Monday, July 30, 2018

Little Triangle Loop, WEEK #5 21-27 July, 2018

    The Coal Dock was such a good restaurant on Friday night, that we decide to try them out for Saturday morning breakfast. They have a bakery with fresh pastries in full display on Friday night. So Saturday we think we will partake of the goods. Instead of getting one of the good looking pastries when we get there, we both get toasts made with their home made breads. French for me and Cinnamon for Barbara. We are back on SummerTime when a lot of "go fast" or quasi ocean racers start to assemble just outside the breakwater of Cape Vincent.
We are about to witness the start of a large poker run for these boats. There is probably an hundred of them, and a press helicopter. After watching their start, we decide to see the historic part of town. We luck out as apparently every Saturday is "Market Day" for Cape Vincent. There are crafts, hand made collectables, and farmers with produce. There is also a block set aside for 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, complete with referrees.
As we leave the area there is a storefront ice cream shop. We get a waffle cone of one large scoop and I am amazed it is only $2.00. For hand dipped, very cheap. We go back down to the old "Roxy Hotel" for dinner. A really nice looking place from late 1800s where we have a very good dinner.
     Sunday morning we go to early church at the Methodist Church. After church we go back and get SummerTime ready to leave for Clayton, NY. Our neighbors at the dock help us to get away. The winds are really strong, and it takes two pushing hard to get us away from the dock far enough to clear the boat behind us, and not hit the dock area to the far side. At Cape Vincent you have pretty much entered "The Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence Seaway. There are more than a thousand islands here (must have a tree to be an island) in the Seaway. It is a popular vacation area with Canadian and US Citizens. There is the main shipping channel, which is marked with navigation aids. There are other channels among the islands which may or may not be marked. Some require local knowledge to navigate as there are obstructions just under the water. We take an alternate channel route (shallow entrance is marked with 3 small buoys) to Clayton to stay out of the main channel and the rougher water. Even so, we have 2-3' swells for most of the  2 hrs. it takes us to get to the Clayton Harbor Municipal Dock. It also rains on us lightly part of the time along the way. Clayton's harbor is almost empty, but that will change. This is where all the poker run boats headquartered, and only 5 are left when we arrive in the middle of the afternoon. That does change, as later in the evening a group of 8 express cruisers arrives, with the first arrival using his cell phone to stage each boat in so as not to overload the dock personnel. This is a scene we will see each replay each day we are in Clayton.
On Monday we get up and get ready to go do some museums. The first one we go to is the Handweaving Museum. Interesting, but the people using the looms do demonstrations on Wednesday. From there we go to lunch at Koffee Kove on the way to the Antique Boat Museum. Food is very good at Koffee Kove, and my Reuben is served open faced, which is a big mess. At the Antique Boat Museum we take the tour of "La Duchesse", a 104' houseboat commissioned in 1903, and last lived on and owned by the McNally family (atlas fame) before the last share transfers to the museum in 2001.


A lot of nice boats here, all sizes and propulsion types. And other interesting boating memoralbia resides here also. Barbara sits as her knee is bothering her as I go through the last 2 sheds of boats.
We have been fortunate to have been dry all day, missing the predicted showers. However, a quarter mile from SummerTime on our walk back, the sprinkling, and then the rain starts. It is still showering off and on when we turn in. On Tuesday we stay aboard and Barbara does laundry at the marina. It is only one washer and dryer and takes a while. I do some minor chores on SummerTime. In the evening, we go into town and visit "The Scoop", an ice cream parlor with "Giffords" ice cream from Maine. At 1/4mi. it is the second closest we have ever been docked to an ice cream parlor. I decide to try a blueberry flavor, remembering how home made blueberry tasted at neighborhood gatherings when I was a teen. I am not disappointed, as the Giffords is very creamy, and the blueberry flavor is just right, not too sweet, not too strong. It rains again as we board SummerTime for the evening.
       Wednesday we get up to travel to Alexandria Bay, NY hoping to take in two "castles" when we leave Alexandria Bay. It is only 10 miles, and important as it is 10 miles closer to our appointment in Burlington, Vermont in August. The rain shower comes hard not long after we leave the Clayton dock. I go to the lower helm to navigate. A friend gave us a radar which we completed installation of while in Shady Harbor on this trip. It will be good to be able to navigate at the lower helm and practice with the radar in actual inclement weather. It turns out not to be as easy as it seems. It is only a little over 1-1/2 hours from Clayton to Alexandria Bay. We had lunch in Clayton on SummerTime waiting for the rain showers to subside. They died some, but as said above were hard again when we got to Alexandria Bay. We pass under The Thousand Island Bridge which connects the US and Canada a few miles before getting to Alexandria Bay.
We both get wet docking at the City docks. I get off and go to the nearest store to get milk and cereal that we are running out of. It is 1/2 mile to a Family Dollar store where I get cereal and milk. I have to buy "non-fat" milk at the store as that is all that is left in the dairy case. I get back, and Barbara informs me that that is worse than skim milk which I detest and refuse to drink for health professionals. But there is good in the dock we are at.
We are the closest to an ice cream parlor we have ever been. I thought the one diagonally across the marina docks in Waukegan was close, but Google states this one is 450ft from our dock position. We go get a cone of Perry's after dinner. There is no power on this dock, and because we ran such a short distance, I worry through the night that we will run the house batteries down as they have not been fully charged. I cut the inverter (which provides power to some AC appliances) off to make sure this does not happen. The inverter will go to beeping, annoyingly, and eventually shut off when voltage drops below 11.5 in the system. We get up and I turn the inverter on and all is quiet. Then I start the microwave to heat water for tea for Barbara. Before the water is warm the inverter goes to beeping on low power. I shut it off again, and Barbara drinks water only this morning. I walk up the street and get hot coffee. We leave Alexandria Bay about 9:30, planning to be at Ogdensburg, NY by the end of the day.
       A phone call to reserve a dock at Ogdensburg reveals they have no docks for us as theirs were damaged in floods in 2017. The City has not rebuilt them as of this time. So we revise our plans to stop in Morristown, NY. I call and make sure they have dock space for us and we head out. We do a slow pass around Boldt Castle, an endeavour of love.
Mr. Boldt started building it for his wife in the early 1900s. After she died unexpectedly, he stopped all construction on the "Castle". It is still incomplete, and is a draw to tourists as a Thousand Islands landmark.

There is a US Customs dock there as tour boats come from both countries to this attraction. From there we head on down river where we are going to visit the "Singer Castle".
This magnificent building was completed by Frederick Bourne as a summer retreat and hunting lodge. It has been lived in continuously since 1905. We dock here and take a tour. It is quite nice, with secret passages everywhere for the servants to provide to the guests without being seen.
We leave there after having lunch at the dock. We head on to Morristown which we get to by mid afternoon. These docks themselves are not in the best condition. We have called the Marina owner, and he states he will not be there until 5, and tells us to tie up across from another boat. We motor slowly around trying to figure where to tie to. We finally decide to tie behind the Hatteras the River Watch owner wanted us to tie in front of. While waiting for the owner to arrive, we call AT&T as our phones show we are roaming internationally to Rogers in Canada. Our phone plan does not cover international roaming, and spot roaming is very expensive. The AT&T rep removes the charges, and states she will stop our phones from international roaming. We can call and add international calling when we move into Canada per the rep. The marina owner shows a little after 5, and we fill out the papers for our stay. We have power here, which is better than last night. He gives me a ride a mile out of town to a convenience store where I can purchase real milk. When I go to call Barbara about the milk, I discover my phone is set for "Emergency Calls Only". I walk back to SummerTime. Barbara and I go to Ellas Restaurant on the top of the hill in Morristown to eat. It is a great thing, as they are doing a pasta buffet. They cook your pasta as you request it with the ingredients you want. Barbara gets a shrimp in alfredo sauce, and I get a meatball and sweet Italian sausage with marinara sauce. We have a great dinner with a flatbread and cheese appetizer and a piece of carrot cake for dessert. On Friday we get up and decide to move. First we need to contact AT&T as neither of us is able to call out. We can not even call AT&T Mobility service. We get our break when our daughter sends a text, and we use the opening to call AT&T. We spend 2-1/2 hrs with various AT&T people over 2 phone calls before we have service. About noon we head out to Waddington, NY to the town dock.
      We get to Waddington about 4 in the afternoon. Before we get there, we have to deal with our first St. Lawrence Seaway Canal. You have to buy a ticket before you can enter the lock. There is a special dock at each lock for pleasure boaters to do this. The winds have picked up, and they are blowing SummerTime bad at the docking location. It takes two attempts for me to get Barbara in a position to catch a cleat on the floating dock. We get the ticket from a dispenser that takes credit cards, and when the two upbound boats lock out, we move into the lock. We hand the lock employee our ticket. It only drops about a foot and the gates open. We spend an hour going from the lock exit to the Waddington town dock. We tie-up on the one floating dock. I see the bottom underneath us, and the though the depth finders are saying we are in deep enough water, it does not look like it. I later stick a boat hook down by the face of the dock, and it is over 5' deep. We walk into town to see what is where. We find a bank, and walk up to the drive through ATM. I am sure that looks weird to whomever witnesses it. When we get back to SummerTime we realize there is some commotion going on in the pavilion just above the docks. The concession stand is open, and we buy dinner, 3 hot dogs and 2 pops from the Knights of Columbus. We then open up our folding chairs sitting in the cockpit of SummerTime. It seems we are in luck as we have a front row seat to the Waddington Summer Concert series in the Pavilion.
 A Celtic band, the Brigadoons, from Cornwall, Ontario is playing. They are very good. I also chat with some local people in a small runabout on the docks behind us. They are asking about our travels, but we talk about way more than looping; farming, industry along the river, kids in college, and NASA in Cleveland. It is a very pleasurable evening, capping off a good week of travel. We have come 87 miles in a week since crossing Lake Ontario. We are well ahead of our 25 miles a day we needed July 5th to get to Burlington by August 10. Some days we do more to make up for the days we do not travel but stop to tour. We are able to stop and smell some roses along the way. There have been some good stops this week to do that.
       Next week we will leave the US and venture into Canada. Not sure about being able to post while in Canada. They have communications equal to the US, but do not think I will be willing to pay AT&T for the elevated costs to be a few miles across the US border.

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