Sunday, September 30, 2012

On to Buffalo tomorrow...

At 6:30 a.m. the weather forecast was for 5 to 10 knot winds out of the northeast, with rain expected most of the day. Although we are anxious to get to Buffalo we decided to spend one more day in Dunkirk. The forecast for tomorrow is much we will sail at daybreak. Once in Buffalo we will say goodbye to Lake Erie, enter Buffalo Harbor and continue to the Black Rock Canal. The Canal runs along the Niagara River. The current in this part of the Niagara River can be 8 - 10 knots. That is not somewhere I want to be with a 35 horse power engine. The Black Rock Canal utilizes a lock to drop the boats five feet and at the same time avoid the strong current. We all know where the Niagara River goes...over Niagara falls. You can not be too careful here.
We spent the day doing odd jobs on the boat and making a blueprint of all the running rigging so that I can put it back together when the mast is stepped in Catskill. I am familiar with most of the running rigging, (lines that control the sails), as well as the standing rigging, (cables that support and align the mast), at this point. However a diagram will not hurt.
Serenity's mast will be unstepped, that is taken down in Buffalo. We will carry the mast on deck through the Erie Canal. Do you remember the song from junior high school.. ..Low bridge everybody down? Well it still holds true today. I read where the clearance of some of the bridges on the western Erie Canal is 15 feet.
Tomorrow we sail to Buffalo. Tuesday I need to detach all rigging and build the on deck supports for the mast. They will be crude. My tools are limited. Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday the mast will be lifted out with a crane and laid into the supports. I will then need to secure the supports and the mast from moving. Can you imagine what kind of damage a 48 foot mast can do to a boat? Crossing Lake Oneida can be rough, and the Hudson River can be as well. If the mast can move it could come loose and hurt someone, do damage, or even be lost overboard. I will get pictures of the mast on deck, and will use the George Ryder, (my dad), technique to tie it so we do not have to worry. My dad used to tie things on the top of our family station wagon, and it would take a couple of hours to untie them. Of course you know who had to untie.
We will be going through 36 locks on the Erie Canal, while motoring 363 miles at 6 miles per hour. We will have a mast hanging over the bow and stern of the boat. This should be interesting, as well as fun. At least we do not have to worry about being bored. So far this has been a great trip. Shirl and I are adjusting to life aboard Serenity. In this situation the boat becomes your own little world. We take care of Serenity and she takes care of us.

It seems we always see some interesting boats wherever we are.

Argo is a government boat that does annual assessments to monitor Lake Erie and the fish stocks to help manage the lakes resources.

 The economy has had a negative impact on boating on Lake Erie. There are empty slips everywhere. People are taking their boats out of the water for winter, but it is apparent it has been a slow year for business at many marinas.
 Shirl brought me a surprise today...a Jamaican drink.

We walked to the pier tonight and listened to a band play. They were pretty good and the store next to them had cans with blue mountains...just like at home.
If any of you are thinking you need some excitement, or a change of pace, or just want to mix it up a little...I highly recommend taking off in a sailboat. See you in Buffalo!



  1. It won't be warm this weekend at LFM "C" dock, but we will be there. We have finally mastered the routine to get to this blog.It really bloggles my mind since I thought it would be easy. I'll try to help others if they have any problems. OK so you missed the big fish fry. It was awsome. We have enjoyed the trip so far. Don't know if we could handle waves like you are experiencing, cause the last time we saw waves like that, we were in trouble. No power/wind/hail and scared. Boat dumb I call it. Raining here all day.
    Are you taking he Erie canal across NY to the Hudson and out or are you going North to the St. Lawrence?
    Don't know if you heard, but I (B-Rad) lost my job a couple weeks ago. I am looking for a job now as a deck hand! Guess I have officially joined the ranks of the "retired". We will be OK because of pre-planning.
    Your new advertisement now is" Can you find us now"?

  2. Just took a break from moving to get caught up on the blog. Looks like all is going well. I'll admit, I had to fight the temptation to google 'sailboat goes over Niagara Falls' to make sure it's never happened before. Be so careful. I enjoyed the photos and the memory about Grandpa. I do recall a big mess of a knot on all of his bumpers, lawn chairs, etc. Love you.

    1. Sara,
      Thanks, I hope your move is going well. Kiss and hug the kids for me. When you get settled we will get this skype thing figured out so I can see the kids. I need to get Jus on board with that also. Don't mention about a sail boat over Niagara Falls...bad juju!

  3. Brad,
    I understand your feelings about your job...not easy at our age. Companies like the one I worked for are so bottom line oriented that they disregard customer service and employees. The first to go are always the older who have the higher salaries or those who have had a small or not so small disagreement with a regional vice president or what ever his title is this week. Here is how I see it. We are right...they are wrong...and old? Nonsense, I am in my prime! Hang in there...or go sailing!


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