This entry begins with us still running on the Erie Canal. Our stopover on July 4 was in Little Falls, NY. There we caught up with friends Jeff and Cathy, on Serendipity, and late in the day friends Roger and Jane, on Jolly Roger IX, showed up. We squeezed them in on the tiny town dock wall that we were tied to. The next day included running across Lake Oneida, about 20 miles from East to West and spending the evening at Winter Harbor in Brewerton, NY. The next day we learned the Jolly Roger needed parts and would be staying in Brewerton until next year's boating season. We bid good-bye to Roger and Jane and they will continue the completion of their Loop journey next year. Hopefully, they will be waiting for us on the dock in Sturgeon Bay next month.
Running the Erie Canal, turning North up the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario, required 7 days and passing through 30 locks. After running the canals, we were very pleased to leave behind the muddy, slimey ropes that you hang onto while in a lock chamber and move on to the clear waters of Lake Ontario. The ship's crew was a bit tired and the boat was quite dirty. On July 7, we arrived at the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY, and spent 3 days cleaning, walking around the community and shopped a bit including a Farmer's Market just a few blocks away.
Sunday morning, July 10, was beautiful and calm as we headed out onto Lake Ontario at 6am. The ride was 64 miles north across Lake Ontario and up the St. Lawrence River to Clayton, NY. The St. Lawrence divides the US and Canada and we stayed on the US side. Clayton is a great boating location with its shops, restaurants, and proximity to the Thousand Islands (where the Thousand Island salad dressing was created and first served). The Boldt Castle is one of the more famous tourist spots in the Thousand Islands and was only 8 miles up river. We had scheduled a ferry tour of the area and then Linda got sick and we ended touring the area on our own boat later in the week. It was a disappointment not to be able to tour the inside of the castle, but satisfied that we were able to boat around it. One of the other great attractions in Clayton was the Antique Boat Museum. On Monday, July 11, we spent nearly 4 hours there and did not completely see all the exhibits which are shown in 5 buildings. In addition, 8 other beautifully restored boats are kept in their covered marina, some of which they take people for rides in.
Our touristing activity ceased as Linda developed a nasty summer cold and remained mostly on the boat, coughing, sneezing and blowing for the rest of the week. After 3 consecutive negative Covid tests, we were confident that we could cross into Canada and be compliant with their laws. Thursday, July 14, we crossed over into Canada and tied up at the Confederation Basin Marina, in Kingston, Ontario. After docking, Conrad went to a designated "payphone" booth and called the Canadian Border Services (CBS). It was after 5pm and one would think that most boaters coming across would have already registered with CBS; however, after being on hold for over an hour and listening to awful on-hold music, an officer finally took the call and began the Q&A session. The toughest question to be answered was do you have any apples or grapes on board? Conrad answered well yes, there is one apple. Oh that is a problem, she responded. Apples are not permitted to be brought into Canada. Conrad offered to eat it immediately. She answered, well then, you must keep the core on the boat until you leave Canada! Conrad's reaction was not "Oh, Canada!", rather it was Oh My! In the end, the officer assigned us a vessel record number and said we could now legally be in Canada! Friday morning, July 15, was simply perfect weather with no ripples in the water as we left Kingston travelling 71 miles west to the Trent Port Marina, Trenton, Ontario.
Next up will be to travel through the Trent-Severn Waterway made up of a series of rivers, lakes and canals with 44 more locks! Rain is in the forecast for Monday July 18 so for our first 7 locks, Linda will not be a happy boater.