Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is a boat not a home office and I guess I’m just going to have to accept that. Our internet connectivity lately has been sporadic at best.

We stayed at the anchorage in Bohemia River for an extra day for some much needed R. & R. Besides, since we still have summer down here, and we were in fresh water, (rare in these parts) we were able to go swimming. It was very nice but the water wasn’t Georgian Bay quality…. but what is? We made a plan to leave the next day and sail towards Baltimore.

As planned, we left for points yet undetermined on Monday morning and we had a short but exhilarating sail to Sassafras (love that name) River. We would have gone further but to our surprise we ended up sailing in winds 30-35 knots with gusts up to 40 knots. Our sailing friends will appreciate that, that is a lot of wind. On top of that we were beating into the wind so what should have been a 15 mile trip ended up being 23 miles, (according to our knot log), with all the tacks we had to put in. It was hairy but Blue Blazes handled it well and so did her crew.

It’s still blowing like stink again today so we are staying put for now.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the Chesapeake

Harley woke me out of a dead sleep at 7:30 yesterday to say the wind had shifted and the tide is at its optimum best so, if we want to get out of here, now is the time. In a flash I was out of bed and in the “let’s get going” mode. I quickly brushed my teeth, washed my face (there is no point doing anything with the hair, it’s a rat’s nest by now) and started getting the boat ready to leave. By 8:30, after checking the weather one more time, we were pulling up the anchor and on our way.

We sailed up Delaware Bay with the wind to our backs all day and made really good time. We hit the C & D Canal at 1630 and by 1930 we were anchored where the Bohemia River and Chesapeake Bay join. Seventy-three miles in 11 hours (an average of 6.6 knots) is not bad for us. It was long, but not tiring, and we are feeling great to be in the Chesapeake.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sandy Hook to Cape May

Yesterday at 8:20, right on schedule, we sailed out of Sandy Hook and headed into the Atlantic Ocean. What a feeling!

Before we left our mood was sombre as we went around and checked to make sure everything was fastened down and securely put away. We don't need flying projectiles down below if the weather decides to turn bad. They weren't calling for anything bad but you know what they say, an ounce of prevention.........

Once we got into open water, though, any stress that we were carrying was washed away and a feeling of euphoria took over. The sea was gentle, the wind was moderate, and it was warm and sunny. Who could ask for anything more?

We had a lovely sail most of the day. We had to turn on the engine now and then as the wind died down to nothing at times, and when it did pick up it was right on the nose, but that's sailing. All in all, for me, it was perfect and the night sailing went just as well.

However, when the sun came up so did the wind. Just as we got to Cape May and turned the corner into Delaware Bay we ran into some heavy weather. With a strong head wind and big seas we decided to turn back and duck into Cape May. The other boat we are travelling with, Lions Paw, did not due to some low bridges in Cape May. Also, their boat is bigger and heavier and could handle the conditions better than ours. So we are separated once again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Still in Sandy Hook

So hears the scoop.

We are still here, putting in time, at Sandy Hook in New Jersey waiting for a good weather window to head out. It’s looking like we will be leaving tomorrow as the wind is forecasted to switch from the South, which is exactly the direction we want to go, to the West, which is perfect. Harley was happy to have some spare time anyway as he wanted to do an oil change.

Well, when Harley does an oil change the whole boat gets torn apart leaving, literally, no room for me so I decide to take the dingy and go socializing. After a few moments of standing in the dingy I came to the realization that I have never driven this dingy before. So, I look at it, study it, figure out how it works, and after about 10 pulls I get the thing started.

Feeling quite pleased with myself I head over, slowly, towards our friends boat about 100 yards away. I’m about 100 feet away when I notice a boat charging towards me and as it got closer I notice it’s a cop. I’m thinking, what the h***, here it is my maiden voyage and I get stopped by the cops! He, being very officious, asked me where my life jacket was, luckily I had one, and then he asked if there was a reason why our dingy wasn’t registered. I had to explain to him that it is registered but we just haven’t got around to putting the numbers on yet. Then he asked, “Are you Canadian?”

I said, “Yes”.

He said, “Get out of here.” meaning I was free to go.


Slide show - Erie Canal to NYC

Monday, September 21, 2009


What an amazing experience NYC was and I am now so glad we took the time to do some sight seeing. From Central Park to Time Square, we saw everything we wanted and we are now on the go once again.

We left Manhattan late this after noon with the current pushing us along and a warm breeze on our faces. We were feeling very happy and satisfied with ourselves when the lady came into view; the Statue of Liberty, standing tall and proud with her torch high in the air welcoming yet another two foreigners to this great city. What a sight!

As I write this Blue Blazes is swinging on her anchor at Sandy Hook waiting for our friends Marg and Steve on Lions Paw to join us before we head out into the big Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


We could see it in the distance and as we got closer and closer I got more and more excited.

We sailed into New York City today and I am totally at a loss for words. I am ecstatic because we are in NYC, and proud that we have made it this far, delighted that it’s another beautiful summer-like day, and eager to explore.

After we snagged a mooring ball at 79th street Yacht Basin, which was a feat in this 3 knot current, we decided to go ashore and take in the sights. We walked past the home of the late John Lennon and when we were walking around central park we stumbled across the John Lennon memorial, which having been a huge fan thrilled me to no end.

Tomorrow we plan to go back in and check out some more sights. Having come this far we think we might treat ourselves to another day hear.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Am I in a time warp?

Yesterday was like stepping back in time. We’re not sure what the occasion was, but we had tall ships of all shapes and sizes pass us going in the opposite direction, and at the end of the day we ended up anchoring in front of Bannerman’s Castle. How cool is that!

And then today, just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get much better, we sailed, under perfect conditions, right past West Point, which was amazing. The scenery at this point on the Hudson is truly spectacular and I only wish I had a camera that could capture its beauty, but take my word for it, it is breathtaking.

But……the best part about today, without a doubt, is that we have hit salt water (or at the very least brackish water) and to honour this mementos moment we made a toast to the gods of the wind and the sea and thanked them for our safe passage so far and asked for safety for our travels yet to come.

Our internet connection is very weak at the moment so the pictures will come later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A "Golden" Moment.

Kingston, Connel, and Port Ewen.

These three towns are so close together they may as well be one. We docked the dingy in Connel, did laundry in Port Ewen, and on the other side of the channel is Kingston.

We stayed in this area for a day and took in the sights. In Kingston we went to a fascinating Marine Museum were we, (get this), got the "Seniors Discount"! Crap! And the other day someone asked us if we were "Snow Birds"! Needless to say I am feeling pretty old these days but if this is what old is I'm o.k. with it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Catskill River to Kingston

We got to sleep in today!

Harley and Steve looked at the tide tables yesterday and figured that 1100 was to be slack tide turning to ebb tide. (This is all new to us.) So 1100 was our estimated time of departure, although, once we fueled up, pumped out, and filled our water tanks it was more like 1230 when we left Catskill River.

It's another warm sunny day and it's hard to believe it's mid September and, again, this part of the trip is nothing like we expected. In fact, it's much nicer. It's a good thing we didn't ask too many questions about the Hudson because this way we have no preconceived ideas of how it should be. It's a good way to have it. No expectations equals no disappointments.

The scenery is spectacular with the Catskill mountains in the background and the river is wide and magnificent with beautiful estate homes lining the shores. Every now and then a tug boat will pass us or even a barge being pushed by a tug. Harley and I are so relaxed and happy and we are now totally convinced we were meant to do this.

We stopped in Kingston today and decided to swing on our anchor for a change and we are thinking we just might stay here for another day.

The Trail of Blue Blazes

View The Trail of Blue Blazes in a larger map

For you Kevin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ready for flight

Blue Blazes no longer looks like a wounded bird. Her wings are back and she is ready to take off.

We were the 1st of three boats to have their mast stepped today and the process went very smooth. Within an hour and a half we were done enough to move off the dock and let Lion’s Paw in and by 1330 we were pretty much back together. We were extremely exhausted though and I broke every last finger nail……ahhhhh.

Tonight we stay on a mooring ball that someone is lending us, and tomorrow we continue to head south.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Milestone

It feels like summer and we are finally heading south again!


We turned the corner today and we are now floating down the Hudson River. I don’t know if it is the warm weather, or the end of the Erie Canal, or the fact that we’re pointing south again, or just the fact that we are on the Hudson, but the atmosphere is totally different today. With ear to ear grins we motored our way down the very scenic Hudson River stopping at Hop O Nos Marina where we are going to have our mast re-stepped tomorrow.

Another milestone…..check

We have no plans and we're sticking to it!

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

We travelled in the rain most of the day Thursday but we tried to make the best of it by cranking up the tunes and dancing in the rain, however…. by 1500 we had, had enough and called it a day just this side of Waterford. Waterford was having a very popular Tug Boat Festival and we had been warned that there would be no places to dock anywhere near town so pulling in just before Lock 6 made good sense.

As we all know, plans are made to be broken, so we ditched our plan to travel to Troy yesterday and stopped in Waterford after all to take in the festivities. We travelled a whole two miles that day! Nevertheless it was good to get off the boat and walk the town particularly since it turned out to be a pretty decent day. The Tug Fest was interesting too.

Thank goodness we don’t have a schedule.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Marg's Birthday

Fall was definitely in the air this morning as we were delivering our freshly baked cinnamon rolls that I and Pillsbury baked for Marg’s birthday. They were nearly stone cold by the time we walked down the dock. It turned out to be a long pants and sweatshirt kind of day but, hey, we’ve been very lucky so far.

Little Falls was a beautiful spot just as the cruising guides promised. Since this town is nestled in between the Adirondack and the Catskill Mountains it makes for some spectacular scenery. And it had the coolest lift lock as well being, not only the tallest, but the only one of two like it in North America where the boaters travel under the lift door.

We knocked off another big chunk of the Erie Canal today and ended up in Amsterdam. (Yes, that is in New York State) We are ever so slowly getting closer to the Hudson River were we will be able to put this stick back where it belongs and become a sailboat once again. But for now we are enjoying our power boating days.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weedsport and Beyond

The plan was to stop in Brewerton yesterday but, since it was early in the day and the weather was perfect, we pushed on through Lake Oneida. We stopped at Sylvan Beach at the other end instead.

Lake Oneida was a much bigger lake than we expected and it felt good to be on open water again. Thankfully the conditions were dead calm as Harley was a bit concerned about the mast, in this horizontal position, being jostled around in waves. I prepared dinner on the way with the plan to eat soon after we arrived but it seems every time we stop at port people want to stop and talk to us.

Needless to say, dinner was late, but let me tell you, we could stand to miss a couple of meals. This cruising life is murder on the waistline.

Today we travelled from Sylvan Beach to Little Falls and had this been the beginning of our trip we would be saying it was beautiful but we have been spoiled now and found today to be a little boring. However, Little Falls is beautiful and the cruising guides say that this could be the prettiest spot on the whole Erie Canal. We just arrived, so we’ll let you know.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Roll'n, Roll'n, Roll'n down the River

From Brockport we moseyed along to Palmyra, and from Palmyra we sauntered along to Weedsport. Today we are probably going to stop at Brewerton.

I know I am probably sounding more like a broken record these days, but we are having a fabulous time travelling the New York canal system. We promised our friends that we would share everything on this blog; not just the good stuff, but really, everything is just great. The weather has been fantastic and the scenery is out of this world. There is something new and interesting around every corner. I just love this part of the trip.

We are getting quite good at handling the locks now and the lock operators are super friendly and courteous. Most of them are even chatty wanting to know where we are going and where we are from.

The coolest surprise came at lock 26 were the cutest Mennonite family greeted us. There were children of all ages hanging off the railings and the whole family, all 30 or more of them, seemed to be just as intrigued by us as we were of them. I am so happy that Marg was able to sneak a few pictures.

Yesterday we stopped at Weedsport. The dock/dilapidated wall was situated in front of a roadhouse restaurant and when we arrived it looked to be full of bikers. When Marg jumped off her boat, in her bikini, she yells out….”The hookers have arrived!” hehehe!

We are having so much fun!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Are we behind schedule? Maybe a bit. Do we care? Not a bit!

Brockport is a university town and, in sharp contrast to Middleport, this is a happening place. This would be the first week of university, or maybe even frosh week, but whatever it is this town is a buzz with happy young adults. Thank goodness Lion's Paw needed to stay for an extra day to wait for their much needed (and much desired) wi-fi antenna to be delivered because that gave us an excuse to explore this really cool town.

Given that sailors never pass on anything free, the four of us took advantage of the free bike rentals offered hear on the dock. We biked all around town and through the university campus on bikes that left little to be desired, but that just added to the fun. Later we had dinner at one of the MANY pizza joints and both evenings we sat on the dock until we couldn't keep our eyes open any longer laughing ourselves silly.

This is such fun!

Today we move on. Fairport is our next stop.

Friday, September 4, 2009


When we arrived in Middleport the day before yesterday we found a sleepy little town that consists of a pub, a greasy spoon diner, a classy coffee shop, and a bank. Blue Blazes was the only boat tied to the wall with the exception of a 24 ft. power boat that looked like it had been there forever. Since then more boats have arrived including Lion's Paw who we were waiting for but I thought I'd share this before we leave.

Journal entry September 3

We went for a walk after we had breakfast at the local diner and again, I can't believe how dead this town is. You don't even see people on the streets. The only sound you hear is the high pitched buzz of the cicada bug (or heat bug as I call them). The sun is shining and there isn't a breath of air making it almost uncomfortably hot, but I'm not complaining. These are the kind of days we live for.

As we walked through the residential areas it was quite evident that this is not a well to do town. The homes are modest at best but their grounds are well kept with even the most dilapidated homes having nicely manicured lawns. However, the town definitely had a back-country hick feel to it and I kept expecting to hear banjo music at any time

For me that just about says everything there is to say about Middleport. Today we head for Brockport to see what that town has to offer. Will keep you posted.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Life for me is a Riverboat Fantasy"

Harley’s teeth are fixed and we are underway once again. Tonawanda was nice but we had seen everything we wanted and it was time to carry on.

And carry on we did. The Erie Canal, so far, is more interesting than I had ever expected and I love it. It helps that today was a picture perfect day with blue bird skies and warm temps. Along the canal there are areas of parkland and areas with cottages, and long stretches of wilderness with trees and vines overhanging the river. Every now and again we’d even see a heron perched on a branch. It was very reminiscent of Florida at times. The only things missing were alligators.

Entering our first set of locks at Lockport was awesome and we couldn’t get over how massive they are. We planned on staying at Lockport for the night but the Lockmaster talked us into carrying on to Middleport where the docking facilities are much better. We asked the lockmaster to pass a message on to Lion’s Paw letting them know that that’s what we have done as they, I think, are only a few hours behind us.

So here we are in Middleport. We’ve checked out the town, Harley is making dinner, and life is good.