May 31st Kingston ON (Home) 46 NM Today 2480 NM To Date

We had two full days to “kill” in Oswego so we did laundry, ‘staged’ the inside of the boat to take pictures for the broker and even managed a couple of nice dinners out.

Peter arrived at 7:30am on Tuesday. He did have time for a coffee before the mast stepping started. It went well, and after a pump out and refuelling, Bob and Peter started across the lake at 10:30am and Tarja drove the car back home. Finnish Line arrived back in Kingston at 6:30pm, after eight hours of motor sailing, completing a trip of 2,480 nautical miles.

Linda Schmalz and Chris Walmsley arrived at the dock to welcome Finnish Line home, a celebratory dinner followed at KYC.

May 27th Oswego NY 19 NM 2435 NM To Date

Locks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8

After a mostly rainy 5 hours and 7 down locks, Finnish Line arrived at Oswego Marina at 12:07pm in sunshine. We were fortunate that a lovely tug, which was tied up overnight just outside the Phoenix lock, waited for us at the next and subsequent locks, so we got through all the locks without any waiting at all. We still travelled at lower revs to keep the engine temp in the normal range. The rain seemed to pick up just as we’d enter a lock.

We had to tie up on the starboard side in one of the locks as there was a huge log on the port side of the lock. It turned into a mini shit-show. Tarja got the line at the bow ok but Bob had a problem grabbing a line for the stern. Too long to explain here but the captain of the tug, which had pulled in ahead of us, jumped off his boat to help. We had a problem in another lock when Tarja, for the first time ever in having done this lock thing now three times, lost her line as the water was already moving down. Bob lept to move the boat forward while still holding his line and Tarja was able to grab the line again. It’s quite ironic in that the up locks are normally much more challenging, but we had no problems in them – and we did 21 of them.

We’re first in line on Tuesday to have our mast put back up.

May 26th Phoenix NY 10 NM 2416 NM To Date

Lock 23

Left shortly after 8am in the rain and arrived mid morning in Phoenix. A few miles before Phoenix we turned off the Erie Canal and started up the Oswego Canal. We were fortunate as we got the last place on the dock and it was an easy in with no wind.

According to the flags and signs this whole area is Trump country. We ate dinner in a local sports pub and rather stood out in our sailor clothes! Interesting vibe to the community and was fun to see.

May 26th Brewerton NY 19 NM 2406 NM To Date

Crossed Lake Oneida today with no problems–this lake can be quite treacherous with waves if the winds are up. We left just before 9am and arrived at noon. Used a town wall which it seems is a spot for lunch to office workers from nearby.

We are not really pushing anymore as we can not get the mast backup in Oswego until Tuesday morning (Monday is US Memorial Day).

May 25th Sylvan Beach NY 43 NM 2387 NM To Date

Locks 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

Trip has gone well since we left Little Falls. Unfortunately the engine is still overheating a little at our usual cruising speed, so Bob is keeping it at lower than usual revs, but we are making good progress. Bob did check the impeller, it’s fine.

West of Lock 19 was very skinny water at times under 6′ when the controlling depth should be 12′.

Arrived in Sylvan Beach about 5pm. Went off to dinner with an Australian couple who are doing the Great Loop.

The pictures are dredging operations west of Little Falls.

May 24th Little Falls NY 37 NM 2344 NM To Date

Locks 11, 12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17

Tuesday was a good day, sunny, no overheating engine and we got through all the locks without any issues. We had to wait about about 40 minutes to get into lock 17, the 41 footer. We decided to tied up to the wall outside the lock rather than bobbing about for 40 minutes, avoiding other boats. The lock is not in good condition. The are ropes missing and there was a large piece of metal protruding from a part of the wall. The boat behind it had to move back to avoid it. The lock master did a VERY slow ride up, we didn’t mind!

We stayed overnight at the nice long dock in Little Falls, run by the Rotary. We even got to have hot showers and get rid of garbage and our metal can collection, part of which came from the Bahamas.

Here are pics of us in 41’ lock and the protruding metal.

May 23rd Amsterdam NY 30 NM 2307 NM To Date

Locks 7, 8, 9, 10

Well, we had a pleasant enough day motoring along the Mohawk River and pretty easy rides up four locks. As we came out of the last lock of the day – a bit more than 2 miles east of Amsterdam, Bob noticed the engine temp was rising. We pulled over to the wall just after the lock so Bob could check the raw water intake strainer. It was ok. We pulled out slowly as there was a bit of water spitting out the back and the engine temp remained stable.

We crawled to Amsterdam to keep the engine temp close to normal and are now tied up to the wall. It’s nicely padded and we even have a ladder so we can get on and off the boat. Bob thinks it might be the impeller. We’re going out for an early dinner and then Bob is going to tackle the engine – sheeesh.

Lots and lots of debris in the river, we saw two large barges picking up the stuff.

May 22nd West of Guard Gate 2 NY — Grounding Update

As arranged, the tow chap phoned late afternoon to discuss their arrival Monday. There had been a squall mid afternoon but around 5pm another, stronger squall went through with heavy winds. During the phone call Bob had to rescue a solar panel that came off and ironically as they were talking Bob saw that we were now back in the channel — the winds had pushed us off!

We’re now happily anchored just off the channel, in 25’ of water, thank you very much. We’ll be off early tomorrow. The first group of boats from the flight of five locks arrives around 9:15/9:30 so we’ve got the lots of time for morning coffee before we leave.

Here’s a shot from the back of boat showing us on the edge of the channel. The second picture is a view of where we sat for the last two days.

May 21st West of Guard Gate 2 NY 3 NM Today 2277 NM To Date

Locks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

We made it through the flight of of five locks unscathed but the day had barely started. After going through the first

Lock 2, the 7am lineup

five locks on the canal, Bob thought the engine sounded a bit funny so he quickly checked the strainer. There is a lot of crap/flotsam etc in the water and in the locks. The strainer needed to be cleaned and the engine has to be turned off to do that.

We anchored in what the chart said was 15 feet of water – our boat draws 4.5 feet so that would have been fine, if the chart had been correct. Bob cleared the strainer, then started to pull up the anchor, which was all fine, no sign of being in shallow water as the boat moved forward to where the anchor had been dropped. But when we tried to turn back toward the channel, which

Chart Clearly Shows Lots of Water for us

was only 150 feet away, the boat did not move an inch!

We have BoatUS insurance coverage in US waters. However, since this happened on the canal vs, say the Hudson River, there were no local resources that could pull us off. BoatUS suggested calling 911, which we did and that alerted the local fire department’s marine rescue unit.

There have been many phone calls. The local fire department on their boat came over, alas no sirens, hooks or ladders. They were very nice, offered to take us ashore for shopping etc. if needed.

Bob was on the phone with BoatUS and the company that will have to come to tow us. They have to come from Kingston (NY) on the Hudson and won’t be here until Monday. Bob had quite a long conversation with Captain Joe of SeaTow, (of the Kingston towing company) who said there is a lot of shoaling in the area were in, and the shoals move – no kidding.

Everyone has been very helpful. We are so impressed with the fire department service.

Good thing we have lots of food and booze on board. The tow is going to cost BIG bucks – $4,000 to $5,000 US, $3,000 of that is covered by BoatUS.

May 20th Waterford NY 38 NM Today 2274 NM To Date

We left Riverview at 6:30am on Friday and got to Waterford around 2pm. It was very calm when we left, always making an for an easy departure but the wind picked up enough during the day that there were whitecaps on the Hudson. Also still lots of debris, Bob got a good picture of a large log he avoided. We had to tie up to the cement wall at Waterford as many spots on the floating docks had been roped off, saved for a Tug Fest happening this weekend. It was still very windy when we were tying up but a fellow from the trawler in front of us came over to help. He said he wanted to fellow Catalina owner, he’s had 3 Catalinas. He was helping the owner of the trawler take the boat to Michigan. We got invited over for drinks and had a great chat with them – very nice fellows.

We start the locks tomorrow morning, we’ll be off the wall before 7am so we make the first lock opening. As you can see from the picture, getting on the off the boat was an interesting exercise, especially for Tarja with the dodgy hip.