Welcome to the SailRiders Adventures, our travel blog!
Rome and Utica
September 21st, 2017
The Erie Canal crosses two relatively large towns, Rome and Utica. In Rome, a nice free dock is available and we took the opportunity to stop there to meet up with Jason, who we meet some weeks ago while hiking the high peaks of the Adirondacks. He took us to a new local brewery called Copper City, whose name stems from the town's past nickname.
From Rome, we headed to the town of Utica, where the only true point of interest was the Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute. This art museum had some interesting pieces of art, especially Thomas Cole's The Voyage of Life paintings.
As we continued traveling, it was interesting to see the different animals starting their annual migration down south. Among others, grackles (black noisy birds), Canadian geese (everywhere, not even sure if these 'fertilizing' birds migrate...), and of course our favorite, the Monarch butterfly. One of these decided to land on my hand while I was Manning Tenacious for a break.
Crossing Oneida Lake
September 19th, 2017
As the Oswego river joins the Erie Canal, we head east and quickly reach Oneida Lake, a large body of water that is not part of the Finger Lakes system. It takes about a full day to cross the lake and can only be done on a calm day due to it's shallow bottom and numerous reefs.
As the weather permitted, we anchored in Oneida Lake overnight before proceeding to Sylvan Beach to resupply. At this time, Tenacious\' engine began showing signs of trouble and I kept reviving it by changing the spark plugs and giving it plenty of "Sea Foam"...
East of Oneida Lake is where the Erie Canal peaks in elevation. On the west side, the Oswego river flows into Lake Ontario, and on the east the Mohawk River flows into the Hudson. The result is that west the town of Rome, locks lift up higher, and east if Rome we start descending. The whole lock system is protected by a series of Guard Gates, huge sliding doors that can be lowered to block the flow on the canal
The Erie Canal
September 16th, 2017
The Oswego river is where we enter the Erie Canal. This travel is much different from the crystal clear waters of Lake Ontario. The rivers are quite rich in nutrients most likely due to agricultural runoff, turning them green with slimy algae.
The Oswego Canal is rich in history as it was used as a merchant corridor since the 19th century. The New York Canal Corporation offers several safe areas to dock the boat, some of them free of charge and with electric and water. This makes the crossing much easier for the cruiser.
One of the nicest free docks we encountered so far was in Henley Park. This quaint town even has a crew of friendly volunteers that come greet boats and keep the park and its amenities clean. These stops provide us the opportunity to resupply and travel to places with remote facilities such as Oneida Lake.
The Adventure Begins
September 8th, 2017
At last Tenacious, our 25 foot sailboat is ready for the adventure. We leave Rochester's Shumway Marina on September 10th on our way to Oswego NY. Along the way, we anchor in Sodus and Little Sodus bays. The shores of Lake Ontario have few anchorages, as most of it consists of shallow marshy bays, rocky shoreline or eroding moraines.
Once arrived in Oswego, Tenacious' mast is stepped down and then begins a 170 Nautical Mile journey down the Oswego and Erie Canals towards the Hudson River. using only a 9.9HP outboard engine at an average of 3-4 knots, this part of the trip requires patience!
Cabarete Wind Where Are You?
April 16th, 2017
The wind this year in Cabarete has been very unusual. Lots of light wind days, and then winds from the west! Locals tell me they have not seen this in over 15 years... The strong fronts in the north are starting to dwindle now, so hopefully the trade winds will settle in. The forecast today is for 15-20 knots, with winds increasing during the week.
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