Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Late June

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.

Laundry day for Beth

Doesn't she look shrilled

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.

Not sure exactly what the deal is with the cow but knew that my niece Corie would enjoy it

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.

Still can't find that pot of gold but we're still looking

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.

2 Ferry Boat that carry cars across the bay every 30 minutes

Strange place to see Kermit

A Hemp Store Hmmm

Ohhh sticker shock at the licquor store

I could ride him he is so big

beautiful buildings

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.

What a parking job Jim did here (even if he does say so for him self)

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.

Wow I would hate to have to either have to cut all that wood or need to use all that wood

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.

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