Friday, 26 September 2014

The Hudson River to New York

We have entered the Hudson River and are on our way to New York.

Copper Penny heading out into early morning fog.
We've never seen depths like these in Lake Erie!

West Point...amazing! 

Tug - see what it is pulling......

Huge crane

A bit of a size difference!

Stealth on the water!

New York Skyline!
Just lovely!

Just hanging out by the statue of Liberty....we have a dinghy ...they have a helicopter!

I can't describe the feeling of sailing past this amazing land mark! 
We are headed to Sandy Hook and await a weather window to sail out into the Atlantic to Cape May and the Delaware River.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Erie Canal

We have completed the trip through the Erie Canal!

September 6th, we are finally in the Erie Canal system. Originally built in 1817 to 1825, it had a depth of only 4 feet, was only 40 feet wide and had 83 locks. Horses or mules would walk beside on a towpath and pull the canal boats along.   Today the Canal is managed to a minimum depth of 12 feet, 123 feet wide and many of the locks have been eliminated. It now transverses 35 locks from 565 feet above sea level at the Niagara River to the Hudson River just north of New York City. We have found this to be a hidden jewel. The scenery is beautiful the towns welcoming and the lock and bridge masters pleasant and helpful.
Exiting locks 34 & 35 at Lockport. This is a staircase lock where one lock drops you down into the next for a total of 49 feet.

It pays to buy the better boat hook. Yep, used it once and it's gone. Well we have a replacement handle now! 
 Early morning on the canal

 Friends George and Cindy were visited by their friend Lubo at Bridgeport. We enjoyed the antique car show and antique market. Lubo found a solid brass lamp which he says is perfect for his trawler back home in Midland. We find a bargain on a beautiful nautical blanket and a game that we spend hours playing.

Sweet ride ..this is a Corsair 95. 

 Sept 7th we spend the night at a free dock in Holley. These signs are posted at many of the towns along the way. Holley is a beautiful stop with a lovely park complete with a waterfall just below the canal. Bike and walking paths go for miles along the canal and we are greeted with waves and shouts of “where are you headed?

Copper Penny and R Kalliste’ at Holley.
Paul, Paula & Hannah biking at Holley's park. Waterfall in the background.

 Fairport lift bridge is in the Guinness Book of Records for several reasons. One end is higher than the other, it is built on a slant and no two angles on the entire bridge are the same.

 Free docks are found everywhere along the Canal. This night we spend beside a grave yard. I was a quiet night!

Heading out into Lake Oneida

 Having a pilot house is really nice when it's cool or raining outside. Here we are crossing Lake Oneida and its a bit cool this morning.

Trimaran looks almost too wide for the lock!
We have to be quick to get a picture as she moves past us fast! Someone on board asks us where we are from and when we say Erieau he yells back ..."Hey, I'm from Rondeau!"
And she's gone

Paul braves our 1st cold and rainy day.

The weather has been terrific so far but today, not so much. I venture out from the pilot house occasionally to offer tea, coffee and a break.

Our friends Cindy and George on Copper Penny just happen to have an extra roll of tinted plastic from Sailrite for making dodgers and side curtains. They generously offer it to us and Cindy and I spend the evening sewing zippers into the tops of 3 panels that we will ultimately finish with canvas and additional zippers. (This was one of the projects that we did not have time to even think about) It makes a world of difference! We now have a very comfortable cockpit!

Hannah staying warm! 

Fog - Thank goodness for radar, depth sounder and chart plotter!

Finally got some pictures in one of the locks. The ropes are wet and slimy so our work gloves come in handy!

I use a boat hook to fend off the wall and Paul uses one of the baseball bats donated by our friends Dack and Wanda.   

Paul needs to keep the dingy from hitting the wall.

Some of the locks have cables the you attach a line to while most others have ropes that hang down.

We have seen some beautiful scenery. 

All was going great...then there was a glitch. There are guard gates all along the canal that are  lowered in the event of a lock failing to prevent flooding further down the canal. Guard gate 2 is the only gate that is always closed. You need to radio ahead to have it raised so you can go through. Our luck...there is a problem and the gate will only raise to 12 feet 5 inches. We would likely have been OK as we are 12 feet 2 inches. Our friends were slightly higher with their wind generator blades. 

We decide to take a break, enjoy the park setting and stay the night while the technicians work on fixing the gate.

More boats join us in the wait for the gate to open.

The next day the gate is still stuck however we now have 13 feet. George and Cindy have removed their wind generator and we decide to move on.

Copper Penny just clears the gate.

R Kalliste's radar dome slips under the door...phew!!!

Mast up, sails on! We are a sailboat again!

Friday, 5 September 2014

And We're Off!

It's been a while since we've had time to update our blog. It has been a long, long haul but on the morning of Sept 1st with the help of many friends we untied the dock lines and set sail.

Here is some of the activity over the past month:

Sewing the dodger...this had to be the toughest of all the projects. There really should be a warning "don't try this at home". Now we know why dodgers are expensive. Thank you to George & Cindy on Copper Penny (on their way to New Zealand) who stayed one extra day in Erieau and helped us. 

And the finished product. Looks pretty good for 2 rookies!

Curtains in the aft cabin finally installed. Fabric purchased from St Thomas Canvas and hardware from Sailrite.

New countertops installed. What a difference - we'll post a picture of the finished project once the backsplash is installed.

Family and Friends come to say goodbye:

We would be remiss if we didn't thank all of our friends and family who have supported us through our 2 year rebuild. You listened to us talk about what we've done and what we still had to do. You were understanding when we rushed off to start the next project. Thank you for your kindness and all the well wishes. We are very blessed!

Dave, Dorisa, Linda & Paul - sorry the whether was not the best - you will have to come to the Bahamas and get that sail in! 

My Mom and Dad, Thank you for supporting our dream. Thanks Dad for listening to all the planning over coffee every morning. Thanks Mom for all the pies, cookies, and the extra pounds. Paul especially thanks you for the relish. I'm going to have to ration it!
 It really wasn't easy to say goodbye!

Paul's Mom. Thank you supporting our dream. (even though we know you think we are a little crazy)
Paul's sister Jo - thanks for making sure Mom got there to see us off and for taking all the pictures You captured some great candid shots. (and see Jo it doesn't rock to much while at dock). And Paul's niece Pam with baby Violet. I think she is going to be a sailor!

Daughter Jess with boyfriend Ben. It was a wonderful day for a sail! So glad you could make it! Like her Dad, Jess is a natural sailor . We can't wait till you come to the Bahamas!
Our dock mates Bill and Annalea became wonderful friends who provided shoulders and sounding boards. We will truly miss you! Thank you!.Bill you should now be able to see the rest of the sail basin!

 Geoff & Molly stopped in on their way back from the North Channel. Their boat Dawn Flight (2 circumnavigations - around the world & around South America) was the inspiration for us to look for a Corbin 39.

Jim & Deb - our good friends and cruising buddies. Yes Jim the ceiling is in and "It's Saturday"!!!
Thank you for your help & your support. Can't wait to celebrate with bubbly once we've crossed into the Bahamas!
We will miss you!
 Reg! Thanks for coming to our rescue with the wood delivery! And thanks for the great laughs with "Weekend at Bernies" movie night. Haven't laughed so hard in a long time.
Commodore Bogie & Christine. Guests are always treated royally when visiting KaMa!

Brian and Lorna visited twice and both times we forgot to take a they sent me one of their favourites from St Lucia.  We now have a handy dive bag and will certainly be leaning to play Domino's.

Thank you Erie Sail Club for the send off! The cake was delicious!

 The send off crew early morning Sept 1st.  We think they were going to untie the lines even if we weren't ready. We wonder who won the bet for which day we'd finally leave.

And we are off!

Winds blew 14 knots gusting to 22. Winds made for R Kalliste'.  We arrived in Ashtabula and were welcomed by AYC with open arm. We've made some great friends over the past several years. 
Thanks Kyle, for the book, we are already enjoying "Beyond the Breakwall"

Tammy and Larry treated us to dinner at Hilmak's (our favourite seafood place across the lake) What a real treat! thank you!

Ashtabula is a major shipping port on Lake Erie that receives coal by train and ships it to Canadian 
electric generating plants and cement producers. For a time it was one of the worlds busiest receiving ports. With Canadian demand for coal dwindling we have heard that after 2014 coal may not be shipped from here. This ship "the Ashtabula" delivering gravel and while off loading took up the whole channel. 

 After anchoring in Marina Bay, just inside Presque Isle Bay, Erie PA we pulled anchor at 2:30 am to head out for the long motor to Buffalo (no winds but a beautiful day anyway). Above is Erie PA at about 3:00 am. (Sept 4th)

 Our first lift bridge in the canal at Buffalo.
 Second bridge was the "Corps of Engineers" bridge. A unique swing bridge.
Our first lock. We were to only boat inside. 

Wardell's - "you can't go any further with that mast!"

 Mast dropped to the deck with the help of Denny Wardell - It took only the 3 of us! Storm coming - thunder in the distance. Lifted over the solar panels, under the arch, missed the wind gen ...phew!!!