|Brewerton to Oswego, NY:
Leaving the Erie Canal today was a mixed bag of feelings. We had looked so forward to it, but at the same time, we want to get to our primary destination of th St. Lawrence, River and beyond. The Erie ends near Niagara, but we make a turn to the north where the Owego River/Canal joins the Erie about 2/3 thru the Erie. The Oswego has a few locks but we do the entire canal in a fairly short day to the town of Oswego. Doug and John visit the local model railroad museum, which is a huge affair of replicated tracks from the area. The history is once again, fantastic, prideful history of locals – a history most do not get to see everyday, since we rush t our destinations via plane and cars on the interstate. Sue and I have added to our “bucket List to “do the blue roads” of America someday, akin to doing the back door of the world via boat. The fan belt on the engine started squealing today, so John checked it out and it is very worn. Fortunately he had bought a spare and changed it out. We buy another spare a few days later. The transmission controls, which have been acting up, appear to be working for now, but John, after talking to the factory learns there is a recall and they will send us a replacement part for free. It will be delivered to friends in Ottawa Canada. We hope it does not act up where we can lock thru over 40 more locks before we get there. Fortunately, since we are prepared for it to all of a sudden go into reverse at high RPM’s with no warning, we enter all locks with one hand on the “Kill Switch”. We tie up to the free lock wall, just prior to entering Lake Ontario for the all day crossing to Kingston, Ont.
Oswego to Kingston, Ont.
It is somewhat windy, but the weather is acceptable for crossing the lake today. There are many boats wanting to lock thru with us first thing, so we coordinate with them before starting up our engines at 0800. Once is a sailboat who are only a couple of days from home, finishing up a 7 year trip around the world. Their sailboat is smaller than Just Relax. We get to visit for a short while, and in that short few moments, they sure had some great stories. Another boat learns that we have been to Trenton via Picton, Ont. (when we did the Great Loop) and asked for some local knowledge. That made us feel like old salts, so we gladly gave them some navigation tips. You know, things like, “do not go where the water is shallower than our draft” – LOL. We are so smart – LOL. The Kingston Marina was a special treat for Sue. We had spent 3 days here before, and there is a lady who comes to our boat, picks up our laundry and returns it all folded, sorted, etc. Sue made this stop a must, well before we left Charlotte for this trip. This is a neat luxury for us, and especially her since she is in charge of finding laundries, etc. while John’s primary duty is keeping the holding tank running smooth. Talking to the Mainship factory again today, John learns that they have a spare prop for our boat that is laying around their factoy and ask if we wanted it. John stated NO since it was too expensive (we had been looking for a cheap spare before we left on this trip. They said, how about ½ price. John said, well, if you insist, so it is to be shipped to our friends in Ottawa also. We also decide to upgrade our anchor system. Our Delta/rode setup is fine, but we understand that we needed better for where we are going. So, the local marine supply found us the exact anchor that we wanted and we stayed until later in the next day for them to get it for us. We take a tour of the city learning more history, and that the University here is so large and famous. 25,000 students. Bike rides and Sue and Doug walk so much, that Sue's kness flared up. She is doing better with rest. We leave for the Rideau canal tomorrow with its over 45 locks in only 126 miles. The Canal is over 180 yrs old and the locks are still manually operated same as they were in the early 1800's when it was built. We will not have internet for the next week, nor power, so we may stink a little by the time we get to Ottawa - Just kidding.