty bad.  Don't want any of that.  Plan is for lines in at about 5:30 and it will take about 9 to 10 hours.  I am still making back up plans to stop in Manasquan if things go sour on us during the day.  Weather looks good so we'll see how it goes.

Joy "eliminated" the gray I have given her on this trip so far and used the shower on the boat today for the first time.  We have been using the marinas along the way up until now.  (Maria where are you when we need you?)  We are still learning things about this boat.

Sunset is always pretty

June 6, 2012

Wow, what a long day!  Pulled the lines at 5:30 and headed for Great Kills off the New York Harbor.  Crowd includes "Brown Eyed Girl", "Kismet", "The Zone", and "Jim's Joy".  Native Son and Marc's Ark are going to leave later and stop at Manasquan.  Things were really rolling a lot.  Long slow 4' to 5' rollers from the beam.  The cats got sick after about 10 minutes and pretty much hunkered down all day.  Things got a little better as the day went along, smoother and less side rolls, but still kept it up all day.  Seas were smooth just back and forth, slowly, all day.  Until we got to Sandy Hook and we ran into a 2+mph southerly current and a wind from the south and things got real choppy in the Harbor.  Finally arrived at Nicholsons Marina.  I guess they really don't care much about transients around here.  No monitoring of any radio frequencies.  Very few amenities.  Docks are marginal. Just give us your $2.00/ft and leave us alone.  Oh, and make sure you're on time next time so we don't have to work 5 minutes late.  Typical New York attitude, but, I think this is still New Jersey.  I need a beer!

But so is sun rise.
Mischief and Midnight are starting to adjust and ride beside me at least until the water gets rough and Mischief runs away

Wonder where he puts the fish he catches?

Another beautiful sunset - this time at Great Kills, NJ - 

Trip 99.4 miles, 9.6 mph avg, 11.7 mph max, 10:19.

June 7, 2012

WOOOOOOWWWWW what a day.  Left the marina in Great Kills at 7:00 and headed for New York City.  Clear blue skies and little wind.  What a view.  The ferries were everywhere and bouncing around like ping-pong balls.  Went by the Statue of Liberty.  Wow again.  Stopped in at Liberty City Marina and took on 287 gal of fuel at 4.10/gal.  Ouch!!!!! (You do the math, my calculator doesn't go that high.  Unfortunately, the marina could figure it out).  Once back in the harbor we bounced around a lot until we got past the main city area where the ferries run.  Then the river turned real smooth.  Beautiful ride up.

Rode past the the "Intrepid" with the shuttle "Enterprise" on the bow (Joy was burning up the camera taking pictures).  Another great shot.  Had an incoming tide and rode it all the way up to Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton on Hudson, NY.  Got here about 1:00 and settled in.  Had drinks under the Gazebo at 5:00 and met some new folks.  We're going to stay here and do some work on the boat.  Oil change, clean etc.  Hope some friends will catch up.  Probably leave here on Monday. (I took over 1,000 pictures of this ride today - some from the NJ side and some from the NY side so there are far more pictures this time for you to see.  I have left out most but how can you describe this city with out all the pictures?)

The beginning of sunrise 
Sun rise and our trip into NYC
The first bridge we will go under when we head up the river to NYC
The lighthouse near the entrance to NYC
Some small structure just before the bridge
NYC in the distance
Fort Wadsworth on NJ side

I probably took 30 pictures from various angles - what a beautiful site from the water!

This is our boat "Jimsjoy" taken of us passing by while I was taking pictures courtesy of Laura on "The Zone" 

I just love it when I can capture shots like this

Jim said this is for golf practice?

Space Shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid

Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton on Hudson, NY

Trip 55.3 miles, 10.2 mph avg, 12.6 mph max, 5:24.

June 8, 2012

Spent the day at Half Moon Bay.  Changed the oil in the engines.  Steve the Dock Master hooked me up with Mark Zoeller who got me 15 gal. of oil and delivered it to the boat.  He also took the used oil and filters and disposed of it.  Worked out pretty good.  Took most of the day.  I need to put a new impeller on the Reverso Pump.  It took forever to pump out the port engine.  Could only get Rotella T on such short notice so I used it.  Had dinner with the group at a local pizzeria.

June 9, 2012

Rainy day but little wind.  Might be a good day to travel.  Everyone is staying in the Marina, but Joy and I have decided to go to Kingston.  Finally got up with Steve to pay the bill, pumped out the heads on the boat and headed north.  Passed a couple of barges and caught up with Native Son about West Point.  Lots of trash and logs in the river and I have to do a lot of dodging.  Otherwise a good trip.  Got a good push most of the way and made it to Kingston in good time.

Kingston is a pleasant surprise.  They have worked very hard at the City Marina to make the boaters feel right at home.  The facilities are a little rough, but the reception was very enthueastic.  Only real objection I heard from anyone is the Marina is right under a very active bridge and there was some traffic noise.  I could not hear it from the salon so I was not bothered by it.  Tied up behind a local boat called the Patty Ann which is a Mainship and looks just like Marc’s Ark.  Very friendly folks.  Joy and I walked around a little to see the area.  Ate on board and went to bed.

We have been amazed at all the trains in this area - both freight and passenger

Apparently Sea Planes are pretty popular as well

Wow West Point was spectacular - it was a shame we couldn't tour.

This is what is referred to as a river gator and boy are there lots of them to dodge

unbelievable scenery

way to much work - should add a trolling motor

right in the middle of the channel we ran into a regatta - oops

We have come across the most wonderful lighthouses on this trip. They look like they could be doll houses from a distance.

These are just so beautiful and different from what we are used to.

Hmm, looks just like home.

These guys are EVERY WHERE!

June 10, 2012

 Another Chamber of Commerce day.  Bright sunshine, clear skies.  The locals are out in their skulls and kayaks and the river is getting very busy for a Sunday morning.   The Patty Ann is leaving today and most of our traveling companions are due to arrive as well.  Joy and I got up slowly and went to the Welcome Center around 10:00 and looked around.  Afterwards we walked through an Antique Shop and went to lunch at a Mexican Restaurant.  Wonderful place and wish we had one like it back in Savannah.  After lunch, 2 margaritas, 2 Sol’s, walked back to the Marina and found everyone had arrived.  Marc’s Ark had a rough time getting the power right and had to move to a new slip.  Finally got it right.

Patti Ann (Looked just like Marc's Ark)

After everyone was settled in, we walked to the Marine Museum which is right on the waterfront.  Real nice exhibit of boating and industry history of the local area.  I thought the Ice Boats were pretty neat.  Later had docktails on “One September”.  “Next to Me” has joined the group and it was nice to see them again.  Went to dinner at a very nice restaurant.  These places are the size of small pubs in downtown Savannah so I am amazed at how they set up a group of 10 so quickly and handle it.  It was a great meal.

Sunset in Kingston, NY  - the end of yet another beautiful day in a nice town with new friends

June 11, 2012

I lead the group out as I need to move before anyone  else can get out of their slips easily.  Destination is the Albany Yacht Club.  Weather is good and things go well.  Passed some barges which were pushing a lot of water.  Pretty smooth trip however.  I was taken at how the river changed from being a rural, country scenic look to a working, active commercial river around one turn.  The change I thought was pretty dramatic.

We have been having a problem with one of the cats and finally found out which one.  When you have three and they leave you little unwanted presents in undesirable places it is often difficult to determine which one it is.  They are sneaky little things.  Turns out that Trouble is having trouble urinating.  Joy met a guy at the Albany docks and he knew a good Vet and loaned us his car to go there.  Vet gave us some antibiotics and some pain medication for him.  The x-rays did not show any kidney stones, but the urine tests showed a lot of calcium.  We’ll see how it goes.

Stopped off at Wal-mart on the way back to the Marina and loaded up.  I have learned that Wal-marts, as much as I hate them, they are great places to shop  if we can get to them.  They are a one stop shop.

Had dinner later at a local restaurant which we all walked to.  Pretty good food but the talk was about tomorrow which is supposed to be crappy weather.  Mother Nature strikes again

Aren't these lighthouses great?

Looks like some repairs are in order

As you can see, Midnight is really stressing out up on the Bridge!

Midnight is behind Jim making sure he follows all the correct charts

Now isn't that just the sweetest face?

Finally we reached the Albany Yacht Club

June 12, 2012

Just as the weather man told us, today is not good traveling weather.  Winds are up, rain is coming down and the river looks real bumpy.  Joy and I have decided to try to take the route to Lake Champlain.  This is a gamble as I am unable to remove the radar unit from the upper roof.  I don’t know who put the thing up there but, he did not plan for it to ever come down.  The height restriction is 17’.  We have measured 3 times and we are almost exactly 17’.  If we can we would like to go that way and cruise the lake.  Called Lock 3 on the Hudson and talked to them and they said we would be close.  REAL CLOSE.  But come ahead and we can probably make it.  I took down the light and KVH system on the roof and tied things down and got ready to go.

Docktails on “Brown Eyed Girl”.  We’re scheduled to leave at 7:00.  Dinner on board.  Early to bed.

June 13, 2012

Things did not go as planned today.  We left the yacht club on time and headed north.  Got to the entrance to the Erie Canal and said goodbye to Brown Eyed Girl and Kismet and followed Mark’s Arc up the Hudson.  Turned out to be a nice travel day.  Passed through Locks 1, 2 and got to 3.  We had picked up a few boats along the way and had a pretty nice convoy going.  The Lockmaster came to us and told us to be real careful at the bridge which was just north of the Lock.  He said we would be real close.  He recommended we go back.  We told him we would be careful and we wanted to continue.  Left the lock as boat #4 out of 5 and headed for the bridge.  Joy was on the roof watching and I put the boat under the bridge, but the radar was too high to go under and I had to back out.  Bummer.  After taking a flat pry bar to the radar I had to cry uncle.  Turned around and headed back to Lock 3.  Called Marc’s Ark and told them I could not continue and wished them a good trip and headed back south.  Lock 3 had been watching this and was ready for our return.  What a GREAT operation the lock system up here is.

We saw this eagle in the distance on our way up the Hudson

We saw him flying as we returned back down heading for the Erie

After some difficulty getting the boat into Lock 3 due to my own personal frustrations we headed back to the Erie Canal.  The lock operators were all in communication with each other somehow and each lock was waiting for our arrival with open gates.  We locked down to base river level and turned right into the Erie Canal and started up.  The first five locks are in very short sequence, all within about 2 miles total.  You just keep going up and up.  After Lock 6, which is actually the 5th lock since there is no Lock 1, you get a break for a while before Lock 7.  Finally we contacted “Brown Eyed Girl” and they arranged for us to meet them at Schenectady Yacht Club.  It was a real long day as we got there about 5:00.  We were tuckered out (in my opinion, after 13 locks I fully believe that the good humor truck forgot to come by us today - we neither one need to talk to anyone because we can't say anything nice!).  Had a few beers and hot dogs and went to bed.

June 14, 2012

Left the dock at 8.  Short day to Amsterdam, NY.  Only 3 locks and about 20 miles (what a walk in the park after yesterday).  All went well and we arrived about noon and tied up.  The marina is actually a wall on the river and you check in at the restaurant at the City Park.  The folks here are FABULOUS.  Very  friendly.  They gave us keys to the restaurant so we could use the showers and laundry facilities which are very nice.  We made reservations to eat in the restaurant at about 6:00.

Walked over the bridge over the train tracks to the mall looking for the hardware store and bought a few things.  This mall as well as the rest of the downtown area looks extremely depressed (mostly vacant spaces and closed out of business).  Not much going on at all.  Some folks told us about a local watering hole and we headed there, but turned back when the street started to look too menacing.  Area looks like times have been better.

Had docktails at 5 and went to dinner at 6:15.  I was very impressed.  The place is run by a family, brother and sister operating the restaurant being overlooked by mother.  Another member of the family, a younger son is a freshman pitcher for a Long Island college which has made it to the College World Series which starts this next week.  They are very excited as they should be.  Even though my Gators are also in the tourney I think I would be hard pressed to root against this local group.  The meal was superb, the people were wonderful, I didn’t even mind the trains which were running very close by and very often (what trains - he sleeps like a log).  I would rate this stop as one of the most enjoyable so far.

June 15, 2012

Another Chamber of Commerce morning.  Left the dock at 7:00 and headed west.  The temperature out is about 51 degrees which is a little cool on the canal.  The first of 5 small locks today was about 10 minutes from the dock and we had to wait about another 10 for the doors to open, but after that the day  went pretty much as planned.  Arrived at St. Johnsville City Marina and Campground where we are going to stay for the night about 12:15.  I was the last to the dock and they asked if I wanted any fuel.  I was just in to this tank about 137 gal. when I checked yesterday so I said probably not.  Then they told me it was $3.25 per gal., tax included and I changed my mind.  I put in 150 gal. of the cheapest fuel we have purchased yet on this trip.  In addition, dockage is only $1.00/ft. including electric and this is a pretty cheap stop.

I want to say a little about the New York State Canal System.  They are the ones that run the Erie and Hudson and all the locks and dams.  Last year they had a devastating hurricane which completely destroyed some and heavily damaged most of the locks on the Erie Canal system.  From what I read in the news and heard most everything in the canal system was pretty much taken out.  The people who run this system have done a herculean job in getting the locks open and operating for this cruising season.  There is still a lot of work going on and much more to do but, things are running pretty smoothly.  The Canal System should be commended for a job well done.

Walked into town and had Pizza for lunch.  This town looks like most of the others we have seen in this area.  Very depressed economically, most folks just trying to scratch out a living any way they can.  You know the look of run down houses, and people at home in the middle of the day.  Not much going on.  Most of the industry has left the area and there does not appear to be many jobs.

Docktails under the Gazebo on the river and dinner on board.

Earlier the morning we were leaving a layer of fog started setting in

And getting thicker

And then within about 45 minutes it started clearing up 

June 16, 2012

Today is Marc's birthday from Marc's Ark - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARC - we miss you!

Got out of bed early this morning but, don’t know why.  Trouble, who is still with us, is snuggling against my leg in the bed under the covers.  Crazy cat.  He is supposed to be afraid of me, but snuggles up under the covers (that's because he isn't calling him names when he is still trying to sleep - so what isn't to love?).  Today is to be a short day, only about 20 miles and 3 locks.  One lock will be about a 40’ lift so that might prove to be interesting.  The fog has set in and we can barely see the river.  It will lift soon.

Left the dock about 7:45 and arrived in Ilion, NY at 11:30.  Nice trip.  Ilion City Marina is another Marina/Campground on the river.  Very nicely maintained and convenient to town which is not much.  Joy and I walked towards town and went to a grocery store.  Not much else.  The Remington Arms Museum is closed on Saturday and Sunday so we could not go there.  That's about the only attraction around.  The trains are still just across the river and they are going 24 hrs. per day.  Some business must be going on with all the freight moving.  Leave tomorrow morning and may go all the way to Brewerton on the far side of Oneida Lake if things go well.  Otherwise we will stop in Oswego.

June 17, 2012

Left the dock at 7:00 and headed west.  Day went really well at first.  Got to the first lock and it was full of debris and logs (River Gators).  I was the last boat to leave the dock and as I was trying to ease through the debris I hit one of the logs.  Did not feel any vibration afterwards so maybe I did not do any damage.  Will keep an eye on it.  

Locks 2 and 3 for the day are locks 20 and 21 on the Erie and we are finally going back down.  Got to Oswego about 1:00 and only had about 20 miles to go across the lake so we went on.  The winds had kicked up and the lake was choppy, but we did not have any problems.  Arrived in Brewerton at Ess-Kay Yard Marina about 4:30.  Long day, but it was good to get the lake behind us.  Passed Brewerton Boat Yard on the way up the river and Native Son was there.  Contacted them and invited them over for Docktails.  We'll be here for a few days.

Entering Lock 19

Entering Lock 20

Entering Lock 21

June 18, 2012

Spending the next 2 days here in Ess-Kay.  What a wonderful place.  This yard has the best stocked marina store I have seen yet.  I bought some Canadian electronic charts, some fender balls for the locks and adjusters so Joy can adjust them easier (he tells me tie the fender line this way - no tie the fender line that way - no I meant tie it the other way that I was going to show you but do it quicker please - all the while we are almost at the dock and he is just sitting in his little chair while I run from side to side with fenders that are either too short or too long because we never know til the last minute sometimes if we will be at a floating dock or a stationary dock).  This place has a lot of spares I need and I will spend some money to get out of here in 2 days.

They also have loaner cars.  Rich and Mary Kay moved over from Brewerton Boat Yard to here to join the group again.  Great to have them back in the fold.  Went shopping with them to West Marine (new hand held radio and new boat hooks) and Wal-mart (groceries and misc. necessities).  Got back in time for docktails (of course).  Invited some of the locals to pick their brains (or pickle their brains) on Lake Ontario.  Got some good information.  Early to bed.

June 19, 2012

Slept in a little this morning.  Printed out an email from the family and need to get a signature notarized and mail back a form.  Went to the marina store and they called the local bank and made arrangements for me to have things notarized.  Gave me the keys to the loaner car and we headed to the bank.  Got to the bank and things were going all right until they noticed that the form had my name wrong.  Had to call and get that changed, go back to the boat, reprint the form and go back to the bank and do it again.  Then I mailed it back from the local Post Office.  PIA but, got it done.

Back at the marina I went back to the store.  Bought some floor mats for the doors of the boat, oil filters for the engines as I had already used my spares, replacement impeller for the Reverso pump to change the engine oil with and a bunch of other stuff.  They had all this in stock.  Amazing.  I wish we had a place like this in Savannah.  Would like to buy stock.  Need to get out of town as I am spending WAY TOO MUCH MONEY!  This place is addictive.

The end of another lovely day

June 20, 2012

Left the docks at 7:00 headed for Oswego, NY on the shores of Lake Ontario.  Weather was nice, but a little breezy.  Had a little trouble in some of the locks with the wind.  Joy dropped her new boat pole into one of the locks, but  was able to retrieve it since it floats.  Did 9 locks and arrived about 1:00.  We split up with us docking next to Native Son.  We are having a diver look at the props tomorrow morning.
Had dinner at a local sports bar about 2 blocks away from the boat.  Good day.

June 21, 2012

Diver arrived at 6:45.  He moonlights diving after he works the night shift as a cop for the City.  Nice guy.  Very efficient and knowledgeable.  I have some damage to the starboard prop.  I’m not going to fix it here.  We are traveling pretty slow and I am not getting any vibration.  He did change 2 shaft zincs.

Left the docks about 9:00 headed for Sackets Harbor and Navy Point Marine.  Brown Eyed Girl and Kismet left their dock about 7:30 so they are way ahead of us.  We will not catch them.  Lake Ontario is a little of our port stern and we are rolling a bit.  The winds are about 10 mph and increased during the morning as predicted.  It was a little uncomfortable until we turned North East at Stony Point.  Then it was a very smooth ride.

Marina is not what we had hoped.  The staff does not seem interested in lending a hand and we had to dock the boats ourselves.  Only 30 amp power is available and we  had trouble running some of our equipment.  There is a LOT of water grass in the slips and I hope we don’t clog up the inlets.  Not one of our best stops.

The area is beautiful.  The town is very nicely kept.  Had dinner at Tin Pan Galley and the food was wonderful.  Little pricey, but that was expected.

Tomorrow to Clayton.

June 22, 2012

Short trip up to Clayton this morning.  We left the docks at 7:00 and arrived at about 11:30.  The trip started out a little rough with a stiff breeze on our bow and we picked up a pretty good roll as we turned north.  The skies are cloudy and we are getting little rain sprinkles.  However, things got better as the day went on.

Turned NE on the St. Lawrence and things turned real smooth in the river.  The sun began to peek out a little and the trip turned very nice.  Passed a big windmill farm on Wolfe Island on our port side (Canada).  Turned out to be a really nice ride.

Got to Clayton and the docks were pretty empty.  I think there was one other boat.  We are staying at Clayton Municipal Marina on Mary St.  They did not have enough 50A electrical hookups so we had to settle for two 30A connections.  The water at the marina has a large amount of grass floating around.  What a mess.

Joy had ordered some prescriptions to be shipped here and her package had arrived.  I had ordered a replacement water pump for the Air Conditioning system and the package had arrived, but they sent it on to another marina.  The package was labeled Clayton Marina and not Clayton Municipal Marina and they sent it across town.  I spent the rest of the day trying to get it redelivered.  Our phones have told us that we may be roaming and connecting to Canadian cell towers so we are reluctant to use them.  Communications are therefor difficult.  I finally got someone at UPS to understand the problem and they have agreed to redeliver tomorrow.  What a mess.

Lunch at Bella’s on the waterfront and Ice Cream during a short walk around town.  Docktails at 5 and met some folks from Canada who run a promotional products business.  Nice folks.  Dinner on board.  Have a busy day planned for tomorrow.

June 23, 2012

Beth (Kismet) has arranged for the group to take a tour boat ride to the Thousand Islands and Boldt’s Castle.  We walked to the dock about 9:30 and off we go.  The ride is spectacular and the scenery is outstanding.  The water is crystal clear and looks very shallow.  I am glad we are not on Jim’s Joy.  I can just relax and enjoy the area.  The castle is pretty large and unfinished.  Boldt, who owned the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, built it for his wife who unfortunately died before it was finished.  He lost interest and stopped construction.  It was never finished and part of the agreement to the state of New York is that it will not be.  They are making renovations and parts of the castle show the opulence of the era.

Arrived back at Clayton to the welcome of a tall ship and a 2 cannon attack on the town.  It is probably some reenactment of the War of 1812.  Kind of neat.  Back at the boat my package has arrived thank goodness.

Spent the afternoon visiting the Antique Boat Museum which is right next to the Municipal Marina.  This is the best we have seen yet.  Very high quality antique boats of every type from race boats to canoes.  Also several motor launch boats from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s and earlier.  Very well done museum.

Dinner on the river again with most of the group.  Early evening.  Tomorrow Canada.

June 24, 2012

Dean and Beth on Kismet are going to Cananaquae to check Ziggy, their African Grey Parrot into Canada.  The rest of us are going to Kingston, Ontario.  Since this is the last stop in the United States we all topped off our fuel tanks before heading out.  Another local boat got in the middle of our fueling operations and messed up the schedule and Brown Eyed Girl got off well before us and Native Son.  

The trip to Kingston was a short one and the weather was nice.  We arrived just after noon and after some confusion with the dock crew we finally got tied up.  About that time Kismet came in and all hands were accounted for.  Rich and I went to check in with Customs.  This is a relatively simple procedure where you go to a pay phone which you do not have to pay for and call in.  They ask you a few questions about who is aboard, how much tobacco and liquor you have on board, where you are going and how long you plan to stay, and they give you a number which you must keep during your stay in Canada.  Pretty painless.  Then we checked in with the marina which is run by the City of Kingston.  Not quite so painless.  Went back to the boat and told Joy she could then get off the boat if she wished.

Of course Joy in the mean time has made aquaintenance with a couple who just arrived on their 33 Egg Harbor called Harbor Nites.  John and Val Clifford with Lucy the wonder dog live near Lock 45 Port Severn.  We spent a good amount of time plying them with beer and picking their brains about the Trent Severn and they gave us some good information on what lies ahead.  John  is Past Commander of their Power Squadron and had some good tips for us.

Later the weather turned and we conveined on Brown Eyed Girl for docktails.  We are staying here tomorrow so there is no sense of anticipation.  Early to bed.

June 25, 2012

Joy and I get up and set out to find a Canadian phone and an internet card.  This project met with only limited success.  We were able to find a phone, but not the internet card.  It seems that the Canadians require a Canadian address to purchase an internet card.  Oh well, left with the phone and headed back to the boat to activate it.  TILT!

I was able to get online using the Marina wifi and went to the Virgin Phone website to activate the sim card.  Every time I did, we got an error message that the URL or page we were trying to find was not valid.  This seemed rather odd.  Packed it all up and headed back to the store.  Remember we have no transportation and we are on foot.  Getting a lot of exercise.

The sales person at the store also thought this problem was rather odd and tried it on their computer and got a similar result.  He then called Virgin and talked to them.  After about 10 minutes and someone on their end also getting a similar message, they just took the information and activated everything by phone.  They even gave us extra minutes.  This is a prepaid phone which costs us about $0.50/minute for calls back home so we will not call often.  We will use the internet when ever possible.

June 26, 2012

Short ride to Picton, Ontario.  About 39 miles.  Winds are up pretty good.  Gusting to about 40km/hr (about 25 mph).  Not really a problem, but we don’t like to travel when the winds are this high.  We are on the North Channel of Lake Ontario so the area is pretty well protected.  No issues on the trip.  Arrived about noon and went to lunch at Portobella’s.  Had a steak sandwich and beer.  Man was it good.

After lunch we walked down to the LCBO (Canadian version of the ABC store in the states) and received a LARGE dose of sticker shock.  Man is booze up here expensive.  Oh well, I guess it is just the cost of living in paradise.  Stopped off at the grocery store on the way back to the boat.  Took a nap.  Docktails at 5:00 (we were late as we were napping).  Dinner on board.  Early to bed.

June 27, 2012

Left the dock a little before 7:00 and headed for Trenton, Ontario.  The wind was supposed to die down a little, but I guess the weatherman was wrong.  Oh, well we are in reasonably protected water and there is only a light chop.  Went through Telegraph narrows and some skinny water a couple of times.  All went well and we arrived at Frazier Marine about noon.

They put me all the way at the back of the marina cross ways against a concrete wall and gave me 5 – 10 ft. front and back to get in.  All this with a strong cross winds and boats on both sides.  I can’t believe we got it in here.  Don’t know how we will get it out.  That’s tomorrow’s problem.

Had lunch at a delli on the other side of the highway, went to the grocery store across the bridge and visited the LCBO (liquor) store.  Very expensive.  The plans are not working out for the next few days so there is lots to talk about at docktails.

Kismet and Brown Eyed Girl have decided to stay at the marina another day.  Native Son is moving on to Lock #6 where he will tie off at a town dock.  He wants to get away from paying for the marina fees which are really the most expensive part of this trip so far.  Later Joy and I talked about it and have decided to go with Native Son.  We will hit the river tomorrow.

June 28, 2012

What a gorgeous day to start the Trent.  There is almost no wind at all.  The skies are blue and the temperature is very comfortable.  Life could not be any better.  We hung around the marina for a while, Joy and Mary Kay went to the grocery store a block away and we waited until the locks would open.

We left the dock at about 9:00 and headed north.  It took a little work to get away from the basin we were in as it was so tight, but we made it without damaging any fiberglass.  A good thing.  Lock 1 is less than a mile away and the closer we got to the lock, the tighter the channel got.  This is the tightest lock I have ever seen.  The boat is 15’ wide and the lock can’t be more than 30’ wide.  Very snug, but we got in there.  The lock master took us up and at the top we bought our passes to get us through.  The bill for the trip will be a little over $600.00.  This allows us a one way pass through the locks and unlimited tie-ups at any lock walls as we go.

We are going to Lock 6 and plan on mooring on the upper lock wall.  The total trip is about 7.5 miles.  It takes about 3.5 hours and the engines run for only about 1.6 hours.  The rest of  the time we are going up in the locks.  My engines did not get above 1,000 rpm which is a little above idle the entire time.  What a wonderful trip.  Got to Lock 6 and went up.  There is only one boat on the wall.  We tied up behind it and had a cool one.  I love it when a plan comes together.  This is where we want to be and it is perfect.

After a while we got the bikes out and rode into town.  Went to the hardware store; a favorite stop, and then went to the variety store and found some ice cream.  (I really am not making this stuff up.)  Had a little nap and docktails at 5.  Dinner on board and I found a ball game on TV.  Then to bed.

June 29, 2012

Things have gotten a little breezy at Lock 6.  We are not worried as we are planning to stay here for a few days.  We are moored under some Willow trees and have considerable shade for most of the day so the A/C does not have to work too hard.

We expect “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Kismet” to come through today.  Probably about noon as their plan is to go to Campbellford today.  It will be a long day for them.  I talked to Randy, one of the lock persons and asked if we could lock them through.  He was happy to let us do that.

About 9:30 a boat named “Foreign Exchange” comes through heading south towards Trenton.  They are flying a gold AGLCA Burgee.  Had fun talking to them.  They keep their boat in Georgian Bay and are heading to Toronto.  They plan to keep the boat there for a while and live on it during the week.  They invite us to tie up to their dock when we come through.  We might try to do that.

Bad news from the Lock Master.  He is talking to “Foreign Exchange” and tells them to expect delays between Locks 4 and 3.  I seems that the Hydro company has run the turbines all night and has lowered the water level below the acceptable level and they need to raise it to get the boats through.  Traffic on the river is going to be real slow today.

This is not good news for the folks traveling north either.  They have to use the same locks and the same water.  We await their arrival.

About 2:30 the Lock Master comes to the boat and everyone has arrived.  We help them lock through and they moor across the river from us on the far side of the lock.  At this time most of the lock walls are taken and there is not much room left.  They had to wait at Lock 2 about 2 hours and again another hour at Lock 3 for the levels to come up.  They have had enough and have decided to spend the weekend and holidays here with us.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  Some smaller boats come and fill in the remaining slots on the wall and the Lock Master even leaves one boat in the Lock for the night.  We’ll sort it out tomorrow.

There is a campground on the west side of the river.  Yesterday it was completely empty.  Folks start coming in about 1:30 to 2:00.  I think it will be pretty full before the afternoon is over.  It is a holiday weekend and it’s time to party.  I am glad we are tied up to a wall.

Everyone is tired.  Docktails at 5:00, dinner on board for everyone and “BEG” and “Kismet” head to bed.  Joy and I are having Key Lime Pie on Native Son after dinner of steak, baked potato, and mushrooms.  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.  We’ll be in bed pretty early too.  Why have I not done this before?

June 30, 2012

There is a knock on the boat hull at about 7:30.  Kismet and Brown Eyed Girl are moving on.  They still want to get to Hastings or at least Campbellford before the holiday.  The lock is full of boats and I think it is best to just sit tight as you may not be able to find a place to dock.  Oh well, I guess they will be fine.  We give them a hug and handle the lines for them and see them off.

About 9:00 I talk to the Lock Master and he tells me he already has 3 sets of boats (total of 5 boats) heading north and 2 (total of 3 boats) heading south.  He says we will be full again by noon.  A busy day on the river.  I think I will try to tinker with something.  Probably the steering problem which is not yet fixed.

Found the steering problem.  The main cylinder which moves the rudders is leaking.  I got the name of a mechanic in town and he came and looked at it.  He does not have the equipment or parts to fix it, but he gave me the name of a marina up river who can.  He told me to call him on Tuesday.  Monday is a holiday.

Went to dinner at a small Chinese Restaurant in town.  All you can eat for $8.99 and they sell beer.  The presentation was not much and the A/C could use some maintenance, but the food was good.  Rode the bikes back to the boat and we all played Rummie-Kube.  Joy is winning.  Watched the NASCAR race finish on TV and went to bed.

The folks in the campground are getting a little rowdy.  Lots of music and some fireworks.  Thankfully the wind Is blowing away from the boat and we should not get any ashes on us.  They will settle down in a little while.