Jun 302015

Again we decided to leave early with hopes for a calm water on Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron.  Lake St. Clair was uneventful while we past some prestigious houses on the USA side.  We were lucky enough to pass the tall ships, Pinta and Nina on our way.  The Bluewater Bridge linking Sarnia, ON and Port Huron, MI looks massive from the water.  Lots of coal power plants line the water’s edge on both sides of the border in this area.

Upon entering Huron the waters calmed to less than a ripple.  That stayed with us all the way to Kincardine.  At first we thought we would stop south at Goderich, but with the water playing nice we decided to push to make tomorrow’s trip a bit shorter.  However, the fog or should I say the sheet.  There was visibility of about 50 metres so the radar when on.  There really isn’t much worse than staring at a white screen waiting for something to jump out.

When we were out at 20 km from Kincardine the boat started to list to the starboard side.  Then the auto pilot decided to continue to make right hand turns.  Scott eventually figured that something must have been caught on the trim tabs because once we slowed she righted herself.  The auto pilot took some figuring out.  Scott mentioned that the compass for the auto was behind the glove box.  I pulled everything out and discovered a strong magnet inside.  We figured that when Scott went in the glovebox to get his ear plugs he must have shifted the magnet and threw off the auto.  It hasn’t been completely tested yet but tomorrow on our way to Toby we’ll be testing that theory.

In Kincardine Marina we did fuel up with diesel and got a slip for the night.  Pouring down rain came just as we were hooking up power.  Good timing!  We thought that we would make the best of it and grab our rain gear and head into town.  The downtown is bustling with restaurants, pharmacy, corner store and just about everything else.  I should have had my nails done!!  A little dinner at Bruce’s Steak House and, of course, the required ice cream at the creamery, we headed back to the boat taking pictures along the way.  It had stopped raining.

Looking at the weather for the next few days shows sun and temps in the low 20s C.  That’s 70ish F for our USA friends.  Tomorrow is Canada Day and we are expecting a big show in the Town of Tobermory!  Bring it!

 Posted by at 1:23 AM
Jun 292015

After yesterday’s bouncing around on the lake we decided to leave early to beat the changing winds that were expected to be SW which would be the worst for us going west. Traveling past Pelee Point and Pelee Island, the southern most tip of Canada we noticed more shipping activity. Lakers coming out of the Detroit River passing us. There was one from St. Catharines so, of course, we had to take a picture. A little bit of home. Lake Erie played nice today but only due to us leaving early.

Upon getting into the Detroit River we decided to drop anchor and have a hot BBQ lunch. Beautiful homes are located along both sides of Canada and the USA. The waters here have a turquoise colour leaving us to think of the Caribbean. We made the decision to stay on the Canadian side but first we cruised between Windsor and Detroit. Two beautiful waterfront cities. No docking on either side while in the city so we passed by with the camera and memories. Detroit starts with its massive steel mills, while Windsor has virgin forests. Such a polar opposite.

Heading passed Belle Isle, an American island that has been made into a walking path park and Peche Island the Canadian Island still prestine in its forests. We are staying at the Lakeview Park Marina just opposite Peche Island. Nice marina, with laundry, showers, all amenities except walking to downtown. You would need a car or taxi. Tight squeeze for Scott when coming in due to winds of Lake St. Clair which is visible over the breakwater.

After hooking up Conductance we took Low Voltage out for a spin and a hike on Peche Island. This is the old Hiram Walker Estate. You know, Canadian Club whiskey tycoon. He had his home on the island but as it is now it is only ruins and nature paths. We did see swans with their little ones, turtles, a mink having its dinner, and so many various birds. It is the kind of place that you would go if you want to get back to nature. Unfortunately the island is loosing its shore on the north side to Lake St. Clair and its weather. No protection from the winds and surf so the north walking trail is about 2 metres in knee deep water.

Tomorrow we are on to Lake Huron and getting to Goderich. Hoping for calm waters this time ’round on Lake Huron. Last venture out there was trying to stay ahead of a storm when we were coming home from our Trent Trip.

 Posted by at 12:01 PM
Jun 282015

Long travel day today.  We left Port Colborne as soon as the winds turned east. Getting underway was great for about an hour then the north winds started.  Hitting the side of the boat with only 3 foot waves but tossing us around a bit made it a queasy afternoon.  We did 160 miles and landed in Rondeau Bay with a very much needed diesel fill up.

Conductance full out proved to be a well tuned boat. We relied on electronics and a wish after getting to Port Stanley and finding out that they just took out their diesel tanks. No diesel until Rondeau Bay which was cutting it close. Scott watched the fuel gauges and range until we pulled into Erieau Marina with 3 gallons to spare. I think that was the nail biter for the day.

Now the winds have died down and left us with completely flat water to look at hoping for a good travel day tomorrow.

At Rondeau Bay we are staying at Erieau Marina with wifi, a pool, gym, LCBO and beer store along with the marine store all at the marina.  We walked through the town to the beach where a typical Lake Erie fishing village has come alive with cottages, tourists, cute little mom and pop restaurants.


 Posted by at 11:57 AM
Jun 272015

A travellers foe….gale force wind warning! We are stuck in Port Colborne. Not the best day out with predicted copious rain and wind. We spent most of today backing up files and finishing up those odds and ends at home. Back at the boat for dinner and a movie to hopefully get out in the morning.


 Posted by at 12:54 PM
Jun 252015

Beautiful cruise down the upper Niagara River from Tonawanda Gateway Park. When we were past the Peace Bridge the lake was flat. Made it to Sugarloaf Harbour in 1.5 hours.

The waters and winds are not looking good for a Saturday departure. 30-50 Cm of rain with gusts from the west of 70 km. That means big seas so we may not be leaving as scheduled.

 Posted by at 11:50 AM
Jun 222015

Our journey will begin leaving from Tonawanda and heading for a night or even two, depending on weather on Lake Erie, to Sugarloaf Marina. Thursday, June 25 or Friday, June 26 will be our target date to move Conductance to her first stop. Sugarloaf Marina is about a 1.5 hour trek from Tonawanda, crossing borders into Port Colborne, Ontario. Hopefully the water is flat for the journey and relieving a couple hours of travel from Saturday’s projected leave time will be appreciated by the Captain. Most of the essentials are already onboard. Still have to stock up on food, water, clothing and our so longs to family and close friends.

Conductance is in great shape after Scott did the usual spring maintenance, bottom paint and waxing to be sure the long journey will be uneventful, engine wise, that is. A full wash on Thursday and she will look the part too.

If you are following us on this journey please feel free to comment. It’s our only way to have touch with all of you while we travel. We look forward to sharing the Great Lakes and USA inland waterways with all of you. We appreciate that you are taking time to read about our crazy excursions and enjoy the scenery, share the experience and most of all be part of the adventure. 4 days to go before we begin our trek………hold please………

 Posted by at 2:11 PM
Jun 092015

So we thought we would pop on over to Beaver Island State Park and see our summer boat friends for the weekend. We stayed at “The Triangle” (Strawberry Island, Grand Island and Motor Island- a spot where boats anchor on the hook with little to no current on the upper Niagara River) and made our way in “Low Voltage” to Beaver. After spending the day visiting our friends we took a spot on the transient dock for the night. Had our campfire at night and great times with friends. Enjoyed a game of cornhole made by a friend and the kids at the marina. Always good times. Check out is 11 and managed to push it to 12 to head back to Tonawanda. Lots of traffic on the water today. I think it must have been the first real weekend for most boaters. North Tonawanda had its “Taste of Tonawanda” truck foods today. The canal was super busy as well. Weather held out with temps in the 80’s instead of the rain predicted.

 Posted by at 4:04 PM