Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good bye Erie hello Lake Ontario

Looking back on the past month I must tell you Anna and I have seen and done many things I have dreamed of but never thought we would ever do. The fact that we are actually doing this trip is something that constantly sends me into a state of awe. As we close in on the end of our time on the Erie Canal I find that the experience has been much different than I ever would have imagined. The canal can be as beautiful as it can be depressing, it can be exciting as often as it can leave you bored to death staring at the throttle with a twitching hand. Most of all we agree that the Canal has been a life experience that we will carry with us forever. The people, landscape and history truly show a side of America we have seldom seen nor imagined we would ever see. As we inch closer to Oswego we find ourselves occupied with thoughts that have not entered our minds in the past weeks. What is the weather going to do? How hard is it forecasted to blow and how will the wind differ from the winds we see on Nantucket? All we know for sure is the sooner we get there the sooner we will have our answers and with that we can once again enjoy all that is around us to the fullest. As we entered Sylvan Beach, a major landmark on our passage through the Canal, we saw open water for the first time in two weeks. The lake was a breath of fresh air and the thirty mile crossing lifted our spirits and gave us a hint of what is to come on lake Ontario. The wind was screaming as we approached the breakwater and Anna and I both agreed this was not worth the aggravation. Brewerton will have to wait one more day, getting beat up for four hours after a long days run was not in the cards. It seemed that we were not alone, soon the canal wall was filled with cruisers opting for a peaceful night rather than a bad tale to tell when when they got home. Sylvan Beach has a small carnival atmosphere and gives off a feeling much like Coney Island minus the hot dogs. Clam shacks, skeet ball and funnel cakes fill your senses as you walk the town. The season is still early here and much like on Nantucket, the first rush has come and gone and the lull before the full swing of summer is hanging heavy in the air. We embraced the peace and enjoyed a quite night tied along the carnival wall. In the morning we took advantage of the morning calm and pushed off to Brewerton a town that we would stop at to pick up our first mail since we had pushed off. What a great feeling it was to get mail. Opening the envelopes gave Anna and I the feeling that we were back in school and had received our first packages from Mom and Dad. I was overjoyed to get a few of my favorite boating magazines and enjoyed killing an evening reading the articles and looking at boats I dream of owning. Our departure from Brewerton came with an addition to our crew. My Uncle Ed has come to join us for a week and it has filled Anna and I with joy. Having someone with us to share in this experience with us has been great. We had a wonderful day cruising the last stretch of the Erie till we turned off onto the Oswego Canal and made our run to Lake Ontario. Coming into Oswego and looking out on lake Ontario, we strained our eyes to see Canada and the 1000 islands of the St Lawrence River. Tomorrow we will push off and soon we will find ourselves in a new land. Although we can not see Canada yet, we look forward to all that she will share with us. Anna is looking forward to remembering her french from school and I look forward to getting to say "Eh" after every question we ask.

The inspiration for the Crusty Crab.

We could here the metal tracks creak as the cars rolled down this old roller coaster in town.

What a beautiful morning to cross the lake.

This seagull seemed to point the way for us.

We hosted a great cocktail party on Blue and met some great new Friends. This is Bill and Carol, they have a wonderful American tug "Tennessee Rover"

Monica and Curt are from Sweden and are sailing their boat through the great lakes and central US after finishing a cruise through Europe and the Mediterranean.

The docks at Winter Harbor Marina are the best we have seen so far. If you are coming through this area, this is the great place to reprovision.

Winter Harbor offers inside winter storage for all it's customers in two of these massive barns. I met a couple that keep their boat here this past year and they said it was so wonderful. All they had to do was empty the fridge, and they rolled the boat inside. No winterizing!

The only lift bridge on the Erie.

Good thing they drop the water level to pass, if not we would now have a convertible.

Once again a memorial to honor those that fought in the revolutionary war.

This young man wrote a letter to the Governor of NY and got Fort Ontario reopened after the state cutbacks. He even got this great outfit to show us around the fort.
Looking at the fort walls from outside.

The houses on the inside of the fort.

Oswego has its fair share of beautiful buildings.

Lake Ontario.

Tomorrow we will pass through the cut and make our way to the 1000 Islands of the St Lawrence river.

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