I never imagined that I’d get so busy on this trip that I wouldn’t have time to write about our adventures on a daily basis. I guess my expectations were that I’d be lazing around and trying to find stuff to do. Alas, nay; it’s not that way. How can I be so busy? I just don’t know, but I’ve tried to recap some of the essence of the last several weeks here.
Friday, June 1, 2018:
We left Hoffman’s Marina with the slack tide at 0620 and followed Kostal Karma out through the RR Bridge and the inlet into the Atlantic Ocean. Magic and Wine Speed were ahead. There’s a dense fog advisory until 0800 and the forecast seems accurate. I’m glad that we can stay within the wake of a boat with radar. The seas are running at two to three feet with the winds around 6 kts out of the SSE. It was tolerable. We were running a mile off shore to avoid the fish traps and fishing vessels. At one point, I saw something that looked like it might be a crab trap buoy, but when I got up by it and looked down, I saw a semi-inflated yellow smiley face balloon grinning up at me. It was a little spooky. We only have 36 1/2 miles to go to get to Gateway Marina east of Coney Island. By 0800 the visibility is much better; maybe a mile. It rained from 0805 to 0825 and then the blue skies began to come out. At 1005 we were crossing the main shipping channel timing our crossing by keeping pointed at the stern of the crossing ship. They go faster than you’d think. We docked at Gateway Marina at 1117 without a dock hand and way out on the crappy docks distant from the marina. These docks are in bad shape and covered with goose poop. After check-in we moved in to a better spot closer in and not far from the barge-mounted Polish Sailing Club. We were here to see our son, Travis, his wife Rachel and their twins Hazel and Bea. I don’t care how basic the marina is, I want to see my family and we were delighted by the visit. They stayed on the boat for two nights and we went on a boat ride Saturday after swim lessons at the YMCA and lunch. Their friends, Kristen and Jess came with us. After the ride we went to Nick’s Lobster House for dinner. I couldn’t get enough of this love, but we were moving on.
Jane wanted to go on to anchor by the Statue of Liberty Sunday, but the winds were too high for me to get comfortable with it.
We left Monday, June 4th. There was a lot of traffic in NY Harbor. The ferries zip by without warning and we were on alert for traffic from all sides. We moved on up the Hudson after some picture taking and were glad to get out of the mayhem.
After passing Manhattan and the Palisades (cliffs in picture below) we reached Half Moon Bay Marina and enjoyed docktails with many other Loopers.
On Tuesday, we rented a van with Kevin and Sandy from Koastal Karma and our new Looper friends Gavin and Lica (pronounced Lisa) from New Zealand. We visited the Croton Gorge Dam, lunched at the Culinary Intitute and toured West Point. Gavin and Lica sailed their catamaran all the way from NZ. Lots of folks have told me that we’re brave. I don’t think we are doing anything like what this couple is doing. We loved getting to know them.
I loved hearing about and seeing the display of 13 links of the chain that George Washington had stretched across the narrows (1700 feet width) of the Hudson to prevent the British ships from using this critical waterway. The thirteen links displayed represent the original 13 states.
West Point and the narrows.
Lots of things to see upriver.
We anchored in near Roundabout Creek and the sailors put on a relaxing show in the evening.
Thursday, June 7th:
We ran on up to Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina on a sunny and warm day. When we arrived, Brian Donovan himself was there to take our lines. When we met him in St. Augustine, he was the consumate host on his 75 foot Hatteras and here, he was no less. A real down to earth, engaging and delightful guy. He lined up a lot of activities for our extended stay here. The food at the Boathouse Grille was super and there was a pig roast and the Blessing of the Fleet. Sabbatical was appropriately blessed.
Lovely sunset at Shady Harbor.
Monday, June 11th:
We moved on up to the Erie Canal. There was some commercial traffic in the river (especially at the Port of Albany) to contend with, but once we got in the canal, not so much. It was a perfect crystal blue day.
By 1545 we were in the Mohawk River. In the locks, Jane is an expert at wrangling a line, cable or bollard. She’s a super-duper line handler.
When we arrived at Mohawk Harbor Marina, Brian (yes, the same Brian) and his lovely daughter, Laura, were there to meet us and take our lines. Very few boats in this new marina that Brian manages. It is part of a 60 acre redevelopment project and about to take off. There is even a casino here, but we stayed away from that.
June 12th: As we continued on the Erie, we had glassy water on the Mohawk River and enjoyed meeting up with old and new Looper friends in Canajoharie. How and why the Volkswagon Bug is on top of this stack, I have no idea.
June 13th: More locks, guard gates that appear like water Guillotines, some canal wall construction and parallelogram bridges.
Thursday, June 14th:
Once we got around the dredge and on to Sylvan Beach on the west end of Lake Oneida, I could see the action on the jetty and knew that the lake was in no mood to let us cross, so we took a spot on the free city wall. Jerry from Babe came to help us with the lines. The wind was blowing pretty good. After my trick on them in Minim Creek back in South Carolina I was surprised he didn’t have something up his sleeve for me. We enjoyed happy hour on their boat and went to dinner at Harpoon Eddies with them. We were treated to a nice sunset as the weather started to break.
Friday, June 15th:
We slipped off the dock unassisted at 0530 and entered Lake Oneida with a slight breeze out of the east on our stern. By 0855 we were across the lake and through lock 23. It turned out to be a beautifu morning and at 1023 we recorded not a cloud in the sky. By 1150 we had made the turn up the Oswego Canal and were gettin let down and through locks 2 and 3. At lock 8 we could see Lake Ontario and docked at Wright’s Landing at 1420. We cleaned up the boat, pumped out and Jane did laundry. Around 1800 our friends Harry and Sandy Seichepin arrived. I was so happy to spend time with Harry, that I totally forgot to take pictures. We had a great time and went out to a cool restaurant with them and their daughter, Annie, who is a student at SUNY Oswego, and then they took us shopping. Love these folks.
Saturday, June 16th:
Off again at the crack of dawn and dawn gets up early here. 0538 and we are off the dock and heading out into Lake Ontario. Winds are out of the SW at 7 kts and so it couldn’t be any better for the crossing of the east end of this Great Lake. We got passed by Robert and Cheryl (Michigan Girl) as they were headed to Kingston. We chatted awhile on the radio. The passage was otherwise uneventful and we docked at the Clayton Harbor Municipal Marina. There were a number of Loopers there and we got together for docktails aboard Phantom and then dinner at Bella. This is our jumping off place before entering Canada.
Many interesting islands and houses in the 1000 Islands of the St. Lawrence River.
Boldt Castle and boathouse:
We got checked in with Canadian Customs via the phone at Brockville and later went through the historic B&O RR tunnel before settling into a neighborhood tavern to watch some of the US Open.