First of all, this may sound like a bit of a bitch sesion, and I suppose in a way it is, but trust us when we say that moving your kids onto a boat and heading off for a year isn't always as romantic as it sounds. Lisa has had alot on her hands getting ready to go, and I have been spending alot of time working on the boat. Now normally I wouldn't complain about that, but since we left the boat up in Bath it meant I had to be away from home during the time I'm not supposed to be away! When you already spends 6-months of the year away from your family, any more than is necessary really isn't much fun. So anyway, enough said, lots of work, but it all seemed worth every minute just this weekend when we finally got the trip underway. Seeing the excitement of the kids as they moved all their clothes, toys, books and "stuff" into their cabins made the memories of all those times away this winter just disappear. Later that night I went hunting for worms so the kids could do some fishing.Yup, it was all coming together.
Our friend Tara dropped us off in Bath on Friday night (Thanks Tara and the quiet kid she brought along). After loading the boat up it was time for the obligatory couple of drinks with Dave Hinton, the owner of the Marina and our former Harbormaster when we lived aboard 12 years ago.
Saturday was spent finishing some final boat projects, putting stuff away and a little housekeeping.Sunday morning we fueled-up, took on water and finally started the trip!!Our first destination was Main Duck Island, about 20 miles south of Bath out on Lake Ontario. We had a nice motor and dropped the hook for the night. The kids and I went snorkeling while Lisa enjoyed the peace and quiet of the boat. Lots of big fish in the fresh, clean water (could have been a bit warmer though!). Yesterday we set off for the remaining 30 miles across the Lake to Oswego, New York. Again, the weather co-operated and we had a nice crossing. Then the miserable part started! Clearing through immigration was straightforward. There is a videophone that you use, they scan your passports, pretty easy. One thing we weren't aware of was the need for a decal if your boat is over 30' long (we are 34'). So I had to apply for one on-line, laptop wouldn't connect to the free wi-fi hotspot, but our IPod touch would. Problem was the site wasn't working well, I needed to phone the helpline, we ran out of minutes on our cellphone, the phone I could use was out of range of the Wi-fi, etc, etc .... So we eventually walked up to the US Border Patrol office and explained what we were trying to do. These guys were fantastic!!! They let us log onto the receptionists computer and it was all done with in about 15 minutes!! Woo hooo!!!!
So we were now free to continue onto the Erie Canal, initially heading south then turning east towrds the Hudson River.Today we arrived in Phoenix, NY after going through 7 locks. It's a bit cool and rainy but we are looking forward to getting to Sylvan Beach tomorrow. I'll post a few videos once I get a more reliable connection.
The Crew of "Charlotte-Ann".