Sunday, July 17, 2016

2013 Synopsis

     We started our journey north with SummerTime on 25 May, 2013. Barbara, her brother Kenny, and myself. We left Carolina Beach, NC going up the ICW (Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway). Rod has to be back at work in two weeks, so this part of our Great Loop to move SummerTime to our work/residence on Lake Erie is going to be done without time for sight seeing. We anchored inside the yacht harbor at Camp Lejeune for our first night. A light rain fell before morning, and we discovered we had a leak over the berths. Things you do not find in a survey. We took the route through the Dismal Swamp Canal (built/financed by Washington & Jefferson): straight and boring. We did see our first Bald Eagles just prior to entering the canal. The ICW passes through the port of Norfolk, and the USN has a lot of taxpayer money sitting here. I think there were fourteen aircraft carriers of various types when we passed through. The Chesapeake Bay was an easy ride, just long. We were surprised to meet a freighter on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.  There were more eagles in this area.  The Delaware City Marina and docks were a treat. One of our best stops. Great pizza at the local pizza parlor we walked to. Delaware Bay was a one day trip south, and we were in the NJ ICW. A two day trip up, the first night on the hook near Atlantic City. We fueled before leaving the Manasquan River Inlet. We did 50 plus miles on the Atlantic Ocean with following seas of 4-8 ft until we got into NY Harbor, seven and a half days after starting. Seeing the Statue of Liberty as you come in from the ocean was quite impressive. We motored on up the river to Nyack, NY where our daughter met us and carried us grocery shopping to a full size market. We anchored  for the night about two hours farther up the river. The Hudson is impressive as you enter the Catskills. Train tracks are  on both sides of the river. Amtrak runs this route a lot. Seeing West Point from the river was impressive.  It was also remarkable to see the small lighthouses in the river to mark the differing ports. There is still a tide all that way up the Hudson in Albany, and sea-going tugs and barges at their port docks.
      We entered the Erie Canal through the Federal Lock just above Albany. We got to lock #8 before the locks shut down for the night. My hopes for 100 mile travel days went out the window with the locks. In reality, we only had one hundred mile day to this point. A cruise ship passed through lock #8 after hours. We stopped at the town docks in Frankfort, NY a few days later, and there was a street rod cruise in going on. Wounded Heroes was doing a burgers grilling to raise money and  we ate cheap. We crossed Lake Oneida in the rainy remnants of Tropical storm Andrea. More water and cabin leaks discovered. Also, the alternator on the Perkins main appeared to have quit working. We kept the batteries charged by running the generator. We lowered the bimini and laid the mast over as we pass under the low bridges on the Erie Canal. We had to wait at one lock (Baldwinsville?) as there was a diver in it doing an inspection. We used the wait time to buy supplies at the local market and pick up a nice deli sandwich at the adjacent bar and grill. Traveling on the canal is nice. Every little city has docks, and different perks with them. There are fairs and festivals at each town it seems. We met people who cruised between cities, as they knew what was free (laundromats, shore power, dockage) on what days. The western part of the canal in the summer, and the trip up the Hudson would be worth doing again when time would not be an issue. We got to Tonawanda, NY, end of the canal on day 15. The Garmin said we had done 1182 miles since leaving Carolina Beach, and 175 hours had gone by on the Hobbs.
      And the most embarrassing thing happened. We had to be towed the last two miles to our new dock at Rich's Marina. The rolling in the Niagara River on less than a half tank washed up chunks of asphaltine that blocked the fuel line to the Perkins. We spent the rest of the summer of 2013 doing dinner runs and fixing the leaks from rain in the berth area. We had no luck in finding someone to clean our diesel tank, so we never let it get less than 3/4 full again.
       Labor Day weekend we moved SummerTime from Buffalo, NY, to Port Clinton, Ohio along Lake Erie's southern shore with the help of Tom, one of Rod's uncles . It was a three day trip with stops in Erie, Pa, and Cleveland, OH. From Port Clinton we made a few trips with friends and children over to Put-In-Bay. Brands' Marina put SummerTime in heated storage for the winter in November.