Monday, May 27, 2019

WE MADE IT TO NEW YORK. NOW WHAT? PART 2


#skipperdarrell #wkglgt








So, we made it to New York. Several complications have cropped up that we have to work around. Fortunately, these complications are not deal breakers. But they are a pain in the neck.
As I write this blog entry, we're tucked in nice and warm at a lovely hotel in Lake George, NY. And if you've been following these semi-rants, the reason we're here and not on the boat back in Brewerton is because the Erie Canal and Oswego Canal are not open. This is due to unusually high waters from snow runoff and extra heavy amounts of rain over the last couple of months. This problem isn't just in New York State either. It's also plaguing Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. So much so that there are marina restrictions, coastal flooding, and navigation warnings about violent currents. Not a pretty picture.
Let me catch you up on some of the details.
We arrived at Rochester, NY on Tuesday, 5/21/2019. The details of that are covered in the previous blog entry.
On Wednesday morning, 5/22/2019, we motored on to Buffalo, NY, to be interviewed for our Nexus border control cards. The purpose of this card is to streamline our entries and exits between the U.S. and Canada. We figured it would be helpful over the next five years as we explore as much of the Great Lakes as we can on both sides of the border. That is still to be proved, but the application process was more involved.


In addition to providing all the necessary information for both country's powers that be to decide that we're good 'ol fashion patriotic 'Muricans and friends to all Canadians (Let's Go Blues, eh!), we had to be interviewed in person by border control agents from both countries. The only place to do that that was anywhere convenient to that part of the country was in Buffalo, NY. We anticipated a grilling of sorts.
We arrived at our appointed times at the modest Nexus office in Niagara Falls, NY. The uniformed staff from both countries cheerfully and efficiently took our pictures and fingerprints. Then, both Lisa and I together were "interviewed" by agents from both countries. Each agent gave us photocopies about how the Nexus program worked in their countries and ... that was it. No grilling. No third degree. No white-hot light shining in our faces. No billy clubs smacked across our heads. All the background checks were done in, well, the background before we arrived. We were in and out in fifteen minutes. No pain, no strain.
We then drove from Buffalo all the way to Winter Harbor Marina in Brewerton where we discovered our starting off our 2019 edition of the Why Knot Great Lakes Grand Tour was complicated.
Now, I think it is very appropriate for me to say that the folks at Winter Harbor have been as polite, efficient, accommodating and professional as anyone in the marine business we've come across. Let there be no doubt about that. But they and we are in a tight spot.
The aforementioned weather and water conditions are to blame. The Erie Canal locks are being opened in odd sequences while the Oswego Canal is still closed. That means there will now be a rush of boats from as far back as Waterford, NY, at lock #2 into the Erie Canal all heading west. And, lets' face it, the vast number of the boats all want to head up the Oswego to Lake Ontario, not further west to Buffalo. And, like I said, the Oswego is still closed. That means they are all going to go where? Winter Harbor, or at least Sylvan Beach if they're smart.
So, we're going to not be in a super hurry to get out of Winter Harbor. We simply can't.
And they still have to do a bottom job on the boat.
So, here we are in Lake George where we're looking forward to a relaxing weekend amongst the Adirondacks, making lemonade out of lemons, and Tom Collins out of the lemonade.
Oh, and they have boat rentals!

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