Saturday, July 31, 2010

Brockport, NY

Hello Everybody

We are in Brockport, NY. Arrived here this afternoon. This is a Victorian Village in the heart of NY State. Lots of small shops. Joy went to an art fair at the college after we got her bike repaired.
She got a flat rear tire while riding in Medina, NY yesterday.

This section of the canal is very rural and agricultural. According to everybody this section is the best part of the Canal. As you go east it gets more into swamp land and lot of bugs.

Got a good picture of a blue heron walking along the Canal path as well as a waterfall in Holly, NY where we stopped this afternoon just to take a walk and a break from motoring. We only do 6 knots in the Canal, the speed limit is 10 but 6 is all High Spirits can do without straining the engine.

I changed the oil today, took about 30 minutes. We still need to work on the port side chain plates, pull them out and rebed them with new caulking material. That is our major project on the Canal. The other issue to have the shore power battery charger tested in Brewerton, NY where there is a boat yard that is a Volvo dealer.

Tomorrow we are off to Spencerport, NY on the way to Fairport Harbor which is considered one of the best places on the Canal. Hope to hook up with Nick and Sue Buehler in Fairport Harbor on Tuesday.

Hope everybody is enjoying my thoughts on this trip. We have met many people who share lots of good information about sailing to Florida/Bahamas.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Gayle & Don Visit Medina, NY

Gayle and Don came to visit us this afternoon for lunch. They were on the way to visit Don's sister, Ann and her husband Dave Pierce. Ann and Dave live north of Albany in Ballston Lake and in fact have consented to be our next mail drop. We should be seeing them in about 10 days.

We spent the day working on projects before G&D arrived. Pulled out the old sump pump out of the forward head. Unfortunately, we need two hose connectors, not available here in Medina, and a new fuse rated for 3 amps. West Marine here we come again. Also tightened the hoses for the water heater, checked the oil, and checked the coolant level. Still frustrated by the shore power charging system as it gives me mixed messages on the amount of actual charging it is doing.

After G&D left, we walked over to the Railroad Museum where they have a very large, I mean large, 201 ft by 14 ft working HO scale model train set that can have up to 8 trains running on the two main lines. Very interesting. You start at the beginning which is the history of this part of the country around 1825 and move forward in time with very elaborate scale models of towns, working railroads, boats, people, etc all to HO scale. The museum was started by one individual and sprang out of his hobby. In fact he got so serious he sold his house and bought this old freight warehouse from NY Central Railroad and lives upstairs with his wife. They have the longest ranch house, 301 feet long.

Tonight we are supposed to have a DJ, car show, and food here at Canal Park. However it is 6:02 pm and nobody has shown up. So we will probably walk up the hill to the downtown section, about 100 feet and go to this Italian restaurant.

Tomorrow it is off to Holley or Brockport, NY


Thursday, July 29, 2010


Well it is almost 9 pm and I am just starting to write down today's activities.

We are in Medina, NY, pronounced the same way as the one in Ohio . We did 40 miles with two locks today.

Interesting experience in the second lock. First of all we had two passengers, Julie Barker's daughter Susan and grandson, Owen, who met us in Lockport and got to ride the lock drop of 50 feet spread out over the two canals.
The first lock went well. However in the second lock, we got our slide rope caught on the top knot of the canal rope. The locks have vertical ropes that you loop a line around so that your boat does not wander away from the canal wall. Your rope just slides down and it is very easy, although it can be kind of slimy. However if you get your rope gets caught at the top, you can end up with the bow of your boat being pulled out of the water.
Fortunately the canal operator saw our problem, stopped the drop, came over and freed the line before we had to cut it loose with a box cutter. Once it was freed, it was back to normal. We dropped Susan and Owen off at the lock exit and proceeded down the Canal. Owen knew everything about the Lockport Lock as they visited the Lock on Saturday and took a tour.
We continued down the Canal and ended up in Medina. First order of business was to go the Farmers Market before it closed. So we had fresh corn for dinner. Second order of business was to go find a place to wash clothes. We found it just across the street from O'Briens Tavern.

So, beer for Joy, diet pepsi for me, as we sat while our clothes got washed and dried. We have
been told that laundry takes a lot of time in every boater's life. It is true, but beer helps.
Not sure about plans for tomorrow, lots of options. Gayle and Don may be joining us for the day tomorrow or perhaps next week. Buehlers are coming for a couple of days starting on Tuesday.

Offer still stands, if you would like a ride, give us a call.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Well hello everybody,

We had a great visit from Steve and Linda Franko. They stopped by to visit with us in North Tonawanda after a family wedding in Seattle. We had time to catch up with what is going on with our boating adventures. They are doing the Great Loop, and we are both going to the Bahamas. Hopefully we will meet them again in the Bahamas.
They had a car which was great. We spent the morning driving around to stores to buy items that we both needed for our respective boats. We picked up engine oil, anti freeze, and cleaning supplies. After lunch, Joy and I went to the Herschel Carrousel Museum. It is an interesting study of American manufacturing in the early 1900s, and the art that was created by talented wood carvers.

We had a great spot to watch two bands perform for the evening's entertainment. However, a strong thunderstorm hit right after the concert started, so it ended up being a rain out. However, two beautiful rainbows made an appearance for our entertainment. We ended up playing euchre for most of the evening. Final score was 2-2.

We also finally got to meet Basil and Danniella from Scrimshaw. They are the people who had trouble with their boat because gasoline was poured into the diesel sailboat. Not a good combination. They had to have their fuel tank flushed out in Erie, PA. Basil and Danniella are transiting the Canal and also going to the Bahamas.

Had the champagne that the Waldens gave us for a special occasion and we figured that the Frankos classify as a very special occasion.

If you would like to travel with us on the Canal, the Hudson, or other points south, just contact us by email or phone.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Canal Adventure Starts Today!

Well, we have arrived at the start of the NY Canal system, this part know as the Erie Canal.

The Erie Canal opened up the Midwest to Americans on the Atlantic Coast in the early 1800s.

It helped NYC become the largest seaport in the country and helped Americans move west.

Enough history.

Two pictures today are High Spirits without her mast and rigging, and then the view across the Canal looking at the Townawanda side. We are docked on the north side of the Canal in North
Tonawanda. Parked here because these docks had shore power.

This morning was dedicated to taking the mast and rigging off. Took 3.5 hours as the radar system was hard to remove. However, we finally got it off and they pulled the mast. Notice how the dinghy is now on the front of the boat upside down.

Steve and Linda Franko will be our first guests, arriving tonight about 11 pm after a flight back from California. They will stay for a day and then head up to catch their boat, Yesterday's Dream which I believe is in the North Channel up in Canada.

There is a concert here tomorrow night so we will be leaving on Thursday. Not sure how far we can get in one day, all depends on the number of locks that you need to transit that day.


Monday, July 26, 2010



You know that say the everything in life kind of evens out. Well today was a day of adventures and misadventures.

Let's talk about the adventures first. After a great dinner last night and a very good nights sleep in Dunkirk, due to the cool night breeze, we set off for Buffalo.
The wind was in the right direction and we were able to make good time sailing so we did not have to run the motor that much.

Joy loves to sail where the wind is taking her, not always in the straight line direction that we need to go to, but that is okay. Also a good adventure was our first transit of a lock on the Canal System, the Black Rock Lock run by the Army Corp of Engineers. It is only an 8 foot drop and takes about 20 minutes. We no problems.

Let's talk about misadventures. Today we lost a cushion, it fell over the side when we had to jybe turn as we needed to move back on course to enter the Buffalo harbor.

Then we got to Rich Marina and then wanted us to park in a very small place. After it was all over, the damage was as follows: took out 2 2x4 wooden posts, knocked over our grill on the back, also punctured the dinghy but did not happen. Got out of this very tight spot, went our of the marina and tried to park on the wall but the front anchor hit a metal post while barely moving but broke the anchor holder.

Pictures of all today's activities are posted.

Moral of for today: Reverse OJ glove phrase: If it doesn't fit, don't try it.

Joy needed a stiff drink so they told us go to Harry's Bar behind the apartment buildings next to the marina. We finally got there, sat down and tried to decide what to order in a place where the steak was listed at $54 per person. Ended up having one glass of wine, one tonic water, one bowl of chowder, and one order of cooked mushrooms. Total bill including tip was $29.00. Turns out Harry's Bar is really Harry's Place and one of the most expensive restaurants in Buffalo.

After the drinks and dinner (leftovers from Dunkirk) we spent the evening taking down the sails, mainsail jammed for a while, taking off the boom and boom vang. Boom vang is a device that goes down from the boom to the bottom of the mast. It supplies stability to the boom moving up or down too much, kind of like a brake.

Now is is 10:30 and we have more stuff to do before they take down the mast, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.


ps A couple we helped out the other day called to tell us what had happened to them. At their last fuel stop, the person put gasoline into a diesel boat. Had to flush out the whole system.

Sunday, July 25, 2010



More about the title later. Joy took this picture of me cleaning out the front head.
We do have one problem with it, the shower does not drain out, either a clogged line or bad pump. This is a project that we saved for the Canal along with fixed the port chain plates which hold the port stays in place. We did the starboard side while the boat was in the yard.

Well after a nice night at the Erie Yacht Club the weather turned back to sailing weather and we left for Dunkirk. Good thing we waited as Saturday afternoon Dunkirk got hit by a major storm, with 3 tornadoes sighted. We would have been finishing our sail just in the midst of this major storm.

So we left today and suffered a Jib Jam on the roller furler, the front sail. The reefing line got wrapped up around itself in the roller furler. SO we sailed with
half a jib sail. Joy did a great job of fixing it once we got to Dunkirk harbor and was in calm waters. She had to unbolt the furler fastener, pry the furler apart, straighten out the reefing line, and put it all back together. It was have been a difficult job earlier in the day as we were in 4 foot waves and the front of the
boat was moving up and down as we plowed through the 4 footers.

Tomorrow it is on to Buffalo, get the mast down on Tuesday, see the Frankos on Wednesday, and start moving easterly down the Erie Canal, no 4 footers on the Canal!


Saturday, July 24, 2010



Well the weather forecast called for thunderstorms over the lake today, so we did not travel to Dunkirk, NY. Instead we pulled up anchor out of Presque State Park and motored over to the Erie Yacht Club where our East Light Membership for $50 got us a free night. In this week we will have saved almost $180 by joining East Light.

So I posted several pictures of Erie Yacht Club and a great sunset plus a red contrail that I hope you can detect. One of the dock crew is firing off a shotgun shell which they do every night at sunset. The trouble with digital cameras as the time lag is much greater than with a film camera, hard to anticipate the exact moment of firing.

The last two nights made Joy very nervous about anchoring. The storm on Thursday kept her up most of the night worrying about our anchor dragging. Two of the five boats at the State Park marina pulled loose and one guy had to go across the pond and re anchor. Our anchor held nicely, but Joy was worried. Friday night brought another thunderstorm and intense lighting, but the wind was not as bad so the boats did not move or rock as much as on Thursday.

Tonight we are at the guest dock at Erie and nicely positioned. There are some big boats here including a motor yacht that is about 100 feet long. It is called Scot Free.

Tomorrow the weather should be fine and we will be off to Dunkirk. Still planning on taking the mast off on Tuesday, and having the Franko's stay overnight on the boat on Tuesday and spend the day with them on Wednesday.


Friday, July 23, 2010


Last night was the first time we anchored High Spirits. We are in the State Park Marina in Presque Island, PA. It is a very sheltered cove.

So we anchored late in the afternoon after arriving from Ashtabula. The first time the anchor did not stick, but it did the second time.

Then in the middle of night, large thunderstorms started rolling in and the boat did start a rocking. In fact two boats near us had their anchors pull out and they started drifting. Joy was up a lot during the night and so was I.

We had our anchor alarm set. It would go off when we swung too much as the wind shifted. Finally we set it for 200 feet and it did not go off.

We most likely will be here until Sunday as more thunderstorms are forecasted for Sat. Our mast is scheduled for Tuesday in Buffalo so we still have an extra day built in the schedule to get there by Tuesday. We will go to Dunkirk, NY say overnight and then on to Buffalo.

It appears that 45 miles is about the most we can do in a day travelling at 6 knots.
My butt gets to sore and I need to walk around.

More later


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ashtabula Visit with the Rogers


Well we found ourselves in Ashtabula, actually we went there to see our very good friends Jean and Dell Rogers. Our connection is through St. Basil Church in Brecksville where we were in a Small Christian Community group together for a long time, I think 10 years or so. Anyway here is a picture of them. Dell has been retired for several years, Jean still works at the VA in Wade Park four days a week.
They have a great house on a lake at Roaming Shores. We went there in the afternoon to enjoy the lake, good food and a fast boat ride. About 7 times faster than High Spirits can do.

I am finding out how much hard work there is to do on a boat even though I am retired. Here is a picture of my better half cleaning. There is a lot of boat to clean. We will be having company next week so we really have to clean on Monday.

After Ashtabula we motored and sailed up to Presque Island Park in Erie, Pa.
It is our first major stay on the anchor. We are anchored in the State Park Marina along with about 7 other boats who are also too cheap to pay for a dock. I think the plan for tomorrow is to take the dinghy into shore and go on a hike. There is not a lot of activities to do here except swim and hike.

Joy plans on adding some to this post.

Bye for now


Joy's Post: Getting into Ashtabula!

As we motored up the river, looking for our marina, we tried unsuccessfully 3 times to get into a gas dock for 20 foot boats, with wind and current working against us. The gas dock happened to be next to a lift bridge which was down at the time. A little stressful! Joe handled the boat well though. We didn't hit the bridge, and after passing through with the raising on the half hour, there was another gas dock with an easy long pier to ty up to, with our marina for 2 days just ahead!

Help on the High Seas!

As we were motoring along today, we noticed another sailboat going in the same direction. Soon, he slowed down and as we came up behind him, he hailed us and asked us to stay close by as he was having engine trouble. So we had our first encounter of helping a fellow sailor. No tow was necessary, but we slowed down and kept with him until coming into Erie.

Running Aground!

Soon after helping our fellow sailor, coming into our anchorage, we cut a corner too close and.... The depth meter went from 10 feet to three in a matter off seconds and we ran aground. Luckily, we were able to back up quickly, get back in the channel. A quick, scary moment!


Monday, July 19, 2010



Well we are here in Fairport Harbor, Ohio after a great last weekend in Cleveland.

Sat night we had dinner at Gayle and Don's house, and Connie and Mike joined us
for dessert. Picture of me and my two sisters and two brother in laws. We stayed overnight at Gayle's because it was very hot down at the boat plus there was a
thunderstorm down at the Marina.

Sunday we went to church at St. Basil's in Brecksville where we were members for over 20 years. Saw a few friends and had a chance to talk about our trip. In the afternoon we took Peter and Sally out for a sail. They are the couple that we
rented from in Tremont when we came out on April 15 to start working on High

We then went to Taste of Tremont which was a walk around food fair in the middle of Tremont sponsored by all the restaurants. Good food and not too hot outside.

So today is Monday, July 19 and we set sail east for a change and made it to Fairport
Harbor. Fairport Harbor has several salt mines that you see on the west side of the river as you come off the lake. So here are a couple of pictures of Fairport.
It is a small town. We went for a walk after a nice seafood dinner at Brennans. World famous Pickle Bills was closed tonight.

Tomorrow it is off to Ashtabula and a chance to see Dell and Jean Rogers on Wed. afternoon.


Saturday, July 17, 2010



Well no pictures at this time, although I may add some later

We are in final prep mode. Only one thing to fix, sump pump in front head shower does not pump out shower water. WOrking on it.

Visitng Connie and Gayle today, taking Peter and Sally Kochera out sailing tomorrow. WE stayed at one of Peter's apartments in Tremont when we first came to Cleveland in April.

It has been hot, over 90 for the past week and very humid.

That is it for now.

leaving Monday, July 19 weather permitting.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vermilion, Ohio

We came over to Vermilion on Tuesday morning, had to run the motor the entire time as the wind was right on the nose of the boat. We spent time with Jim from Great Lakes Diesel after we arrived. He did some minor repairs, showed us how to change the fuel filters, bleed out the air from the fuel system. He is coming to Cleveland on Saturday to complete some minor repairs to the cooling system.

Vermilion is a great town to visit. We stay at the Water Works docks right in the middle of the Historical Downtown section of town. Everything is within walking distance. This is about our 8th visit to Vermilion by boat.

Tonight we had diner with Liz and Eric Maseth. Went for a ride on their speedboat. By the way, the picture of the wake is not High Spirits, it is their boat. We were travelling about 6 times faster than we can. An interesting ride if you like speed.

Tomorrow it is back to Cleveland for a couple of days of boat work and then leaving on Monday for Buffalo


Put n Bay, South Bass Island

Hello Everybody,

We spent two nights on South Bass Island, in the town of Put n Bay. This is the home of the Perry Victory and International Peace Monument. It is a great place to visit especially if you stay in the mooring field outside of the Boardwalk Restaurant. The water taxi service picks you up at your boat as part of your mooring fee. Most of the drivers are college students, with a couple of retired folks behind the wheel.

Here are some pictures to get a feel for the place


Monday, July 12, 2010

Middle Bass Island

Today we took advantage of a special offer from the Boardwalk Restaurant to go over to Middle Bass Island. They threw in a free bike rental and $5 food coupon for each of us. We wanted to check out the new State Park Boat Marina that several people had mentioned previously at Kelleys Island.

The boat marina is brand new, in fact so new that there is absolutely no shade at all. It is basically a corn field with boats floating in it. Looks super hot. There are temporary buildings for showers, etc, but no running water at the docks as the EPA will not give the State of Ohio permission to provide water to the boaters at this time.
The picture is of Lonz Winery, which the State of Ohio bought to create this new State park on Middle Bass. You may recall that Lonz is where a bunch of people were injured when a deck collapsed from too many people on it a few years ago.

It was a nice visit but glad we only went for 2.5 hours.

Came back to South Bass where Put n Bay is located. Joy went for a kayak trip around the bay while I went over to the Perry monument and talked to one of the park rangers for about 30 minutes. Very interesting young man. Likes to teach but not in a four wall classroom.

Going to hear an all women country band tonight at the Beer Barrel Saloon, home of the world's longest bar.

Leaving for Vermilion after breakfast tomorrow

I'm pretty silent on the blog as this is definitely Joe's thing. He loves to take pictures and write something every day. If it was up to me you would probably hear every 2 weeks.
Last evening as were were taking the water taxi to shore, we met Dan and Sue, who left Lake Superior a few weeks ago, plan to go up the St Lawrence Seaway and end up in the Caribbean this winter. Shared stories and contact information over lobster bisque. Perhaps our paths will cross again. We will follow them on their blog to keep in touch.
Being on a mooring (or anchor) is so much nicer than a marina. The boat always faces into the breeze, so it is cooler, and with 90 degree days, a little breeze helps. Last night we put up our "wind chute", which looks like a kite, fills with air, and chutes it down the hatch over our heads while sleeping. We also can use our grill on a mooring, but not in a marina, because of the propane. This evening we enjoyed pork tenderloin, baked beans, applesauce, and cantaloupe. Thanks to Jennifer who was on the phone when I was looking for a good rub for the meat- mustard, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil worked well!
Look for my blog additions occassionally. Joy

Sunday, July 11, 2010



After church at St Michael's on Kelleys Island we left for South Bass Island, which has on it the resort village of Put n Bay and the Perry Peace Memorial. St. Michaels is a very small church but it was full.

Uneventful trip over to South Bass Island, the navigation system seems to work properly and we are still finding new aspects of it daily.

We are on a mooring in the middle of the Harbor. A mooring is simply a chain attached to a large concrete block sitting on the bottom of the harbor. Much cheaper than docking, in fact it will cost us only $30/night plus tips for the water taxi kids. Went to the supermarket, all island prices are high. One place sells M&Ms for $1.75, which back in Cleveland cost about $.99 max.

We got a $5 coupon for drinks for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow we are going to Middle Bass Island for the first time. The water taxi company has a special deal which includes money for lunch and free bike rental.

Here are some pictures of the view from the boat in the harbor including Perry's Peace Memorial




Went to the North Shore Beach at Kelleys Island. This was the greatest number of boats and people at the beach in all the times we have visited Kelleys.

At dinner listened to a good band featuring Kristen Jackson, who kind of reminded me of Janis Joplin, same sound. We talked to Kristen during the break, she is from Elyria, has been doing music professionally for 7 years, ie that is she makes enough money at it to eat and sleep. She started out as a classical trumpet player thinking about going to play in a major orchestra, but discovered the Blues when she was a sophomore in college. Could not find someone to sing her original compositions, so she started singing them herself.

Kristen is involved in a group called

Bye for now


Friday, July 9, 2010

Kelleys Island

Arrived at Kelleys Island yesterday in the late afternoon. Today was a job day, that means not a vacation day but a day to do some chores. The biggest chore was walking down to the other marina in town and doing laundry. Seems that the place we stay at, Portside, does not have
laundry facilities. Went to Seaway Marina and had lunch while the clothes dried.

Joy has been tracking down the leaks in her dinghy. After calling the dealer, we were told to tighten the air valves. Of course, we could have read this if we had read the manual. Guess it
pays to read what they give you with the product when you buy it. However, we have to
pull the dinghy up on the dock, loosen one valve and tighten a nut behind it. That sounds like a good job for tomorrow.

Here is a picture of the place we are staying at along with a picture of our boat.

We are off to Put n Bay Sunday morning.


Thursday, July 8, 2010


We have finally left Cleveland on this adventurous part of our life. Joy reminded me that we are not on a 2 year vacation, we have to watch how we spend our funds, and can not go out to eat 3 times a day. Although Kellys Island had some interesting items on the menus of the restaurants we looked into tonight.

We arrived at Kellys after a 8.5 hour motor sail travelling about 6 knots per hour at 2100 rpm with both sails helping a little. The lake was extremely flat, hot and humid. Front went through about 8 pm and now it is raining.

Here for a couple of days. Joy needs to find a place to wash her clothes either here or at the next place, Put in Bay.

We will be back in Cleveland for a couple of days next week to get our canvas project completed by Clarence. Clarence has sailed all over North America, got into the canvas business as a way of supporting a boating life. He has been at it for 23 years.



On Wednesday, July 7, we took some friends out to watch the Tall Ships parade down the Inner Harbor. These ships are really something to see.

One of them, the Appledore V stayed in our Marina on B dock Tuesday night. It is crewed by five high school students with three adults.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Hi Everyone

Well we are finally ready to go, or at least 98% ready. Today our boat mechanic was supposed to come and show us some simple repair/maintenance items but he never showed up. We called his office but he was out saving a boat that was sinking.
Guess, they needed his help more than we did.

So John from the boat yard is coming tomorrow to get us ready. Also tomorrow is the Cleveland Tall Ship Parade, hope to have some good pictures to post. We plan a short trip to the islands in the western part of Lake Erie for a week to get our feet wet and visit them. The three places, Kelly Island, Put in Bay and Vermilion are all great places to visit, and yet all completed different.

Put in Bay is the noisy bar crowd, Vermilion is the town where everything is a five minute walk and Kellys Island is like visiting part of America from the 50's except there is great Mexican food just feet from the marina. Growing up in the Midwest in Cleveland, Ohio, we did not have any Mexican food near our house. My parents were meat and potatoes.

So we are getting ready to push off. The rigging job has been completed, and we are off in two days. It has been extremely hot, 90 degrees plus the last two days and was over 80 last night and we have no air conditioning on High Spirits.