Sunday, June 28, 2015

Down RIver to Vieux Quebec

Friday:  Getting a strong push from the current, we can cover a lot of miles.  However, it's difficult to find an anchorage or marina for our 6.5ft draft on much of the river.  We ended up at a sweet little marina in Portnuef at a bend in the river, run by a charming young woman.   62 miles, total 403 miles so far

Saturday:  the big push to Quebec

Yacht Club de Quebec yachts
We're now at a point in the river where the tides are starting to influence the current, so we started early in the morning for the easy 30 mile run into Quebec City.  We arrived at le Yacht Club de Quebec about midday.

30 miles, 433 total miles

We had time to bike into Vielle Ville (old town)  to see the sights the same afternoon . 

The bike trails was thick with cyclists on this sunny, warm summer Saturday.  It was a bit of a workout.  We parked the bike on the flats and clambered up the steep hill on foot.


Drum Kit made from Recycled materials

The marina downtown is inside a set of locks with a drawbridge right across the middle of the locks.  They leave the locks open during the high part of the tide when this was taken, but boats must lock through at low tide.
The end of this building is a giant painting.  If you look at this full size, you can see snow on the roof of the apartments at the top and people in summer clothes at the bottom.

It was a nice Sunday and there were crowds everywhere but they were manageable.  I hate to think what it would be like when they have three cruise ships in town.

This early 20th century hotel (Chateau Frontenac) at the top of the bluff completely dominates the skyline of the old city.

It's 72 miles to the next marina down the river, with only one fair weather anchorage along the way.  To catch the tide, it will mean a 5am start. The coffee is ready to go in the morning and it's time to get some sleep.

Movin' On From Montreal

cooked lobster from IGA
Thursday morning we spent on frantic errands by bike: chandlery,  groceries, radio cable, Canadian SIM card etc.    


After a ridiculously short visit, we departed Montreal, down the swirling current, Yee Ha!
Shrine to Our Lady of something at Trois Rivieres
 We traveled at 9-10 kts, sometimes up to 12kts downriver.

We found a lovely quite anchorage in the Canadian bayou 
out of the current at the SE end of Lac St Pierre.

After a cold lobster dinner, we listened to Van Cliburn play Tchaikovsky's 1sr (or 2nd), I forget) piano concerto... and fish jumping.

Day's total 47 miles, total = 341

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

More About Montreal

What a great city!  We haven't seen much, but the areas we've visited are lively, diverse, clean, organized and beautiful.

Today, Wednesday, June 24th is Fete de St Jean Batiste, ie Quebec Day.  Most businesses closed, so we played tourist.  Including a climb up MontRoyal and down again (my aching legs).  There are lots of strolling families around town and along the waterfront.

There are pianos left around for anyone to play.  Here's one:

on the waterfront

Sunny, mild weather.  Montreal is a bike town.  Bike riders are everywhere, at least on holidays.
huge bike rack outside Mont Royal Metro station

We went to a strange place for lunch:  the sign outside said "Boulangerie", but there was no bread inside.  I ordered "Moussaka" but it wasn't really moussaka.  And the creme caramel was really just vanilla pudding.  But it was cleverly decorated and the staff was great and we were really OK.

Clock tower at sunset

Week 2 - So Far

Sun:  Eisenhauer & Snell locks (42ft drop each).  We feared a long delay here as a small cruise ship had damaged itself colliding with the lock gate.  But after evacuating the passengers by crane, the ship was towed away.
simple tie-up: 1 line, 1 floating bollard

Big locks, down 40ft +

The St Lawrence River widens again to big shallow Lac Francois with many small low islands.  A well marked ships' channel winds through the shoals, but you have to pay careful attention to stay in it.

One freighter, the Tundra, was hard aground.   They had missed one small turn and got off course and really stuck in the mud.

At the end of a long day, we anchored in 15ft of water at Saliberry of Valleyfield, (what a great name!) near waterski stadium.  However, was late Sunday night, so after a big cigarette boat roared out, all was quiet and calm.   44 mi  = 247mi

Mon: Upper & Lower Beauharmois locks (40ft+ drop each!). We started the day with a long wait (1 hour!) for the Valleyfield bridge to let us through, then another long wait (2 hours) for Beauharnois locks. 

Lac St Louis is yet another big shallow lake.  We had planned to stay at the Royal St Lawrence YC in Dorval, but Jarana needs just a 6 inches more depth than they had. There are many marinas around the lake but none could take a 6ft 6inch draft!

Thunderstorms and high winds were predicted, so, we anchored off Point Bell at the east end of Canal de Rive Sud , on Lac St Louis, near Montreal.  Near the city, yet pretty and quiet
28 mi  = 275 mi

Tuesday:  more locks, the St Catherine and St Laurent, more car bridges and railroad bridges, sometimes all in the same place and more waiting. 

Ship loaded with giant wind generator blades.  Destination unknown

Finally, we got through all of them then had to turn back upstream against a strong current to get to the Yacht Club of Montreal.  Oh, toss in a violent thunderstorm, pounding rain and raging wind for a short time.
the only sailboat in the marina

We contacted the marina and tried to speak French in the midst of all that.  Speaking french is OK, but it's much harder to understand what the other party is saying.  Fortunately, they speak perfect English too.  Tied up in Montreal at last.

Bill started his usual landfall scavenger hunt:  the connections on our HF radio to modem cable finally corroded beyond use from all the salt water we dumped on it over time.

Try finding an RS232 cable anywhere, but an old-technology shop...  Also, the engine starter is starting to not start reliably.  That's OK, tomorrow's Quebec Day and most businesses are closed.  Of course, mais oui!  Bon.   20 mi => 295 miles so far.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 1 in Review

Murray Canal
 Sunday, June 14th to Saturday, June 20th
Sun :  We crossed Lake Ontario from Irondedquoit, Genesee River to Presqu'Ile ON,
Nice sail, COLD water & air temps and fog in middle.  The bay was very shallow,  sometimes depthsounder say 5.5 ft, we draw 6.5, so lots of weeds down there.
Murray Canal, cleared customs by phone.  There was torrential RAIN overnight. 
This was the first 50 miles of the trip.

Mon 6/15 We motored east through Bay of Quinte, through very shallow & warm water.
Lots of nice homes along shore, but little activity.
We found a quiet anchorage for the night at Northport  a 22mi day, 72 mi to date.

Old fort at Kingston Marina
 Tues 6/16 We motored east past Picton (sorry, missed meeting John Marchant's friends) to Kingston ON.  marina, Lovely town,
 45 mi => 117mi to date
Kingston YC

Wed am:  We rode our bikes around Kingston and had lunch at Kingston YC. 
The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes was very interesting.   Nice dinner aboard some new friends' boat, who we met in NY.  0 miles
 Thurs, We continued east to 1000 Islands.  Tied to park dock at Camelot Is.  (Sorry, no photo.  Looks like San Juans_)
Very shallow, just barely afloat, but very clear green water. nice walk ashore.  Another boat was already at the dock and helped us get in sideways.  20 mi  =137mi

Fri: east to... Brockville.  More pretty islands, more clear water, and more activity, lots of jetskis and runabouts.  Many beautiful waterfront homes, with freighters passing nearby.  However, they were going slow so wakes weren't a problem.  25 mi  = 162mi

Sat:  Our first lock, the Iroquios lock, where the river narrows to single channel.  Anchored Croil Islands with new friends aboard the Willie Dawes of Camden ME.  41 mi  = 203mi

Already behind. .

After a fast start to our  cruise, we got bogged down waiting for bridges and locks as we neared Montreal. We finally arrived today in the midst of a violent thunderstorm.  Coupled with 4-5kt adverse river current, it was a dramatic arrival for us.

Will catch up blogging tomorrow.   Meanwhile, check out our posts on Facebook. Friend me (Kathy) to see posts.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fresh Off the Truck

Dredging the Genesee River in front of the marina
Irondequiot (Rochester) NY

The truck arrived in good nick (except for a couple spots where the pads wore through the bottom paint), Friday June 5th, at Shumway Marine on the Genesee River, in Irondequoit NY, a suburb of Rochester. 

We worked a long, exhausting week unpacking and putting things back together.  It was a huge job.  The Shumway Marine yard is very well located, with a handy small chandlery on site and a small shopping center across the street.  We had a rental car ans stayed in a Kathy and Jim's comfy and roomy b&b for the first week.  It was such a relief to come "home" at night after a long day's work.  
We finally cleared out enough stuff to stay aboard starting this last Wednesday night and cooked our first meal Thursday night. 
The radar mast was very corroded and was powder coated this week.  Bill will finish installing it today. 

We finally visited Rochester Yacht Club right next door last night.  It's a beautiful and friendly club and we Seattle Yacht Club will make reciprocal relationship with them.  We saw Tacoma YC and Corinthian burgees there already!

Tomorrow we will leave here and cross Lake Ontario to the north to Presqu'Ile, the Murray Canal and the Bay of Quinte towards Kingston in Ontario, Canada.  Presqu'Ile is pronounced "Press Keel". Yikes! I hope that doesn't mean anything like it sounds...

The First Steps of Our New Journey

On May 24th , we left Elliott Bay Marina for CSR via Port Madison and Shilshole Bay Marina.
Seattle Skyline in the Rearview Mirror

Bill and Tim Ryan
 During the haulout, the Stillmans kindly put us up in Hotel Grattitude, their boat at nearby Shilshole Marina making life much easier for us. 

On Friday, May 29th, the trucker, Jim Wise loaded Jarana for the cross country trip to Rochester.
What a push that all was.

The next day we drove down to Long Beach WA to visit Bill's mom and dad, then on to Portland to stay the night with Nancy & Gil MacGregor and flew out of PDX for ROC the next day.  

Land Life, Spring 2015

Elliott Bay Marina - Our home for the past couple months, while we worked on our house

Our rental house needed painting, so we spent April sprucing things up.  It was a lot work, but a pleasant environment to work in.  We sanded and primed the doors out on the deck.

Did you ever wonder how dumb is a box of doorknobs?

We'll miss the house ...

and our friendly neighbors,

  and the sunsets...   Goodbye House....  
We'll miss Seattle and our friends and family

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Complete Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island ......only took two years.

It started with our landfall at Uclulet August 12, 2012. After a couple side trips to Seattle we pass Uclulet again on August 11, 2014.  Hurray!

OK, backing up:  we left glorious Nootka Sound headed for Hot Springs, Tofino and miscellaneous other anchorages in Clayuquot Sound.  The hot springs were OK, awfully hot and slippery rocks getting in.  [ph]  However, the boardwalk from the jetty to the springs was beautiful and it was fun to see lots of commemorative boards left by cruising friends in years past.  [ph]

After pleasant, quiet stops at Youngs Cove and White Pine Cove, we enjoyed the cosmopolitan attractions of Tofino.  There were lots of great restaurants and shopping.  The municipal marina was very welcoming.   Weather was warm and sunny as we cruised along the shoreline of renowned beaches en route to Barkeley Sound, where our string of sublime weather ended in rain and fog.  Ugh...

Hunkered down at Dodd &; Turtle Island, we sat through 2 long days and nights of rain before starting the long trek to Victoria...... motoring 80+ miles in fog and no wind.  ugh......  Our favorite and normally scenic stopover at Becher Bay was fogged in and challenging to manoeuver amongst the rocks and floating debris to anchor.  It was hard to tell really how far we were from shore and other boats even with radar and chart plotter, so we didn't tuck in quite where we usually have done.

Our transit became even more nerve wracking as we passed through the busy waters off Victoria, with all manner of boats in a hurry through the fog!  Yikes!  Eventually, we turned the corner around Trial Island into Oak Bay and Cadboro Bay, where the fog cleared, the clouds lifted, the RVYC bar beckoned and the angels began to sing.