“Children are the Rainbow of Life. Grandchildren are the Pot of Gold!” –unknown

July 9-14, 2019

July 9 – Rockcliffe Boathouse Marina

July 10 – Stair-Step Locks into downtown Ottawa (2 miles)

July 11 – Ottawa

July 12 – Ottawa to Dow’s Lake (3.5 miles)

July 13 Dow’s Lake

Miles traveled this blog: 5.5

Total miles traveled:  6184.5

As excited grandparents, it was a long day waiting to go to the airport to meet our 13 year old grandson, Lee’s, flight into Ottawa-YOW from DTW at 3:45 p.m.  Unfamiliar with this airport and since he was an unaccompanied minor we were determined to leave enough time for any glitches on our end.  We caught an Uber at 12:45 and arrived at the airport at 1:15 learning in route that his flight was delayed by 2 hours.  Back in our dating days we used to go to the Willow Run Airport just to watch the travelers so figured we could easily entertain ourselves.  As it turns out, YOW is a lovely and easy airport but also read that as small.  Jim wondered out-loud how many Tim Horton’s donuts he could eat in the next four hours.  Anyway, Lee arrived at 6 p.m. all smiles and ready for our adventure.

Our happy and healthy 13 year old grandson, Lee

Back at the Namaste we grilled burgers and ate homemade potato salad.  It was an absolutely gorgeous evening so the fast boats were running up and down the river creating some chop bouncing us around.  Lee looked a little askance but as the evening wore on the boat traffic reduced and the Namaste settled down at her mooring and Lee settled into the v-berth. It was early to bed as it would be a 6 am revelry.

We prepared to move the two miles to the bottom of the Ottawa 8 stair-step locks where we met Melody waiting at the blue line of the pre-lock wall.  They had been anchored for several days waiting for us. At 9:00 the Canada Parks team showed up to help us lock through.

sj0Sc9UhTtiVLeHpO+0JogA port (left) turn immediately after this bridge and we were at the famous stair-step locks of Ottawa.


The Namaste and crew awaiting entrance into Lock #1

As the morning wore on tourists gathered all along both sides of the canal and at the bridge on top!  We found them to be interested and energizing.

Checking out the locks from the top!  Let’s get this show on the road!

K206pyhORYClwgKAdnLe2gEntering Lock #1 – repeat X7.  The bow deckhand (me) grabs the black cable with a boat hook and wraps a line securely around it while the aft deckhand hopes the boat stays close enough to the wall to grab a following cable and get the line around.  Then as the water gushes into the chamber we must hold the lines keeping the boat secure in it’s place.  Melody was secured on the opposite wall with about 5′ between the two boats.  The captain’s job is to get the boat into the lock and against the wall without gouging all that beautiful wood along the cement walls.  We have certainly had our moments.

QQnB5YibRUaR34T9HARfigLearning the ropes – literally!

fullsizeoutput_ff4b“Hey Lee, how is it going back there?  I got this Grandma!”

Lee was our starboard aft deckhand and like the star that he is,  he learned the line and fender routines quickly.  Unfortunately no action shots as I was busy at the starboard bow and Captain Jim was at the helm with the two extra hands a huge bonus.  In fact, we decided that Lee just needed to stay the rest of the summer to help with the Rideau and Trent/Severn locks.   From beginning to end it took 2 hours of intense and careful maneuvering for a perfect, if hot, locking day.  Exhausted, we tied to the city wall just above the locks for days 2 and 3.

QkSJFImxSNWoyF1C7XPGnwOn the Ottawa wall – free with our Parks Canada Pass plus $10 for power.  Namaste is about halfway back.  Right in the heart of Ottawa.  Walking distance to everything and yet a quiet and serene setting!

When the work of getting the Namaste into downtown was over and we had a good rest, our time in Ottawa was then a mix of sightseeing; stops to eat and drink along the way as it was hot; multiple games of Gin and Scrabble; giving Sammy a needed bath; and finally trying to save a baby squirrel were all packed into two and a half days.


Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill complete with bagpipe and marching bands!   Parliament building is to the right.


Keeping everyone safe.  We watched as this medic eyed a guard’s knife accidentally drop to the ground, alerted security who then retrieved it without a break in cadence.  In an unrelated instance we witnessed a man standing on the rail of the bridge at the top of the locks.  Authorities stopped all traffic, cleared the area and had him safely down in short order.

Northern Light and Sound Show on Parliament Hill highlighting Canadian History every single night at 10 p.m. from July 9 thru September 8 since 1984!!!  We were a little eager and our 8:30 arrival resulted in some lengthy lawn sitting but we learned much about the French and English influence on Canada.

The National Art Gallery of Canada!  A spectacular building and great exhibits. The building itself was most welcoming and an exhibit in itself.  See far left of the picture.

Ceiling of the National Gallery taken from the lobby.

Enjoying one of the interior gardens with Lee explaining something or another to us.  His exposure to and interest in art through Veta and Baba was delightful to experience.

Our pretty walk back to the boat along the Rideau Canal park and Locks.

Women are People Monument.  The sculpture depicting the Women’s Movement and 5 important female activists of the time.  All more than life size.


Eternal Flame War Memorial

Healthy stuff


Good stuff at the Byward Outdoor Market

An early morning coffee stop.

Fun dinner at The Grand – local pizza establishment!

Scrabble with a little red licorice mixed in.

   Oh Sammy, We know you hate this but you will smell so much better!

Baby squirrel found by Canal police.  Jim came up with a syringe to feed him a little milk.  Officer Sommers said she would care for him in her pocket until it was time to go home.

On day 4 it was time to think about moving to the Marina at Dows Lake which was close to the airport and allowed Lee a little more Namaste travel time on the Loop.  This brief but beautiful trip felt like we were in the canals of France.

There was a constant stream of bikers and walkers the five miles from Ottawa to Dows Lake.

Dow’s Lake Marina where we spent our final overnight together.  Upon arrival, we all celebrated with a long shower Chicken Parmesan cooked on the boat and a quiet evening before Lee’s 9 am departure.  As any grandparent will attest, sharing time with a precious 13 year old grandson is the best ever.  Such an adventure can also be slightly anxiety provoking that all goes well.  We were gifted with both – time and perfection!

All too soon it is time to say good-by.  Lee wasn’t having any part of spending the rest of the summer as a deck-hand and although we are sad to see him go it was such an important time for the three of us!

Good Boat Name:  I had one but cannot now remember it.  Still lots of boat names in French.

There are simply no bad boat names.  Boring maybe, but nothing too bad.

Quote of the Day:  “Any day with a grandchild in our arms, on our lap, in our home, on our mind or, even better, on our boat is a very good day!”

Happy Belated Birthday to Harlene, Jo,

Happy Anniversary on Sunday to Pat and Heather






The Northern or Triangle Looper Route Showcases the Magnificant Canadian Waterways.

July 3-8, 20019

July 3 – Montreal to St. Anne de Bellevue (34 miles & 2 locks)

July 4 – St. Anne de Bellvue to Hawksbury, Ontario (36 miles and 2 locks)

July 6 – Hawksbury to Montebello QE (18 miles)

July 8 – Montebello to Ottawa, Rockcliffe Boathouse Marina (42 miles)

Miles traveled this blog:  130

Total miles traveled:  6179

Add Ontario as second Provence

We left Montreal on a beautiful morning but with some trepidation about getting through a few more miles of quick current and two commercial locks, the first ones for which we had to pay a $30 fee each because they weren’t included in our Parks Canada Pass.  As we pulled up to the Lambert lock it was clear that a large freighter was coming through toward us and we would have to wait for him to pass. We tied up to a lock-side dock, Jim climbed the flight of stairs to inform the lockmaster that there were 5 boats ready to lock through and give our credit card #.  Apparently, you can now pay online but we hadn’t gotten the memo.  Ultimately all five boats were tied up or rafted and it was an uneventful lift.

SciCbQr0ThC9ZopuP1a54ADeparture view of Montreal.


Approaching the Lambert Lock.  See the massive freighter, the white square pilothouse in the middle of the lift, and the rest of us milling around/standing off.


Breakaway rafting to Melody in a lock.  Our AGLCA flag in the foreground.

The next lock about a mile and a half upstream, St. Catherine’s, was expecting us so all five boats lined up and entered in order.  We were rafted onto Break Away, a nice Looping couple from Tampa who plan to complete in 8 months compared to our 4+ years!  Suffice it to say that this was perhaps our most exciting lock so far but thanks to Jim’s athleticism, we were none the worse for wear.  A story to share over dinner sometime.  Don’t even have a picture, wish I had a video!

The rest of that day we crossed Lac St. Louis which is a large, shallow lake and reminded us of Lake Okeechobee (I can still spell it) in FL.  There was barely a ripple the entire day, truly Vicki water.  We arrived at the St. Anne de Bellevue lock and city wall in time for both Melody and Namaste to get the last 2 available spots.  We dinghied across what is now the end of the St. Lawrence and beginning of the Ottawa River to a restaurant for some refreshment on a blistering hot afternoon and also so that we could tie up the dinghy while we provisioned.  The town is quaint with restaurants and shops as well as a small but high-end grocery.  Most delightfully, as we were standing in line to pay, an employee suggested that they deliver the bags to our boats.  I commenced running around adding as much to the cart as time would allow – mostly drinks for these hot days.


The quaint town of St. Anne de Bellevue.  Restaurants and shops across the river.

At precisely 9 am the next morning the doors opened and we left the dock to enter the St. Ann de Bellevue Lock (the busiest in Canada) and further on the Carillon Lock (a guillotine style and the highest lift in Canada of 65 feet).  The pictures tell her story!


Waiting in line for the Carillon Lock – biggest drop/lift in Canada.


From the bottom of the Carillon Lock.  The brown dock on the right lifts with us and is the best/safest/easiest securing system of any lock we have seen.

We arrived at the Hawksbury city wall in some surprise current and were disappointed to see it was basically located along a dusty parking lot.  However, first impressions are often misleading and this turned out to be the case as it was a quiet and lovely spot complete with a stone house accommodating a museum, tourist center, café, and lovely restrooms and with an interesting art-laden park next door.  We stayed an extra day because the local people were so nice, Jenny Lynn liked their mocha latte’s but mostly because of stormy weather that really never materialized.  The rain created mud and two dirty dogs but still very worth the stop!



Coffee shop and barista Trevor at Hawksbury.  He couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful – the promise of youth!


Museum in the Hawksbury.  Also tourist center/cafe and music studio.  We were treated to a piano concert on the grand piano in residence.  Really a music lesson in progress.

Next up was Chateau Montebello and perhaps one of the most anticipated stops of the trip!  A Fairmont Resort in Quebec (north side of the river) and one of the 19 Canadian Pacific Railroad Hotels of the 1920’s and 30’s which are as lovely today as they were almost 100 years ago.  This one is reported to be the largest log building in the world.  Everything on the property is log including the small, quaint marina with showers and laundry less than 100 paces from the Namaste.  We stayed an extra day instead of moving along to anchor as planned.  It was simply two wonderful to leave.  Hours in the pool, dinner with Jenny Lynn and Dan at the Steakhouse, and long walks in the woods were highlights.


A main entrance to Montebello.  The place is massive but couldn’t get far enough away to get a picture to do it justice.  The landscaping and trees were beautiful and the building goes on forever.  Highly recommended as a summer get-away!


Lobby and restaurant of Montebello.  All set up for Sunday brunch.


Love a nice pool every now and then.

But on Monday morning it was time to move on to get to Ottawa and meet Lee.  We cast off by 7 am since we wanted to arrive in time to clean the boat and get ready for our favorite oldest grandson’s visit.  It was a perfect day on the most beautiful Ottawa River.  We are approaching the Boathouse Marina now with perhaps not my favorite dockmaster but we shall see.


Namaste from the Embassy Hill neighborhood where Jim and I walked 4.3 miles this morning.


USA Embassy – picture taken from the deck of the Namaste.


Lovely dinner at the Rockcliffe Boat House.  Another great memory!


Sunset over the beautiful Ottawa River!  Sometimes busy with recreational boat traffic but now quiet and serene.   Bedtime!

Good Boat Name:  UGOGAL on a classic 50’ Hatteras in the Montebello Marina

Quote of the Day:  A French speaking Canadian man on our dock as we were all swatting mosquitos at dusk last night, “I call them little Trumps!”  Sadly, we all laughed heartily!

Thinking about you:  Alan and Lila onboard Blue Haven who are doing a 33 hour crossing from Maine to Nova Scotia today!  They made it!!

Sammy Sayz:  Hi you guys!  All is good here onboard the Namaste.  I love the life, having smelled smells and met dogs beyond my wildest imagination.  I do hate being leashed on the flying bridge during locking and docking procedures as that wastes precious time for meeting people and perhaps getting an occasional treat.  They do not respond to my whimpering turned screaming and in fact seem rather annoyed with me.  Can you imagine?  Anyway I miss you all and look forward to returning home but life is good for now.







Our path to Montreal: Current, Cousins, and a Cosmopolitan city

June 23-July 2, 2019

June 24 – Rouse’s Point, NY on Lake Champlain to Saint-Jean, QE  (24 miles)

June 25 – lovely windy, rainy lay day on Saint-Jean’s free wall

June 26 – Through the Chambly Canal to the Chambly QE, free dock in a lovely park .25 miles from a market (30 miles)

June 27 – Through Lake Chambly to Ours Lock free dock in an even more wonderful park (37 miles)

June 28-July 2 – Up the Richelieu River to Sorel and then down the St. Lawrence Seaway on into Montreal (54 miles)

Miles traveled this blog:  145

Total miles traveled: 6005

Add Quebec as our first Canadian Provence

The weather couldn’t be more perfect.  We have had a ratio of at least 5 good days to 1 rainy or windy one for the past two months and the temperatures have been delightful – highs in the low 80s with lows in the low 60s.  Temperature predictions are in the 90s for the next ten days.  Hot summer has arrived!

We pulled out of Rouse’s Point on a beautiful Monday morning heading about two miles north to Canadian customs in Quebec. Somewhat anxious, we saw  customs ahead knowing that we must dock without assistance.  Meanwhile, a sailboat scooted past on our port side (cutting us off) and making it to the dock without using the channel.  Of note, it was a woman at the helm, makes me wonder if she ever went to kindergarten?  Anyway, due to lack of space we stood off for twenty minutes before proceeding into the beautifully maintained facility.  It was a gorgeous day, absolutely still and easy-peasy docking.

dYpi4jWFSZK4+P+PZA920wThe Namaste waiting patiently to clear Canadian customs.

Protocol is to raise a yellow quarantine flag, pass through customs and then raise the Canadian flag along with the American Flag flying on our stern for the remainder of the time we are in Canada.  Jim with his fat black notebook went ashore with hopefully the correct documentation we would need – passports, boat registration and insurance, and Sammy’s vaccination certificate.  After somberly reviewing our papers, the official asked me to come into the office for identification (this hadn’t happened on the previous two boats indicating the procedure is different for each reportee) and then simply asked us our destination (Detour, Michigan) and length of stay (we indicated September 7 padding a few days to our plan).  We have no firearms onboard accept our safety flare guns; were well under the alcohol limit and had only two fresh bananas we were prepared to eat if necessary which all turned out to be mute issues.

YluOeRczSbefSF3slLo%xgSee the fat, black notebook under Jim’s arm – everything we need for this trip!

bfEBlpbGSzen+5TcPnrK6gThe changing of the flags.

fullsizeoutput_fd70The Canadian flag flies high on the Namaste.

Feeling relieved and happy to be in Canada we proceeded to our planned destination of the free wall in Saint-Jean, Quebec.  As we traveled north and still in Lake Champlain although it felt more like a river, we were amazed at the number of boats and people using the waterway on what should be a quiet Monday morning.  As we moved along the Lake, the crowds increased dramatically and everyone was in a holiday mood.  Turns out it was Baptiste Day (birthday of John the Baptist) a holiday in Quebec.  Not unlike the American July 4th or Canada Day the French Canadian summer celebration was on, complete with hot dogs and beans for supper with Jenny Lynn, Dan and Mac and fireworks 150 yards off our bow.  I  held my hands over Sammy’s ears and she sat quietly watching the festivities – what a boat dog!  The next day it was windy and rained on and off until late afternoon so we let the bridge tender and lock master know we were staying for another day and wouldn’t need the bridge to go up nor would we be locking through.  Good thing, as the 9:00 post-holiday operation was quite a circus with high winds and lots of boats!

zJQcpNYIR1SEaGgxyRtgNAThe wonderful little town of Saint-Jean – rafting because it is Baptiste Day in Quebec!

fdLTNZJASi+dYjr6fSbIzQThe interesting white structure above is a new lift bridge over Lake Champlain at the Saint-Jean lock entering the Chambly Canal.  We have now seen lots of lift bridges but never anything like this one.  Just below it is the current bridge in green and apparently a major traffic nightmare.  It doesn’t even open during rush hours including the lunch hour.  9fo6P0dmT3iYC%PVAreGwwAnother view of the pretty new bridge as we pass under heading into the lock.

AkSi4dBERN+IFA7UT2QAnd the town turns out for the Baptiste Day festivities including some of the best fireworks we have ever seen.

0WPyCncySjSutCehtLyd+wAs soon as we cast off from Saint-Jean we were in the Chambly Canal, a National Historic Site of Canada and an absolute treasure running along the Richelieu River rapids!  There are ten bridges, eight of which are hand operated; and nine relatively small, 200 year-old, hand operated locks in this 7.5 mile stretch which took us about 6 hours to complete 6 of the 9 locks.  We were tired and the sky indicated a potential afternoon squall so we stopped in Chambly at lock #3 in a picturesque little town park with free wall and power.  While we manage well, life is always better with power (think air conditioning – did I mention it is hot; hair care appliances; microwave, etc!

rwx9xm8mtlmzeqggpq8uyq.jpgAn interesting swing bridge a a little crossroads somewhere on the Chambly.

eAeNtHPRT5KS3imQRwckuQThe Chambly Canal – now a National Historic Site of Canada but originally created as a means of opening the northern USA and Canada to the New York Market.

mK79KXfkSnSyRfnl+XJHXwThere were many more bikers than boats enjoying the Chambly Canal.  It was a picture from the past.

VmQIsnyxQrWuR0HTcP9s4wAnother manual bridge along the Chambly – definitely a one-at-a-time operation.

U5EkeTLaQQGezgnEBaLjWgNot a doll house but rather a Parks Canada Station along the Chambly at one of the many locks or bridges.  They were all different but of the same theme.

mxScQ9cGSbCpQUGqfkdlswThe manual gates and locks were operated mostly by college students working for Parks Canada during the summer.  They were an absolute delight.  Above, draining the lock.  Below opening the wooden gate.


cKcjPpWRQpO+ve7nb8Ub3gThe entire 200 year old lock operation, refurbished in 1983.

The town of Chambly offered two grocery stores, two ice cream stores and a concert across the river attended by what appeared to be the entire town of happy people.  We listened for awhile and then watched the democratic debate on Melody’s smart TV.  It’s magic!

kB9tYpxoTWOQXWzzW0ImCQThe town began to gather at 6 for an 8 o’clock concert.


This is an example of one of the many free walls along the Chambly.  Trivia:  Three of the important characteristics of a good overnight tie-up include nearby grass, trash and recycling.  Picture taken from the shadow of the Namaste.

NU%FMJDJQ%2%cT573oShvAThe Chambly town bridge and lock first thing in the morning.  They all open at nine precluding an early start.  Oh darn!

It is also important to note that at this dock we are 32 miles east of Montreal.  However, it is impossible to get there from here (no water) so we must travel 40 miles north to Sorel, make a  u-turn and travel 50 miles south on the St. Lawrence Seaway to Montreal.   Couldn’t they just. . .?  But I am getting ahead of myself here. . .

As I write this we are approximately at the red arrow above Plattsburg and 32 miles from Montreal.  However we must go north (Sorel) to go south (on the St. Lawrence Seaway) to go west (montreal)!

After we cleared the final three locks at Chambly, changing our strategy somewhat for safer entry and exit of these small locks, we entered Chambly Lake.  Highlights this day included watching seaplanes play touch-and-go and navigating the Namaste through the tiny opening under a railroad bridge with a crazy-fast following current.  Captain Jim crabbed us through a nail-biting 2 minutes or so – seemed like forever.

3I4hiP1pQn+akZ%VRFz4qAAnother Chambly lock.  These two were having so much fun working together that if they aren’t a couple now they soon will be!  (Yet another made-up story.)

GkyhmYhhSbCt8kg0g2a8ygEntering Lake Chambly from the last lock of this series.

er5hlmgotssgzwcbtwp4kg.jpgTouch-and-go right off our starboard bow.

Mcgn5mePSjmwvjz0awsvTQScary railroad bridge!  Captain Jim navigated us through the opening on the far right of the picture.  Coming up the Richeleau River we had to make a quick turn to port (left) and under the bridge in what felt like something only slightly less than raging current.  Whew!

We didn’t think dockage  could get any better when we came upon the Ours Lock and an even more perfect park but this time a rural campsite.  We stopped because once again the sky was threatening but almost more because this park was too good to pass up! We were again able to grab enough data to watch much of the second night of the debate.  I will keep my hopeful yet guarded comments to myself for now.

fullsizeoutput_fd35Ours Lock and Park.  See the blue painted stripe on the dock just ahead of our two boats?  Tying up there indicates you are ready to go through the lock right now.  We had already traversed the lock and were spending the night in this quaint and beautiful spot.  We were nose to the lock for smoother sleeping due to the current in this narrow spot.  The next morning we turned and were on our way.

EPY6yeGET9CXq8zuLcnjWgPicture taken in the late afternoon.  Looked like we were in for a squall but it never materialized.  A little light rain and that was it.

h+XPYFaWRDKJZW99QjCOlQAgain this park, bridge and lock (am I getting repetitive here?) is maintained by Parks Canada.  There were 6 or so of these cabins available to rent for $120 per night or about $85 in US dollars.  It was a week night and no one was in residence but they were preparing for a busy Canada Day weekend.

Our next and last segment into Montreal turns out to be a slow slog of about 54 miles because we were bucking a current of anywhere between 1 and 4 knots.  Now, that may not seem like much and probably isn’t to large and more powerful craft, but for us it slowed our progress from 7 to between 6 and 3 knots.  The closer we got to Montreal the faster the current and the slower the Namaste.  All along the St. Lawrence it was beautiful but we were on the continuous lookout for the “big boys” or ocean-going freighters going either direction.  Five of the six boats we encountered were coming toward us and because the river is wide and deep we easily stayed out of their way.  The sixth boat however passed us in a rather narrow section, giving us an uncomfortable however brief “waking”.  We knew he was coming but the 5 loud blasts indicating he was passing us on the starboard, was startling at such close range.

ZTieC+puSeSl3%uJoC1V1QMaking our U-turn onto the mighty Saint Lawrence Seaway.  Melody leading the way in smooth as glass waters.

Three of the six freighters we saw that day!

As we approached Montreal proper it was Friday afternoon of Canada Day weekend and the boat traffic (freighters, ferries, cruise ships, police boats, coast guard, large and small recreational boats and wave runners) along with the 4 knot current mentioned above made for an exciting entrance into the Port De Plaisance Real-Bouvier – our marina home for the long weekend and a 15 minute ferry ride across the river to the downtown or the Old Port de Montreal.

rwSNBOC8Qs2IpIJCi4vpyw3-4 knot current but if we stayed to the side of the channel we could sometimes reduce the impact.

We spent much of three wonderful days exploring the city including a Greyline Hop On, Hop Off  double-decker red bus tour.  We felt like a couple of old people but did I mention our temps were in the high 80s and much of what we wanted to see was spread throughout the city.  It was a great way to get our bearings and over two long days see as much as we possibly could.  As of this minute, the pictures of our touring Montreal have not downloaded from my phone to my computer.  The cloud functioning seems pretty random so I will add them at a later time after a good overnight wifi connection.  Finally got a wifi connection at Montebello and the download took about 10 minutes!  Here are a few of the pictures of our visit to Montreal.

ToP3qV2kQd+3nb27pPPMkQWelcome to Montreal!!

PL3CUrfpQs+MUxdneXBdmwMontreal City Skyscape from Mont Royale

Dz7fTJUmRxOX76QWSdNJWQChateau Mont Royale

Montreal from Mont Royale or the mountain originally owned by 7 families and sold to the city for about $1,000,000.  Mont Royale became Mont Real and eventually named the city Montreal.   The mountain is all park with easy to difficult hikes and bike rides, Chateaus and incredible vistas.  We spent most of a day here.

FBzC6jt1Q%G8O6noNJNL7QFlowers everywhere but this was my favorite.

eVtWig7MQjGjgIC4DZEJ0QBeautiful tribute to Leonard Cohen

S3ciKbc+SEmulmpXdI4rJwMontreal’s underground city, one incredible mall!

Vd1qKYx+RYGHzZ6iwbPopAThe famous Notre-Dame Bascillica Montreal

On the third day we went in late for dinner to the highly recommended Jardin Nelson which did not disappoint – complete with great service and two different jazz groups.  We were all tired but got more than our 10,000 steps just wandering around the Canada Day celebrating city after dinner.


L+rRkhFURKCrPM05B7NypQAnybody been to this place?

RmSkckGZSeuBzWWQluUAaQSome of the best food we have had on the Loop.

A word about the language and culture from my limited but observant perspective.  In the Provence of Quebec, French is spoken exclusively which can be intimidating until you learn that 105 languages are spoken in this multi-cultural city and almost everyone gives English a jolly good try.  Most young people speak fluently, almost natively.  At the same time, there remains a truly European/French feel to almost everything from the occasional abruptness of passers-by to the often less than perfect directions/explanations.  In other words, sometimes things feel just about 5 degrees askew and that is some of the delight.  An example:  after we were settled into the marina we began looking for the pool (did I mention it is hot?).  After several quests our answer was, “well yes, we are supposed to have a pool but we don’t and yup, supposed to have WIFI but it isn’t good meaning, we don’t.”  The restaurant, bathrooms, showers, and laundry were immaculate but a flight and a half of wooden outdoor stairs and a 300 yards away – no Americans for Disabilities Act here.  Somehow, I appreciate the casual style and my need to adjust.  Everyone has been friendly and inclusive at the marina, a brotherhood of boaters. Many were interested in our experience on the Loop.

IMG_3137Remnants of the Montreal 76 summer Olympic games.  The tall, tilty structure is holding up the dome below it – as seen at sunset from our marina across the St. Lawrence Seaway.

FRuK8e+wTnirLYYr8W6A%A An evening rainbow while in the Port de Plaisance Real Bovier Marina

A surreal part of this visit was meeting Jim’s cousin Suzanne Dugas, her husband Mike, their daughter Dawn and son-in-law Fred randomly on the streets.  On day #2 we were looking for a restaurant for late lunch or early dinner.  We peaked down and small ally to see what appeared to be a quiet and pretty restaurant.  As we approached, Suzy and her family were the only other people in the ally and thinking the exact same thing.  How did this meeting happen in a city of 1.78 million (smaller than Toronto but bigger than Quebec)?  The stars aligned and who will ever know the how or why but we shared family news/stories and generally enjoyed one another over a lingering dinner.  Mike and Suzy are on a motor home adventure to eastern Canada and the Maritime Provinces for the summer and Dawn and Fred are headed to Virginia Beach on vacation.


Fred, Suzy, Mike

xrcCuJFDQ927BU%gzqc2QA. . .and Dawn sharing dinner, stories and  laughs!

It was a wonderfully long Canadian holiday weekend and now it is time to move on.  We planned to leave on Tuesday (July 2nd) but Dan is having trouble with his starter and we do not yet have a permanent fix for our aft-cabin head so the captains rode bikes for parts, did I mention it is hot out and are feverishly trying to get everything working again!  As I write this, Melody’s starter is replaced and the Captains continue to explore the Namaste for the culprit wire or whatever to repair the electric toilet.

KqRHYlByQAGaQUmGSqvogwCaptains commiserating.  No head solution yet –  stay tuned!

ccG0EdvRR7auDV5eYOlcgwGood-by Montreal, hello to the Ottawa River!

Good Boat Name:  Pironor.  I don’t know what the word means and I was hoping for something more eloquent but according to Google it is the name of a French fabrication company.  However, “Pironor” adorns the transom of a stately, 1956, 45’ Crist-Craft.  What a gem!

Happy Birthday to:  Kaitlan, Judy

Happy Canada Day to all my favorite Canadians.

Happy Independence Day to my American family and friends.  We will especially miss Camp Lookout and the Frankfort Parade.

Note of Jim & Jo history:  Jim and I spent our delayed honeymoon in Montreal at Expo ’67 and were also here in ’87 on our way to Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and Mike’s adventure on the Pegoria.  All three visits are so memorable!

A loud shout-out of appreciation to the kind and helpful Parks Canada staff who operate the bridges, locks and care for their beautiful parks.

A small shout-out of disappointment to Verizon.  After many promises from them and at a pretty good chunk of cash from us, we have marginal reception and extremely limited data for our “beyond unlimited” plan.  After .5G of use we are “monitored” down to 3G service for the remainder of the day. This usually happens about 2 p.m.  The explanation is that data is expensive in Canada! The devices still show LTE on the screen but the response is so painfully slow that it almost doesn’t exist.    For some reason my laptop is currently on Wifi so I just may get this posted.  Again, magic!






The New York Rivers, Canals, Lakes and Locks!

June 17 – 23, 2019

June 17 – Waterford NY to Port Edwards City Dock (39 miles)

June 18 – Port Edwards to Whitehall free City Dock (22 miles)

June 19 – Whitehall entering Lake Champlain to Five Mile Point Anchorage (28 miles)

June 20 – 21  Five Mile Pointe Anchorage to Point Bay Marina, Charlotte, VT (28 miles)

June 22 & 23 – Point Bay Marina up Lake Champlain to Rouse’s Point/Gaines Marina (54 miles)

 Miles traveled this blog:  171

Total Miles traveled: 5,901

Add Vermont as our 18th and final Loop State.  VT runs the east shore of the length of Lake Champlain.

After a three day stay in Waterford with Looping boats everywhere, most of us pulled out on Monday morning after a long day of rain.   The majority of boats  headed across the Erie Canal but Melody in Sea and Namaste decided to take the “road less traveled” and headed up Lake Champlain. Our cyclist friends biking around the country took off for their next stop – Syracuse. (You can read Connie’s blog at http://www.eppichwriting.blogspot.com).

      Five of the six boats that would eventually fill this early morning lock on their way out the Erie Canal.

Now for a word about locking through.  Because we will be in narrow rivers and canals for awhile, this is where the man-made locks come in handy.   Locks are basically a large chamber that raises and lowers boats when the elevation of the land changes and where there would otherwise be a rapids – not an exciting sight for the average boater.

A spill dam next to the lock that indicates where the rapids would be if not for the lock.

All that separates us from the waterfall and rapids is a couple of rocks and an engine to keep us moving forward!

When we approach a lock , we wait for the lock master to prep the chamber which means to fill or empty it to the level where we currently sit.  She then opens the huge doors, we slowly maneuver on to one wall or the other and secure the boat with lines hanging down or with our own lines looped (no pun intended) around a pipe or cable.  Once all boats are secure, the water either rushes in or drains out depending upon which direction we are going.  The range for locks so far has been up or down 2 to 90 feet!  The current caused by the change in water levels  can bounce us around but by hanging on we usually manage to keep the boat parallel to the wall and out of the way of the other sometimes quite nearby boats.  When we reach the desired water level the doors open at the other end of the chamber, we push off the slimy, grimy walls and pull out in the order in which we entered.

We are secure – see me  in the green waving?!  Those are clothespins on Melody at the top of the picture.

Jim talking to one of the many friendly lock masters along the way.

That is how it goes on a perfect day.  However, any number of things can create chaos including wind, placement of boats in the chamber, inability to catch a line or cable, too much turbulence, inattention to hanging on, etc. so sometimes the picture is prettier than others.   While the locks can be difficult and not our favorite part, we surely couldn’t do this trip without them.

A word or two about the New York Canal System which is over two hundred years old and a national treasure.  This is a system consisting of four canals for a total of 524 miles:  Erie (338 miles), Champlain Canal (60 miles), Oswego Canal (24 miles), and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal (12 miles).  These mighty canals connect with rivers and lakes for over 800 miles of waterway within the state of New York requiring lots and lots of locks.  Vessels of all sizes and shapes utilize this amazing system for recreation and commerce.  In 1992 the system was reorganized, renamed, and given new life through the State’s commitment to it’s upkeep  and well-being.

Mr. Blue Heron standing inside a lock fishing for his dinner.

Thus, this blog entry is all about the canals and locks.  The beginning of the Champlain Canal was at Waterford and went to Whitehall or about 60 miles.  It was a narrow, rural, quiet passage with a total of 11 locks over two days.  As a part of  the canal system’s charm  and perhaps to encourage tourism, the little towns along the way (Waterford, Port Edwards, and Whitehall) offered a free dock which often included power and water with bathrooms and showers for a nominal fee.  We managed the locks reasonably well but were tired each night and very happy to be finished for awhile.

Reaching Whitehall and the end of the Champlain Canal.  Enjoyed a lovely day here with picnics and a delicious coffee shop lunch for $11.

Foreground is a war memorial.  Top of the picture is a castle nestled in the hills.  Unfortunately only open for tours on F, S, and S from 12-4.  We were there on a Tuesday.

Again, note the mansion above our heads and the Champlain canal where we will lock through in the morning.

Docked behind Melody in Sea at Port Edwards free dock, Sammy awaits our return from an early morning coffee planning meeting.

As we exited lock #12, we entered the beautiful Lake Champlain (109 miles long).  Sometimes resembling a river, then  widening to 9 miles and eventually narrowing back into what is called the Inland Sea with islands and beautiful anchorages.

Namaste following the faster Melody in Sea into Lake Champlain.

The first third we traveled in gorgeous weather anchoring at Five Mile Point, just past Fort Ticonderoga.  It was a good anchorage except that the shores looking like beaches were really mud sink holes.  Jim’s trips to shore with Sammy were both a physical and emotional endurance test.  Since the dinghy motor cannot be launched with the mast down the long row to shore and back became a serious chore.  But even worse was the mud that came back on Jim’s feet, legs, and shoes, Sammy’s feet and belly, the life jackets, cushions, and inside of the dinghy.  We hadn’t had this experience since the Mississippi River and it was a hot-mess.  Sammy’s usual three daily trips to shore became two very quickly.

Fort Ticonderoga protecting what was probably then a river (not a canal) in the war of 1812.

Dan rescued Jim and Sammy from the long row to shore but the mud was still sticking.

The Five Mile Point Anchorage treated us to this sunset. . .

. . .and moon-rise!

The second third of the Lake we traveled in fog and rain.  Visibility remained good enough and it was calm but we sure did get wet!  We stayed for two days at the Bay Point Marina, a lovely little marina on the VT side of the lake where we got mail delivered and where Captain Jim utilized his automotive prototype skills to reinforce a fiberglass tank.  Yay, success!  We resolved a few other important but non-essential issues like a head (toilet) switch before heading out.

The early morning was beautiful.

Then the fog moved in – can you see the layers hanging over the lake?


And finally it rained and rained and rained!

Fiberglass work!

One of the evenings treated us to this beautiful scene of the mooring field behind the Namaste in Point Bay marina.

The final third of our way up Lake Champlain began as a calm and beautiful Saturday morning but eventually a northern wind picked up and blew in our faces all the way up the lake.  It was bumpy enough to make Sammy unhappy but the sailboats were having the time of their lives running downwind.  At one point we counted at least 50 but there were probably close to 100 out there playing all day long.  By the time we reached Rouse’s Point it was blowing 15 with gusts to 30 and our usual docking maneuvers required the assistance of two strong and smart dock hands.

Here’s blogging to ya. . .  You can also see our mast and radar lowered over the aft deck to keep it safe from low bridges.

Remembering the original Namaste with nostalgia.

At times Lake Champlain reminds us of our Lake Charlevoix (long and narrow) but with beautiful mountains off in the distance on each shore. This is the first time we have been in clean/fresh water since we left Lake Michigan almost four years ago.  We may have a short season up here in the north but we sure have the prettiest water.

Goals on Sunday were to massively provision, meaning buying everything we can store before going into Quebec, Canada.  However, liquor quantities are limited and fresh fruits and vegetables are not allowed.  We shall see how this goes.  Once again, the laundry situation is in dire need so on one of the hottest days yet of the summer so far, we will be sitting in the laundromat watching the clothes dry!  We also need to obtain a Canadian Flag as ours was ruined in the Namaste flood. Jim is whipping lines – repairing the chafe on the outer casing of some mooring lines – and all is well.

As we go through customs tomorrow morning (about a mile from here) and enter French speaking Quebec, Canada we are excited and a little anxious as there are 9 locks to manage on the Chambly.  From there it is to Montreal for Canada Day weekend and on to Ottawa.  I am not sure how the cell and wifi coverage will be so communication may be delayed but hoping for the best with Verizon!

Good boat name:  Summer Sleden

Bad Boat name:  As we approach Quebec most of the boat names are in French so who knows?

Happy birthday to:  Marty, Jenny Lynn



It’s a Big World, Small World Rainy Day – Shady Harbor to Waterford on the Hudson

June 13 – 16, 2019

June 10-13 – Shady Harbor Marina, Ravena, NY

June 14 – Shady Harbor to Waterford, NY (24 miles)

June 15 & 16 – Father’s Day in Waterford, NY

Miles traveled this blog:  24

Total Miles traveled: 5,784

Well, we stayed in Shady Harbor four days with up to 23 Looping boats and lots of new and old friends around.  It was a continuous party with two group pot luck dinners, put together dinners with Jenny Lynn and Dan as well as dock-tales on Herb’s Phantom.

Screenshot from the Nebo App showing all the Loopers at the Shady Harbor Pig Roast.  Namaste is in the mess of boats-center picture.


Herb, single handling Phantom (45’+) and knows everything anyone ever needs to know and with a great southern accent as added entertainment.  In Tarpen Springs FL he found me a dental appointment in just a few hours. I have his phone number and email!

In addition we rented a car for the purpose of seeing some of the sights on the east Hudson including Hyde Park (the Eleanor Roosevelt home), the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) for an extraordinary lunch and then the Vanderbilt mansion of Fred and Louise, the only one of eight children of the ship and railroad baron, Cornelius Vanderbilt, who didn’t squander but rather increased their wealth and philanthropy.


Eleanor Roosevelt’s desk at Hyde Park where she wrote 7 books! (Zoom in on the name plate in this so not pretentious room)


The amazing Culinary Institute of America (CIA).  Students run all aspects of the restaurants where visitors may sample the incredible cuisine.

CIA from the Namaste cruising the Hudson River.


Jim and Dan walking the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park.  The 54 room home and many gardens are an impressive national historical site. Our National Park pass got us free entrance.

Of course, there are always maintenance of life activities requiring attention so while we still had the rental car ($40/day shared with Girvans), I got my “toes done” and we provisioned at a wonderful market chain here called the Price Chopper.

Most of this stay we spent organizing the information and our thoughts for our next leg of the trip.  There are three options out of Waterford, NY and we really needed to figure this out quickly as Waterford is only a lock away.  After pouring over charts, books, waterway guides, websites and local information we eventually settled on the Lake Champlain or northern route (see map below).

We go north from Waterford to Burlington to Sorel, South to Montreal, west to Ottawa, south to Kingston, and west along the Trent Severn to the Georgian Bay

The issues with this route are two.  First, the boat must be under 17’ air draft to get under all the bridges and we are 22 with everything (mast, radar, and antennae) up.  Jim created a “crotch” and lowered the mast onto it making our new air draft 15’.  It sure wasn’t easy but now it is doable.


Jim and Dan creating the “mast crotch.”

Second, there is considerable current in the St. Lawrence Seaway and since water levels are way up, this route requires that we traverse about 60 miles From Sorel to Montreal with a 2-3 knot current which could take our speed from 7 knots maximum down to about 4 or 5.  This will be a long, slow, slog for us but after consulting others who have done it and the Canadian Government websites, we decided it was a go.  Everything says it is the prettiest but also the longest and perhaps most difficult route but we are definitely up for Canada!

On a pretty Friday morning we cast off with Melody in Sea for the town of Waterford, only 24 miles away passing through Albany, Troy and the Federal Lock to the free dock at Waterford NY where the water road splits and you to left to the Erie Canal or straight ahead to the Champlain Canal.

Leaving Shady Harbor Marina toward Waterford.

Now it has truly been awhile – since the Okeechobee Canal in January 2018 – since we have traversed a lock.  At one point we were process confident but by now we had forgotten everything important.  It was a 19’ drop and the wind was howling with gusts of 25-30 mph.  We did OK by entering on the windward side, placing a line around a slimy pipe on the lock wall and letting it slide up as the water rushed into the lock chamber.  At moments it was difficult to keep the Namaste against the wall but we had a plan, stuck to it and came out the other side.  Eleven more to go in the Champlain Canal – more on that later!

Waterford is a quaint little town, friendly people and lots of Loopers there.  Yesterday we got the bikes out and rode to see the local Maritime Museum which turned out to be closed on Saturday, really?  So we turned around, went across another bridge and visited the Pebbles Island State Park for a bit of quiet and nature.  Lovely!

Boats at the Waterford NY town dock.  Namaste is about fourth from the rear of the line.  After this picture it rained for about 24 hours.

On the first night here we came back to Namaste after dinner to find two other Albins we had met briefly at Shady Harbor (Summer Salt and Selah Way) rafted together just ahead of us on the long dock.  We told them we had been saving their space!  OK, now for a fun coffee story – Selah Way was 12 hours into their Loop, had inadvertently forgotten to bring coffee and were quite miserable.  Jim ran back to the Namaste to grab one of the 24 pounds from our Biggby stash gift of Mike.   Amy’s eyes lit up asking, “can I get my Biggby card stamped?”  Well, they are from Burlington VT but their daughter lives in Algonac, MI where the family are regular Biggby customers.  If you listened carefully, you could probably hear the hoots as we made the connections!

Three Albins all in a row!  Namaste in the upper left corner.  Also Summer Salt and and Selah Way.

Biggby fans from VT

Another small world story!  In the rain this morning everyone was commiserating about their plans for the day.  Rose on Summer Rose noticed that we were both from Michigan and not only that from Milford. Coincidence, but in addition, Jim had shown them a trawler two years ago when they were boat shopping, we exchanged a few emails afterwards, unsuccessfully tried to set up a dinner at the Highland House, and now here we are on the wall in Waterford, NY together.

Again, in the rain this morning, Jenny Lynn invited a couple onboard for a  hot breakfast.  They are camping in the park next to our dock while two weeks into biking from New Hampshire around the USA or about 7,000 miles in the next year.  What an inspiration and they are probably about our age!  OK, everyone, off the couch!

There is even a fiddle in those packs somewhere.

Our plan had been to begin the Champlain Canal locking system today but with 6 locks to do, our locking anxiety up and about 37 miles to the next reasonable stop, we decided the pouring rain was an unnecessary, undesirable element.  Wind yesterday, rain today but tomorrow looks perfect.  Stay tuned.

Best Boat Name: Private Party  (BTW, we met the fun folks on Cat and Dogs.  She is a catamaran with two dogs onboard.)

Quote:  “I want to congratulate all the men out there who are working diligently to be good fathers whether they are stepfathers or biological fathers or spiritual fathers.”  T. D. Jakes

Happy 46th Anniversary to Jenny Lynn and Dan Girvan of Melody in Sea.

Congratulations to Lauren and Tait on the birth of Anderson G. Chamberlain.

Happy Grandbaby Felix James McFall at 3 months:


The Great Lady Liberty of New York Harbor “. . .Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. . .”

A gift of France and a quote from,  “The New Colossus”, a sonnet that American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) wrote in 1883 to raise money for the construction of a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World).[2] In 1903, the poem was cast onto a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level. -Wikipedia

June 7 – 12, 2019

June 7 – GKYC to Haverstraw Marina including the NY Harbor (55 miles)

June 8 – Haverstraw Marina to Poughkeepsie Yacht Club (44 miles)

June 9 – Poughkeepsie Yacht Club to Shady Harbor near New Baltimore NY (46 miles)

Miles traveled this blog:  145

Total Miles traveled: 5,760

We cast off the lines at GKYC early as we needed a holding tank pump out and were the slower of three boats headed to the Statue of Liberty for a once in a lifetime photo shoot.  As we rounded the corner from Staten Island the Verrazano Bridge loomed large as the entrance into New York Harbor with Brooklyn on one side and New Jersey on the other and Manhattan straight ahead.

 Verrazano or VZ Bridge into NY Harbor

To say that local boat traffic was intimidating would be the understatement of the year. After the VZ bridge a large area to the left was purposed for freighter and barge anchorage with many freighters and barges resting there.  Hey, wait, is that anchored boat moving?  Indeed, it is!  Next came the Circle Ferries, Staten Island Ferries along with a host of smaller tour and private boats.  It’s a moving circus.  Just as we approached the statue standing serenely on her pedestal, a NYFD fire boat motored up letting loose her millions of gallons of water as an enormous fountain.  We still have no idea if that was a drill or some real emergency as helicopters buzzed overhead for another 20 minutes adding to our chaos.

Ferries circling Lady Liberty

Fire Boat putting on a show for us!


The traffic cleared momentarily and we (B-Side, Golden Daze -a beautiful 55’ Fleming-  and Namaste) saw this as our opportunity to move in for the shoot.  Within 10 minutes, all captains navigating the boats and all admirals taking as many pictures of one another as quickly as shutter speeds could manage, the mission was accomplished.  The thrill of looking into the soft eyes of the Lady, the sense of peace and gratefulness was overwhelming.  My wish is for all to be right with the world!

Namaste passing in front of The Statue of Liberty on June 7, 2019

Soon the three boats dispersed (texting pictures and thoughts to one another) and we were on our way past Manhattan, and up the lower, midtown, then upper west side identifying as many landmarks as possible along the way.  The stunning newness of the financial district compares drastically with the historical feel to the remainder of the city.  The Empire State Building, while clearly identifiable, is minimized and yet stately by comparison.

The financial district from the water.  Wish I could offer Mrs. Seagull’s eye view!

The contrast in architecture and ambiance of Manhattan as we moved up the Hudson.

As we continued north, we passed under the George Washington Bridge, by Englewood Cliffs, NJ where Jim regularly traveled to Volkswagen Sales and Marketing headquarters years ago, and finally under the Tappan Zee Bridge, some 25 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.  We were relieved that the boat traffic on a Friday morning gradually diminished so that we could focus on the skyline of this great city.  So many thoughts, so little time!

The George Washington Bridge!  Note the tiny red lighthouse that in it’s day was the stately navigational aid, now overwhelmed by the bridge.

The Tappan Zee Bridge

It was a long day but we eventually decided to pull into the Haverstraw Marina where we learned that fuel was $2.99 a gallon and probably the best value before entering Canada so we filled up, pulled to our slip, had a swim and a lovely dinner at their outdoor restaurant.  What a day!

Haverstraw Marina Pool.  Not too crowded by we did get in the water.  Note the Hudson River in the top center of the picture.

Sunset at the Haverstraw Marina in a beautiful and peaceful cove just miles from NYC.

Acutely aware that laundry hadn’t been done in more than two weeks and one of the two filled bags inadvertently got wet in the aft cabin shower, we delayed our departure to throw in three loads, drink our fill of Biggby coffee and eventually got on our way up the majestic Hudson River.  I had been looking forward to this section of the trip but really had no idea.  From the palisades and lush river valley to the small towns and the jaw dropping mansions and famous institutions, the Hudson is glorious and yet purposeful for commerce and fishing as well as recreation.  How much of our livelihood depends upon the rivers of the world!

Englewood Cliffs NJ and home to Volkswagen of the early 80’s

U. S. Army West Point Academy

This night we pulled into the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club.  They were advertised to be a friendly group and charged only $1/ft/night as compared to “the” city where the dock fee was $5.50/ft/night.  The tiny yacht club lived up to the friendly and value descriptions.  However, upon arrival, at the very last minute we discovered large bolts protruding from the dock at about mid-hull which would have done major damage to the gel-coat if we hadn’t gotten fenders (large white air-filled bumpers) and boards in place instantly.  Whew, that was a close one!  On the other hand thankfully it was a peaceful night except for the AMTRAK trains that run passenger cars up the east side of the Hudson and the more upscale side to NYC and freight cars on the west side to Jersey City where the religious and private institutions abound.

Poughkeepsie Yacht Club

Sunset on the Mooring Field

80 mph into the City

The following day was more of the same beauty with the Catskill Mountains and multiple lighthouses as our landmarks.  All along the way we dodged debris such as tree branches and “dead heads” meaning the larger part of the log is underwater and not visible.  If hit, these do major damage to expensive props hanging below the boat.  So far so good!

Maid of the Meadows lighthouse near Hyde Park, NY,  note the Catskill Mountains in the distance.

Lighthouse in the Kingston, NY area

New York Open Water Swimmers, each accompanied by a kayac on an early Sunday morning.  Police boats required that we come to a complete stop and allow the ten or so swimmers to pass.  Water temperature was 70.6 degrees!  What an inspiration!

In the late afternoon we pulled into the Shady Harbor Marina to a welcoming committee of friends who, like us, showed up for a pig roast beginning within the hour.  Thankfully, Jenny Lynn had made an extra dish-to-pass so that we could attend without guilt.  It was sunny and hot with tasty food choices (like a Lutheran pot-luck, I am told) and a good band.   Boater appreciation day at the SH Marina.  With NYC behind us we will stay put for a few days to regroup and figure out where next.

Shady Harbor Pig Roast

Good Boat Name:   Summer Salt – recently purchased Albin ’36 (just like ours) by a couple over 90 who have sailed around the world X2!  They are starting the Loop!

Bad Boat Name:  Schmitt House (now, I get it but really???)

Happy Father’s Day to all those who have Dads or who are Dads!

Quote:  “Every single illegal alien who is employed, got hired by a law-breaking American.   Instead of cracking down on those poor sods who seek a better life, go after those who get rich on the backs of the most vulnerable people.”  -Uncle Uwe’s, World of Wonder

The Not So Scary North Atlantic

May 31 – June 6, 2019

May 31 – Atlantic City lay day

June 1 – Atlantic City to Manasquan River, Hoffman’s Marina (61 miles)

June 2-3 – Hoffman’s Marina to Shrewsbury River, Rumson N.J on Ev and Clark’s dock (42 mi)

June 4-5 The Woodworth free dock to GKYC on Staten Island, NY (20)

June 6 Lay day at GLYC

Miles traveled this blog:  123    

Total Miles traveled: 5,609

Add New York as our 17th Loop State

We lived in Atlantic City two days longer than planned, one due to fog and the other for the captain and crew to renegotiate our planned route.  You see, from Atlantic City it is possible to take the inside route (inter-coastal waterway) or go outside again into the coastal waters of the North Atlantic, something that gets the average Looper’s anxiety attention.   At the last minute several boats in our flotilla that day impulsively changed their plans to take the inside route as the waters outside were rough with a north wind.  The Namaste captain had previously and clearly communicated that he would not take the much too shallow inside route which turned out to be the decision of the day!

One of our traveling buddy-boats went hard aground for many hours, leaking fuel as they listed until the tow boat arrived with enough water under their keel to get them off.  Additionally and gratefully it was reported to be uncomfortably rough on the outside.  Discussion over! We enjoyed a “screwed-up plan” day with nothing to do but read and sleep while sitting by the pool.

 The Golden Nugget Casino Pool – much more lovely than expected.  The colors and decor were said to have been selected by Trump’s wife at the time (not Melania).

Joe Farley State Marina at the Golden Nugget.  Atlantic City in the background.

The following morning we were antsy to get underway for a variety of reasons not the least of which because someone explained that the casino at our marina, the Golden Nugget, had originally been the Trump Casino that reportedly “ruined Atlantic City.”  Another story for another day.

The seas were calm and the 61 mile/8 hour open ocean trip was lovely from Atlantic city to the Manasquan River.  Even with our best laid plans to arrive at slack tide, there turned out to be quite a current and lots of boat traffic on a Saturday. Manasquan is a fishing village and after we viewed the catches of a Thrasher Shark and four Blue Fin Tuna, we had cocktails on Aquaman and went to bed.  The tide was so high and the dock didn’t float so I couldn’t even get off the boat! 

A very dead (shot) Thrasher Shark

\Four Blue Fin Tuna – endangered until recently.

Cocktails on Aquaman

Trying to outrun some nasty weather that never materialized, we left at daybreak for Sandy Hook or the entrance into the lower NY Bay and on into Ev and Clark Woodworth’s home off Shewsbury River in Rumson, N.J.  The Florida waterway homes have nothing on this beautiful stretch of rivers in northern NJ. 

This is a shot of Sandy Hook (spit of land in the foreground) and NYC in the background.  Obviously not taken from the Namaste.  The entrance to NY Harbor is to the left of the skyline.

Just one of many in the Rumson area of NJ

Clark came out to greet us in the Sunset Delight Dink guiding us to their home.

The Namaste rushing to keep up.

We wound around until we came to their creek, a true hurricane hole where the Namaste rafted with the Sunset Delight for two days of talking, laughing, eating, shopping, seeing the local sights and generally enjoying great company.  Sammy loved the extra attention and  even got a needed grooming.

The Namaste nestled up to the Sunset Delight for two nights

Great stir-fry dinner

Captains Clark and Jim sharing boating and boat maintenance stories.

Ev and a picture/gift of the original Namaste she painted from a photo taken in Faro Blanco, Marathon two years ago!

$200 of provisioning in one tiny refrigerator/freezer. 

The entrance to Asbury Park, NJ where the 1960’s riots impacted the city much like Detroit.  Note the rainbow flag flying high.

The Asbury Park Boardwalk. . .

. . .and beach!


The above two pictures shows off a local art project.  Seen from different ends of the enclosure and all made of yarn strings.

Rag-a-muffin Sammy

Shaved-and-cold Sammy -cuddled on a blanket on Ev and Clark’s deck. 

All too soon it was time to leave and of course, there were way more options than we needed but finally settled on staying at The Great Kills Yacht Club on Staten Island (not quite as fancy as it sounds but friendly and easy).  We took the Staten Island Ferry into the City seeing the Statue of Liberty on the way;  the completed 9/11 memorial and museum as well as the new World Trade Center built just across the street.  It was a haunting and yet educational experience that we decided was a must. 

Our iconic Staten Island Ferry trip into the city.  It runs 24/7 for free!

A trip down memory lane – Evie and I took this tour ship around the Statue of Liberty 9 years ago while visiting the city for our birthdays.

Trinity Church

The Memory Wall in the 9/11 Museum.  The blue tiles depict the colors of the sky on that horrifying day.

The memorial fountain – one of two at the footprint of the Twin Towers

On their birthday a white rose is placed on the name of each person memorialized

The current World Trade Center – new, modern, bright, and full of life.

We also saw Trinity Church, the Wall Street Bull, and spent time relaxing in Battery Park.  17,000 steps and almost 7 miles later, we were ready to be back onboard with a glass of wine and leftovers.

We had planned to leave this morning but because we wanted to get our boat picture passing in front of the Statue of Liberty (a Looper right of passage) we are waiting for two Looper boats leaving tomorrow to share the photo shoot.  Meanwhile, Jim is addressing two, hopefully minor, plumbing issues – don’t ask!   Then we are go to pass NYC proper and up the Hudson River.

Good Boat Name:  Late Harvest (on a boat with a lovely Canadian couple)

Bad Boat Name:   Either there aren’t any or I haven’t been paying attention 

Happy Birthday to: Pat, Evie and Joe (Jim’s Dad) and Judy

Quote of the Day:  “When you finally learn that a person’s behavior has more to do with their own internal struggle than it ever did with you. . . you learn Grace.”  unknown