Friday, August 22, 2014

All done tomorrow.  Sydney and I are in Haverstraw NY tonight, after a 100 mile run down the Hudson from Troy.  Not a nice day - cloudy, and a little rain.  Lots of bad stuff in the river in places.  Lucky to not have hit anything  troublesome.  We've 110 miles to cover tomorrow to get to Beach Haven.

I had the lock count all wrong.  62 locks all in.  I said 48, but had not counted the Champlain Canal and Chambly Canal locks correctly.

Nice trip.  Already trying to figure out next summer's adventure.

The photos are of ships/barges in the Hudson today.  Saw another eagle, too.  A huge one flying.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back on board, with Sydney and the dogs.  We came today from Mallet Bay on Lake Champlain, just north of Burlington VT, to the first lock in the Champlain Canal which will take us to the Hudson River at Waterford NY, just above Albany.  Lovely trip down the lake, with little breeze to fight.  The lake just gets narrower on the way south, and winds up as a river at the Lock 12, here in Whitehall NY.  We go up two more locks, then down to the Hudson River in the Canal.

Sorry not to have any photos.  Took all I had to stay in the channel - well marked, but needed attention to stay out of harm's way.  Nice ride.  Through Lock 12, and we have 10 more to go tomorrow.  There's no Lock 10, but they never changed the numbers from the original plans.

Some excitement with the rental car coming back to Burlington.  The left front wheel fell off while I was taking it back to the rental office.  Fell off!!!  Quite exciting, with a very long skid mark to show its demise.  Nobody hurt, thankfully.  Sure would have been a mess falling off on the Interstate, where we were for the two days with the car, from Burlington to Beach Haven and back.

Three more days to the end.  We will be in Beach Haven on Saturday.  So, there will be no more blogging.  Sure has been a fine trip for me.  Tony, Kurt, Dawn, Dina, and now Sydney.  Could not have been better.

1700 miles in all when I'm finished - about three weeks on the water.  48 locks in all.  And, so far, about 1500 gallons of diesel.  More to be put in to get us home.


Friday, August 15, 2014

The first photo is of Catherine Mary Stewart, and actress, and the woman the Customs Agent here at Rouses Point thought Dina was when Dina threw her a line at the Customs dock.  Nice miss!!

The second is a cable ferry that takes cars from one side of the Richeleau River in Canada to the other.  We passed several of them, and you have to be careful to not pass to quickly after they cross because the cable has to drop to the bottom of the river for us to pass.  We had no trouble.

The third photo is of Sorel, where we stayed last night.  It is about 40 miles downstream from Montreal on the St Lawrence River, and an industrial town busy with ocean going freighters.

The container ship is what we saw a lot of along the way.

And, finally, the sunrise is Tadoussac as we left two days ago.

That's it for today!

No internet last night at Sorel, a St Lawrence River town, fourth oldest in Canada, where they load freighters with potash, I think.  Three of them in the little harbor.  Trip  yesterday back upstream to Sorel from Quebec City was a push almost all the way against the tide current.  Lots of wind, too, in some places sort of uncomfortable, where there was a long fetch to the wind.  Started out in the fog and rain, and things got better as the day progressed.  Dinner in Sorel was to be forgotten.

Up early to try to get to the States today - and we were successful.  Cloudy and rainy most of the day though.  Cool, too.  I think summer's over up here.  The Richeleau River from Sorel to Lake Champlain is a nice trip, with about 12 miles of it in the Chambly Canal.  The rest of the way is in the river.  Nine locks and lots of bridges that need to be raised.  Hand operated locks, built in the 1840s.  Narrow canal, sort of like what exists in Europe, I'm told.  The Canadian Park Service works the canal, and has a bunch of delightful lock tenders doing their thing for us.  Only one of the nine locks had a motor closing the lock doors.  We came up about 90 feet in all, to Lake Champlain level, where we now are.

Customs was a delight, with very helpful Customs Officers, one of whom thought that Dina was an actress.  They helped get us into a marina next door to their offices, which was closed.  Arrived after six.  But nice to be in the States again.  Short ride tomorrow to Burlington, and then we will take the rental car to Beach Haven.  Dina's missing Baily, and will be glad to get back with a day to spend with him (Sunday).

So, a fine adventure, with a total, so far, of 46 locks.  Twelve more from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River with Sydney once we return to Burlington next week.

Yesterday and todays pictures will follow later.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Here's what it looked like at about 0540 this morning when we left Tadoussac docks.  Best part of the day, though.  We ran back up the St Lawrence River to Quebec City, and pushed against an outgoing tide about the whole way.  We did see lots of whales this morning, some even about 20 miles upstream from Tadoussac, where there were still 500 feet of water in the river.  Cold too.

Took only seven hours though, and we put in some fuel and went back to the same dock we stayed at three days ago.  Not at all nice, though - just lots of rain.

We passed a freighter early this morning, and the captain called the "American yacht" in the river.  We had a good talk on Channel 6 about how to best run the river against the outgoing tide, and the coming rain.  Nice of him to bother with me.  He really was helpful.  Told me to stay about a mile from the northern shore, which cut the force of the tidal flow quite a bit.  And about how to manage the southern route closer to Quebec City, which had less tide flow.

So, we're boat bound for dinner
tonight, and will leave tomorrow morning for Sorel, about 40 miles downstream from Montreal, where we'll spend the night and then go halfway from there to Burlington VT on Friday.  Supposed to get better tomorrow, though later in the day.  We'll see.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Here are some more photos from today.  The hotel is behind the trees.  Taddousac Hotel.  The ferry boat out the windshield is the one crossing the Saguenay River here at Tadoussac.

Off tomorrow morning early to Quebec City again, then on to Sorel, and down (actually up five feet) the Richeleu River, and down the

Chambly Canal to Lake Champlain.  We'll stop Friday night at Burlington, and Dina and I will go  to Beach Haven.  Then, back in a few days with Sydney for the rest of the trip to BH from Burlington, through the Whitehall Canal and Hudson River.

Bob S
Forgive my clumsiness with the pictures.  I don't have the hotel one to publish, somehow.  So, forget the part about behind the trees.  The funny looking boat is one taking people up and down the fiord.

There's a ferry carrying carts across the Saguenay River here.  No bridge.  About three hours to Quebec by car though.

Bob S
A beautiful day, layover, here in Tadoussac, Quebec, Canada.  Nice little town, full of vacationers - lots of kids, and lots of inflatables taking everyone to see whales.

Which is what Dina and I did this morning, and part of the afternoon.  We saw two blue whales, several minkes, and some belugas.  Very quiet on the river - the photo below with the top of the freighter showing gives a little idea of the ground fog that was in lots of places.  Not everywhere, but around and about.  The photo of the sailboat shows no horizon, a common sight here.

Radar worked just fine, and we had little worry about what we were about to see.

Fine dinner last night at Chez Mahiltde's bistro here.  Very nice food, in quite rustic surroundings.  Busy, too.  Thankfully, Dina had made a reservation while she came up to the village yesterday afternoon, getting us the required Tadoussac fleeces.

So, pictures follow: some of the fiord, and the best two are the photo Dina took of the blue whale, one is as is, and the other, cropped.  You see its tail.  The sailboat shows no horizon and the quiet river, too.

The hotel is behind the trees, and the beach comes and goes with the 16 foot tides.

Dinner again tonight at Chez Mahtilde's, and we will be off with the sun tomorrow morning, to fight the tide and the current back to Quebec City.

Bob S

Monday, August 11, 2014

The summer things hanging from the wall is art hung in Old Quebec for the French Festival, which was going on while we were there.  Lots of summer stuff, mixed up, and hung from walls everywhere in the Old City.

The full moon is hanging over Syarda in the Quebec du Port Marina, where she stayed for four nights.  The building under the moon is a very old university, Laval, in Quebec, a French speaking, Catholic school.  There are 40,000 university students in Quebec.

The final photo is of a garden in a huge public park in QC.  The flower garden was donated by a US couple to honor first world war veterans, I think.  It is quite large and most beautiful.

There a more photos in the email to me here in Tadoussac, and I'll post them once they show up.

We left Quebec City this morning at 0700 and only had to get the road bridge up to leave the harbor, the lock gates were opened, and the tide was about at flood.  18 feet of tide in the River there.  We enjoyed an ebbing tide about all the way down the River to Tadoussac, where the river is about 8 miles wide, and just downstream a bit, 1000 feet deep.  Because of the depth, the water here is always cold, and though the day was clear as a bell, there was fog about.  Not everywhere, but where it existed, it really was thick.  Couldn't see ⅛ of a  mile.  Saw Beluga (white ones) whales about 10 miles upstream from Tadoussac, and a black Minske whale about alongside Syarda.  Several others at a distance.  Exciting.  

Finally poked into Tacoussac's dock, though about ran into boats on the end of it before it showed.  No fog at the dock.  Nice little (800 people live here) town which caters to vacationers looking at whales, golfing, hiking, and on sailing adventures.  Great floating docks.  Fine dockhand, who loved Syarda.  He said, "Look at those (big white powerboats, overstuffed with accommodation), I wouldn't go anywhere in them, but would take your boat anywhere!"

I don't think I'd take here anywhere, but we sure had a delightful trip this morning.  We arrived at the docks about 1330 or so, after slowing down to sight whales and cope with fog.  No breeze at all. Made 24 knots downstream for quite a while, while running at rpm's which would get us about 18 or 19 knots with no current. 

More pics coming if I ever get my own emails with them.  Don't know how to get them from the phone camera except to email them, and could not do that in QC.  The wifi was SLOOOOW there.

We will stay here tomorrow and leave very early on Wednesday to go back upriver to Quebec City for another night there.  There's no place to stay between here and QC, so I want to go early to make sure we don't run out of daylight, no matter what!  

Dawn left for Beach Haven to help Sydney with Dina's baby, Baily, and Dina has replaced her as my crew and helmsman.   I am about the luckiest guy in the world to be able to spend time on this boat with our two grown daughters.  

Bob S

Saturday, August 9, 2014

In Quebec city for two more days.  Dawn left this morning, and Dina arrives this afternoon.  Lovely day.

Very touristy city, with a cruise ship at the river port docks.  Lots of people.  Rained on us in the double decker red bus yesterday, but we saw it all anyway.

Photo is of commercial shipping - lots of this to pass on the river.  The grain elevators are really something huge.  In several places along the river.  The biggest right here in Quebec City.

Can't wait for Dian to arrive.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Couldn't get the internet to work last night, sorry!  Here's Kurt trudging off from the dock in Montreal.  He had a long day at airports yesterday getting back to home.  

We ran down the St Lawrence with some dozen or more ships passing us coming upstream.  Fun sharing the channel with them.  I have pictures, though I'm unable to get them to the blog.

Left Montreal about 0930 and arrived at the lock to the Quebec City marina at 1700.  There is 18 feet of tide here in Quebec City, so the city's marina is above a lock, in a very quiet pool of water.  Large marina. 

Old city is nearby, and Dawn and I enjoyed a fabulous Provence meal last night.  Her lamb chops were out of this world, as was the bouilabasse I had.

Beautiful morning - off to see the city today.  Dawn leaves for Beach Haven tomorrow, and Dina comes to the boat for a week.

Bob S

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The orange haired woman was the gas dock person at Valleyfield.  Really a treat!!

The big boats are our neighbors in the Montreal Old Port Marina.  Quiet place, right in the heart of the old part of Montreal.  Lots of art galleries and restaurants.

Yesterday was a long one with four locks to pass.  Some waiting, but nothing that really ground me down.  But, being told 10 - 15 minutes wait and sitting there for about 50 minutes with no other communication was an aggravation.

But we had a nice meal at Gibby's last night once here.  Some rain, but a lovely morning.  Off to tour the city with Kurt (his last day, sad for us) and Dawn.

Yesterday was a long one - four locks, some quick, and one, the last, with a painful wait.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Well, I'm officially, today, 77.  How about that!!  Wonderful day, too - not only lovely weather, but a beautiful card from Sydney, a fabulous water color of Syarda from Kurt, and a real birthday cake from Dawn.  Can't get any better!

We're in Valleyfield, still upstream from Montreal.  Nice ride today, through two locks, each a drop of about 40 feet or so.  Quiet drops, no turbulence at all.

Very little wait for the first lock this morning, too.  Lucky.

So, we're through three of the seven between the head of the St  Lawrence and Montreal.

Huge marina, we're in slip number 1100, at one end of the marina.  Lots of sailboats here - the River here is called Lake St Francis, a man-made wide part of the river made up by the dam downstream at the next lock.

Made a trek to the grocery, and Kurt about got arrested for soliciting rides from the women checking out.  We're all wearing, now, Turk's Head bracelets (which I've made), and I think they thought we were insurgents planning bad things.  We didn't get a ride, and walked the case of water back to the boat.

Last nights supper was BASIC, fried pickles and poutine (french fries, brown gravy and cheese), and we're hoping for better this evening.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

Can not post photos today, no wi fi....more all..
Friday on the Erie up lock and then 6 "downers"...lake Onieda, and then back to the Canal...stopped in Minetto...and ordered dinner from Canales and they deliver for 2 dollars...