Apologies for the delay in posting my trip journal, internet was hard to come by the latter portion of the trip. Most marina’s did not have them or offered expensive internet for purchase.- Carla
It is impossible to motor up Niagara Falls in a boat, so the best way around it by water is using the Welland Canal.
The Welland Canal, which is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway, is a series of 8 very large lift locks. These locks are extremely large to accommodate “lakers”, which are large shipping cargo ships which travel in the Great Lakes- and not from LA.
After leaving Sodus Point, NY, for Ontario, Canada, we had a surprise enroute. A boat, speeding towards us at 42 knots, meant we were going to be boarded by either the Coast Guard or Customs, Border Patrol (CBP) under Homeland Security. Their blue lights flashing, CBP ordered all crew (Captain Dave, Yvette and myself) out on the back deck. They did allow us to get our passports and other ID. A group boarded us and watched my sister and I while the lead officer inspected the yacht looking for drugs, illegal aliens, and wanted felons.
Of course, I was able to take pictures with my iphone to share with you all before the boarding:
and just before they boarded our vessels:
They were nicer once they figured out we were upstanding US citizens, and had no warrants outstanding at least. This was the first CBP boarding for Yvette and Dave in their 30 year boating career. Usually it is the Coast Guard who board the yachts, and I’m told they are not as nice as the CBP officers. Dave had prepared me for a Coast Guard boarding, giving such advice as “keep your hand in plain site and make no fast movements” when having a semi-automatic pointed at you.
Onwards to Port Dalhousie, where we docked for the night.
The boat next to us at the end of the dock was a friendly retired couple refinishing an old boat. According to them, Julie Andrew’s yacht was docked recently where we were and Meryl Streep was seen dressed casually as a guest on board. After a nice evening at Murphy’s Restaurant and Bar in old Port Dalhousie, we left the St. Catherine’s Marina to meet up with our pilot, Roger. I first met Roger, a retired St. Lawrence Seaway worker, on my last trip through the Welland Canal 2 years ago on the Wombat. He knows each lock and thus, safely guided us through locks 1-7.
Btw, inside the Lock are lots of small floating fish, so picture dozens of seagulls swooping down for a meal.
Having Roger on board freed me up from handling the stern lines, which I appreciated. Instead, I hung out with my sister up on the bow, coiling the line as the water level rose. I also took lots of pictures:
Lock 8 is a different lock- you do not tie up to the side. Instead, you just slowing travel along the length of it for the short lift, the lock worker pedaling a bike alongside. At the end of Lock 8, I was on the lookout for roving bands of mooners since last time a group of teenage boys mooned me on the Wombat. Rather than being shocked, I laughed at them! LOL
We said our goodbyes to the Welland Canal, wishing we had more time to get some ice wine from the local vineyards. Hugs from Carla