Friday, July 29, 2005

Niagara River to Sodus Bay, NY

Hello to all! As the following blog will say as well we've managed to get connected via the nice people at the Sodus Bay, NY Yacht Club. This blog will take you across the southern shore of Lake Ontario. After this one is our depiction of traversing the Welland Canal. As usual... pics at the end and COMMENT AWAY!

As we entered the Niagara River we called in to the yacht club planning to put our Burnham Park burgee to use. Our initial radio attempts didn’t receive any response. (It seems that a huge regatta had just ended and they were busy with tallying results.) As we approached the area we noticed a few sailboats on the hook along the eastern shore of the river. Well, let’s see how our anchor will hold. It’s been about 4 hours and we’re still holding even in 15 knot winds at times. The question now is, should we set the second anchor?

So nice to swing on the anchor with a view looking south up the Niagara river and north toward the fort. Tomorrow could be a long one going 60+ miles to Rochester. Weather permitting. But, that’s tomorrow.

Maybe I should have set a second anchor. We wake up around midnight with the wind really howling and Enee straining at her anchor rode. We listen to the weather radio which is announcing a severe weather alert including high winds, thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, flood, pestilence, and bad manners all around.


After listening more and waiting through the stinking French versions we figure out that the warning is not exactly for our area but more down towards Lake Erie. We’re just getting the edge of it apparently. The anchor is holding well so we decide to not worry and go back to sleep. The winds did calm down after a couple of hours and we awoke to a peaceful river scene.

July 25

Today is the long haul. From the Niagara River to Rochester NY. Nearly 70 miles. Longer than we usually do but there is not much along the way and what there is is fairly early on. We picked a great day! We left Fort Niagara at 6:30. The wind was West at 10 – 20 knots and stayed that way ALL DAY. We are so used to little morning winds going away by midday in the summer. We set up Enee wing and wing and virtually blew down Lake Ontario. We hit 7+ knots on occasion. We set the genny out on the spinnaker pole which really isn’t for this application but works ok. Worked even better when Scott used the spinnaker halyard as a topping lift for the pole. As much fun as it was to muscle the pole around in wind of 20 knots from astern with the boat rolling…this was better!

We found Rochester, NY around 6:30 PM…with the gas dock closed at 6:00. Another sailor on a boat in the harbor pointed out a for sure empty slip and helped us dock. As usual, other sailors are about the friendliest, most helpful people on the planet. Now for a little dinner and a long sleep.

Denied! This marina apparently had problems with birds nesting on their roof. So, they’ve installed what sounds like a pretend hawk screaming sound that goes off about every 5 minutes…ALL NIGHT LONG. We were tired enough to sleep through it ok but not to sleep in. It was still cranking at 6 in the morning. Time to get up I guess…

July 26…A day in Rochester…sort of

Well, let’s see what Rochester NY is all about. I go to pay for our slip and ask the guy how far to town and which way. He says town is about 25 minutes by car! Yikes. Unlike all the other towns we’ve been to, Rochester is not actually on the lake. But we are! So what else is there. Not much. Supposedly there is stuff to see on the other side of the river but we see no people milling about or shops or anything from here. It is about 95 degrees and humid and dingy would have to be inflated and launched and the motor stuck on to go 50 yards across the river to explore. Hmmmmmm…We opt to do laundry and sit in the air conditioned bar while it is working. There are some boat projects we could work on but it is just too stinking hot. We read and lie about the cockpit the rest of the day and watch the weather. The weather finally came and came big time. Nice hard rain and some thunder. It rained on and off all night and luckily, we found the ear plugs that Brian Teyema probably left on board from the maiden voyage! They worked great to be able to sleep without the bird noises. Tomorrow, on to Sodus Bay!

July 27 What day is it?

The much needed rain came in droves all day long. We felt the rollers in the harbor and weren’t surprised to hear NOAA announce a small craft warning on Lake Ontario. The marina guy said he hadn’t heard one of those in a long time.

So one more day in Rochester. We called the contact person in Oswego to get information about when and how to begin the Erie Canal trek. She suggested not arriving until Monday since there is a huge festival this weekend and it will be crazy. Okay then. We have four days until then. Or is it five? What day is it?

Anyway we spent the rest of the day in rainy Rochester reading, writing, napping, reading, and overall relaxing. We’ve almost gotten to the point of not feeling guilty about reading, as in ‘isn’t there something else I should be doing’ guilty.

Tomorrow, on to Sodus Bay! What day is that? As long as it’s not Monday, we’re ok.

Fort Niagara as you enter the Niagara River. Quite a site.

Wing and wing from Youngstown, NY to Rochester, NY. A beautiful 70 mile sail, all day!

After skinning his knee and grunting to attach the pole, Scott rigged a topping lift and used the spinnaker halyard. Great Idea!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

The "wing and wing" picture is now my second favorite (next to the one of Sue's high wire act). Very Sailor-riffic.