Belleville

I fetched up in Belleville today and secured a slip in the municipal marina until the end of the season, which is mid-October. Cleaned up the boat and am heading home. Not sure when I’ll be back.  My plan is to haul and store the boat somewhere in this area.

Tuesday was a great day. Left Chaffey’s at 10 am and didn’t stop for 12 hours. No waits for locks – I think their busy season is done – and very little boat traffic.  I got through the causeway at Kingston at 6 pm and had a nice moonlit cruise to Adolphustown where I anchored for the night. Today I came up to Belleville.

Some pictures from Tuesday

https://goo.gl/photos/3vdamoqw5rbUudEw6

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Chaffey’s Lock

Am sitting in the pub at the The Opicon, a resort next to the lock.  Had a very relaxed cruise here from Smith’s Falls today.  Boat was exactly as I left it.  Sarah drove me back, and after provisioning this morning I headed south towards Kingston.

I really like this area. Not too many people or boats, clean water, interesting cuts between the lakes like this one

I expect to be in Kingston Wednesday, and will head into the Bay of Quinte from there.

Smith’s Falls

It’s been 8 days since my last entry. Wow.  I’ll try to catch up.  I’m now in Smith’s Falls for the second time, and am heading home for a week or so to see my family, welcome Mallory back, and reconnect with my work in preparation for a mid-September return.  Then it’s back to the boat for the final segment of my 2017 travels, back down to Kingston and east into the Bay of Quinte. Tentative plan is to hail and store the boat somewhere around Belleville.

On Friday evening I met Samantha and Sarah at Westport.  We spent the night there at the municipal docks after a nice meal out, and on Saturday traveled through Upper Rideau then Big Rideau lakes.  Had a fun trip up the old Tay canal to Perth and had lunch there. Then back to a lovely anchorage south on Rideau Ferry.  I dropped them off Sunday morning at Rideau Ferry and they tode their bikes back to Westport.  See her blog with some great pictures here https://fitisafeministissue.com/2017/08/16/bikes-and-boats/

Monday I went through to Smith’s Falls.  Spent Monday night in the basin at Victoria Park.  Had my first ever lock issue in the downbound lock approaching Smith’s Falls. Not sure what happened – it was a really weird eddy in the lock – but when I went to exit the lock I ended up sideways with my anchor wedged against one wall the the dinghy the other.  Lock is about 35 feet wide and I’m about 40 feet long with the dinghy on davits.  More embarrassing than anything else.  The lock staff threw me a line and pulled my bow back over.  No damage done, though I’m sure my bow roller left a scar on the lock wall.

Tuesday morning I finally got rid of my waste oil and containers. Walked to a nearby Canadian Tire and borrowed a shopping cart.  Fixed the stuck thermostat and did a few other housekeeping chores and got underway after lunch.

Tuesday night was spent at the Kilmarnock lock.  Lovely isolated spot, hung out with the cadets I’d met earlier who were on an old Navy gig.  
Wednesday I arrived in Ottawa.  Got as far as the lock right next to Carleton University.  I had planned to go through to downtown just above the flight locks, but the smoke trail I’ve been leaving was attracting some unwanted attention… The multiuse path along the canal has a lot of traffic, and I really felt bad about the smoke.  And I was thinking of my plans to leave the boat for a week on Saturday.  So I turned around Wednesday evening and headed back down the canal.

The trip back to Smith’s Falls on Thursday and Friday was relaxed and pleasant.  Not much boat traffic, spent Thursday night at the bottom of the Merrickville locks. Nice little town.

The lock keeper at Smith’s Falls was very accommodating, as he had been on my earlier visit.  No problems leaving the boat there, no charge, and they ran a long hose across the lock to fill my water tanks.  The lock staff through the entire system have been helpful and friendly.  Generally they aren’t that busy, and are happy to chat and help in any way they can.

As I write this I am on the train, heading back to London tonight with a stop at Sarah’s farm in Prince Edward County.  Not sure when I’ll be back to the boat – most likely in eight days but maybe earlier if I can talk my son(s) into joining me for a couple of days.  

Rideau Canal

I traveled from Gananoque to Kingston yesterday, noodling through a bunch of islands and anchorages on the way.  Nice area below Howe Island.
When I got to Kingston I went through the causeway and anchored for the night just north of the lift bridge. Went into the town for some supplies and a bite to eat. 

I left Kingston this morning on the Rideau and am now anchored in a beautiful cove just below the Jones Falls locks. I have to say this is my kind of boating – lots of natural beauty, very few boats and the old locks are pretty cool.  Took lots of pics so will share here.

Under the 401

Squeezed into the first set of locks.  It takes about 2 hours to do a flight of three so they get everyone in.

Got my free season pass

I’m a bit out of order here. This is where I’m stopped for the night now.  

Thousand Islands

After hanging out in Phoenix for Friday and Saturday night I headed north to Oswego on Sunday.  I had been watching the weather on Lake Ontario and the forecast was for benign conditions on Monday.  Saturday I did some serious boat cleaning.

The trip to Oswego was leisurely and uneventful.  Tied up for the night on the wall just south of the last lock and went out for dinner with a guy I’d met who was taking his Cape Dory 29 from the east coast to Chicago.

Monday I headed out into the lake and had an uneventful cruise across Mexico Bay and into the St Lawrence at Cape Vincent.  Then downstream on the US side to Clayton.  I stopped for an hour or two at the town docks, then went a few miles to find a nice spot to anchor.

Tuesday morning I went back to Clayton to spend a couple of hours at the antique boat museum there.  Wonderful spot.

After leaving Clayton I continued downstream to Alexandria Bay.  Stopped there for lunch, then nipped across to Heart Island to tour Boltd Castle.

After leaving Boldt Castle I headed across to the Canadian side. Cleared customs at Rockport, then headed up river to arrive in Gananoque in the early evening.  Anchored close to the town and dinghied in for a nice meal.  

This area is quite beautiful.  Endless little bays and islands, and not overrun.

Fuel

This interests me a lot, and I know others are mildly curious, so I’m trying to track fuel usage/cost here.  I haven’t been as good as I’d like to be at this, but I filled up today and here’s what I’ve got since departing Port Dover.

Distance traveled: 305 nautical miles

Motor hours: 49

Fuel used: 89 us gallons

I won’t go through all the various conversions here.  I have a generator but haven’t really been tracking usage carefully.  It was minimal for this segment.

This is a little more fuel than I would normally use to go that distance because I’ve been spending more time than usual at high throttle in an effort to break in the motor.

Phoenix

I got into Seneca Falls about 6 pm yesterday after a multi-modal trip from London.  Miles drove me to Niagara Falls then I took two Greyhound segments, a NY Trailways bus, a municipal bus, and my first Uber ride!  It was much smoother than it sounds 🙂  I immediately got underway when I reached the boat.  I had made tentative plans to be in the Kingston area on Saturday, and thought I might get to Oswego late today if I hustled.  Canals are best navigated at a leisurely pace, but I was covering familiar ground and thought I was ready to get back to Canada.

So I actually ended up noodling along last night for several hours after dark.  This section has navigation markers and I was on a sections with no locks.  It was quite pleasant and I didn’t feel it was unsafe.  I ended up anchoring in Cross Lake for the night.  Pleasant spot.

Watching the weather it was pretty clear that Saturday was not going to be a good day to cross from Oswego to Kingston.  I looked at alternatives like heading for the St Lawrence but any way you cut it there is open water from Oswego.  When I got up this morning the forecast was worse, and Friday night was also a no-go for getting across.

That allowed me to slow down.  I also took a side trip to Brewerton to fill up with some really cheap fuel.

So now with the plan to enter Lake Ontario on Sunday I’m not in any rush.  I pulled into Phoenix mid afternoon.  It was hot and humid and I’d been here last year.  Yet another charming free well serviced place to stop.  So I tied up, plugged in and turned on the air conditioning.

I’ve been posting to Facebook all afternoon and evening, but have to say that this is my kind of cruising.  I’m tied up at this beautiful little park/boardwalk, and the locals are having a party!  Food, a great band, and low-key summer merriment.  This has happened a few times now.  In Seneca Falls they seemed to do something almost every day.  Here’s a video – you can see Mazurka as I pan.

I also saw a big canal cruising boat coming through the lock.  Met a woman who lives right on the canal close by and she was there to meet it – turns out it comes through once a year!  We had a great chat about it.  Here are the deets: https://www.blountsmallshipadventures.com/2017-great-american-waterways/

Tomorrow I will get closer to Oswego, but it’s not that far, something like 20 miles and a few locks.  There are a few good places like this one to stop along the way.  Weather looks good Sunday for a dash across the lake.