SEASONS has crossed her Wake

 

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On August 14, 2019 at 12:20pm we crossed our wake at South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee, WI. Dorothy and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip so much that we are planning to leave in October 2019 to do it again. Completing The Great Loop is an awesome adventure. We enjoyed all of the people along the way, the places we visited, and the challenges encountered.

Our 1987 42’ Grand Banks Classic was the perfect boat for us. SEASONS handled a variety of conditions from beam seas to intense squalls at anchor. We navigated rivers, locks, oceans, and The Great Lakes. Driving from the upper helm provided a fantastic view of our travels. With a second forward cabin guests could join us along the way and were comfortable.

Our top 10 highlight list:

  1. Space-X Falcon Heavy rocket launch from our anchorage in Titusville, Fl
  2. Overnight dockage in the Henry Lock built in 1870
  3. Peterborough Lift Lock
  4. Blueberry picking in the North Channel
  5. Backing into Lock 26 on the Mississippi River
  6. Viewing the Statue of Liberty by water
  7. Cumberland Island
  8. Kilkenny Anchorage
  9. Friends and Family who joined us along the way
  10. LOOPERS WE HOPSCOTCHED WITH ALONG THE WAY

We could easily do a top 100 list of great memories.

Just a few of the completion stats for SEASONS.

1987 42’ Grand Banks Classic with Twin 135 hp Lehmans

  • Statute Miles traveled 5686, Hours underway 678, Average Speed 8.0 mph
  • Total days 319, Travel days 145, Average daily travel miles 39
  • Nights in a marina 241, Nights at anchor or no charge stops 78
  • 107 locks, Highest level was 840 above sea level
  • Gallons of diesel used 2407 / burn rate .42 gal per mile
  • 26 friends and family stayed on the boat at various times

 

COSTS

  • Total fuel $8174.00 / 3.40 per gal
  • Marina dockage $19,792.00 / Average 82.00 per night
  • Provisions $8982.00, Dining and entertainment $11,419.00
  • Maintenance $8973.00 No major issues or repairs
  • Total expense $68,325.00
  • We budgeted $5,000.00 per month actual was $6,507.00 per month

SEASONS

The trip is truly an adventure for all of the senses. The visual enjoyment of ever changing landscapes and watching the waterways open up before your eyes, anticipating what you’ll see around the next bend. The smells of crisp fresh air in the north, salt air in the south, industrial areas, and farm fields. The sounds of a peaceful water slap against the hull in a secluded anchorage to the busyness of New York Harbor. The taste of all the local cuisines some of which we have never heard of before. The feel of our boat as it slides through the waters, wind on your face and the handshake of a new friend.

The Great Loop route encompasses a mental smorgasbord for the brain, decisions, challenges, experiences, problem solving, adversity and above all the comradery of like minded people with the love of the sea and adventure spirit. We truly value the friendships created along the way.

Brian and Dorothy

“SEASONS”  42’ Grand Banks Classic

AGLCA Gold 2019

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What is a Haweater?

Haweater is a nickname given to a person born on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. We talked to the the Dockmaster at Gore Bay Marina and even though he has lived all of his life on on the island , he was born off island and he can not ever be a Haweater. For a number of years there were no babies born on the island because there was no doctor or medical facilities, but now children are arriving on the Island thanks to midwifes assisting in birth. The name derives from the prevalence of hawberries among the island’s vegetation. Originally it was reported that early settlers got their vitamin C intake, and thus avoided scurvy, by eating hawberries.

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This a jar of Hawberry Jelly we picked up at a local store. Its not a very strong taste, Maybe a little like weak cherry jelly.

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The Boat Roller Coaster

Since Dorothy and I were able to ride a roller coaster at the Sylvan Beach Amusement Park we thought our boat SEASONS should have a little fun.  The Big Chute Marine Railway provided the perfect opportunity. It is the next to last lock (not really a lock) on the Trent Severn Waterway. This is the only time our boat covered some distance on the Loop without touching the water.

Big Chute Marine Railway at lock 44 of the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario, Canada. It works on an inclined plane to carry boats in individual cradles over a change of height of about 60 feet. It is the only marine railway of its kind in North America still in use, and is overseen by federally operated Parks Canada.

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Here is a little video of our ride on the tram and some scenery afterwards;

A very peaceful anchorage all to ourselves in Georgian Bay.

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On to the North Channel

 

Lovesick Lock

Traveling along the Trent – Severn waterway is a beautiful scenic tour of inner Canada.  We traveled through the day with 3 other boats. Miss Adventure, Sand Dollar and Voyager. We locked with the same boats all day. The group became very comfortable and smooth entering and leaving the locks.

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One of those picturesque places we stayed over night was Lovesick lock. Lock 30 is located on an island, and therefore only accessible by boat – a unique feature on the Waterway. The natural beauty of the setting and island seclusion makes this lock station an extremely popular overnight stop.

The Legend of Lovesick Lake

Lovesick Lake: a name like that calls out curiosity, and local lore contains no shortage of explanations for the forlorn epithet.  Samuel Strickland recounts a tragic affair between an Anishnaabe man and an Irish settler; the stars were crossed against them and prejudice and circumstance kept them apart. Devastated, the young man cast himself away on one of the lake’s many islands, determined to give up the ghost.  His near lifeless body was discovered by a fishing party and he was rescued, but his point had already been made: Lovesick Lake is a beautiful place to pay tribute to a love that will never die.

After the Lock workers had gone home by boat for the day I thought it would be fun to swim in a lock chamber. This is strictly forbidden on the canal system. I mentioned my plan to Dorothy and her response was “NO Brian, you can’t do that”. This was all I needed to hear to justify the swim. I was able to talk a fellow Looper into the dip as well.

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The group got together for some fireside docktails until the killer mosquitoes over powered any sort of repellent we could come up with.

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A Canadian sunset

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A different kind of Lock

The Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trent Severn Waterway is an engineering marvel.

Some info from Wikipedia;For many years, the lock’s dual lifts were the highest hydraulic boat lifts in the world, raising boats 65 ft. The lock has two identical bathtub-like ship caissons in which vessels ascend and descend. Both caissons are enclosed at each end by pivoting gates, and there are pivoting gates at the upper and lower reaches of the canal at the junctions with the caissons. The gates on the caissons fit into slots on the gates on the reaches, so that they open in unison.

Each caisson sits on a 7.5 ft diameter ram, the shafts for which are sunk into the ground, are filled with water, and are connected with a pipe that has a crossover control valve. The caissons are guided up and down on either side by rails affixed to concrete towers.

No external power is needed: the lift lock functions by gravity alone using the counterweight principle. One caisson always ascends and the other always descends during each locking cycle. When one caisson reaches the top position, it stops 12 inches below the water level of the upper reach, and the control valve is closed;[5] Siemens ultrasonic sensors are used to help determine the differential.[6] The upper reach and top caisson gates open, and water flows into the top caisson until the level equalizes. The weight of the extra foot of water is 144 short tons (131 t), making the total weight of the upper caisson 1,844 short tons (1,673 t).[5] Any vessels that just ascended in the top caisson exit into the upper reach, and any new vessels making a transit of the lock then enter the bottom or top caisson from the lower or upper reach respectively. Once the vessels are secured, all gates are closed and the crossover valve in the connecting pipe between the ram shafts is opened. Since the upper caisson weighs more than the lower caisson (1,844 vs 1,700 tons), it pushes down on its ram, forcing out water from its shaft via the connecting pipe into the shaft of the bottom caisson. The force pushes up on the bottom caisson’s ram, raising the caisson up to the top position. When the gate of the newly descended top caisson and lower reach gates open at the bottom, the extra foot of water flows out and equalizes with the water level in the lower reach of the canal, and any descended vessels exit, allowing the cycle to start over again.

I know this is a long explanation but I have a few engineer friends reading this blog.

We were fortune enough along with some other Loopers to receive a behind the scenes tour of the inner workings of the lock.

The Lockmaster let Dorothy operate the lock. When we are finished traveling by boat she can get a job at the lock.

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Walking the edge of the tub. A 2′ wide catwalk with water on one side and a 65″ drop on the other.

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The lift rams are massive.

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Crew of Aquaman, Sand Dollar and SEASONS

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SEASONS in the Lift Lock tub.

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Leaving the lock the canal becomes very narrow in sections. You are required to issue a securite’ call over the VHF radio to warn other boaters you are in the channel.

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This experience at the Peterborough Lift Lock made the top 10 list for our Great Loop trip.

 

 

Trent Severn Waterway

We left the Erie Canal and headed North through Oswego Canal which connects central New York with Lake Ontario. We locked through a series of 7 locks lifting us 45.6 feet higher. We had a beautiful flat water travel day across Lake Ontario to Trenton, ON. Clearing Canadian Customs was just a quick cell phone call.

A little history of the Trent Severn Waterway from Wikipedia;

The Trent–Severn Waterway is a 240 mile long canal route connecting Lake Ontario at Trenton to the Georgian BayLake Huron at Port Severn. Its scenic, meandering route has been called “one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world”.The final sections were greatly delayed by World War I, with the link to Trenton opening in 1918, followed by the link to Georgian Bay in early 1915. The first complete transit of the waterway was made in July of that year.By the time the route was completed its use as a commercial waterway was over; ships plying the Great Lakes had grown much larger than the canal could handle, and the railways that originally connected to the canal now took most of its freight. But the introduction of motor boats led to the Trent–Severn’s emergence as a pleasure boating route, and today it is one of Ontario’s major tourist attractions. Its passage through cottage country, makes it perfectly positioned as a cruising route, drawing thousands of visitors every year. It also forms a major portion of the Great Loop. Today it is officially organized as a National Historic Site of Canada linear park operated by Parks Canada. It is open for navigation from May until October, while its shore lands and bridges are open year-round.

SEASONS entering the TSW at Trenton, ON.

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We spent the Fourth of July in Campbellford, ON.  The dockmaster did have some red white and blue cupcakes for the Americans but no fireworks. This city is Home of the Toonie, the Canadian 2 dollar coin.

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It was very hot requiring us to drink lots of water.

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Dooher’s is one of the best bakeries on the entire loop. We were told by locals that timing was everything when going here. If you go too early they do not have the good items out yet and if you wait too long they sell out.

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Pastries and Butter Tarts were so good.

Going through locks 11 and 12 Ranney Falls a double lock or flight. They give you a total lift of 48 feet.

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No sunset photos this time.

 

Low Bridge, everybody down!

How many of you sang those words in grade school?

Growing up in Troy, OHIO we sang it loud in music class.

After traveling up the Hudson River from New York we arrived in Albany, NY for a couple of days. My Son Garrett met us for the journey on the Erie Canal.

Built between 1817 and 1825, the original Erie Canal traversed 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo. It was the longest artificial waterway and the greatest public works project in North America. The canal put New York on the map as the Empire State—the leader in population, industry, and economic strength. New York’s canal system has been in continuous operation since 1825, longer than any other constructed transportation system on the North American continent. ( copy from the web ).

Locking with some fellow Wisconsinites.

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Once we enter a lock we are required to wrap a line around this cable and use it to hold the boat from moving to much in the lock. The line slides up the cable while the lock fills. Our big orange fender balls keep us from damaging the hull of the boat.

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The locks are well maintained.

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A tug work boat used by the Erie Canal maintenance crews.

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Soctia, NY, a small jazz performance we stumbled upon. We sat just behind the walker section.

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Sights around Amsterdam, NY a one night stop over for us.

Erie Canal Lock 17 is located in Little Falls and is the largest lock in New York State. The lock lifts every passing vessel an astounding 40.5 feet, replacing four locks on the old canal by just one. Construction on this lock was challenging. Design elements called for a unique feature, a water saving side pool which would allow about half of water from a locking to be reused on the next locking. Couple this extra feature with its massive size, the need to build it in solid rock, and keep the old Erie Canal open, which this was built directly on top of, required massive engineering. This design included a guillotine style lower gate and a concrete arch of which the boats pass under — the only implementation of such a design along the canal system.

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IMG_0144.JPG Garrett was teaching me how to use my drone to video us while we were moving using a flight program in the drone. We lost communications with it monetarily and the drone found a tree along the canal to land in. I estimate its about 200 feet in the air. We tried throwing a line around a branch to shake it loose, no luck. So the drone is wedged tightly between Lock 19 and Lock 20. The real bummer is the memory card has some great videos on it.

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The blue float was to aid in retrieval should land in the water.

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Garrett departed in Utica, NY after traveling with us for 5 days. The train station in Utica is spectacular, built in 1914. We are sitting on the original wood benches.

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We always enjoy a little history on our trip.

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