Thursday, August 29, 2013

8/29/13 Brewerton

I can't believe that it is almost September.  We've been living on the boat since May 1st, although the first few weeks were spent in New Jersey preparing for our journey.  Ron returned to NJ yesterday to pick up our truck.  He will be back in Brewerton later this evening.
While he was gone, I took numerous piles of sheets, towels, and clothing to the laundromat followed by lunch at a restaurant on the Oneida River. Thanks to Ken and Ann (Charis) for the loan of their car.

Charis & Adagio, finally together

The water here is yucky.  It is cloudy and has lots of surface algae.  Duke really wants to swim, but I've kept him out so far.
Because the marina has only one road in and out, we've been able to allow Duke some freedom. Today when I let him loose, he headed for the Ship's Store and went in to request one of the dog biscuits.  He's a schemer!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

8/28/13 Brewerton

Since Ron is going to be gone a couple of days, it seemed like a good time to clean the boat and assemble the laundry.  Although I feel better than yesterday, I overdid it today and took a long nap.  This boatyard is very quiet.  The only time I saw another person was on my way to the shower this morning.  Brewerton Boat Yard has a female dog named Bear.  She has a collection of bones around the property and Duke has taken 6 of them and brought them aboard.  Every time I go to shore, I return one. 

8/27/13 Brewerton

"Daybreak/ Daybreak.....Adagio"
"Channel 17"
Adagio this is Daybreak"

We had the above conversation several times a day as we traveled with Jeanne and Kenny during the past 8 weeks.  We miss our traveling buddies!!

They're sailing away, we've been together since Kingston NY

I developed pain in the right side of my back last night which progressed to aching and fever today.  I spent the entire day in bed. 

Ron plans to  take the train tomorrow from Syracuse to NYC.  Wayne has agreed to take him to the train at that's a nice boatyard owner!

8/26/13 Minetto NY to Brewerton, NY

It was a short day with 3 locks on the Oswego Canal and a couple on the Erie Canal.  We pulled in to Brewerton Boat Yard while Daybreak fueled up at another marina where fuel was significantly cheaper.  Wayne, the owner of Brewerton Boat Yard is a great guy.  We settled in our slips and went out to dinner at AG's, a local restaurant.  It was very good.  This will be our last evening with Jeanne & Kenny (Daybreak).

They will continue East on the Erie heading toward the Hudson River and eventually back to Delaware, while we will stay here for at least a week.  We haven't decided yet whether we will head west on the Erie for a few weeks to visit the Finger Lakes. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sacketts Harbor, NY to Minetto, NY 8/25/13

Since we couldn't get reservations last night at Tin Pan Galley, we opted for breakfast there today.  Kenny got the single stuffed French toast which looked like a huge dessert.  Jeanne and I had huevos rancheros, and Ron settled on the breakfast sandwich.  Great food!

We knew bad weather was predicted for tonight so we wanted to cross Lake Ontario while things were relatively calm.  We were bounced around a little with 1-2 footers, but the water calmed down as we approached Oswego.

Tugboat "Frances", his barges came from Trois Riveries, Quebec

  We passed through 4 locks on the Oswego Canal and arrived at a town dock in Minetto.  This dock had room for two boats and also offered electricity.  Although there is no official fee for tying up here, they ask for a donation.  As we were pulling in to this small dock, there was a couple sitting there fishing.  It was obvious that I needed to pull up to the cleat where they were sitting, but they were not moving!! 

Tonight after dinner on the boats, we walked to Stewarts for a few groceries.  When we got back we said some tentative goodbyes to Jeanne and Kenny who will head back toward the Chesapeake soon. 

Do you remember The Twilight Zone TV show?  If you do.....start humming the theme song......
"Imagine, if you will, living in a house where you wake up every morning with different streets, different stores, and different neighbors. (Cruising is like this)  Every day is different.  But your favorite neighbors are always there to share the strange new settings with you.  Then one day, your favorite neighbors disappear ....gone forever. " So what do you do?  You write a song about them:

Jeanne & Kenny’s song     tune: ( Auld Lang Syne)

When friends depart and leave the cruise
They’ll be forever missed
The time we spent together
Really made our bucket list

You made our trip a special time
Our meeting seemed like fate
We met in Kingston (town) New York
Cause the Erie opened late

 One day you needed groceries
We drove you there by car
As soon as we got to your boat
I dropped your syrup jar

We shared good times
Became good friends
The food and wine were great
We hope to see you both again
Real soon, let’s set a date!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wellesley Island to Sackets Harbor

We planned to leave early, planning a long day.  But we awoke to a heavy fog on the river and needed to wait an hour until it cleared.  Then it was a short 10 mile run up the St. Lawrence to Clayton NY where we stopped to tour the Antique Boat Museum.

This museum is one of the finest of its kind.  Every kind of old boat is on display, some as found in someone's garage, some completely restored.  There were canoes, rowing skiffs, and run-abouts.  A whole building was devoted to racing boats.  Did you know Guy Lombardo raced boats?  Do you even remember who Guy was?  Another fun fact learned at the museum was that Dr. Seuss did ad work for Standard Oil Co., doing many "EssoMarine" advertisements.  He used characters similar to those seen in his children's books.

After lunch on board, we headed out for the 45 miles to Sackets Harbor.  Kenny arranged with the dockmaster to arrive after the usual marina closing time.  As soon as we got in, at least right after we walked Duke, we headed out to find a restaurant.  We really wanted to eat at Tin Pan Alley, but they were booked for the night.  We settled for our 2nd choice, Sackets Harbor Brewery.  By the time we got back to the marina, it was time for lights out.

Friday 8/23/2013 Gananoque to Boldt Castle & Wellesley Island

We left Gananoque and headed down the St. Lawrence, mostly taking side channels and narrow passages between some of the many islands.  Some cottages were huge mansions, while others were simple one or two room places.  Many islands contained only one cottage, and some islands were the size of the cottages.


Eventually we had to cross over from the Canada side to the US side, and we did that just past Heart Island & the Boldt Castle. We cleared customs on Heart Island and spent most of the afternoon touring the Castle & the Boldt Boathouse.
Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle Boat House
Power house
on the veranda--see the heart in the bench?
dining room
the foyer
another view of the power house

 If you don't know the story, George Boldt built a castle for the love of his life, his wife (1900).  She died suddenly and George, whose heart was broken, abandoned the nearly complete structure and it went into ruin.  Eventually the Thousand Islands International Bridge Commision took possession and started a lengthy renovation project.  Many of the main rooms are completed, and work is underway to complete some of the upper rooms.  Most of the upper rooms are still grafitti covered.

Did you know George Boldt made his millions as the most successful hotel magnate in America?  He ran and had a financial interest in the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia and the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.  Did you also know the original Waldorf-Astoria was torn down to make room for the Empire State Building?

We had intended to stay at the Thousand Islands Yacht Club Friday night.  But when we called their office, they gave us the number of the place next door.  Jake, the dockmaster at the next door Wellesley Island Yacht Club, met us and directed us in to our dock.  It wasn't as nice as the TIYC, but it had everything we needed.  Duke loved the place - the marina is on an grassy island, with a single dock ramp to the mainland.
However, Duke took a detour and left the island and escaped.  We recruited several boaters to look for him.  Fifteen minutes later, he reappeared from under a nearby dock where he was looking for critters.  He was a wet mess and had to be bathed.

After getting settled in we rode Daybreak's dingy over to friends of Kenny & Jeanne for a small cocktail party.  We had a great time, the catered food was fabulous, and we had several interesting conversations - mostly about boats.  Turns out they knew the boat, a 60 ft. Azimuth, that Daybreak had to make room for back in Kingston NY.  And that same boat later was badly damaged in the Erie Canal when it hit a submerged car.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday - a rainy day in Gananoque

The weather was threatening today, so we decided to spend another night here in Gananoque.  The rain came hard, just as we were ordering lunch at the "Maple Leaf", the same Czech restaurant we lunched at on Wednesday.  Everyone brought rain jackets except Ron, luckily Jeanne brought an umbrella as well.

In the afternoon, some took long naps, some went to the local museum.  Tonight we all wound up at the town gazebo for some jazz.  Rain was still possible, so the concert was not well attended.  Afterwards we went back to our boats to chart Friday's route to Heart Island and Boldt Castle.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gananoque, ON

Tuesday 8/21/13

We headed this morning for a marina in Gananoque, ON.  This trip only took us 45 minutes.  Once we settled in, we all walked in to town for lunch and groceries.  Last week we found a Czech restaurant in Smiths Falls, today another here in Gananoque, great food at both.  Ron & Kenny both had Bohemium Spatzle (with Bacon & Sauerkraut.)  Ken and Ann (Charis) arrived mid-afternoon from Kingston.  Tonight we plan to attend a play at a nearby playhouse.  Although we finally have WIFI, the signal is weak, so we may or may not be able to post on the blog.  Storms are predicted tomorrow, so we may stay here one more day. 

The play, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, was great.  Can you spell "hillarious"?  If you've seen this musical comedy, you are aware that 4 people are pre-selected from the audience to participate.  Three women and Kenny Beach were chosen, but Jeanne and I didn't know it until he was called to the stage.  What a hoot!  They described Kenny as the new Justin Bieber look alike.

Camelot Island, day 2


It is hard to leave Camelot, so we decided one more day here would be wonderful.  The island is small enough to walk around, making a good hike as we walked with Duke.  He and Ron made several trips to shore.  Duke loved it so much that he would lie down in protest when it was time to leave.  Jeanne found a high rock on the island and took her music and French horn for a Camelot practice session.  When some hikers came upon her, they were very surprised to hear a concert.

Camelot Island, day 1

Monday 8/19/13
Here we are in Camelot, yes, Camelot. This is one of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence Seaway near Kingston, ON. We arrived after a short 25 mile ride from Kingston. On the way, our chart plotter stopped functioning, but we were able to use our backup chart on the laptop. Why is it so important to have charts in this area, you ask. Well the bottom is very rocky and unforgiving, so we definitely had to watch our depth. We found one mooring ball available, so Ron and I took it because it had a nearby dinghy dock for Duke.
  Jeanne and Kenny went to look for an available dock (the docks are very small only holding a couple of boats) but they were all taken.  So they returned and rafted up to our boat.  That made it more fun anyway, because we were able to talk as good neighbors do. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Kingston Ontario

Kingston is the first Canadian city that we have actually visited together before.  We liked it then, loved it now.

We spent the day with Jeanne and Kenny from Daybreak playing tourist.  We rode the trolley to get acquainted with the city attractions.

  Our first stop was the prison museum which turned out to be very interesting.  Convicts can be very ingenious in creating weapons and means of entertainment while locked up.  And it appears water-boarding was widely practiced here in the mid to late 1800's.

When we returned to our boats, Ann & Ken from Charis had arrived and we all had dinner together at the Chez Piggy, a very nice restaurant enclosed in a back alley courtyard.

 Our original summer cruise plans were to spend more time with Ken & Ann.  We were briefly together at Half-Moon-Bay and had lunch in Kingston NY.  We didn't cross paths again until Lake Champlain, at Whitehall & again at Burlington VT.   After that we waved once when we passed them in a marina below the St. Ours Lock just before the St. Lawrence River.  Then we went down the St. Lawrence and they went up to Montreal.  The next time we saw them was at Ottawa, but we were at the bottom of the staircase locks, and they were at the top and leaving the next day.  Somehow we passed them when winds kept them in port at Portland ON, while we were on the lee shore and headed for Westport.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lower Brewer Lock to Kingston Ontario

Our last day on the Rideau, the scenery changed dramatically.  For the 15 miles to Kingston, no more islands and rock cliffs, just farmland, shallow lakes, and marshland.  At Brewer Lock we met a couple of canoe-campers and we found one of their tent pegs.  They were off at dawn, and we never caught up to return the peg.

The last lock station, Kingston Mills, consists of 4 locks and a swing bridge build right over the top lock.  It was quite an engineering feat to build this station, solid granite most of the way down.

Lock was filled to the brim
We didn't have to wait for the causeway bridge which has scheduled openings. There is a lower clearance channel off to one side. We let Daybreak go first this time since his air draft is only 14 ft. He was able touch the bridge bottom from his flybridge, so we knew that Adagio had about a foot between the bridge and our masthead light. We did proceed with extreme caution!
We arrived before noon, so we went out for lunch (again).   Ron tried "Breakfast Poutine."  We took naps and went out for dinner, and again Kenny picked the wine.  He always tells me..."I'm going to pour this, but you don't have to drink it".  I've emptied every glass of wine he's poured for me:)

Jones Falls to Lower Brewer Lock

Friday 8/16/2013

Our daily travel distances seem to be getting shorter, yesterday it was less than 18 miles from Westport to the bottom of Jones Falls.   No one on Adagio or Daybreak wants the Rideau to end, but Kingston will be coming up soon.  After a leisurely breakfast at the Kenney Hotel (free docking while dining), we headed downstream again. We took a short side trip into Morton Bay just to take a look around - great place to anchor.

Today's distance was less than 16 miles.  We locked through here at Lower Brewers about 1:30, usually too early to stop.  But there wasn't much boat traffic and the lockmaster let us stay on the blue line at the bottom of the lock (where boats waiting to lock through wait.)

Lower Brewer Lock was an especially nice dock: power if needed, apple pie and cider up the hill, and a neat metal art studio across the bridge. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Westport Harbour to Jones Falls Ontario

We left early after one more quick trip to the grocery store.  Another really nice cruising day on the Rideau Waterway.  Passed through several very narrow channels & canals and went trough several more lock stations, finishing up with the four locks at Jones Falls.
This is the first time since the St. Ours Lock on the Richelieu River that we had to lock down instead of up.  You really have to watch your fender placement.   When you enter the lock, the water level is only inches below the top of the lock.  You can't reach the lock cables so you pass your dock line to the dock staff who run it around the lock cable guides.  We were headed for an anchorage in Morton Bay, but decided to stay on the "blue" line dock below the locks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Smith Falls to Westport


It was raining, but we left Smith Falls and headed for Perth—7 miles up the river.  At one of the locks, we met Emily, a lock worker who was celebrating her 19th birthday today.  Nineteen is the legal drinking age in Canada…as noted by one of her co-workers.  Emily is a second year nursing student who hopes to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. 
Happy Birthday, Emily

Just after the lock, we saw 30 kayaks traveling from Kingston, Ontario to Ottawa on a fund-raising  trip for the Cancer Society. 

After 2 locks, we headed in to the Perth Channel to wait for the Perth lock.  As we prepared to tie up on the blue line, we noticed the boat, Ookpik (Bruce and Karen) with whom we spent several days on the Tennessee River two years ago. 
Bruce (in red)

They plan to meet Salty Paws (another boat from our Tennessee River trip) in Waterford and then head for the Bahamas.  Salty Paws owners have traded their small boat for a big PDQ catamaran.  We decided to head for Westport and arrived there midafternoon.  We toured the quaint town and bought ice cream before heading back to the boat.  While walking the dock, we saw another boat from our long stay in Kingston, NY. Maureen and Peter on  Duddon Pilot are here, too./

Kilmarnock Lock to Smith Falls


Our departure,  scheduled for 0830 was delayed by fog which lifted after an hour’s wait.  We went a total of 7 miles (5 locks) today and it took over 2 hours. 

swing bridge

many properties have aqua-planes in their yards
lock building-viewed as we came up the lock wall
workers at the lock
Jeanne...grabbing the cable in the lock

to fit all of the boats in, we had to go to the very front of the lock

Since Smith Falls had been recommended to us, we tied up to the town wall and walked in to town. 

downtown Smith Falls

Daybreak and Adagio on the wall

 One of the lockmasters had recommended a restaurant to Jeanne, so we tried and loved it.  My Place was run by a family from the Czech Republic and served ethnic food. Yummy.  (Do we sound like we work for the food network?)

 Ron and Kenny went to the Rideau Canal Museum while Jeanne and I did some shopping.  The rain started shortly after we returned to the boat mid-afternoon, so Jeanne practiced the French horn on their boat and I played some dulcimer tunes on ours.

We rarely eat at the same restaurant twice, but we liked My Place so much that we went back for dinner.


Hurst Marina to Kilmarnock Lock


We departed on a bright sunny morning for Merrickville and 8 locks.  The big boat behind us in the lock was a novice boater.  He scraped the wall with his boat and his girlfriend on the bow didn’t know what to do.  She still had the line tied on to the rail instead of having it ready to tie around the cable.  They made us nervous as the came close to the stern of our boat.

We tried to find a spot on the dam wall at Merrickville, but it was full, so we raced on to the Kilmarnock Lock.  We made it with 25 minutes to spare.  Once through the lock, we tied to the west wall for the evening.  It was a peaceful rural setting.  Duke was able to run free for some much needed exercise.   This was one of my favorite wall ties.
Beautiful area

Duke loved this area

gorgeous wildflowers

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Leaving Ottawa


We headed for the 9am bridge opening and the first of eight locks.  The Rideau is a narrow river with residences on both sides---quiet, peaceful and rural.  Hurst Marina turned out to have showers, water, electricity and laundry---all of which had been absent for the past week of tying up to lock or town walls.  The weather has been, crisp evenings and warm sunny days.

After one of the locks, we tied up and walked into town for groceries.  A huge kayak race was taking place on the river at the kayak club.

The entire Rideau has 49 locks from Ottawa to Kingston.  Kenny and Jeanne have really gotten good at the locking process....their first was only a month ago.

Tonight....haircuts for Ron and Kenny.  I think I've found a new profession.  They both look much better:)

Ottawa Day 3

We took the Grayline bus tour ($30 each) for a tour of the city. Ottawa was hosting a world class run/bike/run event.  Athletes from many countries were present for the race.

 Afterward, we rode our bikes about 4 miles to Dows Lake and on to the next lock to check out our route out of Ottawa. 
Ron and I attended church at Notre Dame Basilica....probably one of the most beautiful churches (inside) that I've ever seen. 

The service was bilingual...every other reading was in English, but the homily was in both languages.
After church, Ron and I stopped at another pub for a quick dinner.

Ottawa day 2

Sculpture along the canal

We got in line for tickets to tour Parliament.  There is no charge for the tour of the Central and East buildings and no charge for the tour of the grounds.  After going through minimal security, we were guided through the beautiful Central building which was rebuilt after a fire in 1916.  The only part that survived was the wood adorned library.   Parliament meets in this Central building.  Canada has 305 members of the House of Commons who are elected and represent about 110,000 people each.  The 105 senators are appointed to their positions by the Governor General.  Jessica, our tour guide had only worked there for a month, but she was very entertaining and informative.

Our tour of the East building (an office building) led by Alex was not nearly as interesting


As we walked around town, we found that Canadians follow traffic rules jaywalking or walking when the don't walk sign is posted.  That was not true for the tourists.

Outdoor restaurants are located throughout the city and we tried several of them.
Kenny and Jeanne at one of the many restaurants

The light show on Parliament Center occurs nightly at 9:30pm and depicts the history of Canada...what a fabulous free show.  We were joined by hundreds of people sitting on the lawn. 

Sunset view from our boat looking under the bridge

Ottawa-day 1


Ottawa Falls

The 9 am lock opening turned out to be downward locking rather than upward locking, so we had to wait until 11:30 to begin the 8 stairstep locks. The total process took us 3 hours. 
8 stairstep locks into Ottawa

We locked through with Allez (a Canadian 1930 Criscraft), Daybreak and 2 other fast boats.

Louie and his son on Allez

view of locks from the bottom

During the lockage, there were many spectators (from France, Netherlands and many other countries) who talked with us as we rose up the canal.  One couple asked Ron if we had won the lottery since we were able to do this fabulous trip. 

Our lockmaster...she organized the lift

Once we were lifted through all 8 locks, we found a spot on the canal wall which was a free tie-up but had no electricity or water.  We were forced to run the generator at least every 24 hours to recharge the house batteries. 

Fortissimo is an event that occurs on 3 consecutive days once a year, and tonight just happened to be the first day of the event.  The ceremony included calling the troops and changing of the guard at Parliament.  There were bands, marching troops, horsemen, and cannons. Outstanding!