2018-07-26 Home to Detroit

Magnolia departed St Clair city in a quiet Sunday morning thought we did have to wait for the Pine River Bridge to open!


As we transited down the St Clair River to Lake St Clair we could not get over how much the water looked as if we had been transported to the Bahamas!


Always traffic…not the bow wave…that’s probably close to 4 feet!


Arriving Detroit we moored at the Detroit Yacht Club. A true old time Yacht Club. We really enjoyed our visit and the club was a wonderful place to host Magnolias visitors.



The DYC is filled with beautiful rooms.




The marina is well laid out and large fairways for good maneuverability in spite of the Detroit Rivers current.


We had a terrific slip location on “Slab” dock…the gentleman who built the dock owned a tombstone company…no kidding.


First visitor aboard was my dad who had not visited me on a “boat” since his two trips aboard Ticonderoga back in the 80s! It was a wonderful day and he received the full Magnolia treatment!



Looking towards downtown Detroit


A side note, I did build and install a Raspberry Pi, Signal-K server while we were in Detroit. Much more on this down the road.

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We were truly blessed to open our home to school mate friends…there are friends in this picture whom I went to kindergarten with!!! No kidding.


We had a wonderful afternoon available and so appreciative to those who made time!


Departing DYC the Detroit River was absolutely flat!


Approaching the Belle-Isle Bridge


Under the Belle-Isle Bridge.



This guy was actually anchored in the river….



I never imagined visiting Detroit via our own boat. It was very humbling to us to have the ability and capability!


The Renaissance Center has been the highpoint of downtown Detroit since I was young.


Though the center was originally built by Ford Motror, somehow it became the headquarters for General Motors.



Cobo Hall, some great concerts there…



The River Rouge plants…where Detroit became Detroit.


I have no idea when we will be back the experience of coming home via the water has been unbelievable.  We are off to Lake Erie and the Ohio coast.

2018-07-18–Tobermory, Ont – St Clair, MI

We had been watching a weather window for more than a week that would allow us to make a comfortable overnight passage down lake Huron. We made a short transit over to Tobermory from Wingfield Basin. 


Tobermory is a wonderfully protected harbor and just the water….


the water is crazy clear.


We could inspect the entire bottom from the surface!


Magnolia in Tobermory Harbor


The sign is self explanatory….there is so much about this country I had no idea about…simply amazing…


After a good dinner out and good nights sleep, we were off. The forecast was spot on and we had a terrific day.


With the sun going down the “running lights” came on and we “set the watch” Annette takes the 9pm-12, I get the “midwatch”, Annette comes back at 3am and then I am back at 6am.


As the sun came up the morning was beautiful.


As we approached the south shore of Huron we approached Port Huron and the Bluewater Bridge which connects Michigan and Canada.


We stayed over on the Canadian side of Huron to avoid shipping but when you get near St Clair River, no avoiding!




On the way to our marina we needed to have like the only bascule bridge in the area open. Its first opening was at 8am so we have a little time to kill in the middle of the St Clair River.


Pine River Bascule Bridge


The marina was not our first choice but in hind sight it should have been


The marina and the town of  St Clair was lovely. As the pictures show the area was absolutely beautiful



All over town were these beautiful statues….



The joy also of this marina were the classic two Classic Crafts




We really enjoyed out stay in St Clair. The facility, area and people were all just terrific….onto Detroit!

2018-07-12– Trent-Severn Canal (Part 2)

We were bold enough to pass through Bobcaygeon the day before Canada’s 4th which is actually on 1 July. Bobcaygeon is known for there houseboat RENTALS….yes RENTALS. Yes, we fear “credit card captains” We made it unscathed and found a kind of quiet corner of Sturgeon Lake to hide in for the actual holiday. It was a fine day and we did our part to help Canada celebrate.


The next day we went to went down to Fenelon Falls site of the great boat flip….it seems on Independence Day someone went through the lock…ties there boat to the side and as the water departed the lock, the boat flipped right over. Thankfully no one was hurt and little fuel was spilled. Fenelon Falls turned out to be a real joy of a spot to visit. Many Canadians take vacations and cruise the Trent Severn on their small power boats. We were as interested in their stories of places to visit and how they did it. On hot days they swim right off the boat in in the canal right in the most urban of environments. Us Americans would tend not to do that but the water is so pure it is amazing.  Side note, we had not taken fresh water on Magnolia is a couple weeks and there was a hose so thought great opportunity. I have a mter to test the water before we put in the tanks. When Annette asked how it was, I said they should bottle this stull…60prts per million!! Crazy clean


A spillway near near the lock. There is a lot of adjustments to be made in this system to keep the electricity generating, the locks working and the water at the right levels…


Note to self: this was a damn good beer


Kirkland Ontario


Kirkland like Peterborough is another lift lock…its a bathtub on a elevator. They open a side of the tub…you drive in…they close the side of the tub…they lower the tub, Magnolia inside down 65 feet. The only thing I am thinking is….please don’t leak!


Many of the canal locks are around small towns and villages. There are others though out in the middle of no where. This lock was one of the nicest evenings we had. You might think that is Magnolia but no it is one of our sister ships named “Erben Renewel.” We had met them once before when we had the sailboat but no one could remember where. It took 2 days of VHF conversations to nail it down. It was like 3 years ago in Onnsett, MA. We live in a very small community…


This hardware must be years and years old yet, they use it every time to fill and empty the locks. I have no idea but I would not be surprised to know it goes back to the early 1900s


This is how they open and close the gates. It takes 13 laps around to open the a single gate. These interns end up with strong legs…its real work


The second from last lock is the Big Chute…its actually a huge rail car that you drive your boat onto…they pull the car out of the water, up a hill and down the other side of the hill and back into the water. The boat in front waiting to go.


There he is loaded up and going up the hill..


Here the front view from Magnolia as we are on the car and going down. Yes it felt like the top of a roller coaster and we were about to plunge down…no kidding


Here is a picture from the stern as we are going down the hill towards the water….


The route messed up a little…we exited the canal system at Severn Ontario and headed across the 19 mile bay to Pentatang. We were glad Magnolia is the boat she is. It was really the first time we had really poopy weather to travel in. We had wind on the nose and a solid chop had built up. We were happy to get in because it was our first meet up with cruising friends in Canada


Copper Penny we had not seen since Georgetown, Exumas. They were anchored next to us the night of the 2015 Derecho..crazy night. Paul and Paula were sailors and recent came to the trawler world on a Defever 40. We visit with Paul and Paula in Stuart last winter.


Magnolia was off the dock at first light since we had a very long passage…upwards of 70 miles.


The passage worked out perfectly…it was a long day but the weather was perfect. We were headed to the top of Bruce Point on Georgian Bay.


The area had a real feel of difference from our normal cruising grounds. It kind of felt like Maine but without the saltwater. The colors were so vivid and the water so clear it was amazing.


This lighthouse is abandoned now but you can see the replacement tower light next too it. We hiked to the lighthouse from our anchorage.


The top of Bruce Peninsula


Wingfield Basin is an perfectly protected anchorage in the middle of NO-WHERE we could wait out an expected front for a couple days.


A few chores, some relaxation, a cigar and an empty scotch bottle marked a wonderful spot. A couple notes, that bottle was opened some time in ‘17 and yes there is a spare!


When it was time to depart…well lets just say there was about a bale of grass on the anchor. Took nearly a half hour to get the Rocna aboard but it was sad to go.


We really did enjoy these stops. The visit with Copper Penny and Change of Pace was wonderful. Coming up..Tobermory and Huron

2018-07-01 Loyalist Cove, Trent-Severn Canal (Part1)

Crossing Oswego, NY – Loyalist Cove Ontario — 48nm


We were very fortunate on our weather window to cross Lake Ontario. Hardly any wind and crisp clear sky


Oswego Light


As as we got to clean fresh lake water it was time to get water through the wash down pump and guck off the deck.


Crossing US/Canadian border


Up goes the Quarantine Flag telling Canadian official we have not through Canadian Customs & Immigration



Loyalist Cove Marina


Arriving to Loyalist Cove Marina we were able clear Customs & Immigration via telephone…completely painless. Once that was done we raised our Canadian Courtesy Flag indicating we had cleared C&I

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We took a walk into Bath, about a mile or so and the first building we came to was the water treatment plant….now you might not think much of that but this is the treatment plant….not the office but the plant. I was amazed by its appearance….I am going to like this country.


Not un-attractive street signs…


After enjoying a couple days of poopy weather we headed for Trent Ontario.


Lots of islands mean lots of ferries.


Typical Lock & Park along the canal…(beautiful Admiral extra)


Look at that hottie…does she have a stern or what??? (of course I highlighting the beauty of the Admiral as well)


These moorings are included as part of our cruising permit fee




Then there is the inside of the locks…behind those doors is  about 40 feet of water just wanting to wash over me….grungy cloths in the lock required…ok…that’s what I wear most days aboard…


Ok, if you include both locks, more like 65 feet of water!! We were down THERE 40 minutes ago…


The town of Campbellford was a very nice stop with great docks.


A movie theater which we partook in…a fabulous bakery where I overstocked while Annette shopped the Farmers Market…pretty darn good!



Though we like to joke that most people might believe our life is nothing but sunshine and umbrella drinks…a little rain does fall. Even when it does though, we get to look at cool things on the water…voted best boat garage of the day.


Most locks you drive into…they close some doors…add some water, you float up to the next level…not in Peterborough. Here you drive into a lock,  more like a bath tub in a an elevator. They close the door and raise the bathtub up 65 feet…open the other door (and not the wrong door) and you drive out. Bath tub on right is in up position, bathtub on left in down position.


We drive into the left bathtub.


Yes take me up and drop me at men’s sporting goods please….


Pretty amazing how quickly you are lifted up….


Remember, open the front door!!!



Here we are at Men’s Sporting Goods…..


After that experience…the simple things in our life are really appreciated….I like could watch these families all day long…





Its straight forward, follow the marks and miss the rocks….miss a mark and you WILL find a rock..


Canada Independence Day is 1 July but the holiday weekend is beginning!


Part 2 assuming we survive the holiday weekend….

2018-06-29 — Sylvan Beach, Phoenix, Oswego NY

Sorry about the delay but internet has been a little short here in Canada. None the less we left off crossing Lake Oneida on a lovely day to make the passage. It was nice to get in some open water for a change1


This was one of my favorite water front house of the day..plenty of entertainment room and neat as a pin!


This is the split where we depart the Erie Canal and join the Oswego Canal for our trip up to Lake Ontario.


We see many sailboats configured like this so they can transit the Canals with the low bridges. This could have been an option for us aboard Magnolia-S this is just not for us. Mast over hanging bot ends of the boat. Hell we have enough trouble with a bow thruster and nothing over hanging!!!


Our friend Jim encouraged us to stop at Phoenix NY. It initially did not hit our “radar” and had an anchorage picked out. We sure are glad we did stop after all!


It had some history…


Some terrific old buildings……


I almost forgot….ice cream


And best of all, do you see Magnolia there on the dock? Do you see what is in front? A Laundromat…never in our days of cruising have we had this convenience! For icing on the cake, literally this was a bakery RIGHT net door to the laundry. Never in our wildest dreams have we ever found true cruiser heaven……


The waterfront dock area was just terrific with much interaction with the locals. I even met a man named Chuck Connors…he could have passed for the Rifleman I swear.


The next morning we departed heaven and passed through some more of the Oswego Canal Locks.







Lock 8 was the last of the Oswego Locks….we are somewhere around 30 locks so far on this trip and there is like 45 more coming up in Canada….


Oswego struck as a nice urban area..


:Lots of older brick buildings which I really appreciate.


We tied up a wall at the mouth of the harbor which is administered by the local Best Western Hotel….its weird, you go into the front deck and register…weird. We did not get out too much, most got Magnolia ready for a little “blue-water” passage. I needed to raise the mast and make sure everything was good and secure. The afternoon we arrived and it was very windy and the lake was very churned up so did not know what to expect…


Getting underway early the next morning…well you can see that we picked the perfect window as the lake was calm as we could have asked for and Magnolia seemed to enjoy the 30 something miles of oen water and boy we sure did too….


Well this story will continue in Canada….so see you next post!


2018-06-22 Canajoharie, Little Falls, Sylvan Beach NY (Locks E-12—>E-22)(267ft->420ft->395ft)(Mile 39-124)

As we traveled further west though spartan in-between, would come across these little downs along the water front.





Though we did not get to visit, this is the Shrine of Out Lady of Martyrs is a shrine to 7 Jesuit Priests who were massacred by the Mohawks in 1646.




The town of Cana-ja-harie was an amazing little find. We had never heard of it, it had one of the best art museums around AND it was home to Beech-Nut founded here in 1891…who would of thunk?


We toured the art museum that is co-located with the Library. Amazingly it contained a number of works by Homer, Remington and a number of other notables.


Since we had not had good walk in a couple days we walked a little ways out of town to a gorge we had read about.


We did not walk the whole park but what we saw a really cool and a great fine (https://seeswim.com/location/canajoharie-gorge/)


Another little nugget was the Van Alstyne Homestead. Sadly it closed the day we were there but it was in this tavern that locals debated the coming revolution..


Pretty amazing to think about…


Back aboard it was experiment time. Years ago I made pizza on the grill when we lived in Crystal CIty…later then on Magnolia-S I would make break over a charcoal grill. After giving up the charcoal had not tried any grill baking in some time. Perhaps it time to get back to my roots….yes Kathy L, I know!



Moving on we arrived at Sylvan Beach. As soon as we arrived it felt like we arrived at any number of ocean front beach communities…only on a bit smaller scale. We were also a little short on salt-air too!


Sylvan Beach is located on the Eastern Shore of Lake Onieda


I suspect and hope we run across these kind of towns as we travel the great lakes. It was Tuesday which was Bike at the Beach Day…it was a pretty wide age group and seemed rather upscale. Many of the bikes were custom one of a kind affairs.


The NY State Police even came to display their bikes….perhaps just a reminder this is a quiet beach town.


Being a beach town there was one thing we knew for sure….there was going to be Ice Cream!! We settled on a little place back off the main drag a few feet. The ice cream served was indigenous to the region so we scored.


I settled on a little chocolate peanut butter Sunday..I think the young lady enjoyed the whip cream application process!




We have to say that we appreciate the Active Captain write up that Lab Partners did, the town did not disappoint.


Early the next morning Magnolia was off on the 21 mile passage down like Oneida…


It was nice navigating open water and not a lock to be seen for a few hours!

2018-06-20 Troy–Amsterdam, NY (Locks Troy Federal to E-11) (2.4 ft–>267.0 ft) (Mile 0–39)

After saying goodbye to our friends Al & Michele Magnolia headed on up the Hudson river. The beauty of the upper Hudson river really is beautiful.


We planned for a long day on passage from Kingston, NY to Waterford, NY. As we approached Albany the waterfront became much more industrial (less attractive) than we had become accustomed.


Out first of MANY MANY locks was the Troy Federal Lock.


The end of our day was planned for Waterford NY just a couple miles further past the Troy Federal Lock. The first thing we learned is Loopers have no mooring discipline. Use as much dock space as you want and to hell with those that arrive later…yes I am ready to catch shit but it is true…this is only the FIRST example. We arrived late, but another boat arrived even later. We moved Magnolia even closer to the barge behind us to get another boat in front. A wind shift eventually brought that barge even closer…a little disconcerting!!!


We took a couple day break at Waterford. It was an ideal town with a barber named Chainsaw Chuck whom I was way over due to visit.





Though this is now just a spillway, this was the original canal minus the lock gates from the 1860s!



Since we have never been in the New York Canal System we took a walk up and looked at Lock #2. The firs 5 locks you MUST go through without stopping.  The are all with in 2 1/4 miles but combined raise you up 184 ft! That’s a pretty steep incline for 2 miles!!!


None the less first thing next morning we entered lock #2 and the adventure began! This is what the inside of most all the locks look like.


Beside most of the locks is a damn that allows a certain amount of water to by-pass the lock. There seems to be a fair number of hydro-electric damns too



Typical canal shore…





There are a number of free and inexpensive places to tie up along the canal. This is sunset in Amsterdam NY.


This is a standard building by each of the locks. They seem to be old industrial buildings like there was a turbine in there at some point.


We are starting to find our stride and having a wonderful trip…couple more days and we will be settle in!!!

2018-06-18 Kingston, NY

As we traveled up the Hudson River we noted a number of lighthouses along the way. Their design reminded me a lot of what we see on the Delaware Bay. Here is some more info on Hudson River Lights


This lighthouse marks the entrance to Kingston, NY.


More accurate it marks the entrance to Rondout Creek.


We traveled nearly 4 miles up the creek to really as far as we could before dropping anchor.


See we could go no further because we ran into a dam. (We knew it was there) but it did provide a unique anchorage with the sound of rater in the background.

We launched the dinks and went exploring.


Okay, maybe too many waterfall pictures…sorry


Heading back down river to the anchorage.


Did I mention there were only two things at this anchorage….a waterfall and a dairy bar? Are we good or what…yes Sally is was all pre-planned and meticulously researched….



It is all about crew moral!!


A picture of Magnolia and Kindred Spirit in the anchorage.


We dinghy’d all the way back down river to the town of Kingston, NY. Kingston has a very interesting and varied history. There is a maritime museum that we really enjoyed.


Before we knew the time we were able to share with Kindred Spirit came to an end. Magnolia will continue north while Al & Michele head home for a family holiday. I snapped the below picture as we were preparing to get underway, looing forward you can see the bridge towards the falls and in the monitor the view behind Magnolia, just as striking. That’s how I want to remember the week when we are all old and gray and are friends are gathered and telling stories…


We wave farewell for now to Kindred Spirit in the early morning….


Someday I am going to figure out how to get all our friends in the same place at the same time….now that is a dream…be safe A**2

2018-06-17 Poughkeepsie, NY (Glass Barge, Hyde Park, CIA )

As we travelled up the Hudson River towards Poughkeepsie was fascinated by how deep the river remained. There is a heck of a current on that river and that deep….man that is A LOT of water!!!


The crews of Kindred Spirit and Magnolia had big plans during our visit but first Annette had to pull a branch out of the water that was near Magnolia….HUH? Turn your back for a moment…she was not please this stick was near her boat……

Anyway, first up was the Corning Glass Barge. It is a traveling barge where they  are doing glass blowing demonstrations.


It was a lot more fun than it might sound…but it did appeal to my geek side…


After that cultural event we were ready to move on the the food sciences…actually a pretty regular segment in our travels but Kindred Spirit upped the “science” side by order flights of beer for for a true comparison test….

The Admiral went off the brewery reservation and ordered some kind of exotic drink…..


Next up and my personal priority was a visit to Hyde Park and the Roosevelt Estate located there. 


We did not tour this visit but this is the Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library. The first Presidential library. We did not tour this visit but want a full day the next time.


Michele is listening in on Franklin and Eleanor discussions….could you ever imagine? A government actually wanting to makes its citizens lives better…how nostalgic….


The estate was named Springwood and was home to Franklins parents before he. Franklin was born in this home as well.


As you can tell we have had a great photo influence from our companions on Kindred Spirit, much better on getting the good group shot!

Us at SPringwood

Franklins backyard growing up…he sailed single handedly on the Hudson river at 9 years old!


This is where Franklin and Eleanor are both buried.


After all that morning sight seeing it was time for lunch….not to worry, I also had French toast.


The next high priority stop was the Culinary Institute of America also known as CIA!


The campus of CIA is a former Jesuit novitate St. Andrew-on-Hudson established in 1903. The campus is absolutely breath taking and we believe they should open a school of lansscaping inaddition to the culinary arts!


We had signed up for a morning tour which was conducted by a very knowledgeable student.


While we were waiting, we waited in the cmpus coffee shop…..this day is going to end badly…..


After the tour we had lunch reservations at the CIA restaurant Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici


I generally do not have wine in the middle of the day but just had to make an exception for this experience….

My appetizer with with the above mentioned wine was to die for!


A stroll through the ground was just what the CIA ordered!


A Hibiscus in NY?


A Hudson River Sturgeon made out of knives, forks and spoons…..


2018-06-13 Cronton & Cold Spring NY

As we headed up the river, near the upper west side of Manhattan we found this monster anchored…I was particularly impressed by the garage door in the side of the boat. I guess it made it easy tp get things moved up the NYC apartment to the boat….that moving aboard day can be a real challenge…..


The Hudson quickly greened up along the shoreline. 


The Tapanzee bridge has been under construction seemingly forever…here you can see the old bridge being disassembled. 



Out first stop and was Cronton NY.


Because of the complicated anchorage near the Statue Of Liberty we had not gotten together so we all enjoyed a terrific dinner and lots of catch-up!!


The Cronton Damn turned out to a really amazing treat. It is the 3rd largest cut stone structure in the world…behind the Great Wall Of China and some Egyptian Pyramid!!


It was one of the original water supplies for NYC!



Caitlin, work hard and apply yourself…I look forward to seeing your damn someday!!!


After all our sightseeing there was but one thing to do……


Departing Croton we headed north passing West Point Military Academy.


I did get a chuckle when I saw the Army’s one sailboat….not thinking much of a threat to Annapolis


We dropped the hook in Foundry Cove at Cold Springs, NY


First up was a small boat chore. Al “volunteered” to help install some snaps onto the new pilothouse covers.



Magnolia at anchor with cockpit sun cover in place.


We went ashore to Cold Springs and registered at the municipal dock. You are asked the reason for your visit…one choice was ice cream…they have our number!!




The memorial to fallen solders from the county….



General Store

And we have a winner…on to Hyde Park!!

moo moo interior