We are writing this blog for one reason and one reason only. To provide a vehicle to make it easier to remain in touch with our family and friends back home.

Our plan is simple. Depart our home port of Goderich Ontario in the Summer of 2011. Cruise Georgian Bay and the North Channel of Lake Huron while visiting some of the ports and anchorages we have missed over the years. As well as revisiting some of our favourite haunts hopefully with some of our very good friends with whom we have cruised with many times before. All the while adding up the miles and gaining experience with our new trawler. Our first and only self imposed deadline is to be in the Chicago area around Labour Day. South of Chicago, weather and circumstances will guide us!

Friday, July 19, 2013

June 25 – July 15, 2013 – Schenectady, NY

Well it was going to be a long day, so we once again started early to beat the heat and make sure to arrive at our destination mid to late afternoon.  The closer we got to the Erie Canal, the more debris we had to dodge in the channel.  We locked through the Troy Lock (#1) with no problems and by the time we reached the entrance to the Erie Canal, two more looper boats had caught up with us.  The trouble was none of us could raise the lock master on the radio or telephone, so we all kept going in circles while trying to get information on the status of this lock.

At Waterford, NY there is a free wall and a visitors’ centre for boaters and we approached some of the boaters tied up at the wall to try and get some news.  We learned that the government had cut back on Erie Canal staff and this particular lock master had to operate 3 locks in a row and then return to the first lock and repeat.  If all went well the operation took 2 hours.

There was nothing to do but wait, so we continued to go in circles for another hour.  When we finally began locking it was noon and the process went smoothly although we were exhausted by the time we finished at lock #7.

We were greeted by a looper at Schenectady Yacht Club as he helped us dock.  He shook his head and exclaimed, “Welcome to purgatory!”  Each day we woke and anxiously looked at the notices for mariners on the Erie Canal Web site.  Each day was the same - still closed.  Mark got on the phone and finally got a person who was able to give a little more information but always amounted to the same, “Will probably open within a week”.

And then the rains began and then the flooding!  So close to Canada and yet so far!  Then the announcement that the whole Erie Canal was closed with some locks sustaining serious damage.  Ah-h-h-h!!!  Stuck in Schenectady, NY!  We can’t go forward and now we can’t go back!  The rains had subsided a bit and we determined, thank goodness, Terrmar was safe and secure, so we decided to rent a car and take a vacation from boating while the weather and canal got its act together.

Seven hour car ride later, we rested back at home (sigh)!

Albany, NY

Albany, NY Skyline

Debris collected on the Hudson River

Waterford,NY - Erie Canal visitor's centre @ free wall

Old wood water tower

Across Erie Canal Entrance - people waving Canadian flag

Leaving Lock # 6 looking East

Bridge on Erie Canal

Tour Sailboat turning around - going east

Schenectady Yacht Club - red buoy almost submerged.

Bridge water level too high for clearance

Smudge will not be left behind!

Candice visiting @ cottage

Ian helping??

Lauren helping with dishes!


June 21-25, 2013 – New Baltimore, NY

While Rondout Yacht Harbor was peaceful, it was a little light on amenities especially when staying an indefinite period of time.  As we chatted with another boater at this marina, he mentioned he had reservations just up the river at Shady Harbor, New Baltimore, NY.  It was worth a try and would get us closer to the Erie Canal.

Again we had a very pleasant trip travelling the Hudson River.   We arrived at Shady Harbor and managed a very tight squeeze into our spot against a swift current with the help of the harbor-master and dockhand.  Here we waited with many other boaters in anticipation for word that the Erie Canal was open and operational.  By now the local marinas were being filled up with loopers and other boats anxious to be moving north.

We very much enjoyed the amenities at Shady Harbor, including a great restaurant, courtesy car and well stocked ships’ store; however there always seems to be something!  On one of our hottest days thus far our power went off – that’s right – no air conditioning!  All the boats at our end of the long dock were experiencing the same.  After over an hour with no change and no sign of electricians that day, Mark took the bull by the horns and asked to be moved to a dock with working power.  We were settled in just before the sky opened up and it began pouring!  Perfect, we were now staged to make an easy getaway early next morning.

Now you know that Mark is a man of action, always with a plan.  He called ahead to the marina closest to the last lock on the Erie Canal that was open (#7) and got reservations for the following day.  So-o-o we were “in” with the last open spot at Schenectady Yacht Club, NY.

chimmny ruins along the Hudson

Light house

Terrmar @ end of long dock

Marina restaurant

Looking south over Hudson River

More rain!

Mark with courtesy car

Industry on the Hudson

June 19-21, 2013 – Kingston, NY

We departed Liberty Landing Marina, NJ shortly after 0600.  The weather forecast was for North winds around 15 knots.  While it wasn’t ideal for open water, when heading directly into the wind and the tidal current it was no problem, as it was only for a few hours and then the Hudson River would narrow and twist and the wind would certainly be diminished.  I was looking forward to today and eager to get to the Erie Canal and see what all of the fuss was about.  Actually the fuss was an extreme amount of rain over the last few weeks that left the Canal dealing with high current and water levels.  So much so, that the locks had to be closed for periods of time.   On our way up the Hudson this morning we received confirmation that the Canal was indeed closed from lock 8 to 15.  This meant that after three more days of travelling we will meet a dead end.  Of course there is no official word as to when the locks might reopen but the best guess is this weekend some time.  We might have an extra day in Kingston or Albany, NY.   We are hoping for good luck with our timing and the locks opening soon.

The scenery as we motor up the Hudson River was beautiful.   It was three years ago this month that I last travelled this waterway.   Terrmar had been delivered to NJ from China on a container ship and then two Captains and I delivered it to Toronto, Ontario for commissioning. (See June 2010 in this blog).

After a long day travelling the Hudson River, we arrived at our destination, Rondout Yacht Harbor, Kingston, NY.

Cheers - Mark
Leaving NY/NJ north on the Hudson River

Cliffs along the Hudson River

West Point US Naval Academy

Cargo Ship on the Hudson

Bannerman Castle - Hudson Highlands State Park, NY

1871 Lighthouse

Lighthouse along the Hudson

Deer grazing along the Hudson

Mark @ Rondout Maritime Museum

Exploring Rondout Creek

Terrmar Docked @ Rondout Yacht Harbor

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 16-19, 2013 – Statue of Liberty State Park, NJ

What an awesome feeling approaching the New York Harbor!  Even on a Sunday it was busy and congested with all types and sizes of boats and ships traversing its waters.  We elected to stay at a marina right across from NY at Liberty Landing Marina, NJ.  The water taxi left every half hour and would deliver us right to lower Manhattan, NY.  Although we paid $4.00 per foot for docking, the marina had floating docks with relatively calm seas.  Other Marinas, we had learned from advice and guide-books were not so quiet.  We would only be here for a few days and we have had enough rocking and rolling so we felt it well worth the money.

For the short time we had to spend in NY, we were able to grasp the flavor of the city with the help of the people who lived and worked there.  We were like two fish out of water, but we had a fabulous whirlwind of a day starting with a visit to Ground Zero, the 911 Memorial where we spent a quiet moment paying our respects to the victims of senseless terrorist acts.  We hailed a taxi driver who drove us to, of course, Times Square.  The cabbie was wonderful and acted as our tour guide, pointing out the various sights and landmarks with his obvious love of the city shining through.  A random person pointed us to the Galaxy Diner in Hell’s Kitchen and then another person pointed us to the waterfront where the aircraft carrier museum, the Intrepid was stationed.  From there it was easy to hail another cab back down to the water taxi terminal and across to Liberty Landing Marina.

Liberty Landing Marina is located at the Statue of Liberty State Park and it was amazing to stroll along the park’s waterfront and then enjoy cocktails on Terrmar’s fly-bridge while inhaling the magnificent Manhattan skyline!

Mark & Terri
Cargo ship in NY harbor

Passed on old fort south of NY

Approaching NY

First glimpse of Statue of Liberty

Close up - Liberty Lady

Day-sailors with NJ skyline

Glad to be @ Liberty Landing Marina

Thinking of Mike - Do the Math!

Manhattan @ dusk

New Wold Trade Center

9/11 Memorial Pool

Mark @ Times Square

Times Square

Terri @ Times Square

Church in Theater District dedicated to actors


Mark @ Galaxy Diner

Mark @ Intrepid

Largest Solar Powered Boat in the World

Turanor Planet Solar

Manhattan, NY

Sunset @ Liberty Landing Marina