2018-09-28 — Kingston, NY–Annapolis, MD

Kingston NY turned out to be a real gem of a stop. Hurricane Florence coupled with the unexpected loss of a dear and lovely woman it was exactly the place we needed exactly when we needed it. We had found a place that was safe and secure and where we could leave the boat for a few days without concern.  We actually stayed at two different marinas. The first further up the river right next to an ancient lock which was really cool!


So far, so good making progress.



Have also been working on a monitor for our solar panels. It is based on a Arduino micro-controller which will talk to a Raspberry Pi single board computer via a Wifi UDP.


The data is displayed using Whilhelm SK on am Ipad. Enough geekdom.


Magnolia had a terrific parking spot among the hills of New York.


The high point of the visit though was out trip to Connecticut. We were able share a wonderful evening with Ted & Sally (Amici) and Al & Michele (Kindred Spirit) . We had such a fun time and grateful for these moments!


Finally we were we underway and headed for the Chesapeake.




First we make a stop in lovely Croton-on-Hudson, New York but early next morning we off for the Chesapeake.



The Tampazee Bridge is under construction with limited vessel traffic which cause for a major traffic jam.


Passing the Disney Ship we were still feeling lucky to be aboard Magnolia.


New York in the rearview camera…..


Rounding Sandy Hook Light.


We made an overnight passage of the coast of New Jersey in not GREAT conditions but we “got’r done.” We rounded up into Delaware Bay just before dawn right into an outgoing tide. That slowed our progress to a crawl.




We arrived Reedy Point Anchorage in the late afternoon and anchored just across from the Salem Nuclear Plant….


and about 5 miles south the Delaware Memorial Bridge at Wilmington, Delaware.


The next day we had favorable conditions so made another long hop down the Chesapeake Bay to Annapolis, Maryland


Our efforts were rewarded to be re-united with our “Freshmen Year Classmates” Frank & MaryMarie (EleanorQ) and Dan and Marcia (Cutting Class)


Magnolia & Cutting Class anchored at “Camp Q”


After spending a couple days with Frank and MaryMarie it was time to move down to Galesville, MD where we were getting 300ft of 3/8-G4 anchor chain. It also allowed us to catch up with Burt&Prue (Exuberant), Ron&Nancy (Mandala) and John&Lizzy (Quetzal)


After 6 years, I finally feel like we have slowed down and finding a good rhythm to balance seeing friends and the need to move when the weather is good.  It is good to be back in home and familiar waters but this summers trip and was an amazing experience. It was so wonderful and we are so appreciative of those of you we were able to see and the time and effort you spent to come see us along the way.


This is certainly an adventure we will not soon for get!

2018-09-12 Wrapping Up the Erie Canal

As you can tell by the tardiness of this post have been having focus issues. I will carry n though! Our last leg of the Erie Canal was the section we had already done so we knew where to go and what to expect. Yet at the same time the adventure of “first times” was behind.


None the less we set off across Lake Oneida towards Sylvan Beach on a bright Sunday morning. We actually wanted to get across th Lake and through Sylvan Beach before the party crowd awoke the “excitement” started all over again.


Another lock, another day…..


Our first stop was Little Falls, NY. A nice little town with a good grocery store so a walk was in order to restock.


Every so far along the canal they have these HUGE gates. I have to assume in a catastrophic failure they would drop these so as not to drain the entire canal into someone’s valuable farmland.



Departing Little Falls our first Lock is number #17. It is the tallest lock on the canal and just over a 40foot lift. Its is pretty impressive to enter from the bottom. The picture does not do it justice when you look up those walls!




Flags at half staff for Sen John McCains passing…..what a great man and example.


Next stop was the famous town of Canajoharie NY. Try and say that fast three times…does anyone remember what famous company was started here….to the over achievers will remember…Beech-Nut.


Magnolia moored on the Canajoharie waterfront


Departing the next morning it was ‘kinda” foggy out…Magnolia/Gibbs Rule #39…if its foggy at the dock, it going to be foggier at the first lock. When the lock master asked where we were I answered right out front!!!


Our greatest fear….approaching the next lock we were informed the lock was not functioning…we asked the tender if we should stand-off or tie up…he replied “Better Tie Up.” After getting Magnolia settled I walked up and asked the repair crew if we should start splitting firewood for winter or lunch…they suggested we start with lunch….in an hour or so we were back on our way…last thing we wanted to do was get stuck in a lock for the winter…scares me to think about!!!


Our last stop on the Erie was actually a place we had not stopped called Scotia NY.


It turned out Wednesday nights is free music night in the park…next to where we docked. We could listen in the park or on the boat, we went with the whole experience and headed to the park. A really terrific evening.


Our last day on the Canal was terrific weather day. We encountered a number of crew boats. Every team wanted us to blow the horn…people really like boat horns!


One of the last…..




The last…well almost. This is the last Erie Canal lock…Lock #1 is actually on the Hudson and operated by the Army Corp Of Engineers.


We stopped and stayed in Waterford, NY for a couple days at their waterfront welcome center. A nice place to be….


The welcome center projects a movie onto the wall of a bridge at the center each week. We scored and could not help but be reminded of my friend Jack Tennar…one of the greatest western fans I have ever known.


Departing Waterford and the Erie Canal was kind of sad. This summer was an amazing adventure and not sure when we will be back . Going through the Troy Federal Lock (lock #1) though was a great feeling. We transited 105 locks this summer which I can assure you is too many for one season…next time we will figure something else out!!!



Passing Albany NY as we head south on the Hudson.


We did see another Kadey Krogen anchored along the Hudson. We took the time to head over and say hello.


I think they were afraid we were going to raft up and they put out fenders!


We returned to one of the most protected and favorite stops for us..Roundout Creek at Kingston NY


We are FINALLY back at anchor but we are missing Kindred Spirit. Our friends Al & Michele traveled this far with us in June. It was lovely and lonely this time.


With hurricane Flo churning away in the Atlantic this is looking like a good place to be….

2018-09-04 Relaxing on the Erie and more friends….so cool

Continuing along the Erie Canal we are continually presented with wonderful little towns along the way such as Lyon


We are generally people that anchor out, often on our own with no other boats around. There are few anchorage along the canal so when Lock 25 presented itself, it was the next best thing.


Far from everything allowed us to take a nice walk around the area. Well not completely true, if you look closely you can see the New York Thru-Way in the distance. This is

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge


Each Lock generally has an associated damn and spillway…this is the one for Lock 25.


In the early evening approached with a lite rain we fired up the “space-ship” and set to BBQing!


A filling meal, a peaceful “anchorage” made for a wonderful sleep.  To be greeted with this view in the morning was a gift and why we seek out these kind of places.


Certainly not a Renoir but I sure felt like we were in the midst of a painting.


Along the way we discovered an abandoned aqueduct which is wonderful piece of history.



We arrived in Baldwinsville just ahead of M/V Pearl. We have not seen Stan & Suzie since Block Island, RI a couple years ago. Here Pearl is entering the lock arriving from Lake Ontario.


If you want motivation to keep your boat up, just take a look at Pearl and see how meticulously she is kept.


We had a wonderful afternoon and evening catching up. Laughed and laughed. It was wonderful catching up, was soo much fun!


Suzie was kind enough to catch a couple pictures of our departure….this one in particular shows that I really can drive the boat!



The is the point where the Oswego Canal forks off from the Erie Canal. This is the place where we start retracing our route back to the Chesapeake. It really struck us the wonderful time we have had on this journey. We have travelled about 2200 miles and have another 350 to go. What an adventure we have had.



Coming up our final days on the Erie Canal…

2018-08-27–Holly to Newark and friends in between!

The mooring field in Vero Beach FL is referred to as “Velcro Beach.” It is called that because it is so easy to be there. Every needed service is easily accessible. What we found along the way on the Western Erie Canal was exactly same thing…I have to say, the biggest..stet…only reason move on is that its going to get cold!!!!


After departing Medina NY we made a short passage to Holly, NY


Along the way we moved back to aqueduct mode as we passed OVER a local road.


I was also struck by the HUGE amount of agriculture. Not sure why but felt more like Iowa than NY. In addition to field crops  there were a large number of Orchards as well.



Arriving Holly we were welcomed to a lovely waterfront park.


The primary purpose of our visit was the Admiral found another waterfall and as a vessel, this crew does not miss a waterfall.



I found it! Podunk!!!


Arriving in Brockport NY, we found the Corning Glass Barge! This time we were tucked up as close as they could us! Not being a fan of crowds we vamoosed on before the crowds arrived.


In Spencerport we visited and attended a small Folk Festival that was a lot of fun


Fellow cruisers Paul and Debra of SV Kelly-Nicole (also a fellow Morgan 44)  were home to visit. We have not been together since we were in Long Island, Bahamas I guess its been 3 years? It worked out that we were able to make a quick stop in Pittsford, NY and pick up Paul and Debra along with their daughters family for a little boat ride onto Fairport, NY


Watching this guy approaching the bridge in Fairport we were hopeful he would remember to turn!!!!


Magnolia moored along the wall in Fairport, NY


We had a wonderful evening hanging out and though there was a “liberty risk” of Paul and I being out together, there were no law enforcement interactions.


Newark was another one of those quiet little towns with Ice Cream…what is not too love!


Ok, there was the Hoffman Clock Museum!!!



Geek Alert — A while back I got Signal-K server running on an RaspberryPi…I recently read an article by Jeff Siegal (ActiveCaptain) about a moisture sensor project he was working on. That inspired this…a micro controller based current sensor for our solar panels. Below is the initial configuration based a on Arduino microcontroller. There are current sensors (5) for each bank of our solar system along with a 12v-5v buck converter. So far I have current being measured and fed into the micro-controller. I have a Wifi module on the way so the current data can sent via MQTT to the the RaspberryPi and the Signal-K server. Once its in Signal-K the data will be available on the Magnolias whole network. Just a little something to keep the brain exercised and maybe something useful will come out!!!


2018-08-17–Middleport, Medina NY

West Erie Canal equals good living. Cruising this section of the waterway is filled with small towns with free docks and lots of 30 amp power…bring your “smart reverse splitter” and you are good to go.



Out first Erie Canal Locks we came to were located in Lockport, NY. Actually two locks back to back. Pictured below is the first of the two locks


Here is a picture of the entire 2 lock complex. You go directly from the first to the second lock…each lock dropped us 25 feet.


The locks are numbered east to west, so we only have 35 locks to go through until we reach the Hudson River and “sea-level.”


Our transit day was a bit damp and overcast but we did find a lovely spot along the wall in Middleport, NY


The next morning we made the short trip to Medina where we have a number of things planned.


Still a little gray and overcast but relatively dry.


Medina, NY for their sandstone quarries in the early 1900s. This seems to be a local example.


Not surprisingly city hall is also sandstone.


Love the doors..


Our first real stop was the train museum which really has any number “collections of history.”  The museum though really is centered around trains.



And do they have trains, like a HUGE HO model train setup.


It is a cool setup



The Admiral might have OD’d on trains though and had to take a breather from the excitement that is model trains.


This post office just struct me as a the quintessential post office reminding me of the one in Lima, OH


I kinda cracked up on this sign..I thought it was a stretch as far as history goes…just me though…



There is also an aqueduct in Median. The Canal is actually a “bridge” going over the creek gorge and water fall.


Per direction from the Admiral, we stop at waterfalls…all waterfalls….


Not to worry, there is another one tomorrow in Holly…

2018-08-15–Tonawanda, NY (Niagara Falls)

After our “concert night” in Buffalo we were off to Tonawanda, NY.


Departing Buffalo “can” be a little tricky and failure to take the right path…well we will get to that….departing Canalside it is imperative to get into the Black Rock Canal entrance keeping the sea wall to port. That seawall is the separation between the Canal and the Niagara River.


As the Niagara River narrows the river accelerates so that at this point we are moving along at 6 knts in the canal and the river 20 feet away is flowing at 12 plus knots!


If for some reason you get on the wrong side of that sea wall the current is so strong there is not way to turn around and get out….you will end up here….yea, Niagara Falls….dont mess up!


We did not get any pictures during the passage because of staying focused on doing it right…no mistakes could be tolerated. In the end we made it into Tonawanda just fine.


After getting Magnolia settled we walked around town to get our bearings.  North Tonawanda, NY is on the north side of the Erie Canal and Tonawanda, NY. 


Who would have guessed?


The grounds and


harbor were just lovely, really nice.


The Admiral took a day and made the short trip to Niagara Falls.


It was her first time and seemed to really enjoy the views




Meanwhile, back aboard I started stripping the old something. Its not varnish and its not paint but some kind of covering with high adhesion!


Annette’s family name is “Weckesser” which roughly translates to roll maker. Well we found a place that sells “Beef on Weck” and below was her response!


The Admiral also continued her Lake Erie Carrousel Tour by touring the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum.



As we head towards the middle of August its time to start looking east and our next stop on the Erie Canal

2018-08-14–Erie PA, Dunkirk NY, Buffalo, NY–A Terrific Lake Erie Passage

This whole trip has been absolutely wonderful but since arriving in Michigan it has taken on a much more relaxed tone.


After departing Ashtabula, OH we had a wonderful day passage up to Erie, PA. The yacht club there was very nice gave us a great place to ride out a couple days of weather. I did manage to get the rest of the boat waxed so that was a plus! Yes, and no pictures!


Dunkirk was a was a wonderful spot for a couple of reasons. A couple that came to look at Magnolia-S when we had her for sail have been “following” us and invited us to come visit their yacht club if it worked out.


In addition one of our sailing instructors family kept a boat here years ago so was able to get Roger some updated pictures of the area.




We sat out on the patio of the club with Carl & Donna and a dozen other club members well into the evening yacking about boating. It was a a REALLY fun evening and look forward to visiting with them again!


We were up with the sun and as the aft camera proves shortly underway to Buffalo.


Those “lines” in the water are the protective sea walls off the shore of Buffalo, we can see them in a picture below. Have to pay a little attention when arriving, that is for sure.


All week we have started the days out with glass flat water but by mid-morning a light west wind starting making things a a little sloppy…not really uncomfortable but even we need something to complain about!! Buffalo skyline as we are approaching.


The protective sea walls off of Buffalo


Thats Magnolia moored at Canal Side




We moored at the touristy Canal-Side docks. The docks hands were excellent and really positioned us out of the malay that was to come…see being Thursday we assumed it would be a quiet night at the municipal docks….ahh…Thursday is concert night. A Canadian rock band came and there were several thousand of people who came to watch. It was quit the evening but really turned out wonderful. Besides, we were moored just aft of the USS Little Rock, a WWII cruiser converted to one of the Navy’s early missile cruisers.


She carried old RAM jet engine powered Talos….that was my fantasy system to work on when I joined the Navy but unfortunately it was just being phased out…a mear 35 years ago…where does the time go!!


Out next stop is the entrance to the Erie Canal. I think it is now that it really struck us that we are headed for “home.”

2018-08-07 Cleveland & Ashtabula, OH

After departing Sandusky our next stop was Cleveland. We were looking forward to meeting up with fellow GenIV Sean. We also learned that Cousin Dan and Lori were making a surprise visit to Cleveland.


Our first stop was Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Neither Annette nor I had ever visited before so were looking forward!


We really enjoyed the visit much more than I expected. We arrived early and stay much longer than I had expected!


I was really excited to see Elvis Presley’s Volkswagen based trike. It was just like Tennar Trikes…


I think Elvis purchased from the wrong company truthfully!



After the museum we popped next door to a Mexican place that cousin Dan suggested…


We met up with Dan and Lori and made a trip to the West Side Market. The market is a true old school market similar Redding Terminal in Philly!


Note this is where I would have inserted a great picture of Sean, MaryAnn, Lori and Dan visiting on Magnolia and the fun dinner we had after but there were no good ones so we will have to just imagine….the next day Magnolia as off to Ashtabula, OH



Arriving in Ashtabula we learned our friend Roger from the Pentagon Sailing Club was from here, so Roger these are for you!


Only our second bridge request in the Great Lakes. We came up the river into town we found a very active boating community.


Downtown was completely filled with active store fronts.


Since we did not get any good pictures on Magnolia, the whole gang was kind enough to drive over to Ashtabula to share the evening.!!!


We found  a place called Rennick Meat Market. It had a long butcher shop history and dry aged steaks….perfect.


It was a very fun evening!



Like all good times the evening flew by and it was time for us to get back aboard for any early departure. Thank you all for sharing your time, great times and great memories!!!


Nest stop, Erie PA!!!

2018-07-31–Sandusky, OH

As we departed Put-In-Bay there was a forecast for late afternoon thunderstorms. Not unusual for many places we travel and we always do the same thing, get moving and get in by late morning.


We had a short 15 mile or so passage down to Sandusky passing Cedar Point Amusement as we arrived Sandusky Bay


We arrived, got the boat settled and made the rounds of the facility until the thunderstorms had come and gone.


As they arrived and I was laying on the settee relaxing the Admiral said its really blowing out there and headed for the pilothouse where she tunred on the instruments and related that it was blowing 50 knts…huh? That got me off the settee!!! In a few short minutes all had passed and we were not surprised to hear a few sirens etc.


It was only later that we became aware that a couple of roofs had blown off and actually part of a building had collapsed! Thankfully no one was hurt but sometimes you just don’t know what’s around the corner….


Thankfully we were able to get the weather behind us before the weekend began. My cousin Suzie along with her two friends came by on Friday evening for a wonderful visit aboard and diner ashore. It was a terrific evening of catching up.


On Saturday my cousin Jon , Betty as well as our friends Ted & Tina came for a visit.  We had a wonderful time catching up.



All the gabbing made us all hungry so we scoured Sandusky for a suitable establishment….




There is nothing we enjoy more than visiting with family and friends along the way. We are so very appreciative of the time and effort taken to visit Magnolia. Speaking of visits, Magnolia is off to Cleveland where we hope to meet up with fellow GenIV Sean while we are there….the adventure continues!!


2018-07-30 Put-in-Bay, Ohio


Put-in-Bay, Ohio – Neither and I had ever been here before and some of the parties that go on are legendary so truthfully we were not overly excited but submitted to peer pressure and made a stop! Our stop was a mid-week stop so we figured any potential parties were likely to be contained…and in fact they were. We had a delightful visit and with a such a historic monument greeting us, how could we not?


We even had a double ended rainbow with no rain show itself…how cool is that, a rainbow and never getting wet


Of course our very first stop had to be a history lesson which we were a bit ignorant of, but that is why we do this.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial


I sure do appreciated plaques that to the explaining here so I dont have  too!


You have likely heard the phrase but now you know the origin!


Zoom in….


Viewed from the top of the Memorial, Magnolia grabbed a mooring ball. Mid week, the mooring field was empty. We were told by the weekend it would be full and people rafted up!


Magnolia is the last vessel down and left in photo.


The view to the NE from the memorial


As expected the town is all about the tourist. It felt like a mini Block Island RI though BL has better ice cream….yes it is true! Seeing this sign immediately made of think of our friend Frank & Elaine wondering on the progress of their project? I also know what we will be doing when we arrive in Towanda NY…..



I had no idea that northern ohio was such a hot bed of carousels, but more on that in the next post!


We also made a stop across the harbor to Gibraltar Island which is home to the Stone Laboratory operated by Ohio State University.


They study much of the great lakes ecosystem and that includes snakes….yeah, my favorite!

20180725_102215      20180725_101918

But in addition to the science, there was some history so that was the up-shoot! More information about Jay Cooke.



20180725_111237   20180725_111228




Supposedly this man-made cave was used during prohibition to smuggle booze in from Canada (un-substantiated)


In an effort to escape the tourist area (ok, the best we could) we were told of a place the locals go outside of town. It was a lovely way to wind down our stay and I enjoyed the bottle of beer talking to me about the history of Oliver Hazzard Perry….it was amazing!!!!! Smile