Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1, 2017 Wednesday / Friday
We did a 52 mile run to Ludington, MI. We had to wait for fog to lift before we could leave, but the lake was relatively quiet all the way south. When we pulled in Lab Partners was across from us. They came over for cocktails. We also met True North (unofficial harbor host). They were also just down the dock from us. We are starting the winter boat list and it is growing. As we clean we are finding more things that need attending. We see more loopers at this port. Gypsy Palace pulled in along with One Eye Dog. We walked over to the state docks and talked with Cha Cha (met in north channel). We tried to take a bike ride but the roads were too steep for us. Barb did walk around town a little, but we mainly stayed aboard and continued cleaning and making winter storage lists. The big excitement everyday was watching the Badger come in and dock – just outside our marina.
Aug. 29, 2017 Tuesday
We were up really early! And out on the lake before 8:00. We did a 73 mile run directly to Frankfort, MI. We were able to get a slip for the night and found Lab Partner down the dock from us. Also in another marina was Gypsy Palace. We went out to dinner at a favorite Chinese restaurant and relaxed the rest of the evening. No pictures today due to cloudy haze on the lake. We didn’t see many boats moving either.
Aug. 26 / 28, 2017 Saturday / Monday
We are up early to make the 33 mile run to Charlevoix, MI (our most favorite marina). Dave hoped that he timed the bridge opening correctly so we wouldn’t have to wait an hour, and he did very well this time. We only waited 5 minutes for it to open. We were tied up and settled in before noon – so took a nap. There were some loopers here and a friend from GLCC. Lab Partners came over for cocktails but Melissa on Sonadora wasn’t able to come over. We had to wash the decks, do laundry, get groceries and settle in. We were not sure when we could leave due to more weather moving in. On Monday evening we found that there was a good two day weather window but we were having difficulty as to how far we could travel. Our usual route is Lealand, Frankfort, and Ludington, but the west winds wouldn’t be good in either Lealand or Frankfort. Barb is getting good at plotting routes on Blue Charts and she put in a straight run for Frankfort. It would work! So instead of spending more time in Charlevoix and seeing the mushroom houses and going out to eat, we would move tomorrow.
Aug. 25, 2017 Friday
We are taking advantage of the weather and head west to Beaver Island and anchor in St. James Harbor – another of our great anchorages. The winds and waves are down so we see a number of boats heading north and south through Grey’s Reef. We went 47 miles today and it was great! The only problem was bugs! The boat is a mess again! Can’t walk without stepping on these tiny flies. They seem to land and die. We didn’t go ashore here but did have good internet so did some computer work. We did watch some boats come in to anchor but not many.
Aug. 24, 2017 Thursday
We were able to get a weather report and felt that we needed to move as we have a three day weather window. So we pulled anchor (which had a ton of mud on it) and took off for Mackinac Island – a 47 mile run. We didn’t have a reservation, but were told to call as passing and see if they had an opening. Yes we could get in the marina on the Island so we turned in and got a dock on the inside of the pier (the better side to be on). We saw Elegante at a nearby dock and walked over to see if our friends Jand and Renee Grimes were still with the boat. We were able to briefly talk with them before they had to take the boat to Harbor Springs – it was great to see people we have known since White Lake in 2006. We did take time to wash some of the mud off the bow and then walk around the town and go out to dinner. We didn’t take a bike ride – it felt good to walk.
Aug. 21 / 23, 2017 Monday / Wednesday
We made decision to move south – we have a one day weather window but needed to decide where to go. The winds will be N NW and didn’t feel that DeTour would be a safe harbor nor did we think that we wanted to go all the way to Government Bay and it wasn’t well protected from the expected winds. We decided to go to Harbor Island and snug into the outer anchorage as far is as we could – good protection from all but South winds. So we went the 48 miles after the fog lifted south on the St. Marys River and were able to get into our anchorage in record time as we had great current on the river. There were two other boats in the anchorage when we arrived but we got our anchor set before the winds got too bad. We spent the next two days watching the winds blow (sometimes up to 30 mph) and see large waves outside the anchorage but we were very safe (we put out extra chain so we had a good hold). We watched boats come in and have difficulty setting anchor due to winds and not enough line. We did have half foot waves but they didn’t bother us. We spent our time inside staying warm and reading – internet service was zero and even the VHF wasn’t good. After leaving here we met up with some loopers who spent these days across the bay on Drummond Island – they were in a marina and had a terrible couple of days as the waves went right through the marina and they were bounced pretty bad. They said they watched us and knew we were better off where we were.
Aug. 19 / 20, 2017 Saturday / Sunday
We are returning to the US today – in Sault Sainte Marie, MI. We did the 32 mile run from Hilton Beach against current so we were really moving slowly up the St. Mary’s River. We quickly got checked in with customs and then rode our bikes to the Walgreens for Barb’s prescriptions. It was an uphill ride going but downhill returning to the boat. We also did some grocery shopping. We went to our favorite restaurant – Antlers but had to wait for 30 minutes for a table due to a Harley Motorcycle rally that was in town. Seems everyone knows this restaurant. We did get a pump out and clean the boat while here. Again we are watching weather as to when to start south. We did see many ships coming through the American Locks while here – even in the fog! Yes we hit fog in the mornings and it did stop traffic on the rivers for pleasure craft but not for ships. We were amazed at the length of one ship that came through the lock – see pictures below. We couldn’t get it into one picture it was about a 1000 feet long. We were interested to watch the small white tug pull up to the ship and tie off. The tug then used a crane and provisioned the ship while it continued traveling south on the St. Marys River. There is always something interesting to see from the boat deck. There were no other loopers here but a group of Canadian small power boats came in and took over the dock with their party. So thinking it is time to move.
Aug. 16 / 18, 2017 Wednesday / Friday
We are up and moving early as we have a long trip to Hilton Beach Ontario – a 58 mile run with winds building from the east. Thank heaven we were going west – we had a small push from winds and waves. We stayed here for three days waiting for the weather to calm down. We mostly stayed aboard as it blew and rained. Barb did walk around town one afternoon, but we mostly stayed warm and read books. There is very little town here to see with no real stores either. We were able to do laundry but not get a pump out.
Aug. 13 / 15, 2017 Sunday / Tuesday
Today we went back to the north shore of the North Channel. Our 23 mile run took us to Long Point Cove (a favorite anchorage on our sailboat). The winds are blowing from the west so this anchorage is a good one if there aren’t many boats. We were lucky and were able to get anchored before many boats arrived so we got a good spot in the center of this small anchorage. We spent most of our time laying around and fixing a few things inside the boat. We did get the dinghy down and take a couple hour ride around the area. The dinghy works great and is much more comfortable than our old one. The weather is changing – not for the good so we need to move.
Aug. 10 / 12, 2017 Thursday / Saturday
We need a pump out and some groceries so we moved to Gore Bay – a 21 mile run south. IT was a great run across the North Channel from north to south – saw a number of other boats on the move today because the weather was great. We got a pump out, docked and did grocery shopping. Barb walked around town while Dave washed the boat. Jim Ellis from Ingomar walked over and invited us to their country club for fish fry on Friday. We spent time each day doing some boat work as we are really starting to think about heading back into the US. Barb finally found a beauty shop and got a haircut. Fish Fry was very interesting – Canadian version of US fish fry – different fish and different fries.
Aug. 6/9, 2017 Sunday / Wednesday
We only traveled about 11 miles today but did two anchorages. We left Spanish and went to Hotham Island and anchored in our favorite anchorage. On the way into Hotham we passed Last Dance leaving. After we got anchored we turned around and saw Last Dance just behind us. They told us we needed to go about half a mile east into Oak Bay to anchor and they would meet us there. So we pulled anchor and moved to Oak Bay (we have been in this anchorage by dinghy and kayak but not by boat. We had plenty of room to anchor and it is really well protected except from North. Not more than 10 minutes after we were anchored a small outboard boat came over and we were invited to shore for cocktails at 5:00. Norm and Elaine Semrau have a house on this bay. Glen and Jill dinghied over to talk. We spent the rest of the day settling in and relaxing. About 3:00 Rhonda Jean (DF 34) pulls in anchors near us. We now have a Defever gathering. So at 5:00 there were three DF couples at the cocktail party – we couldn’t believe it but we were the largest boat there. Even though it rained we all had a good time. See pictures for the boats and people. The other DeFevers left the next day but we stayed. Great anchorage but the winds did build from the north so we had some wind but the waves weren’t bad. We watched boats come and go for the next couple of days. We did get the dinghy down and go for a nice ride on Wednesday and also into shore for another cocktail party. Met a lovely Canadian – Jim and Bonnie Ellis on Ingomar (Nortic Tug 32).
Aug. 3 / 5, 2017 Thursday / Saturday
The winds are shifting to the west and picking up to 30 mph. We need to find a safe harbor for this front to move through. After looking at the charts we decided to go to Spanish, Ontario. This harbor has a very safe break wall and if the winds shift a little north a very high shoreline. So we get out of our wall slip with the help of four men (pulled the boat forward and then kept the bow line tight while Dave spun out (against wind and current). We made it fine but had to back down the fairway to the open channel. Then we were off on a 30 mile trek to the north side of the North Channel. We had called and had a reservation for the next two or three days. We had a great run – a little choppy at first as we were running against waves but about half way we took the waves off the side so didn’t wobble. When we arrived we ran into Last Dance (DF 40). Glen and Jill Moore gave us a big hug and then took off to Hotham Bay Anchorage to sit out the winds and rain. We had a nice T Dock but it was quite a walk to the bathrooms – we do need the exercise. There were about 4 other looper boats here, but only Cha Cha for docktails. We were serenaded on the 4th by a bagpipe playing on top of the hill. While the winds blew and blew strong, we stayed aboard and did some inside boat maintenance. The waves built but we didn’t have any problems. We didn’t get into town – too far to walk and one look at the hill was enough to say no bike ride.
Aug. 1 / 2, 2017 Tuesday / Wednesday
We spent two more days in Little Current due to winds. We did laundry and more shopping. We had CWay and Skinny Dipper over for cocktails aboard Hallelujah. Nice people. The weather looked like it was changing and we were not in a good location so we will move on Thursday. There is a group of small motor vessels coming in and we have to move anyway.
July 31, 2017 Monday
We traveled 30 miles to Little Current which is in the North Channel. We bypassed Killarney as there were many loopers there and we wanted a slip for a couple of days. We need a laundry stop/ grocery store/ pump out. We were again put on an inside wall against the main waterfront walkway so we had tons of people passing the boat. And again we will have some difficulty getting out if there are boats around us in slips and in front of us on the wall. The run was uneventful and we didn’t have to wait long for the Little Current Bridge (which was a first). We spent the afternoon running errands. Then had a looper docktail party on the covered picnic area ashore. There were at least 4 boats attending. We gave them some info about the north channel and places to see.
July 27 / 30, 2017 Thursday / Sunday
We were able to turn the boat around with the help of three men – we were wedged against a dock in front of us and one behind us so we swung the boat 90 degrees so we were on the gas dock floating pier. We did this without the engine on – thank heavens the winds have died. We traveled 52 miles north to a favorite anchorage – Key Hole or Anchorage 52. When we pulled in Gump Stump was already here. We were able to find a good spot to drop the hook between sailboats. We spent 4 nights here on the hook. A couple of windy days that were relatively cold – thank you for a good generator and heat system. We were able to get the dinghy down on day three and travel down Collins Inlet a ways – but we were low on gas so didn’t get as far as we through. When we arrived at Key Hole there were 12 boats, but by Sunday we were the only boat in this anchorage. The Canadians had to start home as this was the end of a national holiday.
July 25 / 26, 2017 Tuesday / Wednesday
We moved north to Byng Inlet, a 50 mile run. The weather wasn’t looking good and we wanted to have a dock in strong winds. It is still cold out and we want to turn on the heat in the rain. We were able to get a pump out from our dock on the gas wall which was great, but we couldn’t do any grilling. We basically stayed aboard for two days while it rained. There were no other loopers here. We did walk down the road to an ice cream shop one evening. There isn’t a lot to do here except watch the Canadian Coast Guard boat come in to pick up and drop off crew members.
July 21 / 24, 2017 Friday / Monday
We were going to move to another anchorage but Dave was worried about getting a pump out and it looked like our weather window of two days was closing in. So we did 44 miles and went into Perry Sound Ontario to a marina. The winds started to pick up so we decided to take the small craft channel and go into Perry Sound from the south. This is instead of going out onto Georgian Bay and traveling to the main entrance to Perry Sound. Of course we can never time bridges so we ended up waiting almost an hour for the one bridge to open before we could get to the marina. We made it and were tied before the winds started to pick up. We ended up staying five days due to weather. Not many boats were leaving, but a lot came in. The winds were strong and there was rain each day. The high was in the low 60’s so we stayed aboard most of the time. We did catch up with Gump Stump and John came over a couple of times to talk about things to do in Georgian Bay and North Channel. We also ended up with him and his son at a restaurant on Monday evening. We walked around town, did laundry and rode our bikes about 3 miles to a grocery store. Dave washed fenders while Barb did some baking.
July 19 / 20, 2017 Wednesday / Thursday
We remained in this anchorage as weather wasn’t good on the bay and we didn’t want to move in high winds. In this anchorage the winds were relatively light. The temperature isn’t warm but we were comfortable in the cabin. We watched more boats come in and somehow find places to drop a hook and lots of these Canadians were out in dinghies and kayaks – also swimming. Not us! We have lost our ability to be warm in 60 degree temperatures so we observed others. We did take the dinghy down on Thursday and do a short sightseeing trip to look at some other anchorages – found another great spot but there was a boat in it so we didn’t attempt to move. We remembered good friends who anchored here with us in 2012 and wished them well as they are selling their Northaven42.
July 18, 2017 Tuesday
Today is our last day on the Trent. We have one lock to go and then we are in Georgian Bay. We had a discussion about what time to leave and Barb got her wish – so we were under way at 7:30 a.m. to get to the blue line at lock 45. Thank heavens we did! We were the first boat on the blue line at 8:15 only to have another boat there within 5 minutes. We ate breakfast while waiting for the lock to open. We were the first lock through and didn’t get out of the lock till 9:30 and by that time there were 5 boats hovering and three more on the blue line. We were the first ones through for the day. As this is the smallest lock only one boat our size could fit at a time – we felt sorry for all the boats still behind us. We stopped in Honey Harbor, ON for a pump out only to find out we had to take on 100 liters of fuel to get the pump out which wasn’t free either. This is the most expensive pump out we have ever had. We then motors to Longuissa Bay (a favorite anchorage) only to find it had 10 boats already there. We squeezed into a corner and put down anchor but didn’t feel we had enough chain. We did hold so we settled in. We did learn that there is more water on the Great Lakes this year which helped as we were close to shore.
July 17, 2017 Monday
At the last minute on Sunday evening we got a two day weather window so we prepared to leave today along with about 8 other looper boats. We left after about 4 boats, but it wasn’t long enough. We got to the first lock only to find we had to wait and we couldn’t even get to the blue line so we hovered until the lock was filled and we could then move to the blue line to tie up and wait for the lock to turn around. We had only 3 locks today and 37 miles but it took us 7.5 hours. Talk about slow locks. The third lock is Big Chute – a railroad car lock. You drive onto the railroad car and they secure the boat in slings then the car moves up and over a road and down a hill. It submerges into the water and you drive off the car. We have done this lock before so it isn’t as scary. We asked a lock person to look at our props and tell us if there were many weeds – Dave was going to dive today to pull them off. The lock person went down and took all weeds of our props and stabilizers – we were pleasantly surprised and very happy. We ended today at an anchorage that we like. The evening was quiet wind wise, but we had an unexpected arrival. About 6:00 p.m. we heard a helicopter and all of a sudden it decented over us – what the…… It landed at one of the houses on the bay nd people got off. It didn’t leave. Someone must have a lot of money!
July 13 / 16, 2017 Thursday / Sunday
Due to weather we stayed four more days in Orillia. There were a number of loopers who came and went while we were here, but we know what is ahead of us and we wanted calmer seas and better winds. There is no need to travel in rain and high winds. We spent out time talking with loopers, resting, and cleaning the boat. This is a great town and there are always interesting things to see and do. Over the weekend there was a Scottish Festival with bands and dancing. The Saturday farmers market was different but we did find fresh Canadian peaches which were great! Fins – a looper boat crossed his wake so there was a Saturday Docktail with about 30 people. It was organized by Hour Plan (a lovely couple) and we had four sponsor boats – the group rotated between the boats. Of course Hallelujah was one of the boats so cleaning was necessary. It was a great time and we met more loopers we didn’t really know. One of the great things about this stop is that for every two nights you stay, you get a free night. Also there is a great grocery, the LCBO, and a new marina center that really welcomes boaters.
July 12, 2017 Wednesday
We thought we would be spending multiple days at Kirkfield, but a weather window opened so we heading out behind the other two boats. We ended up waiting at all five of the locks due to the number of larger boats going west. Dave calculated that we needed to be on Lake Simcoe by noon to make the weather window. We were 11 minutes late getting to the lake so Dave used more speed to cross it. While crossing the lake (which was relatively flat) we heard weather warnings about severe storms on Lake Erie and Huron and squall warnings on Lake Simcoe. We arrived in Orillia at 2:00 pm having traveled 31 miles just before the storms hit. We were safely tied to a dock and happy to stay secure inside the boat.
July 11, 2017 Tuesday
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the first lock through as boats went to the blueline ahead of us, so we had a late start to the day. We went 30 miles with 4 locks but it took us 5 hours. The locks were slow and we had to spend time waiting and also loading the locks. When we arrived at Kirkfield, we were tied behind Sanctuary (yes the DF 41 we met way back at Winter Harbor, NY). We were surprised to see space on the wall but were happy to be here as it is a favorites stop for us. WE had 6 on board for docktails – Island Girl and Sanctuary. Had a great evening talking about cruising.
July 10, 2017 Monday
Finally a weather day for travel. We did 39 miles and three locks. We stopped at Bobcagyon Lock and unfortunately we had to stay at the bottom of the lock as the lock stopped working. Barb walked to a laundry mat while Dave stayed aboard – this is a busy small town and we didn’t feel safe leaving the boat for long time unattended. We were down to our last pair of underwear so laundry was a must. There were a number of looper boats on the upper wall and we did walk up to say hi in the evening. We also did an ice cream run at this stop.
July 7 / 9, 2017 Friday / Sunday
We had hoped to move today but the weather wasn’t cooperating. We ended up staying three extra days on the wall at Lock 26. The Lockmaster was really great – we were only supposed to stay 2 nights on this wall but we ended up here for 4 nights. We met a different group of people each day. We did some housekeeping chores, some computer work that didn’t require internet, and tried to stay cool as it got really hot and very very windy. We are glad to have Ipads and library access for library books as we did a fair amount of reading.
July 6, 2017 Thursday
We were going to Lakefield Marina, an eleven mile run with seven locks. We left the marina at 8:30 so we could get to the blue line and be ahead of the loopers coming out of Peterboro. We were able to get into the first lock, but we were with a house boat, another trawler and two small boats so loading the lock took time. We turned around and saw 5 trawlers that had to wait for the next lift. Today we did the famous Lift Lock (see pictures). It is a bathtub lift. You drive in they close the door and the whole tub of water goes up with you 65 feet. We didn’t have any problems with weeds today (we have in the past) but the currents at the locks were very strong as the water is so high and the system needs to reduce the water level in the lakes. We arrived at the Lakefield Marina to find they had assigned us a 30 foot slip! We didn’t fit and the currents in the marina were really bad. We turned around and went back to Lock 26 lock wall and got tied up before a group of 5 looper boats about our size came in to tie up. We had time to talk for a few minutes before Judith Montgomery and Gordn Tannock arrived (DeFever owners who keep their boat in Geogia). We went out for fish and chips at a nice restaurant.
July 5, 2017 Wednesday
Today was a 39 mile run with only 1 lock. We are moving into Petersburo, ON and a marina. We cross Rice Lake and then travel up the Otonabee River. As we knew there would be looper boats behind us we got an early start (5:30 a.m.). We had an easy run across the lake with no winds and were able to navigate up the river with little traffic We again had to wait for Lock 19 to turn around and fight the currents while waiting but did arrive by noon at the Petersboro marina, so there was time to wash the boat. We were a little tired so didn’t get laundry done, which was a mistake! By midafternoon, there was a waiting line for the laundry. There was a concert in the park tonight which is right by the marina, a Spanish guitar group. We walked over, but Dave returned to the boat as he couldn’t stand for too long. As you can see from the pictures there was a crowd here. We saw looper boats come in after us, but we didn’t have a get-together. We also didn’t go out to dinner to our favorite restaurant as we will do this at the next stop. So we spent the day relaxing, cleaning and preparing for more locks tomorrow.
JUly 4, 2017 Tuesday
We only did 1 lock today as we were going into Hastings for the night. We like this town and it has stores for supplies. Barb went for a haircut while Dave went for wine. We saw looper boats go to the marina across the canal but none on the lock wall with us tonight. We strolled through town and got ice cream to celebrate the 4th – no fireworks for us.
July 3, 2917 Monday
Today we went only 15 miles but had 9 locks. They were again backed up so it took us 5.5 hours with lots of wait time and frustration with currents. We stopped at the top of Lock 17 and thank heavens the lock master came to help as we didn’t know the currents were so strong here. We struggled to get the boat to the lock wall and tied up. Let it Be (looper boat) pulled in after us and we helped them get secured to the wall. They came over for docktails and we had the opportunity to meet a lovely couple from Nashville TN. Tonight was quiet and no rain.
July 2, 2917 Sunday
We left late hoping that the first wave of loopers would get though the locks and we would have easier time. We stopped for a pumpout and then at Lock 1 we found we had a long wait of 2 hours as boats were really backed up. WE didn’t get through lock 1 until 11:20 and we were hoping to make lock 6 today. The locks were backed up most of the way and when we reached lock 6 there was no room, so we continued on to lock 8 and managed to get a spot on the upper wall. There were two looper boats here. It was 5:30 before we were tied up and of course we had rain today so Barb was on the bow in the rain for a couple of locks. It was a long day as the spillways were open letting out lots of water which made currents strong against us. Dave had to really work to keep the boat going straight through the swirling water going into the locks. Thank heavens we were only in locks with two other boats. We did 8 locks today and were really tired. But we like Lock 8 and have stayed here before. We did have problems with weeds getting clogged in the engine strainers so after lock 4, Dave had to go down and clean strainers while Barb drove the boat – one engine off at a time. We had a quiet night as the winds decreased and the rain stopped. In the picture, note the fenced area. The lock masters have to turn the stile to open the lock gates. They go around many times to open each gate.
June 28 / July 1, 2017 Wednesday / Saturday
We had hoped to spend three nights in Trenton, but the weather changed so we were here longer than we had hoped. On Wednesday we were up early and did three load of laundry. We also went to the grocery store for supplies. Then we took our bikes and rode to Lock 1 to get our locking and mooring passes. As top at the LCBO for wine was also completed. There are a lot of looper boats in the marina today so a docktail party was called for. About 30 people showed up – largest docktail party we have ever been to. The AGLCA director, Kim Russo was here so it was really fun. On Thursday it rained most of the day with strong winds, so we stayed aboard, but did go out for dinner with some looper friends on our dock. It continued to rain most of Friday so we did inside stuff on the boat. WiFi is pretty good here so did some internet searching and also read books. Saturday, July 1 is Canada Day – just like the US July 4 holiday. We had front row seats for the fireworks as they were on a barge just off our dock. We spent the day relaxing and talking with other loopers – everyone was here for the holiday and the docks were hopping. The Fireworks were very nice – we did memory of fireworks in Milwaukee WI when we were younger. We also prepared to start the Trent waterway tomorrow. Found out there were many looper boats planning on leaving at the same time.
Tuesday June 27, 2017
This is our first full day in Canada. We were off the mooring ball by 5:30 a.m. to make the 48 mile run to Trenton, Ontario and the beginning of the Trent-Severn Waterway. We had hoped to beat the weather that was closing in on us, but unfortunately we started in fog and ended up with rain before we arrived in Trenton. But the great news was that the rain stopped just before we arrived in Trenton so Barb didn’t get wet docking the boat. We had a great run and arrived by 11:00 a.m. – lots of current behind us! We spent the afternoon aboard as it was cold but no rain that was long lasting.
Monday June 26, 2017
Today was relatively quiet on Lake Ontario but weather window wasn’t very long so we were off at 6:00 a.m. and went 51 miles to a small bay just west of Kingston, Ontario. Prinyers Cove has a marina but we hoped to anchor. We were able to check in via phone as we crossed the border. Dave was driving and talking to customs at the same time. Easy check in as we have Canadian Pass for the boat and us. We gave them our number and that was that. We arrived to find no real anchorage so we took a mooring ball at the marina. Sure enough, Pili Lani was right behind us and took a ball behind us. It was a great crossing and we were settled by noon. Dave was taking the dinghy down so we could go in and pay for mooring ball, but he couldn’t get the engine to move to upright position (we found out that the ignition key had to be on), so Pili Lani came over and took Dave ashore. We stayed aboard and watched four more loopers come in – Sanctuary was one of them. Everyone we talked to made it across safely.
Thursday / Sunday June 22 / 25, 2017
We left Winter Harbor after a pump out and topping off fuel tanks. It was another not nice 32 mile run to Oswego, NY and the entrance to Lake Ontario. We had 8 locks today! But after lock 3on the Oswego Canal, we found a fuel leak on the port engine that had completely filled the oil pan under the engine and into the bilge. We shut down the engine and limped into Oswego where Barb spent the afternoon cleaning up the fuel spill. None of it went overboard as we had immediately shut off the sump pump. The marina manger was most helpful and found us a small pump that we used to fill 10 gallon buckets with contaminated fuel. The Oswego marina took the fuel away for disposal – they were most accommodating as they didn’t was the marina closed due to fuel contamination in the water. But Barb has to work really hard to get the fuel smell out of the boat before bedtime – but it was done. The marina also called a diesel mechanic to come look at the injector pump where the leak was. The mechanic was aboard at 7:30 a.m. on Friday (really great person). He was able to fix the problem in 10 minutes and show Dave how to fix if it happens again. He also checked the starboard injector to make sure it was ok. WOW! He didn’t want any money but we forced him to take a tip. Dave worked with a local NAPA store to have supplies delivered to the boat. Continued to check the engine room for further problems and rest in the afternoon. The winds are strong so not crossing the lake today. Pili Lani (looper couple) came over for cocktails at 5:00. On Saturday we decided we couldn’t cross the lake till Monday so we walked to Fort Oswego and toured the old fort. Very interesting bit of history that we didn’t know about. Dave took Barb out to dinner as she was still tired from Thursday work in the engine room. On Sunday we reviewed weather and talked to looper boats about crossing time tomorrow. Others will be following us across. We found more looper boats tied to lock wall just above Lock 8 and gave them our plan for tomorrow also.
Wednesday June 21, 2017
We spent Wednesday a.m. doing shopping, last of laundry and returning the car to Enterprise. In the afternoon we spent in preparation to leave tomorrow. Did talk to a few looper boaters that docked and wanted some information of what lay ahead for them. We told them our plans of how to cross Lake Ontario and some info on various spots to stop on the Trent-Severn waterway system. The picture today is of Sanctuary – a DeFever 41 and in the back ground (upper right) a Grand Alaskan (a DeFever 58’ boat that is on the hard at Winter Harbor).
Thursday / Tuesday June 15 / 20, 2017
Hallelujah was pulled at 7:00 am and the props were off and on their way to the prop shop by 11:00. We rented a car and moved to the Comfort Inn that the marina works with – we had a discount on our room. We spent the afternoon reviewing the stern and prop damage and made decisions about what work Winter Harbor was to do. We also spent time resting at the hotel. We had a nice dinner at a restaurant we like in Brewerton, NY. On Friday we did laundry, did some boat washing and checked to see what work would be done on the boat toda. Tthen we drove to Fairport, NY to visit looper friends, George and Mini Osteyee for the weekend. We had a great visit to their new home and saw some of the area by car. We also were able to really relax and be pampered. We returned to Brewerton on Sunday to find that no work had been completed on the boat. We spent Monday at the hotel and seeing the Canal Museum in Syracuse, NY as it was raining and cold. On Tuesday we arrived at the marina early to find that the stern hull work was completed and the props were back and being installed on the boat. We quickly returned to the hotel and checked out. The boat was launched Tuesday afternoon and we were in good working order again. The props look great – hope we can keep them straight and not ding them again this year. Major repair to the swim platform will be completed this next winter.
Wednesday June 14, 2017
We awoke to fog and needed to travel 62 miles – but only 4 locks today. We followed four other loopers out of the Ilion Marina and made it through two locks before the starboard engine water strainer filled with debris. Dave went down to clean strainers and Barb pulled boat starboard to allow other boats to pass and in the process, hit a tree that was underwater. The starboard engine started vibrating violently. This isn’t good! We had to turn the engine off and run under the port engine only. We limped into Winter Harbor about 5:00 pm to find that there were dockhands waiting for us. We spent the evening packing for moving off the boat.
Tuesday June 13, 2017
Today’s trip takes us to Ilion, NY (home of the Remington Museum). We have 8 locks to do in the 51 mile run. We had to wait at only 1 lock for two eastbound barges. But we didn’t have a great day. At lock 16 the wall rope Dave was holding got caught between the swim platform and the hull of the boat. As we exited the lock we didn’t know it was there and tore the port side of the swim platform from the boat. We tried to caulk the screw holes at the water line as we need to travel one more day to Brewerton, NY for a boat yard. Not a good day for us emotionally and physically.
Monday June 12, 2017
We were able to enter the first flight of locks at 7:00 when they opened. We needed to do 9 locks today while only going 34 miles. There were 4 boats in our group when we started. But the one power boat went much faster. The two sailboats were slower. Unfortunately we had to stop and clean engine water strainers due to debris so we were slowed down. Two other trawlers caught up to us. We made Amsterdam by 3:30 and did get a good place on the wall with 50 amp power. We spent the evening on the boat.
Sunday June 11, 2017
Today was a long day – 68 miles to Waterford, NY. This is the beginning of the Erie Canal). We passed Shady Harbor where there was a big weekend event. There were about 17 looper boats there so we were trying to get ahead of them on the Erie. As we left Kingston we saw Short Vacation (DF 44) at anchor just outside of Kingston.
Friday / Saturday June 2 / 10, 2017
We were up early to catch some of the flooding current to travel upriver 53 miles to Kingston, NY. We were off the dock at 5:30 a.m. and were able to get to Rondout Marina by noon. The weather is going to deteriorate in the next few days. We have rented a car and will take a short road trip. On Saturday we drove to Brunswick ME to see family. We had a great time and were able to relax a little. We returned to the boat on Tuesday. On Wednesday we went to Hyde Park for sightseeing. We toured the Roosevelt Home, library and Museum. We also saw a little of the Vanderbilt home (but most of the house was under renovation – bummer). We were not able to leave Kingston because of all the rain – the Erie Canal closed again. We took a few days to clean the boat and do a last load of laundry.
Thursday June 1, 2017
Today’s run was 59 miles from our anchorage at Sandy Hook to Haverstraw, New York. The fog was still hanging over us when we got up early. We had hoped to have some push by flooding current, but we were unable to leave the anchorage until 9:30. Thus, we had a slow trip through New York and up the Hudson. We always enjoy passing the Statue of Liberty. There were not a lot of ships and ferry’s today so the trip was pretty easy and the weather cleared so that we had a very nice comfortable day while traveling. We met up with Star Gazer (DF 47) at Haverstraw Marina and went over to have wine. They we relaxed the rest of the evening.
Wednesday May 31, 2017
Today we did a 94 mile run from Atlantic City to Highlands, NJ. When we got up the fog was really thick at 5:00 so we waited as long as we could as we knew this would be a long day. We finally left at 6:30 with heavy fog that was sort of lifting. We were able to see to get around the dredging equipment in the channel and out to our route up the Atlantic Ocean. We had fog off and on all day – it sort of went up and then came back down. The waves were down to 3 feet still from the east but the wind had shifted to the South so we had a much easier relaxing ride. The waves proceeded to drop all day so by the time we arrived at our anchorage the water was flat. We were on the water for 11.5 hours and really tired. We dropped the hook and celebrated the day’s run. We have made it to NY – completed the AICW, the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Tuesday May 30, 2017
We were up and out of the marina at 6:00 a.m. – the tide was ebbing so we had a push all the way out into the Atlantic. Today we did a 44 mile run to Atlantic City in marginable conditions. The waves were out of the ENE at 4 – 6 feet so we took them off the bow stern side most of the run but the winds were out of the North so we had crest waves on the bow. We did pitch a little but once we got the rhythm we were ok. There are three parts to our route north and we ran closer to shore hoping that waves / wind would be better but didn’t really think there was much difference. Boats called us from the marina to check on conditions, but no one else ventured out. We think the stabilizers were the key to our run today – glad to have them! We got to Atlantic City and were hoping to anchor, but a dredge was at the anchorage entrance so we ended up at Farley State Dock for the night along with 4 other loopers. Two of them we have met before – Perfect Time and Dream Maker. We had a quiet time aboard tonight. We didn’t venture to the casino or a restaurant.
Saturday / Monday May 27 / 29, 2017
The rain let up and the winds were from the north so we took off at 5:30 for Cape May – a 64 mile run. Barb’s plan was to catch as much of the outgoing tide as possible (high tide was at 4:30) and move as far south as we can before the tide switched. The picture is of the sunrise on the C&D canal. Don’t know how we did it but we did the run in 7 hrs – had favorable currents most of the way down the bay averaging 8.5+ mph.
We met a few loopers at Utsch’s Marina but didn’t have anyone over for docktails. It is cold! We ended up staying 3 days. We did laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning the boat. No one was really moving as the Atlantic was really nasty! Waves of 8 foot and winds from East of 15 to 20 + mph.
We met a few loopers at Utsch’s Marina but didn’t have anyone over for docktails. It is cold! We ended up staying 3 days. We did laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning the boat. No one was really moving as the Atlantic was really nasty! Waves of 8 foot and winds from East of 15 to 20 + mph.
Wednesday / Friday May 24 / 26, 2017
We were not going far today so didn’t leave until 8:30 and only went 54 miles, but we didn’t remember the strong currents so it took us 7.5 hours. While the current was strong against us, the winds were down and there were very few waves (mostly from passing boats). We didn’t have to pass any barges or tows today. When we arrived at the marina it was low tide and they wanted us on the transient dock – but we went aground about 10 feet off the dock so we were put on a Tee head dock way out in the marina. We had a long walk to the restroom! We ended up staying for 3 days due to weather. It rained for two days and the winds were really strong (but this marina is well protected so we didn’t feel or have strong winds or waves in the marina). We basically stayed aboard and relaxed, read books and slept. Dave researched the Delaware Bay currents for timing on the run to Cape May. We gave up this exercise because the timing was way off. The picture is of a blue heron in flight just off our boat. We could sit and watch the birds from inside the boat.
Tuesday May 23, 2017
This was an interesting day. We were heading to Annapolis to get a mooring ball but ended up in Rock Hall, MD. We couldn’t get into Annapolis which would have been a 40 mile run due to the Blue Angels practicing for the Naval Academy Graduation Ceremony. The entire waterfront was closed to all boating movement. So we continued north and went to the east side of the Chesapeake o Rock Hall – 66 miles today. The weather was ok so the trip wasn’t bad – just long. Rock Hall is a very small place but our dock this year was good – we were on a long face pier so it was easy on and easy off. We didn’t arrive until 4:30 so just spent evening aboard. There isn’t anything to see that is different from last year when we were here.
Friday / Monday May 19 / 22, 2017
We were up and ready to leave at 5:50 but unfortunately we couldn’t get off the dock – the winds are still blowing and we have little maneuverability around the boat in front of us. We had to wait till 8:00 when there were people to help swing Hallelujah out of the dock – use of spring lines. We traveled 64 miles to Solomon, MD and Spring Cove Marina. It felt like we were home (this is location we spent a month at last Sept. and Oct.). While Barb went up to pay for slip, Dave went to the bar for Orange Crush (drinks). We celebrated our first milestone. We are here for 4 days to restock, clean and see good friends. It has been a month since we left Cape Coral and we were ready for our first real break. We had an outstanding dinner with Jack and Gail Cheveney at their beautiful home on Saturday and then went out to eat with them on Monday. Saturday we cleaned the outside of the boat, Sunday we did engine room work as it was raining, and Monday we cleaned the inside of the boat. It was good to get some fresh produce and dairy aboard – Barb did some baking and cooking for the freezer. The weather is again a big concern so each day we watch the reports and see what plan we need to make. Lake Monday we decided that we needed to move on Tuesday – rain or not.
Thursday May 18, 2017
We went 61 miles today to Deltaville (we have been here many times). The winds were up but we were able to get off the dock at 5:52 a.m. Yes we are nuts, but we had outgoing current to help us get north and we wanted to take advantage of the push. It lasted for about 3 hours and then currents changed so we didn’t go as fast, but we did manage to get into the Chesapeake Bay where the currents are not as strong as in Norfolk channel. The bay was choppy all day but waves were off the stern along with 15+ mph winds. We didn’t have difficulty docking as the boat just slid over to the long peer that we were assigned for tie up. The winds blew all night pinning us to the dock. But we didn’t have any wave action so slept well. It is not warm out – only in 60’s so we were happy to have power and turn on the heat.
Wednesday May 17, 2017
We are moving faster – we hope but not today. We went 48 miles into Portsmouth but it took forever! Timing on bridges was against us today. There are three bridges south of Portsmouth and the first two did open on the half hour but the third bridge only opens on the hour and it is times with a lock. Dave had a plan – off the dock at 6:30 at Coinjock and we would make the 10:30 opening for the first bridge – wrong, we were going too fast so had to slow down to a crawl. We did get that bridge and then very slowly moved up to the second bridge and got that at 11:30 and then had to speed up to make the 12:00 Great Bridge bridge and the Great Bridge Lock. We didn’t count on having flooding currents to push us along. The day was good on the water – calm seas and not much wind. We arrived and collapsed at Tidewater Marina.
Tuesday May 16, 2017
This is always a long day for us – crossing Albemarle Sound – 79 miles. We were underway by 6:15 hoping to have some positive current on the Alligator River. There is one bridge we have to have opened today and interestingly, he was opening for boats in front of us and waited for us to pass through before closing – we had to speed up for about 5 minutes so that we didn’t hold up traffic for too long – what a change! The sound was very quiet – Dave actually used autopilot and was able to relax a little. There were lots of flies so we put up our side screens and didn’t have many bits in the fly bridge. We saw and heard a number of looper boats we have met along the way. We pulled into Coinjock marina and found about 6 looper boats here along with many snow birds moving larger boats north for the summer. The boats were so tightly packed that they were rafting boats off for tonight. Luckily we didn’t have to have anyone rafted off us. We did have One Eye Dog (loopers) over for cocktails and thanked them for the picture taken at Mile Hammock Anchorage on May 11. The picture is of a vessel that came in late in the afternoon. Really strange old boat that is used for tours in the Chesapeake Bay.
Monday May 15, 2017
The weather changes daily which has been a constant problem this spring. We get one or two days of travel and then have to sit. We took advantage of a weather window that opened for today and wend 51 miles north to the Pongo River Anchorage. The Neuss River wasn’t too lumpy this a.m. and Pamlico Sound was rather quiet. We had a few hours of panic as Dave found the holding tank full – warning bell ringing. So we had to pull into a marina to get the head pumped – the last pump out evidently didn’t work well. We saw some looper boats and heard others on the radio, but none pulled into the anchorage for the night. We had a very quiet night and Dave was able to grill – haven’t been able to do that in a while.
Friday / Sunday May 12 / 14, 2017
We really trucked north today doing 75 miles to River Dunes Marina (north of Oriental NC). We like Mile Hammock anchorage because we can make the 7:00 bridge opening on the south side of Camp Lejeune. We arrived before 7:00 a.m. and we found we didn’t have to wait – great! We didn’t have a problem at Brown’s Inlet (a place we went aground last fall) and motored straight through Morehead City and Beaufort, NC. We also had good currents for part of the day that helped with getting us to River Dunes a little earlier than expected. The Neuss River was a little lumpy but we did the last 15 miles without too much hassle and had very little wind when docking. We like this marina as it is very secure and well protected from winds. Weather predicted we would be here a few days which was fine with us. We settled in and went up to the onsite restaurant for dinner – great food. We used the courtesy car to run errands – we needed a new fly bridge VHF radio and were able to find one and install it easily. We need some groceries and we did 4 loads of laundry. Oriental isn’t much of a town to explore, but the marina and surrounding grounds are lovely.
Thursday May 11, 2017
We did a 66 mile run today starting with the Cape Fear River – we had good current all the way up the river and through Snow’s Cut. We were actually doing 11 mph for part of the ride up the river. The best part of the day was that two places that we have gone aground have been dredged and we didn’t have to worry about them. NC has spent a lot of money on dredging the AICW this spring and it really was amazing to see how much silt/mud/sand they have removed from various inlets. Unfortunately we had to slow down as there are two bridges that need to open for us and they only opened on the hour. We waited at both so lost some time. We also had to cross the New River inlet which has shoaled into 4 feet at low time. Timing wasn’t good and directions for crossing this inlet were new. While Dave had the waypoints plotted into our electronic charts, we still went slow as we arrived at low tide. We did make it with 9 feet under us, but it was a bit scary for a few minutes. We anchored tonight at Mile Hammock – which is on Camp Lejeune military base. We couldn’t leave the boat and go ashore if we wanted. This is a very secure anchorage with good holding (if you have good ground tackle). We were there with 5 white, 2 gold, 1 platinum (us) looper boats and three non looper sail boats. During the night, a storm came through and Dream Maker broke anchor and went aground. Talking to them later, it took Towboat US 3 hours to get them off the shore. Barb slept through the storm while Dave got up to keep watch. We didn’t move (love our Rocna Anchor)! The picture today was taken by April on One Eye Dog – white looper anchored next to us).
Wednesday May10, 2017
We did a short run to Southport, NC today (35 miles). We didn’t want to fight the 3 – 4 knot current up the Cape Fear River so didn’t go any further. We were prepared to spend 3 days and wait out weather here, but when we checked the weather in late afternoon, the forecast had drastically changed and we needed to move quickly north tomorrow. So plans on a great Italian dinner, sightseeing in Southport and doing laundry quickly changed. We prepared to move out early tomorrow.
Tuesday May 9, 2017
Today’s travels took us north to Myrtle Beach – a total of 60 miles. This is a beautiful run that includes the Waccamaw River. The day was great for traveling, just enough breeze to keep us comfortable and we had current for part of the day to help push us along – it is always great to have current to help and not have to drive into it. We arrived at the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club early afternoon. Just after we were settled, in came Dream Maker (white looper – first time) along with Perfect Timing (gold looper – second time). We walked over to say hi, but didn’t do dock tails. The run today was not like our run south in Oct. This was the area that was flooded and we had to do idle speed for 25 miles going south last fall – we didn’t have any difficulties going north. Pictures are of the Waccamaw River.
Monday May 8, 2017
We traveled 54 miles north to Georgetown, SC today. We again had some shoaling areas and watched the tides carefully. We like Georgetown for historical reasons. This is a very interesting little town and they have a great restaurant with yummy crab cakes. OF course we went out to dinner tonight. We met first time loopers on Nice Transom – they were at free dock and then moved to anchor out. Barb walked around town to see all the small shops and visit the maritime museum while Dave rested.
Picture is of Hallelujah on the dock in Georgetown.
Wednesday / Sunday May 3 / 7, 2017
We only went 40 miles today as we needed to get a dock to sit out weather – wind and rain. As Charleston was full we went just north of there to Isle of Palms. We were worried about current in Elliot Cut but this wasn’t a problem and we had good current down the Stono River (Charleston inlet). WE didn’t even have to worry about ships entering or departing the inlet. As you can see we spent 5 days here – the winds were really strong but we were protected for the most part because our location behind the main building which housed a snack bar and grocery store. We walked the half mile to the Atlantic beach and walked the beach multiple times. It was beautiful but no pictures because we forgot phone each time. We also took multiple bike rides – there was a great grocery store about 1.5 miles away along with a liquor store for wine. But the most entertaining part of our stay was watching boat launch and come in along with paddle boarders. This is a very busy place. There are three tour boats and during the week lots of middle school students were going out for ecological tours. The tour boat next to us did adult tours and skeet shooting expeditions. Thankfully it was quiet in the evenings and even the band at the next door restaurant stopped playing at 10:00.
Tuesday May 2, 2017
Today we are moving further north, but we went further than planned due to tides. We went 64 miles to an anchorage on the Toogoodoo Creek – great anchorage, very quiet with only two other trawlers here for the night. The unfortunate part of today was that we couldn’t leave the marina until 10:00 due to low tides and a shallow channel exiting the lock at the marina. Thus, we were traveling later in the day than usual. About 3:30 we made the decision to continue on and get through shoaling in Watt’s Cut, South Edisto River and Dawho River. As the tide was rising after 3:00 this was a very wise decision. We had a wonderful night with not too many bugs.
Monday May 1, 2017
We are still in Hilton Head at Windmill Marina. Two looper boats are here and we invited them over for dock tails. Interestingly, they are both couples from Michigan – Dream Maker (Ward and Jean Verseput) and A Blast (Jeff and Heidi Anonick). We shared information about the east coast. We did cleaning today in preparation of leaving tomorrow.