Trenton Ontario – Trent Port Marina (Port #113) ; July 26,27

Jul 26 – Thu
Thursday was a long day travelling 71 miles from Kingston to Trenton Ontario.

We will be in Trenton for 2 days, and on Saturday begin our journey up the famed Trent Severn Waterway.

If you remember the last post, we had a rough ride on Lake Ontario, it was whipped up like a Lion.
Like a Jekyll & Hyde character, on this morning Lake Ontario was again a gentle lamb.

The winds were still somewhat high at 15-25mph out of the SW, but we helped ourselves & the wave situation a lot by taking a route on the far north shore of Lake Ontario, with the Horseshoe, Amherst, & Waupos Islands blocking the wind, resulting in almost calm water.
We had a wonderful ride, doing 20mph for the first hour.20180727_155536 (2)

We arrived at the beautiful Trent Port Marina about 2pm.
The marina is very new, having been built only 4 years ago in 2014.
The main building, the grounds, the docks, and the showers are all beautiful and immaculately maintained. The 10 individual shower rooms are cleaned twice per day.
AND, it’s only $2.00/foot.
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After arrival, we had many tasks to complete prior to our start up the Trent Severn.
> We had to get a new burgee/flag holder.
> We had to investigate a Garmin Chartplotter Issue.
> We had to call Lock #1 to find out where to buy the Trent Severn Waterway Pass.
> We called ahead to reserve slips in Campbellford & Hastings.
> We washed the boat.

New burgee holder
Bummer of all bummers.
Shortly after departure from Kingston, I noticed that our AGLCA Burgee/Flag mast, was loose & wiggling within the body of the mast holder (thx to the 40mph wind in Kingston).
The last thing we needed to happen is for our beloved AGLCA burgee to break off and fall in the water (Oh, BTW – I just lost my 2nd hat while securing the flag while underway).
This is a big deal because our rail mounted mast holder is a replica of the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy female figure, given to us by Dave Sylver.
If I can’t repair it, I may not be able to get a replacement, and it is the coolest part of the boat.
FOR NOW, we have temporarily replaced it with a generic mast from the marine store.
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Blah , Generic like everyone else !

Garmin Chartplotter Issue
Also during the ride from Kingston to Trenton, I noticed that all the water depths and markers from Lake Ontario were active on our Garmin Chartplotter, and operating normally. As soon as we got on the Adolphus Reach Waterway, just south of Trenton, the screen went to just a blue water blob with no water depths, no markers, no information.
Luckily while underway, we had backup with the IPAD Garmin Blue Charts Mobile. Both the chartplotter & IPAD have read the exact same info on the entire trip. We usually set the chartplotter up for a long range & the IPAD for short range views.
Upon arrival in Trenton, I remembered that I had not updated the chip in the Garmin Chartplotter to the Trent Severn/Georgian Bay chip (actually, it’s the same chip as the Great Lakes, which we had used when we first began the trip last July).
Chip updated, Chartplotter functioning normally again.

Trent Severn Waterway Pass
We were not sure where to purchase the pass to allow passage thru the Trent Severn.
So I called Lock #1, and the very nice lock operator Tom said, “you get it right here at Lock #1”.
He said “you can come by ahead of time, or just before the lock on the wall, or potentially while in the lock if we are not busy”.

Because we have an 11 lock day planned for Saturday on the way to Campbellford, we made a plan to go on Friday to get the pass in advance.

Slips in Campbellford & Hastings
We will travel to Campbellford Ontario on Saturday & Hastings Ontario on Sunday.
So I called both places to make reservations.

We learned that in Campbellford, there is only a City Dock Wall, and that it is first come/serve, but they have never run out of docking stations. We also learned that the 50A power stations are all on the east wall, with 30A on the west wall.

For Hastings, we did make reservations at a marina called The Village Marina.
I am getting the impression that advanced reservations will not be a big deal here like they have been in some of the bigger cities.

After all of the above, Nellie & I spent about 2 hours washing the boat. It had been about 2 weeks since the last wash. Washings are needed much less frequently now that we are back in FRESH WATER.

So after all those happenings in the afternoon, we went to dinner about 7pm.
We walked the downtown, the riverfront, and ended up at a place called Tomasso’s.
Yep you guessed it – another pizza pie.
Tomasso’s is a pretty hip, upscale joint, at least as upscale as Trenton Ontario can get. The other bonus was that it was on a very nice piece of real estate on the Trenton River.
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After dinner, we walked the riverfront, walked the downtown, and walked thru some parks. We walked by the famous “Gateway to the Trent Severn Bridge”, that we will pass under on Saturday.20180726_20360220180726_20380420180726_20381820180726_204159

I was a little sleepy after the big meal, and Jonell will not read me any bed time stories, so I ran into a nice old fella willing to help.

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Actually, his name was ; Roy Earnest Bonisteel.    A Canadian journalist, and from 1967 to 1989 the host of the CBC Television program Man Alive.

 

That was about it for Thursday ;
> 71 miles
> 5 projects
> Gettin‘ to know the town of Trenton
> and bed time stories from Roy.

What a day !

Jul 27- Fri
Friday was a much more low-key, laid back day.
There are a few things to do in Trenton, the most interesting being The Canadian National Airforce Museum.
But like I said in the last post, we are getting kind of overdone with museums.

So we spent most of the day on a long 2+ mile walk to Lock #1, to get our Trent Severn Waterway Pass, and watch some boats go thru the lock. We took the Jack Lange Walkway, which started out as a well defined path, then got smaller, then went adios as we approached the lock, and we had to walk along the lock entrance wall.
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We watched some boats lock thru. This lock, and others on The Trent, are unlike all the Erie locks, in that the doors to the locks are manually operated via the lock operator and his assistant manually turning the gearing to the lock doors with a big lever arm wheel.20180727_13362620180727_133624

After watching lock operator Tom get his exercise, we met up with him and purchased our pass for the waterway.
Take a look at this baby !
Doesn’t look like $200 bucks Canadian, does it ?20180727_173834

After getting our pass, we took a taxi back to the downtown area, did some window shopping, and came back to the boat.

Mike messed with Canadian TV a little, as Hulu no longer works in Canada.
Nellie read her book.
Mike worked on the blog.

Day over, whew I’m exhausted, time for afternoon drinks & thinking about where we will eat !
Dinner was back on the beautiful Trent River at a place called The Post.

While walking to The Post, we went through the local park, where Trenton was having Friday night concerts in the park. The band was playing 50’s music in a beautiful setting.
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About 30 minutes after we arrived at The Post, while we were having some pre-dinner drinks, and waiting on our meal, Jonell noticed a familiar face.
It was a guy named Glen who we had just met in the boat slip right next to ours in the marina. All of the outdoor tables at The Post were now full & the social butterfly Nellie said “why don’t we invite them to join us”.

I did.
They accepted.
It was another one of those wonderful, by chance meetings, in which we met another awesome couple.
Glen & Robin live in Toronto.
Glen has been a sail boater since age 4, and currently races twice per week.
Robin has been sail boating with Glen for the last 15 years.
They have a son in his early 20’s studying law.
They are about 3 years away from retirement and have bigger plans than us which include trips to the British Virgin Islands & The Mediterranean.
They recently (last year) replaced their longtime 37 foot sailboat with a fairly new beautiful 47 foot Benetau.
The conversation was endless, we loved their company.

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It appears that Blind Mello Jelly forgot to take off his sun glasses at night
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Glen & Robin’s 47′ Benetau, Gettin’ Looped in the background.

On the walk home back to the boat, we noticed a gorgeous sunset over the Trent River.20180727_210710

 

 
Tomorrow will be an interesting day ; it will be our 1st voyage in the Trent Severn Locks, and we are planning on going from Trenton to Campbellford Ontario.

Campbellford is only 31 miles away, but there are 11 Locks to pass thru.
If this was the Erie Canal, I would say no-way.
But Lock operator Tom tells me we should be able to do it in about 6 hours.
We also have to fuel & pump out heads tomorrow morning, so it will be an early 7:30am start.

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See all them little Blue marks on the chart. Those are the 11 Locks we need to pass thru tomorrow on our way from Trenton to Campbellford. See the boat at the bottom of the screen.

 

Kingston Ontario – Confederation Basin Marina (Port #112) ; July 24,25

Jul 24 – Tue
Unlike Monday when Lake Ontario was a nice happy puppy, on Tuesday Lake Ontario was whipped up like an angry Lion & provided our worst ride since crossing Lake Michigan into Chicago last August.

The ride was not so rough, but the ability to steer & the rocking back and forth was not fun. We had following seas at our port stern corner (waves behind the boat at a 45 degree angle). It was only a 41 mile trip, but took 5 hours and felt like 8 hours.
While attempting to steer straight, the boat would sometimes take +/- 45 degree turns induced by the following seas. We attempted some changes in speed & tack which helped a bit, but also extended the distance from our desired route.

When we arrived at Kingston, the wind was howling at 25-30mph, with gust to 40mph. The dockhands had their hands full, there were about 4 boats ahead of us, so we had to wait in the bay for about 30 minutes for docking assistance.

After being called in by the dockhands we entered the marina.
Unlike most marinas we go to, we usually know our slip and research where it is at in the marina ahead of time. At Kingston they assign the slips as you arrive, and talk you in on the fly.
Well, we are now on Port #112.
That means during entry & exit, we have had 224 chances for something to go “not so well”.
We had our 2nd contact to another boat, again hitting another boat’s anchor while docking.
The good news was no damage to our neighboring boat, and only a small gelcoat repair on our poor little baby, Gettin’ Looped. Our neighboring boat is owned by Alan, he is Canadian, very friendly, and was very understanding given the conditions.

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The anchor contact on our little 43′ baby

Lesson of the Day #1 (already knew this, but violated both rules) = Don’t go out above 25mph winds, and head into the wind when docking (I was somewhat inhibited by this due to the unknown marina, slip location, and limited area to turn around and head into the wind).
Lesson of the Day #2 = Buy a Boat with Bow/Stern Thrusters, or don’t go out into foreign marinas on days with winds above 25mph. We are the only Looper boat that I am aware of greater than 40 feet, without thrusters. But we are also one of the oldest vessels doing The Loop.

 

After gettin’ tied up, we spent most of the afternoon getting used to our new mode of operation in a foreign country.

First step was to call into Canadian Customs.
I had prepared my list of answers to the questions AGLCA had advised us of –
> Port of Entry = Kingston Ontario, Confederation Basin
> Vessel Registration = MC  4744 LF (Michigan Registration)
> Destination in Canada = Doing Loop, Trent Severn-Georgian Bay, exit at Meldrum Bay
> Length of stay in Canada = est 29 days
> Purpose of Trip = Great Loop Pleasure Boating
> Names, DOB, Passport #s = Mike & Nellie
> Anything to Declare = No
> Do you have any Fire Arms = No
> Do you have any Alcohol or Tobacco = Yes, we are carrying a legal amount of  SHIPS Stores !

In case you are interested, legal ships stores for Alcohol & Beer is ;
> Spirits/Wines = (40 Oz) x (# People) x (# Weeks in Canada) = 40x2x4=320 Oz (13 bottles)
> Beer = (288 Oz) x (# People) x (# Weeks in Canada) = 288x2x4=2304 Oz (8 cases)

I had my list ready, but we had a very nice Customs inspector, and the process went very smoothly with the Legal Ships Stores answer.
We received our Canadian Customs Clearance Number.
We posted the Clearance Number on both sides of the boat.
We raised our small Canadian burgee, as a common courtesy while in their country.20180725_084050

 

Our 2nd step of Entering a Foreign Country, was to deal with our phones & IPAD.
I had called Verizon weeks ago and made sure that we had unlimited international data for our cell phones & IPAD.

Upon entering Canada, we got the expected notice on the phones & IPAD of “Do you accept Roaming Mode”, we answered yes !
My phone & the IPAD updated to Canada without issue.
Nellie’s phone had a strange pop-up happening every 2-3 seconds “process com.android”.
The phone was basically unusable, you could not activate any apps because of the repeated, cycling pop up every 2-3 seconds.
So I went into action to save the day !

To make a long story short – I tried to backup Jonell’s phone & do a factory reset.
The Good News = The Factory Reset got rid of the pop up, the phone is again usable.
The Bad News = I did not do the data backup correctly.
I lost all of Jonell’s Contacts, Text Message History, and Photos !
I felt terrible, we started to rebuild her phone contacts last night at dinner.

Note to Friends & Family = If you see this note !
> call or text Jonell’s phone
> leave a voice message or text message with your name (the caller ID will be unknown).
> this will allow her to rebuild her contact list more easily.

For dinner we walked around downtown Kingston for a while on a rainy night.
There are MANY choices for dining.
Kingston is an old city, with original settlements in 1673 & first organized as a city in the 1780’s.
But Kingston appears a very cosmopolitan/modern city.
We walked around for a while, and ended up for dinner at a place called Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill.20180724_19192220180724_19250620180724_192449

After dinner we went for a short walk and saw a little of the town on the rainy, wet night.

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Confederation Basin Marina
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Visitors Center
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Engine 1095, also known as ‘The Spirit of Sir John A.’ has provided a favorite photo op for tourists visiting Confederation Park for more than 40 years.
It is a reminder that Confederation Park was once an active train yard, that the Visitor Information Center was once the K&P Railway station and that Kingston was once home to the Canadian Locomotive Company for over 100 years. That company built more than 3,000 steam, electric and diesel engines for the Canadian Pacific Railway, including ‘The Spirit of Sir John A.’.
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This Confederation Fountain is designed in honor of Canada’s Confederation in 1867. The arch represents the aim of the Fathers of Confederation to unify the provinces from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. The fountain cycle lasts 10 min and at night it is illuminated by 58 underwater lamps.                                                                                                                                                                The Fountain was not active tonight due to high winds !
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The city hall was completed in 1844, with its scale and design reflective of Kingston’s status as capital of the Province of Canada at that time. The architect chosen for the project in 1841 was George Browne, and the building was believed to be one of Browne’s most outstanding works.
The building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1961

It was a long, fatiguing, stressful day.
We were very ready for lights out !
“Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you’re only a day away” !

Jul 25 – Wed
Wednesday started off as another wet, dreary day.
But that did not stop the adventurous team Murphree.
We started the day with a little research of “things to do & see in Kingston”.
Holy Smokes , I found out that there are no less than 10 Museums in Kingston (maybe more) – The Miller Museum of Geology, Kingston Archaeological Centre, Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston, Pump House Steam Museum, International Hockey Museum, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, Royal Military College Museum, Military Communications and Electronics Museum, Corrections Canada Museum, & the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum.
There is also a shit-load of historic buildings & 3 Art Galleries.

I apologize, but me & the Mrs Murph are a little burnt out on museums, art galleries, & historic buildings.

We had only one day left in Kingston, and decided to cover the most ground in the least amount of time, get an overview of the city, and not expend a lot of energy – a Trolley Tour !

Prior to gettin’ our tickets for the Trolley, we took the mandatory KINGSTON Welcome Sign photos, where the visitors become the “I” in the word KINGSTON. The “I” became somewhat distorted by umbrellas.20180725_12385120180725_123923

We also got another shot of the Confederation Basin Fountain, and today the fountain was on.20180725_124115
After the photo shoot at Confederation Basin, the Trolley arrived and we started our discovery of Kingston.20180725_18045220180725_151023

The Tour included 8 stops at –
> The City Hall
> Fort Henry
> Market Square
> The Pump House
> The Bellevue House
> The Kingston Penitentiary
> Queen’s University
> The Royal Military College of Canada

The City Hall – Shown in yesterday’s post !

Fort Henry 
Fort Henry is located on a strategic, elevated point near the mouth of the Cataraqui & St. Lawrence Rivers at the northeast end of Lake Ontario. The St Lawrence River is essentially the beginning of the Rideau Canal Waterway, leading from Canada’s original capital city of Kingston to the current capital city of Ottawa. The fort and the point on which the fort was built were named after Henry Hamilton, former Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Quebec.20180725_13261220180725_13275220180725_133014

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Notice all the Wind Turbines on Wolfe Island.  The wind farm consists of eighty-six 2.3-megawatt (MW) Siemens model Mark II wind turbines situated on the western portion of Wolfe Island. The 86 Turbines provide enough energy for 75,000 homes !

Market Square
Market Square was created in 1784 and was the site of an informal market established in 1788. It was the only location in Kingston where farmers could sell their produce, which was brought in by wagon or cart. It was the center of commerce and trade in the city and through the 1800’s. Public buildings, hotels, and shops developed around the square including Kingston City Hall which was built in 1844. As the city grew, the market came to consist of ramshackled wooden stalls known as the market shambles, which were destroyed, along with many of the surrounding buildings, in the Great Fire of 1840. After the fire, the market area was rebuilt with a new market building, which was attached to the new city hall, and the market was deeded to the city in 1848.
Market Square was renamed “Springer” Market Square in 2008 to recognize the donation of $1 million to the City of Kingston by the Springer family to help pay for the revitalization of the square (businessman Norm Springer, not Jerry Springer).
Archaeological investigations that took place in 2002-2003 in preparation for the revitalization project provided evidence of the history dating back to the late 1700’s.20180725_151403

The Pump House
The Pump House is located in one of Canada’s oldest water works plants – where steam-powered pumps provided the first running water to Kingston residents as far back as 1850. Only six similarly preserved water pumping plants remain in North America.
The museum’s most incredible artifacts are the original pumps, which are animated and visitors can discover exactly how they worked. Tours show how steam power was an essential element of the industrial development of Canada and how pumped water played a key role in Kingston’s history.
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The Bellevue House
Bellevue House National Historic Site of Canada was the home to Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John Alexander Macdonald from 1848 to 1849.
We did not get out of the trolley car for this one, it was a bit of a walk & covered with old trees.

The Kingston Penitentiary
Constructed in 1833–34, and opened on June 1, 1835 as the “Provincial Penitentiary of Canada”, it was one of the oldest prisons in continuous use in the world at the time of its closure in 1981. It was the home of 2 famous riots in 1954 & 1971.
On August 14, 1954, a two-hour riot broke out in the penitentiary—the worst in its history up to that point, involving 900 inmates. During the riot a breakout was attempted, but was foiled by the guards aided by 160 Canadian Army troops and a squad of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers.
On April 14, 1971, a riot lasted four days and resulted in the death of two inmates and destruction of much of the prison. Security was substantially increased and prison reforms were instituted. Six guards were held hostage, but all were eventually released unharmed.
The Penitentiary was replaced by Millhaven Prison.
In 1990, Kingston Penitentiary was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.20180725_14321320180725_143439

Queen’s University
Queen’s University at Kingston is one the most prestigious public research universities in Canada. Founded in 1841 via a royal charter issued by Queen Victoria, the university predates Canada’s founding by 26 years. Queen’s is organized into ten undergraduate, graduate, and professional faculties and schools. The campus was quite large and had a LOT of buildings. It’s most famous grad may be Elon Musk of Tesla & Space-X fame.20180725_14582220180725_145923

We also passed some stuff that was not on the tour, but makes for good Kingston info.

We passed the K-Rock, Rogers Centre
Also known as “Leon’s Centre”, it is an indoor stadium in downtown Kingston. The arena is the home of the Kingston Frontenacs ice hockey team of the Ontario Hockey League. It is also the venue of many rock concerts, with the home sweethearts being the rock band Tragically Hip, of Kingston Ontario.
They have even named the attached street after the band.
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The RMC (Royal Military College)

The Royal Military College of Canada (Collège militaire royal du Canada), commonly abbreviated as RMCC or RMC, is the military college of the Canadian Armed Forces. Established in 1876, the RMC is the only federal institution in Canada with degree-granting powers. The RMC is Canada’s equivalent of West Point (1802).
Like West Point, the campus was huge.
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Old Homes
We also saw many old homes of late 1700’s / early 1800’s vintage. Below are 3 of the coolest ones.
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Overall Kingston was a really cool, metropolitan city, with a lot of ancient history too.
It was even nicer late in the day when the rain finally subsided & the sun came out.
Totally different vibes with the sun out (& people).
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Last thought on Kingston 
Do you know where the first hockey game ever was played in Canada ?
You guessed it – Kingston !
Montreal is quoted as hosting the first Indoor game in 1875, but the first game ever played is recorded on the Kingston Harbour Ice back in the 1840s, using a square wooden puck. The game was between Queen’s University Royal Military College & Soldiers from the Horse Artillery at CFB Petawawa.

Next Stop = Trenton Ontario, and the entrance to the famed Trent Severn Waterway, the Peterborough Lift Lock, and the Big Chute !

 

Sackets Harbor New York -Navy Point Marina – (Port #111) ; July 23

It’s a boring post.
Skip it if you are busy, wait for the next one.

Jul 23 – Mon
After a nice 3 days at Alex’s on the Water in Oswego, we headed off into Lake Ontario and the city of Sackets Harbor New York, our last port in New York State & our last port in the USA for a few weeks.

Our goal was to check into Canada in Kingston Ontario because the Border/Customs Inspectors are well familiar with Loopers entering this city and the marina of Confederation Basin.
Sackets Harbor is about half way between Oswego & Kingston.

It was a somewhat sad ending to our time in New York.
NY was a great boating state.
We loved the excitement of New York City and the Hudson River.
We loved the beauty & tranquility of upstate New York on both the Hudson River & Erie Canal.
We had a great time with Adam & Patti, at Half Moon Bay.
We had a great time with Dave & Ashley, on the Erie Canal.

The 1st day on Lake Ontario was nice & calm, we only had about 40 miles to go from Oswego to Sackets Harbor, but rain was a chasin’ us, and we hit the throttle for a while.
We did 20mph for 1 hour and made it to Navy Point Marina at Sackets Harbor in 3 hours, try doing that in a Trawler !
And the other bonus was DEEP Water.
After being on edge in many areas of the ICW, it was nice to see Great Lake Depths again.
We saw depths in the 600-700 foot range.20180723_083010
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We arrived at The Navy Point Marina in Sackets Harbor New York early about 11am.
We beat the rain by a few hours.
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Once we got to Sackets Harbor, it was all work.
I was late on my 4th oil change, and wanted to get it done before entering Canada.
Sackets Harbor was the only port in the last 3 cities that I could find the oil we use.
I had called West Marine in advance to make sure they had stock.
So Mike changed the Oil.
Sackets Harbor Mechanics actually disposed of the used oil for me, nice folks here.
Nellie did Laundry.
Pretty boring day.

We went to dinner at a pretty nice place called Goodfellos (Luv that movie, actually spelled Goodfella’s).
Had a great salad, some great bread, and an awesome brick fired pie !
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On the walk back, it looked like Sackets Harbor would have been a cool town with more history, but it was off to Kingston tomorrow.
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As Porky Pig would say – “That’s All Folks”

Next stop = Kingston Ontario (NE corner of Lake Ontario) !

Oswego New York – Alex’s on the Water (Port #110) ; Jul 20,21,22

Jul 20 – Fri
On Friday July 20th, we traveled 54 miles & passed thru 9 Locks on our way from Sylvan Beach to Oswego New York.

We have now essentially completed The Erie Canal, and will enter Lake Ontario on Monday, towards Canada and The Trent Severn Waterway.

On todays ride we had the usual nice scenery on The Erie Canal, and the Oswego Canal. We went thru a total of 9 locks, and 8 of them were actually on The Oswego Canal, which leads to Lake Ontario.
The Oswego Locks all had very pretty waterfalls on the back sides of the Lock Dams.20180720_130746

Along the Oswego Canal, we passed a small town called Hinmansville. I immediately snapped off a couple of photos on the chart plotter and sent them to our friends Dave & Ginger Hinman who spent 13 days with us back in May.
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It was a very long day with the 6:30am wake up.
It is still somewhat surprising how fatigued we get just driving a boat ??

There is a lot of concentration watching the 2 chart plotters, water depths, and slowing down for marinas, moored boats & fishermen.
Even though we have been thru a LOT of locks, you are also always on high alert when gettin’ tied up to the Lock Wall, for strange wind flows or current flows inside of the Lock. We had a bit of this happening in several of the locks on Friday. It felt like the water fill currents inside of the locks were different in the Oswego Canal vs the Erie Canal, with the stern of the boat being pushed away from the wall in most of the 8 locks. We also had about a 20mph tailwind running right down the canal.
It reminded me of a time we had on our Looping God Parents boat on the Tennessee River in 2015, when we watched a 37 ft boat get spun into a 360 degree spin when entering the lock in Florence Alabama.
All went well, but it was a fatiguing day, 9 locks in 1 day is a lot, even for us experienced Looper Lockers.

We arrived in Oswego New York at Alex’s on the Water about 3pm.
Alex’s on the Water is a beautiful place right on the Oswego River, at the entrance to Lake Ontario.
Alex’s is actually part of the Oswego Best Western Plus Hotel, and has about 8 boats slips with power & water. It is really a nice beautiful place, with a nice fitness room, pool, and beautiful views along the seawall.20180720_192355

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That’s Lake Ontario out there !
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The patio deck at Alex’s on the Water.
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The patio deck at Alex’s on the Water.
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The bar area at Alex’s

The Pool & Fitness Center

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We got checked in about 3:30pm (boaters actually check in at the front desk of the hotel), had some welcome to port #110 soda pops, took some nice hot showers, and went to dinner about 6:30pm.

We went to dinner at a place called The Press Box Sports Bar. The Press Box Restaurant is within a long building called The Old Freight House. The Old Freight House apparently did not have a lot of history, nothing much came up on Google.20180721_13551420180720_18291420180720_183305
After dinner, we were even more fatigued, thanks to the full bellies on top of the long day.

We came back to the boat and called my sister Paula for the ceremonial singing of the famous Mike & Nellie rendition of Happy Birthday to You !

I believe that it was Paula’s 51st birthday (she is also known as #4, being the youngest of our 4 siblings).

We enjoyed a little music on the aft deck before retiring into the salon about 8:30pm.
Our docking slip assignment is right next to the stage for the band at Alex’s on the Water. 20180720_182401

Happy Bday #4, hope you had a good one !

 

Jul 21 – Sat
Saturday morning I spent about an hour on the phone with Doug Edgar.
You may remember him as both the Beaver Island Police Chief & our tour guide when we visited Beaver Island Michigan, way back in August of  last year.

Doug is also the father of one of my great coworkers at FCA, Ashley Edgar.
We met Doug, and his lovely 1st mate Sharolyn, about 3 years ago when we rented a house in Cape Coral just after I retired (Spraggs/Scheller’s – can you say Jaccarranda !).

I spent an hour talking with Doug about places to see when we get to Georgian Bay & The North Channel. Doug has a lot of experience in these waters.
It sounds so beautiful, we can’t wait to see it.
Saturday afternoon we returned to tourist mode, going to a place in Oswego called The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum.20180721_13331520180721_133805

Almost 75 years ago, Oswego was thrust onto the world stage by a decision made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The two world leaders, fighting a World War in Europe and Asia, decided to open havens for Jewish refugees, & people in Europe driven from their homes by the Nazi regime.
Britain would open four in the Middle East, France would open two in North Africa, and the United States would open one. The United States Safe Haven opened in August 1944 in Oswego at the then unoccupied Fort Ontario.

Safe Haven was the only “Official” U.S. Government activity to Rescue Jewish refugees during the Second World War, for victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The Oswego refugees were transferred from Italy, but deliberately only as refugees from other parts of Europe. They were all fleeing from the Nazis. They were chosen so that some were also non-Jewish people to allay anti-semitic fears at that time in the USA.
They were placed in Fort Oswego, behind barbed wire, and given no official status, and were told they would be returned to their homelands after the war, and would have no rights relative to entering the United States.
Later, due to political pressure at the war’s end, they were allowed to stay in the U.S.A.

The Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum is a place dedicated to keeping alive the story of the 982 European refugees who were allowed into the United States as “guests” of President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Holocaust in World War II. They were temporarily housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego, New York from August 1944 – February 1946.

We watched a movie of about 30 minutes, in which many of the 982 refugees re-lived what it was like to run from the Nazi’s, live in hiding, & be some of the very lucky who were offered Safe Haven travel to the United States.

To be one of the lucky few, they had to meet several qualifications.
> Have fled to Italy, and have no other place to go.
> Have been assigned to one of the concentration camps in Italy, awaiting Nazi disposition.
> Have a cross-section of skills, to make the refugee camp self sustainable.
> Saving Groups of people was high priority – families, community groups, etc.
> No family diseases.

Because the refugees had no legal status to be in the USA, upon disembarking from the USS Henry Gibbons into the USA, they were kept track of with a Casual Baggage Tag. It was so interesting because all of the refugees in the movie felt so thankful to be alive and safe, they did not care about the tags.20180721_13214920180721_132101

The refugees did comment that initially, upon arrival at the Fort Ontario Camp, they thought that they had made a mistake. The Camp was set up like a fortress with a barbed wire fence leading to the large Fort Ontario door.
It was reminiscent of the concentration camps that they had feared.20180721_13380520180721_133902

After arrival at the camp, the refugees were kept in quarantine for a period of time. During that time the refugees spoke very highly about the folks of Oswego , who would comfort them from across the camp fence, giving gifts of; food, clothing, and even handing bikes over the tall fence for the refugee kids.

After being released from quarantine, the town of Oswego went into full support mode with the churches, boy scouts, and community groups helping to assimilate the refugees into a normal life.
The refugees spoke very highly of the leader of the camp, director Joseph Smart, and all of the Oswego Educators who taught them to speak English and allowed them to become part of the Oswego community.20180721_132217

Their ultimate fate in the USA was still highly in doubt due to immigration nervousness of the country. But in 1946, President Truman (successor to Roosevelt), with the urging of Joseph Smart & Eleanor Roosevelt,  signed the proclamation allowing the official entry of the refugees into the USA.
They were allowed official access into the USA, and allowed to relocate from Oswego if desired.
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Only a couple of years ago, a woman named Ruth Gruber passed away at the age of 105 years old.
Ruth worked at the office of The Secretary of the Interior in 1944.  Ruth advised the Interior Secretary, ‘Somebody has to go over and hold their hands; they’re going to be terrified,'” Gruber said in a 2010 interview in The Sunday Telegraph of London.
That somebody turned out to be her, and as she accompanied the refugees to Fort Ontario in Oswego, where she interviewed them, & which became the basis of her book “Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America”.

Saturday afternoon, we watched some Golf, and watched the local Duck nest her little ducklings.
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On Saturday evening we had dinner at the very nice Alex’s on the Water, right next to our boat slip.
We ate dinner inside the beautiful dining room.
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After dinner, we had dessert & another Guinness on the outdoor patio.

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What is that beautiful boat in the background ?
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Why, I think it is the ss Gettin’ Looped !

 

Jul 22 – Jul
Sunday was a pretty boring day, we didn’t do Nothin’ !
And we were cool with that.
Maybe all the museums, forts, historic homes, and restaurants are finally getting old.
Poor Mike & Jonell.

We went to Walmart’s to reprovision for our trip into Canada this upcoming week.

In the afternoon, I swam some laps in the pool.

We watched some Tigers (rain delay), NASCAR (rain delay), and The British Open.

That’s it, a boring day.

Next Stop = Hopefully tomorrow to Sacket’s Harbor New York, last stop in the USA before entering Canada. Winds are projected very high (Uck !)

 

Sylvan Beach New York – Mariner’s Landing (Port #109) ; July 18,19

Jul 18 – Wed
For those of you who enjoyed the last post and sang along to “15 Miles on the Erie Canal”, we continued our journey east on the Erie Canal, another “48 miles” & 5 Locks.
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We now started to see some of the older Erie Canal Locks, and how some are in high need of maintenance. Lock #22 fit that description.20180718_142212

It was another long ride, and Ashley & Dave’s last day with us after a nice 10 day visit.
So we wanted to hit the ground running when we got to Sylvan Beach.

After some delays at Locks #19,21, and 22 – We arrived at Mariner’s Landing in Sylvan Beach New York about 3pm.
I’m not sure why they call it Mariner’s Landing, it kind of looked like a combo ;  Trailer Park , RV Park, and Marina. 20180718_16261420180718_16073620180719_20235520180719_20165420180719_20173620180718_16070920180719_202618

But after a few walks around the place and into town, we warmed up to the place.
The setting for our boat slip is pretty nice.
We are docked on the Pool’s Brook River (part of the Erie Canal), just east of Lake Oneida, a beautiful fresh water lake.
The views down the river & over to the Lake are nice.

Attempting to take advantage of Dave & Ashley’s last day, we strapped on our beach chairs & went for a 15 minute walk from the boat, thru the trailer park/ RV community, into the city of Sylvan Beach, & to the Lake Oneida Beach.
Along the way we also passed some “Tiny Homes” that Ashley was instantly attracted to.20180718_16234520180718_16300320180718_16295120180718_163038

The town of Sylvan Beach New York appears to be a small resort town with lots of eating/drinking options. Apparently it is also Pirate’s Weekend here this weekend. Not sure what that means, it starts tomorrow and goes thru the weekend, but we will depart on Friday morning.20180718_16310420180718_163309

After what seemed like kind of a long walk, we arrived at the beach, and staked out our claim.
Ashley & Dave enjoyed their last day with some swimming in Lake Oneida.
The water was nice & clean, but it was a very windy day.
We watched a wind surfer for a while, as he came up on a hydrofoil lift foot.
Windsurf Video = https://youtu.be/gZm7hYr3oQg
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After a few hours on the beach, we went back to the boat, took some showers, and headed back out into town for some Live Music in the Park & dinner on Lake Oneida.
We listened to a music band called 1/2 Fast Eddie & the Rusty Nuts”.
The band was pretty good, and also had a female singer who did a very good reproduction of Tina Turner & Pat Benatar  songs.
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After some music from The Rusty Nuts, we went to dinner at Harpoon Eddies, I’m not sure if this Eddie guy has a monopoly on the town.
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As you can see, the restaurant was right on the beach, and when sunset came it provided for some more great photo ops.
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After dinner, we came back to the boat.
Not so surprisingly, the internet is poor here, so we had no TV (OMG) !
So we had to resort to one of Ronzello & Gibbon’s favorites – TOMMY BOY !

Jul 19 – Thu
After a late night ending with Tommy Boy, we all got up at 2:40am to say farewell to Ashley & Dave, who had a 5:45am flight out of Syracuse New York !

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Ashley showing her requested “Sad Face”, for the farewell photo. Dave refusing to comply with the sad face request !             It was a wonderful 10 days with the kids.

After sleeping in until about 10am, we woke up, got our bearings, and prepped for another travel day tomorrow by refueling & pumping out the holding tanks.

In the afternoon, Nellie cleaned the boat & I worked on the upcoming route & marinas, as we will soon be heading into Canada & The Trent Severn Waterway.

We also received a batch of mail from our mail processing service; St Brendans Island.
We received some more Gettin’ Looped drink koozies from my great pal Dave Noffert.
This is the 3rd set of 100 Koozies that Dave has sent us.
We use them in the locks as gifts to the lock masters, for helping us with pass thru.
It is a practice among some loopers to give the lock masters inexpensive thank-you gifts (they are not allowed tips or any gift of value), esp on The Trent Severn Waterway in Canada. The couple that we spent a week with on their 43′ Hatteras in 2015, gave ink pens with their boat name on them (Katt in the Hat).
Thanks again Dave !
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In the late afternoon, we went into town and had dinner at The Sunset Grill. It was pretty much a dive bar, but the food was pretty good.
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After dinner, as we were heading to the convenience store for some milk, we started to see many of the weekend partygoers dressed up for Pirates Weekend. Captain Jack Sparrow was attempting to sign Nellie up for his gang of wenches. She resisted and decided to stay with Cap’n Mike.20180719_195923

Tomorrow is another moving day.
Next Stop = Oswego New York , Alex’s of the Water Restaurant (& marina we hope) !
54 miles, 9 Locks, & crossing Lake Oneida

Little Falls New York – Little Falls Marina @ Rotary Park (Port #108); Jul 16,17

This is a somewhat slow/sleepy post, much like the town we were in.
If you don’t have much time, go directly to the post on our 2nd day here – Tuesday July 17, and read the post about the Moss Island Pot Holes.

Jul 16 – Mon
We are again on the move with Ashley & Dave.
We covered another 42 miles heading east along the Erie Canal, from Amsterdam to Little Falls New York.
The ride was another beautiful ride (for most of the day), accompanied with 7 locks today.
This section of the Erie Canal runs along Hwy-5.
So at times, we were able to see the highway & some civilization (even a McDonalds). Other sections were completely encircled with greenery and seemed like you were in the Amazon.
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The long ride again made for a tiring day, especially given our pace of movement over the last few days. The crew was wearing down, but we will have a 2 day rest in Little Falls.
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Near the end of the ride, we approached Lock #17.
Lock #17 is different from all the previous locks, in that it has a drop door, not a swing door to enter the lock. The lock is also newer than most of the previous locks. Built in the early 1900’s, it is the largest lock in New York State, lifting/dropping every passing vessel 40 feet & replacing four old locks on the old canal with just one. The design includes a guillotine style lower gate and a concrete arch of which the boats pass under – the only implementation of such a design along the Erie Canal system.

The lock entrance was somewhat hidden around a blind corner.
The water fill into the lock was pretty turbulent, and we also had a 15 minute drenching rain with high winds while we were locking thru.
Deck Hand Nellie had to use all of her arm muscles to hang onto the drop line.
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While exiting Lock #17, the rains subsided.
We arrived at the Little Falls Marina @ Rotary Park about 2pm.
We were the only boat at the marina/seawall.
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Little Falls is a sleepy town, not much going on.
Ashley & Dave took a bike ride over the Mohawk River Bridge into the small town.
I attempted to reserve a car to drive 1 hour north to Cooperstown NY to see The Baseball Hall of Fame, and the park where my nephews Jake & Brad played ball when they were younger.
Unfortunately, the town is so small, I think they have only 1 rental car, and it was signed out (boo, no Cooperstown on this trip).
For dinner, we went to a place called The Copper Moose Ale House.
Marina dockhand Steve gave us a ride over to the restaurant.20180716_18185420180716_18243820180716_181742

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Nellie having an ICE TEA, out of concern from sister Michele, regarding Jonell’s liver health (“Every time I see a picture, you have a beer in your hand”).

After dinner, we walked the sleepy town a little, then walked back to the boat, about 1.5 miles, arriving home at dark and just before another round of rain storms.20180716_18191620180716_20133120180716_20231420180716_205153

We had lights out about 10pm, and it rained all night.

July 17 – Tue
Tuesday started out as a boring rainy start to the day.
When the rain let up it was still dreary out, but the kids took the bikes into town anyway. They went to the coffee shop, the bead store, & the Alpaca store.

Nellie did laundry and Mike watched TV in the marina courtesy room !20180717_13400720180717_11210920180717_111917

It seemed like the day was going to be a bust for tourism.
But about 3pm the rain stopped for good & sun came back out.
We went back to our original plan for the day, which was to go to nearby Moss Island and search for the famous “Moss Island Potholes”.
We had heard about The Moss Island Potholes from several locals.
But, exactly what are the potholes, and how interesting can a bunch of rocks really be ?
The end of the day turned out to be spectacular.

The story goes –
Moss Island is a small island, only 1500 feet long and 625 feet wide.
It is bordered by the Mohawk River on the north, and the Erie Canal to the south.
The Moss Island Land was made over a million years ago by Magma from the earth’s core, injected above ground, and crystallized to become hard rock.
It became an island when the Erie locks were built so boats could avoid the 40 foot falls. It is known for its extremely large (40-50 ft) potholes, as well as being popular with local rock climbers. It was declared a National Landmark in 1976. There are ongoing efforts by the local community to turn Moss Island into a New York State Park.
The potholes were created by huge volumes of water falling over prehistoric cliffs once located on Moss Island (like Niagara Falls).
Around 20,000-80,000 years ago, the melting glaciers that created the Great Lakes drained through the Mohawk Valley / Hudson River, supplying the water pressure which created the huge potholes.

We took a taxi to Moss Island.
We had to search around for the trailhead to get to the Potholes.
Once at the trailhead, we then had to walk about a half mile thru the woods to find the potholes. 20180717_15132720180717_151531

We arrived at The Potholes about 15-20 minutes into the walk.
The rest of the story was just beautiful, spectacular, rock formations.
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On the walk back from the Potholes, we saw some Rock Climbers, at least one good climber and some younger teens. Moss Island is supposedly famous for this also.20180717_155601

Rock Climbing Video (no Murphree’s involved)= https://youtu.be/shsGuo-KiYc

We also took a stroll to the Lock #17 that we had passed thru yesterday.
It was interesting seeing the lock from the land side.
We could see the motors, gearing, and links which activate to open/close the lock doors.
You may remember that the westbound entry door was a guillotine style, drop door.
The one in the photo below is the westbound exit door, a normal swing door.
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After looking at the lock mechanism, we went to see some of the downstream side of the lock, dam & powerplant. The powerplant at this dam #17 supplies enough energy to power about 8000 homes.
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There was a mechanism arm which is used to pick up large debris/logs from blocking the water intake. Ashley decided to see if the mechanism grabbers could fit a human.20180717_160752

After the fun time at Moss Island, we walked thru a tunnel under the river, and went to dinner at Ruggiero’s Italian Restaurant. It was an authentic Italian place with Sinatra all over the walls and on the music speakers. It was a nice setting and good food.
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The night ended with Ashley & Dave going on a final bike ride in Little Falls. They rode along a path that follows the Erie Canal, and is supposedly right above the old path of the original canal and series of locks that were replaced by Lock #17.

Nellie read her book.
Mike worked on the blog.

Ashley thought that we must add this final note to the Blog, hope you enjoy it !
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcNJ2RMOd3U

Next Stop = Sylvan Beach New York
48 miles , 5 Locks

Amsterdam New York – Riverlink Park Marina (Port #107) ; Jul 15th

Well guess what ?
It has been exactly 1 year since Nellie & I left on this great adventure.
It seems like yesterday that we had the great farewell party at Miller Marina.20170715_111656

As we said in the last post, today was going to be a long day – 37 miles, 9 Locks, 17 Bridges, and 2 Guard Gates !

We got off to an early start, and were at Lock #2, the entrance to the Erie Canal, at 7am.
Our travel day was awesome, our early start resulted in only 2 boats at the 7am lock opening. We traveled thru the first 5 locks with a guy named Dave in a sport boat with triple 250 outboards.
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It was a long boring day, but also an exciting day filled with a lot of happenings –
Like I said, we went thru a total of 9 locks, under 17 bridges, and thru 2 Guard Gates
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                                                           Do you see the Lock Entrance ?                                                            It is on the LHS of the screen, to the left of the big green bushes !
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There it is !

 

 

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We had some low bridges
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We had some rain
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More low bridges
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We had locks with cables, posts, and drop lines like this one
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This is 1 of 2 Guard Gates, used to control water flow to prevent downstream flooding during times of high water.

We passed a Casino – The River Casino & Resort in Schenectady New York
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Nellie pitched in with some driving while Mike planned for the next marina !
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We had some technical issues, with an impending failure of the rear bumper strap. Captain Mike caught it just before failure. Luckily, we had spares on board. Dave changed the part while underway and we were back in business.20180715_07374220180715_074227

We had some Dam Waterfalls !20180715_101704

We saw ski jump ramps in the Erie Canal.
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After what seemed like a very long day, we actually arrived sooner than expected at The Riverlink Park Marina in Amsterdam NY, featuring Dan’s BBQ – aka The River’s Edge Restaurant.
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9/11 Memorial Flag

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After gettin’ the electrical & water hooked up, it was time for play.
It was a very hot day in upstate NY, and we started our Amsterdam visit with the Safe-Arrival Toast, and then a nice refreshing swim in The Fresh Water !
It was delightful.
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Upon return to the aft deck, we were refreshed but it was still hot on the deck with the sun bearing down on us from the forward port side of the boat.
Dave & I used some Beverly Hillbillies ingenuity to create some shade on the aft deck, and all was good in the world.
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Later in the evening, Ashley’s friend Jeff from Vermont was in the New York area, and stopped by for the night.  Jeff has had an assortment of trades, but is mainly a  sustainable home builder from the northeast. Ashley met Jeff nearly 10 years ago when she found his ecologically driven construction business online and spent a summer in Pennsylvania working for him as a young builder-in-training. He is currently taking 2 years off of “work life” to rework his own 1800’s vintage stone house in Vermont.20180715_191724

Team Gettin’ Looped had Dinner at Dan’s BBQ – aka The River’s Edge Restaurant. Right on the Erie Canal, the setting was beautiful and the food was delicious.
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BTW – after dinner we saw the “No Swimming” sign right next to the boat. Good thing that we were just floating in the water !20180715_203917

Tomorrow will be another early morning, with our plan to go from Amsterdam, to Little Falls New York – 42 miles, 7 Locks, and 12 bridges.

 

Waterford New York – Waterford Visitors Center (Port #106) ; Jul 13, 14

Jul 13 – Fri
Cute as a Whistle !
That is the phrase today for Waterford New York.

We had only an 11 mile ride today, from Albany to Waterford New York.
I planned a short trip because in Waterford there is a “Visitors Center with Free Dockage, water & 50A power”, so we wanted to arrive early to try to get a spot on the Free dock.

We arrived about 10:30am and snagged our spot on the floating docks along the Mohawk River, just before Lock #2 and the entrance to the Erie Canal.
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There are no dock hands, it is 1st come / 1st serve, and you do your own docking & tying up (for example, at the last marina in Albany, we paid $90 for the luxury of having a dock hand help get us tied up).

After gettin’ tied up and connecting the power & water, we went inside the visitors center to register. We met office worker Barb, she is sweet as sugar & reminded me of my aunt Angie by the way she looked and talked. The town of Waterford is very small (8500) & our short initial walk thru town also found many very nice people all saying hello, reminding me of folks earlier on the trip in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee.

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Waterford Visitors Center office worker “Barb” (Aunt Angie – she reminded me of you, but you look MUCH YOUNGER in spite of your youthful 82 years).

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So it is officially Farewell to The Hudson River & Hello to The Erie Canal.
The Hudson River was wonderful, exciting in New York City, and beautiful and peaceful in upstate New York.

Over the next 10 days we will travel thru about 25 locks on our way to Lake Ontario. On Sunday we will travel only 37 miles, but go thru 9 locks.
For a refresher, We did do 1 lock today between Albany & Waterford. It was Ashley & Dave’s 1st locking experience.thumbnail_IMG_7597
Shortly after getting checked in, we went for a walk to check out the town and searched for a place Barb had told us about – Don & Paul’s Coffee Shop, featuring 2 eggs & toast for $2 dollars.
I splurged and had 4 eggs & double toast for $4.00.
The entire bill for all 4 of us with drinks was $19.18, I picked up the check !
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They even have a Laundromat where you can get ice cream at the same time you do your laundry !

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ALERT – It’s a Sham, a Bait & Switch = there is no Ice Cream at the laundromat !

After a quick stroll thru the small town, we walked over to the Hudson River, sat on the park bench for a while, then crossed the Broad Street Bridge to re-provision at the local grocery store.
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We took an Uber back from the grocery store, packed the supplies onto the boat, and then headed over to the Peebles Island State Park. I watched the boats for a while, and Ashley & Dave walked the perimeter trail of the park.
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Later that night we went to dinner at McGreivey’s Fine Dining.
They had a white table cloth section & a bar section, both with the same menu.
We sat in the Bar Section and met nice servers Georgia & Jaime.
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After dinner, we had a special treat at The Waterford Visitors Center.
It was Movie Night at The Visitors Center.
We watched a movie called The Bedford Incident starring Richard Widmark & Sidney Poitier.
It was a 50’s based story about a demanding ship captain (R. Widmark) and his chase of a Russian Submarine being covered by a magazine writer (S. Poitier).
There were about 12 of us who partook in the Bijou attraction.

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Jul 14 – Sat
On Saturday, we went back to Don & Paul’s for breakfast.
Todays bill was about $14.00 for 4 people.

After breakfast, the girls washed some clothes at the laundromat that does not have Ice Cream.
Dave & I cleaned the Eisenglass.

After a little bit of work, we took a taxi to The Cohoes Falls View Park to see some highly rated water falls. The falls were very pretty, but a little disappointing because we could not get near them.20180714_13524420180714_13142420180714_13193320180714_133352

After hanging around the upper viewing sites for The Falls, we went for a walk down to the lower viewing sites.20180714_132253 20180714_132849
Like I said, all the “viewing stations” were all far from the falls.

We also went to another area of the park and learned something that we did not really know, or the message had not really sunk in yet until we saw the pictorial graphic.
The poster board showed that The Erie Canal has lived through 3 Stages of Life, accommodating 3 different paths of water routing between the Hudson River & Erie Canal.
> 1825 = The 1st Route of The Erie Canal, also known as Clinton’s ditch, after New York Governor Clinton DeWitt. It is shown in the dotted blue line, and travels on a path just south of the Mohawk River in the city of Cohoes Falls.
> 1842 = The 2nd Route of The Erie Canal, also known as The Enlarged Erie Canal. The canal system became so popular, the canal had to be widened with larger, longer locks for the higher number of boats & bigger boats. It is shown in the dashed blue line, and travels on a path just south of the Mohawk River in the city of Cohoes Falls.
> 1918 = The Erie Barge Canal, also known as The Current Erie Canal. The entry point of the Erie canal was modified from Cohoes Falls to Waterford New York, and the canal was made even larger & longer, to allow for even bigger boats and also small barges. It is shown in the solid blue line, and travels on a path well north of the original canals in Cohoes Falls, thru the city of Waterford. The new first 5 Locks are said to provide the highest rise/drop in the shortest distance of any lock system in the world (169 feet in 0.5 mile). This is where we will begin our Erie Canal journey tomorrow.
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After the Cohoes Falls Water Falls, we went for a short walk right next to the marina and saw our own local water falls at the Lock #2 Dam , right next to the Visitors Center. 20180714_142436 (1)

 

At this point we had seen most of the sites to see in the metropolis of Waterford New York, and nearby Cohoes Falls.
The afternoon was low-key, with; some book reading, some blogging, some googling, BBQing lunch on the aft deck, and playing some charades with Ashley & Dave.

About 6pm we went in search to replenish our stock of Vodka, there have been may Yeti Juices over the past few weeks (Vodka, Diet 7-up, and OJ). We walked about 1.5 miles to the Lighthouse Liquor Store. During checkout, the clerk & owner Brian said “you look like boaters”. We said “yep, we are” and discussed our journey from Michigan and Ashley/Dave’s 3rd visit from California.
A few minutes later, Liquor Store owner Brian offered to give us a ride back to the marina, how nice !20180714_190339

About 7pm we had Looper visitors for about an hour.
Vessels First Forty (Bill & Bobbie) & State of Mind (Jim & Andrea), came by for a few drinks.
We had originally met Bill & Bobbie in Chicago at DuSable Harbor, and we first met Jim & Andrea in Cape Canaveral. Interestingly enough, both boats are also from Michigan.
Oops – the team photographer was sleeping at the wheel, no photos !

It was an early lights out, we had pizza delivered about 9pm and were tucked in bed about 10:30pm.

Tomorrow will be a long day, we are heading for Amsterdam New York, only 37 miles away but with 9 locks. Each lock is estimated to take about 30 minutes to pass thru. So it will be an early 6am wake up and an attempt to be at the first lock (Erie lock #2) by the opening bell of 7am.

We will retire for the night thinking of our great friends Rick & Linda Spragg, who spent the month of February with us, traveling from Key West to Miami.
Linda’s mom passed away earlier this week and the funeral was today (Saturday, Jul-14).
Our hearts are with you guys, may your mom rest in peace.20180215_165750

Albany New York – The Albany Yacht Club (Port #105) ; Jul 12

Jul 12 – Thu
After what seemed like a very short 2 days in Kingston, we headed another 54 miles north to Albany New York. Albany is the capital of the State of New York, but more importantly to us, is our next to last trip on The Hudson River.

We will stay only 1 night and head out tomorrow to Waterford New York and the beginning of about 25 locks between The Hudson River & Lake Ontario. There are about 35 locks between The Hudson River & Lake Erie, but we will only go thru about 25 of them, choosing to go north to Lake Ontario, the Trent Severn Waterway, and Georgian Bay.

During the ride up to Albany we saw more beautiful waterway, more little light houses, and landed at The Albany Yacht Club about 1:30pm.
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Albany New York, across from our dockage on the Hudson River.

With only a short 1 day scheduled for Albany, the initial plan was to chill and just hang out on the boat. We played a game Ashley & Dave brought called Tangoes.
It was a very fun game of using little puzzle pieces to recreate a shape defined by a drawn card.
The game was very difficult, Ashley & Dave kicked butt over Mike & Nellie.20180712_21494220180712_14341220180712_143346 (1)

After the Tangoes game, Mikie took a short nappie, Ashley & Dave went on a bike ride, and Nellie read her book.
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We went to dinner about 6:30pm at a place called The Illusive Restaurant & Bar.
Nice ambiance, pretty good food, and Dave paid the tab.
And, it was not hard to find, we found it right away.
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On the walk back from dinner, we noticed that the city of Albany & county of Rensselaer, honors many of their vets with a banner hanging on all of the street light posts, it was really nice.
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After dinner & the walk home, Mike & Nellie did blogging to cover the last 2 days in Kingston and Albany (ports #104 & 105).
Dave and Ash read books, emails, and iPhone stuff.

Dave and Ashley retired about 10am, Mike was the durability champ staying up until 10:45pm !!

Ok, so I took a short power nap in the afternoon, so what, I’m retired.

Next Stop = Waterford New York & the start of The Erie Canal.

 

Kingston New York – Rondout Yacht Basin (Port #104) ; Jul 10,11

Jul 10 – Tue
After 1 week at The Half Moon Bay Marina at Croton on the Hudson, we traveled 54 miles to The Rondout Yacht Basin at Kingston New York.

Kingston is about 100 miles north of New York City, and is about 65 miles south of The Erie Canal.

The ride up The Hudson was beautiful.
The team was in good spirits on this beautiful, sunny, travel day.
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The Hudson is lined with beautiful tree-lined hills, there are railroad trains tooting their horns on both sides of the river, and  there are many very tall bridges (160 ft clearance).20180710_08455320180710_084118
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We passed several of the places we had visited by land ; West Point, The Culinary Institute, and The Walkway Bridge over the Hudson (where we had watched the fireworks).

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West Point Academy, It’s very large & expansive – 7 photos (including this one)

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The Culinary Institute of America
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The Walkway Bridge is the 2nd Bridge, this is where we watched fireworks on the 4th
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The Walkway Bridge

We passed by a place that Dave Googled and learned that it was called the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Plant.20180710_082416

We also passed some nice little lighthouses, and The Bannerman Castle – a retired military warehouse.
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Esopus Meadows Lighthouse
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Bannerman Castle – an abandoned military warehouse

We arrived at the Rondout Yacht Basin in Kingston New York about 1:30pm.
It was a very hot day, so we started our visit with a couple of hours in the Yacht Basin Pool.
The Rondout Yacht Basin is not much to look at, but they have a great pool, including shading screens above the pool. We met with relatively new Loopers (Ellen & Kim), and talked for a while with a local Kingston lady named Ronnie.20180710_16204620180710_16202520180710_16201920180710_16192620180710_16194020180710_161955

After the pool, Dave & I washed the boat & dropped the dinghy into the water.
We took the dinghy across the Rondout Creek Canal to dinner at The Old Savannah Restaurant. Dinner lasted well into the night.
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It was a wonderful 1st day in Kingston.
Tomorrow – Sight Seeing in Kingston New York  !


Jul 11 – Wed

On Wednesday we again took the dinghy across the Rondout Creek Canal into downtown Kingston.20180711_114311
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The Uber quote was $12 one way just to get across the river, so the dinghy definitely came in handy in this town, saving $24 each trip. It was about a 10 minute dinghy ride.

We started the day at The Hudson River Maritime Museum.
When we arrived, there was a rowing school right next to the museum, in process of teaching new students.20180711_114439 (2)
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The Museum had a host of interesting topics;
> The 1st room contained MANY models of Historic Miniature Wooden Boats. They had photos & bio’s of all the model makers, all a bunch of elderly gentlemen, with the most prevalent being a ole fella named Charlie Niles.
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> There was a room dedicated to New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, and his endeavours to create the Erie Canal & link it to The Hudson River.
Clinton was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal.
He was persuaded by Canal proponent Jesse Hawley to support construction of a canal from the eastern shore of Lake Erie to the upper Hudson River.
When first built, the Erie Canal cut transportation costs by a whopping 95%. The contribution of the canal to the worth of the New York region is incalculable.

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Governor DeWitt Clinton – it was rumored that he was quoted as saying “I did not have relations with that girl” (Oh, different Clinton), now back to the story.

Upon completion of the canal, it was fact that DeWitt Clinton & dignitaries led the opening ceremonies for the Erie Canal and rode a canal boat named the Seneca Chief from Buffalo New York to New York City, with two flasks of Lake Erie fresh water. They poured the two flasks of Lake Erie fresh water into the New York Harbor, symbolically connecting the two bodies of water forever.

> There was a room dedicated to The Erie Canal – videos of how the locks work, and even photos of the early days when horses would be used to pull boats thru the locks (all sailing vessels at that time). There were also wooden models of the locks.
We will begin the Erie Canal adventure on Sunday.20180711_12041520180711_12063320180711_12074420180711_120803

> The next room was dedicated to Steamships that once traveled the Hudson River.
The most famous being The Mary Powell & The Alexander Hamilton.
There was a large steering wheel which actually came from the Alexander Hamilton on display, it was used in the event of a failure in the main steering. The notes said that the steering wheel is so large to provide assisted torque for the heavy rudders, but it still took 4 men to spin it.
There were also a few displays showing how a steam engine works.
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> There were rooms dedicated to ;
* Restoring the Hudson from Pollution and renewed fish populations.
*
Hurricanes & Flooding Histories of the Hudson & tributaries like Rondout.
*
Jobs created by The Hudson River – Cement, Bricks, Fishing20180711_12230420180711_121312
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> There was a very interesting exhibit on Ice Boat Racing.
The material suggested that even back as far as the 1800’s there were ice racing boats that could do as much as 90-100 mph with only a 25mph wind (4:1 ratio), making them the fastest vehicles on earth in 1800s.
There are records of an 83-year-old guy named Chuck Nevitt, who doesn’t look like the fastest man on earth, but many believe that in February 1947 Nevitt set a record as the world’s fastest naturally powered human during a remarkable iceboat sail across the flat, black ice of Lake Winnebago.
Stopwatch-clutching spectators gazed slack-jawed as the Coast Guard veteran piloted his 42-foot Flying Dutchmen between two buoys set two miles apart. It took 53 seconds, and that included a tack he made in the middle of the course that added about a quarter-mile to the distance.
“They figured somewhere in there I was doing 150 mph. Maybe 155,” Nevitt said.
That would definitely shorten the time required to complete The Loop.
Google searches show that there is currently no Guinness World record for this topic.

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Old Ice Racing Boat
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Modern Ice Racers

 

After the Maritime Museum, we went to lunch at The Mariners Harbor Restaurant.
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After lunch, we went for a stroll around town. We attempted to go to The Trolley Museum but it was only open on the weekend.20180711_133546
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The highlight of the day was probably our afternoon dinghy ride to the local swimming hole on the Rondout Creek Canal.20180711_154511 (2)20180711_161952

On the way to the swimming hole, we saw some tug boats being worked on. They were up out of the water on a barge that looked like they drove into, then lifted the boat out of the water to work on it.
The tug below looked like it was a new boat, or had just received a major cleaning & a new set of running gear (shafts, props, and shrouds).
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After swimming in the creek, we came back to Gettin’ Looped, got some quick showers, and headed out for a Mexican Dinner at a place called The Pier 23 Mole-Mole’. Wednesday was $3 Margareta night !20180711_180607 (2)20180711_180701

It was an early nite to bed, tomorrow we had another 55 miles from Kingston to Albany New York !