Sunday, June 19, 2011

Settling In

Phil has been back for a week now and has been busy making life more liveable as we live on Changes at Grand River Yacht Club.  He's gone to the storage unit and gotten some important items out.  We now have the deck umbrella out and clamped down to the deck with new black walnut clamps that he made (can't find the ones we had last fall).  Phil has cleaned out the quarterberth and I'm not allowed to junk it up.  We have it cleared actually so that when my daughter, Katie, comes to live with us in July, she'll be able sleep there and not have to make her bed every day.

Other projects completed:
*The Bad Boy wifi antenna is working and we can connect to our yacht club new wifi hotspot.
*The dock boxes are organized.
*I have my work clothes in my closet organizer
*He wash the port side of Changes with white vinegar, boat soap & water to get the salt crust off the boat.  He'll have to do that on the Starboard side and boy! does it make a difference.  It's shiny once again - but also all the scratches from the trip stand out.  This was a huge job as he has had to wash it 3 times and rinse and he still has some 30 spots to go over again.
*We have the foredeck cover on and just in time for rain that came.  As it wasn't blowing, we were able to have the fore hatch open and air circulation
*The mast frame is down and put away for the next trip.
*I have cleaned the inside of the boat and wash and defrosted the freezer part.  Glad to have a clean refrigerator again.

While Phil has been at the boat, I've been working full-time.  I've got my first paycheck which is nice to be able to start paying off the credit card.

It hasn't been all work.  We enjoy visiting with fellow yacht club members that also live here.  We went out to sail today and decided with the NE winds 17kts and building that we would SAIL back to the docks.  We peaked at 6.38kts with just the jib #2 out.  Yesterday we visited with Phil's Sisters and brother-in law.  We had a very nice time seeing them again.

We are planning on sailing over the Erieau, Ontarion Canada for July 4 weekend and meet up with Ken and Jeanne Blythe on S/V Sail Away.  They'll drive up to meet us.  I wonder what Lisa and Scott are doing on S/V Messenger.  Maybe they can meet us too!  A Bahamas Trip Reunion!

Friday, June 10, 2011

He's Home

Friday, June 10
Port Albino to GRYC
Distance Traveled:  125.85nm
Miles to get Home:   2362.73 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  5052.70 nm

Phil and Colin left Port Abino yesterday at 515pm to sail through the night to get home today. It took them a while to get out, round Point Abino and get the main sail set so it was for the first 3 hours once they were on Lake Erie at a course of 248 degrees that the wind was on the nose at 9-11 kts. They were going up 1-3 ft wave slowing them to GPS speed 3.5 - 4.5 kts.  ETA was about 730pm on June 10.  It wasn't a lot of fun as the sailors can imagine.  Then about 10pm during Colin's watch, that the winds clocked to the NE so they were going downwind on a starboard tack. About 1am the wind shifted  so Phil jibed the main to port.  Colin took the 3am to 6am watch.  When Phil came back on watch the wind had increased to 13-15 knots and the boat speed was 6.25 - 6.75 kts.  ETA was now was 1:30pm at the entrance to Fairport Harbor.  After noon, Phil came on watch again with the same wind, but as it got closer to Fairport Harbor, the wind decreased to 6 kts.  They pulled in, took down the main in the harbor and pulled into the dock at 2pm with Welcome Home balloon on the end of the dock.  Wouldn't want him to forget which dock to pull into (as if he would).  Docking was a little difficult what with the water touching the docks and the current in the river, but Phil prevailed.

Phil put the fenders that he keeps permanently attached to the dock on and did a few other boat chores like connecting the electric line and look for some items that had moved in the winter time.  Of course he had to talk to a few people that are already here.

I greeted Phil about 5pm when I got home from work.  Suffice it to say that fellow dock members said to take it inside. :)

Phil and I did attend the Potluck and moved some of my clothes back on the boat.  There is a lot for us to do to make our home dock our home for the summer.  We are glad to be back, but also wishing we were in the Bahamas again too.  At this time we are planning on leaving again Fall 2012.

So I would like to get feedback from you, the readers of this blog.  Should I wrap it up with one more post and shut down this blog or continue writing about us getting ready for our next trip.  I'd like to hear from you.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

In Lake Erie - the Home Stretch

Wednesday, June 8
Wardells to Port Abino
Distance Traveled:  25.28 nm
Miles traveled to get home:  2236.88
Total Distance Traveled:  4926.87

Phil and Colin left Wardells this morning and were on the Niagara River to get to Black Rock Canal and one final lock.  On the Niagara River, they had a 2 knot negative current, so it was slow going.  I don't have the details of their sail but they arrive before 1pm at Port Abino and caught a mooring ball.

I have to say that Phil has heard a lot of negative comments about Wardell Marina, but he could say enough positive comments about his experience there.  I suggested that he post about his experience, he was that happy.

The plan is for them to leave Thursday (today) afternoon and sail all night until they get home tomorrow afternoon.  One day than I had hoped they would arrive.  Pray for safe travels with the rain that may come.  I asked if Phil was planning on coming to the potluck at GRYC and the answer is yes.  Hopefulle they'll be able to get back early enough that he can take a nap.

It's hard to believe that this trip is almost over.  It's been quite an adventure.  Expect 1-2 more posts and that will wrap this adventure up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

End of Erie Canal

Monday June 6
Lockport, NY
Top of Lock 30
Distance Traveled:  79.95 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  2193.6 nm
Total distance Traveled:  4883.53 nm

Phil and Colin left Baldwinsville at 535am.  After they were gone, Phil decided to call the police to let them know about the jerry jugs of diesel that were stolen.  Turns out that this has been a problem lately, so for anyone traveling with jerry jugs on deck, make sure that you buy a cable to tie them down and lock them.  They didn't take the jugs that Phil had altered the spout either.  Unfortunately, we didn't mark our name or Changes name on the jugs and maybe that would have helped also.  Sure hope the police do something to alleviate this problem.

By 230pm when I called, Changes was going 6 kts boat speed vs 5.1 kts GPS speed.  Phil fixed supper while they were underway of a pasta sauce mix, chicken, canned green beans, mushrooms and it was gone when they were all done.  They continued traveling until about 830pm when they made it to Lockport, which is past their goal of making it to Medina.

Tomorrow they will get to Buffalo and decide where to put up the mast for sailing on Lake Erie.

Tuesday, June 7
Tonanowanda, NY
Distance Traveled:  18 nm
Miles to get Home:  2211.6 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4901.53 nm

This morning the guys slept in and then waited until heavy rain stopped leaving about 840am as a cat came upto the lock and started going thru.  They quickly tossed off the line and went thru the 2 step locks together and then the cat continued on leaving them behind.  They made it Wardell's to have the mast raised at 1150am and now the mast is up and everything is tightened down.  They will remain at Wardells tonight and have to decide where they are going to stay for the next 2 days.  It looks like Friday morning will be the day they leave to sail from Buffalo (or Port Abino) to Grand River Yacht Club in one stretch as the winds will be clocking to the NE.

I for one can't wait for them to get home and welcome Changes back.

Time for me to go to Capps for Chicken Salad.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Upside of Lock 30

Sunday, June 5
Lock 30
Erie Canal, NY

Distance Traveled:  65.8 nm
Miles to get Home:  2113.65 nm
Total Distance:  4803.58 nm

Phil and Colin left lock 24at 535am.  Turns out the the other 3 boats that were also tied up left about 515am so they were way ahead.  They had about a 1 knot adverse current most of the day but got to their final location about 630pm

Phil had unhappy news for Louise and I this morning.  About 230am Phil heard some noise outside, but because of being woken out of sleep, didn't recognize it for what it was.  He went outside and didn't see anything, but this morning found out that 2 full jerry jugs of diesel had been stolen!  He didn't notify the Baldwinsville Police as didn't want to be detained, though I did encourage him to call them and let me know so they can keep a closer eye on the docking area at night in the future.  Who know if he did this.  He has plans when he is close to a hardware store, of buying a cable and locking up the remaining 2 jerry jugs.  The people had to get on the port side and walk over to the starboard side where they were tied up.  Can you believe this???  They left muddy footprints on the deck too.

Phil made supper of a pasts sauce mix with canned green beans, mushrooms and chicken added and warmed up.  They did NOT have leftovers.  Louise and I talked to them this evening updating them on the news here and the weather report.  Phil is glad to be on the way.

Tomorrow they are planning on leaving between 530am to 6am and going as far as they can for the day.  Phil hopes to be in Buffalo, NY by Wednesday.  We will keep a close eye on the weather to determine if he needs to raise the mast.  So far the wind ranges from WSW to SW 8-15 knots depending on the day, so I tend to think that he'll be raising the mast, but we'll see.  Both are working on getting home by next weekend which is great with me.

Today I went to the Sailors Breakfast at GRYC in the morning and those that weren't there missed a great breakfast.  This afternoon and evening I worked visiting a couple patients.  It's good to be seeing patients and helping people again.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Erie Canal is OPEN!

Friday, June 3
Passage to Baldwinsville, NY
Lock 24
Distance Traveled:  20.7 nm
Miles traveled to get Home:  2047.85 nm
Total Distance Traveled:  4737.78 nm

Phil decided to go thru Lock 23, which is a down lock and continue on the Lock 24.  He tied up to the wall before the lock, got out one of the folding bikes and rode to the up side of the lock.  Who should he find but S/V's Obsession, Dream Weaver and Tessa, who he had met earlier.  John and friends offered after going to supper at a nearby restaurant, to ride with Phil on Changes and help him get to the up side of the lock.  The lockmaster was kind to let these boats thru if they promised not to continue the 29 miles to Lock 25.  It's this section of the canal that has been plagued with high water and resulting strong current.  Before the end of the evening, Phil was tided up and connected to blessed electricity.   It's also great for him to be with friends as it's been getting pretty boring for him as it's now been 2 weeks that he's been on Changes alone.

We also heard that the last 2 locks , Lock 25 & 26 are now opening on Sunday morning, so now the entire Erie Canal will be open Sunday.  Of course can't guarantee for how long, but we both are glad that he'll be coming home.

Colin Mills has been gracious in saying that he'll come over on Saturday, just working on the plans now.  They have also been gracious in letting me stay next with them as I'll be working in Ashtabula and Mentor areas for the week.

Me - I worked a half day and then went to the first Friday Potluck of the summer.  It's great to see the friends.  Dan and Kathy Christian have Abbey Marie in the water and are now living on her.  I met our new dock mate, Andrew and saw some of our yacht club friends.  I am still finding that I am discombobulated.  Even though I have been with Virginia for this time, it's not fun essentially living out of the van.  I'm glad to be back at work and starting to make some money, but also wished that I was on Changes taking her back the rest of the way.  Just didn't work out this time.

Saturday, June 4
Baldwinsville, NY

Phil make it to the hardward store to get new hose nozzles before the 3-4 hours of light rain started coming down.  Colin and Louise are driving over today and made it there by 5pm.  I have moved over to their house later in the evening after working this morning and spending time after packing was done, knitting my Mom a pair of socks - green this time.  I have one of the heels turne and the heel flap done and working on the 2nd.  After this, the hardest part of the sock are finished. 

Phil and Colin are planning on leaving with the other boats at 530am tomorrow so they can get as far as possible.  For those interested - there are 35 locks on the Erie Canal not including the lock in Troy, NY to get to Waterford and the lock in Buffalo to get to the canal on the western end.  Phil hopes that they can get to the end in 4 days.  I don't know if he has decided yet where he will have the mast raised.  If he has decided he hasn't shared it with me yet.  The if he has good weather, which means light to moderated winds that are not from the W or SW, then he'll be able to get home by next weekend.  It will be so nice to be able to get things organized for living on the boat.

So what are we going to do this summer about accomodations?  We plan to live on Changes this summer and next summer and hope to be able to house sit for someone that is going west or south to warmer temps for the winter.  We could stay on the boat as late as October and back on (depending on the spring weather) in early May.  So keep us in mind if anyone is interested in that service.

Soon this trip will be completely over and we'll have to decide what to do next.  The options are many and at times overwhelming for me.  But I'm sure that it will work out in the end.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Phil in the Erie Canal afterall

Wednesday, June1
Brewerton, NY

I got a call from Phil saying that the winds were going to be too high  and on the nose from the west (15-20+) knots for them to go onto Lake Ontario.  He called Colin and said to hold coming over until he gives him a call.  The winds were so high yesterday, that one of the battens broke on the Farouck.  Good thing that he had one more extra one to put in and that's been put away until the winds die down.  Of course the locks aren't open and no mention on them opening.  He has met a couple that we met originally in Emerald Bay Marina at the Ice Cream Social and was able to have them sign a quilt square.

Thursday, June 2
Brewerton, NY

Today it was cold so Phil spent the day at the Library to keep warm and to be on their internet using their computers.  It's still windy today and hopefully will calm down tomorrow.  Still no word about the locks opening but with no rain lately and low chance to have it this weekend, then hopefully they will open on Monday.  Phil is really bored and ready to be home, as you can imagine.

Me, I'm back to work and will be putting in plenty of time next week.  I've been checking the blogs that I have on the side of my page and like to keep track of where people I've met are.  Mary from S/V White Seal has her last post of her year of sailing and it's wonderful like usual. I'm sure this is a trip she'll never forget.

Phil sent me some photos that I'm going to include.

Colin on the computer

Changes tied up at Sylvan Beach

Changes tied up at Brewerton, NY