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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brewerton, NY to Oswego, NY - on the shores of Lake Ontario

      Distance Travelled  29.7  NM
 Total Distance   1774 NM

Docked at : Oswego Marina             2.00 ft.


Leaving the boat after an hour inspection - note the dog in the background!
We got off to a rather slow start this morning, Tom, the owner  of Winter Harbor marina opened up his heated storage facility to show us his prized possession - a 1973 Hatteras. It was beautiful, he has fully restored it and with the new paint job you would think it was a 2011.  They agreed that there is a HATTITUDE on the water, once you own a Hatt nothing else will do!!  HUMM - some of these "go fast" yachts look pretty darn nice.
Anyhow, we left in the pouring rain and did Lock # 23 of the Erie Canal within the first 15 minutes - then we started the Oswego Canal - 7 locks # 1-8, no number 4. There was supposed to be one and they had all the plans ready for it but turned out they did not need it and just kept the numbers as is!  Lock number 1 was OK - the water is really high and that makes it difficult to position your fenders and virtually impossible to get the cable on for a boat our size. Lock number 2 only had cables, no ropes, I laid down and tried to stretch my arm down to get it- no way - the boat hook wasn't hooked enough so I thought  I'll lasso the bollard. Well, a cow girl I ain't! Finally, I yelled - (Garth would say I screamed) - to the lock master   "Would you please help me" He sauntered over, laid down on his stomach and attached the line for me - I told him we had been trying to call him on the VHF and the phone for half an hour - he said he was busy cleaning. He was just a goof! In lock number 3 the lock keeper was out to meet us and grabbed my line to secure it to the cable. He apologized for lock keeper number 2!  Anyhow, the rest of the locks were difficult today because of the wind - we managed and thankfully it was not busy.  We arrived in Oswego at 3:30 - exhausted and cold.  Six hours to do 30 miles - only 2.5 hours of actual running time.
As we came out of lock number 8, we saw Lake Ontario, but in the foreground was that all to familiar little red tug like boat with US COAST GUARD on it.  They are like cops, when you need them they are your best friend but when they are out "fishing" no one wants to see them.
We made the turn into the marina and the wind was really blowing - we were concentrating on getting docked and managed to get the wind to help us. As I walked out to the front of the boat to get the power cord three coast guards were standing there. I kind of tried to ignore them and continued talking to Garth on the phone as he was downstairs watching the power cord . The one coast guard got my attention and said "we are going to board your boat and bring on a dog." Garth at this point had no idea what was going on and was telling me to let the cord out - he was wondering what the heck I was doing. I told the coast guard that I could not listen to two people at once and when we got the power hooked up I would be with him. Surprisingly, he seemed OK with that. So, the power cord came out and up came Garth, I had told him by this time that the Coast Guard was here.. Garth, told them he had no problem with them coming on board to do a safety check but wanted to know what reasonable cause there was to have a customs dog on the boat. The coast guard explained that it was a joint exercise, in other words a way to get a drug/bomb dog on the boat without reasonable cause. 
So, Zeke and I went for a walk, then I thought I am missing all the action. So, I tied Zeke up at he dock and came back on - as I got on the Customs guy - dressed in camouflage and wearing old Ray Bans radioed to the Coast guard guys that I was coming,even though he could have just put his head around the door and said it  -  I said I'll go this way and he said fine!!! I walked around the outside and came in - grabbed my camera,told them I was doing a blog and could I take their picture. The coast guards guys were like - yeah! that's cool - the customs guy said " I have a family to protect" ----like dressed in all that camouflage and sunglasses you are going to be recognized!!  
Anyhow, the customs guy took our passports and phoned in the numbers - I told him that we report in to Customs every night but he didn't care - he asked Garth if he had any tattoos, gave us back the passports, walked the dog though the boat and got off. Once he was off the coast guard guys became friendly and basically said they have to work with him.
We immediately had a drink.

 We are perched on the edge of Lake Ontario and ready for the 90 mile run across to Canada! EH!!  Just watching the weather at this point. Tuesday is looking good.

Zeke was having no part of helping in the rain this morning!

Garth refused to turn towards Buffalo - my second home!

The lock and canal below it.

YEAH, a blog, I'll pose for that! Note the camouflage dressed officer in the background!  I liked these two guys!