Monday, April 1, 2019

Sounds like a Plan to Me (at Least to Montreal)

#skipperdarrell #trawlercruising

To me, creating a cruise plan for an entire season is half the fun of the entire boating experience. It's a natural extension of my work life. Building some sales, service or production plan from start to finish for economy, efficiency and productivity was an important skill-set I could always count on. I was a planning gunslinger; give me a desired outcome, a deadline, a budget, and a dry-erase marker board and I was in my element. Those were the days. But I'm getting off track.

If you've watched any of my videos or read my blog posts, you'd know I go into levels of planning minutiae that I get kidded about frequently. There have also been some very mean-spirited criticism. It's usually along the lines that I'm somehow betraying the spirit of what recreational boating is all about. “It's about freedom and not having to follow rules,” I've been told. Well, if boating is about freedom, then I'm free to plan my little heart out. Besides, my planning has helped us see amazing things and enjoy our lifestyle in immeasurable ways, all with the aforementioned economy, efficiency and productivity.

But for this 2019 cruising season in the Thousand Islands in Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence Seaway, Montreal, Ottawa and the Rideau Canal, even my planning bent is a bit bent over. There's so much to see and do, there are so many options and possibilities, all I've been able to do is plan the major destinations. From almost any point, especially in the Thousand Islands, we could go in any direction and be able to enjoy someplace remarkable.

I guess what I'm saying is that (shudder) I have to wing it once we get there.

Here's what I've got so far.


May 21 – Fly to Rochester, NY. The reason we fly to Rochester and not Syracuse (which is closer to the marina) is that Southwest Airlines does not serve Syracuse. Besides, the Erie and Oswego Canals don't open until May 17th, so we couldn't get to Lake Ontario anyway. Also, our boat is in indoor storage and back in the warehouse about halfway. The locally owned boats come out first. We also have to drive to Buffalo on May 22nd to be interviewed for our Nexus clearance and cards.

May 24 – to (hopefully) Sylvan Beach, NY, 22.0 miles east across Oneida Lake. I see this as a shakedown cruise. We also like Sylvan Beach and being on their free wall over Memorial Day weekend should be fun.

May 28 – Back to Winter Harbor Marina on the west end of Oneida Lake. 22 miles.

May 29 – To Oswego, NY – Oswego International Marina. 32.7 sm, 8 locks.

May 31 – To Rochester, NY – Port of Rochester Marina. 58.0 sm. Another shakedown cruise.

June 7 – To Little Sodus Bay – an anchorage, 48.8 sm.

June 9 – To Sackets Harbor, NY – Public Wall or Navy Point Marina – 54.7 sm

June 12 – To Clayton, NY – Clayton Harbor Municipal Marina 41.0 sm

At this point, it starts to get a little hazy. We'll be coming in and out of the U.S. and Canada several times.

June 19 – To Gananoque, ON – Gananoque Municipal Marina 11. 5 sm

June 26 – To Georgina Island, ON – 10.0 sm. Provincial park docks or anchor.

July 1 – To Alexandria Bay, NY – 1000 Islands Yacht Club, 9.3 sm. Kind of an odd choice. It's on the other side of the main river channel from Alexandria Bay, but I think this marina is more accommodating of our boat, but I could be wrong.

July 7 – To Brockville, ON – Brockville Municipal Marina, 21.4 miles.

July 9 – To Prescott, ON – Prescott Marina (aka Sandra Lawn Marina) 12.3 miles

July 14 – To Moulinette Island, ON – anchorage, 41.0 sm

July 15 – To Creg Quay Marina, 46.9 sm

July 16 – Now, at this point, our next major stop is Port D'Escale Du Vieux Port De Montreal in Montreal. But it's 64-ish miles from Creg Quay with four locks. That's too much for one day. So, I have to come up with someplace to stop for the night, most likely an anchorage. ANY SUGGESTIONS? That means we'll arrive in Montreal on July 17th.

That's as far as I've gotten so far.

You may have noticed that several of the stops are for an entire week. I've purposely created some wells of time that we can use to go other places, but I don't know what those are yet.

Next, Montreal to Ottawa to Kingston back to Winter Harbor.

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