Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Run to Trenton, Ontario, Canada

Day 68 ... June 27, 2017 ... 55.1 miles traveled in 6:50
Loyalist Cove Marina, Bath, Ontario, Canada to Trent Port Marina, Trenton, ON, CA
We left the Hudson River at Waterford, off to the right in the pic
ran the Erie Canal to about the middle of the picture
turned north on the Oswego Canal and crossed Lake Ontario almost straight north
then ran to Trenton, On, CA, where we are now
We will take the Trent Severn Waterway (the zig-zag river, left of center) to Georgian Bay

heading out under gray dark sky; Firestorm ahead

Left Loyalist Cove, with Firestorm by 9am, heading SW on Aldophus Reach to Bay of Quinte and Trenton. We hope to get to Trenton, but that is another long day of travel at 55 miles, in a slow boat, with rain and thunderstorms in forecast. We have a place picked out half way if it gets uncomfortable.
Sanctuary & 2 other trawlers run with us for a while

Firestorm passing a Ferry Terminal

Not long after we head out, 3 trawlers come out from another Canadian check in point marina and start running with us. I think I see Day Dream ahead of them, but she is too far ahead to tell.
looks to be clearing ahead
The weather is not forecast to be great for the next five days, plus Saturday is July 1st, Canada Day. We have been told to stay put on Canada Day because the entire country is off work and out partying. Nice of them to throw Rip a birthday party! We booked a slip for a week, same price as five days, at Trent Port Marina. It is supposed to be a wonderful, upscale marina. Firestorm did the same.
the water level is incredibly high; reported at 35" to 4' high
many places there is no shoreline & tree trunks are in the waterway
Oh, forgot to mention, back on the Oswego Canal 3 days ago. As we left lock 2, the lock master told us the next lock only had one door functioning. As we approached lock 3, that lock master said to wait at the wall and he would notify us, on VHF, when he could get the lock ready for us. Our 3 boats tied to the wall to wait and I took Cally to shore for potty break. We saw Day Dream at the small town marina by lock 3 and said hi. They fit, at 25' feet. We wouldn't fit or if we did we would block the fairway for boats to get in or out. Within 15 mins or so, we were told to ready for the lock. All was repaired and both doors opened on each side for us! The things you do not think about ... stuff breaks and we wouldn't be able to go further for a while.
Waiting for a lock to be repaired
 Half the trip was dreary or raining. Sky's started to brighten off in the distance we are traveling. Finally, we hit sunny sky's, although more windy. Past Aldophus Reach to the Bay of Quinte, which with more fetch (distance over water the wind can travel to stir up waves) was a bit more bumpy. Heading into the waves was comfortable. If they were on the beam, side, it would be quite rolly. The three trawlers stopped mid point into Picton, ON. We pushed on. Day Dream is headed to Deseronto for the night. That was a bail out point for us if they weather turned. 
Sky finally brightens for a while

bridge across Bay of Quinte

the end of Bay of Quinte is in sight

The white area is our destination, Trent Port Marina
right there where the dark clouds are moving

Middle of the day brightened to quite a nice day, but dark clouds gathered around as we prepared to dock. Not a storm, just some scattered rain the rest of the day and night.

We had heard how nice this marina was, expectations were high and everyone was right. This, city owned/run marina is fairly new and spectacular. I will let the pics speak for themselves.

view to marina

view out to Bay of Quinte
and the point where fireworks barge will be Saturday night!
quite a swank facility

4 or 5 different sitting area

everything is immaculately landscaped & stunning

Day 69 ... June 28, 2017 ... 00 miles
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, ON
Today is the forecast as the nicest day for several. Lots of chores to do; 3 loads of laundry and boat cleaning plus lots of walks for Cally since she had two long traveling days without many long walks.
one of the town parks by the water

this little fella decided to rest while loopers chatted

We needed to purchase our Mooring Pass for Parks Canada so we can legally tie to the various park lock walls and through out the Canadian Park System. Firestorm rented a car for the week and graciously invited us to tag along with them to see Lock 1 of the Trent Severn Canal system to purchase the pass. We also received the update on all the high water, the fast currents and how things work. 
the Trent-Severn Waterway Gateway Bridge
we will go under this and on to lock 1 on Tuesday
we will come in on the water at the top of the picture

massive wood lock doors; water will fill so we can go
over the ledge and thru the doors once opened

view looking south where we will enter the lock

the north bound doors are opened manually; two people will hold the yellow handles and walk in a circled
to turn the mechanism that opens the doors. South bound doors are hydraulic.

By 5:00 pm, all the Loopers gathered on our dock for docktails. Half we knew, half were new to us. Some are staying only the night, some are staying longer than us.

All in all a busy, but good day.

Day 70 ... June 29, 2017 ... 00 miles
Trent Port Marina until Tuesday, 7/4/17
Started raining overnight and rain is forecast for all day, tomorrow and maybe Saturday. Glad we are staying put for a few more days.

Think this would be a fun trip but don't have a boat
this looks fun, safe and easy

Monday, June 26, 2017

Crossing Lake Ontario into Canada

Day 67 ... June 26, 2017 ... 53.8 miles traveled in 6 hours, 10 mins
Lock 7/8 Wall, Oswego, NY to Bath, Ontario, Canada
Kayaks locked thru yesterday

Firestorm & Sea Quest leaving Oswego this morning
Winds, waves, weather all indicated today was the Go Day for crossing Lake Ontario. We had been shooting for this day for several days. It is 55+\- miles to cross, making a long day for Cally. Our girl rose to the occasion ... I got a poo and 3 pees out of her on one walk. (TMI, sorry) Much better than expected, we had planned to walk her twice to get her empty for the trip across. With Cally's business done early, we readied the boat and ourselves to make the first lock opening, which was during a brief down pour.
The cut in the break water we go thru to Lake Ontario

Lab Partners heading out to Lake Ontario
Photo courtesy Laurie on Firestorm
Light house at the break water
 Next up was to turn into the marina by the end of the lock for a pump out. Our two friends and buddy boats for the crossing were at the marina ready to go. Pump out down and off we go ... Firestorm, Sea Quest and us.
Firestorm with dark skys beyond
So far, the seas are as forecast with 1 footers to start and decreasing to 0. The seas were a bit "confused" to start; we bounced around a tad. Now, the lake is like wavey glass. We were in and out of dark clouds and bright sunshine all day. A couple showers passed over us and once or twice once we docked.
Sea Quest with a rain storm beyond

Dark sky ahead

then bright sunshine

Lake Ontario is DEEP .....
Heading 349 Degrees at 8.5 miles per hour
561 feet deep - that is deep!!
We are not far from crossing into Canadian waters. You do not have to report to Canada while traveling. BUT, once you anchor or tie or up to a dock, i.e. touch Canadian soil, you must report. The procedure is to hoist a yellow quarantine flag, then the Captain goes to shore to call into a special phone number to call into for 
Quarantine flag hoisted
under dark skys

Canadian Customs. We have preregistered with our passport ID numbers and Cally's rabies cert number.  Rip then gets a clearance number and the OK to proceed and we, Cally and I as well as Rip, are free to move about the country. Which means Cally gets to go potty!

There are specific phone check in points with designated by Canadian Customs. Rip, along with buddy boat Firestorm, picked a marina as close and quick to get to as they could find that has the designation.

Meanwhile, there are scattered showers or thundershowers on radar we are watching. So far, so good. We knew we crossed into Canada by our chart plotter. So ... the yellow flag goes up.
so nice of Verizon to notify us we were in Canada

Radar to the left shows rain showers
to the right shows a magenta line between the US and Canada
we are getting close to crossing into Canada


Verizon, decided to let us know we were now in Canada, too

We entered Prince Edward Bay, passed Prince Edward Island and turned starboard, right, towards our marina destination. 
Prince Edward Island
Check in is next, hoisting the Canadian courtesy flag and having lunch. Well, potty time for Cally when we are cleared.

We have officially cleared customs
Firestorm at Loyalist Cove Marina

Our view tonight

the water is so clear; plant life grows up to the top of the water
this is really weird to see, as compared to the Chesapeake Bay
or the rivers & sounds around NC

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Leaving the Erie Canal; onto the Oswego Canal

Day 62 … Wednesday, June 21, 2017 … 23.7 miles traveled/ 3 hours, 15 minutes
Lock 20, Erie Canal to Sylvan Beach, NY
Leaving Lock 20 this morning
Last night our friends, one of our on & off buddy boats Day Dream, came over for dinner. They had scored a huge plate of pasta from a neighbor of the Lock 20 park. The neighbor was walking thru the park, stopped to chat with Day Dream. Next thing you know he comes back with a plate of cookies for them. THEN, in the morning they brought over this huge plate of pasta. WOW, was it good. We added a salad and a nice night of quiet conversation was had by all. 
That's Firestorm up ahead

one of the many dams we go around; this one has a huge
tree waiting to crash over and float down river

there are many "flood gates" we go under as we travel
these only come down when the canal floods to control the flooding

remains of the original Erie Canal
view forward

the sky brightens all day

Firestorm leaving a lock
A pretty, but cool day to travel. Bright sun, puffy clouds and Rip and I were in jeans and a light jacket. We’ll take it! Cally enjoyed the cool weather, too.

Today was an easy run of almost 24 miles; the first 18 were lock free. Then, 2 locks back to back both lowering us 25’. Yes, I said lowering. We grabbed lines to hold the boat in place by the lock wall and rode the water down.
Heron perch on debris at the edge of a dam

waterfall along the way

All 3 boats from last night, Firestorm, Day Dream and us, stopped here at Sylvan Beach. We caught back up to Kia Mae!! We missed Bad Habit, they are days ahead of us now and a faster boat without pets on board, so they can go farther than us in a day. It is an adorable beachy town with carnival rides by the beach, a huge beach and park plus shopping and restaurants. Rip made a run to the liquor store on the bike while I took Cally to go swim at the beach.
Sylvan Beach town wall for boats - FREE

Lots of carnival rides

Pretty park, but dogs not allowed in the picnic area 😞

4 other Looper boats, Firestorm, Day Dream, Kia Mae and us, went for ice cream in the mid-afternoon.
Rip in line for ice cream
Friend Laurie, from Firestorm, loving on Cally
I took Cally for a long walk, hoping it would end in a swim at the huge beach … NOPE. BIG sign said NO Dogs on the beach, 24 Hour Surveillance and $25 fine. Dang it. Wish they would provide a 30’ strip of beach for dogs. Oh, well. She was pooped from her long walk and never knew she might have been going swimming.
The beach goes around the shoreline for a long way
couldn't go on it with Cally 😒
The plan is to be here at this FREE wall for the night, then head across Oneida Lake tomorrow, if the weather holds. It isn’t a big lake … about 22 miles across. We don’t need perfect weather, but we don’t need to beat ourselves up either.
Looking out to Lake Oneida
Laurie & Mike walking their 2 pups

Day 63 … Thursday, June 22, 2017 … 28.9 miles traveled in 5 hours, 10 mins
Sylvan Beach, NY to Pirates Cove Marina, Brewerton, NY
heading out across Oneida Lake
First up, crossing Lake Oneida; pretty uneventful easy cruising and then back into the Erie Canal. We didn’t have definite docking plans, yet. So, a few phone calls later we had everything we needed and reserved at Pirates Cove Marina in Brewerton, NY.
Off Oneida Lake and back onto the canal
some bridges are only supposed to be 20-21' high at high water  ... we are 19'10" 
 We stopped for fuel in Brewerton. What should have been 25 minute stop was an hour because the fuel pump was painfully slow. Gees. No one was happy sitting in the sun for an hour waiting for fuel to drip into our tank. On to the last lock of the Erie Canal for us! The Erie continues on to the West, but we will take a right onto the Oswego Canal and head North toward Lake Ontario.

Waiting & waiting at the fuel dock
Due to weather, we plan to stay for 2 nights. The docks aren’t much to look at, but functional. There is a pool, nice clean updated bath/shower facility, laundry and restaurant! The couple that runs the place couldn’t be nicer and more helpful. Plus, they had a mechanic to do a swap out of a thermostat on the Cummins engine that Rip wants replaced. The mechanic pops by late in the day; he’ll be here first thing in the am and finish up.

Day 64 … Friday, June 23, 2017 … 00.00 miles traveled
Pirates Cove Marina, Brewerton, NY
The view at Pirates
Ends up being a long day for all; errands for me and Rip worked on the engine with the mechanic. Rip also did an oil change. Cally spent a lot of the day in the master berth so she didn’t interfere with the engine work or trip and fall in to the engine room while the hatch was open. I end up making two runs to the local marine parts place. We needed our Quarantine Flag (for entering Canada & a Canadian Courtesy Flag to fly once we drop the Quarantine Flag), while at the parts store Rip wanted me to pick up a replacement thermostat for the spare parts locker. Thermostat had to be ordered & picked up the shop (same day!!); so a return trip was in order.

In between, 4 Looper ladies piled into the marina courtesy car and headed to WalMart for provisions I usually buy about 14 days’ worth when I shop. With 4 of us, we packed that car!! Next up more laundry.
the view towards shore

There was a band on Friday night
didn't have to leave the boat for entertainment

Then it was pool time. All for Looper boats, Pharm Life, Firestorm, Tag Team & Lab Partners, enjoyed our own drinks
and munchies. Rip and I ordered appetizers from the restaurant before the others arrived. General Tso’s Chicken Wings & Fried Onions with Petal Sauce filled us up. We took desert back to the boat and called it a meal. Ok, not healthy and off the diet but really good!

Day 65 … Saturday, June 24, 2017 … 25.2 miles traveled in 5 hours, 10 mins
Brewerton, NY to Lock 7/Lock8 wall, Oswego, NY
We leave Brewerton and just a couple miles later leave the Erie Canal and head north onto the Oswego Canal.
Sign onshore: Erie Canal, Left & Oswego, Right
We will go thru 6 locks today … these locks lower the boat until we are at the level of Lake Ontario, our next destination. Each lock is different, but similar. Each entry is different, but similar. Each lock is a pain. It was sort of cool in the beginning, now they are just another thing to get through. The surrounding sights can be pretty, but it is slow work. At least today it is a clear crisp day, but temperatures are not high. It was comfortable weather to sit in the locks.
We are at the top of the lock, waiting to go down
once we are down we will go UNDER that green pedestrian crossing with the stop signs

Friend and Buddy Boater, Lauire from Firestorm holding a lock line
waiting for the water to drain snd the boats to start going down

Firestorm coming out of a lock

this is where Cally is supposed to stay when we are on deck during a lock
We decided early on to stay at the free wall between lock 7 & 8. We did locks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7. There isn’t a lock 4. We are right in front of lock 8, watching boats go thru the lock and can see Lake Ontario. It’s rather windy today and waves are crashing over the breakwaters. NOT a day for us to go out.

little duck family by the dam

one of the dams along the route

Lock to the right - we just came out
Dam to the left we went around

approaching another lock

approaching another lock

Inside a lock
Finally ... after 6 locks today ... tied up to a all between locks for the night

Day 66 … Sunday, June 25, 2017 … 00.00 miles traveled Lock7/Lock8 Wall, Oswego, NY
We are also close to town; time for a bike ride to WalMart for the (I hope) last of prescription refills we need before entering Canada. I think we are set so none needed until we re-enter the US in a few weeks. It is also windy & thunderstorms are due to roll in this afternoon. We’ll stay put, run errands, do chores and wait for tomorrow. Monday is shaping up to be a go day to cross Lake Ontario.

Rip does more maintenance; this time on the windshield wipers. Just getting things ready for open water cruising. We have been in inland rivers and canals for a long time now. Never having been on one of the great lakes in a boat, I can only imagine it is like the Chesapeake Bay. Could be good or the forecast could be off and we are in for a bumpy 50 mile ride. Time will tell.

Lots of Looper boats are positioning themselves here by lock 8 to cross Lake Ontario tomorrow. We have seen a few we know and more we have yet to meet, but know they are coming. The Looper Facebook group and the Looper app, with location map, keep us in touch with each other. I am sure Cally and I will wander down the docks again and meet more Loopers.
View from Lock 8 to Lake Ontario

Tomorrow … Lake Ontario and entering Canada??
View from our lock wall between Locks 7 & 8 in Oswego, NY