Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Ron and Kenny took an early morning bike ride to scope out the city.  They found the visitors center where we purchased passes for the gray line buses.  $50 each for a two day pass seemed to be a good deal since we were able to hop on/hop off at will. 
Pix from the bus:
Latin Quarter / Tour bus
Chihuly glass-Art Museum
downtown Montreal

St. Joseph's on Mont Royal

bike rental stations

There are 3.5 million people in this city. According to our tour guide, 69% of the people live in apartments.  A strong Catholic heritage eroded during the 1960's and many churches in this provence have been sold and the land has been transformed into shopping centers and condos.  From what we've seen when attending masses, the pews are filled primarily with older young families. 

Although Montreal is a lovely city, we fell in love with Quebec City and its charm.

Tonight we will be treated to another fireworks display from the bridge adjacent to the Montreal Yacht Club where we are staying.  There is a competition between countries to put on the best fireworks show.  Tonight's is sponsored by Italy.  Although we won't be here on Saturday, that is the grand finale and announcement of the winning country. 

 The fireworks were the best I've ever seen.  Thousands of people lined the shore and filled the bridge  to watch  the most unusual ground displays and aerial cascades.  The Italians did a great job.  I wonder if they will win the contest.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trois Rivieres to Montreal

Daybreak & Adagio left Trois Rivieres
Trois Rivieres Marina
 shortly after 0800 for the upriver cruise to Montreal.  It was against the current all the way, all 80 plus miles.  We burned more diesel than the the entire previous route from Burlington VT to Quebec.  The current was 1.5 kt to 2.0 kt even in the side channel, but the last approach to the Yacht Club Montreal the current was 5.0 kts.  It was almost a 10 hr day on the water.

We passed many ships in the ship channel.  Some came from behind us and we had to find a quick and safe place on the edge of the channel.  Quite a wake is created as they pass.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quebec City, back to Trois Rivieres

We really didn't want to leave Quebec City just yet.  There's just too much to see and do here.  But we fueled up (1.39$ CD /liter, that's $5.27 US/gallon) and headed out through the open lock gates, timing our departure to get a tidal push back up the St. Lawrence to Trois Rivieres.  Because of the 14 ft tidal range here, the marina is protected behind a lock system,  the lock operates as do all locks to allow boats to pass between two different water levels.  At around high tide, the gates are left open to refill the marina basin and boats can pass freely through the gates.

Daybreak leaving Quebec City Marina

Sunday, July 28, 2013

7/28/13 Last day in Quebec City

Today we rode our bikes in for breakfast before attending mass. 

Jeanne and Kenny met us in lower town and we caught the red bus for a tour of the city.  The bus schedule is not accurate for those of you who might use our blog as a reference.  The schedule seems to vary depending upon events in town and the disgression of the bus driver.  We almost missed another bus late in the day.  After riding the bikes back to the marina, we had dinner on board.  It is extremely windy so we may have problems leaving in the morning. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

St. Lawrence & Quebec City

After much discussion on timing our trip, we decided on a 1030 departure.  Traveling at 12 knots, we should arrive at Quebec City at 1700 which is slack tide.  Maurice came to the gas dock to tell us goodbye.  He mentioned a location on the river where a man watches each ship that passes by and plays their national anthem.  We did not observe this, however. 

beautiful churches

When we arrived at QC, we entered an inner harbor where we waited for the lock to open.  The tie up in this lock is a floating dock to which you tie fore and aft.  After being lifted up 14 feet to the marina, we docked and later dined at the marina. 

We walked to lower town in QC and toured a church and looked at the beautiful architecture and flowers.  The funicular took us up a very steep incline to the upper town.
funicular in background

 The Frontenac Hotel is an exquisite piece architecture built in the 1890's.

 Lunch was ok, but wouldn't recommend the restaurant to anyone.   Kenny scouted out things for us to do and he found a great restaurant for dinner not too far from the marina.  Afterwards, we watched the video on the side of the grain silos.  Norman McLaren was an animationist and the video told of his accomplishments.  By the time we rolled into tour berth, we were exhausted.

Kenny again served as  bicycle scout and searched the town for things to do.  We all took our bikes (via the bike path) to an area of lower town where were climbed to the funicular and headed for Citadel.  We climbed many many stairs and realized that we had taken the long route to get there.  Celine Dion is performing on the Plains of Abraham tonight, and many areas were roped off  near the Citadel.  We arrived just in time for the changing of the guard ($9.00 each).  The officers and enlisted men wear huge fuzzy black hats which cover their eyes.

 We're not sure how they see where they are going.  The ceremony also involves a goat which was presented to Quebec City by the Queen of England.

 Lunch was at Bella, an upscale Italian restaurant.  The food was ok and the waitress had an attitude, but the outdoor setting was very nice.  The bathroom was unique.  It had a central sink and unmarked stalls for either men or women. After washing hands, a very nice rolled individual hand towel was available and then discarded.
 We had purchased bus passes for today ($35 each) and were never able to catch a bus, because of the Celine concert.  We went back to the tourist information center and they changed our bus passes to Sunday.  Hopefully, tomorrow the buses will be on a better schedule. 
At 9:30 each night except Sunday and Monday, there is a free production of Cirque du Soleil.  We had heard about the lines that formed to get in, so we arrived at 7:15 and stood in line until 9:30.  However, we were the FIRST in line and got great seats.  This outdoor venue involved a large crane that brought performers in and out of the stage.  A large portion of the audience stood in front of the stage and became part of the production.  It is difficult to decribe, but the performance was astounding!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Chambly Canal and Trois Rivieres

7/21/13. (Sunday)
Cool, crisp Canadian air finally arrived today.  We entered the Chambly canal system of 9 locks, each of which is very narrow and short sometimes accommodating only two boats our size.

  Day break and Adagio were staggered in the locks with Daybreak tying to port and Adagio tying to the starboard side of the locks.  Each lock is hand operated by two (young) employees who hand crank all gates and valves.

 The lock personnel also personally hand you lines to attach loosely to your vessel while descending.

We had an audience at each lock.  Observers asked us questions, and offered us a welcome to Quebec.

 The bike trail runs along the entire canal, and there were hundreds of people walking, biking, running, and enjoying the day.

waiting for the bridge to open

After passing through the last lock, we entered a lake area filled with Sunday boaters pulling thrill-seekers on boogie boards and tubes.  Dealing with all of these boats (and their wakes) was a shock after the quiet ride through the canal.
The St. Ours Lock was about to close, but we made it through on the last opening and tied up to the lock wall for the night.  There was a lovely picnic area just above us where we were able to exercise Duke before turning in for the night.  The lock wall tie-ups are considered "free", but we paid a hefty fee for a canal pass and moorings. In order to break even, we need to tie up to lock walls at least 10 times to break even on the moorings pass.

Our intention was to depart at 0500 in order to take advantage of the tides on the St. Lawrence, but fog kept us on the wall until 0700.  After 11 miles, we entered the St. Lawrence River and headed northeast.  Our destination of Trois  Rivieres Marina was midway to Quebec City. As we entered the harbor to the marina, Ron and I switched jobs.  I almost always dock the boat and he handles the lines and fenders.  This time, I went up to get the fenders, but after attaching them and pulling into the slip, I saw that one of our fenders was missing.  It was way back in the marina entry.  A very kind  Canadian boater hopped in his dinghy, retrieved the fender and delivered it to our boat.  He then offered his services in case we needed anything.  Thank you Maurice!

Kenny's sister, Sharon and her children Skylar and Shelby visited tonight on their return from Prince Edward Island where Shelby had attended Veterinary Camp.  We feasted on lobster that Sharon brought from P.E.I.  Great food/great company.


Tomorrow our trip to Quebec City will have significant tides.  QC is behind a lock wall because of the 14foot tidal variation.

Weather predictions today have kept us in port.  There is a wind warning, although right now it is calm.
We rode our bikes to town (about 20 minutes away), went to the post office, and walked around town.  We found a creamerie, and while sitting outside enjoying our ice cream, a family began talking to us (grandfather, grandmother, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter).  They were on holiday and here for a horserace.

The four of us had dinner again on the deck fo Daybreak..

Cute little tug boat on the dock at Trois Rivieres

Another wind warning today, so Kenny and Ron rode in to town to visit the Borealis Museum (process of making paper).  They also visited the Ursaline Convent and school.  Their next site was a tour of St. James Anglican Church.  There, they learned that the outstretched wings of a pelican symbolizes Christ on the cross.  They had lunch at Planet Poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds).  Ron's been talking about this food for 30 years (since his bike tour of Quebec). 

Maurice invited us to join a group of boaters who were ordering chicken dinners for $5.50 per person.  It came with a grilled chicken breast, poutine, and coleslaw.  Maurice and his wife Renee speak fluent English.  She is a retired ski instructor and he is a retired Air Canada pilot.

  After dinner, there was a presentation by the Canadian Coast Guard on safety requirements. 

Maurice translated for us.  We so wish we could speak French.  Everyone is so friendly and most know some English.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oh Canada!

Because storms were predicted for today and tomorrow, we left Treadwell Marina early.
Treadwell Bay Marina

rails in center are for dock cart
As soon as we were on Lake Champlain, we heard a securite' for mariners warning about 2 to 3 foot seas.  It was quite beamy for about 20 minutes, but when we turned north, we had a following sea and it was a smooth ride.  Although very windy and hot, we arrived at the Canadian Customs office with no problems.  The office is nothing more than a small dock and building.  Daybreak checked in first and we were glad they did because we were able to see how they handled the windy dockage. 

While Ron checked us in by presenting our passports and records of Duke's immunizations, Duke and I took a brief walk.  The only question asked of us was,  "Do you have any weapons or mace on board".  We've been told that boaters are often asked how much alcohol they have on board.  Apparently, Canadian liquor is much more expensive and some people transport alcohol for sale to Canadians.
We arrived in St. Jean just before the storms.  It was very hot, but the storms brought cooler weather.
 While in St. Jean we rode our bikes to a specialty grocery mall 20 minutes away.  There was a cheese store, a fish store, a produce store, a meat market, etc.  We attended Saturday mass
 and then went out to dinner at an Irish restaurant.  On the way we passed a park with several neat sculptures. 
Art imitation life?

On the way back from dinner, we found an outdoor restaurant that was playing 1960s and 1970s rock and roll, so we stopped to listen.
Later, we passed a park where speakers were set up playing Latin music and many locals were there dancing. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013


0900 - We departed from Chipman's Point and headed for Vergennes VT.

For Sale

Duke on the gunwale

Daybreak at Fort Ticonderoga
Crown Point Samuel de Champlain Memorial
Daybreak at the new Crown Point Bridge
Fort Ticonderoga was not nearly as impressive from the water.  Today the water was dead calm--no breeze and temps were in the upper 90's.  We ran the generator and the AC while underway.
Seven miles up Otter Creek is Vergennes, VT.  Due to recent flooding, the water is very high.  The lowest water level below our tranducer was 12 ft, ample for most boats.  The free dock had two spaces left, but there was no power available for those two spots, so we had no AC unless we ran the generator.  The current in the creek is very strong due to the  (hydroelectric) waterfall upstream.
Adagio at the free Vergennes dock

We walked UPHILL to town in the extreme heat.  We returned to the boat for a couple of hours, and then returned to Park Squeeze for dinner and a band concert in the park.

Jeanne & Jan at Vergennes concert
Park Squeeze(gourmet food at reasonable prices) is under new management.  In my opinion, it was one of the best meals on the entire loop. 

7/16/13 (Vergennes to Shelburne Farms anchorage)
This was a very easy day.  The weather was great and it was just a short trip to Shelburne Marina for fuel and then on to the anchorage. To cool off, we jumped in the water from the swim deck.

 Kenny and Jeanne invited us to join them for dinner at Shelburne Farms. We were joined by Lexie (daughter of a friend of theirs) and Mark, her boyfriend.  We took the dinghy to shore where Lexie and Mark picked us up.  The Shelburne property was once owned by a Vanderbilt and contains a huge farm and very old upscale hotel. 

Shelburne Hotel
All food is locally grown, but the entrees were very pricey. A scoop of ice cream was the size of a melon ball....not worth the $3. The heat was oppressive and of course this is Vermont....,.no air conditioning. The grounds of the hotel were beautiful. We took several photos there.
Sunset on the Champlain
Kenny, Lexie, Jeanne, Mark
view of the Hudson from the grounds
7/17/13 (Burlington, VT)
From the anchorage, it was only 5 miles to Burlington.  The heat, again, was oppressive.  The heat wave is affecting 2/3 of the US and no relief is expected for several days. Other boaters are here: Schiffli, Charis, Go, Five O'clock, and Grianan.  The last time we saw Grianan was in Alabama two years ago.  Ron and I walked 5 blocks to a laundromat (no AC) and spent a very warm hour waiting for clean clothes.
A former colleague of Kenny's invited all of us to dinner at his home.  Our hosts, Fran and Bill, provided us with a fun evening. They live is a geodesic dome style home which they built in the 1960's.  We would have liked to stay longer in Burlington, but the marina is booked for a sailing regatta and the Canadian Construction Workers Holiday.

7/18/13 (Burlington to Treadwell Bay, NY-25 miles)
This was a short trip for us. Treadwell Bay Marina is a man-made harbor and is very nice.  Jeanne and I spent two hours in the pool to cool off while the guys did some planning for the trip north.  We met an interesting local couple at the pool.  He is a retired optometrist and she is a retired English/French teacher.  90% of the boats here are owned by Quebecers.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Champlain Canal

Today we went through the Troy Federal Lock.  Tying up in this lock is different from any we have gone through thus far.  The goal is to hook your line from your center cleat around a pipe in the wall of the lock.  Everyone locking through had trouble because of the turbulence in this lock.  After the lock, we had an easy ride to Waterford's free dock at the Visitors' Center.  The only charge is $10 for 2 nights of electric hookup.  Some boats here have been waiting 28 days for the Erie to open.  We walked up to lock 2 on the Erie and met some more loopers who were waiting.  The people from town had written a song for them and came to perform it a few nights ago.  All of the locals have been very good to the loopers.  I'm sure they appreciate the additional business that the Erie closing has provided for the town.  We went to dinner at McGrievy's with Kenny and Jeanne (Daybreak).  Great meal with lots of leftovers.

We walked two blocks to breakfast at Paul and Don's.  For $2.00, you get 2 eggs (any style) and toast.  For an additional $1, you get your choice of potatoes.  Great value.  We had planned to leave in the morning, but our shore power inlet plug was fried (could have caused a fire), so we ordered an overnight replacement.
smart plug

  Our printer on board wasn't working, so we ordered a new printer, too.  Lucy and Woody (Oyster) pulled into Waterford today.  They are waiting here until the Erie opens.

  Ron replaced the plug with no difficulties and set up the new printer.  Eddy and Linda (Spiritus) arrived today. We were visiting on the dock when a local couple from a nearby marina joined us. Tom was quite a story teller.  Last summer his boat caught on fire and he jumped in the Hudson to put the fire out.  His skin grafts on both legs had healed nicely, but it was a harrowing experience. 

We left our good friends in Waterford.

Tour de Loop, our neighbors from Safety Harbor FL

Kenny and  Jeanne (Daybreak) and Ron and I headed for the free dock in Ft. Edward, NY.  We had no problems in the six locks today.

 Lines hang down from the lock.  The goal is for someone on the bow and someone on the stern grab a line and hold on.
Zebra mussels on the lock wall, they squirt water at you

When we arrived, there were only two spots left on the dock.  There was a nice open area where Duke was able to run free for the first time in weeks.  He and some other dogs played until they were exhausted.  Two other boats (Go and Five O'Clock) came in late and looked for a place on the dock.  We adjusted our tie-ups to make room for them. 

Five O'Clock and Go left for the dock 15 minutes before us, but Adagio and Daybreak caught up with them and ended up locking through the next 5 locks with them.  We arrived in Whitehall Harbor Marina early in the afternoon. They have great dock help!  This marina is just outside the lock.  We reconnected with Ken and Ann (Charis) after last seeing them one day in Kingston a few weeks ago.  Dinner was at the marina with Kenny, Jeanne, Ken and Ann.  We had a great brisket soaked in whiskey and brown sugar.  Yum!  Whitehall has their 4th of July celebration the weekend after the 4th of July, so we were treated to another fireworks display which we watched from the top deck of our boat. 

0900 We left for Chipman's Point Marina (Vermont) with Kenny and Jeanne.  This is a lovely location on the Champlain.  The building, currently used by the marina, was built in 1824 and constructed of local stone.

  Since they have a loaner car, we borrowed it so that we could visit Fort Ticonderoga.
The marina is on the Vermont side of Champlain, so we took a ferry across to the NY side.

  The four of us toured the Fort and the gardens before driving in to the town of Ticonderoga. Boy was it HOT!

After touring the Fort, we toured the King's Garden

 and then went to the town of Ticonderoga.

The history of Ticonderoga pencils is an interesting story that begins in 1812. Pencils are used today for a variety of uses and come in various styles and forms, as well.
In 1812, Joseph Dixon made his first pencil and the idea was born. From that point, he went to work establishing his company and in 1827, he started what would later become known as the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company. In addition, this company began selling graphite to people to use as stove polish and later evolved to marketing graphite as a heat-resistant product. He moved his company to Jersey City, New Jersey where he had built his new factory. As popularity for the pencil grew and the demand increased, Dixon invented a machine that was able to produce pencils at a faster rate of 132 pencils per minute.
The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company became incorporated as a public company in 1868. In 1869 Joseph Dixon died, leaving his son-in-law in charge of the company. By 1872, the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company was manufacturing pencils in mass production, making 86,000 pencils per day. In 1873, the company purchased the American Graphite Company, which was based in Ticonderoga, NY. Moreover, in 1873, the Dixon Ticonderoga pencil is released to the public.

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