Monday, July 8, 2013

Dear Blog Followers...

Having had a major change in our itinerary, we find ourselves at Gaines Marina in Rouses Point, NY. The Erie Canal was and continues to be closed to boat traffic because of major floods from multiple rain storms over the past 4-5 weeks. The locks flooded, the dams flooded, and the rivers flooded. The locks are s-l-o-w-l-y being repaired as are the adjacent dams. Water level control has been a huge challenge for the NY State Canal Corporation. Only a few of the locks have re-opened recently.

We decided to change our plan and have gone through the Champlain Lock system and now on the northern end of that Lake with the Canadian border in view from our marina slip. We will enter Canada tomorrow and proceed through the Chambly-Richelieu canal system to the St. Lawrence River. From there we will head west past Montreal and will head up the Ottawa River to that city.

From there we will head down the Rideau Canal to Lake Ontario near Kingston, ON and finally enter the Trent-Severn Canal. We will then proceed west to Georgian Bay in Lake Huron. That is about 400 miles from here and is where we thought we would be by now... as did most people who are doing the Great Loop.

Our Internet signal is very weak here so we hope that this message gets out. We found out today that our MiFi is inoperable in Canada so will try to utilize a different approach to communicate. But my guess is that the blog will be put on hold for now until we get back to the USA when we re-enter again in Northern Michigan in about a month or so.

We feel fortunate that we are on the move having been delayed only a short time because of the flooding. Others have been trapped in some of the locks for about a month with no where to go. We are traveling with several other boats who are like minded and want to do the same itinerary as we do. So we will "buddy" boat through this area for now.

We hope that this finds you all well and having a great summer. We are! It's just not what we expected!

We send our love to all,

Sunday, June 30, 2013

While At Half Moon Bay...

On June 7th the thirty eight mile trip from Liberty Landing Marina to the town of Croton-On-Hudson and its Half Moon Bay Marina...

... was made at a leisurely pace. Among the benefits of staying at this marina is the access to shopping, the availability of a car rental, and the proximity to the train to take you into New York City if you wish.

We did not intend to do this but it turned out to be a blessing in the long term.

The view from the marina office is not bad either.

The next day was spent cleaning up the boat, getting a car, and talking to other loopers about their experiences to date. Everyone has an interesting story to tell if you have the time to listen.

On Sunday, June 9th, we made the trip up the Hudson River in the rental car to tour West Point. The drive to get there had several viewpoints looking out over the river...

along with some historical information. This location told about the this narrow spot in the Hudson River having a very heavy linked chain spread across it by the Colonial army to prevent passage of any British ships.

There was an uninvited "guest" [not the driver] that made part of the trip with us. They do have some big bugs in this area.

Once we signed in at West Point we were assigned a bus to tour the campus.

The cadets need to be in great shape because this campus is well spread out and has a lot of hills between many of the buildings.

A big portion of tour was dedicated to the history of the campus and the army officers of fame who had graduated from West Point. As you would expect there are many markers...


and memorials to people important to West Point. This one is for their long-time football coach, Red Blaik, who requested that he be buried there.

The tour included the old chapel which served the campus in the early days of West Point...

and ended at the new chapel which can seat all of the 4000 plus cadets.

As you would expect there is a slice of history everywhere you turn. We truly appreciate those men and women who have served our country in this fashion.

A few days later we were invited to have dinner at the CIA... the Culinary Institute of America.

This was located about an hours drive north of our location. We said "yes" immediately and joined Micheal and Leslie from How Lucky Again and their family, Jay and Theresa, who were visiting them.

The campus was impressively large... 

and picturesque.

 We were told that they start a new class of 90 students every three weeks. The graduating student who served us at dinner said that there were only 14 students left in her class.
These two had just completed their day of training.

Our dinner reservations were in the American Bounty Restaurant portion of the CIA.

Everyone loved their meal...

and the desserts that followed.

Our waiter...

took us on a tour of the kitchen when we were done eating.

The evening crew was busy starting the preparations for the next days menu.

We left that building very happy that we came!

Nautical Word For The Day: [from]


1. The phonetic term used in radio transmissions to represent the letter "P".

From Great Loop Jargon:

2. The term most often used to hail this particular "grandpa".

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Annapolis To New York City

The next few days were focused on getting to New York City and into the Hudson River. While we knew that we were passing some other great places to visit in the Chesapeake, we have figured out that you just can't see them all and that we will probably return next year for another lap on the loop. This will give us a chance to stop by some of those places we bypassed this year.

One reason for expediting our schedule as there appeared to be a favorable weather window to make a run in the Atlantic Ocean from Cape May to NYC a few days from then. One thing that we have learned is that Mother Nature still rules and if the opportunity is there, you better take it. So on Monday, June 3rd, we departed the Annapolis harbor.

By mid-afternoon we had reached the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay. This convenient, wide, and deep canal...

... allows boaters to get directly into the Delaware River and Bay with only a few very high bridges to pass under.

We stayed at the very quiet Summit North Marina for one night only. That weather window was waiting and we were hoping it would hold.

The next day we left by 7:00 AM to take as much advantage as we could of the outbound tide. Upon leaving the canal we were heading south at that point to reach Cape May which is at the southern tip of New Jersey. It was an uneventful day as we passed a nuclear power plant...

and several freighters. It is amazing how fast those big guys can go.

That night we stayed at the South Jersey Marina in Cape May.

We are that tiny looking boat just in front of that huge fiberglass highrise behind us. One thing you learn about boats is that someone always has a bigger boat than you.

An updated check of the wind...

...and wave patterns... 

... for the next day confirmed our efforts to get to this location.

We met up with fellow loopers, Larry and Sherry, aboard Lady KK and discussed our plans. They decided to "buddy boat" with us up the coast the next day understanding that if the weather changed, we could put in to the nearest port along the way. As Larry later described it... " no problem, we had 6 inch waves most of the way". Here is Lady KK underway out in the Atlantic Ocean.

So we were able to bypass places like Atlantic City...

and made our way up to New York harbor in one day. Our transit took just under 12 hours and covered 146 miles. While we were tired when it was all over, that disappeared for a while as we saw the sky scrapers of New York come into the visual horizon...

... and then there is the awesome experience of closely bypassing the Statue of Liberty with Ellis Island nearby.

Everyone we talked to that night on the dock at Liberty Landing Marina had a forefather that had passed through there in their family history.

Directly across from the marina which is on the New Jersey side of the river is the new World Financial Center that is nearing completion.

The next day we decided to do a few things in NYC. The yellow passenger ferry...

 that takes you across the Hudson River to Battery Park area was just up the dock from us. How convenient is that! We landed near the base of the WFC which offers some great views when you walk around it.

We also visited St Paul's Church...

... near the former site of the World Trade Center. This church has quite a remarkable history having been on the edge of and surrounded by disaster several times. In the days of the Revolutionary War much of New York burned. The pastor of this church had his parishioners douse water on the roof of the church to save it. It worked! George Washington later attended church services here after his church had been destroyed in the fires.

After 9/11 when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed, the devastation boardered the edge of the church property. One tree was damaged. The church then became a sanctuary and center for the rescuers/workers to rest during the rescue effort and clean-up afterwards. The church pews are scarred by the workers coming there in full gear to sleep and reflect  between their work shifts.

There is a bell there given to the City of New York by the City of London to commemorate the event.

From there we walked through a park near city hall...

...on our way to the Tenement Museum on Orchard Street.

This museum is in an old tenement building that was occupied from the mid-1800's through the early 1930's. It was then boarded up until it was re-opened in the early 1980's.

Being well preserved it clearly shows you what life was like for the early immigrants that lived in these three room 323 sq. ft. apartments. This building had 20 apartments with three outdoor "privies" to be shared by all who lived there. The water well was nearby. Life was not good there BUT still better than what they left behind!

The next day [June 7th] we left Liberty Landing Marina in a mild rain with reduced visibilty...

 and lowered cloud ceiling...

 as we made our way up to Croton-On-Hudson, NY and Half Moon Bay Marina. We were looking forward to meeting up with Bob's cousin Lisa and her fiance, David as well as our daughter, Nicole, and granddaughter, Miranda while at this marina.

Nautical Word For The Day: [from]


1. The dining compartment on a naval ship.

From Great Loop Jargon:

2. What is left in the dining compartment of a small boat after a great evening of "docktails" with your looper friends.