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Published: September 26th 2009
Last preparations the night before
Still working on getting ready to leave - filling water tanks, adding diesel all with a beautiful sunset
We have decided to store the boat under cover so we (however it will probably be mostly Bob as he is the one with the technical skills) can work on it over the winter. We decided that Lake Ontario winter’s do not lend themselves to getting anything done as you are too busy clapping your hands together to stay warm and dressed like the Michelin man to stay warm (speaking from last year’s winter experience). We looked at a number of places, but decided the best place was Beacon Bay Marina at the northeast end of Cayuga Lake, however, this means taking the boat through the Oswego-Seneca canal and part of the Erie Canal which takes us about 2 days. With Bob starting school on Tuesday, Sept 8th, Labor Day weekend was the only time that we had to move the boat.
We left Sackets Harbor about 10AM on Friday, Sept 4th. It was a calm beautiful day when we started out with a slight breeze dead on our nose. With the alternator fixed we were able to turn on the chartplotter and radar so we could practice with our new “navigational electronic tools”. We keep finding this equipment is
Last view of Navy Point
Here is the last time we will see the Navy Point marina sign at Sackets Harbor
incredibly useful and but we still have lots more to learn. After we cleared Stony Point we turned to the southwest and we picked up a nice west wind so put up the sail and heeled over nicely and started making 6.5 knots (with a little help from the engine). We would have just sailed, but we had to step the mast (for the non-sailors that means taking the mast out and laying it down on top of the boat) first thing Saturday morning so we had to keep moving to get to Oswego early enough to do a lot of the prep work. It was an excellent day and the wind stayed steady all the way to Oswego. With the crossing being 36 nautical miles and us going only 6.5 knots at our top speed we still made good time and got to the Oswego marina by 4:15PM (which was lucky for us as the office was still open to get the key to the restrooms and the electrical plug adapter (30 amp to 50 amp). That evening was spent getting the boat ready to take down the mast. That meant quite a bit of work as Bob had
Bob always doing research
Bob on duty but still doing research!
to custom make the support that the mast would rest on and we had to get the sails off and numerous other tasks. We worked on into the dark finishing it - thank goodness for those small “headlights” as they are a big help for these types of jobs.
The next morning, Saturday we found out that the Oswego Marina which had been private is now part of the NYS Park system. The manager, Bernie, is a great guy and really knows his stuff. Bernie took down our mast like a pro. From previous times the mast was down, Bob did a great job of tying down the mast, but Bernie had some new tricks which he showed us that worked very well. He set the mast down on the boat like it was a feather (a 59 foot aluminum one) - we had some help from Randy from KaChing (a fellow boater from Wisconsin that we met at the marina) Hey, Randy, thanks for the help and keep walking!
We left Oswego Marina at 2:30PM and entered the canal system. We had 9 locks to go through before we would be back in Cayuga Lake. We were
Janice using new hand holds
Just got these hand holds installed - Janice is trying them out!
surprised to find that even though it is Labor Day weekend, we were the only boat in each of the locks when locking through. We have always been impressed with how well the grounds at all the locks are and the lockkeepers are always very pleasant. The only bad thing to say about the locks is how “scummy” the walls are so the job is keeping the boat off the wall and to wear work gloves to hang on to the ropes in the locks (at least Janice wears gloves).
For many years we have driven the roads near the barge canal and occasionally you get glimpses of it, but basically it is hidden from sight. Now that we have been on the canal a few times we realize how incredibly beautiful it is and how much of it is undeveloped. Great blue heron are a common sighting Other “wildlife” we saw on this trip were numerous turtles, kingfishers, Canadian geese and our oddest sighting was of a woodchuck at the Oswego marina acting like he owned the place.
As we motor by all of these beautiful homes along the canal with magnificent lawns and beautifully maintained docks,
Oswego nuclear power plant
This is a landmark that you can see for miles - nuclear power plant located in Oswego NY
one thing that is missing is the people. There are chairs, volleyball courts, pools, hammocks, and anything you can imagine to entertain, but even on Labor Day weekend we find that no one is outside enjoying the waterway. We kept wondering, “where are they on such a beautiful day?” We don’t get it. They were missing out on a beautiful weekend of sun and water.
It really has been a great trip - it is amazing what you see when you travel 64 miles at only 5 mph! Some people would consider this boring, but we enjoy the time taking in our surroundings - this is the pace that life should run at. It gives you the time to think, to see and to enjoy. On a beautiful day like today there has been a lot to see. The one thing we haven’t like seeing is the changing of the color of the leaves; however, it does mean it is getting closer to the time of departure.
Hard to believe this sailing season is over for us, but now we have lots of work ahead of getting the projects done on the boat that we want to do
Oswego Harbor lighthouse
Lighthouse located at the entrance to Oswego -many using it for a diving platform - quite impressive entry
before leaving next summer, working on the house to get it ready to sell and the tasks of disposing of 35 years of accumulated belongings before moving onto the boat - we have plenty to keep us busy!
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