JUNE 24-26; Days 208-210 Inta – n – Outta Ottawa!

2017-6-26 parl library pano feature

We headed out of Montebello on a fresh sunny morning and made the 42 miles to Ottowa uneventfully for a change while enjoying the pleasant Ottowa River and shoreline (….oh wait, we might have been sold some crummy gas along the way…time will tell on that!)   So we said adieu to Quebec and all the french-speaking moments.  It was great and, as I write this a few days later, already missing the french fun.

2017-6-26 shoes
Life on a boat when you’re having fun on land (and it’s been rainy!)

 

2017-6-27 shore fishing montebello.jpg
Early morning walks around the grounds of the Chateau Montebello before heading out toward Ottowa.  Would be fun to come back and cross country ski around the trails/over the icy lake along the shore!
2017-6-26 falls rideau entering ottowa
Just before the entrance to the locks up to Ottowa are the pair of beautiful curtain-like Rideau Falls joining the Ottowa River below.

Hello Ottowa! We have to get the boat up some stairs to hang out up there first though!

2017-6-26 Locks looking up
All Eight Locks Looking UP! As with some of the prior locks in Canada, these are for pleausure craft only, historic and all operated/cranked open and shut by hand.
2017-6-26 rio into lock
Here goes RioMarLago into the fourth of eight locks under the watchful eyes of about 200 people.
2017-6-26 boata us parliament
It even felt like everyone in the Parliament Building was watching us from the towers.
2017-6-26 locks aerial
If you look hard, you can see N in the back cockpit . By the third lock we had developed a good duo-strategy.  Seems just when we get comfortable with one locking system, the next one we come to changes the entire procedure.  Here the turbulence was pretty intense so it took some muscle to keep the boat from grinding the cement wall.
2017-6 lock b with line
Phew! B on deck, trying to look professional and simultaneously relieved to be done and past the hordes of onlookers. (Z and N above still barking orders!)

 

2017-6-26 locks looking down N
Full view of all 8 locks stepping down to Ottawa River–3 ½ football fields long to go up 79 feet.  The crowds are gone here…show is over…locks closed a few hours ago.

Okay enough locking pictures!  Oh, but we are basically living on a lock so still a few more:

2017-6-26 wall ottowa
On the free (!)  wall  … although we did have to walk a few blocks to find toilets when we didn’t feel like filling up our own tank with ‘des eaux usees’ (see prior “Dilemma” post for definition…in case you need a refresher course!)  We were lucky to get one of the few power connections.

With the Jazz Fest scheduled for the coming week, by Saturday evening the wall had over 30 boats tied up. Even while on board, we enjoyed parts (ie NOT all!!)  of the very loud jazz fest that blasted just a block away…we even heard Kenny Rogers alleged  “last” public concert! Wow….free too!

2017-6-26 locks of love
Locks of Love….get it??!?

Just a couple of blocks from the boat, By Market had some great produce, cheeses and fun stuff.

2017-6-26 market samples
The Good, the Bad, and The Yummy!…..actually ALL Yummy (some just not so good for you!) (Top left are just some of the options for a “Beaver Tail” (basically an elephant ear…well, in the shape of, you guessed it,  a beaver tail-duh!) Sampled the cinnamon with lemon–wow! shockingly great combo ( Bonus Points: the fewest calories!!) Z got a sample baby carrot from the vendor and thought she was in 7th Heaven.

Although most of these pix make it seem that we have had nothing but fantastic weather, suffice to say that, in fact, we have been drenched by a handful of thunderstorm outbursts. Avoided one big one while getting lots of fun facts during our tour of the Parliament Building.

2016-6-26 parl lib ceiling
Although Canada is younger than the USA, this feels so staid and like it’s been around forever-ish.  Awe-inspiring library…wonder how long it will last with digitization.

 

2017-6-26 parl green

2017-6-26 parlaiment arches

 

Parliament: nice wood and uncomfortable desks in the House of Commons and arches with columns in the hallways –feels like jolly ole England, right?

 

 

The On-Off Bus tour and then again later on a water ferry taxi got us back on the other side of the Ottowa River (and hence technically in the French speaking Quebec), in the small town of Gatineau (but really more like a neighborhood zone of Ottowa), is the not -quite-ready history museum as well as the also not-quite-ready outdoor plant display showcasing 150 years of Canadian history, values, culture, and art.

207-6-26 lumberjack plant history
Over 40 giant live plant sculptures ….apparently SOMEONE has the right to claim large hands! Officially not set to open til Canada Day (july 1st) but we saw a few things from the road.  Really really cool looking!  Go this summer to see!

Lots of public art/ sculptures all over town:

2017-6-26 mother spider
Ode to your mother???  This cool sculpture (with a bunch of  marble “eggs” in the underbelly sac) is the result of the artist’s love and respect for her mother:  “Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother. ”    okkkkkaaay!  While I too hope my children think of me as clever, helpful and protective, I really really hope, for their sake, that they don’t dream about me as a spider!    Yet I have to admit I do feel kinda partial to the motherlyness of this one!

After some provisioning, a good weather boating day got us rolling around 10 in the morning

2017-6-26 exiting O canal boat pass
For about the first 8 miles out of Ottowa there are bike baths on both sides of the canal. Farther down it opens up into the Rideau River and connects with lakes.
2017-6-26 iceman
We forgot to stock up on ice before leaving Ottowa….so the Ice Man Cometh after a quick run to a nearby store while we wait our turn at a lock

Although the way feels very peaceful and rural with sections of waterfront homes, we  get glimpses of roads, nearby Ottowa airport and civilization as we go.

2017-6-26 50 style motel resort
A cute 50’s style/feel “resort”….but pretty empty for now.

Play this for the next pic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guKoNCQFAFk

2017-6-26 summer fun swing
Summer time—Life is Fun!

The waters opened up into small lake/wide-ish river sections as they gave way off and on to the man made canal zones and locks.  Very pleasant ride in fresh air and sun….despite N’s frustration with the 5 mph speed limit for the entire day.  We’re coming to the firm conclusion that there is no way we could be content with a boat that only goes slow.

2017-6-26 hurst marinaTucked in at Hurst Marina after a day of 8 locks, only 25 miles of distance covered, 4 running engine hours but 8 hours of actual journey time…..just in time to batten down the hatches for some rain….again.

 

June  19 -21; Days 203–205  Dilemma in Montreal

We left St Ours’ Lock and Dock fairly early in the morning after spending the night there and enjoying the little park.

2017-6-21 st ours canal dock
Spent the afternoon and evening chatting  (in a mix of Frenglish, English, French and Spench) with some Quebecoan (?) boaters and helping solve /provide tools for their shifter problem. Yay for N who has acquired a growing encyclopedia of mechanical problem- solving skills!

 

 

2017-6-21 cornfields
Would never have guessed there were fields and fields of corn if we hadn’t walked across the little street from St Ours Lock! I kind of doubt they go by the saying: Knee high by the 4th of July, right? 

 

We pushed through some rain dumps and thunderstorm threats, hit the St Lawrence Seaway and made the 42 miles to Montreal!

 

2017-6-21 enter st Lawrence
Exciting to hit the St Lawrence milestone… but at the same time disheartening to say goodbye to the peaceful countryside and be greeted by these behemoths.

 

Wow….we really are in another country!  It’s a weird feeling when you boat only 30 or 40 miles and things change so much–usually it takes hours on a plane to get to such a “foreign land”….well, not counting South Tacoma Way!

2017-6-21 harbor panoGreat location at the Montreal Yacht Club…right at the foot of Old Montreal

 

2017-6-21 old montreal
Feels like Europe, right?!

 

2017-6-21 church.jpg
This Ol’ Beaut looms over us at the marina!

Spent time getting the broad lay of the land with the “on- off” bus (which we love!), walking tons of kilometers, shopping for Cuban cigars, eating tons of good food (and not so good-for-you food— smoked deli meat sandwiches and poutine– French fries covered with gravy and cheese curds!), drinking micro brews, hanging w/ other boaters, laundry, provisioning and vidage des eaux usées ….oh which reminds me! Time for:

French Fun 401: So this french here is way more difficult than French from France…but then I am older now, so who knows who is more difficult (or why)!  It is still fun though to explore the language so I have to share a couple of things! Hope you enjoy!

Pas de Vague = No Wake Zone  I just like the way that sounds and actually had no idea that the english word vague meant wave in French….so being vague must mean having wavy thoughts, right ?!

La bord= port while la tribord=starboard   Ok, I already thought starboard in english was weird (I mean, what does a star have to do with it ?)  so now what does a  tri / three have to do with it in French? Etymology experts, pls chime in…my internet is too slow to do the research!

And back to what got me sidetracked to that language section:

Vidange des eaux usées = emptying of used waters (aka pump out!)  Ok ok, back to our sophomoric interest in bodily functions….but gee whiz, it sounds so pretty in French !  (clearly not the same sophomoric impact as Reader Henry’s comment a post or two ago tho)  Not to mention how cool to have all those vowels working to agree in gender and plurality!

Ok back to our tourism:

 

2017-6-21 2 tacomans
2 Tacomans in Montreal: Nick right up there with Dale Chihuly!

 

 

2017-6-21 gay street
Gay Village section of town (seriously that’s its name on the map… and also originally  accurately represented the general population base)

 

2017-6-21 colorful road.jpg
A different part of town, but still a cheery road!  Not sure how they highlight this when covered with 6 feet of snow for 4 months of the year!

 

2017-6-21 trio bldgsNot quite as colorful and as cheery…but still a bunch of neat grey buildings. Third largest basilica in the world there at bottom left.

2017-6-21 life imitates art.jpg
Life imitates art: regardless of gender, appears everyone likes some good gossip time.

Since there are Aton of native English speakers here as well as substantial bilinguals, the big dilemma here is whether to speak/ greet in English or attempt some French or just simply some muffled greeting that could pass as a French “halo” or English “hello.”  This fun boat name seems to describe the situation perfectly with its bilingual play on sounds:

 

2017-6-21 lady lema
Lady Lema (remember to pronounce the first word with a soft ‘a’ /french accent) (and if  you really give up…look at the title to today’s post for an extra clue)

 

Heading northward toward Ottawa in the morning!

 

June 14- 16; Days 198-200  Weather or not: We’re ready for L’Unifolie!

Experienced lifers know there are always two sides to every story and often an epilogue too. Based on the number of comments in the last post, apparently  Z-Bedspread (NOT to be read with a French accent…yet!)  story piqued some level of interest. So, Dear Readers, here is that other side: while B was in HER bathroom shouting for N and Z to stop overly rough-housing on the bed (aka: remember when your older brother would relentlessly tickle you?? Did he ever blow in your fuzzy ear nonstop!?!) perhaps a half -thimble full escaped from Z (I mean she weighs all of 11 pounds, her bladder is probably smaller than a thimble, in fact!)  But  N would have NO thoughts of B washing it out and saving the blanket.  AND the epilogue and always sunny side of things??!?!!::  Until now we have really generally been surprised at how deeply and well we sleep on board, but now we are getting even better nights’ sleep because the new blanket is all cotton/natural and the perfect weight. SO…Z opened our eyes to an even greater life!

2017-6-16 z potty mat
Proof that Ziggy has no problem doing her business when offered—even at anchor!
2017-6-16 N Z trio deep bay
Additional Epilogue: someone loves someone…and I think it’s mutual!
2017-6-16 N hero sunset log
Sunset  at North Hero, Vt—  Perhaps too many sunset pix on the blog…but the beauty and peaceful feeling never cease to bring me joy. Plus the logs reminded me of the NW!

As we exited North Hero Marina, we passed some more railroad remnants described in the last post.

2017-6-16 RR remnant
Actually pretty good weather blocks/marina zones behind these.   These RR remnants are all over the place.  Probably major environmental impact.
2017-6-16 beaver
This usually evasive beaver guy/gal was a fun surprise…not as shy as the sasquatches that I know are lurking around.

A short ride to Deep Bay at Point Au Roche State Park, NY. We only scratched the surface of all the trails here. N has been randomly throwing out all sorts of french sentences getting our minds prepped for Quebec and even more so during our long walks: “Vous avez des yeux verts”, for example, which only laughingly infuriates B….doesn’t he know by now that we are, after 47 years, on the informal TU basis!!!??!?

2017-6-16 bn selfie walk beach
There are 3 bays with long peninsulas abutting each side so lots of vista points and loop trails.  Minimal bugs too! Yay!
2017-6-19 dinghy dock n z
We were the only ones here overnight and only visited by a few small boaters casting lines during the day.
2017-6-16 deep bay eve adirondacks
 A different mooring ball system for us—the stick pokes up off the little buoy, you grab that little stick- if you can ! (B used our boat hook due to the height of our big Bayliner) and then Voila’ :  a loop for the bow cleat. That leaves the stick and little buoy to hang in the air off the bow. 

 

 

2017 6-16 sunset deep bay
Deep Bay sunset  with the Adirondacks (and sasquatches)  in the background .  If you look carefully (and prior photo too) you’ll see some of the 49 mooring balls here.  The other 2 bays are anchor-only.

After a morning loop hike (and temporarily getting lost), we set off for a quick trip up to Alburgh anchorage/beach for a picnic and exploration.

2017-6-16 b swim
This is where Benedict Arnold anchored his fleet before the battle for Lake Champlain. Here’s B re-enacting a battle ship.  71 degrees on the top 3” surface  but 50 degrees at 24” below the surface. Air temp: 84 — perfect! (In the winter, the entire lake freezes over to more than 3 feet deep of ice.)

Captains always have to be prepared to take on new jobs; in this case: pizza delivery!

2017-6-16 pizza delivery
First pizza for us this whole trip! Joined after dinner for some chat time by 2 other Looper couples (Arizona and Colorado) as well as an Alaskan family doing a mini NE Loop (they trailered their 24’ Hewes to the Erie Canal). Yay for the west!

We knew (well, we actually didn’t believe the forecast given the unbelievable day we had just experienced) weather was moving in and decided to play the departure and final push into Canada by ear.  Around midnight, the wind hit 40+ mph (accompanied by buckets of rain) and didn’t drop to 20 mph (in the harbor) til late morning. Still after lunch as I write this there are gusts hitting 30mph. A high of 62. Quite the dramatic change from the last few days.

Killing time on our 200th DAY of this journey  (wow !!)  (which looks to be another night by the time I am posting this) at our last US pit stop — Gaines Marina, Rouses Point, NY– eating, doing laundry,  streaming TV shows, walks during rain breaks and even some time at the library across the street from the marina. Dominoes with Margot and Jerry is on our busy docket while waiting out the weather.

2017 6-16 cornbread
Cheesy corn bread pot pie invention in the omni oven– perfect treat for the “Fall weather day”  –especially since we are out of veggies under our Canadian customs preparations!
2016-6-16 duo weather gaines marina
N, the ever-ready Captain, has us all set with 4 flags: the Looper Burgee on the bow, Ol’ Glory on the stern, and on the ‘radar arch’ tattered Washington State accompanied by L’Unifolie (= “One Leafed”  but for most, simply: The Maple Leaf)

Prochain Arret: Quebec, Canada!

June  7-9; Days 192-193 New York on the left; Vermont on the right; Canada straight ahead!

UPDATED ROUTE MAP ON HOME PAGE as well as an enlarged section of the Champlain and Canada areas

Although still in New York State, the hustle and bustle of the City and the East coast in general seems to be melting away….it certainly should with all the rain we’ve had. Luckily we’ve had a bit of a break with two days in a row of nice sun—haven’t had that for several months!

We’ve continued north up the Champlain Canal enjoying the water, the green, the small little towns/hamlets and relative solitude. Most Loopers have turned left to head up the Erie Canal (only to be stuck for days with flooding and closed/damaged locks); but there are apparently about 5 of us on this route sprinkled among even fewer Canadian sailboats returning north for the summer and handfuls of fisherpeople playing hooky in their little skiffs.   So overall very quiet boating!

 

2017-6-9 kill switch hope not dam
Random thought: Hoping the kill switch doesn’t malfunction…
2017-6-9 floating barn
This was easier to spot and avoid than some of jetsam and flotsam after all the rains.  Had to get the  classic New England barn pic…just from a different angle, right?
2017-6-9 dam champlain canal
Damn handy dam to slow the water and catch debris

 

 

Arrived in the afternoon at Fort Edward for a free night “on the wall.”  All of these little towns are struggling to find a reason to exist  (for now, anyway, we don’t need to worry about being invaded by Canadians….)  Even their fort is so old it’s existence is merely marked with a big boulder.

2017-6-9 boy and his dog
A boy and his dog:  Much to N’s feigned chagrin, he has a constant pal at his side.  And look: we got our fed-exed renewed boat tabs just in time before entering Canada! Love these easy boat projects where you can lay down on the job!
2017-6-9 ft edward cemetery
There’s just something compelling about old cemeteries…one of those things like taxes and death?

 

2017-6-9 leaving ft edward
That’s our last glimpse in the background of the Hudson River as we enter the final stages of the man-made canal and locks to Lake Champlain. (Photo Cred:Jonathon of C-Dory Salty (in the background) 

 

We made it to Whitehall and again “stayed on the wall” for free! Yummy bakery across the street too. ….but more exciting was the random discovery of the Elks Club just 2 blocks away!

2017-6-9 Elks N
Yes, N is a member (turns out it is a good deal at the golf course at home) — and that  means B is some sort of elkette  or something (sounds better than a cow!). So we went in for a beer and were pleasantly treated to drinks, lots of chatting and welcoming smiles.  Pretty fun!
2017-6-9 white hall wall cropped
Only us and C-Dory Salty’s nice Looper couple with whom we’ve crossed paths off and on since Hamilton, Virginia.  Their little fun 22’ long and 6’ high boat makes the Bayliner look like something Bill Gates would own….ok, ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration!

Looming over the wall where we were tied up for the night is the picturesque, mega-big, 1872 Skene mansion (nicely restored on the exterior…interior might be another story!)– now historical tea room/museum type thing with minimal hours:

2017-6-9 skene mansion
Yes, N willingly went uphill to take a look…motivating factor probably was the cannon to see that was on the way.

 

 

2017-6-9 pano double NNice leg stretch up.  Cool thing about these pano pix is that B can get 2 N’s for the price of one! Bonus points if you can spot our boat below!

 

2017-6-9 sasquatch
So actually besides the Northern California to British Columbia sasquatch territory, the second largest zone is here in the Adirondacks! Yay! Hoping for a siting…may need to anchor out, right?

Whitehall, NY makes claim to being the home of the US Navy  (as do at least 5 other towns). It is clear that the first American naval battle did occur here. Sticklers (ie those from the other 5 contenders) claim that the US government had not “commissioned” the boats before the battle.  Just a small detail as far as I am concerned!

2017-6-9 old ticonderoga
The salvaged hull of the Ticonderoga ship– among the fleet that was purposefully sacrificed and sunk under orders by Benedict Arnold to stall the Brits and thus give the colonists time in Saratoga to mount a defense that actually resulted in a win that changed the course of history (France joined our ranks as a result of that win). 

In fact, Benedict Arnold had many other great successes (and severe injuries) while fighting for the Americans; but other men, including Ethan Allen, took  much of his credit. As a result, Arnold was overlooked when it came to a promotion—perhaps compounded by a charge of minor corruption (unproven) for which he was found not guilty (maybe a story planted by other jealous competitors?). As a result of that treatment, the embittered Arnold turned to the Brits and offered his services…..and the rest is history.

2017-6-9 amish
Upstate Hot Rod Lincoln!?!
2017-6-9 marker on champlain canal
Onto Lake Champlain and out of the canal.  In the last 4 days we’ve cleared 11 locks (the last 2 were going down stream!)

We stopped for lunch at a little boat launch (but failed to get around to eating!) and left on a long trek to visit Fort Ticonderoga– a reconstructed, privately run fort (read: expensive to get in—even with our Triple A discount!).  It was neat and good way to get a lot of the history from the French-Indian vs American- Brits War, the Revolutionary War, fur trading, settlement life, etc. This trip seems to be one long middle school field trip!

2017-6-9 N fence
From the entry gate, we still had another mile or more to go! Believe me, N was certainly thinking enviously of those Harley’s behind us as we continued traipsing up the road.
2017-6-9 pano feature fort t
Sweeping views northward were insufficient to solve for the vantage point of Mount Defiance (right/background) from whence the Brits made their cannon attack and successful invasion.
2017-6-9 trio fort
The refurbished fort was in top shape with various reenactments (including lighting the cannon!)  Cool powder horns carved with “diary” entries.  Lots more history here at Fort Ticonderoga; however, I’ll leave it to your own inquiring minds and google searches!

 

Lake Champlain straddles Canada and US.  We’ve got a few more days in the USA  while we dust up on our high school French for the locks, docks and eats!

A night at Port Henry Marina:

2017-6-9 port henry marina
Nice little marina—great bathrooms and wifi with an abutting park
2017-6-9 port henry town
We took an evening stroll up to town (yes, more hill climbing!)  As with the other towns we’ve passed since leaving New York City, it seems to be struggling ..the only difference here is that it has some pig iron ore history in its background.  At least six churches in the six square blocks. ( Note to selves: do not go out at dusk in bug territory!)

 

 

JUNE 2-4; Days 188-190 NY: The Empire of Dreams

 

We left Sheepshead Bay (Long Island) after a night on the mooring ball to get a notch closer to “the action” in “The City” …no to mention just inch a little further north. Since our plans included a photo shoot with friends on their boat at the base of the Statue of Liberty on the following morning, we were going to by-pass her and loop back a little the following day. However, just seeing her majestic-ness in the near distance, B was so excited and, of course, wanted to capture a picture from afar. That excitement, compounded by the major rocking in the current, river and the wakes from all of the big boat traffic, resulted in B’s knee smashing into the kill switch.  For non-boaters that means the engine immediately turns off. Not a problem…normally.  However, if your knee snaps the plastic and it breaks, then there is a big problem. The engine won’t start short of cramming your thumb into a little tiny inset button and permanently holding it there.  We did manage to devise a  bottle cap and duct tape aid (which still required constant thumb pressure but at least we could take turns and switch hands and not have our fingers get half inch depressions!) and limped into the nearest dock…nearly under a May Day call…but not really! Needless to say, there are no pix memorializing the event due to all the difficulties!  An uber ride to another marina that had a set of universal kill switches brought only short-lived relief as, of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, none fit! SO much for “universal”!!  N carved the plastic of one with that handy Swiss Army Knife (while also slicing his finger!).  And we were underway again after about a 1.5 hour delay.  In hindsight not too bad overall….but B was so bothered by the whole thing that she had to literally choke back tears as we ultimately and safely made the emergency landing in high winds and current!

So we finally actually made it to Manhattan! See feature photo at the top of post.

2017-6-4 NY skyline
“In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”  Jay Z :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPeOkzadr5g   
2017-6-4 street trio
Between the skylines and the street scenes, I kept experiencing multiple major deja-vu’s…..but alas, not previous-life- experiences….just too many episodes and re-runs of Law and Order.

 

A respite in an actual home! Yay!  And Kids!  haha….Yay!

2017-6-4 bull trio
GREAT to see Nichole and Jon on zone defense…they moved off of one-on-one D a year ago—only about 16 more years to go!  Jon is the son of B’s double-double cousin, Meredith from Florida.  (Consistent/dedicated readers will remember “meeting” Meredith and Gerry in December and January.)
2017-6-4 sofa time Bull
After dinner sofa time!! Photo Cred to Nichole!

We subwayed our way around Manhattan (a bit more than necessary…ie we took the wrong train at one point! Haha)

2017-6-4 9 11 world trade
Made it to the World Trade Center Memorial right at dusk. Very intense.

 

2017-6-4 79th boat basin
Docked at 79th Street Boat Basin for a rocky time.  While N slaved away on the last lyrical poetry post, B and Z went off on a long morning walk in search of the best lox and bagels.

 

We pushed off in the morning to get our Statue of Liberty photos (the other couple had decided to bag on the idea!) So we were left to selfies…still fun and special!

 

2017-6-4 statue liberty trio
Thank you France for your gift of La Liberté éclairant le Monde (Liberty Enlightening the World) Noble thoughts…hope we can live up to it! 

 

And one more of just her!

2017-6-4 Statue of Liberty
Give me your poor,                                                                                                                               Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,                                                                       The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.                                                                         Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:                                                                         I lift my lamp beside the golden door.                                  

 

 

2017-6-4 Brooklyn Br and skyline
Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan–  Instead of doubling back up the Hudson to continue north, we went up the East River on the other side of Manhattan and looped back to the Hudson on the north side. More Manhattan views.  Fun to see that side too.

 

Out of the concrete jungle where dreams are dreamt and into the countryside:

2017-6-4 pano N end of Manhattan looking s
Exiting the East River (on the left) and re-entering the Hudson. Good Bye Manhattan (northern tip ) .  NJ shore on the right in this pic.
2017-6-4 NJ cliffs just outside NYC
Pretty NJ cliffs  just outside of NYC

 

2017-6-4 hudson banks
Hudson River view:   At first bordered on the west by New Jersey and the East by New York, it quickly cedes to just NY  Region of the Catskill Mountains    We also passed West Point and the CIA (no not THAT CIA…the Culinary Institute of America) 
2017-6-4 maid of meadows 1871
Maid of Meadows  helping mariners since 1871 !
2017-6-4 sailboats hudson
Sunday Regatta on the Hudson

With rain threatening, and certainly the wind picking up we stopped for the day.

2017-6-4 half moon bay marina
Half Moon Bay Marina
2017-6-4 pano sunset half moon bay N
A nice walk out for icecream and then a sunset at Half Moon Bay.

Got some miles in to get out of incoming weather the next day and arrived at Albany Yacht Club…well technically we are in the town of Rensselaer (which btw is NOT where the University of R is…that’s a few more miles north!)

2017-6-4 albany dock
Docked here just a block away from one of the sites where Yankee Doodle Dandy was allegedly penned.
2017-6-4 1700s trio better
The Hudson shore in 1750’s, the penning of Yankee Doodle, and the actual well as it stands today! Although historically it was penned to make fun of  ’mericans, the locals eventually turned the whole song around and adopted the song with pride. (For those historically curious -and with time on your hands- feel free to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee_Doodle )

 

Book-ending this post, in juxtaposition to JayZ’s New York, with that little diddy (and mind worm! J ) (Which song will have a longer life?)    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzRhFH5OyHo

May 29-30; Days 186-187 Last of the Chesapeake

After our fast and furious long 130 mile run down the Potomac and out to Solomans Island, we just kept up that pace (even though the water was a bit choppy) the following day with 97 miles to Sassafras Harbor Marina.  It’s weird what sitting still in D.C. did for a week. Seems to have produced a combination of feelings: antsy to get going, feeling like we’re “losing the race,” curious to see what’s next, longing for some quiet environs, and tired of “iffy” weather….to name a few!

But, the downside is, of course, that we are passing things that we wanted to see (not to mention things we don’t know that we want to see!).   So I guess that again confirms that there is Part Deux somewhere in the cards.  Along the way though, we did see a few things and again were surprised by the overall non-development of the shoreline.

2017-5-30 boat's port
We made a point of poking into the little marina where we bought the boat and this whole thing started!  SO SHE has made HER Loop!  Note that the front windows are shiny new and practically perfect to take pictures through! Yay!

 

2017-5-30 big calm chesapeake
As we’ve mentioned, the Chesapeake is the largest estuary in the world.  When poking along the shore it is easy to forget that.  Out here it was nice to have calm waters. Only 16 feet deep!

 

2017-5-30 rafting up
Some hearty souls rafting up on a cold dreary (ok ok, it is looks a bit sunnier in this picture than it was!) Memorial Day on the Sassafras River –a scenic river that feeds into Chesapeake Bay.
2017-5-30 fish farm
Not sure if these are fish farms or crabbing operations (or??) .  But we passed quite of few of these rustic operations as we went up the Sassafras.

 

2017-5-30 sassafras marina
Spent the night at Sassafras Harbor Marina outside of Georgetown, MD –up the river about 13 extra miles for a mini-sidetrip since we are zooming past everything else in the northern section of the Chesapeake.
2017-5-30 herbs
Yay!  Marina has fresh lush herbs to pick!  Second marina we’ve run into with that amenity. Very nice extra!       
2017-5-30 au naturel landfill oyster
Oysters: nature’s land fill –bet that future grass has strong bones with all that calcium at its roots.

 

2017-5-30 bird lover marina
At the marina next door to ours, they clearly love birds!  Look at that cool tree attached to the pier for the nest stand!

 

2017-5-30 birds landfill dumpster
And in the birdlovers’ back yard, they provide open dumpsters for these guys with 3 foot wingspans! 

 

 

2017-5-30 good bye chesapeake
After a rainy-misty, cold morning start, last peak of the Chesapeake as we enter the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal—originally built (not by slaves) in the 1820’s.

 

2017-5-30 c d canal
The C & D Canal is 14 miles long connecting Chesapeake Bay to Delaware Bay and effectively cutting the shipping route between Philadelphia and Baltimore by 300 miles.  It is still used for 40% of Balitmore’s shipping cargo.
2017-5-30 canal chart 34mph
By pure dumb-luck, we timed our entry into the WSW end of the canal with the tide flowing East- North-Easterly so we zoomed! 33.7 mph and only at 3/4ths throttle at 4200 RPMs.
2017-5-30 N box dock
N making a quick muscle walk to the Delaware City post office—shipping home our “graduation/ big D.C. City clothes” and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff too. Yay! New space on the boat!

 

2017-5-30 B lewinsky.JPG
Cute little town to stroll down the main drag (clinton street) even on a rainy, misty afternoon. Love the sense of humor.
2017-5-30 blacksmith
One of the last old-fashioned blacksmiths!  Very cool!
2017-5-30 N grilling
Grillin’ at  the Delaware City Marina for the night.  Lots of other Loopers and general boaters here positioning for the “crossing” of the Delaware Bay down to Cape May tomorrow. No doubt we’ll wake up and move out hours after they do!

May 18-22 Days 175-179 Potomac-in’ Up to DC

At the risk of having Homeland Security come check us out, we’ve spent the last few days honing in on our target: Washington D.C.  Overall the Potomac is far less developed than what we expected; in fact, the majority of the journey up it felt quite remote and uninhabited. We took a few days to make the 100 miles. We thought it prudent to have the extra days built in for any unforeseen circumstances (ie weather and/or boat problems) since the one and only hard date on our calendar is our son’s graduation ceremony.

Just shortly after leaving Chesapeake Bay and entering the mouth of the Potomac River, we were flagged down by a distant speck– the only human life/water craft in sight.

2017-5-22 jet ski trio
For whatever reason (and believe me, there are plenty when it comes to jet skis), this guy was stuck (and with no phone etc) and needed a tow back in. It was 20 minutes back to a very,  very shallow inlet where we dumped him to finish wading in on his own….and then briefly touched bottom ourselves.  Suffice to say the guy’s wife chuckled when B called her to advise of the situation.
2017-5-22 gas after towing
Those 20 minutes of towing sucked the gas to our lowest point ever (and for those of you who know N…that made him uncomfortably nervous!!)  But luckily there was a marina a bit further up river to re-fuel.

We made it to Bayside Marina in Colonial Beach, Virginia—clearly a vacation destination but mid-week before Memorial Weekend it was still a nice, quiet place.

2017-5-22 Z haircut
The heat remains around the 90’s so time to chop some excess hair! In this case only Ziggy  received the treatment…..B just can’t get the guts up to take the scissors to her own mop too!
2017-5-22 trivia night
We had fun losing at Trivia Night –our downfall was the Disney Villains and Good Guys category…but we whipped in econ and sewing!

Colonial Beach, Va:  Sunrise on the Potomac and Sunset on the Marina side

We had an uneventful journey the next day as we continued up the Potomac where we spent 2 nights. I’m not really sure where those 48 hours went though!??!? No town reasonably nearby: just some docks and walks for us.

2017-5-22 scenic hope springs
Scenic Hope Springs Marina in the distance….on very pretty little side river (the Aquila)  off of the Potomac

 

BUT, should you think it was restful….this was perched over our heads:

2017-5-22 train hope springs
Rush hours on Friday was pretty busy…but actually with the fans and AC running it wasn’t overly bothersome. 
2017-5-22 country western potico N Hope Springs Stafford Va
N enjoyed crashing (read that: free food and booze!) the local political scene that was being held our first night at the marina…the country western music was too much for B…..not to mention the political leanings.

 

The second night we were joined by Tom V and Betty B for dinner who were kind enough to drive 4 hours roundtrip to make the visit!

2017-5-22 Tom and Betty dinner
Yay for old friends squishing together on our small boat: Tom and N since 2nd grade and then B joined them in 8th for the final push to 12th grade! Wow…..that’s a lotta years ago! Not quite as impressive though as Tom’s and Betty’s 35 year marriage!  

A couple of shots to show just how undeveloped the Potomac is. On the ­­­­left: just 10 miles away from DC   and on the right: 22 miles away

Made it to Washington Marina right downtown and only blocks from the National Mall:

2017-5-22 marina far side cropped
Here we are (second from the right) within stone’s throw (don’t worry, i won’t do it) of the White House. That’s Washington Monument towering to the left above us!

 

2017-5-22 selfies DC duo
Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials — Got here early enough to start tackling a bunch of Smithsonian and other sights …but there is so much we haven’t even begun to make a dent.   (FYI: N keeps doing his Forest Gump imitations).

We had Kaj and Paola over for appetizers on the boat  and then out for dinner… it was so exciting I forgot to take a pic of us!   But after dinner, we did take a tour of Kaj ‘s and Paola’s  SAIS classrooms.

2017-5-22 sais trio
Reenactment of a study session, Kaj’s actual locker,  and Professor N.

Since we missed the group shot at the boat yesterday, this may have to do:

 

 

2017-5-22 k n z marina
 The following morning before venturing out to the Spy Museum  (maybe the spy reference will cinch Homeland Security’s review of our status!??!?)  (They are clearly already onto us though…as I write this, the helicopters are dive bombing the boat so much that the whirling water from the blades is splashing the boat!)