Last sunday we transited the Welland Canal. We left the marina in Port Colborne with our extra crew of Chrissy’s Parents and headed for the sign in dock. Upon arrival we were informed it was our lucky day, that they were just about to open the bridge for a pleasure craft to proceed to lock 8 and we should quickly cast off and join in. Some people get stuck waiting for 6 hours or more, so we really were lucky. 7 hours later we had completed the canal. Much better than the 12 they warn to be prepared for.
Here we are in the flight of 3 going down as a cargo ship was going up on the other side.
Near the last few locks we had our picture taken and the photographer linked it to our AIS signal, for those that follow along on Marine Traffic: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/316027819 We had a piece of outdoor carpet protecting the hull behind two old beat up big white fenders. Worked like a charm to keep the scum off the boat. We will be using the same setup again in the Oswego and Erie canals.
We anchored after the canals in Port Weller for the night and the next day sailed in light wind to Toronto. Then, we motor sailed so that we could get into a marina before the staff went home.
I think there is a city emerging from the haze on the horizon.
Magnus loves those days when it is so calm he can roam the side decks as I inspect parts of the rig.
We’ve spent the bulk of the week in Toronto now and taken in some of the night life and checked out a lot of the downtown area on foot. Magnus loves sniffing around. He was initially a bit perplexed that other dogs had marked objects not surrounded by grass but instead by concrete. This now means that he wants to sniff every railing or light post we pass. His preference is only to lay claim to those with a patch of grass though.
Toronto is definitely a change from what we were used to. Much busier and brighter at night and noisier all day long. You get to pay more for less in return, although the variety and ability to get around without a car are appealing. Here is the view at night from our current location.
While here we managed to get a few small boat jobs done. Most importantly we redistributed some of the weight from under the v-berth to midship locations to help our waterline at the bow and improved our can storage in the bilge compartments. The new second reef line inside the boom is now installed so our second reef will work properly instead of coming up about a foot short. We now have a ditch bag stowed in an accessible spot, hopefully never to be used. And we managed to find a few items we didn’t really need to make our storage situation better.
Part of the motivation for detouring to Toronto was to visit, and we had a couple days with Chrissy’s parents in the canal an enroute and then we got to visit with my family too. Andrea has ensured that Magnus will continue to be spoiled. Here he is showing off his new toy, Jaws.
After a great dinner and a bit of wine we took a family shot:
Had to take in some culture while in the big city too, so Chrissy and I checked out some modern art about the city. I’m really hoping that I don’t need to be wearing 4 layers the next time I see palm trees.
The most important boat job this week was to get the furnace working again and with some new parts were in goo shape. In case anyone is wondering what a little diesel furnace looks like inside here it is being reassembled with some new parts:
The real culprit for the the furnace dying was the burner mat had worn out. A nice new yellow one and a new glow plug and the furnace fired right up. Hopefully now we are good for another 16 years. The heat definitely came just in time and I am enjoying it greatly right now.
Today Brad and Andrea came for a visit and stocked me up on craft beers! I will have to hide these as no doubt I will appreciate a good tasting beer sometime this winter when the novelty of the 3 or 4 common caribbean beers wears off. Afterwards we visited the Amsterdam Brew House pub for some good chicken wings and a platter of sample beers off the menu.
This week we are off to sail over to New York and take the mast down in Oswego to begin the 8 locks in the Oswego canal followed by 23 if I counted right in the Erie Canal to get to the Hudson River. Forecast has some good solid winds for the next few days so hopefully this next leg we can give the iron genny a rest!