Wednesday, 25 May 2016

New York to HOME!!

We went through New York and head further up the Hudson River.  There were many helicopters, some military.
The shores of the Hudson River are filled with commercial buildings.  This is what we expect all the way to the Erie Canal, approximately 160 miles.
Passing by Manhattan
This is the George Washington Bridge.  It was just North of here where a plane hit a flock of birds and lost both engines back on January 15, 2009.  He turned around and landed that plane on the Hudson River.
You can see just how close this pilot came to the City of New York.  If this had happened in the summer months I'm sure there would have been many more boats in the Harbour.  There were no fatalities in this crash, what a miracle.

Passing by Yonkers
Then the commercial buildings on the shore disappear and the Hudson River is absolutely beautiful.  We were pleasantly surprised!

Getting closer to Albany and we're thinking maybe the Pocono Mountains??.....where we honeymooned.
There are trains on both the West and East coast of the Hudson.  One coast has passenger traffic......

...and the other coast has commercial traffic.

Stopped at an anchorage for the night.  Dexter was standing on the bow as if he was enjoying the sunset.  He turned just as I went to take what would have been an amazing picture....well I guess it's still pretty good.  He's so cute!....Good thing he's cute.
Some homes along the coast.
There were these homes along the coast that seemed all similar in design.  Just beyond these homes was WestPoint Military Academy.  We figured it must be the residence for the Academy.
WestPoint Military Academy, if you want to become an officer and a gentleman.
An Army Sailboat anchored just outside the Academy.
Still WestPoint
Dexter loving the beautiful Hudson River
There is a road carved in to this mountain about 1/3 of the way up.
An old abandoned Castle.  Bannerman's Castle on Pollepl Island.  If you look closely you can see there are cables holding up the structure.
More beautiful shots of the Hudson River and some of the homes that line her coast.

We had to keep a sharp look out as there was lots of debris in the water.  The current here is strong and if you don't watch you could damage a prop.  We heard a couple of thumps but had no damage.

Quite a bit of the Hudson River was severely damaged by hurricane Sandy.  We stopped at this anchorage that was right in front of an old marina that is under repair.  They hope to have this place up and running again sometime.  A work in progress.
Our friends from Emma Jean and Carinda were also at the same anchorage.

There was a lighthouse at the entrance.....or exit to this anchorage....depends if you're coming or going.  We were going so I'll call it the exit.  Back in the day the lighthouse keeper would live here. 

Approaching Albany New York
An old WW2 fighter ship docked at Albany NY.
We are turning off of the Hudson River now.  It took us 3 days to get from New York to the mouth of the Erie Canal.  We say more good byes here.  Good by to tides, good by to salt water.  If we were to go straight here we would be on the Champlain River.  We will go up the Erie Canal.  We have 22 locks to Oneida Lake and then another 7 to Lake Ontario.
We stayed at the base of the Erie Canal at the Waterford Town Docks.  What a deal!  $10 a night and that includes power and water.  There has been no laundry since I was home for the shower on April 23rd.  Steve did it while I was at home.  Today is May 13th so we really need to get some laundry done and buy a few groceries.  Everything was close to the town docks so we got it all done here.

We arrived here on Friday May 13th and there was a canal festival the next day.  Saturday morning the vendors set up and the docks were packed.  There were many boats, 2 of which were fellow Loopers, our friends from Emma Jean and Carinda.

There was also some live music.
Laundry done, groceries done.  Oh....we put the laundry in the washers then went to the grocery store.  Finished grocery shopping then stopped by the laundromat to put the clothes in the dryer only to discover someone took my laundry soap.  Really?....if you needed it I would have given it to you but don't steal!!  Whole jug of Tide gone....oh well.

Sunday morning we were up in time to catch the first lock at 7am.  Our friends from Emma Jean did not have to be to Oneida Lake for a week and a half.  Oneida Lake is about 120 miles and it's supposed to be a very windy day so they decided to stay put. We don't have to worry about rough seas because the canals are well sheltered.  Our friends Carinda travelled with us that day.  We were also with another trawler that had been staying at the Town Docks.  

11 locks and 47 miles we decided to stop for the day.  There was a free wall just past lock 11.  Dexter hasn't been able to run for a while.  He was so excited to have his feet on the ground and running like the Jack Russell he is.

We said good bye to our friends on Carinda the following morning.  The winds were gusting to 40 mph and we didn't want to risk the boat or a crew member being injured so we decided not to travel today. We still have 12 more locks to go and it can be very tricky to lock through in heavy winds. Carinda has a flight to catch so they are in a bit of a hurry.  Hopefully we will see them again.
Up early the next morning, heading up the Erie Canal we spotted a deer swimming across the channel....just a baby.
We watched as the deer crossed the channel but watched a little too long.  There was a highway on the other side of the canal.  This deer was obviously hit by a car and had a broken leg.  It had a hard time climbing up the terrain once it hit shore.  We carried on  hoping it would be ok.
The Erie the Hudson...was surprisingly beautiful.
 Arriving at lock 17 on the Erie.  This is the largest lift, 40 feet.  There was a huge amount of debris just as we entered the lock.
Steve put the boat in neutral and glided over the debris.  He had to put one engine in gear just as we thought we were over it because the current was taking us to the wall.  KLUNK!  We hit something but we have no vibration so no damage done.
Inside lock 17, 40 foot lift.
The doors don't open, but a gate drops.
We stopped at lock 20 for the night.  There was a rope on the lawn that Dexter found and loved to play with.....a new toy!!

We left lock 20 the next morning.  We went through a few more locks and we end another leg of this journey.  We say good bye to the Erie Canal.  It's gonna take a bit to wash the Erie Canal off the boat.
We had 7 locks to go up the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario.  We arrived to our stop for the evening and said good by to the Oswego Canal.
Lake Ontario is waiting for us in the distance.  We will go there tomorrow.....

....but for's time to wash the Erie and Oswego Canals off the boat...

Our Power Squadron flag is the only flag that hasn't been changed on this journey.  We have gone through 5 Canadian Flags and 2 American Courtesy flags.  We didn't have a spare Power Squadron flag.

Early start the next morning....we say good bye to the US of A.

Picton Ontario in the Canadian waters now!

As we crossed Lake Ontario we started to see May flies.........and then more May flies
.....and then it got to be like a horror movie of May flies....

.....even our American courtesy flag could hardly fly.

Across Lake Ontario, we called in to customs and were cleared by phone.  It was so easy.  We carried on to a beautiful anchorage near Picton where we stayed for the night.

Time to remove the American courtesy flag.

We left our anchorage and travelled further to the Trent Severn Waterway.  We reached here at 2pm on Saturday May 21st.

Ooohhh yeah.....back to Ontario wine prices.  I will miss that about the good ole USA.

Approaching Lock 1 on the Trent Severn.

It's just May 21st and the weeds are already very thick.

Entering a flight lock.  That is actually 2 locks one immediately right after the other.  You enter one and when you exit you are not re entering the waterway you are entering another lock.

Stopped at Lock 19 in Peterborough for the evening.  Timmies coffee for the first time in 10 months!
Up the next morning.  The locks are on short hours only operating from 10am to 4pm.  Approaching the Peterborough Lift lock.  The highest hydraulic boat lift in the world at 19.8m.

A view before the lift.....
.........a view after the lift

Passing by Trent University where both our girls were educated.
 Ken and April came to join in the evening where we stopped at Lakefield lock for the night.  Dexter has his favourite orange ball.  You can see he is very concerned because his ball fell in the lake.  Hopefully Ken is able to retrieve it.

Success!  Dexter is happy to have his ball back.  This is the only toy of Dexter's that has made the entire Loop.  Although this orange ball did see the ocean and lakes many times, it's always been retrieved.
Up the next morning feeling kind of bittersweet.  Today we will cross our wake which means we will complete America's Great Loop and cross over the water where we first began this amazing journey.

This trip has changed us in some ways.  We haven't taken for granted for even one second how fortunate we have been to have been able to fulfill this dream we have had for years before it all came together.  Health is wealth. 

We are travelling through the Kawartha Lakes now, so very close to home.  The waters surrounding our home are some of the most beautiful we have experienced on this trip.

The fly bridge of the boat was a very quiet place this morning.  It was almost as though we were reading each others thoughts.  So many memories, the emotions are wild.  The feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming.  I may have wiped a tear or two.

We have been on the boat now for 304 days.  135 of those days were spent travelling.  169 of those days were spent walking on a beach, site seeing, shopping, dog walking, swimming, snorkelling, biking, hiking, fishing, meeting new friends....just relaxing.

We are about to cross our wake.  We will continue to fly the America Great Loop Cruisers Association flag however it must be changed.  The flag we have flown for the last 304 days is the in progress flag. 
Now that we have completed the Loop we will fly the AGLCA Gold Looper flag which means we have completed America's Great Loop!
As we pass by Bob and Madeline's home they are on their dock to welcome us home as we pass closely by. 
We travelled 5,681 nautical miles which equals 6,537 miles or 10,521 kilometers, 3 countries, burned 3,580 gallons of diesel fuel and passed through 108 locks.

This experience has been priceless and I urge anyone with such a dream to do what you can to make it happen.  If your dreams don't scare you just a bit....they're not quite big enough.  Not sure what tomorrow will hold for us......the only thing I know for sure is how tomorrow and the next day will's what we call our's how we live our lives......