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Lock 8 Wall, Percy Reach 6/16/2019
Campbellford Wall, Campbellford, ON 6/17/2019
Hastings Village Marina, Hastings, ON 6/18/2019
Lakefield Marina, Lakefield, ON 6/19-20/2019
Lock 34 Wall, Fenelon Falls, ON 6/21-22/2019
Port of Orillia, Orilla, ON 6/23/2019
BIG CHUTE Marine Railway
Starport Marina, Port Severn, ON 6/24-26/2019
After a day of touring, we took advantage of having a car and ran to the grocery store. We had decided on Saturday that if the weather was going to be ok, we’d head out Sunday morning, so after provisioning, I ran up to the Trent Port marina office to let them know that we were going to be leaving in the morning (Sunday). Little did I know that all the flooding had caused one of the private dams on the Trent-Severn to overflow and blow out a main road between Locks 1-7, our planned route for the morning. The Waterway was going to be closed indefinitely. That meant we weren’t going anywhere! Great….I had to go back and tell the captain that good news. Not my idea of fun! He wasn’t a happy camper, but realized it was out of our control and mother nature didn’t care that we wanted to start the Trent-Severn Waterway in the morning. Oh, well, move on to Plan B.
Sunday (Father’s Day) morning came and of course we checked to see the status of the locks and go figure---they were open. What??? Yup, they fixed the dam/lock issue and we were now able to start the Trent-Severn! Yippee!!! Tom started prepping the boat while I returned the rental car and by the time, I got back we were ready to pull out of the slip, but unfortunately two other boats beat us to Lock 1 and the locks here are tiny and only two boats fit into that first lock thru. The lock master (Tom, from Brighton Road Bridge on the Murray Canal) radioed us and said that it would be an hour. 2 ½ hours later we got into the lock. Tom, the lockmaster felt so bad and apologized up and down for the long wait. Such a NICE guy. That would never happen on the Mississippi. While we waited, we had a nice Father’s Day breakfast tied up to the lock wall. It was a beautiful morning to be out on the water and it was great knowing that we were going to be able to lock thru.
Tied up at our first Blue Line waiting for Lock 1 to open. The Blue Line is the staging area for a boats wanting to go thru the lock. The Locks don't use VHF radios, so you can't radio them and say "hey, I want to lock thru". Instead, if the lock isn't open for you to enter, you tie up at the blue line and sometime have to walk up to the lock and let them know your there so they'll open the lock for you. As you can see the water was VERY high!
A little lock info- like I said, they are tiny (most of them) and the folks that run the Trent Severn are unbelievably nice. Pretty much everyone in Canada is nice. Remember the bridge tender that ran Tom to the liquor store? Well, here’s another one. Yesterday when we were out and about with our rental car, we parked in a lot and had to use an automatic payment machine on the lot. We’re totally a couple of corn cobs. First of all, the parking machine wouldn’t take our credit card. OK, we’ll just use some money. Nope that didn’t work either. It wouldn’t take US $. About the time we realized that we didn’t have any Canadian change, some woman rolled up next to us in her car and said, “you must be American, here, I have some change for you.” I’m not kidding. How nice is that? We gave her some dollars and she said her daughter would be thrilled. Another nice Canadian 😉
Back to the locks and bridges on the Trent Severn. They have limited hours until June 23, when they change and are open from 9am-6:30pm. But until then hours are: Mon-Thur 10am-3:30pm. Sat-Sun 9am-5:30pm. Most are opened and closed at each end manually. There is a turnstile at each end on both sides and the staff walk round and round opening and closing the lock. It’s cute. And if I haven't said already written, the Trent-Severn Waterway is a 240 mile long twisting and turning waterway and it has 44 locks. Two of which are Lift Locks, Peterborough and Kirkfield. Peterborough is the largest lift lock in the world and was open in 1904. (Photos below) There is also the Big Chute Lock, which is a large steel railway carriage, thirty feet high and 27 feet wide, that will lift your boat out of the water with slings like a travel lift. On Father’s Day, two of the lock workers had their family there with them helping them open and close the lock doors. And once again they were all NICE! Did I mention that the locks are completely open to the public? I mean, folks walk right up to you and stand on the side of the lock and talk to you while your being raised or lowered. There is not fence or anything. This happens at every lock. Families, little kids, dogs, everybody can just walk right up beside the canal and watch/visit with the boaters. It is so cool. Plus, the lock and bridge tenders are right there to answer all your questions. They are like mini travel agents and love to give you information about the area. We’ve met some swell Canadians in the locks!
Even with our slow start we got through 8 locks today. Stopped and tied up above Lock 8 – Percy’s Reach. It’s lovely here. After tying up we realized that Pete, who we met at the Brighton Road Bridge was working the lock so we chatted it up with him and a couple of the other boats. One of the boaters, Scott, from Midland, Ontario, is a boat captain. He gave us some tips for the rest of the Trent and Georgian Bay. Again, another NICE Canadian. We sat on the bow and took in our surroundings and were thankful to be in such a beautiful place.
Below pics tell the story of our journey crusing the Trent-Severn~
It’s been a fun, lock filled couple of weeks! Locking, cruising, locking, meeting people, locking, enjoying the scenery, locking, loving Canada, locking. You get the picture. We’ve experienced so much in the last week since leaving Percy Reach Lock 8. Here are some of the highlights:
Campbellford - we loved the suspension bridge over Ranney Falls and the hiking path. It was also my first introduction to butter tarts!
Hastings Village Marina was JUST above the dam. If you untied your boat from the dock the current was sooo swift that it would take you right into the dam. Met Jim on the dock perched on the back of his boat having a stogie and drinking a beer. He was a friendly fella looking for a woman. Wondered if I had any sisters. He was 82 years old. 😉
The lift lock consists of two water filled pans or chambers, like a bathtub, each weighing 1300 tons with one in the up position and one in the down position connected by a hydraulic ram so when one goes down the other goes up the corresponding amount. Both pans have large gates at both ends. As you approach the lift lock from the lower level a gate opens in the lower chamber allowing you to enter. Several boats can be accommaodated at a time. After all the boats have entered and tied up to the side walls, the gate is closed. The an additioanla foot of water is added to the upper chamber making it heavier by 130 tons. A valve is then opened to connect the hydraulic rams together and the heavier upper level descends forcing the lower chamber up 65 feet to the upper level. The the gate is opened at the upper level of the waterway and you continue on. Amazing!
Lakefield – Mark the local cop was at the Lakefield Lock when we arrived to lock thru. We weren’t sure if he was waiting for us (a Canadian boarding and inspection?) or just there visiting. As it ended up, he was there to visit. And visit. And visit. We were the last lock of the day but he didn’t care and the gates were open for about 10 minutes before he decided he was done talking. We were going to stay on the Lock wall, but he convinced us to go the marina instead. We did and he came there and continued talking with Tom long after we tied up. Great guy and ambassador for Lakefield 😉
Fenelon Falls – we had an awesome cruise that day. We cleared seven locks and the terrain along the water just got prettier and prettier. We will definitely come back to this part of the Trent again. We weren’t sure we were going to make it to Fenelon Falls in time to get a spot on the lock wall but we did. The Fenelon Falls wall is a super busy, fun place. After arriving, Tom discovered our float switch in the aft bilge was shorting out. After four calls and no luck locating a mechanic and part, a couple of angels showed up: local Harbor Hosts, Gary and Pam stopped by to welcome us. They helped us find a mechanic and he came at 8pm on a Friday night, diagnosed the same problem Tom did, ordered the part and was back on Saturday morning to install the part. We loved Fenelon Falls and stayed another day and took in the Farmers Market, Tom got a haircut, we hiked the trails, met some great folks on the wall, Kim and Jay from Canada. They are planning to do the loop in a few years. They are a fun couple and they’ll do well on the loop. We really enjoyed chatting with them.
Orilla – big day on the water. We did another seven locks including Kirkfield, second lift lock (bathtub lock) except this time we were lowered. This was the start of getting lowered in the locks instead of being raised. I would have pictures of the Kirkfield lock, BUT, the lock master put us in the very front of the lock, I’m incredibly afraid of heights. I sat in the front holding my line with my eyes closed, paralyzed and praying it would be over soon. (I’m not looking forward to Big Chute – Lock 44). We crossed Lake Simcoe on plane and were tired and hungry when we got to Orillia so we called it a day.
Big Chute – Lock 44
Tom called the Big Chute, the Big Easy! We completed locks 42 & 43 and then headed for the Big Chute. The Big Chute Marine Railway is a patent slip at lock 44 of the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, Canada. It works on an inclined plane to carry boats in individual cradles over a change of height of about 60 feet. It is the only marine railway (or canal inclined plane) of its kind in North America still in use, and is overseen by federally operated Parks Canada. We tied up on the visitors dock and checked out this crazy, over land lock, which isn’t really a lock. I was very nervous about this lock since it again was high in the sky! While at the visitor’s center, we met Jeff and Donna. Jeff is from Parry Sound and Donna resides now in the BVI’s. Donna had never done a lock and they asked if she could ride along with us in the Big Chute and Jeff would take pictures. We said sure. It was nice to have her a board. All the pics show Tom and Donna on the front of the boat while I played it safe back near the helm. It ended up being one of the easiest, most unusual locks we have ever gone thru. We’ve talked about this lock for three years. Can check it off our list!
Getting loaded and slinged in for the ride down
Port Severn, Starport Marina
Nice little marina right before the last lock on the Trent Severn. We spent a couple days planning our cruise and stops up Georgian Bay. Staff and marina were great. Beautiful boaters lounge with kitchenette, free laundry and awesome ships store. We tried peameal, which sounds awful, right, but it’s what Canadians call Canadian bacon 😉. Had a turtle drop out of the sky. We met Mike, a great guy and his wife, Diane, local boaters considering doing the Loop (Mike reminded us of our friend, Steve Broman). And we celebrated Tom’s 61st Birthday with a nice dinner at Rawley’s Resort.
We headed out rested and ready for Georgian Bay on Thursday morning. As Tom always says, one challenge is always replaced by another on the Loop. So the locks (which we actually enjoyed) will be replaced by ROCKS! We’ll be staying between the red and green and following our charts!
More from Georgian Bay later~
Boldt Castle and 1000 Islands 6/15/2019
The side trip to Kingston, Gananoque, Rockport, 1000 Islands and Boldt Castle was fantastic! The weather wasn’t the greatest, but the scenery was stunning! We took a ferry tour through the 1000 Islands, which there are actually a little over 1, 800 islands. Some huge, some small, but to be considered an island, it must have a tree. The beauty in this area of the St. Lawrence is breath taking. Reminded us of northern MN and WI.
Boldt Castle, on Heart Island, is an unbelievable architectural feat. George Boldt, of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel fame had it built for his wife, Louise. Unfortunately, she passed away and he never returned to the island/home after her death. The home and buildings on the island started to decay. It was purchased by others but was never brought back to its full glory until the State of New York purchased it and started the huge undertaking of renovating the property. The first and second floors have been renovated and brought back to there former brilliance. Other floors are in process as well as the Alster Tower. We both loved the estate and surrounding area. Definitely a side trip worth taking!
More from the Trent-Severn Waterway later~
Brighton Road Bridge, near Trenton, Ontario 6/12/2019
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, Ontario 6/13-15/2019
I’m a planner and really like to know where I’m going. Thus far on the Loop we’ve had very few times where we’ve had to really change our game plan, but yesterday was a day when Tom’s mantra, “all plans are subject to change” really came true! Since we got so much done at Ess-Kay Yard on Tuesday, including the transmission fluid change, we were ready to go on Wednesday morning and the weather, according to "Wallace" was going to be perfect to cross Lake Ontario. We had done our planning for our entrance into Canada and had decided to head up to Kingston, ON for a few days and take in the 1000 Islands (home of 1000 Island dressing) a perfect fit for us right?! But, we had one more lock on the Erie Canal and seven more on the Oswego Canal before getting to Lake Ontario and then what would the Lake be like?
So we took off at 6:40am to be at Lock 23 by 7am when it opened and start the 5-6 hour slow, lock filled 32 mile cruise. We had slip reservations in Oswego in case it was too late continue on or we couldn’t cross the Lake because of weather. As we processed thru the locks on the Oswego Canal, it became clear that we were making good time and I started calling Kingston marinas to find a slip for a few days. This is where the plan changed……there wasn’t a marina available ( I tried four). We were shocked. Between the flooding and being full, we couldn’t find a marina.
We needed to recalculate, but really wanted to take advantage of the calm conditions on Lake Ontario. Tom looked at the weather, and rain, wind and high waves were forecast for the next week. We really didn’t want to stay in Oswego for a week waiting it out so we had a Plan B: cross over to Trenton and Trent Port Marina, the start of the Trent-Severn Waterway. It would be another 85 miles, but we’d be up on plane and it was only 12:30pm and we could be there in about 3 ½ - 4 hours. We would still be able to do the 1000 Islands and Kingston, but by car instead of boat. I had programmed in several routes in case something like this happened, so all we had to do was load the new route and take off.
Lake Ontario was beautiful!!! We had a great cruise across albeit a little chilly! It was actually cold. We both bundled up and enjoyed the ride into Canada. We slowed down the last 16 miles as we made our way into a cove and then Murray Canal. Murray Canal is part of Canada’s Trent-Severn Waterway. It’s about 6 miles long, has two bridges that have to swing for you ($5 please) and it’s beautiful! We called the first bridge to request an opening and to hand them our $5 passage fee and found out that they were closing in 20 minutes (SURPRISE!!!) and they would swing for us but the next bridge would be closed and we would be stuck in the canal for the night. We just needed to decide which bridge we wanted to hold up at for the night. Tom was like, did you know this Miss Planner? Nope, I didn’t. I had only figured out that there were bridges in the Canal on the ride over. Whoops!
Well, the whoops turned into a God thing and we tied up right after the first bridge and met Lucas and Peter, the two bridge tenders at Brighton Road Bridge. They were delightful and more helpful then you can possibly imagine! Because this was our first stop in Oh Canada, we had to check in with Canadian Customs. They make it super easy. All you have to do is call their number and have all your documents ready as they ask you questions pertaining to your visit, etc. We had read that we would be charged duty tax for any alcohol, tobacco or cannabis (I know) above their regulated amounts. I verified we didn’t have any of the three aboard since we drank most everything on board in anticipation of our entry in to Canada. It wasn’t a tough job 😊 With that said, Lucas volunteered to drive Tom into town to the liquor store so we could restock our beer. Seriously nice huh?
We had a few bumps as we sat back and enjoyed the beauty of the canal, had leftover enchiladas bake for dinner and went to bed. We had a calm, wonderful night tied up on the wall at Brighton Road Bridge on the Murray Canal. Definitely a top five night. Below are a few pics of the Oswego Canal, Lake Ontario and the Murray Canal experience.
Trent Port Marina, Trenton, ON
Since the bridge between us and Trent Port on the canal wouldn’t start swinging until 10am, we had a leisurely morning. Coffee, emails and a nature walk. We hit the trail by the bridge and did 3 miles. It reminded me of walking the trail at home at Bear Cave. We checked in with Lucas and Tom, another bridge tender at Brighton before we left to thank them for their unbelievable hospitality and cast our lines off at 10:30am. We moseyed down the canal to the next bridge and then out into the Bay of Quinte. We went from a serene canal to a choppy, windy, rainy bay. It was only 9.5 miles from the canal, but it felt like we were in a washing machine! I radioed the marina to let them know we need to take on fuel and do a pumpout before we slipped. They directed us to the fueling station beyond the marina. Perfect. We’ll head there first. Not so fast. From all the rain and flooding the water was at the same level as the fueling station and the fueling station, just like everything else, is on a concrete wall! It was a cluster-you-know-what. We pulled up and there was nothing for the fenders to push away from. We ended up standing and pushing the boat away from the concrete wall in the wind, rain and current while we fueled and pumped out. It was crazy!
We are now tied up for a few days at Trent Port Marina. It’s raining and blowing and yucky out. We'll spend a day checking out Trenton and the Quinte West area and then head to Kingston and the 1000 Islands Saturday. Below is a pic of the fueling station......
After finally getting into our slip, we decided we needed a drink!
More from the 1000 Islands later~
Schenectady Yacht Club, Rexford, NY 6/8/2019
St. Johnsville Municipal Marina, St. Johnsville, NY 6/9/2019
Ess-Kay Yard, Brewerton, NY 6/10-11/2019
Schenectady Yacht Club
(Troy Federal Lock 1 – Erie Lock 7)
It was a beautiful morning and we cast off Shady Harbor at 7am. We entered our first lock (Troy Federal Lock)at 9:30am. It was a quick two miles to the Waterford Visitors Center on the Erie Canal where we tied up for 45 minutes until the first lock on the Erie would take us. The first five locks are very close together and you do them one right after the other since there is no where to dock or tie off in between the five locks. We ended up locking thru all five all alone and it only took us about 1 ½ hours to get thru all five. It was another pinch me moment locking thru on the Erie Canal.
We did one more lock (7 locks total for the day)and then slipped at the Schenectady Yacht Club. Dockmaster was great! The marina is right off the canal and was nice and quiet. We met a couple from Cape Cod, Peter and Sue on Osprey. They are doing the Triangle Loop (look it up ;) and were fun to talk about locking thru for the day. After dinner, we pulled our little turquoise bow chairs out on the front of Bella and enjoyed the Erie Canal and a gorgeous sunset.
St. Johnsville Marina (Erie Locks 8-15)
Another breathtaking morning on the Erie Canal. Water is like glass and the scenery is phenomonal. The Locks have been open upon our approach and the Lockmasters are great and often call ahead to the next lock for us. We are cruising at between 8-9 miles an hour between locks and just enjoying the beauty around us. The water is so flat that I made a full breakfast while underway. Thanks Grahams for the awesome eggs! They have a chickens (hens) and have fresh eggs daily. We arrived around 2:30pm and did our usual “off the boat” walk, but someone forgot their phone, so no pics from downtown St. Johnsville, which reminded us both of Hooterville, but on the water. Great little marina and town on the Erie Canal.
Lock 17 on the Erie Canal. The lock lifts every passing vessel an astounding 40.5 feet, replacing four locks on the old canal by just one. Construction on this lock was challenging. Design elements called for a unique feature, a water saving side pool which would allow about half of water from a locking to be reused on the next locking. Couple this extra feature with its massive size, the need to build it in solid rock, and keep the old Erie Canal open, which this was built directly on top of, required massive engineering. This design included a guillotine style lower gate and a concrete arch of which the boats pass under -- the only implementation of such a design along the canal system.
(Erie Locks 16-22)
Monday morning, Plan A was to cruise the Erie Canal another 4 locks and then tie up at a lock wall for the overnight since the weather wasn’t suppose to be the best Monday afternoon and by then we’d be tied up. By the time we got thru the fourth lock for the day it was only 12:30pm and Tom (aka Wallace the Weather Bear) took a look at the forecast, we conferred and decided to keep moving and try to make it to Brewerton another 50 miles and across Lake Oneida, since the forecast was for moderate rain and very little wind. We figured we wouldn’t melt in the rain in the locks and besides we’d rather be in a marina with power and water than on a wall for two days without waiting for crumby weather to pass.
The locks went fine and got thru the three of them by 4:30pm. I called the Ess-Kay Yard (marina) in Brewerton and they had room for us. All we had to do was get across the lake, which we thought would be calm and a piece of cake, even though it was raining. Not so much. By the time we got to the middle of the lake we had 2-3 footers. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I’d left that behind on the Atlantic.
We pushed thru and got to the marina by 5:40pm. Kim the dockmaster helped us put on fuel and get tied up. The wind was blowing and there was a nasty under current so docking both times was a bit challenging. By the time we got in our slip it was 7pm and we were wet, tired, hungry and ready for bed. We had leftovers and called it an early night.
Today, Tuesday we’ll stay in the marina. It’s still not nice out. The wind is blowing and it’s drizzling. Ess-Kay is a full-service marina, so we talked to them and they’ll be changing our transmission fluid again either today or tomorrow and we’ll get some planning done for Canada, provision and hopefully I’ll get Tom to work on his Fire Island blog. Fingers crossed!
Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, NJ 6/3/2019
Half Moon Bay Marina, Croton on Hudson, NY 6/4-5/2019
Kingston City Marina, Kingston, NY 6/6/2019
Shady Harbor Marina, New Baltimore, NY 6/7/2019
Liberty Landing Marina, Jersey City, NJ
Monday, June 3, was a bittersweet morning. It was so wonderful spending time with the boys, Weinholds, Dukes, Grahams and Wissmanns on Long Island and Fire Island, that I didn’t want it to end. We enjoyed our time so much. It was a great break away from the Loop, but everyone had to leave and we had to move on so after crossing the bay and exiting the inlet we headed north to New York. We’ve been talking about this day for the past 3 years and it was here…..we were going to cruise by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!!!
The ride was smooth and we didn’t experience much commercial traffic BUT we did see a whale!!! Glenn, our new friend texted us and said the whales were on the move and to keep an eye out for them. It was sooo cool. I watched as one came up out of the water and breached to our port side. I just about pee’d my pants! Tom just smiled! We were so lucky to have experienced this wonderful display of nature! Loved it!
As we entered the Hudson we could see the skyline of Manhattan and of course Lady Liberty. And the Coast Guard was in full force – boats out patrolling the area with big guns on the front. Even though we have both been to NY and seen the Statue and Ellis Island, seeing it from the water and from your own vessel was breath taking. We both got goose bumps and then acted like Asian tourist---our phones cameras were just snapping away!
Because we’ve spent time in NYC before (and because we spent a week on Long Island/Fire Island), we decided to only do one night at Liberty Landing Marina. It was a super nice marina and we did lunch out in Jersey City and NY style pizza on board Bella that night. We headed over to the Liberty Landing State Park on Tuesday morning and walked to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty one last time before we cast our lines off.
When we got out into the Hudson harbor area, I counted twelve ferries, all going to beat hell transporting the masses. The Hudson was a washing machine. Even so, we gawked all the way up the river thru downtown. Again, it was amazing and a bit surreal to be there experiencing it from the water.
Half Moon Bay
Croton on Hudson, NY
Croton is about 38 miles up the Hudson River and Half Moon Bay is becoming another iconic stop for Loopers. The Dockmaster, Steve is awesome and quite the promoter. The marina lies just off the main channel so you still get some wake and chop from the river, but Steve caters to Loopers and the town is convenient for provisioning, car rental, etc.
We arrived Tuesday afternoon and counted atleast a dozen other Looper boats. Most of them new to looping. One couple was just 3 days in, but most were about a month into the exercise and has done the East coast. It made us remember when we were just a month in and how much we had ahead of us in both fun and mileage 😉
We rented a car Wednesday and went to West Point in the morning and then the Culinary Institute in the afternoon. It was a full day of touring. Both places were amazing! West Point was incredible and the Culinary Institute was delicious! Again, it was a moment of reflection for both of us in the sense that we’ve read, heard and seen both places on TV, but seeing them in person is such a great experience. The pride you feel at West Point for the cadets is overwhelming. The dedication to honor, duty and country that these young men and women have allows the rest of us to live in this great country with the feeling of security. And then there was the Culinary Institute at Hyde Park, which for foodies like us, was such a treat! Our meal and service was amazing. Our waiter was an interesting chap. He was a non-traditional student with several degrees and he was adding a culinary degree to his resume so he could eventually work as a chef for the VA. He was extremely informative and attentive. We both giggled at the fact that we felt a bit under the microscope while eating. If you put down your fork, at least three student waiters were there to replace it with a new one 😉 I thought maybe I’d leave some of my Jimmy’s recipes in the student…just joking. If your ever near Hyde Park, NY definitely tour and eat at the CIA.
Shady Harbor Marina
We took off early Friday morning so we could spend the afternoon taking in New Baltimore and Shady Harbor Marina. The cruise up was AMAZING! We both never expected the Hudson to be so beautiful, but it’s extraordinary.
About 2 miles out we had visitors! A boat full of about four officers pulled up along side of us and two boarded our vessel. They couldn’t have been nicer! We of course passed with flying colors because Timmy D. (Coast Guard Auxiliary) made sure we were compliant. We chatted it up with the two officers and then then re-boarded their vessel and waved good-bye. It was so ironic that we would finally get boarded since we had literally just been talking about it a half hour before that.
So those Simrad updates that I’d been working on the night before caused a glitch in our depth meter and I ended up spending about three hours on the phone with Simrad to correct the problem. So much for a full day at Shady. However, we did get a chance to walk and checked out the pool. We also did docktails with the twenty other Looper boats in the marina. It was fun meeting more new folks.
More from the Erie Canal later~
From Captain Tom
Sue has been doing such an incredible job on the blog... it takes time and it’s time to give her a well deserved break!
Back at home over the Christmas Holidays, our friends Dave and Megan Weinhold invited us to visit them in NY as they were planning to travel there in May. A schedule on a boat is a bad idea but the time frame worked out as we were in NY at the end of May. Sam and Griff also decided to travel there and we all got together. I didn’t realize how homesick I was feeling until I saw Sam and Griff... it was SO GREAT to see them!!
Dave’s sister Sarah and her husband Rob, have a cottage on Fire Island and that’s where we all stayed. It was a TON of fun!
No vehicles, except emergency and some work type are allowed on the island and you get around on bicycles or walking for the most part. We loved that and Sarah and Robs cottage was perfect and had plenty of room for all of us to stay.
The original plan was to drive Bella to Fire Island and stay at a marina very close to the cottage. The problem with that was, the marina didn’t have big enough slips for our boat, 46 foot to stay on the inside where it was protected. No problem as friends of Rob and Sarah, Glenn and Sue Graham offered to let us keep our boat tied up behind their beautiful house on their private dock! It even had 50 amp power to plug in!
The Grahams were over the top nice and we ended up keeping Bella there for a week! Part of that week we we were at Fire Island and the rest on the boat behind Graham’s.
Glenn and Sues place is on Long Island but not far from Fire Island. Of course we didn’t know how to get to their house by water, so Glenn and Rob met us OUT ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN by the Fire Island inlet in Glenn’s boat and escorted us right to his dock.... unbelievable kindness and hospitality! We had a blast getting to know them and Sarah and Rob and they have all become new good friends.
We rode bikes around the island and went to the beach and just “hung out” the first day and on Saturday Glenn and Sue took all of us on a tour in their boat and we saw all of Fire Island with plenty of stops at local haunts throughout the day. BIG fun!!
Sunday we beached it again for a couple of hours and it was time to pack up and start the journey back to our boat. Sam and Griff stayed on the boat with us Sunday night behind Glenn and Sues house and they left for the airport early Monday morning and Sue and I resumed our journey. Next stop, the big apple!
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.