May 2010, Oxford, MD, to Gananoque, Ontario
On the road again, it's good to be back on the road/boat again,
With apologies to Willie Nelson, this signature song of his really does capture our feelings very well. Besides, we did have a major road trip; several, in fact!
As you may recall from previous logs, the trusty m/v Mystic Bond was left in storage in Oxford , MD last year while we built our new home in Gananoque , ON . Although that project was very fulfilling (not to mention expensive), we were anxious to get back on the water.
Our friend Mike invited us to use his 44' Marine Trader, m/v TwoCan again this past winter, so we packed up the car and the cat and headed down to Florida in January. We enjoyed a 2 month hiatus cruising from Flagler Beach on Florida's Atlantic coast across Lake Okeechobee to Fort Myers, where we stayed for a month at the luxurious Gulf Harbour marina before making the return trip. Despite the cool weather Florida endured this winter, we had a great time enjoying Mike's company and visiting with family and friends.
We returned from Florida in mid-March and immediately started preparing to retrieve Mystic Bond from her resting place. We packed up the car and the cat (again) and drove down to Oxford, wondering with some trepidation about what condition the boat would be in after sitting under cover for almost 18 months.
We needn't have worried. Except for the swim platform which wasn't covered, the boat was clean as a whistle. Thanks to the solar-powered fans in the forward cabin and the main saloon, the boat remained well ventilated and there wasn't a speck of mold or mildew anywhere. There wasn't even any dust! As a result, re-commissioning her and preparing her for cruising was much less work than we had anticipated. In fact, the worst job was cleaning the dinghy which we had mistakenly left deflated and rolled up in a friend's outdoor storage shed. What a mess!
After polishing the hull and giving Mystic Bond a fresh coat of bottom paint, we re-launched her on April 23 rd . Due to the professionalism of the staff at Campbell 's Boat Yard, the launch was flawless. Even the engine started on the first crank and we moved her to a temporary slip at the Bachelor Point marina. To celebrate the success of this event, we treated ourselves to a lovely Italian meal at Portofino 's, one of our favorite restaurants in Easton , MD , a thriving community 15 minutes north of Oxford .
Our problem now was what to do with our car since we hadn't been able to arrange a one-way rental from Canada to bring everything down to the boat. The only viable solution was another road trip, with Andre ferrying our car and Olga following behind in a rental car back to Gananoque. Good thing Misty likes to travel!
Three days and almost 2000 km later, we were back on board with enough provisions, adult beverages and kitty litter to last for the foreseeable future.
On May 1 st , we left Oxford under sunny skies and light SE winds and headed north. We stopped at Kent Narrows to pick up fuel before continuing on to anchor in Worton Creek. Misty got her sea legs again very quickly and settled down on her favourite cushion to enjoy the ride. The warm, calm weather continued for several days so we took advantage of it, running down Delaware Bay on an outgoing tide and traveling offshore from Cape May, NJ all the way to Manasquan Inlet.
We came back in at Manasquan and anchored halfway up the Metedeconk River so we could dinghy ashore to visit son John, his wife Sarah and twin grandbabies Owen & Ciara. The only problem was that the dinghy motor wouldn't start so we had to row ashore. The wind picked up the next day and was expected to blow hard for the next 3-4 days so we moved into a protected slip in the Canal Point marina at Point Pleasant, NJ. Even so, we managed to snap one of our dock lines before the wind blew itself out. It did give us the chance to have the outboard serviced and, 1 ½ hours and $180 later, it was purring along just like Misty after she's been given some fresh shrimp.
On May 11 th , we headed out again for the offshore run around Sandy Hook and into New York harbour where we dodged the usual number of ferries and freighters. After overnight stops in Tarrytown and Kingston, NY we turned off the Hudson river at the Erie Canal welcome center at Waterford for a couple of days. We had met up with very few cruisers until then, so we were thrilled to share in the Great Loop completion celebration of Alex and Cindy Shue aboard m/v Tug Hill Tug . Several other boaters joined in as well and a good time was had by all.
On May 16 th , we started our transit through the Erie Canal , almost 3 years to the day since our previous passage in 2007. We both got an unexpected jolt of adrenaline as a 25' tree limb snagged our running gear coming out of Lock 2 but, with a little careful maneouvering and the help of the lock master's long fender pole, we managed to free it and get on our way without further incident. The rest of the trip through the Erie and Oswego canals was as beautiful as we remembered. It was here too that one of the lockmasters promoted Misty from boat cat to Admiral when he saw her supervising us from her perch on the dash of the main helm as we handled the lines to control the boat while we locked through. The weather remained pleasant and we explored several new stops at Canajoharie, Ilion and Brewerton before arriving again at Oswego , our staging point from which to cross Lake Ontario .
Given a forecast of sunny skies and light SW winds, we left Oswego harbour at 0630 on May 21 st and headed NE to the Canadian shore. Of course the forecast was wrong, and by 1000, the wind shifted to the NE at 8-10 knots. By then we were already in the lee of Main Duck Island, so we had a smooth ride despite the 1 ½ foot chop. We tied up at the Customs dock in Gananoque shortly after 1400 and, after a brief call on their 1-800 line, received a clearance number without any hassle.
Mystic Bond is now berthed in her new home slip at the Gananoque Municipal Marina and we are enjoying the summer and the beauty of cruising in the 1000 Islands. Come and join us if you can!
Andre, Olga & Admiral Misty The crew of m/v Mystic Bond