Saturday, June 28, 2008

Burlington, VT, to Montreal, Quebec

Monday, June 23 - It rained last night in Burlington. That's an understatement. The weather service issued a notice: "A record rainfall of 1.27 inches was set at Burlington Vermont
yesterday. This breaks the old record of 1.25 set in 1887." And this morning? More of the same. Well, not so much at once, but it was definitely rainy. We'd planned to leave around 8:30, but waited until 10 for the weather to break.

It was a good decision, though, because the trip to Rouses Point, NY, was rain free. We docked at the Lighthouse Marina and were fueling up when the skies opened up again. It's Bella Luna, Prime Time and Segue here this evening. Tomorrow we hit the Richelieu Canal and enter Canada!

We talked with Dave, Heather and Alex this evening on Pal Talk. It was good to see them...and hear Alex counting to 8!!

Tuesday, June 24 - Bonjour, bonjour!!

Segue, Bella Luna, and Prime Time left the Lighthouse Marina at around 8 AM. We all took turns checking in at the Canadian customs station and then headed up towards St. Jean and the beginning of the Chambly Canal. We were on the Richelieu River at this point and passing by lake cottages and lots of small fishing boats.

When we got to the first canal (actually Canal 9) at St. Jean Prime Time was in the lead. Prime Time hailed the canal attendant and told her we had 3 boats wishing to lock through. She took down our boat names and sizes, then called back to say that only one could go through at this time and the other two should wait at the tie up near the canal for the next opening. So Segue and Bella Luna tied up and took in the hustle and bustle going on around the canal. Diane took this picture of Wayne and I on our first day in Canada...

There were people everywhere! On one side of the canal was a biking and walking trail and on the other side a road. People were gathered at the canal to watch boats lock through. When we asked about a nearby bank so we could get some Canadian money we were told banks were closed that because it was a holiday in Quebec (not in all of Canada, just in Quebec) known as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. The holiday started out as a religious holiday of the Catholic Church to honor the patron saint of French Canadians, St. John the Baptist, but now it has become more a political celebration. Blue and white Quebec flags were everywhere. That explained the number of people we were seeing out!

We waited only about 20-30 minutes before it was our turn to lock through to the canal. In these locks the attendants hand you a (clean!) line at the stern and at the bow. Except for the occasional wind, these locks were easily managed. And the trip in between...well, we felt like we were in a parade! People everywhere, festive attitudes, waving was wonderful.

The locks are hand operated...

And they almost caught our flag on one of the openings!

Bella Luna and Segue spent the night on the wall at Chambly between Lock 3 and Lock 4 while Prime Time went through Locks 3-1 and stayed at the Chambly marina. That evening we gathered at 5:00 on Kaos, along with Bella Luna, Distant Shores, and Prime Time. A good time was had by all.

Chambly is a friendly, comfortable place to stay. Diane and I were glad to see a grocery nearby...'cause you're always "nearly out" of something. If Montreal weren't beckoning, we'd stay a day or so longer.

Wednesday, June 25 - The lock we were getting ready to go through is a flight lock so once you enter a lock you must complete the remaining two locks. We were going down a total of 35 ft. in this flight lock. The view from the top lock (No. 3) was great.

Once out of the lock we were headed up another 40 miles or so to Sorel. From Sorel we'll go to Montreal. The scenery along this stretch of the Richeleu was so nice...beautiful homes lining both shores. I took a few pictures. And...the steeples along the way looked so good against the blue sky and clouds.

We stayed at Parc Nautique Sorel (marina) in Sorel. Thank goodness Gary and Pat from Prime Time was there to help us navigate in...and help Wayne and I tuck the boat into a very tightly fitting slip. Oh, and did I mention, the wind was wailing??? Anyway, tomorrow could be a challenge getting out, depending on the weather.

Thursday, June 26 - The wind was calm this morning, but it was still a tight squeeze getting out of our slip. Fortunately the tip of our bow went over the boat docked next to us and gave us some more room in which to maneuver.

On leaving Sorel we entered the St. Lawrence River and began making our way, upstream, to Montreal. The current running against us cut our normal 10 mph speed to something more like 7.5 mph. And we saw some rather large, sea-going vessels on the way....

We left Sorel at around 8:45 AM and got into Montreal at around 4:00PM...~44 miles. As we made our way to the Montreal Yacht Club , the current increased and we were slowed to 4.5 mph for 2 miles or so. Looking at this channel marker you can see what we were working against!

The Montreal Yacht Club has some of the nicest docks we've seen. They have a rubberized layer on top which makes walking around on wet surfaces much easier. They also have cleats running in a channel alongside the slip so the cleats can be moved to accomodate different boats. The location is great...right at the Old Port area. Many people seem to use their boat as a summer cottage. The weekend we were in Montreal the marina was hopping with people who were entertaining on their boats. (This was actually a holiday weekend, too. Monday and Tuesday are both holidays ...Tuesday is Canada Day.)

We walked Lucy,then took off for a look-see in the area. We ended up at an outdoor restaurant on the local pedestrian mall, Place Jacques-Cartier, and enjoyed a beverage while watching a flame-throwing entertainer "wow" a crowd. We'd had a day, by then, and headed back to the boat for a light supper and planning for tomorrow's exploration of the city.

Friday, June 27 - We left the boat at 8:30 and walked up to the tourist information site and location of bus tours for Montreal. We signed up for a 3-hour tour beginning at 10...and had time for a second cup of coffee and a cheese sandwich at a local deli. The tour covered the main parts of Montreal...the Mont-Royal Park (normally the best view of the city, but it was really cloudy that day) , McGill University, University of Montreal (53,000 students and totally French-speaking university), the Olympic village site...and numerous cathedrals, government buildings, etc.

Montreal has a large "indoor city" underground linked to the Metro system. AND...their Metro, according to a native, has rubber wheels instead of metal (like NYC has) so the Metro is much quieter.

When we finished the tour we visited the tourist information center again and got advice and directions for several restaurants we'd read about. Our friend, Bob Sicignano, had recommended Schwartz's Deli for smoked meat sandwiches and we struck out on the Metro to find it. It was around 2 PM by the time we got to the deli and we thought maybe the lunch crunch would be over. Not so!

We waited outside for probably 20-30 minutes before being escorted into the small restaurant and seated at a table for 6. There were already two other couples at the table...and this is how it is. It was really a cozy place and we talked with a series of couples as the meals were served and finished. We both had a smoked meat sandwich with fries...and a side order of pickles. It really was good! The bread was even good...nice and firm to be able to hold the 4 inches of meat they piled on. We couldn't finish the sandwich,but that didn't keep us from stopping in for gelato at a nearby ice cream shop. We made it home around 4:30 and snacked on veggies for supper, we were so full.

Saturday, June 28 - We decided to indulge our individual interests. Wayne found a marine chart store and shopped (though unsucessfully) for some Canadian charts we're lacking.) He wanted pasta for lunch, but ended up settling for a sandwich on the boat because it was too early in the day to find pasta. The impeller on one engine needed looking at because he'd spotted a water leak from it...and he ended up working all the rest of the day on boat projects.

I headed for the Montreal Museum of Fine Art to see the exhibit of Yves Saint Laurent couture. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit. It was much larger than I had expected...and very well done. I especially liked the pieces that had been made for individuals...and his pieces made in honor of Proust and Picasso. I had lunch at the museum bistro (where they were playing Johnny Cash albums on the "Ipod" and the waiter had tickets that evening to see Al Green at the Jazz Festival.)

Did I mention the Jazz Festival? It started the night we arrived and would be going on the whole time we were there.

We had a couple of restaurants picked out for supper...but the rains came in that evening and we decided to eat in and watch a movie. Around 9:30 we went outside for the fireworks display. Pretty impressive! According to a local boater, the firework display companies compete for "best" over the summer and then can charge "even more" for their services.

Sunday, June 29 - We hung around that morning working on the blog and catching up on emails...then headed out for a Portugese restaurant that had been recommended to us. We both had tourist passes for the Metro which meant we had 3 days of unlimited travel on the buses or subway, so we took a Subway up to the restaurant. It was closed! Granted, it was only 11:30...but we were hungry! We left out for the second choice, a French bistro on Rue St. Denis. On the way we passed a couple of good looking eateries...but decided to press on. When we got to L'Express and looked at the menu we decided to head back to one of the appealing places we'd passed. It was a good decision.

Wayne had seafood pasta and I had veal scallopini...and, much to the waiter's surprise, we ordered a side of poutine. We'd read about poutine being a true Montreal "comfort food" and didn't want to leave without tasting it. According to, poutine is "a heap of crispy french fries topped by a handful of cheddar curds, and a chicken (or, sometimes, veal) based sauce. While great fries are important, it is the combination of sauce and curds which makes a poutine a trascendent [sic] culinary experience." was a "transcendent culinary experience!" Darn yummy. We asked the waiter later whether it's usually served as a side or an entre. He said he usually eats it at around 2 AM when he's been out drinking for a while. Poutine = chili cheese fries!

We were enamored with the neighborhood, too. We'd walked through it on Friday...then today. A Montreal resident from one of the neighboring tables in the restaurant, the Universel Restaurant Cafe, came over to ask how we liked the poutine and we asked about the area. It's part of the Latin Quarter...and we really liked the feeling there.

We finished up, reluctantly, ...well, we'd had all we could hold...and walked out to see the Jazz Festival venue. We caught a couple of New Orleans jazz style and one our favorite, Latin jazz. Topping the event off with a soft serve cone at Dairy Queen, we parted ways. Wayne headed back to the boat and I went on to find a grocery store and some fresh fruits and veggies. I also picked up a couple of croissants for Wayne and some St. Viateur bagels for me. (Montreal bagels are different from NYC bagels, for instance. They are sweeter and have more a preztel "finish" but with seeds.)

We've had a wonderful time in Montreal and would definitely come back. It rained our last night there and I took a picture of the Clock Tower right by the marina.

And a scene of Montreal from our marina..

This ends the blog for now. I'm not really checking for errors because I'm on a timed internet connection. Send me emails with complaints! :-)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coeymans, NY, to Burlington, VT

Thursday, June 12 - I woke up this morning thinking about the day ahead: 20 miles to Waterford...38 to Ft. Edwards...and in between there would be 7 locks to pass through. Sounded too long. Wayne agreed, so we modified our plan. We'd get to Waterford and see if we could get on the free town dock (electricity and water also free). If not, we'd start up the Champlain Canal and go as far as Mechanicsville, NY, to either stay on the free dock or anchor out. We got a 2-day pass for the canal, knowing that if we started up the canal today and went to Mechanicsville we'd need to finish up the canal on Friday. The whole canal from Waterford to Whitehall, NY, is only 60 miles long, but you have to go through 11 locks. They estimate 30 minutes for each lock.

It was a beautiful day, and cool when we left Coeymans. This is a view from the river with the little park on the left, town in the center and Coeymans Landing Marina off on the right...just out of the picture.

On the way up from Coeymans to Waterford we passed Albany and I loved these buildings on the skyline...

We had on jackets until we got up to the Troy Lock. We didn't make the first lock through because there were 3 sailboats, a barge, and a commercial ferry ahead of us. Thirty minutes after we'd arrived at the lock we were allowed through. Now to see if we could get a spot at the Waterford dock...

We spotted the dock at around 1PM. At first glance it looked full. Then we saw an opening...We got up to it, had help tying up from a fellow Looper...then noticed it was a "no docking" zone meant for pump outs only. But...if we moved one of the boats up ahead we could fit in. Wayne and Larry from Lauren Grace moved the boat and we then slipped into the vacated space. Ta-da!! Houdini and Wayne! We're the second boat from the bottom, and that vacant space you see down below the boats is the pump out area.

Waterford is so nice! We walked over to the supermarket and they allow boaters to take the grocery carts back to the dock. We'd provisioned a lot in Coeymans...but still needed some things so we took advantage of the offer. We're learning never to pass up a grocery store!!

There are several Looper boats here. We'll stay a couple of nights and take out on Saturday for the Champlain Canal.

Friday, June 13 - A beautiful day in Waterford! We had breakfast at Don and Paul's then biked down the Old Champlain Canal path to a hardware store. We found Stewart's, a regional convenience store with ice cream parlor and lunched on a couple of cones. We admired some of the older homes there, too.

Back at the boat the gang (there must have been around 15 boats either tied up to the town dock or on the wall just before the dock) had come up with a party plan for that evening... we'd all get together at 5 and share heavy hors d'ourves for a Friday the 13th celebration. Cruisers=food, fun, 'freshments!

We talked with Van and Diane of Passport who are from Tennessee and were going through the same flip-flop on doing the Champlain route as we had. We talked to them about our "itinerary" for the route and the number of days we'd planned (loosely). As we left the next morning they were still mulling it over. We'll hope to see them, one place or another, as we make our way on up to Canada.

Saturday, June 14 - It looked like a Chinese fire drill as we left the Waterford dock that morning. The boat in front of us moved to the pump out station, we left for the Champlain Canal and the boat that had docked at the pump out station came up and took our place.

We were a bit anxious this day. The lowest bridge on the whole trip was coming up on the Champlain Canal. We had to be able to fit under a 17' railroad bridge...and the top of Segue's radar dome is the highest point now with 16.5' air draft. Six inches. Whew! Wayne had already taken down the davit for the dinghy, so we'd done about all we could. This isn't that bridge...but one of the other "short" ones we encountered on the Champlain Canal. (We were too panicky to take a picture on the first one!)

Before we knew it we were to the first lock. These locks are different from those in Tennessee/Alabama. For one thing, they're a lot smaller. I think the highest one yesterday was 18.5 ft. And the way you tie up is different. With these, we ended up grabbing onto lines that were hanging down, one of us on the stern and one on the bow, and holding on while the lock filled. Our gear for the locks: headsets, life jackets, gloves...and fenders out!

We went through 6 locks of the 11 on the Champlain Canal that day. The Champlain Canal is part of the NY Canal system. All of the locks were neatly tended with flowers, green lawns and picnic tables...and we found all of the lock tenders to be extremely friendly and helpful.

At one lock we saw a true "infinity pool!" Do not go near the edge!

There are several places along the canal where boats can tie up overnight for free. Most of the locks have a wall to tie onto, but often no water or electricity. We had decided to go to the town of Fort Edward which is near Lock 7. As we turned off in front of the lock to make our way up the little creek the lock attendant hailed us on channel 16 to offer advice on our approach. The channel is in need of dredging so he cautioned us to hang close to the town wall.

The water was slim, but we made it. And we were the only boat on the wall! It was a warm Saturday afternoon and many of the town's kids were out at the end of the waterfront park jumping into the river for a swim.

The skies looked threatening so we took a quick walk up through town, bought some ice, and walked back to the boat. I harnessed up Lucy for her evening stroll. We were walking around in the park area when a man with a dog and little girl stopped to give me a word of caution. His dog had been attacked at this park the night before by a pit bull! Needless to say, we were very cautious when we took Lucy out the next morning.

(The picture above was taken BEFORE I got the word on the pit bull. Lucy is off her leash. Wouldn't want it to look like we were putting her out there as bait. :-)

Sunday, June 15 - We were going to finish the Champlain Canal today and get up to an anchorage just above the Fort Ticonderoga. At least that was the original plan. The day turned out to be a beautiful day...with great visibility. We knew the rains were coming in on the next day and decided...once we'd made it to the bottom of the lake where it began to widen out and we could see the mountains on the New York side...we decided to go on a little further and take in the views.

We ended up at Button Bay that evening. It was the first time we'd anchored on a rocky bottom, but the anchor bit in and held just fine. (In fact, we still have a little rock wedged into the anchor from Button Bay!) Getting Lucy to shore was another matter. We took her to the small Button Island, but the rocks were so slick there that it took us forever to get out and "on with it."

Monday, June 16 - A windy day that we planned to spend at anchor. Trouble was, the wind was coming from the south and making too many waves for us at Button Bay. We pulled up anchor and motored over to Arnold Bay, within sight...and with a nice body of land to our south to block the winds. We spent a lazy day at anchor. Read and napped, mostly.

We've been amazed how few boats there are on the Champlain! Sunday as we were coming up from the canal we saw a good number of fishing boats, but not many cruising boats. Have the fuel prices made an impact? Could be.

Tuesday, June 17 - Everyone who talked about Lake Champlain said we must go to a little town called Vergennes on Otter Creek. It's touted as the oldest town in Vermont and is built around waterfalls. Tuesday we were headed for Vergennes.

But first! We needed a pump out! You see, on Lake Champlain you are required to use a holding tank for sewer waste. Normally we use a system on the boat called Purisan that treats the waste each time we flush and renders it clean for pumping overboard. On Lake Champlain you are required to take out a piece of the pipe that would even allow you to send waste (treated or untreated) overboard. So...before we went to Vergennes we stopped at Point Bay Marina for a pump out and to take on fuel. (Another "rule of the road" is to top off the fuel whenever you see a decent price. The definition of "decent" is changing daily as we move north...)

As we passed by the Otter Creek that day we saw a distinct demarcation where the Lake Champlain waters met the runoff from Otter Creek (chocolate colored water.)

Vergennes has docks with 15 amp power and water available. We tied up to the north side of the docking area as it was closer to the downtown area (misnomer here, since "downtown" was definitely UP HILL!) Vergennes is built around a waterfall and the image that afternoon with approaching rain was beautiful.

We got tied up in time to have a wonderful lunch at the Three Squares Cafe, then took a walk around town. Wayne ended up going off to explore the area around the waterfalls while I explored some of the local shops. In particular, I found the Dog Tired Studio. Sean Callahan is the artist and his work is watercolor...mostly dogs and other animals, but he's branching out into some more abstract pieces. He was with a client when I dropped in the first time so I came back by later to tell him how much I liked his work. We talked about techniques, paints, etc., and he asked if I was available to join a painting group on Wednesday evening for a couple of hours. Was I ever!! I accepted with pleasure and took off to figure out what I would take to paint!

Wednesday, June 18 - Breakfast at Three Squares had looked so good we decided to go back Wednesday morning and partake. We split an order of breakfast burrito and an order of challah french toast with fruit and Vermont maple syrup. We didn't want to eat again until 4:30 PM! Man, was it good!

Later that afternoon we hiked back up the hill to spend some time at the Vergennes library. Gorgeous, old building with a "real" card catalog. But no Wall St. Journal. Guess it's too expensive. Anyway, we read and took advantage of a stronger signal on our Internet connection to catch up with emails.

Five thirty came and I was headed out again for the Dog Tired Studio. I had a few things picked out to work on and took my supplies in our little fold up cart. Sean asked to see some of my work and I showed him the cards I've made over the past couple of years from paintings. He was very encouraging, as were the three women who came to the gathering a little later. They were working on some great pieces. We talked about papers and paints. Sean really likes Daniel Smith paints and gave me some sample "squirts" onto my palette of a couple of his favorites. It was such a nice experience! I've decided I should try to locate painting groups whenever I have a few days someplace.

Thursday, June 19 - Time to leave Vergennes and go up closer to Burlington to anchor for tonight. We only had about 25 miles to go, so we were anchored out in Shelburne Bay in time for lunch. On the way up we glanced at the depth finder. 345 ft. may be a record for us!

Friday, June 20 - It was raining this morning. We both suited up in our rain gear and decided to just get the dinghy on the boat and take Lucy to shore when we docked at the Burlington Community Boathouse. Lucy has gotten used to our erratic schedule and just went back to the bedroom for a nap when she realized it "wasn't time yet." The Boathouse is conveniently located right in downtown Burlington. We were tied up by 10:30 AM. Shortly after, our friends Louis and Diane Wade on Bella Luna came in...followed by two other Looper boats.

The Wades went with us to lunch at the Vermont Pub up the street and we caught up on things. That evening four couples went to the Single Pebble chinese restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful meal, sampling various dishes.

Saturday, June 21 - We rented a car with the Wades for this weekend so we could gather in supplies. We hit the Walmart, grocery store, West Marine and Staples in the morning. Then we did laundry in the afternoon. We were worn out by the end of the day!!!

Sunday , June 22 - Worked around on life chores during the morning...then to Costco with the Wades for a few hours that afternoon. I took the car back and walked home through the town. I stopped at the public library and picked up a couple of books from their book sale rack. Only library I've ever seen that had garden tools for check out! I asked the desk assistant about it and she said it was a very popular service since the tools are expensive and often only used a few times during the gardening year. Very unique!

Speaking of are some signs I hadn't seen before.

We'll be in Burlington (by the way: Love it! Love it!) until Monday morning when we head on up to Rouses Point and our last stop in the U.S. for a while. Tuesday we'll enter Canada! Just a note here: We won't be answering our phones while up there...but if you'd leave a message we'll call you using a calling card. Also, we'll be relying on wifi connections for the internet so blog updates and email replys may be a bit slow(er). We'll try to keep in touch!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Chesapeake City, MD, to Coeymans, NY

June 1 - I will always picture the Delaware Bay on a map with a HUGE black fly on it. We left this Sunday morning with four boats: Bella Luna and Summertime in the lead, followed by Segue and Wayfarer. Making our way across the C & D Canal (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) we were anticipating the entrance onto the Delaware Bay and hoping that our calculations about tide and wind would give us an easy day down to Cape May.

Oh, thank God, the seas are calm! Oh, my God, the seas are calm and the flies are OUT!! We killed a ton of flies. We didn't just kill them for fun (well...). They were biting us!! Bringing up blood! We killed so may flies on the bridge it looked like a war zone. Diane on Bella Luna said it was the first time in her life she'd ever had to wash a fly swatter, it was so bloody!!

I was dreading the night at Cape May if this continued. Turns out the flies are only a phenomenon on the Delaware Bay.

So, we went on to our marina in Cape May, the Miss Chris Marina. We'd told Wayfarer's Bill and Jane about the place and they had called for reservations, too. Being a fast vessel with owners who like to "pick it up a little," (smile) Wayfarer got to the marina first. We heard them hailing the marina on channel 16 but couldn't hear the subsequent conversations. Then we heard Wayfarer calling another local marina. What happened??? Well, when we got to Miss Chris we figured out what happened. The slip they had for us was a set of really tall poles along side...and a floating dock at the stern. Miss Chris Marina holds a couple of large whale watcher boats and some fishing boats. Not many transient slips available there. It took us about a half an hour to tie up. Bill and Jane had taken one look at this and moved on! For only one night, we decided to go through with it...I think Wayne likes a challenge every now and then.

We took our bikes and rode over to the little historic town of Cape May and brought back as many groceries as we could carry. The whole Cape May historic area is full of well preserved Victorian era houses. If we weren't looking at a really short weather window for traveling up the Atlantic coast to NYC, we'd have stayed a while. We'll come sea or by land.

Cape May is at the bottom of New Jersey right where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. To travel to New York City (where we'll take the Hudson River on up to the Erie Canal) a boat can either travel "inside" on the ICW or run "outside" in the Atlantic Ocean. With a lot of shoaling on the New Jersey inside route we had decided to do the trip to New York in three sections: Cape May to Atlantic City; Atlantic City to Manasquan Inlet; Manasquan Inlet to New York. The weather has a greater influence on our travel plans when we're going into the ocean versus when we're traveling "inside."

We checked the weather that Sunday evening and talked with another couple, Pat and John Olson on Free Bird, about whether it would be a good day on Monday to go to Atlantic City. Pat and John are finishing their second Loop trip and are headed home to the upper peninsula of Michigan. We knew the weather was supposed to be nasty in the middle of the week, so if we could travel Monday, we would.

Monday, June 2 - We checked the weather, called the Olsons and arranged to meet them at the Cape May Inlet for a trip up to Atlantic City. Free Bird led since they have auto pilot on board. We stayed really close to shore, which isn't risky at all along the New Jersey coast. It's deep and sandy. The trip was easy and we were in Atlantic City by lunch time.

We stopped for fuel at Kammerman's Marina and saw Wayfarer there. Bill and Jane are staying a while with friends in the area and will leave Wayfarer at Kammerman's while they visit.

We stayed the night at the Gardner's Basin Marina, right next to the Atlantic City Aquarium.

Gardner's Basin is like the city marina. The whole little waterfront area around the aquarium is pretty, but seems a little run down. We ate lunch with Pat and John at the Flying Cloud Cafe, right next to the marina on the water. The food was good and we enjoyed catching up with the Olsons after having seen them last in Beaufort, SC.

We also discussed plans for the next day. John and Pat had been to Manasquan Inlet the last trip around and had some concerns about the shoaling there and the current. An option to consider was a 10-hour run to New York City, skipping Manasquan all together. We were game, so it was decided that we would go together the next day to New York.

Tuesday, June 3 - We're usually out and about on the water by 8 or 8:30 AM. This morning we were leaving the Gardner's Basin dock at 5:45 AM. We had 10 hours ahead of us and wanted to get most of the travel in before the weather started changing that afternoon.

Again, we had an easy trip, staying in close to shore most all the way. Ten hours is a long time out there! We each took turns going down for a nap (something we felt comfortable doing with Free Bird leading) and tried to sketch out our trip from New York to the Trent Severn.

There's an optional side trip on the Loop route that goes up the Champlain River to Montreal then back down the Rideau before continuing on over to the Trent Severn. We've heard so much about the Champlain trip and how beautiful it is that we'd decided (somewhere down in Florida) that we would do that, too. Now that we're almost 3700 miles into the trip (!!!) we're changing our minds. The first half of the trip has gone by so quickly...and we feel the need to linger over the remainder. More time in one place. More anchorages. So...we're not going to do the Champlain trip at this time. (Maybe later, again, by boat or by car.) Instead, we're going to mosey up to Lake Ontario and stay a week in Belleville, Ontario, to get the curtains replaced on the bridge. Our friends on the Mystic Bond, Olga and Andre, had recommended a shop there.

Getting back to today's trip, though, the highlight, of course, was entering the New York Harbor that Tuesday afternoon. Here's a picture of Free Bird going in ahead of us...and you can see one of the high-speed ferries in the distance that had just zoomed past.

We were all eyes and ears on this section, trying to keep down the awe factor enough to be aware of what was going on around (often behind) us.

We were anchoring that night in a little park just behind the Statue of Liberty. Coming by the Statue of Liberty is an experience people have raved about...and I'll have to say, it was everything we'd hoped for and more! It was a really special experience for us to think that we've come all the way to the Statue of Liberty by water from Tennessee...and to have this new view of something we've seen in person so many times. It was definitely a highlight of this trip, so far.

The anchorage had one other boat in it so we had no trouble finding space. The holding was good...and that was a good thing because the winds that evening picked up. We got down the dinghy to take Lucy to the shore...and half way over to the dock the dinghy motor quit again. The winds were blowing and we were rowing! We got there OK and I took Lucy for a walk while Wayne tinkered with the motor. (Shades of Solomons Island...) In the meantime, John had seen us leave out and saw that the motor had quit. He got their dinghy down and motored over to tow us back just about the time Wayne got ours going again. John followed with us back to the boat just to make sure we didn't have another rowing session.

Wednesday, June 4 - We were setting our sights for the 79th Street Marina in Manhattan this day. The marina is city owned and they don't take reservations, it's a first-come-first-served deal. I called that morning and they said they did have room for us. There was a fog settled in over the little channel leading from the harbor to the park, but we weren't sure how intense the fog would be in the harbor itself. We lingered until about 9 AM then all three boats started out to make our separate ways. (John and Pat were heading up the Hudson to an anchorage that evening.) It didn't take us long to realize that the fog was dense that we decided to come back and wait another 30 minutes. The Olsons went on, hugging the western shore, and the other boat, Sesame, came back to wait along with us. Finally we decided to ease on out and feel our way up the harbor on the western side. Our radar, both mechanical and human, was "up." We only had a couple of brushes with big boats...they weren't in the shipping channel and neither were we. They definitely had a course in mind, though, and both times it involved them heading straight for us! Fortunately we can speed up when needed...and we did.

79th Street Marina has it's down side. We were positioned on a stationary wooden dock just inside the T-dock. Most of the time we were there two large sailboats were positioned opposite our slip on the outside, providing a wave buffer. But the stationary dock thing: we sometimes had trouble figuring how to get on and off the boat. I nearly always needed help getting Lucy off and onto the boat. And when the sailboats left on Friday we had a rocky, rolly day and night. BUT...all things considered...we were a fifteen minute walk from Zabar's! The subway had stops at 79th and the bus came right by the marina. For three days we felt like we sort of lived in New York! Not for everyone, but for us the marina's benefits far outweighed the problems. Here's what we were looking at daily.

We spent three wonderful, packed full days in New York City. We bought specialty foods at Zabar's, stocked up on some groceries from Fairway and Westside markets, loaded up on bagels from H & H Bagels and ate breakfast at Big Nick's. We even managed to wash a load of clothes each at a local laundromat. For a couple who enjoy people watching, we had front row seats outside the laundromat one afternoon as 4 o'clock activity picked up on the street. The laundromat itself was a new experience for us. Basically it was a wash and fold business so the machines available to the walk-in clients were few and far between, but the staff was very helpful in shifting around their loads so we could get ours done.

On our last day there, Friday, June 6, we had a special outing. Thanks to our friend Jeff Dobson in Knoxville and his (identical twin) brother, Jerry, we were able to see the American Geographical Society's Fliers' and Explorers' Globe at the AGS headquarters down on Wall St. Jerry is the current President of AGS and arranged for us to contact Mary Lynne Bird, the Executive Director, for a special look at the globe since it's not out for public viewing. The Fliers' and Explorers' Globe has been signed over the years by "men and women who have explored certain places on earth for the first time in recorded history, reached new extremes of height or depth, pioneered new means of travel, or set aviation records," according to the AGS website. Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Sir Edmund Hillary, William Beebe, and the Apollo 13 astronauts are among those having signed the globe. We felt really special to have been able to see the globe. Thank you, Jeff and Jerry!

I had my Sharpie, but couldn't get close enough to leave our signature on the Loop route!

The globe was originally donated to the Society in 1929 by John H. Finley, President of AGS at that time and also Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times. The poem on the back of the globe was written by Finley...and I thought that was interesting.

We left the AGS and started making our way down to the North Cove Marina for a reunion with our friend Beth Doxsee. Beth worked for 13-30 back in the late 70's while I was working at Lawson McGhee Library. We became friends...then she moved back to her home in New York in 1980. I had visited New York and seen Beth once in the early 80's, but we hadn't seen each other since...just kept up by correspondence.

Beth is a captain on the 134 ft. sailing vessel called the Corwith Cramer. The Cramer is one of the sailing ships used by SEA, the Sea Education Association,
"an educational institution dedicated to the study of the ocean environment and its relationship to the Earth and to human affairs." ( The Cramer was in New York for a while and we were lucky enough to pass through during its stay. Beth gave us a tour of the ship...and it was fascinating! It's a gorgeous vessel and it was neat to see the salon and galley for a boat that can accommodate a crew of over thirty people.

Saturday, June 7 - As Alex would say, "Bye-bye, New York!" We couldn't resist running back out that morning while we waited for the water to rise a bit and gather in some more goodies. We pulled out at around 10 AM and started the trip up the Hudson River. We were headed to Haverstraw Bay to anchor out.

As the day wore on, the heat increased! By the time we got to Haverstraw Bay that afternoon we were steaming hot. Being a weekend...and a warm one at that...Haverstraw was packed with boats of all sizes. Fortunately, there's plenty of room so we had no problem getting a spot. Most of the boats cleared out around 5 o'clock, anyway.

Sunday, June 8 - Sunday took us through some of the most beautiful landscape that we've ever seen. And coming from the Tennessee River area, that's saying a lot!

We passed by West Point

(their marina is closed to boats unless you're a general or have "contacts") and many impressive homes. We also passed Pollepel Island and Bannerman's Island Arsenal. The following story about this arsenal is taken from A Personal Travel Guide to the Hudson River
by Lawrence Zeitlin, Cortlandt Manor, NY:

"Pollepel Island, about four miles north of Cold Spring, holds the romantic ruins of
Bannerman's Castle. Bannerman was an arms dealer who bought up all the Union’s
military supplies left after the Civil War and the military surplus of the Spanish American
War. He stored them in a warehouse in New York City and sold them out of a New York
storefront. He published a mail order catalog of the arms holdings and became the Sears
Roebuck of munitions. Most of the world's rebellions from 1880 through 1910 were
fought with Bannerman supplied weapons. Eventually New York's city fathers became
uneasy about having a munitions store in mid-town and convinced Bannerman to move.
He relocated his warehouse to Pollapel Island, figuring that the locals would be more
tolerant of a few hundred tons of explosive in the basement. The warehouse was
constructed to look like a medieval castle, although it was made of conventional brick
and concrete. Bannerman and his family moved there. Unfortunately the area is no
stranger to lightning and the warehouse was destroyed by a series of fires (and
explosions) by the late 60s."

Again, it was a hot, muggy day. Amazing that we could be traveling on the boat and still have places where the air was not moving! Around 3 that afternoon a storm caught up with us and followed us for about half an hour. We got some rain...but the best thing was that it brought cloud cover and a wonderful cool breeze.

That evening we anchored near Kingston, NY, up the Rondout Creek.

Kingston looks like a town worth a second visit. Apparently there's a community of artists there, as was evident from the water.

A nice couple who were moored nearby came over and offered advice on where to take Lucy for a walk...and offered some history on the area. According to them, all the PT boats made during WWII came from Kingston. We'd seen a sign coming in touting the Fleet Obsolete, and I guess they were referring to the PT boats.

Monday, June 9 - Another scorcher day. We considered traveling north until it got cool...but with the current on the Hudson we were only going about 7.5 miles per hour. It might take a while!

We had reservations a the Coeyman's Landing Marina for Tuesday and Wednesday nights...and were planning to tie up to a park dock near there on this Monday evening so we could get into the marina early on Tuesday and get busy cleaning the boat, stocking up on supplies and washing clothes. (Life chores, as Cheryl Travis would say.) Well, the tide was out and the dock was very we ended up just going into the marina a day early. We'll be here until Thursday when we'll leave for parts north....

And, oh yeah. We've decided to go ahead and do the Lake Champlain route. We talked with a local couple who've traveled that area often and they have assured us we can anchor out a lot and spend plenty of time on the trip...and still get to Belleville, Ontario, around July 14. We're excited! Tomorrow we plan to get up as far as Fort Edwards to spend the night. More to come...