May 22 – Back home at KYC

Finnish Line is back home at KYC arriving in fog and rain about 2pm.

4,475 nautical miles and 221 days on the boat. Great, great fun and adventure!! Special thanks to the wonderful assistance from Chris McDonnell, Peter Cohrs, Ron Hodges and my son, Tristan. And, of course, Tarja, who went beyond her comfort zone and was with me most of the trip.

Now enjoying a brew in the club house – thanks Ross, the Commodore.

Next task is to remove the ICW smile from the bow!

Home with the ICW Smile

May 20 – Oswego New York

A gruelling ? 10nm motor today with 5 locks … started at 10 and arrived in Oswego just before 1pm. Pic shows the Oswego River and canal looking out across Lake Ontario. The canal is very pretty with many historical places along the way including a French and Indian War battle site. The small boat is Bob the Looper from Minnesota. We are having dinner with him tomorrow and think we’ve convinced him to hit Kingston before taking the Trent Canal. Got boat ready for mast up tomorrow morning.

May 19 – Fulton New York

We were right about the weather. About one in the morning the East winds came up with the usual wave slapping on the stern. Left about 6:30 to get away from it. Went through one lock and the predicted rain arrived. Decided we cut the day short and by 8:30 we were tied up to the Phoenix town dock. By 10am the temps are supposed to go down to 49F/9.5C 

A whip around Phoenix including a look at the lock. Lock Keeper invited us in to view the controls. After returning to the boat Peter announced that he was bored and suggested we move on to Fulton. So 7nm and one more lock finds us in Fulton on the wall just before the next lock. Other pic shows tomorrow morning’s lock from the other end … you can see our boat back down the wall in the distance.

May 18 – Brewerton New York

Loooong day at 11.5 hours. Off the wall about 6:30 to make the 7am opening of Lock 18. Rather a boring day as evidenced by this very long, very straight section. The only entertainment was avoiding all the floating logs and trees. Yes, trees! Had hoped to get to Sylvan Beach today and arrived about 3pm. Given the windy, rainy weather report for tomorrow we decided to continue on for the 3-hour crossing of Oneida Lake which can be dangerous in higher winds due to its shallowness and long fetch which can create uncomfortable seas especially with the mast riding horizontally above the boat. By continuing on we had an almost windless sunny crossing. Now at the town dock in Brewerton having cocktails and trying to hear each other over the din of the nearby Brewerton Raceway. Two easy days to go to get to Oswego. There it’ll be mast up and then across the Lake Ontario to home. ?

May 17 – Little Falls New York

Off the Lock 10 wall to catch the Lock 10 7am opening. Only boat in so we were through in 10 minutes! Continued our way through locks 11 to 17 always going up. Below is Lock 17 the highest on the Canal at a 40.5’ rise (or drop). This is the only gate style in North America except for the one near Ottawa. It takes a very long time to go up … wasn’t sure we were ever going to get there. This is at Little Falls, a town with a number of rough rock out cropping and cliffs, very dramatic. We couldn’t make Lock 18 so pulled in to the town dock at the renovated 1918 barge canal terminal building which is now a lovely park and great centre for boaters. The small boat pulling in is a Nimble 24 owned by Bob from Minnesota doing the Great Loop.

May 16 – East of Lock 10 Erie Canal NY

Off the wall this morning in time to catch the 1st lock at 7am. A very crowded lock which I had not experienced before. The first 5 are called a flight and one had to do them all as there’s no place to stop. All 5 gave us a 165’ of lift. After lock 7 though I heard the sound of an overheated engine. ? We got out of the main channel, dropped anchor and finally found the impeller, pulls in the seawater to cool the engine, had all its blades shorn off. BUT none were in the engine as all were still in the impeller housing. Replaced impeller and all good although there remained a small drip from behind the impeller. Called the closest marina and they don’t deal with diesels and probably nobody does for many many miles. So called our diesel mechanic at home, Kevin Mac and he said we were good to go and he would look at it when we get home. Thanks, Kevin!! All in all this cost us about 90 minutes so although we hoped to get to Amsterdam we missed getting through lock 10 as it was after 5pm when we arrived. So here we sit to wait the 7am opening tomorrow. Enjoyed BBQ’d steaks eaten on deck and enjoyed a pretty sunset.

The adventure continues tomorrow.

May 15, 2018 – Waterford, NY

Better day weather-wise than forecast but it poured hugely just as were pulling into a fuel dock. Didn’t last long and held off until we tied up. Did our first lock today with good success (nobody died). Although we saw no pleasure boats all day yet we had a cruiser and 4 other sail boats in the lock which is under 2 miles from the city dock at Waterford. Not being sure of the available space I used my advantage of first boat out and lucky I did-got the 2nd last place on the town wall. whew … Good dinner out and now into the scotch to ready ourselves for the 9 locks tomorrow. The 2 stooges do the Erie Canal

May 14, 2018 – Hop-O-Nose Marina, NY

Finnish Line arriving at Hop-O-Nose Marina. Tristan drove from Cape Cod to help and Tarja came from Kingston to drop off a few bits and bobs needed once the mast came down. Several other Canadian boats here, lovely sunny day but tomorrow when Peter & Bob head out for the canal it’s supposed to rain all day! We had a great dinner at New York restaurant on the main drag of lovely little Catskill.

May 13, 2018 – Vanderburgh Cove, Kingston, New York

Greetings from Kingston (NY). Lovely trip although rather cool up the Hudson today …. no, we did not touch bottom getting out of anchorage, thank you. This part of the Hudson is very beautiful with treed rolling hills and the odd sheer rock face to add interest. Photo below (credit Peter Cohrs) is of the south side of West Point, the US Army military academy. We are anchored just below Kingston NY and should be at Hop-O-Nose Marina in Catskill by noon tomorrow to get our mast down in prep for the Erie and Oswego Canals.

May 11/12, 2018 – Sandy Hook NJ / New York City / Haverstraw Bay NY

Left Cape May about 6:30 Friday and anchored at Sandy Hook at 12:20am. We were off at 6:15 to catch the tidal currents into NYC and up the Hudson. Unfortunately it was cold and rainy. Just opposite Manhattan about 9am we were boarded by the Coast Guard. They were very polite and asked questions about PFDs, flares, and fire arms. Also looked in our bilge, they said for too much water. They took our passports and boat documents back to their craft. It was taking a long time so they kindly said we could press on and they would catch us up. Finally they returned our docs but there was a question about my last Cruising Permit check in. I had last checked in in Cape May and I thought the next check in would be in NY. However, early in the afternoon I had a call from Border Protection wondering why I hadn’t checked in yet and reminding me that failure to do so is a $5000 fine. Turns out that while I thought checking in the northern US was by state it’s actually by sector. Ergo I should’ve check in at Sandy Hook. So I made the officer I spoke with once we anchored in Haverstraw Bay aware and he noted it but didn’t seem concerned. Whew! We were warned about a shallow spot in our anchorage which may or may not be marked. It wasn’t and we found it right away! We hit suddenly and hard. Peter on the bow, anchor ready, was knocked down. Was able to back off and we anchored in 20’ of water just 10 yards away. Anchoring is soooo entertaining! ?