Our original plan had been to head North and cruise the Rideau and Richeleau Canal systems in Canada and then back track the way we came up from Norfolk, VA; spending time in the Chesapeake Bay until mid-October and then heading to Florida for the Winter. However, we changed our minds and will be making a left turn and going into the Trent Severn Canal, then through the Georgian Bay and North Channel of Lake Huron; eventually arriving in Lake Michigan where we will spend a little time visiting family and friends. We haven’t told them yet, but I know that they will be excited to see us. Then Mark will have his dream of finishing up this portion of the “Great Loop” and getting his flag! We will still end up in Florida (have not made our reservation yet) via the Illinois River, Mississippi River, Ohio River, Tennessee River and the Tombigbee River to Mobile, AL. From there it is simply following the panhandle of Florida down to the Fort Meyers area where we will be able to visit some friends. Then next year we will head to the Abacos in the Bahamas for a few months and back North to the Chesapeake Bay, and the New England Coast. This is the beauty of not having too much of a plan – you can change your mind and go elsewhere if you want! As it turns out we made the right decision. We just found out today that parts of the Rideau Canal are closed because the water is too high. We would have been stuck!
We spent time on Lake Ontario; anchored one night in White Cove in Henderson Bay. A beautiful, peaceful anchorage (except for the obnoxious jet skiers for awhile). We had a perfect crossing on the lake from Oswego, NY – just the way the Admiral likes it! Once anchored, I made a lovely little lunch of shrimp and avocado salad. Then we lowered the kayak and I went for a little spin. It is great to be in this fresh water. The water is a little brisk at first, but proved to be lovely for a swim. Tomorrow we will enter Canada and after clearing customs, we will purchase a fishing license. Andy is looking forward to getting a hook in the water. Not sure what we can keep, but we will be sure to find out. Can’t wait to have some fresh fish for dinner! We have been eating quite well on board since I have been back. Not too many complaints from the Captain and crew – nor should there be any!!
Before entering Lake Ontario, we left the Erie Canal, turning North onto the Oswego Canal. We spent two nights in Brewerton, NY at a wonderful boatyard – Winter Haven, where Mark had another expensive piece of equipment installed in the engine room (aka – a boat unit). They had a courtesy car there for us to use and I was able to stock up on some wonderful supplies at a Wegman’s grocery store. If you have never experienced a Wegman’s, think “Nordstrom’s” of grocery stores. The food and customer service is excellent. Andy got lots of exercise walking into town and getting to know some of the locals. We have also met some wonderful people so far along the way. We invited one couple over for cocktails one night. They are from Kingston Ontario; Julia and Dennis Moore. He works for a company which moves hospital equipment to new facilities. It is the only such company around that specializes in doing this. She is a police officer in Kingston, specializing now in “CSI” type work. A very interesting couple. They just purchased their first boat – a 40 year old boat, modeled after an east coast lobster boat, that looks like a quaint cottage inside. Neither really has much boating experience and are learning as they are going along and I must say are doing very well. He is a very handy type person, which is a good thing on a boat like that.
Along the way I decided to fit Pema with her life jacket. What a hoot! She just plopped over and layed there with a look on her face like “what the hell???”. We all laughed so hard. Ming loves just hanging out inside and does not venture outside too often unless we are out there. Pema, on the other hand, is a little devil when we are docked. She will take any moment that we are not looking to jump ship and begin to explore the dock. We must always be diligent in watching her. This morning I was doing dishes and saw her out the porthole wandering. The other evening, she jumped from the top deck onto the dock! They really do love being on the boat. There is always something new to see all around them.
We have become pretty proficient at handling the locks. We have gone through 29 locks since entering the Erie Canal. Which is good since we have 41 more to go until we reach Lake Huron!!
We spend two nights in Kingston Ontario. What a great town. Within walking distance lots of restaurants and shopping. The wi-fi at the marina was pretty sketchy, so I haven’t had a chance to upload photos to the blog until today – in Belleview Ontario. Tomorrow we begin the Trent Severn – Lock 1.
Leaving Kingston, the wind was pretty strong and we encountered some pretty wavy water. We didn’t think to give Ming and Pema their motion sickness medication. So I was on clean-up duty with cat barf. Yuk! Poor kitties. But it settled down about an hour out and they sacked out until our arrival in Belleville.
It was quite a site to see us coming into this marina. The wind was blowing right on our beam at 30 mph. Coming in we just got pushed off all the time. We were finally able to get a line tossed to someone on the dock. It took 3 people to get us pulled in enough to get the other lines to them. Whew! Time for a cocktail! Just watched another boat come in – what a difference two engines and a stern thruster makes. Wonder how many boat units a stern thruster is????
Since just missing hit by Hurricane Arthur coming up the east coast (Mark and Andy experienced heavy rains and winds but were tied to a sturdy dock), we have been blessed with very nice weather, just an occasional shower. Hope it stays that way for awhile.
Until next time – fair winds and calm seas.